Pandemic Reflections & Moving Forward

It has been a minute since I have written in this blog and I sincerely apologize to my readers. There was plenty of soul searching within a very uncertain time in my life between relationships, life, and goals I was and are pursuing throughout the pandemic. Obvious life taught me I had the wrong focuses in my heat and mind. Lessons were still valuable though. Instead of focusing on other people’s goals, I had to focus on my own and search for what I wanted mostly from within.

The stress of the pandemic, hardships that came with finances and relationships, changing of jobs throughout the past year, going back to school for my Bachelor’s, therapist moving away, etc… has been rough emotionally for me. Trying to avoid it and fill it with work from freelance and my regular Joe job, as well as, school, has back fired ten fold on my mindset. Having loved ones being scared of their lives with the turmoil that ensued within the last couple of years with the BLM movement and the MAGA cult made me feel like I did not know my country anymore. Questions day in and day out. Who are we? Who did we become? How did we become as such?

The pandemic forced me in a way to sit my ass down, work on my patience and healing with my time in therapy, reflect on what I was born and raised around and what type of human being I wanted to be, work on my boundaries, and reflect on the life I was living and what life I wanted to live. I also had to search within and stop hiding from the past that built and formed the heart within me. I was tired of hiding from my truth, since I was waking up (soulfully) from assumptions of me that were not factual. Rarely do individuals see me as a human being or even what I offer through my heart. I’ve learn the hard way, and I mean with a lot, that most folks only will fuck with you when one, it is convenient for them and only them, and two, only if they can benefit from your talent/gift that you offer to the world, but fuck everything else that comes from the package that comes with it. It gets exhausting and I am very vulnerable, usually at the wrong times with the wrong people. The trauma and the triggers sometimes feels never ending.

However, my motivation was to not return to the suicidal mindset I had since 2019. So, I put words into action as I have been working to focus on my therapy treatments, work on a Bachelor’s for Graphic Design, as we a minor in Creative Writing to get back to my first love, started to sing and rap and record my own music (even if its not for everyone), find a job that works for me as a person, as well as, gives me an amazing schedule of two on and two off, making sure I keep up to date on my medications, and adjust myself to focus on my present, as well as cut ties where shit didn’t align with my morals or ethics and was extremely unhealthy for me.

Sacrifices sometimes need to be made for your own happiness, but when it comes to healing, it does not happen overnight. Pain, anger, frustration will still linger during the process of healing. I finally learned though that I need to stay away from those who attempt to derail your work with your own personal healing and your own techniques with managing it. Only you know what’s best for you to be the very person you are meant to be at the end of the day. In some aspects, it seems it’ll always be a work in progress. Overthinking is hell. But, I was reminded today that mental health is a practice, and it just doesn’t get better after a treatment session or therapy session. You have to work day in and day out to keep your mindset to the place you want it to be without jeopardizing who you are. At the end of the day, life will keep throwing shit your way, you just have to learn how to handle the shit and move on in a healthy manner. Just don’t give up.

Yep. That’s where I am at during this moment while I crank out these rusted formation of words. After plentiful of mourning lost loved ones the past two years… Vanilla (08-2020), Aunt Cecelia (10-2020), Grandma Benedict (09-2021), Aunt Sheila (09-2021), & my dad, just recently in the past month (07-2022)… I am learning that resentment and being on bad terms with loved ones aren’t worth it in the end, forgiveness is what matters. Most importantly love is what matters.

My twin flame tried to teach me that himself, but didn’t listen and now I am alone grieving and growing regret with the feeling of not spending more time with them throughout my life. Others will have their opinions, but this is just my honesty and vulnerability I am working through currently considering avoiding it and faking being fine over the past year has sincerely backfired completely on me. If your mental health isn’t in a regular practice for yourself, be mindful and very careful with these types of relationships… and learn to deviate what’s worth walking away from and what’s worth fighting for. The mind can play many tricks when it comes to those soul mates and twin flames that come within your life. Of course there will be other distractions also put in place. At the end of the day it could be just the person you need to challenge you, to be uncomfortable with, as well as, give you the space to grow, at the same time, not be afraid to grow with you, to heal with you, but you are just finding them at the wrong moment in yours and/or their lives. That’s the worse type of love to break from, but at the same time the best type of love to learn from and go forward with. I have been blessed to have met and grow from two of these types of love within my life and I continue to grow and be a better person for it.

Thank you for taking the time to read the tribulations I have dealt and am learning from recently. Now I shall continue to grow and put in the work to reflect as such. I am just thankful my furry companion is stuck with me and puts up with my shit. I write this while she gives me endless kisses and comforts me to show me it’ll all work out in the end. Or maybe she just wants a treat. I never can tell. Ha!

Peace be with all your hearts and mind today. With love.

Top 10 #BLM Films/Series:

Since May 30th, our global society has been transforming itself into a chaotic wake up call with the issue of police brutality and the continuous evidence of minorities not having the same equity of life as those who fall under white privilege.

I’ve had my share of unlearning the white man’s knowledge of American History, and growth over the years when it comes to American History, and I continue to put aside my own trauma and issues to sit and radically listen to my peers to hear their stories and allow them to provide me facts and evidence of their reality, while I proved my own radical listening, empathy, and understanding.

Right now they are tired. They are tired of talking without anyone listening. The are tired of the questions from those who simply have a hard time comprehending. They are tired of the “All Lives Matter” debacle that goes against the reality of blacks being 3x more likely to be shot and killed by police. They are simply tired.

I have a responsibility of a film maker and a film lover, to take the time to put together my top ten favorite strong black lead films and/or series that provide legitimate educational value for those who want a better understanding of the systematic oppression our fellow Americans have suffered through for the past 400 years, as well as, some of the greatest icons in black history that may or may have not been in your history textbooks growing up.

All I ask from this list is be aware of the fictional aspects of the films and take the time to dig into a deeper research of the events within the topics and figures provided with each film. I am asking, for those willing to listen and learn to do with empathy, while watching these stories, and don’t forget the Kleenex, because you will need them.

  1. Roots (Hulu): An adaptation of the 1977 mini-series, Roots chronicles the history of an African man sold to slavery in America, and his descendants. 

  2. Harriet (Rent/Vudu): The extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman‘s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes, whose courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.

  3. MalcolmX (Netflix): Biographical epic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, from his early life and career as a small-time gangster, to his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam.

  4. 13th (Netflix): An in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality.

  5. I Am Not Your Negro (Amazon Prime): Writer James Baldwin tells the story of race in modern America with his unfinished novel, Remember This House.

  6. Selma (Amazon Prime): A chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.

  7. The Hate U Give (Rent/Vudu): Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right.

  8. DETROIT (Hulu): A gripping story of one of the most terrifying moments during the civil unrest that rocked Detroit in the summer of ’67.

  9. Just Mercy (Rent/Vudu): World-renowned civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson works to free a wrongly condemned death row prisoner.

  10. When They See Us (Netflix): Five teens from Harlem become trapped in a nightmare when they’re falsely accused of a brutal attack in Central Park. Based on the true story.

    Honorary mentions: Marshall (Netflix), LA92 (Netflix), Teach Us All (Netflix), Ali (Amazon Prime), 12 Years a Slave (Rent)…