Both/And

33. That’s how many days I’ve lived in Brooklyn, give or take. It’s not quite home yet, but that’s not for the lack of trying from my friends who made 2G feel like the closest thing to home, coming over to spend time. And by spending time I mean coming over to remind me to cook, drink water and organize my life, one moving box at a time. Or showing love by asking what I need and not what I want or projecting what they think I want.

Brooklyn not quite feeling like home is not for lack of trying on my neighbors, the 5 other families in our building that on any given occasion will help me carry huge boxes up the two steep flights to my door or break things down and bring them to the curb. I need those reminder because what’s been hard for me to navigate lately is naming what I need support in and trusting in community to have my back.

In this space of reciprocity, I’ve been fortunate to have relatively unlimited access to time by myself. To be able to only work on myself and important projects within straining my spirit either way. That balance has given me a sense of personal autonomy that I’ve never quite been able to reach. You know that #goal of yourself and how you interact with others? I’m not saying I’m completely there but damn it feels really close to it. This took a lot of time, even more dancing and playing, and vulnerability. Because “not working” is cool until you get hit with a wave of anxiety about where your next stream of steady income will be. “Not working” is cool until you’re nearly gaslit for changing your mind about an opportunity. “Not working” is cool until you feel doubt creep in about the inner work you’ve done suddenly not being valued.

I name these fears knowing full well how priceless it is to be able to literally afford the space to navigate those, and many other contradictions that I possess as a whole being.

Treading these kinds of waters can make me feel immobilized sometimes. It took said time of “not working” to do the labor for myself, by myself, to share this fear with my people. When these kinds slip happen, I also will pull out a practice that the healers in my life have shown me, try to find the lesson, and move through it just in case I can’t be held down by someone else. It’s been documented that my practice of choice is movement, but it’s gone to new levels. Maybe it’s the air out here in Brooklyn.

I offer these thoughts to name that we have to be the ones to give ourselves the space and time to design the lives we want to lead. To know what tools we have at our disposal and intentionally use them. Now some folks need to be in community and active dialogue with others in order to get to this place of understanding. Some folks can isolate enough to do that lift for themselves. Both of these methods and anything I haven’t explicitly named are deeply needed and valid.

Spelling, speaking and uttering self reflections will hopefully allow a person in your life to do the same. This Aquarius Full Moon - as an Aquarius Moon - I am naming that I almost forgot the meaning of my name. The challenge and blessing that is knowing the weight that it carries and that, yeah, #TrueImage2017 is cute but if I’m not consistent about it the deeper message will not persist. Mirror says don’t start anything that you can’t finish but know your boundaries and your goals. Introspection says know yourself but never stop exploring all that you are and could be. Curiosity killed the cat but sophistication brought it back apparently and I’m just trying to stay grounded in this cypher. Honoring these contradictions in ourselves and the ways in which we walk let’s us understand how we walk in the company of others.

My walk has turned up a few things. Somewhere between selfishness and selflessness, I have to name that I am not for the faint of heart. I am not for folks with heartbeats so foreign to themselves that they don’t know how to march to the beat of their first drum. I am for steady rhythms and deep breaths. I am not for folks who have not found their own breath and literally link up to another’s in the name of being in tune. I am the give and take, the push and pull, the pouring and drinking out of a cup. Hell fire and holy water. I am both and.

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“We can’t control how others take in our message. We can’t control what others make out of our memos. We can’t control the impact that our movements in the world will have.” - Chani Nicholas


“Spent most your life pretending not to be
The one you are but who you choose to see
Learned to survive in your fictitious world
Does what they think of you determine your worth?
If special's what you feel when you're with them
Taken away you feel 'less than' again” - Janet Jackson, You (The Velvet Rope)

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