Every man of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his convictions, but we must all protest. -MLK
A mural depicting the life and times of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reminds all of the protests for justice during the Civil Rights Movement. It adorns a building outside The King Center in Atlanta, GA.
Protests. This word carried much weight in the latter part of 2015, evoking emotional responses and heated debates between friends, loved ones, acquaintances and social media frequenters. Social justice advocates declared that we were in a revolution. The skeptical questioned if these gatherings were necessary and actually impactful. The optimists argued that mere social awareness was a success. The unbothered pretended no one was talking.
Free to be me t-shirt available in sizes small-2XL on Redbubble. Click for more information.
As an artist I am always looking for ways to inspire others with my work. This venture is my way of bridging the gap between my photography and the fashion world. With digital art, I take my images to create daily wearable inspirations of faith, hope, love, peace and joy for young, fashionable women.
A few weeks ago I turned 25. As this life landmark approached, instead of growing excited for this momentous day, I found myself indulging in many sessions of self-doubt. I doubted my worth because I was a young lady in my mid-20s who had not reached a single of my goals. As a matter of fact, I was unemployed without any career prospects, living with my parents, surviving off rice because groceries were outside my budget and unable to pay for “the simple things” like gas.
Time waits for no man, I was once told. Yet, I didn’t heed the warning and kept blasting through life at full speed. I was stuck staring in front of me, eyes blinded to what was around me me, because ahead of me was my destiny. I wanted what was mine.
And then there was the fact that I could be sitting still in the same location as a group of people and be more present in cyberspace than I was in that room- laughing at at video, updating my status, liking photos or smh-ing at the latest twitter ignorance.
I have never wanted to cause harm to myself, but I know person’s who have. Young ladies with beautiful smiles, bright personalities and a long life ahead of them. They were cursed with a pain buried deep in side that steamed from the turmoils of life- a pain they couldn’t see past or understand. As a release, they drew blood, an outward manifestation of that hidden feeling. Their own little secret, masked by smiles. Yet underneath were bodily cuts made with everyday sharp objects, hidden by long sleeves. Self harm was a coping mechanism for the upcoming day.
This morning I awoke to a message:
Espero verte algun dia de nuevo. Sinceramente, tenia ganas de besarte, al menos jajaj. Pura vida..
Un abrazo y que tu estadía en Costa rica sea genial
The translation: “I hope to see you one day again. Honestly, I desired to kiss you at least, haha. Pure life.. A hug and a cool stay in Costa Rica.”
At 5:30 in the morning, my heart fluttered. Not because I shared the same sentiment as this guy, but because it felt so good to be desired!
A refelction on my year of service… This Blog Does Not Represent the Ideals of City Year
City Year taught me to keep dreaming. Things may go wrong and fall apart, frustrations may run high, and plans may change. But in the end, as long as you don’t give up, everything works out in the end- often times far better than you could have imagined.
Four hundred thirty-two thousand minutes. Fifteen hours of ABC coaching per twelve or more focus list student. Seventeen hundred documented community service hours. That’s how you measure 10 months of service.
Spirit break after a powerful round of PT, and reading the daily briefing. After a while City Year culture became a way of life.
It encompasses data, dosage, tracking, khakis, teamwork, red layers, early starts, jolliness and power greeting. Its cover also reveals late evenings, frustrations, elevator speeches, Leadership and Development, service projects, stipends, LACY, tutoring, mentoring, and role modeling. Service beseeched us to answer Gandhi’s call to be the change we wish to see in the world, and Martin Luther Kings Jr.’s challenge to be great, because we could serve. Service also stirred our own devotions to the education cause- a devotion we belted loud and proud in our I Serve statements. Now that graduation has come to turn that signal light that has so long been green to red, we can take our well-deserved break and find comfort in knowing We Gave a Year and Changed to World.
While sitting outside at a barbecue, an older gentleman turned to me and started talking about his life. He was telling me how his past relationship had gone wrong and he was at a place in his life where it seemed like nothing was working out. Then he said, “I had to change my latitude, my longitude, and more importantly my attitude!”
Yesterday my colleague had an unfortunate encounter that left him feeling low and questioning his intelligence. “I’ll admit it, I’m stupid,” he said with guilt.
During a discussion, my boss said to him you never tell yourself your stupid. Think, “I’m the greatest, I’m the greatest!”
One lesson I have learned in life is to just sit back and listen. People have a lot of wisdom, if you are willing to just take the time to absorb it. An encounter today confirmed just that.
This ground welcomes me to my new residence, Kap’s Place.
It’s my second day in San Jose, Costa Rica. That’s almost three weeks since I decided I was going to sell my stuff and move here for a year to do an internship in my field while becoming proficient in spanish at the same time.
I moved into a lovely hostel called Kap’s place this morning. I was attracted to it’s warm atmosphere, friendly owner, and cheap prices so decided to give it a go- at least for a month. Upon returning from work, I was introduced to a couple other guests. Three hours later I find myself sitting around a round table eating pizza and discussing life with a young man from California, a young woman from Ecuador, an older man retired from the Army, and an middle aged woman from Australia. Our accents were different, but our views all so similar.
The topic was brought up that two women were mugged at knifepoint while walking home at night, not too far from our place. Frightened, one tenant began expressing her concerns.