Moody Monday: My Identity, My Culture

Welcome to Moody Monday, where my mood dictates what I write. Today, I am sharing a think piece that I wrote about my natural hair. For a big chunk of my life, I hated how I looked, especially my mane. It took me years to actually practice self-love and to accept all aspects of myself, including my hair.

Growing up black in the 90s, you were conditioned to succumb to the European social standards and almost forced to believe that having straight relaxed hair was the way to be fully accepted by all society. Yet, with this insatiable compromise came another form of ridicule, coming in close contact with water. If your hair was relaxed, it’s almost impossible to be near pools, rain or even sprinklers freely without the restraint of relaxed hair. White friends wouldn’t fully understand this dreaded dilemma and would often ridicule black friends and label them high maintenance because the relaxed hair would become ruined if drenched with water. Grease! Having relaxed hair caused the scalp to become dry which required hair grease (preferably blue magic) and if not managed properly it could stain everything. In order to support this relaxed hair, a bonnet at night was mandatory to wear, if not worn, negative consequences would be revealed in the morning. Ultimately, there has been this silent shame to having relaxed hair because of restrictions, not having the “good” hair that white people or other ethnic groups possess. To keep a good job “acceptable” hairstyles were mandatory within the black community. There were even examples presented at job sites displaying white hairstyles like blonde straight hair and banning black hairstyles such as braids or Afros. Present day, it has still been a struggle for the black community to become comfortable in their skin and accept their identity. Having natural hair for a black person is deemed in society as ugly, nappy and unkempt. But why? Why is the natural hair that grows out of a black person’s head not acceptable and other ethnic groups are? Why does this hair texture bring shame? In Africa, before slavery even took place, a black person’s hair represented the tribe they came from and who they truly were. It gave them purpose and identity. In Africa, warriors and kings had cornrows. During slavery, cornrows and braids was the fashion as a map to finally escape their masters’ property. Black natural hairstyles have such a rich deep culture that it should no longer be held hostage in the shadows, but rather embraced and celebrated. Black natural hair is unique and versatile, the texture has such variety. By understanding the history behind black natural hair, I, as a black woman, am no longer ashamed to wear my kinky curly hair. I embrace, love and take care of it. The rain is no longer my enemy but my loving, close friend. I refuse to succumb to European social standards, but will fully welcome the standards of my sacrificing ancestors, which is natural, free and proud. Oppression and ridicule is no longer a lingering fear of mine but rather a breakthrough. My natural hair, my mane, my glory is my true identity and sets me apart and makes me recognized and my beauty revealed. I am free and invincible with my natural hair, as my identity, my culture.

The Night The Witches Cackled

Tonight I will be sharing a horribly true story of the time I heard those damned witches in my ear….

I was 13, and the paranormal happenings weren’t occurring as much and I was finally starting to feel some sort of normal. Well, until the day I saw a scary movie. I watched it with my sister in our room when it was dark. I don’t even remember what the movie was about or what it was called. I only remember how it made me feel, dreadful. I remember I didn’t want to turn off the tv to go to sleep. I was anxious for no reason. As I was falling asleep I felt dark energy surrounding my bed giving me the most unsettling feeling that I could ever have. The next morning I was surprised that I didn’t have any nightmares. The following night when I was about to go to sleep I felt the same unsettling feeling I felt the night before that disappeared as soon as I was completely asleep. I woke up the next day and still didn’t have any nightmares, shrugged it off and assumed I was spared. But the third night, the unsettling feeling became stronger, darker and heavier and this time I couldn’t fall asleep so easily. I tossed and turned, fell asleep briefly but woke up abruptly, in panic, until about 3 am, suddenly I felt terrified. I began to hear yelling in the streets at the back of my house and it became louder as each second passed. My body started to shake as the noise that eventually turned into to evil laughter like witches would have, in the streets at the back of my house. Laughter grew louder and louder until it became too freakishly close that it felt like they were right next to me. I quivered as my legs and body began to rise just slightly above my bed and was quickly dropped. I couldn’t even scream for help because of the fear that overcame me. Some how, I was able to fall asleep after that haunting experience, I woke up and was relieved that it was morning. I knew from then on that I was different and not like other girls my age.

Tune in next Thursday for your heart to be throbbed!

Moody Monday: Dark Shine

Welcome lovelies to Moody Monday where I allow my mood to dictate what I share. Today, I will be sharing another poem! This poem inspired me to not give up, regardless of the naysayers. I hope this brings inspiration to you as well.

Dark Shine

I woke up broken. All that was left of me was stolen, chosen for someone else. Used and discreetly abused, nobody got the clue, no one supposedly knew that I wasn’t at my best. I stood out from the rest, they were jealous, jealous for the glow that was in my chest. They saw my beautiful mess and they were reluctantly impressed. I put them to the test with my dark, fear took over them and they became restless, and their tongue, sharp. However, I refuse to harp on the recent past. I am from the present. Here, I am sitting alone, cold and unknown with a fire raging from within. Who I am is apparently a sin and they mustn’t see me win. Bets were cast to see me give in. That could never happen. My soul is a warrior and fortress that can withstand anything, whatever life sends. I was born for this.

Tune in next Monday to find out what my mood instructs me to share!

Moody Monday: The Strength That Was Given To Me.

Welcome to Moody Monday, mamas, where I let my mood dictate what I write. Today, I felt like sharing a poem that I have previously written. I wrote this a few months after I lost my dad.

Sitting here, waiting for my dad to appear to tell me everything’s alright and to not give up the fight, wishful thinking. Thinking back, about all of the things that I thought I lacked but just never knew I had, hard lessons. The hurt, my recent suffering is burning and wanting more of me, current events. The truth that I see right in front of me but I’m having difficulty embracing, growing pains. Being blind all this time and wanting something that was never really mine, full acceptance. Realizing that I am the hero of my story, and no longer need a male figure to save me, life -changing. Progressing even when progression was inevitable, to reach the next level to achieve the unbelievable, stubborn determination. The strength that was given to me from the pain and sweat of my ancestors’ brow, an epiphany, that I will hold onto and move in a way that will make them proud, somehow.

Stay tuned for next week’s Moody Monday

Special Announcement: Heart-Throbbing Thursdays

My favorite season has finally arrived! I thought the best way to appreciate it as well as the upcoming holiday is to share spooky stories (fictional/nonfictional) until Halloween. I have had a lot of creepy experiences and created a few more in my head. I figured I’d share some of those stories to help get you more in the mood for fall. Bring a blanket and some hot tea this coming Thursday, for a creepy story time, you will have chills and your heart will definitely throb after reading it. Stayed tuned for next Thursday!

Story Time: Tongue Stuck To The Car

Welcome to Moody Monday where I share whatever my mood dictates. Today I am in the mood to share a childhood story…

I was about 10 or 11 and it was a cold winter day, I was eager to play out in the snow and secretly eat it. We had a car in the backyard that no longer worked so I would always play on top of it. I recently watched Dumb and Dumber and was rather intrigued how Jeff Daniels got his tongue stuck to a pole and how he pulled it off with minimal damage so I was itching to experiment. It first started off with just eating the snow and ice because what kid hasn’t, then I opened my mouth with determination to see if my tongue would actually stick if I licked the ice. The first try, it was slightly stuck but I was able to pull it off successfully without any consequences, then, there was the second try. The second try I can honestly say, I became too cocky. I took a big lick and that’s when I knew, I horribly messed up. It was stuck and I began to panic. Back then, us kids didn’t have cellphones so I had to come up with a solution or freeze my buns off waiting for my family to realize that I have been outside for too long. I tried the 1…2….3 method but I was too scared to go through with it, I even tried salivating enough to melt some of the ice but since it was very cold outside that attempt was unsuccessful. Five minutes felt like an eternity, finally a built up enough courage to just rip it off like a bandaid and so I did. The pain was intense and there was blood everywhere. I took some snow to stop the blood from pouring out my mouth and to look okay before I went inside. I didn’t want any of my family members to know because they would laugh hysterically at my unwise decision. I had to turn down sour candy from my dad and of course meatloaf (childhood favorite) for dinner. Concerned, my mother wanted to know why I am turning down dinner. I simply said I don’t feel well and left it at that. I didn’t tell my family until 12 years later so I could actually laugh and not cry at the fact that I went through such excruciating pain just to be like Jeff Daniels. The moral of the story: Movies are meant for entertainment purposes only.

I hope you enjoyed this Moody Monday! Tune in for next week to find out what my mood influences me to write.

Silence Speaks Louder!

Mama, have you ever had someone attack you for your parenting or your lifestyle and you just wanted to bring more fuel to the fire and attack back? I completely understand and have felt the same. However, there is power in silence and not entertaining their opinions about you. Reacting to what others say about you only gives them control over how you feel. Why give someone control over you, when it’s your life to live. You decide as a parent and a human being to make your own decisions that shouldn’t concern others. You know what’s best for you and your family. If someone wants to be bold enough to criticize your life, remember they are irrelevant, simply disengage and leave them on read. A person can only talk for so long until they are talking to themselves. Your silence will be enough to get your point across. Silence is powerful and it’s an effective tool if someone wants to waste their breath and keep your name and what you do in their mouth. Whether it’s family, friends or just a random person, reading them their rights is not always necessary especially when it effects your peace. There is strength in silence, maybe then the naysayers will have nothing else to do but to deal with their own issues that they are avoiding. Silence speaks louder and can clap back without words. Take care of yourself mama, you are doing great!

Moody Monday Featuring: Friction

Welcome to Moody Monday, mamas. This is the day that I post based on my mood. Today, I felt like posting a poem that I wrote called Friction. This poem describes what it’s like going through it with your significant other and that no matter what you go through you can overcome anything if you both want it. Enjoy loves!

What have we become? What have we done? We are fierce, ravenous monsters on the same team watching each other bleed. We feed on hurt and create the steam that never seems to leave. Which direction are we going when we are foaming at the mouth? Our anger has taken us south and left us destitute in broad daylight. We have lost sight of what has connected us, we are slipping off of this mound of trust. It’s my fault, but I think it’s yours, but that shouldn’t really matter anymore. I swore this wouldn’t affect me, but I am horribly torn and emotionally worn, hanging on by a thread to make this work. I am waiting for a comforting response from you but I don’t want to be disappointed so I disengage and consider what I should change so I can be better for you, to comply, to aim for compromise. You are my reason to fight for the love that we created, the love that makes us sedated and satiated.

The Unbothered Woman

Unbothered: not experiencing mental or physical discomfort (adjective) Slang: indifferent to criticism or negative comments; not annoyed or provoked.

(https://www.dictionary.com/browse/unbothered).

I am pretty sure that I was born bothered. Ever since childhood, I remember being worried about what others thought of me, felt shame when I was the topic of conversation or would be defensive to criticism. I always wondered why I was mentally made like this. Why was I so bothered about what others thought of me and their irrelevant opinions? Why did it burn straight down to my core when I heard my name in someone’s mouth? Looking back, I definitely was insecure to the point that whenever someone said something about me I took it to heart. Their thoughts began to be mine because what I heard about me from others was what I was always going to believe first. I missed several opportunities to be at peace with myself but what really hindered that was fear, insecurity and being highly self-conscious. I was feeling bothered for years. I couldn’t walk into a room without wanting to know what others thought about me. I tortured myself with being bothered. When I wasn’t bothered by something or someone, I was lost and didn’t know what to do with myself. If I wasn’t worried, I didn’t feel right. Worrying and being bothered was familiar and my normal and it was hard to depart from the idea that I, Naomi, could never be bothered again in my life. Allow me to tell what helped me become the unbothered woman that I am today. Self-love was my biggest obstacle to overcome. For most of my life, I literally hated every aspect of myself. I hated the way I talked, looked, walked, read, the color of my skin. Finally, in my late 20’s I took the steps to learn to love myself unconditionally, my skin and my culture. Now, I love being the awkward black girl, with the Afro puff and bright smile. Self-care was what I never felt worthy of. I felt undeserving because of past traumatic experiences. I decided I never want to feel depressed to the point of suicide again or take pills to ease my anxiety. I want to be content and at peace. I didn’t want anymore adverse effects to antidepressants. I wanted to be free without limitations. One step at a time, I learned about mindfulness, mental health, meditation, treating myself, taking the time to be quiet in solitude and to put myself first because if I didn’t do it, who will. I finally understood that self-care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary. Self-control is one of the hardest things that I had to practice and manage. I was so used to reacting emotionally and allowing others to control me by getting me worked up. I stopped responding to social media statuses that were meant to cause strife. I brushed over subliminal messages and silently laughed in the face of negativity. I no longer feel obligated to have the last word just to prove my worth. Now, I feel complete, whole, loved, cared for and especially unbothered. The unbothered woman is me and I am she. I have the ability to practice self-love without disgust, unbothered. I am an advocate for self-care. I know when and how to take care of myself, unbothered. Self-control is my daily goal and I am successful at it, unbothered. I laugh, cry, love, smile, ponder, and create, unbothered. When nothing can make you stumble and knock you off your game, you are the unbothered woman. I can testify, that being completely unbothered is definitely achievable and worth it. Being unbothered never felt so good….

Moody Mondays, Beginning September 13th!

Happy Labor Day all! I hope you took this long weekend for self-care. I wanted to keep this post short and just make a special announcement. I have decided to dedicate Mondays, for the next few weeks, to moods! That’s right, whatever I feel like writing, whether it’s poetry, think pieces, short stories. My mind will run wild and free ( like it already has been) and write what my mood dictates. Ready to change Mondays into an unpredictable ball of moody fun? I am and I hope you are ready for what my moods have to offer ( mwahahaha). Fall, my favorite season, is just a couple of weeks away and I felt it necessary to change, upgrade and redecorate my space and make it more roomy and comfy for all. I am even going to reveal some new projects soon! Moody Mondays will begin next Monday, September 13th. Let’s get moody together!