Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Keep Moving

The push to move on to the next big thing in your life can come out of nowhere. As was the case for me last week. For a while I have been struggling with deciding where to take my writing career. Some days I feel like I just want to write books and do nothing else. Other days, I want to be this poppin’ freelance writer, with amazing page views on my blog. But most recently I’ve had the desire to go into teaching.

While I know it’s very possible to do all three, I’ve been leaning towards writing books and teaching. I’ve actually been leaning toward this teaching thing for over a year now; yet other than researching course programs, I haven’t done much of anything to get started. Fact is, I was comfortable. Comfortable in the schedule I had carved out for myself—writing and working on personal projects in the morning and working part-time in the afternoon. And whenever I would think about moving into teaching, I would push it to the side thinking I would get into it later.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Petty Moment

I was thumbing down my Instagram feed and there it was. An acquaintance of mine had posted a picture of her new self-published book. “When did she become a writer?” I asked out loud.

I know how the old saying goes, “There is a story in all of us.” But there are certain things I feel people do nowadays only because it’s popular and trendy; and being a writer is one of them. I am a firm believer of having a passion and a purpose in life. And once you’ve figure yours out, you not only should walk in it, but find ways to master it too.

Take me for example: I have always been a writer and have the elementary school awards to show it, LOL. There has always been something in me that has led me down the path of writing. But because I didn’t pay attention to it, I didn’t realize writing was my passion until my late twenties. And once I figured that out, I hit the ground running. I started my blog, enrolled in some personal essay writing classes, and started reading books on how to perfect my writing. And even now, I’m constantly looking for ways to better myself as a writer because it’s all about growth. My point in all of this is that I have put work into making myself grow as a writer. So when I saw said acquaintance achieve a goal that I’ve been working towards for over three years now, I had a petty moment. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

You Can Call Her Edgy

An abundance of curls, curls, and more curls is what you see when you glance at Curly Edgy. But she is truly more than just her hair. Having been a Nauralista for over four years now, this Queens, NYC native is doing her part to educate women in the ever growing popular choice of going natural.

In January of this year Curly Edgy started her self-entitled YouTube channel to fill a void in the natural hair world. Prior to this, when she would ask other curly haired girls about their own hair care, Curly Edgy noticed that many women gave her little to no feedback. With that she decided to embark on her own path of curl type discovery, which now includes her helping other women. “I wanted to help others who are discouraged to reach out and ask for help, this way more people can embrace and love their hair.”

Read More: Here

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Dear Friends & Family: I No Longer Expect Your Applause

Up until a month ago, I was that person who secretly was always seeking applause from my peers and family. I would see friends share their latest accomplishments and watch the great feedback they would receive… and I wanted it too. However, I wasn’t sharing any of my accomplishments because nothing I’ve been working on has been accomplished, yet. But what I was actually seeking was recognition for the work I was putting in.

And not receiving recognition for the hours spent on certain projects, that may in fact take years to finish, was really starting to take a toll on me. I started to feel like I was creating stuff for no reason (as if anything I do should ever be based on the opinions of others…), all because people weren’t clapping for the progress I was making. 

Read More: Here

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Double The Worth: Meet Bilingual On Air Personality Jes Perez

Courageous, funny, and lively are just a few ways I describe Jes Perez. Along with her big vibrant smile, Jes is one of the premiere Latina’s breaking ground in the entertainment industry.
After spending much of her childhood in the Dominican Republic, this Brooklyn-born hard worker obtained a degree in Video Arts and Technology and has been working none stop ever since. Jes honed her hosting and productions skills by completing many industry internships. From being featured in various national television and magazine campaigns, and music videos; Jes has carved out a noteworthy lane for herself in the up and down industry of entertainment.
Having achieved so much already, Jes continues to push herself to pursue new opportunities and further her career. She is currently the first Multicultural Bilingual host for Radio Disney New York. She also created her own video series, Industry High, where she aims to inspire viewers to pursue their dreams in the entertainment industry.
Read More: Here

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Yes, Black People Do Dance To ‘Spanish Music’

It would be weird to go to one of your family gatherings and see Black people dancing to Spanish music,” someone said to me. “Why?” I asked. “Because…it would just be weird,” he responded.  

This comment was made to me over seven years ago and it’s still at the forefront of my mind. Mostly because the ignorant comment holds true to what many of us already know, which is that people still don’t know or understand that Black people can actually be Latino. But at this point, I feel I have exhausted the topic of Afro-Latinos not being recognized so I’ll leave that alone, for now.

The ‘Spanish music’ that my associate was referring to when he made that comment could actually be anything from Salsa and Merengue to Bachata and Reggaeton, amongst several others. All of which, and more, I grew up listening to in my Panamanian household. 

The under lying common factor in Latin American music is that they are all mixed with sounds from Africa. Because of the Slave Trade with Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean are filled with many African influences, and music is not exempt. One major African influence that is still present in today’s Latin American music is the use of the drums. These are the sounds that came from religious ceremonies and the fun that came along with free dancing. 

Read More: Here

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Going Back to Cali?

*It's important to note that the below was written while listening to DJ Quik and two days after seeing the movie, Straight Outta Compton*

On October 2nd it will be three years that I have lived in NYC. Whenever I meet new people I get asked one or both of the following: "Why did you leave California?" and "Do you ever plan on going back?" Of course I have a great story for the first question, but I never, ever have an answer for the second one. That is until about two hours ago. I was in the middle of working on a writing assignment while listening to music and out of nowhere it hit me.

I think I'm ready to go back... 

Friday, September 4, 2015

When Hip Hop Stopped Being The Hood CNN

A throwback from 2012...

Music of any genre means different things to its fans, it’s all about how we receive and interpret what we hear. Music gives artists the freedom to express themselves however they see fit. It’s their platform to talk about whatever they want. So if they decide to educate, entertain, or do both, it’s their choice. In all honesty, the majority of today’s Hip Hop music seems to only entertain, rather than inform us. And this could be the reason why many people do not look to Hip Hop as a new source anymore, as it once was in the past.

Another reason could be because we have several different mediums reporting information to us constantly. With just a touch of an icon on our cell phones we are able to spread news to each other faster than ever. But years ago, before all of this advanced technology we got our information from our nightly news broadcasts and newspapers. And because they selected what they wanted to report, not everything was reported. As was the case with certain problems that plagued the city of Los Angeles.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Life Through the Eyes of A 5-Year-Old

Toward the end of 2014 I started volunteering at an after school program, helping Kindergarten and first graders with their homework. Within the few months of volunteering I had grown very fond of the entire class. From constantly having to tell many to stay in their seats and not shout out answers, to the soft spoken few, who I have to ask to repeat their answers so everyone can hear them; I truly loved every single little inquisitive personality. It was then that I understood why teachers often refer to their students as their kids.

Five and six-year-olds are innocent in so many ways. They only think and worry about what is in front of them. They don’t deal with anything else until it comes up. Their minds don’t even process the concept of bills and making sure there is food on the table. They’re not concerned with the things of tomorrow, they live in the moment. Their most worrisome thoughts are who gets to help pass out snacks and who will be selected as line leader for the walk to the drinking fountain.

While volunteering I wasn’t sure of the impact I had on the kids or if I even made one at all. But they changed my outlook on how I go about my day. Being around those carefree attitudes twice a week, four months straight, caused me to reevaluate my stressful lifestyle.

Read More: Here