New Orleans Style

I'm Still Here

Suit: Zara, Makeup: Artistry By Camille, Photography: Scott Simon (iHeartNola)

I’m still here

Despite how they want to regulate my body
Despite how they feel about my skin
I’m still here, even though they don’t want me to be
I’m still here, even though they can’t see me
I’m still here

Aside from the attempts to erase me
Aside from how that benefits you
I’m still here, even though I’m exhausted
I’m still here, even though I’m crying
I’m still here...

It Gets Better [With Time]

Blouse & Skirt by Sweet Water Vintage, Photography by Dondre Green

 

When it seems like you can't see the other side, 

When your head is left behind for the ride,

When the message is missing from your mind...

Know that it gets better with time.

 

When you can't keep your heart from breaking,

When your nerves are just too shaky,

When the balance of your emotions don't align... 

Know that it gets better with time...

 

When your enemy is who you see in the mirror, 

When your dreams reveal your darkest terror,

When you're dodging feelings in a emotional landmine... 

Know that it gets better with time...

 

When living your truth leaves others in the dark,

When you can't tell instinct and anxiety apart,

When the brightness from your own light leaves you blind...   

Know and believe...that it gets better with time.

  

 

 

 

 

 

Ready Or Not

  

Photography by Scottie O.

When I made the claim that I was ready for my life to change, the Universe called me on my bluff. Abrupt shifts have shaken me into damn-near unbearable discomfort. I've been having a hard time articulating what's going on with me. It's like a comforting discomfort where I have no idea where I'm going or how I'm going to get there. I'm scared out of my mind, but a part me knows that I'm being guided by the natural flow of my life. And that flow naturally leads me to exactly what was destined for me; as if the Universe knows something that I don't know. As if the Universe is done waiting for me to catch up. It's like my heart is already there, my intuition (spirit) is cosigning, but my mind is still skeptical. I keep telling myself that I want things to change, but the second they start to, I become tense, anxious, and afraid... 

I'm practicing being present with these feelings; Actually acknowledging them and letting them work their way through me. I've given myself affirmations to reference as I'm going through this process:

  1. Just ride the waves and let the flow take you away.
  2. Never reject or question the messages. Just receive them and say "thank you."
  3. If you think you can't, know that you definitely CAN and soon will. 
  4. Honor your feelings [all fifty million of them] and give yourself space to process them by any means necessary. 
  5. You'll probably never know how, but know that you absolutely WILL get through it. 

For me, the true test to whether or not I am ready to move forward with my life, was being presented with the option to revisit old relationships and having to make the decision to either fall back into old patterns/habits, or to leave them where they're at. Untie those knots in my stomach, and embrace the unknown. The beautiful thing about mistakes is that no one is exempt from making them. When you allow your ego to take a backseat, you may notice that "to lose", may actually mean "to gain." My relationship with my past has been the most challenging to part with. My past has been the ghost, haunting me as I enter new spaces. Once I release my ghost, I'll be allowed the space I need to grow. And those that enter [or have remained in] my life are here as teachers, supporters, profits, blessings... 

Let Go. Let Love. Expand Your Mind. Open Your Heart. Receive These Blessings. Repeat.       

For Mattie

Mattie Louis Patterson

My Aries Angel

Even in spirit I can feel your vibration. 

When my eyes close, I see you.

My heart beats for yours.

Your personality lives through mine.

To carry any trait of yours, is an honor that I hold.

 

One lingering wish is to know you as you were when you were my age,

In this pivotal moment of self-discovery and awakening womanhood. 

I often wonder if we've traveled similar paths,

Or if our journeys are aligned.

I often wonder what guidance you'd give

What life lessons you'd share.

 

When I'm at odds with my thoughts and my emotions

I ask myself, "What would Mommie say?"

"What would Mommie do?"

Would you tell me that this is a part of my purpose?

Would you say that I need to trust my path? 

Or would you tell me just to stop...and listen to my heart?

 

This heart that beats as yours,

THAT is where all these answers lie. 

These courageous women that have appeared in my life,

These peers and elders that have harmoniously woven their magic with mine,

I know that you've sent them my way.

I know that they deliver your messages.

I know that they awaken my light.

I know that light comes from You.

 

I will forever thank you for your presence, 

The feeling keeps me alive.

These feelings keeps you alive.

I love you.

Facebook Post, April 1,     2017 (your birthday)      I often think about those times we spent together watching TV Land, doing crossword puzzles, taking trips to Hi Neighbor where you'd always let me pick my own snack before we left. I think about sitting [in the same spot every time] with you at the Southern Jags football games and how everyone just loved Ms. Mattie. I think about your bold sassy personality and how I didn't understand it until I was much older. I remember how stylish you always were and how I loved going through your jewelry. I remember getting my hair washed in your sink and hot combed sitting on those high chairs by the counter. I remember you used to collect bells from every state that you'd traveled to. It seemed like you had a million of them in that case, but realistically it was probably about 20-something. I remember those Chiclets magnets you had on your refrigerator and that old school rotary dial telephone that you kept in your kitchen  I remember when you started forgetting little things, like the food sitting in the microwave for hours. I remember when you were so offended that you weren't invited to Kim [my sister]'s wedding, even though we showed you pictures of you walking down the isle. I remember those difficult calls from you when you couldn't find your purse, or when you'd get lost trying to drive somewhere you'd been too a million times... I remember those difficult visits to the nursing home, and how I hated seeing you there but loved that I still got to see you...I remember the anxiety I had at your funeral, when I had to walk down the same aisle you walked at my sister's wedding, to give the offering for your service. I remember the tears rolling down my face when the choir sang "Going Up Yonder" and how I always loved that song until that moment.  I think about where I am in my life right now and the hardships that I face and wonder what kind of advice you'd give me. I think about you everyday. I talk to you everyday. I've started to see you in my personality, in my face. I think about all the stories people shared with me after you passed and how your were known for being this stylish, mouthy, outgoing, social butterfly. I want to be like you so badly. I want to leave a mark like you've left on this planet whenever it's my turn to transition. I want to see you again, in your right state of mind, and hug you, and kiss you, and laugh with you... I know you hear me. I can see the messages you send me. I can feel your presence. I know you're guiding me along this path that no one else seems to understand. You paved the way. You set the bar. I know that my strength and drive and personality and sense of independence and sassiness all come from you. I'll continue to be grateful for our unique bond and keep all of these memories for as long as my life allows me to remember. Happy Birthday, Mommie. Thank you for always being YOU ❤️

Facebook Post, April 1, 2017 (your birthday)

 I often think about those times we spent together watching TV Land, doing crossword puzzles, taking trips to Hi Neighbor where you'd always let me pick my own snack before we left. I think about sitting [in the same spot every time] with you at the Southern Jags football games and how everyone just loved Ms. Mattie. I think about your bold sassy personality and how I didn't understand it until I was much older. I remember how stylish you always were and how I loved going through your jewelry. I remember getting my hair washed in your sink and hot combed sitting on those high chairs by the counter. I remember you used to collect bells from every state that you'd traveled to. It seemed like you had a million of them in that case, but realistically it was probably about 20-something. I remember those Chiclets magnets you had on your refrigerator and that old school rotary dial telephone that you kept in your kitchen

I remember when you started forgetting little things, like the food sitting in the microwave for hours. I remember when you were so offended that you weren't invited to Kim [my sister]'s wedding, even though we showed you pictures of you walking down the isle. I remember those difficult calls from you when you couldn't find your purse, or when you'd get lost trying to drive somewhere you'd been too a million times... I remember those difficult visits to the nursing home, and how I hated seeing you there but loved that I still got to see you...I remember the anxiety I had at your funeral, when I had to walk down the same aisle you walked at my sister's wedding, to give the offering for your service. I remember the tears rolling down my face when the choir sang "Going Up Yonder" and how I always loved that song until that moment.

I think about where I am in my life right now and the hardships that I face and wonder what kind of advice you'd give me. I think about you everyday. I talk to you everyday. I've started to see you in my personality, in my face. I think about all the stories people shared with me after you passed and how your were known for being this stylish, mouthy, outgoing, social butterfly. I want to be like you so badly. I want to leave a mark like you've left on this planet whenever it's my turn to transition. I want to see you again, in your right state of mind, and hug you, and kiss you, and laugh with you... I know you hear me. I can see the messages you send me. I can feel your presence. I know you're guiding me along this path that no one else seems to understand. You paved the way. You set the bar. I know that my strength and drive and personality and sense of independence and sassiness all come from you. I'll continue to be grateful for our unique bond and keep all of these memories for as long as my life allows me to remember. Happy Birthday, Mommie. Thank you for always being YOU ❤️