Friday, August 28, 2015

Why My Brother Will Always Be My Best Friend


I was in Rite-Aid shopping for a few things and chatting with my older brother Guillermo on my phone. The music playing in the store was a song I’d heard before but didn’t know all the words to. While confidently making up my own words to the melody, I loudly sang them to him. I wanted to see if Guillermo could guess the name of the song. He said my singing was horrible, LOL. But after I got to the most recognizable part of the chorus, he figured it out; and we both started singing Billy Idol’s, “Mony:”

                        “Don’t stop cookin’ cause I feel all right now, hey!
                        “I said yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,”
                        “(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah).”


That is until I realized I was in the middle of the toothpaste aisle singing and doing way too much. This experience of random singing pretty much sums up the hilarity of my relationship with Guillermo. We didn’t always get along though (as kids tend not to), and even certain times in our adult relationship have been testy. But once we hit a certain age Guillermo truly became my best friend. 

When I moved across the country from my family, I was really concerned with how my relationship with them would be affected. But my move has only made my bond with them stronger, especially with Guillermo. Our conversations go from funny and casual, to sometimes necessary and serious. I can talk to him about anything and I’ve grown to value his opinions. And because my relationship with him is so important to me, it’s hard for me to understand how other siblings don’t get along or never speak to each other.

Read More: Here

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

10 Career Lessons From Award Winning Journalist Danyel Smith


Last Thursday evening Her Agenda and AlleyNYC hosted Content, Creativity, and Career with Danyel Smith. As a testament to Danyel’s work and longevity in journalism, the room was filled with eager attendees, including myself, who were ready to hear Danyel give some insight into her successful career and share some advice.

The conversation started with Danyel touching on her Oakland, CA upbringing and how the freedom she had as a child gave her the boldness she carried into her adulthood and career. In addition, she shared the one thing she would tell her younger self: “Don’t be so sensitive.” A lesson she first learned when an attempt at interviewing Stanley “MC Hammer” Burrell didn’t go as planned.

Danyel has come a long way from trying to nab freelance gigs on the west coast. From being an Editor at BillboardTime Inc, and VIBE. Danyel has written for several publications including ElleEssenceRolling Stone, and presently ESPN The Magazine. She has two books under her belt and is working on a third. Danyel recently completed a Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University and is currently teaching at Syracuse University.

After all these accomplishments, Danyel still finds ways to shape the journalism industry and push herself in different ways. One way being collaborating with her husband Elliott Wilson on the rapidly approaching release of HRDCVR, “A hardcover culture magazine created by diverse teams for a diverse world.”

Read More: Here

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Journey of Womanhood, Writing, & Relativity


I’ve known and have been following Tyece Wilkins of Twenties Unscripted for about a year now. Throughout that time she has been a constant source of inspiration. With her openness and natural ability to write about her life experiences, it’s no wonder she has been able to cultivate a space that so many readers can relate to.

Tyece’s book, released on July 16th, Twenties Unscripted: A Journey of Womanhood, Writing, and Relativity is a gathering of essays from her blog. In addition to some new and previously unpublished pieces. As the title suggests, the book centers on three major aspects of Tyece’s life that many of us women can relate to.

After reading and thoroughly enjoying the book, I decided to take a different approach to this interview. Instead of asking questions about the book, I picked some (just some) of my favorite quotes from Tyece and asked her to either elaborate on them or offer advice on how to handle certain situations.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Words Have Power


“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” Never has there been a phrase that was so far from the truth. There have been many instances in my life when I in fact wished bones were actually broken, instead of having to hear certain words being spoken to me.

Words have power. They have the power to change our feelings and behavior. It’s like when people say, “Don’t call a child bad because they will grow up to actually be bad.” Well the same holds true for everything that comes out of our mouths. Our words literally have the power to create or destroy; whether in our own lives, or that of another person’s.

When you speak negatively about yourself or your situation, you feel negative on the inside. And that negative feeling can be the determining factor between you getting up and doing something or completely giving up. For years I worked in the advertising industry and because it wasn’t my passion, I really disliked my job. I never had anything positive to say about it and that made everything worse than it actually was. I complained and complained, and never did anything to change my situation. All I focused on was the bad, because everything that came out of my mouth was bad. Had I spoke positively about the few good things that position offered, I know my time there would have went a lot smoother and my attitude would have been better. I know it’s easy to say now because I’m not in that situation any more, but hindsight is always 20/20. And the lesson I learned then is something I continue to apply to my life now.

Read More: Here


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Afro-Brazilian Ballerina Ingrid Silva



Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, Ingrid Silva has been dancing since the age of eight. With her family’s encouragement, Ingrid attended ballet classes every day after school while growing up. She went on to accomplish so much as a dancer that she created a path for herself that led to the United States. At age 19, Ingrid obtained a full scholarship to attend the Dance Theatre of Harlem for the summer. She later joined the Dance Theatre of Harlem Company in 2013.

Ingrid has gone on to dance in many principle roles and serve as a guest artist in various projects. With over 17 years of dance experience and much success, Ingrid still manages to remain humble and remember where she came from: “I come from a favela in Brazil, am black, have a poor family and yet, despite all those odds, I became a ballerina.”
Get to know more about Ingrid in the interview below.

Read More: Here


Monday, August 17, 2015

There Is Power In Understanding There Is A Plan For Our Life


A few years ago my mom sent me this Bible verse via text message and it has stayed with me ever since. It has become my go-to verse; the one I recite when I consider giving up. I have this verse written on various post-it notes in different places, including my wallet. It also hangs on my bedroom wall. This verse is in random places because I love reading it, especially when I need some encouragement.
There have been several times in my life when I’ve felt like I was doing something in vain, or I was working toward something that seemed far-fetched. In those difficult and discouraging moments, Jeremiah 29:11 has sparked motivation and pushed my creative juices to flow again.
My faith in God is very important to me and is something I hold closely. In all major life changing decisions I have consulted the Lord first and got the answers I needed. There have also been times when I didn’t pray about a situation, but it worked out anyway. When this happens I always think, “Did I pray about this?” And then I remember God is constantly looking out and opening the right doors for me. I know when things happen “naturally” in my eyes, it’s actually God who is making things happen on my behalf.
Read More: Here

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

On Hiatus


I'm taking some time off from blogging to work on some other projects and of course live my life and enjoy the summer. As of right now I plan to be back after the 4th of July, but I may extend this hiatus until after Labor day.

Either way, I will not leave you without my opinion and things that catch my attention. This will be done via The Essence of Me's Facebook page. This is where I will repost and comment on things that I normally would blog about.


Chat with you soon!