There is Always Hope

There is Always Hope

Not many of you know this about me, but I live with a two-year-old. No, he is not my child. But that is completely beside the point or the moral of the story. I envy the way this child wakes up every morning with a smile on his face, ready to go the day’s excursions which often involves food and watching dinosaur movies. He plays all day with his trucks, runs freely chasing his brother, and laughs carelessly at the world around him. He has no worries because he doesn’t even worry about his diaper and most importantly he is surrounded and consumed with love every day. When I look at him, I smile and think to myself, I used to be something like this child back then. My least favorite time of the day was when my mother used to do my hair, but I laughed carelessly, played with my puzzles and as I got a little older I used to live in the magical world of Harry Potter. No worries.

banksy-art-london-3

Then the real world happened and I felt like the perfect image to describe this is Banksy’s piece. (I provided the image above so you can gather your own feeling/emotions/perceptions before reading further) Behind the little girl are the words, ‘There is Always Hope”. But as you look to the left of the picture, you notice a little girl reaching out to a red balloon that is just out of her reach. The balloon appears to represent peace, happiness, innocence, and dreams and yet this is all not reachable by the little girl. Now, the balloon is red. Red is the color of energy, passion, and action. According to color psychology, red is a positive color associated with our most physical needs and our will to survive. However, red can also be the color representing aggression and violence. Now with that being said, let’s say the little girl is a representation of yourself. The biggest question seems to be when you personify yourself as the little girl, did you release the balloon or are you trying to retrieve it what you seek that’s beyond your immediate reach?

I embarked on my road of self-discovery and self-love a little over two years ago. I realized that growing up I had given and dedicated myself to endeavors that took that away from me, and as time passed I lost sight of the most important person in the process, myself. When I look at this piece, and when I personify myself as the girl, personally, I am always looking to retrieve the balloon because it is a representation of what’s left in my journey. The words on the wall are that constant reminder that the journey isn’t always what you envision it to be, there will always be setbacks, and life isn’t always going to go in a straight line and go according to plan. But… “there is always hope” found in ways that aren’t always clear. Speaking from personal experience, there are times when the darkness will try to linger and reappear but the piece shows the girl surrounded by whitespace. Although I still have to learn this myself, things are only as negative or as positive as we perceive them. When things are indeed full of light and happiness, embrace them rather than inviting the darkness in. When things get dark, like the picture, remember that there is always hope. 

Beneath the Surface.

Beneath the Surface.

The older you get, the more you realize that it isn’t about the material things, it’s about the moments you can’t explain, the memories you will never forget, and our hearts and who they beat for… It’s about the moments that spring up on you and that summer you will never forget. About the heartfelt glances promising new beginnings and a journey yet to unfold.

“I wish to live a life that causes my soul to dance inside my body.” – Dele Olanubi

Ever close your eyes and picture a calm. A place where despite the imperfections of life, your soul is at peace and you are completely and inexplicably happy. My calm, the ocean, the beach rather. With my hands in the sand and the water splashing at my feet, I feel complete. I picture myself sitting right by the shore, curly hair moving gracefully with the wind, perfectly imperfect. I see myself looking past the shore into the blue abyss, wondering what hides deep beneath the ocean. And right there… there is the calm. When everything turns a deeper blue and you get lost observing the beauty. Entertaining the thoughts of what could be, the hopes and dreams that are far beneath your reach. Then losing all recollection of time or space, you are rather wondering what happens inside this blue abyss. Way past the beauty you recognize as the surface.

Then something different happened. As I found my calm above the surface, he found his calm deep within. Where the magic I only dreamed of above the surface, became a reality full of life and depths to discover. What was so different back then?

It’s good to live safely but there is nothing wrong with looking for more. Feeling that you deserve more. Opening new doors and exploring. There is nothing wrong with welcoming what you only thought was a dream lying above the surface. Find your dream, and hold onto it.

Be Fearless.

Be Fearless.

Yesterday marks one of the hardest and most strenuous days of my life. I learned to love and lose my soulmate. I learned the challenges that adulthood brings. I also learned that like all the wonderful stories, tales come to an end, we cry it out and then we grab another one.

As I walked through the gate of this new abyss that I will call home, the rain came pouring down, I was uncomfortable, and I was walking down this road alone. Those around me were all engaged in conversation, and walking together under umbrellas. I was one with my headphones and Drake. I thought to myself, I have struggled sufficiently to get to this moment and although I am walking down this path alone, this is now the second time I walk the road less traveled by most, and it felt completely comfortable for the first time in my life.

“be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”

Finding myself has deemed a rather difficult task. But it has been a beautiful journey. I look back to who I used to be, and I think to myself just how far I have come. Granted, there is still a lot of work still left to be done, but for the first time last night I felt what it truly meant to be empowered. To have a world of opportunity at my reach, to have the unknown lurking and seemingly peering at me again from a near distant shadow, and the opportunity to undergo another metamorphic transformation.

I was told I was three qualities before this journey even begins. It was one of the things that resonated with me the most last night. I am smart (because I have chosen one of the best), I am good (because I have chosen the path of service) and I am courageous (because I am walking a road less traveled). Around this time last year, I walked a road less traveled alongside those I loved, and in the presence of those who have had the opportunity to see me grow. From there I strategically planted a garden, and yesterday I watered the seeds I planted a year ago.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” -Robert Frost

Cheers to new beginnings, and special congratulations to the Queens College Class of 2017 and my soon to be High School Graduates here at HSHM.

What keeps them.

What keeps them.

“In the perfect field someone has left everything including themselves. You. You should stay here.”
Walk with me to my favorite place… only we aren’t exactly walking and I am picturing a road trip, where the panoramic view of the landscapes and the sky are so beautiful. With my feet up on the dashboard and my curls flying freely with the wind, there was something on my face that wasn’t there before. So much time is spent pondering what could be and what wasn’t ideal, false hopes and faded memories. Little time is spent on actually enjoying the road up ahead and the consumption of happiness in that particular moment. During this road trip, we are driving up this curvy road with large houses, the ones with the little mailbox that is on the road, and the long driveways just to reach the actual house. But there is life there, its perfect, even serene. Then there was us, facing what we weren’t and what we were.
“People are mostly what they can’t keep and keeps them.”
Although at the core there is an animal lodged in each of us, our emotions are what makes us the people we are. How much you are willing to do? What are you leaving on the table when all is said and done? No regrets, and yet I look into your eyes and see so much left to say. Looking back, all the words left unspoken would have made more the difference, but it’s the words I never said that keep me.
“In the steam, on the mirror: you wrote so so so . . . so if you’re looking for answers you’re looking . . .”
You’re looking to dig beneath the surface. You are looking to stand on unstable ground and enter at your own risk. You are looking to conquer demons which never been woken or revisited but shoved underneath the carpet with hopes of one day being forgotten. You’re looking for me, and you are looking for answers. I was such a flawed individual back then, and remain not so perfectly put together now.
“Why does the sea hold what it loves most below?”
Like the road, like the house, there is a journey to reach a destination. As you are keeping me close, part of us are falling behind. Behind closed doors, behind all the words being said, you’re losing your voice and I am simply losing my mind. But that’s on the surface, because there are times that the smile on my face is not what I feel. But deep down, and below the sea, is life.

Hope & The Handsome Boy.

Hope & The Handsome Boy.

In my efforts to turn negatives into positives I am here. Something just really got under my skin, and once I am upset I lock myself in my office and cry under my chair. Seems to be the heartfelt solution, because as I attempt to play the role of responsible adult I seek comfort in my inner child. But a handsome boy once told me that I needed to stop doing that and start thinking happy thoughts. I ran upstairs and sat by my desk and began to gather some of my happiest thoughts and funny they all had this handsome boy. Funny, how things work and what I consider happy thoughts. Some picture a vacation or accomplishments and I am thinking about love.

– Ode to a Handsome Boy –

I’ve always wanted someone to hold me,

To look me in the eyes and see the world in me,

To leap into the future, just you and me,

Through the good times and bad, see the best in me,

To calm the aggression with love and caresses,

To see the most beautiful girl in the world as she undresses,

To continue feeding the ambitions and dreams she possesses,

To be her right hand, and the love she address.

It seems like through it all she wants you,

Although your baggage and unromantic ways make her feel blue,

But there’s nothing in the world for you she wouldn’t do,

You’re the man of her dreams, and yes she thought this through.

Don’t judge me, I have moments where I burst into poetry. Poetry is just so beautiful and so open to interpretation. Hence, my favorite poem hangs on my personal board right behind my desk. I seek comfort in words, and safety in actions. I have always been that way. I am always asking questions, or find myself repeating questions just to feel a splash of comfort and a form of affection brings it all together.

“In the perfect field someone has left everything

including themselves. You. You should stay here.

It’s a brutal and beautiful autumn.

With his hands in the sand, on the earth, under time

he touched something else.

People are mostly what they can’t keep and keeps them.”

Remember to leave it all there so that you live a life with no regrets. You can’t expect to receive all and give nothing. Even our ugliest emotions relinquish some truth and give you a new meaning. Beauty is subjective and personal and different based of the individual. There is also beauty in the things that come horribly presented. What is left to fight for, if not your hopes and dreams. Love, is that the something else. It’s been buried for so long and so intimately concealed – then you step away from the surface… we were different people back then. There are minutes of peace and then there is a calm. What keeps you? Is it hope? Is it love? Or even ambition?

I think back to that marble mansion where I once cried in a time where all hope was lost. In spite of so much beauty I was exerting a feeling of heavy contrast. I sat there a little girl, and today I seek the same location with a heart full of hope. I was a different person then. It serves as that minute of peace that keeps me as I keep revisiting the place where I once marked with tears. Soon it’ll have a different meaning.

When?

When?

When do we give up? Seriously when? Is it when you walk in Union Square and realized that you finally knew exactly how you felt? Or is it when you drove miles into what was supposed to be the perfect initiation to a new beginning. Was it when love was replaced by hate? Or when you the look in his eyes just wasn’t the same.

When do you walk away? Is it when the affection you knew was replaced with pain. When no matter what you say, nothing seems to change. When do you walk away? Is it when you no matter how much your mind is telling you to go, you choose to fight? Or is it after you stood the night? When do you walk away?

This seems to be the common dilemma; the experience everyone has been through. But why must this be what we understand as love? Things worth having don’t come easy and you fight for what you want. But when does the fighting stop? When can love just conquer all, that is what the quote says.

I get the pain makes it real, and the struggle and fight to get up and foster hope is the reminder that we are very much alive. But when do we give up? When do we give up?

The Tree. Our Tree.

The Tree. Our Tree.

Yesterday was far away

How your beautiful eyes gazed at me

The pendulum struck now, and I was consumed

In your eyes I saw the picket fence of my dream home,

The autumn leaves rustling far away,

The picturesque narrow road, becoming more slender in the distance,

Tangled coils leading to a particular destination,

A sea monster constricting what rightfully belonged to it.

You didn’t know that then.

As the lights dim on paradise,

The road became the path less travelled

But I discovered my most precious work of art

Those were the words left unspoken. At that very moment…

I must have been a lonely person to think those things then

How can one be in paradise but long this way, paradise isn’t everything.

Not then, not now.

 

It was destined. It was mine. It was yours. Why?

Why do things that flawlessly come together tragically fall apart?

The silent whispers

The empty stares

Those are the words left unspoken. They marked me.

There’s a compass lodged deep inside us,

Our decisions being the most influential of navigators,

But why do we feel this way?

There was that touch that changed me forever,

That awkward evening when it all came together

You grasped me for desire and I engulfed in you hope

There is a world out there for the taking… and I chose you

 

We have been delivered into this life

To Whom It May Concern: but there is something that matters even more

The wooden home was falling apart

And we disappeared into the darkness

I seek you for comfort and you watch me grow

The branch seemed to break, but the tree remains there still.

The tree. Our tree.