Identity: Elusive or…?

So I’m pretty sure by now we’ve all seen (or at the very least, were swept up in the mega-hype of) Black Panther. And while it is has certainly solidified its place in history, I’m still left to ponder just how significant this movie is in terms of helping people find or embrace their identity. Leading up to and after the release of the movie, I read articles, social media comments, posts, heard it spoken by so many in media about how this movie has, in a sense, hit the refresh button on African and African-American identity.

Don’t get me wrong, representation certainly matters. Seeing characters experience and voice all too familiar frustrations us blacks experience also matters. And while it excites me and so many others to see a movie boasting powerful, vulnerable, relatable black characters, I still wonder, “Does it really take a movie (and a Marvel superhero movie at that) for people my color to fully recognize their beauty, worth, and strength?” Is identity so elusive that some look for it in fictional characters on a screen? Is that what society has reduced black people’s understanding of identity to?

The power of the media is undeniable. And interestingly, I’ve also read posts by fellow African-Americans who believe that tying one’s identity to a film is “stupid” because at the end of the day “it’s still just a regular superhero movie”. As opinions are rarely asked for but always given, here’s my two cents: There are some who really do need to see someone who looks exactly like them portrayed in media as fierce, powerful, loyal, beautiful, worthy, valued…even if the character is a fictional one. Even if it is just another superhero movie, it’s awesome to see black folk so highly esteemed, who hold such confidence in their abilities and who they are and what they stand for, without needing a white savior to come through.

So often we see ourselves portrayed as villains, drug addicts, always incarcerated, illiterate, violent, and ever dependent on white pity. I can see why this film hits home with so many, and why it resonates so deeply. I guess it all comes down to knowing individually what we need to feel like our truest selves. Some need visual affirmation. Some need words of affirmation. Others look to the One who created the race of man free of racial boundaries. Whether by influence of Black Panther or not, it is a given that we and our culture, are Unapologetically, Beautifully, Black.















Altar Call

“Altar Call”. The title of the poem he wrote that undoubtedly solidified the inevitable “I Do”. 

Saturday, December 9, 2017 comes riddled with so many emotions. But joy definitely stands apart from the rest. I had just celebrated my 23rd birthday three days before, and left Friday to take a trip up to Wyoming, MI to spend the weekend with Tre’von and his mother and sister – which was an amazingly wonderful time! So, fast forward a bit. It’s around 2am on Saturday. I’m getting ready for bed and Tre’von asks if I’m going to sleep immediately. I say no and he tells me that he has a poem to read me. 

He comes and sits on the side of the bed, as I’m lying there all tucked in, looking all kinds of sleepy. And then he starts to read one of the most beautiful poems I’ve ever heard that started off, “With these words, I paint an unfinished art piece of me, and a full, intricately  beautiful portrait of you….” (If his wedding vows are anything like the poems he writes me, I’m done for). 3 and 3/4 pages later, he ends with, “You are the daughter of God, His grace, your beauty, I’ll never fully understand. I think of you and my decisions are final. So We need you to decide: will you marry me?” 

Now mind you, in the past, we’ve had conversations where he’s playfully asked me to marry him and I’d say yes. So I thought that was another one of those moments. So what did I say? “Yes.” Then he smiles and says, “Yeah?” Again, I said, “yes”. Then he goes “Good”, gets up off the bed and gets on his knee holding the ring out to me. Oh. My. Goodness. I got the biggest grin on my face and had to have said yes, like, 4 more times. Then, classic, bossy me, I playfully went, “Put it on my finger!” So he did.

It had to have been nerves cause neither of us could stop laughing. And the ring, as it turns out, was the one I tried on back in May at Kay’s for a ring expo they were doing. It was the one I fell in love with immediately because it is absolutely perfect. Rabbit trail, my bad. Anyway, we stayed up just a little while longer talking. I may have spent a good majority of the time staring at my finger though…Can ya’ blame a gal? 

It was the PERFECT proposal because it was so us. We didn’t want a big show of it. It was a moment that we agreed would be just the two of us whenever it happened. I love that he took one of our favorite pastimes (writing and reading our poems to one another) and made it into the single, greatest moment of our lives. Lord knows there is absolutely no one else I’d rather do life with than this man right here by my side. 10 months today, a lifetime tomorrow. 


We all know it’s the most wonderful time of the year. I know this to be especially true because, well, hello birthday! How you doin’? But also because Detroit takes on this beautiful, lively holiday vibe during its annual Noel Night. My favorite place to be on this night is the Detroit Institute of Art. There’s something inexplicably relaxing about being surrounded by so many breathtaking masterpieces all within arm’s reach. And tonight, I was treated to a little piece of Italy once again. And once again, I had to take a little piece home with me.

Roman Forum, Rome, Italy
Tiber River, Castel Sant’Angelo, Rome, Italy

I couldn’t resist these either…

Story of Lot at Sodom (Preeeety sure Lot’s wife was feelin’ pretty salty afterward…)
Honestly can’t even remember the name of this piece. But I love how serene it is.

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of every day life.” – Picasso

Windomnation Chronicles Vol. 3: Extraordinary

If you’ve ever seen Austin Powers, you’re familiar with the evilly quirky antagonist, Dr. Evil (and his progeny, Mini Me). There’s a line where Dr. Evil tells Mini Me, “You complete me.” As corny as that sounds, I can’t help but think the same when I think about my little brother, Jr.

These last 10 years have been full of so many exciting and lively moments, amplified by having him in our lives. From the moment I watched my mom with a raised eyebrow pick up that pregnancy test in a supermarket line, to recording him rocking out with his invisible mic to his original song “It Was a Burger,”  to watching him read “The 5 Love Languages” (not by choice but as a proactive measure by our dad to ensure his future competency in understanding his future wife’s love language. I mean, I suppose it’s never to start early. After all, train ’em up young in the way they should go, right? :D. Kidding. It’s part of Jr’s daily reading and this was a random book of my dad’s choosing), to the numerous bantering moments we share, I really can’t see Windomnation functioning without Jr.

Webster’s dictionary defines “extraordinary” as “going beyond what is usual, regular, or customary.” Jr. is definitely not some regular, ordinary kid. He is extraordinary. The level of intelligence he possesses for a 10-year-old is incredible. His sass is a refined as fine wine. His ability to bring humor to any situation amazes me. I don’t understand his intense liking for Star Wars or Mike & Ikes or decapitation (although it’ strictly limited to video games and movies). But that’s part of what makes him Jr. I admire his creative drive in bringing his imagination to life in creating stories with his wonderful words and pictures.

His inquisitive mind shows a consistency in learning. His goofiness shows his love for living, not taking himself too seriously. His sensitivity shows a big little heart that cares deeply. There are a lot of great things that have happened to my family. But Jr is undoubtedly the greatest of all time.

junior blog (2)

Just Say It

This is one of the hardest blogs I’ve ever written. But I wanted to write it because I know there is some young adult out there that can relate.

I have this really bad habit of internalizing everything. Call it pride or whatever you want. I’d say around the middle of my teenage years right on up to now, I’ve had numerous instances where my lid has almost come undone. I don’t mean the “waterboilingoverthesidesofthepotuntilthelidslidesoff” kind of undone. It’s more of the “WWIIIupinhere” kind of undone. Through all the trying moments, it’s hard to always know how to adequately express exactly what it is that sets me so on edge. Everybody’s feelings can’t always be spared. Sometimes ya gotta just say it.

I’d have to say my most pressing stage of life is the present. I will admit that since I’ve moved back home post-college, this phase is the most trying. Not only am I navigating the beginning stages of total “adulting”, trying to get some ground beneath me. But I’m also trying (and failing most of the time) to be gracious and understanding. Let me explain. It’s a learning and growing experience, trying to establish my independence under the involved presence of wonderful parents. They really are wonderful. Really.

But it’s a learning experience for us all. There’s no manual on how to parent a 22 year old for the first time, so I try to be gracious and understanding knowing that this is just as hard for them as it is for me. I’m not saying I want the “hands-off-and-let-me-do-me” and the whole nine yards. Okay, you know what? Let me try this from a different angle. Growing up as a young adult, we constantly get the talks, lectures, advice, words of wisdom, and suggestions (that are more like subtle demands) thrown at us from every which way. All of them are good and necessary. (Except the suggestions. I don’t respond very well to suggestions, honestly. But that could be my pride talking again).

During this time of transition, communication is critical. And still I find that I avoid it. I avoid it because there’s no telling what will come spilling out of my mouth before I’ve had a chance to think about it. I avoid it because it’s easier to turn to someone else. I avoid it because that chasm has grown wider over the years. So wide that I don’t feel comfortable crossing it. And that’s a tough spot for any young adult to be in.

There are many days where the suffocation is so real. But there are also a lot of good days where the conversations flow easily. Every day there is the struggle to not feel so behind in responsibilities. There is the struggle to not respond in anger when it feels as though something is spoken without credibility. I admit, I’m the kind of person that has to learn the hard way. Most times I’m too curious for my own good. In math we’re advised to leave room for a margin of error. Young adulthood is a lot like that. A lot of the errors are made out of ignorance and are preventable. Others are genuinely made from lack of understanding and wisdom.

I daily have to check myself from falling into the “the-more-you-try-to-have-control-the-worse-you-make-it-for-yourselves” mentality towards my parents. And that is the brutal honest truth. I hate that thought. But even more, I hate that I cling to it in my moments of frustration. Because they try so hard to understand. “You know you can always talk to us, right?” On the surface I give the expected nod or a “yes”. But in my mind it’s more of a “Sure…but no thanks.” And it makes me wonder, “where and when exactly did communication break down?” I never know the answer. All I know is that I often stuff every emotion, every thought, and every word deep down inside and wait it out until I leave.

I don’t share this because I want to be pitied. I certainly don’t. I don’t share this for sympathy. I don’t need it. I share this because it’s important to release. It’s important to try to understand the shifting dynamic of parenting a young adult as opposed to when he/she was a child. Finding the balance is not easy. We won’t always be on the same page. We will make mistakes (yes, even repeats of our parents’ mistakes). We will agree to disagree. But at the end of the day, the challenge for myself is to be as understanding and gracious as I can be. To not forsake obedience out of anger and frustration. To be kind, patient, forgiving, and loving. To trust that one day, that chasm will be become nonexistent. To remain joyful in the fact, though I struggle, I have not fallen away. To remain joyful that He is still working in me, on me, around me, and through me despite my failings. That is what’s most important.

Just When You Thought…

More often than not during writing dry spells, events, conversations, thoughts, they all add up until your mind is bursting at the seam. So why not have some fun, shall we? And for those who are not well-versed in my native tongue of sarcasm, bear with me. Because this is a lively little piece on the multiple “Just when you thought…” moments that life hurls at us.

Just when you thought:

  1. Your new degree and considerable work experience would be, in any way significant, during the job search for some thing YOU ACTUALLY WANT post-graduation…..STILL NOT QUALIFIED.
  2. You were FINALLY going to start up a regular exercise schedule to fill in for some of your excess of free time….NOPE.
  3. On that same note, that you would try to eat healthier…..WHAT?!
  4. Applying for your own health care plan would be a piece of cake and then being instructed to compare the different plans, read through their 50+ page booklets, choose your plan and your PCP all while waiting a year to finally get your insurance card in the mail…..WHAT EVEN IS THIS?!
  5. You’d do so well at keeping up with your close friends from college….*slowly looks over at phone*
  6. Your online classes for your Masters degree in project management would consume a considerable amount of your time during the week….not even. (Well, Managerial Finance exceeded expectations).
  7. This would finally be the Lions’ year to make something happen in the NFL, but then a team like the Philadelphia Eagles make them look like amateurs….Don’t care. I root for the Packers anyway.
  8. Us darn Millennials were lucky to be born in such a technologically innovative and advanced era….*starts to loathe what a detached, technologically-dependent culture we’ve been raised in.*
  9. Donald Trump would (enter at your own despair)…..Cause regardless of what you put….NAH BRUH.
  10. We could finally have honest conversations about race relations in America. Cause Colin Kaepernick, Dove, Charlottesville, Jemele Hill, etc……..Don’t even get me started.
  11. Fetch was going to happen….Image result for mean girls memes
  12. You were finally starting to get some sense of where your life was headed…..God: “New Plans!”
  13. The world wouldn’t be ready for the spectacular beauty radiating from the melanin that is Black Panther…..It still ain’t ready.
  14. You were over your “homesickness” for a whole ‘nother continent….Yeah, no. That never goes away.
  15. The grass was greener on the other side….But it’s actually just turf. *Gasp! My life has been a lie….*
  16. Detroit was a pit of despair……”Started from the bottom now we’re here”…sort of.
  17.  You’d have to go 4 years of college without getting a taste of some good ole Christian rap/hip hop performed during chapel worship, but then The Edge Urban Fellowship happens….Image result for ebony america's next top model memes
  18. But then it’s met with this reaction from 99.9% of the student body…and faculty….when any invitation is given to join in and sing or get hype….Image result for phoebe friends memes
  19. Adulting would be a healthy balance between fun and responsibility….Image result for cersei memes When it’s more like 10% “I tried” and 90% “What the heck am I doing?”
  20. Everything is just way too much…..

Image result for i'll find you lecrae….Thank you, Lecrae.

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