Eartha-Ntozake Mashup

“From the Desk of Eartha-Ntozake:

Interesting how that works for a woman—brown-braided and radical

like myself. I can be as fragile as flower

and as submissive as a servant. And yet, it’s always been the ones that said

they want a woman

who has something to offer the world

that leave me abandoned.

So they’ll never get to see me

crumbling from the inside out, tear-stained cheek bones, low and regular as they get sometimes.

Their desire to witness that Tyra never outweighs their contempt

for my need to be a free-thinking woman, radically fragile and totally emotionally attached like I get sometimes.”

||

I wrote this on a whim.

After a long day.

Reflecting on my friendships

and past relationships.

Always been intrigued by

the dualities people have

to (by need or want)

pack into their daily lives.

Always considered the

effort it must take to

unpack those complexities

and in front of another person

at that. Can you imagine being

completely and complexly vulnerable

in front of person? I’m aghast

just thinking about it.

What if it’s thrown back in my face?

What if it warrants a lover to surrender his love to me?!

Ready to find out?

Think I could.

Asked for discernment to choose

the right man as options seem scarce

and plentiful all at once. At once, it was meantful… I mean mindful

to want to be the fun,

yet single, holdin’ it down ass mom.

Bet. Been there, done that one.

Found that was unfavorable

or at least that ONE was unfavored

by God Himself.

He crept into my heart

when I had everything and

carried each piece of me away

like a raccoon

rummaging through a dumpster. No wonder, my ravishingly simple personality

is driven by a slight disenchantment of love. I’m Eartha-Ntozake. I am nonchalant

about it all. All the while knowing,

I have been idolized in past and current lives by men who would remain temporary.

How despairing

is it that I am continent’s worth

of Queen’s pride

and nonetheless romantically deprived because it is so?”

||

(Note: It needs cleaning up, but my hand started cramping. And I’m actually not too sensitive about my work, so you can leave comments or suggestions. I’ll either use it or not. Just don’t steal it or not credit me puh-lease.)

–Sincerely, Tyra

#SincerelyTyra #SlayTheDream #poetry #spokenword #playwright #excerpt #love #poem #relationships #excuses #work

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Eartha-Ntozake Mashup

18 Love Lessons I Learned in 2018

So I took some time to reflect on my relationships from last year. This list represents the love (and sometimes lackluster love) that I experienced in the form of my family ties, friendships, and more intimate relationships. Ultimately, I realized that I should pay special attention to the ones that were blessings and found some important lessons in the rest. Please take what you need.

Dear Self,

1. Sex will not sustain you.

2. A relationship will not complete you either; so be patient and #SlayTheDream

3. The business is better than the boo. Build it. Plan Ahead. Take your time.

4. Be careful. Be discerning. The devil will pray for you, too.

5. Backsliding was never your thing. Don’t start now. Despite his words, there was a reason it didn’t last.

6. Godly love or no love. Create boundaries.

8. Make sure your friends know how to pray for you and with you regularly. Communicate rather than isolate.

9. Are you equally yoked? Has God designed him especially for you?

10. Leadership is having self-control.

11. Let him check on you. If he’s about you, he’ll know that you deserve to be cared for sometimes, too.

12. Don’t forget what you learned.

13. Remember to heed your own advice.

14. Your youth are watching your example.

15. This year has been awesomely designed in your favor. But there is more work to do.

16. Remember God’s grace, mercy, favor rests in your most important relationship.

17. Practice silent confidence; walk the tightrope between humility and humbleness.

18. When you need a break from community organizing, remember this world we live in is not ready for My Joy.

BONUS: Obedience is difficult at times, but will reap more than you can imagine. Believe God.

–Sincerely, Tyra

#SlayTheDream

18 Love Lessons I Learned in 2018

Kujichaguli-whaat?!

Today, I had an important appointment earlier with an associate which ended up in me having to reflect on a few of my past mistakes. I had to remember times when I thought poorly of myself and times when I allowed other’s perception of me to infiltrate my own self-image. In fact, I used to swear that my stomach was huge. I may as well have been because I thought I was a house—especially, in this second photo.

Major props to the person who can figure out in which of these photos I’m a whole FIVE months pregnant. Ultimately, I had become distracted and disconnected from my values—a few of which were not built on a strong foundation since I grew up dealing with low self-esteem. I couldn’t see myself in those early years (I mean that quite literally—my eyesight was so terrible without my glasses that I actually couldn’t see my own image in the mirror and I ALWAYS had the hugest glasses that would further prevent me from seeing my actual face). So by the time most of these photos were taken, I had fallen off a cliff and into a deep valley of trying to determine who I was and wanted to become.

Perception is the reality in which we dwell—and mine was completely chopped and screwed. It took a lot of work since the birth of my daughter to rebuild a positive view of myself in a few areas. My self-determination looks like me standing in the mirror saying “Girl, you fine” or even appreciating my post-toddler girth and laughing at these photos and the audacity of myself thinking I was too big in any area (What’s even crazier is that I really believed I was well-endowed in the chest. Can you say itty-bitty?).

My prayer is that as we come down off the high of the holiday cheer and move forward into this new year, we determine how we want to perceive ourselves and constantly work toward strengthening that self-image.

Happy Day 2 of Kwanzaa!

–Sincerely, Tyra

#SlayTheDream

Kujichaguli-whaat?!

#InternationalSelfCareDay

During last week’s Career Day discussions, some my students asked our professional guests whether or not they bring work home. There was a time when I would have said yes.

For example, I could be having the craziest day at work. Somebody else could be working on being messy while everyone else is doing the actual work. Trust, that mess will not come home with me anymore. Recently, I made a commitment to myself to not bring work home anymore or let stressful energy follow me home.

At three years old, My Joy (my daughter) constantly reminds me “ain’t nobody got time for that.” Quite honestly, she has an energy that makes me forget about the negativity (or on some days, an overwhelming amount of work) anyway.

So right now we are over here on my couch watching sign language videos and she is having a ball.

Thankful for work-life balance.

–Sincerely, Tyra

#InternationalSelfCareDay

Flash Dance

In preparation for this summer, we have been taking more trips to Home Depot’s garden section. (I’ve bought two new Dracaena plants and been gifted a Dracaena Marginata tree from work because I’m a boss 😂. Honestly, I’m just trying to transform my living room into Eden).

There was one trip in which we left home high off an impromptu dance battle to the Coco soundtrack. We ended up doing pirouettes, shimmies, and plies all through the garden department. It was pretty and dope and I wished that I could have had someone documenting the occasion for us.

So, naturally, the next time we went (literally two days later because apparently Home Depot is my new Target), I filmed as much of the experience as I could. When we got home, I set up our new housemate (the plant) and watched the footage. Then a question hit me in the chest: what type of parent do I want to be?

My grandma or mom would NEVER let their children runamuck in the store like I did with My Joy these past few trips. Despite wanting to be the family star, I remember constantly being told by older family members that I was too shy and quiet. Now, the same people will say that My Joy “has so much personality” as if she displays this grandiose trait that she couldn’t possibly have inherited from me. (Actually, she’s three and a princess, so everything she does is a grandiose and exuberant gesture).

It’s no shade to my grandma or mom, because they were doing the best that they could. However, I honestly think the contrast is rooted in the parenting. We tend to stunt our children’s entire being in efforts to prevent them from embarrassing us or to keep them safe in public spaces (read: America) that do not appreciate their presence.

So as I was watching the dance party footage that I did film, I realized I he parent I’m aiming to be:

I want to be the type of parent that develops a child who is confident in her divine right to live fully and express herself freely. I want her to dance in gardens and sing at the table and share the most honest version of herself with the universe. Quite frankly, I want every child I come in contact with to feel like this.

–Sincerely, Tyra

#TheLife #Mine #MyJoy #SincerelyTyra #mommydaughter #relationshipgoals #dance #sing #play #workgoals #youthdevelopment #livefullyalive #expressfreely #reachoneteachone #linkinbio

Flash Dance

from Pocket Mantras.

So since December, I have been working on ways to self-motivate. The most effective one I’ve found is, of course, writing (go figure) about the strength that I already possess. Harping on these strengths seemed arrogant at first. But the necessity of seeing what could I handle and what I am capable of accomplishing on paper eventually trumped that initial sentiment. It started small with just a post-it note:

Some of my students have even seen it on my desk and started to ask me to write them pocket momentos as well. Of course, I obliged and wrote them post-it notes on all their talents and gifts.

Think about your triumphs and shortcomings–both internal and those that others have witnessed. Wouldn’t you be more encouraged to work through your flaws or more accepting of your mistakes if you had a quick reminder of how great you are on your desk or inside your phone case?

It’s worked for me. I challenge you to try it. If you cannot think of what to write about yourself, borrow mine! Or start with the fact that you are different and divinely created! Or write down three things that you stayed in the past few days! Basically, write anything about yourself that will make your soul smile when you read it.

Keeping slaying those dreams!

–Sincerely, Tyra 🖤

A few Pocket Momentos from my newest series:

You glow because you are glorious.

You can because you are capable.

You do even when they doubt.

You will because you are worthy.

—Sincerely, Tyra

#SincerelyTyra #SlayTheDream #selfworth #selflove #reminder #motivation #inspiration #glow #worthy #wednesday #poetry #me #selfie #love #dance #sing #community #positivevibes

from Pocket Mantras.

#Focused

“The writers will get it.” -Sincerely, Tyra

#sorrynotsorry #focus

#SincerelyTyra #SlayTheDream #saturdayscholars #passion #fruit #blem #sincewayback #icy #Drake #drizzy #drizzydrake #writer #writersofinstagram #authorsofinstagram #bae

#Focused