Negro Swan

My mental health is constantly being tested. Honestly, some times I feel like it’s being tested by the people closet to me and I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about that.

I don’t like the feeling of walking on egg shells because this is my fucking life, no one else.

Do friends freak out because they genuinely want to see you succeed? And what happens when it just becomes really overbearing and like they are literally suffocating you? Or when you don’t even want to tell them anything about your life because you feel like i try to make it about how they feel?

YOUR FEELINGS ARENT THE SAME AS MINE, AND THEY NEVER WILL BE.

Black women are always being tested.

Look at Serena Williams and the BLATANT RACISM that came after her game where she came at the Ref real hard and as she should have.

People are so fucking frustrating.

WHY IS IT SO EASY TO DISRESPECT BLACK WOMEN? WHY DOES IT BRING YOU SO MUCH JOY?

WHY DOES IT BOTHER YOU SO MUCH TO SEE US WINNING?

Baby Fever?

I just got done hosting a baby shower for one of my dear friends. Honestly, it's so crazy to think that not only is one of best friends pregnant, but keeping it, lol. I guess i’m used to the days when we were young and not ready for raising a baby. This whole creating a whole human being is feeling out of my reach, but in reality, could I be next?  Society is constantly telling us that the clock is ticking and I'm almost thirty years old. But does that actually mean I have to listen to it? Hell, I don't even have a stable relationship nor relationship. 

Everyone with a kid, always tells you that they wouldn't change a thing, but wouldn't they?

I used to think that something was wrong with me because i wasn't "on track." I've been dating but i haven't found "the one."  Honestly, I think the universe is looking out for me, i'll have a baby when i feel like having one, instead of being shamed into thinking there are proper rules to being an adult.  

 My biggest fear, especially being a women of color, is being a single mom. I've seen my friend"s mom and my mom, all work their asses off. They seemed happy but it always seemed like something was missing. They were missing companionship and knowing they weren't alone. After my father passed, i don't think I ever saw my mother smile the way she used to. 

I just don't want to go down like that. Don't get me wrong, if your a parent single by choice, do you.  I'm talking about a different type of thought process. I guess it's been so long since I've had a family, if i do decide to have a child, I really want it to have their whole unit.  I want to share those memories with a partner, knowing were both putting all our effort and love into this person.

You don't see Black women being portrayed in whole unit families anymore. 

Inner Witches

I know I have been negative Nancy so I've decided to start thinking in a different perspective and just trying to unlearn victim behavior.  That shit can be hard and please know that you should work all that shit out in your own time. Nobody has the right to rush you, but at the same time know that you can overcome your obstacles and you ARE NOT YOUR STRUGGLES.

Practice breathing, whenever my anxiety gets the best of me, I automatically stop what i'm doing or not doing and I focus on my breathing. I tell myself, I'm okay and I count to 4. 

example: "Tesia, your okay, just breathe. 1...2...3...4. " take your time, sit down if you have to. 

I've been drinking lots of water, try to make it a habit to have water on you at all times. If you're somewhere were you can splash some water on your face, do that too. 

START BELIEVING IN YOURSELF. 

Whenever I feel unsure of myself, I immediately try to hype myself up. I've been doing a Mary Jane and leaving notes in my room to reassure myself, that I AM THAT BITCH. 

It's amazing to me how easily women forget how much talent we have, that we have so much potential in our lives, and what it means to embrace it and ourselves.

I was recently talking to a friend and she said something that really hit me. She said,

"What would happen if we truly let ourselves heal?"

This is the truest shit I've heard.  Women do not let ourselves heal and if we do, we wait till we have tried to heal everyone else and we are left with no energy for ourselves.

I say FUCK THAT.

Now is the time to take control.

READ.

I've been slacking on reading and i recently got back on my shit. I'm currently reading This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jerkins. This book gives me goosebumps because I forgot how therapeutic it is to read books by other WOC that have been through the same bullshit and have overcome their personal struggles.  

If you need any recommendations or have some from me, please let me know. 

Make time for the people you love and trust. 

I know how easily it is to stay to yourself when your going through it, but sometimes the best thing is to surround yourself with the people you love and can trust. Surround yourself with the people you know you can confide in. 

These are things i'm learning all over again because sometimes that's how shit goes. And that's okay. You are human. You are constantly growing and learning. 

The only thing you can do is keep trying.

Because you are worth it.

Turnin' Me Up

You know those moments when you’ve been crying wolf and all your friends already told you what you should be doing instead but you didn’t listen. Not because you’re trying to shit on them but because you didn’t believe in yourself. I hate when people try to take your feelings and try to make it about them. It has nothing to do with them. It has everything with how you see yourself and how your mind works.

I’m realizing how much I am like my mother, and I’m still not terribly sure how I feel about that concept.

Don’t get me wrong she was an independent woman that worked literally up till her death making sure her kids were okay.

But there was also a time when she didn’t protect me, a time when she was selfish and hurtful. Not because she wanted to be a bad mother but because she didn’t believe in herself and thought that all she needed was love from someone else to make her whole.

This is the journey I’m learning.

You forget that all the so called fails, are not fails. Fails are lessons, they teach you what to do next, how to react next time.

Reaction: an action performed or a feeling experienced in response to a situation or event.

 

I’m still learning about controlling how I react to things, to not be obsessive over the things that I can’t control.

Control: the power to influence or direct people's behavior or the course of events.

 

This is the biggest thing I’ve been learning. I can’t control everything. No one can. That’s not how the world works But we can control how we react to events and situations. We can control how we let these situations affect us.

I’m tired of looking at the glass half empty. In fact, I’m tired of looking at this dusty ass glass in the first place.

For all the women out there still figuring out there shit, it’s okay. Especially to all the brown and black girls who feel like they are constantly figuring out all this shit alone.

We believe that we must do it alone. That our friends have heard enough so now we must journey alone, afraid they will just come for you.

You don’t.

is there more?

Today I woke up with an immense amount of anxiety. I’m trying something different today.  I didn’t even smoke this morning. I feel like I have so much to say I don’t even know where to start.   You know when you get the feeling in your stomach like you could just puke everywhere? That’s the feeling I have. I’m leaving my job AGAIN. I don’t know what’s wrong with me but if I’m being completely honest, it’s because he’s still there. And god forbid if he forgets me or doesn’t see me.  I want to invest in myself as much as I invest in people and things that don’t give a shit about me or don’t benefit me for the better.

I found out some troubling news about a dear friend. It brought up memories I thought I buried deep down.  Memories that sadly molded me into the woman I am, the women I don’t want to be and the woman that I’m proud to say I overcame all this fucking bullshit.

I’m still trying to unlearn my obsessive behavior. This is honestly the hardest task in my life and I will probably be a life long learning lesson. This morning Amanda Seales was talking about change and fear on her Instagram stories and it immediately spoke to me.  We are so afraid of the unknown. I know I am. But it’s gotta be better than where I am now.  The confidence I once had in life has disappeared. I don’t know how to be alone. I spend all my energy on shit that doesn’t fucking matter.  What would happen if I just gave myself a real chance? Why is it so hard to put myself first?

WOMEN NEED TO START PUTTING OURSELVES FIRST!

I told myself that I deserve better but that also means turning my words into action.

Giving energy and time to the things that matter to me most, to the people that care for me and encourage my work.

Also, Next Saturday I’m going to be showing some art pieces at Northside Art Crawl, FLOW. Check out my insta and facebook for more details.

I’m pretty excited, I participated last year and sold my first painting. Something I didn’t think was possible because I’m still very new and raw with my art. It’s not perfect and usually just a representation to how I’m feeling at that time.

This is been an interesting year to me but really i've just been repeating the same bullshit routine and i'm at the point where I HAVE TO KEEP MYSELF ACCOUNTABLE. 

i have to. 

Do you ever laugh just to keep from cryin?

Sitting on this caramel like carpet in a state different from my own.

you grew up just 2 hours from where I am. I can tell how this place molded you.

I tell myself not to think of you, to enjoy the legal smoke and the bright sun.

I tell myself today, do not think of him, yet here i am, writing of you.

Its starting to become a curse, the only time i can actually write is when i write about you.

My heart pounds a little heavier.

Sometimes I wonder when you're alone do you think about how you fucked it all up.

That the one you let go, was the one and the only one that will love you unconditionally. 

My curse as a Scorpio. 

We love unconditionally, if only we could love ourselves. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How's it going to be

I’ve been dreaming a lot about an old friend. A friend that is now just a memory. It’s crazy to think about all the memories you can make with someone and at a  certain point in your life, none of it matters.  I thought this person was going to be in my life forever. I should also point out that this friendship was toxic and that’s probably why we don’t speak to one another. It just feels weird knowing there is someone out there, that knows all my horrible mistakes of my past. Someone that has stories about me that I wouldn’t want the world to know. Someone that I once thought I loved. Someone I used to protect and care for. I creeped on their Facebook (of course) and just thought about how happy they looked. How they looked like they were finally living their best life. Maybe I was taken back, because I’m still fighting for my joy, for my happiness. They’ve also been the type of person to come up from the darkest of holes. A part of me was happy to see this but in all honestly, jealous and sad. Jealous because I’m not there yet and sad because it’s a reminder that people can be happy with or without you in their lives. Everything just takes time.

My health insurance is basically on a pause due to me turning my shit in late so, it’s been a minute since I’ve been able to get back on my anti-depressants, so apart of me wonders if this is the reason I’ve been feeling these feelings. Feelings of despair, regret and what ifs.  I had a good cry the other day. I used to cry every day, but then I got on my anti-depressants and noticed I haven’t cried in days then weeks. But a few days ago, I just had to let it all out. Sometimes when I cry, I feel all these memories float around in my head. Like a quick commercial of past feelings flushing out of my eyes.

One day I hope to find whatever the fuck I'm looking for. That I never stop fighting my demons and learn that my life is enough. Comparison can really fuck you up.

How's it going to be when you don't know me anymore?

Predictability

I remember an old co-worker once telling me how I would make a terrific housewife. Of course I believe this was spoken with a intend to make me feel like that's all I would be worth. Funny thing is I'm 28 years old and far from becoming anyone's housewife, wife, or even a mother. My days consist of surviving and within those days, that consist of working my job that pays the bills and me trying to stay focus on my creative side. I'm constantly pushing  myself to write most days. I can't tell you the last time I stepped into my painting room with focus, an idea or purpose. I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but I woke up with that memory this morning.  You know what I did after that? I creeped on her instagram, her lovely family and just laughed.  Life is seemingly unpredictable, or maybe it's the fact that it is predictable.

Don't let people try to put labels on you or try to put unwanted energies and pressure on your life. I'm sure you can do that all by yourself.

Loving while broken

The title seems harsh. I don't think i'm really broken, but I am contiously improving myself and trying to not be in self doubt, so I can't really say that I'm not not broken. I also don't think people with Mental health issues are broken, I am speaking for only myself and my own experiences, being a women of color dealing with depression and balancing out a relationship. Incase anyone feels the need to come at me with my language. (I did not send for you)

Being in a relationship and dealing with depression is hard. Plain and simple. Some days, some weeks, fuck, even some months are good and then all of a sudden, I think the worst. I think to myself, "how can anyone love me, when I don't even know if I love myself." How can he still stay by my side when some nights all I do is bitch and cry. literally. I used to cry myself to sleep at night because the weight of the world and responsibilities felt so heavy. And some nights it was just because I needed to cry. I needed to let everything out.  My mind is sometimes my worst enemy. It doesn't stop, and sometimes that comes with self critism. "Why didn't you do that, or you need to still do this."

My partner and I have been together off and on for four years now. When I told him I had depression, he was like yeah I mean who doesn't. But I needed to make it clear that I will have moments when I just need to be alone, or sometimes I need to be met with affection and attention. That some days I will feel alone even when he tries he's best to prove me wrong. I guess when your in a relationship, patience is real. You have to work on being patient with yourself and with your loved one. And letting him know, not to take anything personal (unless it really is)

Honesty is another key. Honesty and open communication helps so much. I know a lot of people say that being in a relationship means compromising, which is true, but it also means being brutally honest when you really don't want to do something or if you frankly don't give a shit. Obviously nothing to discriminate on anything that you or your partner loves and is working towards but, No I don't give a shit about that that drama, and I don't want to watch it with you. type situations. it's okay not give each other space. Sometimes I feel like if someone knows your depressed they think being under you ALL the TIME is good but it's not. I need space. You can chill upstairs and I will downstairs reading. That's okay.  Space is normal.

When I love, I love extremely hard and sometimes I get blinded by the fantasy of love that I forget that we are all just humans, living our lives the best we can and that love isn't going to get rid of my depression. Love isn't magic. It isn't going to just make mental illness go away. But I will say that Love can sometimes feel like magic and some days it makes those dark thoughts dimmer and I remember all those little things I am grateful for.

Maybe I'm not broken. Maybe everyone out there is continuously evolving and going through their own shit and demons just as much as me, Just because loving yourself can be hard sometimes doesn't mean you don't know who you love or who you want to be with. And it doesn't mean you don't know your worth either. 

Love

Loving

Me

Us

Issues

When you love me

you love all of me

and my issues.  

Hopeful in January.

So...

It's been a week of being on anti-depressants. I don't know if there is really much of a change yet, I know it takes about 3 weeks for results, but I will say that I feel more aware of my mood shifts. I can tell when I want to range, so I calmy tell myself to chill the fuck out and I breathe.

I've also noticed that I will get this huge wave of exhaustion over me. then I literally have to sleep. So I've been drinking more coffee.

I still have to schedule therapy. Something I am really excited about but also extremely terrified. Plus side, I love talking about myself so this should be easy but I don't do well with criticism, even if it is structured.

My relationship is doing really well but at the same time I feel like i'm just waiting for it to crash. He wants us to move in together and my anxiety is already making a mess of it. Every other week I keep making a list of things I have to pack and throw away but I still have like 6 months before anything needs to happen or be official.

my doctor told me she thinks I should try to cut down or even stop smoking weed. I have notice that I can't drive smoking weed like at all. not even if I have a few hours between. I really hate this because I love to smoke. Not like I would go crazy without it or feel the need to rob a nigga if I don't got it but it's just the one thing that makes the world a little more easy to deal.

Book club met up which was tight because we almost fell off and I honestly need it and those women in my life. I'm painting again, slowly but it's' something. i'm back at my old job. I don't know if I should feel dumb about that or not but it's surprisingly going well and the women that work there are legit as fuck. I'm moving a lot more so that's cool too.

I've been feeling happy, hopeful almost.

 

Another Year Trying.

So I've decided to write down my new year goals. To be honest my life just feels like a cycle. A cycle I thought would end when you got older. You know, those cycles that you should have known better by now. I guess the fact that I'm already twenty-eight years old and I still feel the same, sometimes worse worries me.

Goals: becoming more active ( I love my couch and Netflix, it's a problem!)

drinking more water

not holding in my opinions

focusing on communication with my partner, ( we're back together but I have mad trust issues)

book club (we haven't been meeting up as much and this has been such a positive experience for me, I don't want to take for granted)

balancing work and friends. ( I want to be more social, I've been such a crab)

Reading more ( I really want to get back into zines and poetry)

Cooking more meals at home. Being more intentional of what I'm putting into my body.

being patient

learning I can't control everything, and that's okay

watching my temper

being kind to people I don't really like, (because karma is a bitch)

I'm also possibly thinking about talking to a therapist, but I'm not promising anything because I don't want to feel like a failure if I don't. But I do understand it's better to have someone to talk to outside of social media. I'm also going to talk to my doctor about options within medication for my depression. I'm tired of feeling out of control and want to make better choices for myself. as a Black women I deserve to give myself options. Especially since I have the resources to do so.

If I told you that some days I cry for no reason

would you believe me?

That sometimes I wake up in a sweat

dreaming of realities untrue.

Being a brown girl can be exhausting.

I feel chunks of me dying, healing, dying, healing, dying, healing.

Honestly though,

I want to make a commitment to myself in learning to move forward and being on a more positive mind set. Dwelling in darkness is one of my best assets. So I want to make the effort.

sometimes you have to believe your worth the investment.

Can I keep you?

Call me by my name and nothing else.

caress my skin as we lay next to each other.

can you hear my heart skip beats?

how i try to control my breathing around you?

I think to myself, "can this be true"

"is this real"

When i wake up tomorrow

will you still be by my side?

if i asked if i could keep you

would you run away?

they usually run

when they get to know me

i think i get it from my

momma

 

 

Swim

Be gentle with yourself

bask into the night

without shame

embrace all your insecurities

swim in it

feel it all around

fuck anyone that tries to down play 

you

bask into the night

smoke that blunt

listen to those sad 

songs

paint those paintings

no one 

sees

just

don't

give

up.

 

Depth Perception

My twenty eighth birthday just passed. Honestly, I wasn't sure I was going to make it this far. I remember being 21 and thinking that same thing. Every year has been a blessing. Every year has been a lesson I needed to learn. I'm still learning. That's one of the many things I love about life. I've been doing a lot lately. I've been searching within myself, pushing myself. I know that I want more in life. That I deserve more in life.

My parents taught me that life is too short. I've been missing them like crazy. I miss the advice my mother used to give me. I even miss the advice I didn't want from her. It's strange being an adult, and still wanting to turn to "real" adults to tell me what to do. How to act. How to react. 

This year has taught me a lot about myself. I'm discovering habits and triggers that I'm still learning to overcome.  My obsessive disorder is one of them. And not the one like in the movies when i need to clean everything or do something five times. More like, if something is bothering more or someone is on my mind. I'm going to think about it until it makes me physically sick. I'm still working on this.  One thing I still need to work on is talking to a professional. I'm so stubborn and conditioned to thinking I don't need it. My mother wasn't big on going to professionals when it came to mental health. We always had our own reasons, like the weather, the saints are not happy, and of course, were Black/Brown in America. Life isn't suppose to be easy.  My mom taught me that, Black/Brown women in the world, struggle. I'm not saying this is a good thing, but I already knew the double standards growing up. I knew life wasn't going to be easy, and if anything it was going to be tough. And fuck, she wasn't lying.

But I take that with a grain of salt, because I also know it's how you see life too. And I'm happy were I'm headed. 

 

 

Blinded.

I'm learning to let you go.  You see, I thought you were the one.

I had it set in my head, that you were everything I needed. I was blinded with not feeling alone.

I was ready to sacrifice it all. Just so I had someone to sleep by at night. That feeling when you can just roll over and wrap your arms around someone warm and familiar.

I was blinded with not feeling alone, so when you were talking to other women but told me it would never happen again, I believed you.

You always smiled and told me you loved me.

But, what the fuck does Love have to do with it?

The patience women have for some men is ridiculous. A part of me thinks back to when Kat Williams says, "What is it about your not shit pussy, that is attracting these not shit niggas"

But is that it?

OR

Is it that women are so FUCKING CONDITIONED to uphold a certain degree of ego for men. We can't let them feel inadequate. So when they are the ones fucking up, we question ourselves.

What did I do wrong? When in reality, I did everything I could do. I can't bend backwards. Women can't keep bending backwards.

I've been alone before, and honestly, I was living my best life. I want to get back to that point.

I want to be ready to sacrifice everything for myself.

Ladies, go live your best life, for you. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AfroPunk Atlanta 2017

 

So, I just got back from Atlanta, Georgia. It was actually super fucking tight and the people were so nice. You know, that southern hospitality. I even think I was in a culture shock, it was a lot more diverse than I expected. A lot of interracial couples and it made my heart so happy. When I brought this up to a friend, she wasn't surprised and said that's because were not use to seeing that because were from Minneapolis. I laughed. It's so true. Minneapolis loves to pretend.

AfroPunk Atlanta was such a different experience. The whole trip, I was trying to compare it to AfroPunk Brooklyn. I learned fast, that you can't do it. It was too much of it's own thing. What I love about the Atlanta one, was they held a discussion, talking about the woman's march and the displacement of Black Women.  Talks of having choices, and that those choices are going to be different for each woman. It was amazing to see  what felt like an ocean of Black Goddess, bringing their ideas and thoughts together. The speakers were Michaela Angela Davis and Yvonne Orji.

The music was incredible of course, and I had the pleasure of seeing ZuluZuluu, a local hip-hop/soul funk band from Minneapolis. So it was beautiful witnessing them being apart of AfroPunk. It was also a blessing to see Moses Sumney, his vocals were empowering. Txlips Band, an all Black female rock band that always goes so hard. Their drummer actually got stitches before performing and still rocked it.  Sam Dew, someone I wasn't familiar with, got my attention. He was raw and powerful. His presence was very profound.  Willow Smith was amazing. She honestly, was just so cute and innocent in a way. She was so humble and just having a good time. We were even blessed with a surprise pop up from Jada Pinkett Smith. They sang a really cute song together that could easily be put into a Disney movie or Pixar Film. I'm still convinced that it was a promotion song, because it sounded like a new Black Animation film we didn't even know we needed.  And of course Solange ended the show on the last day and Miguel ended the show on Saturday. I would say personally the performance Solange did in Brooklyn reminisced a little more to me. But I say this because by the time she performed my feet were killing me and all I wanted to do was lay down!

Overall I was left feeling another sense of connection and fullness. I'm currently going through the process of letting go of toxic people and unhealthy patterns within my self. And AfroPunk gave me another reason to be happy. To be in the present moment, to look at all the blackness surrounding me and to know that I will be okay. We will be okay.  I went with a dear friend, who's well known in Minneapolis. She had some friends coming as well, to show love and respect to ZuluZuluu and of course to enjoy AfroPunk. So it was an amazing to share this experience with Women from Minneapolis, who were like minded, and changing the game in their own way back home. I was telling a friend of mine, I got to hang out with the cool kids. 

I'm glad that places like these are happening. It's been a rough few months, and this was definitely a self care moment for me. 

shit, maybe South Africa will be next on the list. 

Check out Images, to see some highlights of the trip!