TURNING BLACK INTO GOLD, LOOKING BACK WHILE WORKING FORWARD

Today is a good day. At midnight I saw a black balloon float over my head at the exact time firecrackers popped in hues of green, pink, and gold flickers through the grey sky. Happy New Year. Lost is real. Growing up has only made death and the realities of living my life to the fullest extent much more of an everyday goal over choosing to repeat the same day over and over again. Freedom is why I started this blog. Freedom is why I write. Freedom is why I sing and dance. Expression is important. I’ve been thinking a lot about what they will say about me. I make a note of people’s titles. On this calendar in my office, I see that under the picture of W.E.B. DuBois his title says author, scholar, organizer. I wrote my title about 6 years ago, Writer, Dreamer, Weirdo. I thought about my upcoming birthday, thirty-five, and in a fleeting thought, I pictured myself getting ‘stay weird’ tatted somewhere on my hand. My hands are my tools. But mainly my mind.

Today is a powerful day. Self-control is our only goal. That’s the title of my last two drops of 2021, a YouTube video and podcast episode.

I taught myself a little more control over myself in year 2 of the pandemic. The shrink calls it “discipline”. How was it that our ancestors were able to continue to fight towards freedom? Were they mentally stronger than us? They understood controls. In a war, we normally discuss victories and defeats battle by battle, so if we were at war right now, the pandemic would be in its 24th battle. Who’s winning? Not us. Every month something changes. Every day we feel like we have less control over our futures. This frustration is continually mounting, obstructing our everyday lives. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict. We’ve all taken a hit socially. We’ve all taken a shot, hopefully. The mind can change how you perceive information and in toll what happens once that info is processed in your psyche. I learned to decipher. I remind myself of my true power which is discovery. The power to disclose information safely to teach or share knowledge is where I’ve found my current path. It has always been my path. I can remember writing down my first story. It was about two best friends, one named Maya and one named Orlean. My grandmother is responsible for nurturing the person everyone knows as Tahyira Savanna. She should’ve been an actress. I’m going after those dreams for her. Break a leg. I see why she fought for me in those childhood battles with my parents over academia vs art. She always put Maya Angelou and Oprah Winfrey in front of me visually to show me women doing both. You can be a performer and be smart at the same time. I mean the list is much longer now duh, add Shonda Rhimes, Serena Williams, Jada Pinkett/Queen Latifah, Michelle Obama, Beyoncé — a person I only really understood post-elevator incident pre-Lemonade, she needed that to happen perhaps to be seen as human, a great life lesson, and Kim Kardashian post-robbery, another humbling experience. Some women have had men introduce them to the World and have gone on to own their domains. They’re the leaders of the generation I find myself in. Using our voices to demand changes on our sex.

Being a woman is powerful. I said I love you Tahyira after I left the party to go collect myself in a car after I saw the black balloon. It felt, good. Why did this take you so long to say? You always say you love yourself but you never say I love you Tahyira. The more I said it, the bigger the smile on my face4 became. As women, we are a tribe, and it’s the power within that creates that energy men feel. It is a threat. Ivanka Trump is on the list too. Poor girl. I feel like she’s the opposite of all the brown women named in the previous paragraph. Yes she’s white that’s one aspect of it but before her father’s run for President, she was doing her own thing. She quietly worked to help at-risk communities with her money, she invested into women-owned ideas and visions but as mentioned in her aunt Mary’s book, she was raised by a narcissist. Someone told her that she is better than others and when she argued she wasn’t, she would be punished. In all fairness, her grandfather treated her dad the same way so with nepotism comes abuse practices. At least they’re rich right? Ha. No. Women like Ivanka are a part of it too. Women’s rights are under attack because women are becoming outspokenly more powerful than men. We spark conversation. We get the title of “first”. This is a man’s world but it will be nothing without a woman or a girl.

2022 is the year of the girl to me. I am holding up all aspects of our greatness from body empowerment, mental health anguishes, #metoo, rape and domestic violence, and access to equitable health care. If they want to openly discuss abortion in suburbia then I and my researchers will discuss impotence. If they want to remove transgendered students from playing on the high school sports team then we’ll band together and build our leagues. If they want to keep Black creatives out of Hollywood storylines, we’ll continue to hold up YouTubers like Issa’s Awkward Girl turned HBO’s Insecure and use the data to push other Black content. It’s the John Lewis mentality, we fall, we trip, we stumble, and we get up. Always.

Happy New Year

With Love xo

Tahyira

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