Today, I am thankful I don’t get mad when I give Levi blueberries in his snack cup (And today it was too many-I knew that up front), and he throws them on floor. I also don’t get mad-or feel anything-when he has a tantrum because all the berries are on the floor. I simply listen to him count them as he drops them back into the cup and runs off sprinkling them all over the floor. Antioxidant confetti, if you will.

 

Anyhow, as I always do, I have some random thoughts bouncing around in my own snack cup (Coffee cup) I would like to share:

 

  1. When do we forgive?

 

Our family is in San Diego for a few days because Ambyr is taking part in a cybersecurity training thing (Read:There are so many nerds in the hotel that I am choking. I refuse to make eye contact. And eye contact is my thing) to gain more skills for work and for her business. Go Bae! We are downtown, right by the water which is usually a good thing, but it won’t get past 70 degrees the entire time we are here. Not good news. Anyhow, I was thinking of things I could take Levi to do today. I considered taking him to the zoo, but the only sneakers I have are some beat up Chuck Taylor’s that are sure to kill my feet and make me cranky. Sea World popped into my mind, and I quickly dismissed the thought, because well, everyone knows Sea World is evil. You saw Blackfish. Since the documentary was released, Sea World has made some changes to their brand, spurred by “Changing attitudes towards animal attractions.” Not only have they put 175 million dollars into new exhibits, they have also phased out all killer whale shows and captive breeding of orcas. This is good, right? Apparently not good enough for me to give them a chance on a day like today, where it is super gray and drab outside, and I would only have to travel like three miles. I am just done with Sea World. I almost feel silly about it, because hey, they are trying! But something inside is like, so what? They did major damage! No one should be going there! I have forgiven raggedy ass boyfriends for worse pain and suffering to my mind and body.

 

Here’s a list of other things/corporations/people I am boycotting at the moment:

  • Starbucks
  • The NFL (all pro sports really)
  • Pork (There is one exception)
  • Uber (I love Bozoma Saint John, but still)
  • Levi R. Leidig (He is playing with the berries again)

 

When do we forgive? Or are we forever mad?

 

  1. Geography is key.

 

Even though the internet can be a hotbed of negativity( The thing with Cardi B is killing me today), it also has its decent points. Globalization and the World Wide Web go hand in hand. Each time I talk to my brother in Jamaica, or his son in North Carolina, or even my fellow housewife friend-no clue what her name is-I have to smile at the power of connection.

Yesterday, I was talking to my nephew Amar, who is slowly becoming one of my favorite people. We discussed some of his new dance videos, and after tagging him in a post by one of my favorite comedians, Aphrican Ape, I told him he should take dance classes. He said the one closest to him in Rockingham, North Carolina, only caters to girls. I was incredulous. How could a dance school only want to teach girls? It’s 2018. To me, it made no sense, so I did some work on Google, and discovered that basically, the schools in his area weren’t for him. We virtually laughed and shook our heads, before he told me he wanted to come to California to make his dreams come true. I told him while many people move to California to make dreams come true, dreams come true wherever you make them. I expected him to agree, but what I love about the youth-and I always have-is their ability to make you think critically about what you say and do. They are not afraid to correct you, or challenge long held beliefs about life. He replied, “No one from Rockingham makes it out of Rockingham. The only person who made it out was The Dream, and he is a one hit wonder.” After correcting him about The Dream (The man has hits.), I thought about what he said, and while I still believe that the dream is bigger and more important than the place, there is no denying that sometimes geography can hold you back. The only thing my nephew can do to quench his thirst for dancing is start his own group, or use public transportation to find a class outside of his town. I have never been to Rockingham, but there are no classes for boys who want to dance, so I am already turned off. I know for sure there were a few switches in my life that only got turned on when I left Florida. I left Florida, got serious about writing, earned a degree, and started three businesses. Could I have done that in Florida?Absolutely. But I didn’t. That place grew me, taught me to read, and drive, and made me a fighter, but my ambition grew when my comforts were gone.

 

Additionally, examining place, and the role it plays makes me think of my new home in Inglewood, vs my previous residences in LA-first Mid-City, then North Hollywood. When I am in Inglewood, I step a little higher. My feet feel lighter. The lady at the security gate calls me “Miss Toya,” and I have only been familiar with her for a week. It is like we have known each other for a while, and though I joke about her calling me by my nickname because “she doesn’t know me,” she actually does, doesn’t she?

Carrying Black babies in present-day America is almost a state of emergency because our babies are disproportionately born premature, or die at birth because Black women are so stressed. The medical community has finally recognized Blackness as a strain on our minds and bodies so strong that we are not thriving. We are “the others” in a major way. While I admit I have felt this otherness in places like Glendale, at a nail shop run by young Armenian girls, I usually brush it off, because I am a queen and I know that, no matter where I am-it is a real feeling.

 

When I am in Inglewood, drums beat in my ears and the pulse of the people hums through the streets. I know the history of my current city, but things are changing. Fear not, family members-it isn’t like the movies you have seen.

 

I am at home.