And….

Some mornings you don’t wanna get out of bed, but you do. Other mornings, you’re just ok and occasionally you wake up happy. (but you don’t jump out of bed because you haven’t had your coffee and you believe the transition from the dream world to reality should be gradual and not sudden.)

And how you wonder -really wonder- if you are really doing and being your best self.

And how some new friends remind you of old friends that stabbed you in the back and so you’re hesitant every time you’re around them.

And that it hurts how the people that should be there for you aren’t. And that’s somehow ok.

And that you’d do anything to protect yourself and that you’ll sometimes appear irrational for doing so.

And that you are the person you said you wanted to be. Always have. Just that you got caught up in the details.

And how you’ve worked so hard, but there’s still so much more to be done.

And sometimes you’ve got so much love to give and other times ‘it don’t show up in the pavement cracks.’

And how you wish you’d kept quiet, but glad you spoke.

And how you don’t dance anymore ’cause life happened.

But those YouTube vids still give you life.

And how you still listen to The Cranberries and Phil Collins after all these years.

And it saddens you that you’ll never ever be able to see Phil Collins live.

But whenever you watch his final tour, it feels like you were also there in the crowd, waving your hands and singing along

And how the Blues carries you till you can walk again.

And that people tell you you’re talented and you wish they wouldn’t. ‘Cause one day you might believe them.

And yet they underestimate you because you keep so much of yourself well-hidden.

Turning Thirty: Beauty Part 1

Written on: 19 August 2013 for Beauty Bulletin

Today, someone on Facebook posted this question:

“Is a weave, make-up, colouring your hair always a reflection of self-hate or an adoption of a foreign identity?”

I sighed deeply and thought all kinds of thoughts before I commented: “I’d have to write a whole article to answer this question properly. But the simple answer is no.” Like most (if not all) black women, I’m sick to death of my body (and hair) being used to reflect or push some racial/cultural/political/socio-economic issue. That everyday when I wake up in the morning, get dressed and adorn myself as I see fit, I’m somehow trying to prove a point or…trying to be revolutionary. That my individual expression is automatically up for scrutiny because it’s not the norm/standard or because people are fascinated and curious. Why is black women’s beauty being prodded and dissected? Why are we “separate but equal”? Why is our beauty treated as something exotic? Why?