TIRED of Being Broke: No Money, Mo Problems!

Image courtesy of skiptothis.com

[sings Al Green-ly at top of lungs]

“I’m so tired of being broke,

I can’t pay this on my own,

Won’t you help me Mom,

Just as soon as you can!?”

I’m sitting on another curb tearfully waiting for a tow truck; the second one this week.

Lyfting across Miami costs me about a month’s worth of gas, and my lil red hooptie Harriet is no closer to being fixed.

I try to hide my face from the residents of the overpass under which I overheated. We are now essentially in the same water-free boat.

Update: Bought a new car in August. Still broke though 🤦🏾‍♀️ Car buying is an emotional 🎢

I get it. I’m a quasi-recent grad. I’m young. I “should” be broke. It’s expected. I devoted my first few years after graduation to service, and the non profit sector is so named for a reason. Got it.

Big booty BUT though … now I’m settled in another full time, fully benefited, office based, salaried job with all the assurances and insurances that I previously coveted, and I’m still broke. Still proportionately the same amount of broke.

Brick. Brack. Broke. 💆🏾‍♀️😒🙃

I don’t have to bread you in the many work, income, and finance woes that face the average millennial. You know then well.

1. We’re living at home longer which means we buy homes later.

2. We are SADDLED with unprecedented educational debt.

3. We inherited an awesome economy.

4. Will invariably end up working deep into our golden years.

Ultimately it all just feels like…

A memoir.

Chapter 1.

Where’s my mom now with her threats to take me out of this world she so lustfully brought me into!?

I’m tired, boss.

Plus insurance still costs you money and I don’t understand why I’m paying twice to not be sick!

Every-flipping-thing! Bills, insurance, loans, water, the waves that travel through Al Gore’s Internet, breathing, eating animals, not eating animals, education, avocados, air, everything.

Do these headliner tidbits sound familiar?

1. “You should have three months of bills (not just rent) saved up!”

3. How many emergencies can you fund?

Cake cannot be both eaten and possessed simultaneously. The same quantity of money cannot be both saved and spent. It’s not a question of how much I spend, or how aggressively I budget.

I don’t make enough. Thats it.

The rent at my new apartment is $75 less expensive. Our utilities are lower. I eat out less often than ever. And just as I might see addendums to my pockets, I have had 3 emergencies since August. There goes my profit margin.

Credit card balance hovers like a David Blane stunt: inscrutable and racially ambiguous.

{enters stage left} … the side hustle. Which thus far feels more like an internship.

But…

How are y’all escaping the clutches of poverty? Glucose guardians?

Email me!

I’m Addicted to Instagram!

*City Girls voice:* “Period!”

[In walks Rod Serling]

If you’re up at 3am wandering down the rabbit hole into the weird part of YouTube, you may find yourself watching a “documentary”. This documentary will at some point, if conspiratorial enough, suggest that the world you know is a simulation or otherwise unreal. It’ll point to some dystopian future where every corner is lit up with Times Square-esque billboards and advertisements are beamed directly onto your retina. 🛸 👽

Well, we’re not so far off. 🤷🏾‍♀️

Times Square is in our phones. Always beeping, always on, always accessible. I know, Despite how I sound, I own zero cats. 🐈 🐱

My Matrix is Instagram. It has me firmly by the spinal cord pumping #FOMO and #fitspo directly into my brain. It simultaneously connects and isolates me. It binds us with tangible proof of our shared experiences while celebrating our differences in culture and cause; all the while making us clones. 📠

I know these things. Deep in my big thinky brain I know this, and I still let it get me. 📱👉🏾🧠 I’m worse off than my preteen sister! I grew up with a landline and PBS. Bob Ross was my therapy! How did this happen to me!?

How I know I’m an addict…

1. I’m willfully on the app all the time. I use it to fill my downtime.

2. My thumb can find and open the app subconsciously. Sometimes first thing in the morning; unfortunately setting the tone for a frazzled and preoccupied day.

⏰ 📱🏃🏾‍♀️💨 instead of 🧘🏾‍♀️🙏🏾📿 ✌🏾

3. The number of accounts I follow is disproportionate to the number that follow me. Not that I track it for influence or money, but it shows me that I primarily consume media despite my talent and desire to create it.

4. I label everything #goals. What then must I think of my life if I aspire so hard to take pages from other people’s books? Instagram is a perpetual motion machine cranking out envy and comparison.

5. I am noticeably preoccupied. You know you have a problem when you are constantly stashing your phone. I’m afraid it’s affecting my productivity and ability to have quiet moments with others. Simple intimacy. 🙅🏾‍♀️

They say acceptance and admission come first.

In the spirit of coming clean, I’ll make a few more admissions. I’m also addicted to sugar, I binge watch, and I’m terminally tardy. Please send help. 🚨🚑

What I’m doing to get clean…

1. 9-5 fast. During the working day I delete Instagram. The temptation gets real around lunch time, but it feels good to be productive. I’ve also been purging. I unfollow the accounts I can’t see benefiting me. Ones that me feel like I’m not enough.

2. Screen Time Limit. This new iPhone function tells you exactly how much time you spend BS-ing, and you can set a limit for app accessibility.

⚠️ Warning! ⚠️ It will cut you off mid-post, mid-comment, mid-like. It’s abrupt and effective, but not without temptation. You can delay and essentially press snooze on the limit for an additional 15 minutes, or for the rest of the day. AVOID SNOOZE!

3. “Productivity Blocks”. Set periods of time devoted to getting 🤬 done! At the end I can reward myself with a teeny bump of that good sweet social media. *snorts*

I’m slowly working on it. Choosing to redirect my energies. Sometimes I need reminding. Sometimes I slip. But more than anything I want to be creating moments worth documenting. But I won’t let chasing the perfect lighting take priority. I’ll actually reach out to people. I’ll work at my goals.

However, I will never stop taking pictures of delicious food. Never.

But y’all accept me.

Free yourselves. Find your hang ups, name them, and stare them down.

Update 11/8/18: Here’s an additional resource in the form of a podcast “Therapy for Black Girls” … or any colored persons…

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/therapy-for-black-girls/id1223803641?mt=2&i=1000417841627

Until later,

Comic-con vs Carnival

Sometimes we have a hard time putting ourselves in the fancifully-decorated boots of others. That’ll make sense later.

We side-eye the traditions of other cultures and forget that essentially, we are all the same. We don our respective apparel, and forget that somewhere else, someone is preparing for a yearly shindig of their own. Mine is carnival. Caribbean carnival, and particularly the one that takes place here in sunny South Florida. My friends and I partake, and only now am I starting to see that niche events like these can be vastly different, yet surprisingly similar to the ones we know.

Whether its a comic-con, a music festival, or yearly cultural parade, the world’s cultures offer us a deep and wide variety of events that strike up the same euphoria, and take you away from your everyday mundane.

Tell me if the following sounds familiar:

  1. You wait for this event all year.
  2. Your circle of friends scrimp and save; eagerly squirrelling away your vacation days.
  3. You pledge, fail, and pledge again to build a body worthy of display.
  4. After much debate and deliberation you choose the perfect costume and accessories.
  5. Your plane lands, and after hours of revelry punctuated by minutes of sleep in your respective hotel rooms, the big day finally arrives.
  6. Thousands converge on Miami to hit the stage in celebration of a rich and long-standing culture

I’m talking about the one C-word that brings masqueraders from around the world. Comic-con! July 1 marked the beginning of a four-day convention taking place on South Beach.

See, that could have been spun either way! I think I want to give cosplay a try as well. It’s not just for Caribbeans, or for nerds. They can be experienced by anyone who wants to be taken away for a weekend. Whether its vibes or merch you want. If soca or anime gives you powers, give the other a try!

Allow me to provide you a bridge the divide for you. Caribs, here is a wonderful Trinidadian cosplayer that has been taking the scene by STORM!

621658_347551175331544_727787278_o
Panterona Cosplay

She makes her own costumes, and is shattering stereotypes left and right. Check her out!

And cosplayers, you can celebrate our rich combined heritages with us, while showing off your Marvel side with  Jamborii Mas Band that is featuring a superhero theme this year!


Whatever you do, try to see the oneness you share with everyone else because before you know it, the tabanca sets in and it’s time to start all over again!

Roze Goes…. to a happy place! I love carnival!

26 days till Miami Carnival 2018!

Happy Lociversary! 💇🏾‍♀️🔒🎂

You’re one year old, Ru. Happy Birthday!🎂🎁🎉🎈 🍾 🥂

{whispers} Ru, short for Unruly, is the name of the mane formerly known as Afrobella.

From Bella To Ru. 🗣 to @trini4true on IG!

How does it feel?! Stretching long and strong from crown to soul. From polished and impermanent, to rough and ready. Still a few lumps and bumps, but better for the wear(er). A masterpiece mastering peace.

Day 1! The journey begins!

It would be easy to say the my loc journey has been a mission of internal growth made manifest externally. It would be. It isn’t.

I have dermatitis… so there’s that. 🙄😒🤦🏾‍♀️

It would be easy to say that through the baby wick, swelling, and generally FUGLY stages it was easy to envision them; fully realized and long AF. It would be. It isn’t.

On one hand, curls last forever! … 🤷🏾‍♀️🙄 I have to wash them out!

It would be easy to say that I feel more beautiful now than ever before, and my overall self esteem has been greatly enhanced. It would be. It isn’t. It hasn’t been easy. To navigate this shape-shifting adult body, redevelop my reemerging sense of style, and address a perceived increased in pressure to assume the accoutrements of ✌🏾professionalism✌🏾

Sometimes I protest retwists✊🏾

Before

After

Today

In a little more than a year I’ve grown an appreciation for the quirky, inside-out sort of beauty that I am. I spend less time getting ready… on my hair.

I feel a sort of badass empowerment knowing that bigotry, so mobilized by tax payer dollars, and cushioned comfortably in the bosom of bureaucracy, has seen fit to force itself into our salons and places of business. That my hair, our hair, has once again come under laser-focused scrutiny in the form of a Supreme Court ruling. 👻🚨🗂🏦🗳📰

I’m a cocktail of a sort.

🍸A generous helping of pride and natural beauty

🍸A spritz of oils and aloe gel

🍸 A heavy-handed pour internalized white supremacy

🍸 A sprig of IDGAF for garnish

You’re one year wiser, thicker, longer, and stronger. Here’s to you! 🥂🍾

I’m thinking about turning this into a series. What would you like to see first?

💁🏾‍♀️Locs vs Dreds

💁🏾‍♀️Living with Locs & Dermatitis

💁🏾‍♀️How I Manage My Locs Solo

💁🏾‍♀️Freeforn vs “Fashion Dreds”

Reply in the comments.

Love you, Ru!

4 Lessons Adulting Has Taught Me!

Adulting. Adulteration. Grownup-ism. Maturiosity.

On this quest to adequately love myself, I have realized quite a few truths. Peculiar truths regarding the accouterments of adulthood.

  1. Sometimes, adulthood is just making bad decisions (or ones that just feel bad) and sticking with them. Whether it’s seeing out a terrible job, paying all your bills early and leaving yourself nothing to live on, or eating lackluster Pinterest salads for the rest of the week. Sometimes you just have to suck it up to achieve your goal: making money, becoming debt-free, or leading a healthier lifestyle.
  2. Traffic is the manifestation of Satan. It may be difficult to see examples of God in our lives, but we can all agree that traffic, particularly the traffic on the way to work, is the hand of Lucifer in action.f7e128c37eb39f7e6bd918c2fa16eebf
  3. College throws you together with like-minded and like-scheduled youngsters. It also tears those bonds asunder when cap and gown are in hand. Now, out here in the “real world”, it requires effort [gags]. In light of this I have gone places, talked to strangers, and been added to TWO never-not-notifying group chats full of lively young persons. It is… fun?
  4. You will never just be “good”. You can never coast. You’re never comfortable. I will always want more or be just a little dissatisfied. There’s always more schooling to be had, and someone younger or seemingly more qualified. But you will always have the upper hand, so long as you are you. Free yourself of the need to keep up with the imaginary Jones’ {plot twist: they’re having an affair} or sustain appearances, just work hard and do your best. (Like Grandma taught me)

And finally…

Peep the link to my Pinterest board about Adulting,  hope you find it helpful! Also, this Buzzfeed post is my life!

Roze Goes

All the Single (White) Ladies! 💁🏼‍♀️💁🏻‍♀️💁‍♀️

I’m not easily persuaded. My fingers are almost completely OFF the pulse of the zeitgeist. I have little-to-no idea what the young people like, or “what’s hot in these streets”. Thusly, I don’t often buy into hype. I just finished watching Season 2, Ep. 3 of Game of Thrones!

How to Be Single

The trailer didn’t sell me initially. The same ole trope: a young white woman longing to find herself embarks on an “I don’t need a man” journey of self-discovery in the big city.   What I expected was a New Girl/Sex In the City mash-up. I was pleasantly disappointed. Although virtually devoid of POC (except where they were offered up like optional side sauces in miniature tasting bowls; separate, other, and in quantities too little to appreciate), this white-chick flick hit pretty close to home.

A young woman, comfortable yet discontent in a relationship sets out to find out who she is. I am everyday working on the same. Some of the truths she stumbles up on are actually applicable.

  1. You only get a few moments of real self-knowledge when you’re not tied up in the accouterments of relationships.
  2. Young women, under the immense pressure and seemingly ultimate goal of relationship bliss and marriage, fall easily, and almost imperceptibly, into men’s “d!&k sand”; losing ourselves in the process.
  3. Openness and ownership of your body and the decisions you choose to make with it. Everything you do, makes you everything you are, and shame/guilt are nothing you should ever be or consider yourself.
  4. Finally, I UGLY LAUGHED all throughout this movie. I felt it deep in me. The little moments of insecurity that sometimes remind you of how hard you work not to feel empty. The value of friends. I was reminded of just how much self-acceptance is a  rocky, rewarding, and never-ending journey. Gotta work at being the you you want!

Lady Dynamite

I love alternative humor and lately the universe has been sending a bunch of really powerful non-traditional roles played by actresses that’s aren’t quite so mainstream. They’re older, and not what others may consider classically beautiful. More importantly, they play characters that push social commentary, have internal struggles, and are genuinely working to be better people. They have more than just man troubles, and aren’t encumbered with need to be bashful, comedically awkward, or cutely quirky. (I’m talking about you Zoe Deschanel!)

Spy


Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 


Here’s what bums me out. That they’re aren’t more women of color in roles like this. Perhaps we’re too busy unpacking colonialism, defending the idea that Black Lives do in fact Matter, or bathing our children with bottled water. Maybe we’re not journeying to discover ourselves because our roles were written for us hundreds of years before were were born. Maybe they’re waiting for me to write their voices.

Roze Goes
… To a dark (skinned) place

Boss Bae: Rickeya Pryor

Rickeya sits across from me patiently waiting for me to scribble down her previous statement. I am woefully unprepared, but she graciously powers through. Meanwhile I kick myself for leaving my phone at home and scheduling an interview directly after the gym. Tragic. 🤦🏾‍♀️😒

RT: How long have you been decorating venues and helping people to create meaningful events? Do you have help?

RP: Two years now. My mom, sister, niece and nephew help. My mom is great with customer service, and my sister is an accountant. She sets the financial boundaries and makes sure I get paid.

RG: How did you know this was what you wanted to do?

RG: I’ve always had a creative bug.

RG: What are your goals with Celebrated Simply?

RP: Well my goal is to be the first black woman to own and operate a theme park. But for now, I want to start hosting very exclusive themed parties.

RG: What thing did you struggle with as CS started?

RP: Marketing. Getting enough of a following with people to support me.

RG: What do you want a CS client to feel or experience?

RP: I want them to feel like I exceeded their expectations. I want the space to look like we stepped into a themed world with food, smells, and colors.

RG: What’s one piece of advice for an aspiring event planner?

RP: Don’t alter the customer’s vision, but stand your ground. Believe in your abilities. Overachieve.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

I see a team of creative individuals. I will be booked years in advance! [Celebrated Simply] will be a well-known brand. I want my events to be more of an experience than decor.

I want customized party-wear in Party City or my own boutique. I want to be hosting well-known annual events; haunted houses, proms, and weddings.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?

I listen to life advice from mentors. “Don’t try to be something or someone [you’re] not. Let [your personality] carry [you] to where [you] want to achieve!

What’s the worst advice you’ve gotten?

“Go to art school!” I started College in art school, now I’m in debt!

[General discussion about the benefits of community college and how slept-on it is]

Start at a community college, then figure it out. Miami Dade College really prepares you for whatever school you want!

If you could teach a class at any level, what would it be and why?

I would teach middle to high school children a creative business class. The class would teach them how to take their passions and turn them into a business; developing and marketing a business and having fun!

[commiserating about working towards someone else’s dream]

Where can people find you, or how can they contact you?

Instagram. Search for Celebrated Simply. Look out for a couple of events!

Be sure to check her out on Instagram, and if you’re in the South Florida area, hit her up to personalize your next event or get-together. Mention my name for a 0% discount. She’ll giggle.

Lessons in Adulting: Imposter Syndrome

When you’re a baby, no one shames you for not speaking English. Or any language besides cooing and burbling. {Actually no one should shame anyone for not speaking English, but that’s neither here not there! Heck you, xenophobes!🤚🏾🚫} So why is it that once you you pass through the invisible doorway to presumed adulthood, are we suddenly expected to know everything!?

It’s like I’m reviewing a book in a genre I’ve never read. Like I’m writing an instruction manual for a device I’ve never used, seen, built or even heard of. I’m a first-time adult.🤷🏾‍♀️🙃

[Rod Serling, writer and host of Twilight Zone voice] Enter into evidence the phenomenon know as ✌🏾imposter syndrome✌🏾

According the great and reputable peer-reviewed source know as Wikipedia, imposter syndrome is defined as:

Not to be confused with Capgras delusion which seems far more prohibitive and problematic.

I’ve been battling with I.S. in waves for the last 8ish years. Here’s my theory!

Roze’s I.S. theory:

1. Well meaning parents haphazardly program their children with fixed mindset ideals (ie. “Look how well you did. It’s so easy for you. You barely study. You’re naturally bright!”) and reward innate talent disproportionately 👩🏾🧔🏾👩🏾‍🎓

2. External value is attributed to success (ie. Honor roll, deans list, trophies and certificates) and intrinsic value is not deliberately cultivated 🏅🏆📓🔖

3. Difficult to navigate workforce rewards inflated resumes and applications (ie. Entry level pay and position requiring years of experience and certifications)

4. Supervisory practices support less dynamic and diverse workplace of antiquity (ie. supervision doesn’t survey strengths or accommodate learning styles)

5. No immediate access to HR, EAP, or mental health resources within workplace structure (ie. report/address supervisor, mitigate stresses influencing productivity, feel comfortable taking time away) 👩🏾‍⚕️ 🛋✍🏾

I’ve theorized that a wealth of factors contribute to the phenomenon of I.S. For me, I find that my I.S. is triggered in comprehensive projects with deadlines, multiple changing factors, and no clear rubric; also known as wicked problems.

In the nonprofit and academia spheres, we are inundated with wicked problems: poverty, healthcare, education etc. The stress from attempting to address these problems can reek havoc on the rest of our lives.

In an I.S. spiral I tend to think back to the many mistakes I’ve made in my burgeoning professionalism and forget to count the many more wins I’ve been privileged to have.

I’m stricken with a pain in my stomach and my thoughts race while Im possessed with the idea that I’ll be found out. I am a dummy, I have performed as promised, and I don’t deserve this job.

At any moment my director will come flying through the door; simultaneously ripping it off its hinges and banshee-screaming that I’m fired. 🚪🏇🏾🤺🐉 That’s insane. My director is a nice lady who can hardly run much less fly.

Why do I feel this way? What can I do? When should I quit?

I feel this way because it’s my first. My immediate family’s first college grad. One of my first full time quasi-traditional jobs. I’m being asked questions about retirement, paying for my own benefits, and considering, for the first time, to pinpoint what I’ll be doing in five years. I feel this way because there’s a lot riding on this and on me. Because I’m officially in charge of my life, but I want nothing more than to step down and politely decline.

Check out Cendino’s photography here!

What I can do is my best. I can pick out each day and it’s 1000 objectives and truly (not fakely) give each one whatever “my best” looks like for that day. That way I can watch Netflix, and work out, and spend the rest of my time authentically engaged without the lingering guilt and self-applied pressure that is my spiraling workweek HELL!🔥👹 I deserve to be genuinely present and invested in this one life I get.

More tangibly, I’ve recently started an achievement journal. Today’s Shine Text calls it a “brag book”, where I periodically list all the things I’ve accomplished in a day and marvel at how gifted and Beyoncé-like I am!

When should I quit? Tomorrow. I can quit tomorrow. It’s always an option. Always on the table. But today I’ll try. I’ll stay late if I have to. I will rack my brain, ask for help, go for a walk if I have to. It may be tough today, but I can always quit tomorrow.

Check out this quick read from a helpful source.

I love a good mantra 🙏🏾🕯📿🧘🏾‍♀️. Try this on for size if you’re battling some serious Imposter Syndrome! Repeat to yourself in the midst of a panic, or use it to start your day.

“I am not an imposter. I am more than qualified. I will work to prove it to myself. I deserve the rewards I have been blessed with!”

Go forth into your workweek and prosper 🖖🏾, even when your to-do list has been fruitful and multiplying. You’re not an imposter. Do your job. LIVE YOUR LIFE.

Actor Bae: A Sip With Sexy

I’m interested in virtually anything Issa Rae is involved with. So when I saw her post that she’d be in SoFlo for this year’s American Black Film Festival, I jumped on one of the last and most affordable events:

About Kofi Siriboe

I first saw Mr. Siriboe in Girls Trip, as the fresh-faced love interest of Jada Pickett-Smith’s character. I saw. It honestly wasn’t a great display of his talent. I remember wanting to see him in something deep, earthy, salient.

:looks lovingly at Queen Sugar:

I took a Lyft, and got there early; two unusual happenings for Roze. I was completely unwilling to pay for parking on the beach, and the event organizer produced a discount code for attendees. [read “Open bar! We will not be held responsible!”]

I fortunately found a group of old college friends and skipped most of the long, winding, Jordan release-esque line.

By the time Issa came on stage to introduce the evening’s guest, the waiting audience had already jooked, wobbled, and strolled ourselves in buzzed contentment.

All the fan girls swarmed to the front, for a whiff of what is undoubtedly one of the most sparkly-toothed good-smelling young men on God’s green Earth! #chocolate 🍫

It started way late. Like #CPtime meets Salvador Dali clock late. Issa jumped right into the question and answer portion. Kofi explained a little bit about his Ghanaian-American upbringing, his former-fluffy-kid struggles, and how those and many more factors played into his current successes.

If I’m being honest, some of his quotes didn’t quite hit. He might have prematurely succumb to his drink, but generally he described a quick and dynamic rise to stardom fraught with personal struggle and realization.

Issa asked a series of questions about his philosophy surrounding fame and attention. I took notes.

They addressed mental health and personal wellbeing in the black community as well as millennials and their challenges in the workforce.

Finally, the audience [read: screaming millennial black women] submitted their questions for Issa to read aloud. Kofi shared his advice for young creatives and his thoughts on life planning and decision making.

It was an evening aptly name named: just a sip. The ladies would have asked him questions for hours! I was full from way too many hors-devours, and it was time to go home.

I’m gonna give a sip one day!

Roze Goes,

Black Music Month!

So typically, what you would find here is feature or brief review of one ore more musical artists and a few of their respective songs. A couple YouTube videos, or a hyperlinked set of lyrics.

Not this month. This time it’ll be a month-long list of songs and artists that mean something to me. Epitomizing black music for Madam Rozé.

Let’s check what Wikipedia has to say…

So to switch it up I’ll be adding to this post daily (hold me accountable, dammit!) with the answers to each day’s question.

I’ll post days 1-3 here exclusively, and if you follow me on Instagram (or vice versa) you can see my real-time answers that I’ll follow up with an entry here!

Black Music Month: #30DayMusicChallenge

Day 1. “Too Close” x Next

In my defense I was, and still am, an odd child. I truly believed this song was about personal space. I didn’t see the video until I was already a man (Bane reference) and didn’t put two and two together because of my math anxiety. Sue me! I love it now that I’m an adult!

Day 2. “He Lives in You” & “Circle of Life x 🦁🤴🏾

Trick question, it’s a tie. I literally get chills every time I hear this. I got goosebumps pasting this link. Real talk. Lion King is a staple for most 90s babies, and ain’t nothin black-er or more musical than animated lions!

Day 3. “Boogie Wonderland”

x Earth, Wind & Fire 🌏💨🔥

I sweater god! If Taylor Swift tries to get her hands on this for the next volume of “Now That’s What I Call Gentrification!”, I will write a letter to my senator! Big mad!

Day 4: “Hotline Bling” x Drake

The young lady Aubrey Drake Graham describes seems to living her BEST LIFE! She has chosen to reject the stay-at-Home “good girl” narrative he shaped for her, and is flourishing beautifully. Classics misogynoir and heteronormative toxicity! Plus he a dead beat anyway. But that damn 7th grade maths teacher dance is my weakness!

Day 5: “This Woman’s Work”

Kate Bush x Maxwell

Pray God you can cope! Let me spell out the long and sordid history of this quasi-confusing song! First written by Kate Bush for the soundtrack of the film “She’s Having a Baby”, Maxwell covered it in the early 2000’s, and he quickly became a black people standard! His video, shows one of grief and loss as a lover copes with the death of his partner. And Kate Bush’s video, and expecting father deals with the stress of his wife giving birth and his surge of emotions. Somehow! Black people have made this a “get you pregnant” mix tape hit, but it wouldn’t make sense at all given the information from these two artists. However, I love it nonetheless, and a black man’s falsetto is a beautiful coveted thing!

Day 6: Fav Hip Hop/R&B Collab

“Let’s Get Married” REMIX

X Jagged Edge feat. Rev Run

I almost HATE that I love this song. I definitely used to think “wow, he basically states that we’re playing around, and not getting any younger!”, and I found that to be a little callous! BUT age has wizened me, and it hits my ears a little softer each time. I mean I’m not doing anything, and I could use the tax benefits, so why NOT get married!? 🤷🏾‍♀️

Day 7: Favorite R&B Duet

“Alone Together” Daley x Marsha Ambrosius

I’ll be honest. Daley kinda Rick Rolled me. He hit me with the Bobby Caldwell. :whispers: “At first listen I thought he was a black man!”. BUT the beauty of black culture, is that is welcoming and pervasive! Mazel Tov!

Day 8: Fave Remix

“Hurtin Me” Stefflondon RMX

Sean, Paul, Popcaan, & Sizzla

Roze’s Remix criteria questions:

1. Does it smack!?

2. More or less than the original?

3. Are there too many cooks?

4. Does the feel of the song change?

5. Beneficially? Or harmfully?

6. Does it achieve more or less acclaim?

This remix smacks harder in my opinion. It’s new features only enhance the song, and the new vibe created with indefinitely extend the life of summer anthem! I get to wail the lyrics while drinking mimosas. We are DEEP into brunch season!

Jamaica Carnival 2018 🇯🇲💃🏽

I love carnival. I love Soca. I am Jamaican 🇯🇲. It writes itself. In my lifelong carnival chase, it only makes sense that I went home one time for the one time. Aight, so boom! 💥

Pickups

Caesar’s Army A.M.Bush

Length. I’ll admit I didn’t get there RIGHT as the band house opened, and that may have been my undoing, but we waited for a while. The band house and distribution system were pretty organized. Far better than most of my experiences with pickups in Miami. I put my wristband on ASAP because I don’t want no problems. That’s like, my general mantra.

Xaymaca Costume

This went quite a bit faster. We waited in two groups, and were quickly processed before heading inside the mas camp to collect. I had some challenges with my costume’s fit, but fortunately, my section’s designer, Keisha Als was present and accommodating for my friend and I. Within an hour after voicing my complaint, a seamstress was at work on my costume.

FYI: Regardless of whether or not a thong is the only option pictured, please specify (and express to customer service representatives if need be) that you want a particular bottom. Also, the prototype will NEVER be the same as what you receive. NEVAH!

Fetes:

Afloat

Dope. DJs were good. Bartenders and drink selection were good. Vibes were perfect for the first fete of our trip. UNTIL… the party went on forever. There were unidentified liquids all over the floor, the bathrooms ran out of toilet paper, and the bar was devoid of napkins. After a while, it felt like the two boats from the Dark Knight, and we were meant to choose. The Joker nearly had us dancing to death. But, I lived!

Tribe Ignite

Semi-stush vibes. It was a good time, but so soon after Afloat we hardly had the energy to give a second performance. Kes was amazing, and so was Allison Hinds. DJ Puffy had a great set, and I LITERALLy ran into Shall Marshall. Star-studded, but we still left early because we were tired and hungry; the meat-free and pescatarian options were non-existent.

Medz

HOT AF! Lordt! It’s like we were being punished for the previous night’s wotlessness! We got there late, but no matter, the boat never left. It was a dock party. A boat-adjacent party. Medz were readily available, but shade certainly was not. Vibes where you could catch a breeze… then they ran out of water. Fin.

A.M. Bush

As always it delivered. A series of connecting busses to the bush, and a slightly bewildering walk in the dark to the trucks. Just enough time to get your mind right, and sip just enough social lubricant before the paint started to fling. I love it every time. Picked all the best food lines and got tastes of my favorites. Corn soup, doubles (well not really as they ran out of everything except chickpeas), and jerk. Then a long nap in the return bus. A.M. Bush is the best! Period.

Before

P.M. Fete

Logistical failings aside, it was a good time. (If you register online, that means it automatically dumps into a cache. Then how TF are you unable to find my name!?)  If you wanted, you could scope the ones you wanted to find on the road; see your pre-mas boo in costume. Very chill, multiple bars. Again, we left early; road in the morning.

Xaymaca Cool Down Fete

Sand, when carried by the wind, feels a lot like little knives. But thankfully, that was the worst part. Had the forethought to bring a bag and snacks, and we set up a little camp. As the sun set, and our drinks set in, it really was the best party of the entire trip. The DJs played a mix of music, and and the evening breeze was perfect. Perhaps because it was the last, we appreciated it more. Bittersweet.

ROAD

The whole point. The reason I bought my flight and secured my AirBnb. If I’m being honest, I didn’t give it my all. Heart wasn’t in it. The heat was intense, the route felt forever-long, and the streets were so narrow that with stormers there nearly wasn’t room to breathe! I felt a little meh about my costume, and I knew drinking would only make me whiny. The pointy and obtrusive costumes were so painfully large, that at times we could hardly see. The lunch stop was efficient and just what I needed. The dinner stop, not so much. Vegan options were virtually nonexistent, so we left a bit early. Although, the end seemed somewhat ambiguous. Were we headed back out onto the road? We’ll never know.

Overall. Quite good. I will certainly be running it back. It owes me some money and I am going to get every one of my coins!

What are YOUR travel plans for 2018? If Roze Goes, so should you ‘

Love yourself,

Thanos Is Bae! *Spoilers 🚨

There. I said, and I stand by by it. Who gon’ whoop me?

I’m HERE for his big sensitive lavender utilitarian conservationist ass! 💜😈😚

Thanos has been lurking in the shadows for more than a decade quietly orchestrating our obliteration. He is the villain we truly deserved and finally made his big debut (how very M’baku!) in Infinity War. Calculated, patient, and not given to long speeches where he gives away the entire plan. He is the perfect comic book villain!

He’s a formidable foe, and at times is even surprised by how resilient his opponents can be. Not an inconvenient speed bump, but a clear and present threat! [side eyes you Erik Killmmonger supporters 😒 IDC IDC! Fight me! He was just fine and quotable!]

BUT, clearly he had some redeeming qualities.

1. Fighting intergalactic hunger, pollution, and quelling our environmental impact are his passion projects. He’s basically big purple PETA!

2. Seemed a pretty ok Dad, for two beautiful and fierce daughters. Parenting is work!

3. A great planner. Super committed. Really focused.

4. Amazing body. 🤤💪🏾🏋🏾‍♂️🍆 (maybe)

5. Compassionate and FULL of feels!

6. Wonderful smile 😀

And that’s what I like in a man: forethought. A plan, not just potential. Proper pre-planning prevents piss poor performance, and let me tell you, my baby showed out!

I was slain too, but I’m ok with it. 🤷🏾‍♀️

Without giving away too much, I can say that he took your faves and left some too. We don’t know what’s about to happen. Well… there are theories. Mine, at least.

Conspiracy theories include:

1. They aren’t dead.

2. He said half of all life in THIS universe, so they’ve been transported to another universe.

3. In said universe, the not-dead heroes will devise a plan to return. 🧟‍♀️👩🏾‍🎤👨🏾‍🎤🧟‍♂️

4. There they’ll meet up with other heroes in the Marvel sphere. Maybe even their other iterations!

5. Somehow they’ll get the gauntlet and reverse what Thanos did, and unkill everyone!

6. Finally, perhaps this is the one workable outcome that Dr. Strange saw! Maybe it’s a sat up for an awesome comeback!

Questions:

1. Why exactly did Heimdallr have to die!? My love, Idris Elba, was in the movie for less time that Chris Brown’s character in “Stomp the Yard!” Pitiful. But, he got a check nonetheless – bonus!

2. Why was young Spiderman the only one to disintegrate as slowly as he did? Was it the suit? He had enough time to make everyone cry!

3. Who’s gonna lead Wakanda? OMG 😮 is it M’baku!? 🙉🦍

4. How do we know Captain Marvel wasn’t purged?

5. Where the heck was Nick Fury’s eye-patch havin’ ass the whole time?

It’s a difficult relationship, but I’m loyal, and we’ll see it through until the reveal next year.

Love you bae!

Roze Goes

AFTER CREDIT BONUS:

What are YOUR theories about how this next mega Marvel instillation will unfold? Who do YOU wanna see make a cameo? Also, do you think Stan Lee has pre-filmed all his appearances for when he dies?

Let’s #MarchInto This Month!

Today is the 74th day of this year. We’ve got more than 80% left to laugh, live, travel and  try!

day 74

Everyday is a chance to #marchinto your goals, dreams, passion-projects, new jobs, savings accounts, blogs/vlogs, relationships and whatever else we want to do! Last month was #febYOUary What can you achieve this chapter?

Use the hashtag #marchinto and tell me in the comments below what YOU want to achieve in days 75 – 365!

I want to #MarchInto more fulfilling and consistent engagement with readers through purposeful content curation!

Love you,

Roze

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FebYOUary Lesson #2: Don’t Hide!

It has been many moons since the last time I was in front of a camera. It’s also been many moons since I really felt creative. I’ve been carefully squirrelling my light away under a bushel. I’ve been calling that bushel “adulting”. This immovable obstruction pressed so firmly against the base of my skull that I can hardly get oxygen to my creative cortex.

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I miss my bald head! #goodknocking #usf 

I’m lying. I’m a liar. I lied. I’m hiding.

Out here in the “real world” (a saying that WISH teachers and well-meaning advisors would stop using IMMEDIATELY! It minimizes the experiences of adolescents and students that haven’t yet been thwarted by the pressures of life! #rant) the support of your student organizations and friends just ain’t what it used to be. Bills need paying and passion-projects don’t contribute to your 401k (don’t even get me started on how horrifying a concept saving for your retirement is!). I so often wish I was still her, lil’ Roze, as I affectionately call my former selves. Before the newest updates. The new fears. The grownup challenges. So I hid(e) in old memories relishing. “In undergrad I used to…”

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Look at my smug lil’ no bills havin ass face! 

Sure, I kept up with the blog, but I haven’t been taking chances. Haven’t had as many firsts in the years since matriculation. But I don’t want those parts of me to rust. Spoil. Die.

Somehow conversely, I think I’d been idealizing a potential 24/7 non-stop musing life. Some dopamine-fueled Issa Rae ecstasy dream where I only ever do what I want. Make what I want. Live how and where I want.

Hiding. Hoping. Not crafting or creating.

I want to be more Issa and less cubicle drone worker-bee, sure. But I also don’t wanna have to find individual health insurance on an open market. *gag*

So this is the middle road. Invest just a little more over time. Churn out better quality work more consistently. Collaborating. Saying loudly and proudly what I’m passionate about, and sharing/connecting with others. Taking MYSELF seriously. My talents seriously. Because I don’t want those parts of me to rust. Spoil. Die. Considering my day job, as just that; a temporary gig. I’m not trapped if always have creating as an out.

So here goes something new. I’ll admit I was a little uncomfortable reacquainting myself with a camera. Knowing it would capture my new adult body a little less forgivingly. Knowing that I’m still writing and rewriting my definition of sexy on a thrift store etch-a-sketch.

Heck it!

SaFALLri

Wise Kouture and Roze Goes meet up to create a lookbook to help you work furs, camouflage, (p)leather, camel, and olive green into your wardrobe. Might just be the inspiration you need to put together your Black Panther opening weekend outfit!

safallri photoset

Camo Pants OOTD from Rozeena Taylor on Vimeo. Check out my boo Wise Kouture!

Some faves!

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This one I call “The Wakangregation”!
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Here I’m definitely dubious about the occupants of this sabal palm.
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The Sun is my best friend!
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I am just an icon living! 
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“Don’t make me come down to that school!”
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Perhaps you should speak to me more softly then. Monsters are dangerous and, just now, kings are dying like flies!
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Fin.

I’m also considering improv! Took a drop-in course at the Villain Theater. It put a lump on my throat and a race in my heart. It felt uncomfortable, new, perfect! I’ll be back for more.

Check Wise Kouture out in a previous post! Art Basel 2015! Friends support friends.

When was the last time you did something for the first time? What was it? What’s keeping your light under a bushel? Finances, lack of opportunity, time? Share below, because I need more new. More firsts. I can’t be done already!

I don’t want those parts of YOU to rust. Spoil. Die. Eat the world! If even in tiny bites!  Love you,

Roze

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20-Something: Young Adults Seem Stuck

FebYOUary Lesson1

I am the same age now that my mother was when she had me. Conversely, I think a cactus is too much responsibility. She keeps rounding my age up to 30. My throat tightens when people ask me “So what’s your plan, Roze!?” I shudder to think that one day a person could come out of my vajayjay, and drink juice from my boobies. Gag!

If you Google (yes, it is a verb) the phrases “twenty-something” or “millennials” you’ll find an endless cache of books, think-pieces, click-bait, and BuzzFeed-esque articles.

Everyone born after 1980, and subsequently everyone who birthed or came before us, is trying madly to explain what we are. How we came to be, and what ails us.

The Internets are frantically trying to WebMD our symptoms and rationalize the largest and most unprecedented generation the world has ever seen.

Fail.

We were born of web, and wiki, and wire. Our encrypted spirits travel weightlessly through code across the stars. We are the unsullied.

But some us have moved back home. We have insurmountable debt. We marry later. We are the smartest and ironically most inexperienced. We ruined everything.

Or so they might have us believe.

_Baby boOmers be like

Robin Marantz Henig, and her millennial daughter Samantha, co-authored “Twenty Something: Why Do Young Adults Seem Stuck!” as a means to flesh out the tens of theories about the romantic, academic, career-related, and socio-economic phenomena surrounding young adults.

*Disclaimer: Not sure if taking pictures of book pages is illegal. Please VHS bootleg 🚔👮🏾‍♀️👮🏾 police, don’t take me to copyright infringement jail!

The book opens with an excerpt from “The Bell Jar”, by Sylvia Plath. The colorful depiction of a young woman caught in indecision. The breadth and width of the tree and its many fruit surpassing the undetermined length of her conflicted life. Pursue her passions at the cost of a more comfortable or socially acceptable life? Or travel and eat of the world as the possibilities of marital bliss and motherhood slip away?

Same.

All the feels. Pick the wrong path, and all the others are impossible to harvest. Deliberate too long, and none are possible. Now more than ever, I’m pressingly aware of the passage of time. The length of time between posts, between graduation 👩🏾‍🎓 and the present day, between when I thought I knew what 27 would look like, and now…

Structure

The book is split up into nine chapters that cover a series of equally complicated young adult benchmarks. Robin and Samantha tag team each chapter with their perspectives from different generations and experiences.

Demographic studies, marriage/birth rates, and economic trends are all featured as the Henig duo dissect each societal stage and step and compare stats between baby boomers (Robin) and young adults (Samantha). Each chapter ends in a sort of scoreboard that determines which generations notions are more relevant or withstanding, dependent on the topic: “Now is New” and “Same as it Ever Was.”

Settling the score_ The Henigs concluded that although millennials have a more publicized young adulthood that previous generations, and face an admittedly more uphill battle than their parents, but our concerns are and were very much the same. We are pressured by similar yet shifting benchmarks like marriage and home-ownership. As the great life-liver Maya Angelou said, “… we are more alike my friends, than we are unalike!” “Same as it Ever Was” takes the W by their tally, and the old people win again. Typical.

Feels

The whole thing reads like…

Adulting is just a big ass Catch-22!

BUT!

I’m sssoooo 🙄 pleased to feel like my anxiety is such a common experience. I’m not weird or self-indulgent for looking into this; seeking answers. Feeling so stymied by inhibition and decision-making fatigue. What I’m experiencing is uniform the world over. I’m not in a funk, and  you’re not either! We’re just 27, and there is no cure but to celebrate another birthday. Get one day closer, better, wiser. Save more, learn more, and not give up.

What I feel the book fails to do, is to address the development of young adults from different educational, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds. The eldest Henig highlights this briefly, but the disclaimer is nonetheless unsatisfying. What are the gripes of millennials in Mumbai vs. Miami?

Choice is a luxury that so many of us cannot afford. Even those of us fraught with indecision get to be caught between a diamond-encrusted rock a haute couture hard place (shout out to Guapdad 4000!).

We dream of lives with fewer decisions to make; to live simply while both here and abroad choices aren’t so numerous, and are often at higher stakes. #firstworldproblems I’ll find a career, I’ll go back to school, I’ll eventually marry. I don’t have to choose a bath over food. I don’t have to decide between my life or my child’s. I pick movies on Netflix.

In reading this I also acknowledge my privilege. I was brought up with certain expectations, and for the most part was given the support necessary to fulfill them. I was able to obtain a degree, I’ve been advancing in careers ever since graduation. I live in the United States (whatever that means now anyway), I speak English, and I’m a citizen. This book reminds me. It;s a good reminder, and a reality check! It wasn’t on Oprah’s 16 Must-Read Books for November 2012 for nothing!

twenty something oprah   Score: 🌹🌹/🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

Read Time Rate (1 night = 30 mins): 16 nights

Why should you read it? I’ve never read a book so “OMG same!”  in my entire life. It sparked a great conversation between my mother and I. I appreciate her so much more with my deepened understanding. We are, and were, twenty-something, and fifty-something just doing our best; figuring it out, stumbling along, and trying like hell not to HECK up too bad. You are too. There’s nothing wrong with you. You have some time.

What’s your most recent adulting triumph? Figuring out how credit works, saving for retirement, or perhaps you’ve had enough to help your parents? Maybe you’ve finally figured out what you wanna be when you grow up. Tell me in the comments below! 

Roze Goes,

You’re right, it’s not comparing, it’s market research. Just don’t overindulge. I love you.

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Levar Burton: Reading Rainbow Bae

I LoVe-ar Burton

I met LeVar Burton at Florida SuperCon.

And I cried. Real ugly. Snot and all. Bad. Not a singular thug tear rolling gracefully down my cheek, but an awkward choke-sob. Bad.

I managed to be partially coherent. I did my best to form sentences in front of someone I hadn’t even realized was so important to me.


I stood in line, and it moved pretty quickly. From behind two other fans I saw his prices, and after scoffing repeatedly, I decided I would just talk to him. For free.  As I opened my mouth, my eyes filled with tears.

I’d spent years worth of Saturday mornings with him. For a three-year-old that could read it was like Oprah’s Book Club. The Reading Rainbow was a weekly wish list for the literate toddler elite.


LeVar Burton is black excellence. All in one singular pop-culture era he was our past, present, and future. He was history, literacy, and science fiction all in one breath.


He embodied Alex Haley’s “Kunta Kinte” turned “Toby”, hosted the world’s most diverse children’s show, and starred as Geordi La Forge; Chief Engineer and Lieutenant Commander of the USS Enterprise. All at once he was the unyielding  spirits of our ancestors, a buttress for our imaginations, and the ingenuity and hope of our future.


LeVar Burton was IT for me. And obviously, as evidenced by my tear-stained twenty-six-year-old face, he still is. Standing there in front of my pre-k idol, I cried unexpectedly. It snuck up on me clenching my throat and burning my eyes like an expired 4 Loko.

I loved him. I love him still. He was so effortlessly fly in his linen fit and 90s-magician jewelery.  His brow wrinkled in surprise and confusion before his eyes softened. He smiled and I felt a little less like a freak. He gave me two fist bumps and a handshake.


I wish I could have said all the things that I’ve written here. I wish I would have said any of this. What I did manage to squeak out was a snotty apology peppered with mutterings about the importance of representation and Saturday morning cereal binges. What I should have said was nothing.

He encouraged us to explore our ancestry. He encouraged literacy and incredulity. He showed us that we too have a place in the stars. His show highlighted characters, authors, and children of color. He showed me, me.


But hey, don’t take my word for it.

I love you. Go read books!

Roze Goes

TV Bae: Shonda Rhimes/Year of No

Have you ever been alive on a Thursday? If so, you’ve heard of Shonda Rhimes! A creator and innovator of modern television drama, this MAGICAL BLACK WOMAN is a perpetual motion machine for quotable pop-culture tidbits.

She’s the reason you say vajayjay!

She works every day to bring black, queer, female, gender nonbinary, differently-abled, and all other  of non-mainstreams to the forefront.

Madam Rhimes is a paragon of gained wisdom and earned experiences. Thusly, she felt it fit to leave us a manual. A guide to using “yes” as tool to make better happen. It’s an insightful look into the makings of a literal literary monster, but it’s also a vulnerable examination of a regular person just trying to do and be better.

She is goals. Black excellence. College-educated. Award-winning. Making single motherhood look almost Beyoncé effortless. She makes her ideas, imaginings, mumbles and scribbles real. She’s what I want to be when I grow up. She wants to be Toni Morrison. Irony.

Sorta Summary

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Through a thought experiment straight from the tomes of The Actor Formerly Known as Jim Carrey, she has crafted a richer and more fulfilling life. She simply said yes more often than not and was privy to a slew of new experiences and perspectives.

In realizing [through the insistence of her older sister] that she was on a long-lasting no-fueled funk, she set out to examine and undo all the negativity that had led her that point.


The book is full of so many simple and humorous realizations that can be scaled and adjusted to fit the user.


You may not be a mother or parent, but you know what it’s like to compare yourself to the ever-pressing and present YOU that you think you SHOULD be. You know what it feels like to fall short of the expectations you have for yourself; knowingly or not. Sister Shonda does too.


She tackles the guilt we often feel in contemplating our situations. In critiquing ourselves for accomplishments or lack thereof.

Do I even have the right to complain and feel so dissatisfied? I have two working legs and a freezer full of Ben & Jerry’s! 


She cheers us on and reminds us that women, a particular focus in this book, are endlessly capable if we view ourselves through the lease that we make for ourselves.

My Thoughts

Her voice is so familiar. She sounds like Olivia Pope and Anneliese Keating. Like your favorite characters and friends. Like someone you know.


She exudes a feminine self-deprecating multilayered humor that hints at what she has suffered, acknowledges her progress, and reminds you that she has chosen to make her own way.

In her carefree neuroticism she addresses her weight gain and eventual weight loss, parenting and its struggles, romantic and platonic relationships, workplace woes, and self-care/image. A cookbook for light laughs and life changing. Get into Shonda’s kitchen!


The Takeaway 

Shonda teaches us the framework to ask ourselves the important questions.

1. How did I get here?

2. What am I avoiding or running from by choosing to say no to this?

3. How would saying yes affect my life? Those around me?

4. What do I stand to gain or lose?

Ms. Rhimes’ year of self-investigation has inspired me to look more intentionally into mine and resulted in Roze’s “Year of No”.


I’m a little bit less Lulu Lemon. I find inspiration in sources that are little more Eric Thomas than Iyanla Vanzant. My list needs to work for me.

 


This is my playlist. I’ll be keeping it on repeat till I see the results I want. My calendar year begins on my birthday. I’m three days into my 27th year, and the finish line is fastly approaching.  I’m sharing in the hopes of gaining more accountability partners. Hold me to my word.

I’m really too young to be feeling this old.

I love you,

Roze

After Irma. What Now?

Hurricanes are as Floridian as oranges. As trucks and rims. As mosquito spray, a spare shirt, and extra deodorant in the car. But what we faced wasn’t just a hurricane.

What we in Florida, and across the Caribbean faced, and continue to stare down, are not just natural disasters. They are increasingly volatile weather patterns worsened by our incessant Manifest Destiny-esque interventions into our Earth’s atmosphere, water, and soil. We have antiquated emergency-response systems, and even older infrastructure. For a region that is consistently shifting in culture and cost, we are behind the times AF. Willful ignorance driven by profit margins and party lines. We dodged a bullet, but won’t be so lucky every time.

I live in South Florida. The proof is already at hand. King tides. Climate gentrification. Sustained development despite warnings. Atlantis is real, just give us a few years.

I can’t change those things. I work to educate and influence others. My call to action is a bit more personal. All I can do is prepare. In political, socio-economic, and literal climates such as ours, we have to stay strapped in ways that aren’t always tangible.

After Irma I wondered what I’d be coming home to. If there’d be a home at all. How would life be different for me? If I returned, and found my apartment had been turned into a pile of rubble, what then? Would I cash in my 401k and start anew? Forge a new destiny out of the smoldering ashes of the old one?

What would I be prepared to change?         To give up? To shed? How would I be changed? It’s clearer than ever that we may be gone in an instant from a wealth of reasons, so what time we do have is precious. How we spend it is crucial.

After spending a week with my family free of phones, television, and distractions I put together a list.

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1. Travel – Not just dusting off my passport and stunting for the ‘gram. Traveling to make the world small, to understand others, and scope out cultural epicenters that might be my future home(s). With the way things are looking, the U.S. is a lot less attractive for raising a family as global citizens.

2. Work In/On my Passions –  Deliberately cultivating my craft. Becoming knowledgable not just about MY job, but the industry and region in which I work. Earnestly putting together a topographical map of the influences that shape the area I work in, so that I can be more than just a cog. A number. A cubicle-slave. Also, giving real thought to leaving the 9-5 schedule, and its accompanying #workwoes, behind.

3. Meet More People. This one is a little more complex. Actually leaving my house, sure. Also, shedding my expectations and prejudices in social settings so I can give people a chance. But, mostly for me. Removing expectations, and being present in the moment so that I can TRULY enjoy people. Meeting them where they’re at. I can worry about their character and the implications of their speech and actions later. Or never, if we don’t meet again. It also means networking actively. And NOT just for the job I’m in at the moment. It’s not cheating to accept a business card, or have a NON-work-related lunch. Ultimately I am my greatest asset.

4. Learn. Self explanatory. As much as possible; by any means possible. Woke AF!

5. Simplify my Life! When I came home, my room had flooded. My carpet was soaked and everything that touched the floor was stained, soggy, or stank. But I didn’t die. It forced me to take a long hard look at all the crap I had accrued. Literally. I had to take everything out of my room while my carpet dried. Blessing in disguise. I realized just how much stuff I had gathered and wasn’t using. I threw out expired face creams, abandoned DIY projects, and donated bags and bags to relief efforts. Traveling lighter.

Blessing in the Lesson = Blesson

a. I hoard. I believe it’s a symptom of poverty. It makes me feel in control; prepared by owning things in multiples. Even if I don’t use them. STUFF isn’t wealth.

b. Memories don’t occupy space. Also, some things don’t need to be remembered. For example, old body shapes and sizes. This body and this life are the only ones I have, and the ones I should dress for. If I want either to change, I have to take action.

c.  BE light. Live light and simple. If things hold you to a place, then a storm is completely devastating; even if you escape with your life.

6. Family Time. I am putting effort into the connections with my family and culture that can’t be ripped apart by any force of wind or surge.

I want you all to live and BE light. Don’t wait for a hurricane to assess your lives, and determine value. Stay ready. Stay engaged. Invest in the intangibles.

Keep your carry-on small, and your bank account bigger.

Roze Goes, I love you.

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Angela Y. Davis: Activist Bae

The morning featured a host of speakers; well traveled women (and one man, my BFF) that gifted us gems from their hard-won perspectives. Each one of them taught us about how women (and one man!) leaders frame ally-ship in the disabled, LGBTQ, and medically underserved communities.

We listened intently and applauded appropriately, but we knew who we were really there to see: The incomparable Angela Davis! With almost 60 years of activism to call upon, she is one of the best examples of what a woman can achieve as an ally, activist, and thought leader.

Needless to say, I was HYPE!

Recalling some of her lived experiences, she painted a vivid picture of the past while gracefully imbuing the future with her personal brand of realistic utopian hope.

It’s possible, she told us, to take what we [women, and women of color] are often given – resistance, racism, sexism, and capitalism – and mold them into narratives of progress. Mold them into avenues for reprentation and justice.

Davis, now 73 (and trust, she look goood), was born in Birmingham, Alabama in a neighborhood knows as “Dynamite Hill”. Aptly named as it was a hot bed of racial conflict that manifested in frequent and gruesome attacks on black families and institutions. It was notorious for fires, bombings, and shootings incited by white residents to scare off black families.

Who would have thought such a rocky start would be the solid foundation for one of our nation’s most prominent thought leaders?

Without her, we couldn’t accurately address some of the gravest ills in our society. Without the language necessary to pinpoint the structural violence that marginalized people’s face, we cannot name and shame our oppressors and their wrong-doings. Language is the framework for our thoughts; a powerful tool in addressing injustice. A powerful weapon in disenfranchising those considered less powerful. Write them out, and write them off.

Davis created and popularized unprecedented terms  like “heteropatriarchy”, “clandestine racialization”, and the now-ubiquitous “prison industrial complex”. Without which we wouldn’t have tongue and teeth to know the horrid specters that wither and steal away many of our brothers and sisters.

Davis counseled us to find our niches in the struggle. To use our gifts and passions in service to others. Perhaps, she queried, that protesting or community organizing isn’t the best use of our particular talents; that our voices may take the forms of paint and brush, song and dance, or pen and paper. But each, she asserts, is necessary. Vital. We’re not far off from a great change, she believes. And although it may not happen in her lifetime, she will be there in spirit because she labored, in part, to create it.

See Angela speak! Watch in 1080p!

Teaching, leading, writing, and always challenging. She is the ultimate #wcw 🤤😍
Roze Goes… crushing

I’m a Senior Citizen.

So, I’m 83 years old. Well, I feel like it. Although I’m sure that’s inaccurate. Octogenarians are probably full of as much zest as their feeble dusty bodies can muster. Grateful for every moment and looking forward to the next. Brimming with wisdom and contentment given all that they’ve seen.

I am 26. Newly 26, and I make a hissing sound every time I have to say the new number. As if turning 26 makes you into a sewer-dwelling reptile. And no, not the cool pizza-eating kind.

I live in a comfy cave with Netflix and comforters, and wifi, and Panera Bread cookies. I busy myself making excuses so I can convince myself that it’s acceptable to only half live. I practice them; adding anecdotes and relatable humor so that whenever I have to explain the nothingness of yet another weekend passed, it’ll be believable. It’ll sound totally appropriate to spend a weekend “resting up”. RESTING UP FOR WHAT!? The gym just a few hundred feet from my bed? My tiring eternal internal conflict? The absolutely draining Nextflix binge I just subjected my eyeballs to!?

TIRED FROM WHAT!? Tired from all the unused potential. The backed up kinetic energy is leaking into my abdomen and making my spleen hurt.

I’m afraid I would have to be ON all the time. Echelon-climbing, eyebrow-fleeking, passion-pursuing on-pointness all the time. Ain’t nobody got time for that!  In fact, I do. Hours slide by me. Days brush past me. Months mechanically click away like slides in a viewfinder.

Google defines Laissez-faire like this:


For me it’s more like Lazy-fear {pronounced with the same French flourish}

Lazy-fear (noun)

The policy on not trying super hard at much of anything so that either way you can pretend to be unphased. Forcing yourself to be happy with what little you work for and what little you achieve. Eating yourself up inside. Fake neutrality.

Synonyms: Not doin $#!+, bullsh!++!&&, First world problems, procrastination etc.

New Mantra.

  1. I’ll miss you both.
  2. [laugh]

Issa Rae is #awkwardblackgirlgoals


Basically.

To fight  the dementia that comes from spending all your time alone and lacking human contact, I forced myself to go out. I young-people’d and had a blast! Then my car got towed. Nice.

“Go out,”, they said. “It’ll be fun.”, they said. I’ve never seen a consequence so quickly doled out. The wages of fun is death!

Doing fun things is fun, though. If geezers had the strength and will they’d jump me and steal my youth. I’ll try to use it more often. Try. I said try.

Ok. So I’m done, I think.

Roze Goes,

TF to sleep. I’m MF Tired. Like actually. Real sleep. I have a cold. Bye

 

Part-Time Lover


The eternal joblessness forced me to look into the abyss, and in turn, I allowed it to look into me. I was only recently able to put together words to describe the silent sneaking fear waiting just below the surface. Actually acquiring one of those “big girl jobs” I so desperately covet and having to work ….

[blood curdling horror movie scream]

…FULL TIME!!!


How exactly does one “full time”? It may be my millennial entitlement talking, but why can’t I just be paid to follow my bliss? Punching a clock day in and day out sounds like signing up to be a drooling cubicle slave. It sounds like being chained  to a desk while all that I love (and cannot currently afford) is held dangling over a vat of boiling acid(ic debt).


Is that really what adulting means? How can I survive with both my exquisite brain and powerful lower body intact?

[sigh] This is going to be, you know, a fascinating transition.

In other news Netflix ‘s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has been speaking to my LIFE! She’s so honest, vulnerable, optimistic, weird, and willing to learn. Just like me. #hashbrownawesomesauce


In parting, I leave you with this:

Remember not to run from bears, just pretend to be dead. That’s also my philosophy regarding any major responsibilities. Also, go get Netflix if you haven’t (psssh, of course you have, what are you, the Amish? I’m sorry if you or your loved ones are Amish and find this offensive. But wait, how did you internet?)  and watch my darling Kim-becile.

Roze Goes

Like, rate, share, follow, and subscribe. Call me, beep me, if you wanna reach me!

 

*Prize for the first person to tell me how many Kimmy references are in this post. It’s cashews. The Prize is are cashews!*

BEYONDSLAY: Miami Got Into Formation

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Strobing HEAVILY for Bey-bae! Highlighter on max, fro on lush.

Pre-Show:

I got to my seat WAY early and played chicken with the concession lines; debating with myself about whether or not Bey was worth missing or starving for. I starved, no question.

DJ Khaled, serial collaborator and Snap Chat Inspirational Speaker Inception-ed us by bringing out another unnamed DJ while he performed a slew of his favorite ad-libs and hype-man bits from singles spanning the 2000’s. He brought with him  a slew of artists that performed snippets and kept the crowd entertained.

Features

2 Chainz (the artist formerly know as Tity Boi), Yo Gotti, Lil’ Wayne (surprisingly NOT dead), and even (Father Time) Trick Daddy dusted off his old bones and performed his verse from the ever-popular urban-affirmation hit “I’m So Hood!”

Concert:

At the far end of the arena was the stage, and on it was a dimly lit giant white cube; an almost imperceptible seam running the length of it. Finally, the cube comes alive. Slowly, it begins to rotate and a fervor tears through the crowd. We’re all speculating.

 Will the cube open to reveal Queen Bee? Is she going to emerge from under the stage? What song will she perform first?

The show opens with the Superbowl 50 controversial single “Formation”. Bey comes out with her dancers serving us all-black corseted Zorro realness!

Beyoncé: “Ladies if you think you slay, say ‘I slay.’ ”                                                                                      

Me: “I slay!”                                                                                                                                                          

Beyoncé: “If you came out tonight to have a good time, say ‘I slay.’ ”                                                            

Me: “I slay!!!”                                                                                                                                                                  

Beyoncé: “If you work hard, pay your own bills, and don’t need nobody else, lemme hear you say I slay.’ ”                                                                                                                                                                              

Me: [screams] ” I SLAAAYYYY!!!” [vomits]

The whole concert was an artfully arranged mashup of some of her greatest songs. From tracks on the recently released Lemonade, all the way back to “Me, Myself, and I”. She worked in contemporary hits like O.T. Genasis’ song “Cut It” retooled with her classic hair-flipping, shoulder-bouncing choreography. She even paused briefly to turn the cube purple as fans sang along to “Purple Rain” in a touching tribute.

You can read all about the lineup and her several costume changes anywhere on the interweb. What you can’t find anywhere else is the renowned Roze Goes significance.

Takeaway:

I left the concert reinvigorated. I was entertained and inspired by a black woman who is beautiful inside and out. I learned, and was reminded of, a few things:

  1. Everyone and anyone can slay, no matter your circumstance!
  2. Black women are what dreams are made of! The actresses, dancers, musicians, songwriters, choreographers, stylists and all others involved with this behemoth of a project. All invaluable. All purposed.
  3. I gotta get fit! That woman danced for HOURS, and didn’t once sound tired. Her thighs were immaculate!
  4. Issues, real life issues visit everyone. No one is safe, and not even money can insulate you from everything. Your life is just as important, and your problems just as real. You have the same 24 hours as Bey and can do with them whatever you wish.
  5. Use your gifts. Beyoncé put money in the pockets of all the professionals in the stadium that evening. There is no reason why you shouldn’t do what you can, and use what you can to be as fulfilled as possible.
  6. Blackness is performed however you want. She’s been catching so much flack for using profanity, expressing social justice themes, and shedding a light on a culture that she had always been a part of, but somewhat removed from. She is (and we are) collard greens, neckbones, negro, creole, conservative, or whatever have you.

 

Here’s what else you can’t get just anywhere. My fellow blogger Wise Kouture’s Formation Inspired look book.

She doesn’t know it yet, but she’ll be helping me put together my Birthday/Halloween Costume… {coughs Beyoncé!}

And finally, the thing that I think brought you all here…

 

As always, kiss you mom for me. Today’s my Mom’s birthday! Love you, Betty!

Roze Goes