Posts tagged ‘Change’

new day, new city, new hair.

I know, I know. It’s been a while.

In between my last post and now, I’ve moved back home to Los Angeles, changed time zones, changed jobs….and yes, changed my hair.

Before leaving DC, I made the decision to cut off all  my locks. I had locks for ten years and I decided that with me moving back to LA for a little while, it was time to switch it up. It was an adjustment at first but I have to say that I’m loving my new tiny afro more and more every day. I got a great text message from a soror of mine after I sent her a picture of my new haircut. She has had locks before and at one put did the big chop too. She said that every time she cut her locks, she felt like she was reinventing herself. I gotta say that that’s exactly how I feel right now.

So what’s in store for me in LA? Well, I thought that now was a better time than ever go to back to grad school, so I’m applying for a few MPA programs in LA and in DC (with a small selection of MBA programs). Also, I just started working as a part-time new media specialist for Voices Inc., a Black woman-owned communications and marketing firm here in LA. It’s a great place and I’m learning a lot, which is really all that matters.

I had to take a break from blogging to get settled at home and all that jazz, but I’m back. I am planning on moving the blog to its own server and maybe tweaking the design a little bit. And yes, I’m still available for consulting and speaking engagements.

I miss DC terribly but I know I did the right thing by coming back home and hitting the reset button on my life. And DC will always be there, I can always go back. At first, I was frustrated for having to move back home instead of toughing it out in DC. But now I realize I did the brave thing—left it all behind and took a leap of faith. I’ve never felt more at peace and more free than I do right now. I’m starting a new chapter in my life and I’m learning to enjoy every minute.

The Audacity of Spirit: Lessons from a New Modern Woman

June 20th marked World Refugee Day. Here in Washington there have been events throughout the month to bring awareness to the issues that refugees face here and abroad.  Ihotu Ali, a Center for Progressive Leadership New Leaders Fellow, talks about the images of refugee women here in America. I had the pleasure of meeting Ihotu at a Message Development training a few months ago and of course,  she is yet a another smart, fabulous black girl blogger.

After a college degree and several months of working in the political capitol of the Western world, I know a bit about power. Daily, I experience the power of crisp black suits, sleek cars, and boldly colored heels clicking their own new rhythms into the echo of marble halls.

However, Washingtonians may encounter an affront to this idea of power, through the advertisements of CARE, a nongovernmental refugee organization. In its trademark public campaign, CARE portrays a refugee woman, very young or very old, dressed in the tradition of her country and looking deep into the camera’s eye. The universal caption: “I Am Powerful.” In the midst of Washington, D.C., this may seem more a wistful ideal than reality. Reality teaches that even the most educated and top-earning women only make 72 cents on a man’s dollar, and that women around the world are most vulnerable to illiteracy, poverty, domestic abuse, and a lack of access to the handbag of characteristics which we call “power.” Yet these women stare out evenly from photographs and billboards to silently declare that they, even in a displaced state, are powerful.

A refugee woman may actually be the most powerful being you will ever meet. Whether she walked in tatters or designers, reality tells that she likely walked past dozens, hundreds, or thousands of people whom she left behind. People who didn’t make it out, and yet people exactly like her. She may recall their stunted journeys with every step. And yet she continues to walk. You might be unaware of the expression on her face. She may not disclose how many different lives she led, from fear to hope to indifference to ferocity. Reality provoked her to emotions of such nuance and contradiction that one would think humanity had not discovered them, before inhuman circumstances broadened the capacity of her human face. What you may see is blind faith, or a steeled persistence. You may have never seen what power it took to keep eyes so willing to remain open to new sights, a mouth so willing to continue to speak and engage and a face turned toward a new, possibly terrifying reality.

You may not see all this. Or you may equally see it in the faces of fellow American women who struggled for their power. But take a moment to look deeply into the power of these women. They may not have the traditional trappings of wealth or fame. And they may not vie to be recognized among the masses, nor do they wield their strength like a sword to bring others beneath them as they rise. Instead, consider their power as a catalyst, with which we all regard one another and ourselves with more clarity and humanity. This is a power of faith, hope, and resilience despite the most dire of circumstances. These women are not unbreakable, but they never allow brokenness to be a permanent state. They teach others the power to learn, to forgive, to accept and adapt.

As a friend and family member to such women, I often visualize their faces when I want to embody that power. What we all in Washington could learn from these women is not just the power to win the war or survive the battle. We already know this. They teach us the power to thrive, with an audacity of spirit, in the face of reality.

Poking Fun at Postracial

This commercial was so funny and clever. And so was the back story.

H/T: Ta-Nehisi Coates

elledub goes gawking at the alfalfa club dinner

Nerdette over at NotMyGal convinced me to spend my Saturday night watching the arrivals to the Alfalfa Club Dinner, a dinner honoring the legacy of Robert E. Lee (yes…I’m talking about this guy). Governor Sarah Palin was in attendance and so was President Barack Obama. We were there to see Gov. Palin arrive to the dinner and the Presidential motorcade, and have the live tweets to prove it!

We saw some pretty awful fashion choices that brought back memories of Golden Girls reruns….I talk about this and whether I would ever attend the Alfalfa Club dinner if invited in the vlog below brough to you by NotMyGal. Enjoy!

The American Dream

inauguration_headline

On this past Tuesday, I was able to witness the swearing in of our 44th President, Barack Hussein Obama. It was awe-inspiring, it was emotional, and it was a blessing to be a part of history.

I don’t know what more I can say that hasn’t already been said. When I saw Michelle Obama walk through those doors in that beautiful gold suit, that’s when the tears started to fall. We have a Black First Lady. It had finally really sunk in.

Hearing the crowd shout Obama’s name made me realize that for the first time, I was actually seeing a group this large united for one purpose–to witness the swearing in of the first Black President.

Was it cold? YES. Was it crowded? Hell yes.

But I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. Not one bit.

In the days before the inauguration, I got an email from my mother, who was raised in DC and witnessed the 1968 riots as a child. “I am so proud and happy that you are  in DC at this moment that I could just cry,” she said.

It means so much to me to hear the older genderations so filled with hope and with the excitement of change. They are living to see a dream fulfilled. I think back to my Election Night experience, and talking to my Nana while she told me through her tears that she now could tell her grandchildren that they could be whoever they want to be.

Finally, I leave you with some words from Rosetta Thurman’s recent Inauguration post:

Deep inside of each of us, there is a glimmer of wanting light that wants to do something real and true. On a clear day like yesterday at the Capitol, you could see it on the faces of a million people shivering in the winter air, wearing nothing but hope on their faces.

We have been forgiven for so many years of waiting until we get our ducks in a row before we do what we want to do in our lives. We have been given permission to fly as far as we want to go. We have all been inspired to turn back the dial and become better Americans in the process.

Listen for what it is that you are called to do. And when you hear it, don’t wait. Do it now.

If I didn’t feel that way before, I certainly feel that way now. There are so many things that I’ve been wanting to do, and now more than ever I feel the strength and the passion to pursue my dreams like never before. And only time will tell, but perhaps President Obama will usher in an era of philanthropy, of kindness, of collaboration, and–yes–of love.