I Cried On My Birthday

A few times.

On October 5th, I turned 29. The last year of my 20’s. Y’all might remember my post about turning 28, last year. It was upbeat. Optimistic—filled with more hope and high expectations than one could have paid for. I was excited for myself and that year. “Just getting started” was the exact phrase that I used. My words of affirmation balloon release + champagne toast + brunch that weekend, was so awesome and meticulously planned out, that I just knew it would set the tone of the most perfect year.

*laughs in disbelief*

Two weeks after I made that post, I fell into a deep depression that lasted for about a week. It was the first time that I can remember being that depressed for that length of time. It was right after I went to my Alma Mater’s Homecoming, (Ayyye, ---the real HU) so I just thought that my mood was affected by the amount of time I spent on the Yard people watching and drinking too much dark liquor.

Little did I know that it would be deeper than that—more about that later.

From that moment on, twenty-eight seemed to be filled with lots of lows, and many moments that I could categorize as more “interesting” than fun. The highs were few and far between.

I seemed to be confused a lot and my job was stressing me out. At the top of the year I just stopped feeling it altogether. The sadness was coming back more frequently, and with more intensity each time. In March, the person I was dating and I broke up—couldn’t see eye to eye anymore-- which exasperated my emotions a little more than expected.

That same month, I became a certified Spin instructor—a goal that I’ve had for some time, which lifted my spirits, but only for a few moments. I wasn’t writing as much. I wasn’t working on my own projects or sleeping as much. Or sleeping too much. I gained weight quickly. I lost it just as fast.  Something was wrong.

In April, I decided to take a leave of absence from my job, citing stress as the cause which my therapist signed off on. The day after my leave started, I couldn’t get out of bed.

It was an ongoing struggle. Yes, there were some days I felt “ok,” even “genuinely happy” but those things were relative. Lest we forget that smiles and conversation don’t always mean what they represent. In means you’re functioning—if that. Many days I was unmotivated. Many other days, I was just... a shell of myself.  "Keeping busy" wasn't the answer. I couldn't focus on anything. Neither was "just be positive." I drank a lot. 

In late May, I made the decision to make the move to finally check out Atlanta. I'd been heavily considering it since the New Year and it was something I wanted to do since at least undergrad, but didn’t start to think of it as a reality until around 2014.  I was desperate to find something to help boost my mood and thought that a change of scenery would be the key. I lasted 2 weeks in the A before the mounting gloom that was looming daily began to overwhelm me. I packed my shit and came back to New York. The day I got home, I found out that my aunt who helped raise me, and whose 80th birthday surprise party I had just helped plan in April, was on life support. She died two weeks later. I helped plan the funeral.

Interestingly enough during that time of making slide shows, assisting with the schedule of services, deciding on burial plots, etc., my mind was focused enough to keep myself from falling. But as soon as the funeral was over, it was dark again.

One Monday in July, after hours of sleeping and weeping so hard that my eyes were almost swollen shut, I called my therapist and told her that I wasn’t having any good days and that I needed help.

I quit my job.

She got me some help. We discussed what I had been avoiding for some time—clinical depression. Evidently, it’s been going on for a while.

We talked about genetics and predispositions.

We talked about triggers, warning signs and taking breaks when needed.
We talked about things that frankly, I’m not yet ready to share.

We talked about remedies and coping mechanisms including but not limited to, continuing to exercise, meditation, going back to the things that make me feel grounded,  exploring certain kinds of medications, and together, we were able to develop a plan that has slowly started to, and hopefully will continue to, help me fight the good fight.

With all that happened last year, I was afraid to plan or get extra hype about this birthday. I just wanted to go with the flow. The only thing I had planned was teaching a Soca Spin class in D.C. on my birthday. (I had to get out of NY—some of my closest friends left and moved, and NYC is a trigger—go figure) I spent the weekend hanging out at some of my favorite places in the District. I had a chill, but fun/relaxing time on that weekend. 

But on October 5th?

I cried.
I cried for the things I didn’t know.
I cried for the hours I stayed in bed.
I cried for the relief that I now feel.
I cried for the Grace that I started not to recognize.
I cried for the Grace that I now feel familiar with.
I cried for all the times I forced myself to keep a smile on my face.
I cried for the harsh self judgement.
I cried for the misunderstanding.
I cried because I know where this came from.
I cried because my friends never left my side. 
I cried because healing is not linear. 
I cried for the love that I had but couldn’t express.
I cried for the light that almost went out.
I cried for my peace.
I cried because God saw fit to keep me.

The tears were necessary. They’re there to refresh the spirit. To replenish the soul. I don’t want sympathy.  It's still all so new and very much a journey, but one that I’m happy to be on, because it means I’m still here.

October 10th was World Mental Health Day.

My hope is, that if you're struggling,  you take the time to be better, kinder and gentler to yourself. 

My hope is, that if you're struggling, you do whatever productive thing you can/ what you need to, and get some help to find, take back, and keep, your right mind. 
One step at a time. One day at a time. I'm right here with you. 

With love, 


Birthday Brunch 10.7.17. 

Birthday Brunch 10.7.17. 



I Turned 28 and Nothing Happened...and then Something Did.

Allow me to explain.

The thing that I’ve been lowkey dreading all year inevitably happened.

Last week, I turned 28. Yup, on October 5th, 2016.

#Libragang #OctobersVeryOwn and all that good stuff. 


To be fair, if I didn’t make it to this point, that would mean that I was dead, so this alternative isn’t that bad when put in context.  

But there’s levels to this shit.
Depending on who you ask (or who’s reading) some may think that it’s not a big deal.

Twenty-Eight-- #2yearsfrom30.

I see my peers doing amazing things, and I think, 'man we’re just getting started.' 

Allow me to generalize for a moment, though. Some of my fellas may start to see their hairlines begin to talk to the back of their necks and some of my ladies may be secretly plotting to freeze their eggs.

Tell me where the lie is. I'll wait. 

We’re getting up there and my knees are consistently remind me of that.

At any rate, I can now say that I am officially late twenties. Gah!

At 27, I could possibly get away with mid. Like, I could answer a survey vaguely-- when they’d ask my age group, I’d do a quick Birdman hand rub and select “mid” like a villain. But, now?

Now, I’m late twenties. LegitAs in, I’m hoping my manager doesn’t need anything from me within the first 30 minutes of work because I won’t actually be there, late.

As in, this research paper was due at noon, It’s 1:30pm and I've tried to see how much bigger I can make this font, late. 

I’m sure you get the picture.

Here’s the thing though— A week into this, it’s not all that bad. It’s been dope, actually. Extremely enlightening and refreshing. Twenty-seven was a doozy. I had another quarter life crisis--something like the David Ruffin, ‘no one comes to see you, Otis!’ meltdown. Life was yoking my little ass up like Melvin did Jody, and then asked me if I wanted anything from the store. It met me in the alley like Harlem Nights, threatening to shoot me in my pinky toe. It was uh-gu-ly.

My love life was equally as amusing, frustrating, devastating and hilarious. A cross between Waiting to Exhale, and “Two Can Play That Game,” with a touch of “Hitch”.  Half the time, I didn’t know if I was living in real time or trapped in an alternate universe full of dudes who think it’s appropriate to send a passive aggressive Venmo request for your half of the date, or text after midnight talkin' bout, ‘wyd’.

What am I doing? Dreaming about all the ways I’m going to block you when I wake up.  (For clarity, the Venmo story didn’t happen to me, because y’all would have heard about it but, come on!)

The bottom line is, I survived 27, and although there are some events and milestones I thought I would have reached by now--like marriage, a brownstone, having a dog named Brooklyn and becoming a millionaire, (let’s all laugh together) I’m still in a great space.  It took a while to get here—to accept myself fully and completely. I am still figuring myself out, one day at a time and loving the woman I have become and am becoming.  I’m still learning, growing, crying (those who know me, know that I’m a cry baby) and moving forward at a pace that I am comfortable with. I'm running my own race and staying in my lane--which is a major key---recognizing both my shortcomings and my strengths, and reaching out for support where I find myself lacking.

Forget 25—THIS is my prime.

Twenty-eight also means, that It’s officially been 10 years since I’ve become a legal adult.  (Which they definitely should reconsider because I STILL find myself on the struggle bus to adulthood, so ain’t no way my 18-year-old self was ready to be one). I can honestly say that in the last 10 years, the amount of growth, change, peaks and lows, and life altering experiences, have all been worth it.

To commemorate this, instead of doing the traditional dinner last week, (don’t get me wrong—I went to brunch this past Sunday because, let’s be real, brunch is life)—I decided to approach this new season in my life, and closing/opening chapters as it pertains to my personal and professional growth with a symbolic gesture.

I released balloons off of a Brooklyn rooftop with words of affirmation, dreams and wishes for myself for this new year on earth and moving forward.  My friends also put their dreams and wishes for me on the balloons and released them, and we toasted with champagne. It was a perfect.

As the prophet and my emotional future husband Drake says, what a time to be alive. The thing I was afraid of, ended up being just fine, and I am embracing all that this new age has to offer.  I am indeed, just getting started.