This is for the black and brown ones.

This is for the ones who know where their ancestors come from and for those that don’t. It is not your fault.

This is for the ones who are hardest on themselves.

This is for the ones who find themselves crippled by the unknown and watching Netflix becomes home.

This is for the ones who doubt their future and have anxiety about being in groups of people.

This is for the ones who are scared because black and brown girls go missing and you could be next.

This is for the ones who watched “Surviving R. Kelly” and cried because it was a too close to home.

This is for the ones who can’t seem to find the fullness of themselves in representation in the media.

I see you. I am you. This is for you.

Sitting in this coffee shop in Downtown Portland, Oregon, I am not much different from the young woman who sat in New Orleans, in New York, in LA, in Albuquerque, and the various other places that I traveled in my early 20s. I started blogging after I decided to begin to face my sexual violence, domestic violence and emotional abuse history and to start questioning just what it was that I found healing in. I had no idea what I was doing. I still largely have no idea what I’m doing. I’ve started and stopped this post about a good hundred times. I’ve started and stopped this blog about a hundred times, but I’ve always continued because well, I deserve to tell my story and maybe someone else will hear me and decide to tell their story. Our stories deserve to be told. Our voices deserve to be lifted and soar toward the light of truth instead of festering.

I’m a perfectionist. There. I’ve admitted it. I turned to blogging to speak my truth and wound up pushing myself to create more content, get more views and likes and in the process of all that…it stopped being fun. I went from speaking my truth and feeling liberated, to being shackled into the expectation of production. I stopped creating content for a good 6 months because it no longer felt good…it felt laborious.

How can we continue our love and our joy? What keeps you going? In this time of break, so much has happened. I attained my 200HR Teacher Training in Yoga, I began teaching classes and figuring out that I love healing work, I left 2 jobs, I started noticing my weight gain and took time to learn how to listen to my body, I leaped in love and landed on my feet with my best friend holding my hand and I’m preparing to move once more…across the country yet again to Portland, Oregon in May. It, meaning life, feels good. Life is chaotic and uncertain and can’t be rushed. It is what it is. What will happen, will happen and that’s more than ok.

On the next leg of my journey, I head to Los Angeles again to visit my best friend and sister in life and then onward to Waco, Tx to see another of my sisters. Traveling during a Full Moon is such an adventurous time and I’ve chosen to call forth more love and health this year. I’ve always allowed myself to sink in head space because frankly, depression, anxiety and trauma can be debilitating. I’m still learning how to love myself in the messy and the shining clean. I am learning how to be an artist and writer that really does allow myself to be lost for a while.

I hiked 5 miles the other day in the land of the Chinook people, colonized Portland. Oregon. Hiking is something that I absolutely love but haven’t done enough of. Being in nature is incredible. Momma Earth can teach you more and so much more if you are open to listening, to receiving, to pushing your body and respecting her power. I’m still finding ways to be in my body and I realize that being in nature is one of the most amazing ways that I find myself fully grounded. The more tired my body became and the more lost I was, the more fun I had. I found full on fun in the fact that I was lost and at the same time so invariably found.

Reclaiming my own joy began with the continuation of finding who I am now, not yesterday or who I will be tomorrow, but right now. I attempted to fall in love with myself again and while it was challenging, nothing worth so much is ever without work.

So go, find your joy, because you deserve to.

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