Things I don't know how to do:
-fold bedding properly
-make silk prints
Things I could be better at:
Things I am great at:
Things I don't know how to do:
-fold bedding properly
-make silk prints
Things I could be better at:
Things I am great at:
I’ve avoided writing this piece because in doing so I am forced, in my reflection, to recognize how little I actually matter. I’m a millennial. Regardless of if I know how to spell it or not. As a millennial ,I am told, I am more likely but not guaranteed to be part of the liberal elite (fancy), I am lazy, what I care about is stupid or doesn’t concern me. (Things I care about: minimum wage, global warming, health care, civil rights.) In both cases this is the short list.
Prior to the 2016 election it would have been easier to sallow the “medicine” to “know my place”, to take arbitrary reprimanding, to do as I’m told, and not question anything because it’s being handled, but after a lot of thinking (this piece was supposed to be published last month) I decided it would be in my best interest to politely decline.
This was the first election I actively participated in. My right (one of the ones I still have) as an American born citizen, and my vote… did not count.
I’m an expat. Which means the registration process was anxiety provoking. Go to the .gov sight. Hoop. Provide your social security number. Flaming Hoop. Don’t have it memorized or carry it around it. Wait two weeks before logging back in ('cause your girls gotta life to live). Okay got everything, cool. Twerk struts. Print this. Hoop. Send it here. Hoop. Pray to god it gets where it needs to be. It didn’t, because I was never sent my absentee ballot. Print emergency ballot. Flaming Hoop. Send it through my University post specifically set up for the 2016 election. It'll get there through them I'm sure.. Hold breathe, cross fingers, pass out ,come to and realize it is still Mr.President.
I honestly don’t know if my my vote was actually counted. Weird how that works. Hoop. Flaming Hoop. Hoop. Flaming Hoop. No applause. I’m told I can look it up, but knowing wouldn’t change anything. I am registered to vote in the state of New York. A state that doesn’t get any bluer by my vote.
So here we are. In March almost April and I guess it’s something I knew deep down. Something I try to hide with a delightful smile. People told me to vote. They told me it mattered. They told me my vote mattered. They told me I mattered (juxtaposed that millennial junk).
I wanted to believe it. I really did.
Yes! Autumn you matter! You make a difference!
But the truth is I don’t. The truth is I didn’t. That’s something I knew well before the vote. For me the sad part isn’t who won or who lost, because when I voted I was not voting for a winner, I was voting for a President. The sad part, personally, is I wasted so much of my precious energy participating in a system that does not recognize me, not even when it’s supposed to, instead of enjoying my life like I should have been (that 2.50 in post should have been spent on beingets). I actively chose to fall flat on my face. Usually when I fall on my face I’m not trying. Maybe something can be said for that, for trying… to fall on my face.
I think why I’ve avoided writing this piece is because after 596 words, there is no explanation. After 596 words not one single person will be able to justify in a reasonable way why my vote didn't count and by default why I don't matter.
People try to make you feel bad
when they feel bad.
People try to restrict you
when they don’t feel free.
From time to time
I have to re read, re watch, re learn, and remind myself
what I have chosen.
A feeling of being in a different place but at the same door.
This time I'll die knowing
soft cool rains can choke in flames and you can drown in shallow water
I see no faces through the peephole, but hear two voices
I don't bother knock
before i return to my sacred tomb
patiently waiting for death to come
You have been sitting on a park bench since 9 o clock. The warm dewy June air has transformed the bench into a personal sauna. You sit, looking for everything and nothing at all. From the bench you feel the city welcome the slight cool of night as dusk approaches. The sky has lost its cheer and now the sun sets. A cool dark orange against a gray blue sky. You watch as night crawlers fill the streets and walkways. Through all the life that passes by, something is missing. Across from the bench is a gallery. The a small sign out front informs you that it is opening night and the entry fee is 12 dollars. Followed by a list of artist. Julie Mark, C.J Evers, Joseph Good. You look to the vast rectangular window that contains the gallery. Through the glass you watch the 30 or so people inside, like birds in a zoo. Some of them are the artist, others friends of artists. Among the crowd there are critics, then those who were only invited with the hopes that they would buy a piece. The noise and chatter seeps through the windowpane spilling into the streets, even though it’s faint and dulled by the honks of horns and conversations of pedestrians, you could describe the scene even if you couldn’t see it.
Each bird is different, and even though they are mature adults with some greater knowledge of the world, they cannot escape elementary division. The invisible line that divides the artists, the critics, and the buyers bends and stretches as they intermix within the confined space of the gallery. Regardless, there are cheers and champagne smiles, inappropriate jokes and inappropriate gestures. The night goes on. As you are about to get up to leave, a lady catches your eye. Full of champagne she half waltzes half stumbles over to the paintings, drawings, and sculptures. Her hair is in a messy french twist. She tucks a strand of hair behind her ear as she pauses at a sculpture. A waiter comes to refresh her drink. Her short gold heels seemingly glide across the tiled floor as she moves on. Piece by piece. She almost remains uninspired when she comes to the near last piece. It’s at the end of the gallery where the wall wraps around and meets the glass window. She tilts her head and purses her lips gazing into the canvas. She’s moving further and further away even though she’s standing completely still. The outlined green triangle below the top edge is difficult to read. A red circle near the center seems to bounce on the canvas. The yellow square aligned with the triangle is half shaded. The shapes take up three quarters of the canvas at least, but she sees none of this. The only thing she sees is a thick slanted blue line lying gracefully across the bottom of the canvas. She follows the blue line, examining how it starts out thick and narrows at the end. How the lines are straight and angular but not sharp. The color is the perfect shade of blue. It is approaching teal but it’s not even close. The line has a lightness to it. Clutching her glass below her breast, she sighs as she realizes all she has ever wanted. She tips back, dizzied from her thoughts and continues to look at the painting hoping that the canvas has more than a face and will extend it’s arms and pull her in, but it doesn’t. It hangs still on the gallery wall half mocking her, half empathizing. The muscles in her face tighten, clenching her glass she realizes she will never be that blue line, because she’s spent her life trying to be something else. All this time she had been fighting. Fighting to be good, to be successful, for happiness that extends beyond herself and more often than not, was not her own. She like everyone else had had her up and downs, but continually rose to challenges with a fierce resilience. Never a self-described best, but she somehow managed to get everything she wanted. For years she worked tirelessly. Stretching herself to the point of deceptive transparency, and standing here now could not remember when she stopped keeping track of the sacrifices she made, to be. She looked into her glass watching the bubbles rise, burst, and fall. She cries, but there are no tears and even though she is well into her fourth glass, coldness breaks over her. Luxury- a blessing, a curse, or absurd? The lady who never takes no for an answer had settled. She bites the inside of her lip almost breaking the skin as the blue line begins to recede into the distance. She takes a sip of champagne to wash away the taste of iron she has lurking in her mouth.
She feels dizzy, probably from all the drinks she’s had. A man walks over. To everyone else he is her husband but to her he’s the guy who charges flowers that she never receives. He tells her she’s had enough champagne and that they should leave. She doesn’t want to, but doesn’t argue because even though it is the middle of June, tomorrow is Monday and she still hasn’t packed the kids lunches for camp, or looked over her weekly calendar which is sure to be full with business lunches and soccer games. She looks at the painting and he follows her gaze. His voice breaks through the quiet bubble she’s put herself in. “You’ve been looking at this piece for over an hour.” She looks at him. Not even bothering to entertain him with her very convincing fake smile, then back towards the painting. He realizes the only way he’ll ever get her to even think about moving is if the painting goes with her. He calls the waiter over. He’s to tired and tipsy to haggle and caves at the price listed. They arrange a drop off date. It won’t be delivered to their apartment downtown until the show has closed, but they are lucky to have snatched it up. “Can we go now?”, he demands handing her, her bag as a waiter comes and takes her empty glass. She kisses all the birds goodbye with her sticky champagne lips and waves goodbye through the rectangular glass front. She and her husband dip into the car waiting outside. It’s nearing two and the city is taking a little rest. The remaining artist, critics, and buyers linger on until closing. The clerks and waiters clean up the mess, bring in the sign, shut off the lights, and lock up the gallery. You get up and make your way home. When you get home you brush your teeth and wash your face. When in bed, you stare out the window until you are tired. Your desk is over ridden with paints, brushes, sketches, and canvas. There is some left over paint in jar. It is the perfect shade of blue, approaching teal but not even close.
pièces de monnaie et billets de métro/rouge à lèvres/gum/identification et de carte de crédit / maison clés /casque, téléphone portable, chargeur de téléphone /briquet
caméra/ordinateur/un bouchon/couverture pour le parc/vernis à ongle/chargeur ordinateur/carnet/stylos,crayons/livre ou deux/un autre petit sac pour la nourriture
Photography by Gabriela Wilson
Naturally, I am a reserved person. Not to be confused with shy or insecure, but recently I’ve been putting my confidence on display ( Does running an entire website dedicated to a character that is a superimposed version of yourself count as narcissism or is it all just good fun?). Something I usually don’t do because I am the definition of socially awkward, but often come off as extremely intimidating (think nutella and sriracha sandwich), and when I do manage to find the right balance of awkward cutie plus fierce mama, I sway a little more toward my fierce mama superego. In my opinion my reservation helps me maintain a healthy sense of self without the risk of an ego trip. But maybe those trips are good. While they should be welcomed with caution, maybe they help manifest the version of myself I should aspire to be. Whether I'm sweet as can be or keeping it spicy, I consider my sense of personal security essential to my well being.
About a year ago, I was going through some personal stuff. Nothing glamorous. Just age old, early twenties life changing stufffffff, when I realized, Yes Regina George. I do think I'm pretty, and I will sit where I please! Buhhh-Bye!
Having a healthy sense of self enables me to take a compliment from someone and deny their dinner invitation sans guilt. It helps me better evaluate who or what may be holding me back and making a change, if need be. Thankfully it helps me not feel silly or selfish for dreaming big. It enables me to try and do things with the only expectation being, not success, but that I tried. When I feel like everything is working against me or not going my way it gives me resilience to continue advocating and working for things I believe in. Having a secure sense of self helps me say no just as much as it helps me say yes. It allows me to accept without explanation, even if I don’t agree, what I perceive as downfalls in others, within reason. (Major key.) Most importantly it allows me to forgive myself.
Having a healthy and secure sense of myself came from looking at all of the parts of myself that might not be so pretty (actually very ugly) and learning to work with or accept them. It’s not easy, to achieve or maintain. Meeting my ideal ego meant taking a good long hard look in the mirror, cutting through that doctored surface, and letting the old bones, demons and all the other icky stuff my skin contains spill out, and really taking an account of how all my good parts reflected in my bad parts and vice versa.
(Until I start referring to myself as yezus) I refuse to let anyone tell me where I should be putting it. Simply because it's mine. I worked hard for it. Deep self-reflection is not easy. Being your self is not always easy. Standing up for what you believe in is not easy. Being a human is like trying to climb Everest in a pair of flip flops. Everyone at some point feels like this and finds their way around, over, or through it. Some people buy rosy smelling bath bombs and nice bottles of wine. Some people tweet a lot. Some people have that one pair of shoes or that perfect shade of lipstick. Some people, like myself, werk.
This piece is dedicated to my grandmother Terry Lyne. I would not be the young woman I am today without your endless love, and support for my ambitions. Thank you.
I closed my eyes and all I saw was blackness. I kept them shut and all I saw were shards of glass and the frothy sweet liquid seeping into the carpet. I closed them tighter and felt warm tears welling in tight crevices, bursting through small cracks, and streaming toward my ears.
My eyes had been open at one point. I don’t know how long it had been since. It didn’t matter I hadn’t seen anything anyway. I didn’t see anyone as I fled from the conference room down the stairs and into the street. I didn’t see the children playing on swings as I entered the park, or the birds singing in the trees. I didn’t hear them either. All I could smell was chlorine and the only taste in my mouth was a bitter tang. Like I had licked a Vic oden but hadn’t bothered to sallow it. I remember my face feeling puffy and swollen. The way it does when I’ve lost control and boil over, and I felt my heart, with all it had, protect the creature that lives inside of me. The one forced into a life of submission, but is then systematically provoked… then accused.
My heart had won and now all I felt was soft air cushioning my face. I could feel the cool grass beneath me and the damp earth beneath it. I let it catch me, absolve me of my pain, and support my transcendence. I could smell the dewy park air and moisture returned to my lips. Now I could hear the people passing and the children laughing. I felt the life that surrounded me and let it speak.
I opened my eyes and all I saw was white clouds in blue sky. I recalled the remarks on my hair, on my skin, how I dressed, spoke, and carried myself. White noise, I reminded myself. That's all it was. I took the malicious critique. I took a deep breath blew it to the sky and let it float away. I recalled how I was called into question. Was I black enough, was I too Hispanic, was I poor enough, to claim the history? Had I been dealt enough discrimination to experience the pain, to empathize? Questions to be answered, but there was no question. I was not white.
I held on to this and wondered why elephants were murdered for their ivory tusks, but ivory skin stayed intact, rejuvenating, prized and protected. The fair complexion. What was fair about it? Nothing.
Right now I laid in the comforting coolness of the park but I knew I had to go back, if only to pick up my bag and go home. I knew what would be waiting for me. Someone would offer a sympathetic hug. Even though I wouldn’t want to be touched I would accept it. Some would try to understand, but wouldn't be able to see how the world we share is still filtered in black and white. I’d be a spectacle until I turned my gaze on those who watched me, waiting... There would be a conscious silence, until one proud pink pout, set in ivory skin, framed with golden hair would whisper, “Why is she so sensitive?”
Because, while you and your culture are protected, dressed, in Kevlar. Our culture is stolen. Our bodies, unjustly groomed for target practice.
Photography by Gabriela Wilson
Resolutions have never been important to me. Mostly because I know myself.
I would never, but if in some alternate reality I did resolve to eat less sugar, when it came down to it there is nothing coming in between me and a big bag of beignets. At the very least some vain promise I've made to myself.
Maybe I love beignets more than I love myself. Maybe instead of resolving to eat less sugar I should have resolved to work on my self-control, because while I like to think I am a flawless creature that roams a sad world of lesser helpless beings, betterment is important. To inspire me to take on the magical brick road of personal development, I made a vision board!
At one point in my life I thought vision boards were something only DIY moms did, but after realizing how much of a visionary I am (i.e ladybits.space) I was able to appreciate how visualizing your goals is one step closer to actualizing them. Instead of making empty promises to myself, I created a picture of what my personal betterment should look like. There is also glitter involved (the real deal maker).
So, instead of rolling around in bed half awake for two hours this Sunday, get up! Bust out the scissors and glue or open publisher and dive into the endless image ocean that is tumblr! Then share it with #AVisionToBe, because the only thing that inspires me more than seeing a better me is seeing a better you!
I wear makeup but I am not a doll,
I dress up but I am not a mannequin,
I have a nice figure but I am not a sex toy.
I am clothed in strength and dignity
I laugh, without fear of my future.
I choose beauty before perfection,
and when I begin to doubt myself
I choose love.
I love myself because.
I love myself, so I can love others.
I love myself, as I should.
PC: Gabriela Wilson
Terror causes, Eyes
to cloud with confusion, Hands
to tremble in fear, Lips
to part in dismay, and Hearts
to flood with sorrow
Love reminds, Eyes
to smile in sadness, Hands
and arms to hug, Lips
to laugh, and Hearts
to warm the soul
Peace motivates, Eyes
to see a future, Hands
to build up dreams, Lips
to speak with meaning, Hearts
to heal and glow