(Politickin: The Chicago Peace Project participants discussing future goals, ancient societies, and their favorite cartoons while creating art in trauma-informed breakout sessions facilitated by the Teen Arts Council members.)
(Drop Me Off at the L: Teen Arts Council members facilitate an icebreaker called Mr. Taxi Driver for The Chicago Peace Project participants.)
Is it still Friday? Cool, this “Flashback Friday” is dedicated to the Chicago Peace Project and our awesome day with local artist Karen Perkins and the Teen Arts Council youth. Chicago Peace Plan is a curriculum that I created to foster meaningful exchanges between teens and youth from different neighborhoods.
As the youth talked about their future career and entrepreneurship goals, ancient civilizations and favorite clothing, I thought about the meaning of trauma-informed care. When Black boys talk about ancient history and Black girls laugh and find happiness in the moment. I kinda feel overjoyed.
Were there experiences like this for you as a young person? Share how you benefitted from it in the comments below!
I was invited to sit on a panel for the community discussion of this woman, Audrey Petty’s, book entitled “High Rise Stories: Voices From Chicago Public Housing.”
Not many people know, but I grew up in the Harold Ickes homes; like anybody else, I have experienced good times and struggles.
I realized a long time ago that when you start wanting better for yourself, people might want to tear you down or destroy your vision.
But tonight, I got to share a small piece of MY story, teach other people, and even learned some history from my elders.
This event only confirmed that, in spite of any naysayers, I will still aspire to enlighten myself then help educate the younger generations.
Today’s blog is actually a repost from my Facebook Memories feed. The pictures and the recap of the experience were written on Friday, January 17, 2014 before the development of the Sincerely, Tyra website, before #SlayTheDream was conceived. For more work like the ‘Catalyst Stories’ series, visit the About Tyra page.
I hope that each experience with the Sincerely, Tyra brand empower you to think about how dope you are, inspires you to share your talents and resources, build community with each other, and pushes you to #SlayTheDream this year!
Free ways you can support the #SlayTheDream movement:
✅ Go to the Community tab on our Facebook Page, hit “Invite Friends,” and smile!
Having a conversation with a good friend and she asks me about a guy that I used be involved with wondering about the “end story.”
So I told her we grew apart and let her know that I really believed he didn’t want a committed relationship.
She went on to ask how I knew that he didn’t want one. My response: “If we both wanted the same thing, we would be in a relationship right now.”
I had to explain to my friend that I knew this because he never made a deciding move. Don’t get me wrong now, we’re not on bad terms. We don’t hate each other. We simply aren’t meant to be committed to each other. And ultimately, his actions (or lack thereof) spoke for his desires.
As women, sometimes society wants us to wait around for the man to “get his mind right,” “get his stuff together,” and figure what he wants—or even, lead him into the relationship.
But sis, let me you something: You know what you deserve! Don’t let that man distract you from living the life that you want or sit around waiting for him to pick you.
GO LIVE YOUR LIFE!
The man you’re supposed be with will come along and make his intentions very well known, sis! —Sincerely, Tyra
I’m sure You heard me say that I would close out this year on “Cloud Nine,” praising You and blessing Your Name for all this goodness that You have done thus far….
I think right as I was saying that the devil asked You if He could try me.
There have been distractions since then; illness and bodily fatigue tried to take me out this week and last; my sense of right and wrong has been challenged; my self-confidence has been tested (and misplaced a few days); changes at work have had people on edge and lacking faith in leadership; I have had to be the example when I lacked encouragement; a few tears were shed over broken relationships; friends have expressed sorrow about situations in their lives; I have had to carry my child in the house on cold and dark nights—alone—wondering whether I’m risking her safety just getting out of the car; and most recently, My Joy’s (and, thus, my own) sleep has been disrupted by nightmares on multiple nights.
But, despite all of this, I know that You are faithful to those who seek You.
So, in this season, You will NOT have to ask me twice to be the person that You have called me to be.
I am not the same person that I was when he tried me the last time. Thankfully, I feel like You have covered me with Your grace, Holy Spirit. You will not be called a lie by the devil on my name, Father God.
My God, You are inspiring!
You are beyond good to me. You have provided and kept us when I turned the corner and found myself on Harm’s Way. You are my rest and my triumphant peace and refuge. Your heart shall not be broken my free will or choices. My stance is to choose You over everything else.
Can I worship You today, Heavenly Father? Would it please You for me to cry the Blood of Jesus over every trial in my life? If You don’t pay me any more attention this year, can I still love You?
My heart longs to be closer to You. Thank You for the touch of mercy You have presented in my life. Thank You for never abandoning me. Your staying power is unmatched.
Thank You for telling me that I am enough—even with my flaws. Your strength has helped me grow in ways I could have never imagined. Thank You for exceeding my expectations of who I can be and what I can accomplish in this earthly realm. Take over me; my spirit belongs to You. Continue making me the person You desire for me to be.
This I ask in Jesus Christ’s Name,
This week, I’m listening to: “Incredible God, Incredible Praise.”
Today, I’m reading the book of Job, chapters 32-34.
Good morning God, what a beautiful reminder of Your omnipresence; that Your Spirit is meant to reside in me; that I’m enough just the way I am; that You care despite ______; that You are always desiring to get closer to me…
Thank You for coming after me. Thank You for sending Your peace; thank You for sending Your love in ways that I didn’t know I needed. Thank You for breathing on my situation. Your Spirit came in the room and covered it.
“I didn’t know I could have a friend like you.”
Battling every giant on my behalf…
Bold enough to take on all my doubts…
Creator of everything…
Friend and Father…
Reviver of the dead and hopeless…
Strong, yet merciful…
You can have everything that’s within me… Keep challenging me… Keep expanding my prayer life… Keep ushering me into the purpose You have for my life… Keep leading me into the full depths of knowing of Your sacrificial love.
I’m on cloud nine and I don’t wanna come down. | Natural high, haters can’t make me calm down. | Hunting for it and I could eat it right now. | These mf’in poems ain’t gon sell theyself na. | 😂…
(Okay, I got it out of my system! I watched the entire season of Rhythm & Flow yesterday after church.)
But, if I’m being honest: That mini verse completely describes how I feel after this weekend. It was such a dope display of village love in terms of celebrations.
On Friday, I got a call from one of our partner organizations asking if I could be a panelist during their final city-wide meeting for the year. Um… yes! (Well is was more like: YAAASSSSSS.)
Then, I participated in a panel showcasing my first book, A Smothered Scripture on Saturday.
It was really cool to hear the stories of the other authors and give advice to some aspiring writers. The overall experience made me realize how little of a platform that I’ve created for myself as someone whose normally coordinating events to showcase other people’s strengths. So, of course, I learned something, too.
But—full disclosure—nothing makes me happier than when someone flips to a random page of my book and completely relates to what they’re reading. At the end of the event, books were selling (and yes, a few given away) and I’m down to my last five when one of the audiences members (with a dope story in her own right), got super geeked reading a specific line on page 31. I even had another woman report that she started reading it when she got home that evening and didn’t stop until she was done. The flutter in my heart still hasn’t left at the sound of her words.
Later I got to see some of my favorite people at my best friend’s baby shower. As soon as we walked in the door, it was all love. She’s an event planner at heart so of course the venue was really cute and full of laughter.
By the time I got home, I was tired but so hyped that I designed my book cover for Soul Fed in one sitting. Now I’m focused on getting the book edited just to see what the cover will look like in real life. I have a lot of work to do. But these past few days made me realize that I need to take more time to celebrate the benchmarks that I have reached.
So my goal for the end of the year is to “leave no accomplishment uncelebrated.” I intend to live on cloud nine for the rest of the year and expect everyone around me to get comfortable up here with the same energy.
Do you have ideas that you are working on or waiting to come to fruition? What’s going to push you to check them off your list before the end of the year?
Note to my village: We have a new baby, November and December birthdays and family gatherings to prepare for; we are so blessed! Thank you in advance for riding this wave with me! I love y’all!
Crazy quilts are unique and innovative quilts created from scraps of material. They're crafted from odd pieces that don't always match or fit together without the work of an artist. My hope is for a world that values this unique artwork. I blog to make IPOC authors and their works more accessible, to make all the pieces fit together.