Driving home from Las Vegas one weekend, my mom and dad argued almost the entire time. They weren’t yelling but I knew they were angry. The signs were obvious, as I had learned to recognize them early in my young life. I remember my mom telling my dad to pull the car over immediately. He did. Suddenly, my mom steps out and the money she was holding in her hands went flying everywhere as she threw it in the desert wind. Dad adjusting his cigarette in his mouth before opening the door to finish the argument, and of course, pick up the money.
Arguing was a regular form of communication in my household growing up. My siblings and I were not shunned from the goings on between our parents. There was no taking it to another room, or waiting until the kids were asleep to purge themselves of all the anger coursing through them at any time. No need to whisper when the kids have grown accustomed to the shouts. Continue reading
“Wow, you got so fat!” are the words my aunt said to me as I walked into my grandmothers house on Thanksgiving, years ago. My then boyfriend and I were in a toxic relationship; he emotionally abusive and me, mentally exhausted. Depression took over, and so I cried, and ate…and cried, and ate. Gaining an extra twenty pounds on my small, five foot two frame. I tried to pretend I was unbothered for the rest of the night, and silently cried while staring out of the window in the car the entire way home. After puling myself together, and kicking his cheating butt to the curb, I dropped the weight, but the mental toll it took, stuck with me. This is not the first time I’ve struggled with self acceptance, and it definitely wouldn’t be the last. My body and I have had an internal struggle most of our life. My Body, My Words…
As a kid, things weren’t much better. “Look at your legs…you have thunder thighs!” Ryan, my fourth grade classmate yelled as we walked on the playground. I wore my new Bongo shorts and matching t-shirt my Mom bought me, and felt ready to conquer the world that morning on the drive to school. Everyone will love my outfit, and this will make them finally love me too was my internal hope. As one of the literal few black students in the entire school being made fun of was a daily part of my routine.
My thick thighs, kinky hair, and brown skin were the subject of many hate campaigns. I tried desperately to fit in and be liked, but I would always be considered an outsider, and my body, skin and hair would never let me in. I began to resent my brown skin, kind curly hair, and strong thighs just like they did. For the rest of the year, no matter how hot the weather became, I’d wear my thick black New Kids on the Block jacket to school, and use it to cover my legs anytime I wore
a dress or shorts. Their words stuck.
“She hates me.” is what my body must think. Continue reading
As the New Year approaches, I, along with you, will replay every single moment of this year over and over in my head. All of it, the bad, good, insane, and awkward events that shaped 2017. A few things scared the bejeezus out of me: the state of our country, stepping on my new puppies leg, the black mold in my apartment, quitting my long time job, and pitching my scripts…to name a few. I’m an over thinker, that’s not a secret, but I started to really delve into a few of these fears, and how to let them go, or at least use them for our benefit. 4 Fears to Leave in 2017:
1) Fear of Success: This is a fear many of us have but don’t fully recognize. Success is scary. There is so much that comes along with it, mainly, pressure to keep it up, and this is where the fear creeps in. We all want to be successful in life, no matter what that may look like. My definition of success may not match yours, but I can guarantee that the fear of obtaining and keeping it is a real emotion we both share. Let’s agree that we will leave this fear in 2017 and not let it dictate how we go about accomplishing our goals in 2018. One day all of the sacrifices and hard work will pay off, or, you may have already achieved success and are in panic mode trying to keep it up. Don’t focus on all of the what-ifs, and live for right now. Use that fear to push you past the point of success you have dreamed up for yourself. Believe in the impossible, and watch the universe unfold around you. You deserve it.
2) Fear of Failure: Failure is a bitch. Seriously. I have failed at literally everything I have attempted, tried, or accomplished. Yes, I typed accomplished, because I had to fail more times than not to be able to accomplish whatever it is. This year I pitched scripts to executives, managers, production teams and even executive assistants, and was rejected by almost all of them. It comes with the territory. What are you afraid of? Is it putting yourself out there, feeling as though you’re not talented or educated enough, feeling as though you’ll never succeed?
Let that fear fuel you. I do all of the time. Writing a blog post, script, screenplay, auditioning. etc. are all scary as hell. I open myself up to severe criticism, hate and judgements daily, but how else can I reach my dreams and goals of becoming a successful actor/writer. The nervousness is normal. Fearing failure is normal, but it cannot exist in an accomplished world. You will never become an actor, writer, lawyer, engineer, disney princess or whatever the hell it is you want, if you allow fear to lead your life. Use fear, don’t let it use you. Let 2018 be the year you put yourself our there. You earned it. Continue reading
I am so over this dumbass question. Thoroughly sick and tired of having to defend myself against an McCarthy like era interrogation into discovering the reasons why I’m still single. Its offensive and just plain ridiculous…also, in most cases, its filled with judgment and makes me want to punch you in the throat. The question is almost always posed as though there must be something wrong with me if at 37yrs old, I am single, never married and have no children. Why is it that as a woman I must be damaged, too picky, hard to deal with, crazy or super selfish, and George Clooney who remained a playboy bachelor until his 50’s, is considered an intelligent hero for taking his time to settle down?
Yes, I am thirty-seven. No, I have never been married or plan to have children anytime soon. I have been single for over ten years, and no I do not feel like I am missing out on anything, or that I am running out of time. There is no need for me to put out a billboard on the street searching for my new man, and no, I don’t think I am being selfish. My career comes first, and I am truly okay with that. Am I worried that I will not be able to get pregnant later in life? Nope. If I end up married someday and decide to have children, but can’t get pregnant, then I will adopt or use a surrogate. Do these issues play in my mind daily…not at all. Continue reading
Beauty In The Beast Fashion Show, May 20, 2017: Music, Fashion & Art! Single File Army, a movement driven by the power of inclusion, has gathered influential forces to spread positivity and light in Long Beach. Through mentorship and inspiring youth towards total and complete happiness via art, music, and fashion. Visionary Directors Thadeo Miguel, (who has been nominated for MX Gay Pride of Long Beach in, The International Imperial Court of Long Beach) along with celebrity Makeup Artist Johnny Martinez, Clothing Designer Lorenzo Pena, and lastly a woman of many hats Ms. Deja Towns, have come together to create a platform for other local artists and designers to bring awareness to their brand.
These artists are using their crafts, while inspiring generations to come and support the MYTE Program through the LGBTQ Center of Long Beach. You can support Thadeo Miguel’s nomination & donate at www.iiclbc.org 4mpride contest by clicking on his pic. Hint: he’s the happy guy in the rainbow suspenders, top right corner!
Join us at MADE By Millworks on May 20, 2017 at 240 Pine Ave in Long Beach. General admission is $20 and VIP is $28 at the door. Proceeds of he show will benefit The MYTE Program to continue to provide guidance to the gay youth.
Purchase Tickets Here: Beauty in the Beast
Learn more about youth services offered at The Center in Long Beach: centerlb.org