I Am Afraid of Being Unintelligent

I wanted to write for as long as I could remember. From the day I saw Harriet the Spy, I became obsessed with documenting everything, and how I felt about everyone. Diaries were tucked on the side of the top bunk of the bed I shared with my younger sister. I was always careful to cap my pens to avoid ink stains on my sheets.  

As a kid, my diary entries would get me into trouble, and surprisingly, they have even haunted me in my 20s. Nonetheless, I was fearless then, honest and unapologetic with my words, basking in my truth and imagination. Now, as an adult, the fear of writing creeps up from my core, cascading on my shoulders and neck, heating up my ears….This type of fear manifests itself in my thoughts and physically, in my body. 

In January, I went snow tubing in the Pocono Mountains with a group of friends. At the top of the hill, everyone took their marks, ready to slide down the iced pathway. Tears began to wet my face as I remembered that the bones in my body are breakable and if shit went wrong, this could be the end. (I thought the drop was steeper than it actually was.) Meanwhile, in our line of tubes, there were many kids, unaware and ready to take on the mountains. I was the only one crying.

After sharing this story with coworkers, they empathized with me. After all, adults normally approach things with caution. We tap into our memory banks and draw from previous experiences to help decide our next step. We have a better sense of what could be beyond the hill; we’ve experienced broken bones, hearts, spirits. My tears were validated. 

The same fear paralyzes me when I want to write. However, the anxiety of authorship is not a new concept. In 2001, The New York Times article “Examining, and Easing, the Anxiety of Authorship,” even suggested that this feeling is more common in female writers. Where does this apprehensiveness stem from? Especially since our voices are increasingly needed in a world where women are still  undermined; there is nothing more compelling and strengthening than a group of people unified by shared experiences. 

However, the reality is that unreliable information spew from the top of a white castle, and truths are discarded with the wave of a hand. At the very baseline, I am afraid of being unintelligent. Writers are not the only ones to feel this way, this heavy sense of responsibility because you don’t know who will connect with what, or be offended by what. 

To help combat my anxiety of writing, I draw inspiration from the bravery of others. Within their transparency, I find solace in the fact that they don’t know what they don’t know (like me) but they write from intentional perspectives…and their words hold weight. The wonderful irony here is reverting back to the fearlessness of childhood to further your growth as an adult. (I need to write more.)


Admiring HotDamniRock From Afar

Inspiration drawn from 1200 Creative Writing Prompts by Melissa Donovan

Creative Non-fiction 

1. Write about someone you admire from afar – a public figure or celebrity.

Maurice Kain Carter from Maryland, who you may know as HotDamniRock on YouTube, is one of the first YouTube stars to break the internet in 2009 with a slew of hilarious, opinionated videos. His videos ranged from dissecting the difference between a man and woman, to one of my favorites – Brotherly Love, in which he takes Mario & Luigi’s brotherhood to an unprecedented place.

In December 2016, Carter posted a video titled 365 Days Later, revealing why he was gone for a year and change: a car accident, the death of two cousins, the almost death of his dog, extreme stomach pain, extreme eczema….

He went on to explain that he ended up leaving the hospital and his best friend, Ike, helped take care of him. There was a pause.

“Ike died two weeks ago,” Carter said slowly, unable to comprehend the words coming out of his mouth.

My heart literally sank and I started tearing up as he described not knowing how to feel, asking Ike: “How dare you leave me?”

I never watched a video that made me feel so many things – his regret, pain, loss, his inability to wrap his head around the events occuring around him. He describes it as continuously falling into a darker, more silent abyss and “not hitting a bottom.” The video ended with him not being sure when he will return to YouTube.

Over the course of 2017, he posted seven videos, each exposing his growth and realizations, and I never wanted to reach out and hug a stranger as much as I wanted to hug him. As individuals, every daily run-in helps shape our character and sometimes we forget this; I forget this. Watching Carter unapologetically tell his story, share and own his growth as a human, all while still finding the humor in things, inspires me; with will power, we can continue pushing. His journey will forever be etched into my memory because 1) we forget our commonalities as humans – the range of emotions we feel and why we feel them – he is a great reminder of that; and 2) his openness will reach out and touch many in this sea of 7.6B; I’m excited to follow him into 2018. ❤




Get Ready With Me (Seasonal Wear Inspired by @badgalriri)

Inspiration drawn from 1200 Creative Writing Prompts by Melissa Donovan

Creative Non-fiction 

18. What do you like to wear during the summer, winter, fall or spring? Write about your sense of fashion or lack there of. Does it change with the seasons?

My ideal wardrobe has yet to be manifested so here are my favorite things to wear during each season (in real life and in my head). A fashion tip that I learned from Goo Atkins is to pick a celebrity with the same body type, and whose style you admire, for inspiration on how to dress yourself. My celebrity is Rihanna (duh.) Here are some of her styles that mimic the ones in my head:


Oversized and comfortable. If you’ve seen pap shots of pregnant celebrities, that’s how my winter gear would look – like a pile of fleece blankets. Jumbo scarves, sweater dresses, thick leggings, thick socks, duck boots, booties. I like clothing items with really deep pockets because boy do purses and bags weigh you down. We (women) need to lighten that load.

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I LOVE the softness of pastels. Nudes, blushes. I would love to incorporate more tans and dark browns into my wardrobe.

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Straight-from-Africa African prints; bright, eye-catching colors that make my skin tone pop; flowy and comfortable dresses; similar to spring: nudes, blushes and off-whites (less commitment); denim jeans, jackets, dresses; cutouts; jumpsuits; crop-tops. My ideal summer style is effortlessly comfortable, flirty, sexy.

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Fall gear is similar to winter, but it’s a mix of oversized and fitted. Jean and leather jackets; shorts and tights; jumpsuits; bodysuits; ripped jeans; boots.

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Most of the time I like to be comfortable and incognegro (I mean nito) taking on a literal interpretation of Invisible (Wo)Man.

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However, I love the effortlessly flirty, comfortable look, the, “Yes, I’m a woman, you can look but don’t try me” look. 2018 goals?

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I Eat What I Want

When it comes to eating healthy, we all try – some succeed, others fail, and the rest of us land someplace in between. As we know, life is about balance. What I figured out is that we go crazy over diets and we think that what works for one person will magically cure us all.


Yes, diets can be used to lose or gain weight. People talk about it as a very temporary thing, however, to me diets are a life style. You build around it.

We all know how expensive food is, especially foods that are good for you.

See below for 12 foods that I always have stocked in my pantry, fridge and/or freezer. Freezers are my best friend; there’s nothing more gratifying than extending the shelf life of food that normally perishes within a week of opening.

  1. Almond Milk – I normally get unsweetened almond milk (or almond beverage as they affectionally call it) from Trader Joe’s – half a gallon for $2.99. Why almond milk? Because the “shelf” life is longer. Why unsweetened? Because it tastes similar enough to the original or vanilla, and when you think about all the added sugars we consume on a daily basis, why not cut back where you can?
  2. Eggs – Besides eating this staple for breakfast and on nights when making a big meal for dinner is a no-go, I use eggs in a lot of recipes. Pancakes, bread, muffins, chicken parm, etc. What are these foods without eggs?
  3. Yogurt – A few years ago, I learned that our bodies host good and bad bacteria. First of all, that shit skeevs me out, but the end of the day, bacteria is alive and can multiply for better or worse. Yogurt helps keep all of that in check. I buy plain greek yogurt from Trader Joe’s; I forgot how much it costs, but it’s 16oz for not a lot. I sometimes buy packs of individual greek yogurt from Target as well.
  4. Apple Cider Vinegar – Anti-everything – fungal, bacterial, biotic, septic, viral. I posted about this a while back and now, literally preach to everyone I know about it. I don’t take this every day anymore, but a few times a week for sure. 1 tbsp in a glass of water. As a heads up, it tastes horrible, but as with everything that becomes habitual after you consistently interact with it, it becomes normal after a while. I went from drinking it from a straw to downing in two (big) gulps.
  5. Ground Flaxseed – Super inexpensive way to add nutrition to your diet. Add it in smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes, breads, etc. And when you buy it, store it in the freezer!
  6. Brown Rice – I buy the 5lb back. I think it’s the Carolina brand. Obviously a healthier alternative and if you add some butter and a little seasoning, you’ll be good to go!
  7. Unbleached Flour – I bake often, so flour is a staple in my pantry. I get unbleached flour because was made with less chemicals. You can also go the whole wheat, almond, or whatever other route (than regular bleached, white flour) is available out there.
  8. Vegetables – Broccoli, spinach, peppers, peas, corn, string beans, etc. Sometimes I buy these things fresh, cut them up then store them in the freezer, or I buy them already frozen. My thing with vegetables is that depending on what it is, its shelf life varies. Do you research and see where you can save here. I only buy certain vegetables for meals that I cook within a day or two of purchase – brussel sprouts, asparagus, etc. Root vegetables are also a staple since they last longer.
  9.  Fruits – Similar to how I operate with vegetables, I store some in the freezer and then buy mainly fruits that last long and store in the fridge. In the freezer I store: blueberries, pineapples and mangos for smoothies. In the fridge I store: lemons, tomatoes, apples and/or grapes. I also buy bananas often and store them outside, of course. Trader Joe’s have bananas for 19c each!
  10. Brown Sugar – Similar to my flour staple!
  11. Bread – Whenever I buy bread, I normally get multi-grain breads for PBJs, toast, etc.
  12. Meats/Seafood: Chicken, Ground Turkey, Shrimp, Tilapia – Regular, degular meat and seafood in my freezer all the time.

Reading through this list, what you will notice is that not everything is completely healthy according to…whoever. Unbleached flour, bread, yogurt, eggs, shrimp. I’ve heard unfavorable reviews about each of these things, and no they don’t work with every diet. However, to me, they are healthier than eating complete crap all the time. If you take anything from this post, I hope it’s that some of us only have so much. We have to do with what we can. I’m big on the nutritional value of foods and getting this in as many inexpensive ways as possible. I also read ingredients to help me make better decisions. Ask yourself basic questions: Can you pronounce majority of the ingredients? What is the first ingredient listed – is it sugar? Water? Figure out alternatives that work best for you and your budget. My philosophy is that if your core, your base, your foundation (however many names you call it) is stable and filled with nutrition it gives you a little more liberty to eat other things – ice cream, cakes, etc., etc. 😉


Not You, Too

I cannot imagine dealing with the stressors of work life, personal life, and my boss, or colleague constantly whipping out his member upon my entrance then relieving himself in the potted plant that stood near the framed picture of his wife and kids.

Imagine that shit. With the amount of allegations to come out within the last few months, I’m surprised trauma centers aren’t filled with people just dazed and confused from their eye sight being completely shot and brain waves shutting down. We have to remember: there are many, many, many more allegations sitting in the pit of stomachs everywhere.

I think people are unaware of the large spectrum that is sexual harassment and sexual assault: from staring, to unwanted sexual jokes, to unwanted love letters, to unwanted touching, to threats and blackmail, to sodomy, to rape. But educating men – people – about this is a general waste of time. Rule of thumbs are helpful here for those who are convinced that others want or enjoy their company. “If you got your thang-thang out and she got all her clothes on, you’re wrong.” – Tiffany Haddish. Another rule of thumb: if you make a joke or call her by a name that isn’t funny aka she doesn’t laugh or laughs nervously, just stop doing it. The reality is that even this rule of thumb may be confusing to some because, again, they think people enjoy their presence; folks are walking around either unable to read or completely dismissing ALL THE SIGNS. Should we put more tax dollars towards teaching people about perception in terms of understanding how and why others view them the way they do? We aren’t self-aware enough.

This outpour of allegations has me questioning a few things and I’m curious to know what you think:

  1. What distinguishes a man who does not sexually harass/assault women from one who does?
  2. Is there any place in the world (any place at all) where sexual harassment/assault is low/relatively non-existent? – And why?
  3. If you discovered that a friend or family member of yours committed an act of sexual harassment/assault, how do you think you would deal with that?
  4. Is sex addiction real, and if so, can it be cured?
  5. We all know that it’s hard for victims to come out and name their abusers. I      think it’s harder for men than it is for women as we normally hear women speak up. Do you think if more men were vocal about their abuse as kids (or adults) that this will make a difference?

Let me know what you think!


“We” Is a Collective Effort

You know what’s uncomfortable? Being openly honest in relationships. Telling someone about themselves. Accepting someone’s criticism of you. What is greater and more impactful is growing and watching someone you love grow as well.

In this video clip of The Real (scrub to 3:55) the ladies briefly discussed what it would be like to complete a progress report on your partner…and I was like…

Here are three big problems in relationships:

-Constantly talking or arguing about the same issues without any progress made

-Not knowing when to walk away; walking away too soon or too late


What if all couples sat down once or twice a year to discuss/rate things like: the five love languages (physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, gift giving), communication, finances, etc.? They would rate themselves and their partner’s contributions to the relationship. Then compare it against their partner’s ratings to see where they both align (or not). Ideally, this should entice conversation around strategies to build a better relationship.

First of all, the hope here is that people would be honest about their needs/wants, and be open to compliments and criticism.

Second, just like work evaluations, acknowledging the things that are done well further encourages one to continue doing what they do best. And similarly, setting goals for the future can help hold someone accountable.

The tricky part is deciding whether or not to use these progress reports as grounds for staying in or ending relationships. A lot of people leave relationships not knowing what they did wrong, or if it could have been fixed; I think this could be a solve for that. I also think progress reports should at least be mandatory for marriages. Is it mandatory, but people just don’t do it?

I’m curious to learn more about this in general and want to try it in my own relationship. 🙂










Product Review: Use Squatty Potty🚽 for Flawless 💩

Last week, a friend of mine posed this question in our group chat:

“Anyone ever used a squatty potty?” Then the following conversation ensued:



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If you watch Shark Tank, you may have seen the Squatty Potty episode. While many Western countries adopted sitting toilets in the last hundred years, countries in Asia, Africa and some parts of Europe still squat to defecate. This Squatty Potty infomercial (hilarious, but informative) explains why squatting is beneficial. It involves loosening your puborectalis muscle and shitting like a well oiled ice-cream machine (diet permitting); two minutes, fifty-three seconds well spent. If you’ve already seen this, watch it again to make your day even better.

You may be questioning why I’m writing a blog about a stool (the intent here is real.) No, I’m not being paid, I just like sharing things I love with people. Taking good poops affects many different areas of your life. Good meaning: “How comfortable are you?” “How quickly do you go?” “Does everything come out in one peace/piece?” Your answers to these questions can influence thoughts/actions/behaviors throughout your day, in my opinion.

I know what you’re thinking: “My shits are amazing.” But, if you can upgrade your iPhone every year (although, who does that anymore?) you can surely upgrade the way you alleviate bowel movements. 🙂

Some Final Porcelain Throne Thoughts:

  • “This is odd,” says my American born and raised mind. “The act of sitting on my toilet then placing my feet on no-slip surfaces – very strange!” Images of squatting on the side of a deserted road to pee because there are no bathrooms around surface. However, what follows puts all uncertainty to rest.
  • “My children will get teased.” Right? Because they will have no choice but to use it at home. Hopefully I will raise children who aren’t overly concerned about people judging them.
  • How do I get down? (Just kidding.)
  • This is what it means to live my best life.