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Reblog: Mind your own womb

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From one womb to another …

Nadirah Angail

pregnant bellySomewhere there is a woman: 30, no children. People ask her, “Still no kids?” Her response varies from day to day, but it usually includes forced smiles and restraint.

“Nope, not yet,” she says with a chuckle, muffling her frustration.

“Well, don’t wait forever. That clock is ticking, ya know,” the sage says before departing, happy with herself for imparting such erudite wisdom. The sage leaves. The woman holds her smile. Alone, she cries…

Cries because she’s been pregnant 4 times and miscarried every one. Cries because she started trying for a baby on her wedding night, and that was 5 years ago. Cries because her husband has an ex-wife and she has given him children. Cries because she wants desperately to try in vitro but can’t even afford the deposit. Cries because she’s done in vitro (multiple rounds) and still has no children. Cries because her best friend wouldn’t…

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If I Could Tell Everyone These Two Things …

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Super Soul Sunday

I LOVE Super Soul Sunday and watch it as often as I can. As I was binge watching this past Sunday, I couldn’t help but write two quotes. I’d like to share them with you and I hope they are as affirming to you as they have been and I imagine will continue to be for me.

I believe God gives us 3 answers: yes; yes, but not right now; or no, because I have something better for you.
Kerri Washington

Live your life as if it is RIGGED in your favor.
– Arriana Huffington

#90Days2Wellness

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Balance

Tomorrow marks exactly two weeks since I sat down with one of my classmates for lunch. As we discussed wrapping up the end of the semester, completing finals and looking forward to our summers, we also talked about our health. One of the things he said to me was that his New Year’s resolution has been to put his physical health first; no matter what homework was due he would prioritize getting in a workout. For two weeks I have thought about this statement. More so than not, I have thought about my approach being just the opposite: for two years no matter what I finished my homework and prepared for class first and often in excess; my physical health has often come last.

Fortunately I had already thought through much of this prior to our lunch outing. I’d already thought about how my weight had slowly creeped back up over the last two years and how clothes that I bought last fall no longer fit the same. I’d already thought about making this summer one committed to me first without all the crazy commitments of extra internships, teaching, summer school, dog sitting and whatever else flooded my plate last summer. I’d already thought that here and now, I needed to do something different. So I did.

May 1st marked the beginning of what I am not calling #90days2wellness – 3 months of privileging my health in such a way that I refocus and recommit to healthy habits that I can sustain once school resumes in the fall. For the first time in a long time, I prepped my meals for the week, including all snacks. I wrote down my workout schedule. I got on the scale to assess my baseline weight:-O. For the first time in a long time, I put my physical health first.

This has not come without juggling other responsibilities. I am still teaching a Maymester course this summer. I still have an internship that requires volunteer hours. I am still working a part time contract position. I am still taking an online class in the latter part of the summer. AND I am still nudging at my dissertation. But the difference is that my health is now first! Most of my days during these last 2 weeks have consisted of beginning the morning with writing a little towards my dissertation (my other leading priority) followed by a morning workout. Just two weeks in and I am already feeling better.

To my friends who have said, “…but you are working on your doctorate” I say yes, I am and yes these last two years have been insane, but my doctorate or anything I want to do with it are no good without my health. I read this blog post on today and affirmed that while I have no plans of quitting before finishing I do not intend to finish at the expense of my physical health and mental sanity. #90days2wellness

Change Is In the Air: Prince, Lemonade and the End of Coursework

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Beyonce and Prince

A lot has happened over the last two weeks. As many across the world mourned Prince, I sat closely watching with awe at how many lives he has touched through his art, philanthropy and mentorship. He was such a complex man, a talented musician and a ground-breaker in ways that many never imagined or had the courage to face. Prince redefined manhood and artistry – doing this in such a way that I never even questioned who he was, why he wore eyeliner or heels or even bothered to wonder about his sexuality. He was just Prince – doing his own thing and many of us accepted him as so.

Just a few days after Prince’s death, Beyonce released Lemonade. I didn’t watch the visual album on the night of its release, but didn’t wait too long afterwards to indulge in craze. As a non-Beyhive member :-), I watched simply to see what all the talk was about. I found it hard to pull away from the first viewing and convinced that I’d missed something monumental, I watched Lemonade again on the same night.

There is nothing new that I can add to the seemingly endless praises, critiques, analyses, dissections, accolades, and affirmations. What I will share is that Prince’s death and Beyonce’s release of Lemonade came at a time when I was closing one chapter and opening another. For those of you who have been following me for the last four years during my academic journey, you’ve read about my many revelations and realizations; challenges related to attempts to find balance in my life, practice self-care, excel academically, sort out personal and professional relationships, recreate my voice, honor who I am … it has been a long FOUR years! But on Friday, I celebrated a HUGE milestone. This semester marks the end of my time taking coursework fulltime (four to five classes); it marks the end of evening classes and late night commutes; it marks the end of the academy controlling 70%-80% of my schedule with required courses, homework, and papers. Yes, I still have one more elective and my dissertation but no other semester will ever be like those I have experienced over the last four years.

I am in no way comparing Beyonce to Prince, but what I am doing is gauging the inspiration I gained from both these events. Prince’s legacy lives on in my life as a reminder to JUST BE ME. There are no boxes, no limits, not constraints on who I am and exactly how I perform in my me-ness. Both artists remind me that my platform – writing and teaching – is not for my own success or celebration, but as a gift to the world: to shape, recreate, define, alter, and inform those who I reach.

I approach this summer like many of previous years with grand plans, long reading lists, a quasi-schedule and high hopes of being renewed along the way. But this summer is also a little different. I am starting a 21 day vegan challenge on tomorrow, attending a 10-day silent retreat in July and aggressively attempting to regain control over my physical health. In their very own ways, both Prince and Beyonce gifted me over these last two weeks: they gave me an extra bout of courage to move forward, press on, and be me authentically … without apology. They also reminded me – yet again – that I can’t give or serve without first caring for me. Let’s see what the summer brings … stay tuned ;-).

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