How I see It

Archive for the ‘Randoms’ Category

In Tough Moments, Remember…

Dear Future Husband,

This letter is not for all the good times we’ll have (an endless life of beauty, bliss and love unending is quite guaranteed in Jesus). This letter is for the times when our love seems to be fading away under the duress of life’s pressures. This is a reminder of our LOVE. Four things:

  1. We’re still the same people: We used to do weird alien sounds and laugh at each other’s silliness. I’d call you nicknames you absolutely abhorred, yet answered to. You’d poke or pinch me for no reason just because my irritation made you laugh. We’d both watch stupid videos on Facebook, lean back our chairs in that Hyundei you so loved, laughing our lungs out. Let’s laugh through this too. I still like singing, dancing, talking too much and holding your hand while we drive to the grocery store together. You still laugh at my silliness and slap my behind when I get out of your car. You still like to tease me about my dancing skills (which I think are pretty descent).  Let’s never stop being us and if we grow, let’s grow together.
  2. I LOVE YOU: I’m a strong believer that love will always be enough. Why? Because with love, no sacrifice is too great to make. I love you, I always will.
  3. I looked damn good in my wedding dress and my-oh-my, were you just a sight to behold in that suit!: Look at our wedding photo resting ever so beautifully (in whatever part of our home we decided to hang it)! Don’t we just look so happy and so blessed and so dang good?
  4. God has our backs, ALWAYS: In Him, we have our life and happiness. We’ve trusted him to love us through our life, let’s not stop now.

So, dear husband, whether I like you today or you don’t like me tomorrow, I know you’ll always love me and I’ll always love you. I know God’s love for us both will never waver and neither should our love for each other. If he blessed us with each other, why insult his blessing? We are forever!

With immense love,
You dearest future wife.

Everyday People – Oct. 13th 2016

I have met Mr. David Pasquantonio a handful of times.

He always has the most charming smile that reaches his eyes.

He looks no taller than 5’11 and has dusty brunette hair with gray strands that are evidence of his late 40s.

Today, he walked to my concierge desk and we played a game of catch-up. Ok fine, we didn’t really play that game. Still, it was very cute that he tried so hard to remember my name, while I tried to remember his unit number to sign out his mail delivery.

The first time I met him, I was sitting in for the regular evening concierge at his building. He walked in all smiles and said “I haven’t seen you here before. Are you new?” I smiled at him and answered all his questions. When I told him my name, his face lit up! “That’s such a beautiful name! My wife and I actually considered naming our baby girl Gabriella.” While I’m used to people admiring my name, I have never had anyone tell me they actually wanted to give their child the name. I know there are thousands of Gabriellas in the world but it still felt special. I’ll never forget the tale of how after much deliberation, he and his wife settled on another just as beautiful, if not more beautiful name. “That’s O.K. though, because now we already know what our next little girl’s name will be.” he said.

Shout out to all the Gabriellas out there!

His easy spirit, friendliness and genuine personality are what caught my attention. He showed me photos of his little girl, several photos – one of her sleeping next to her mom, another of her smiling and another in which she had the cutest funny face, just to cite a few. I saw in his eyes, an unmistaken pride. A genuine father’s joy.

He came home from work tonight and when he stopped by my desk, I could see the exhaustion in his eyes, yet his smile never wavered. I knew just what would bring him to life even more. I asked about his daughter. He lit up! “I’ll show you a photo. You’re gonna find this really funny.” He practically laughed through the words and proceeded to explain the backstory of the most adorable baby picture I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

This man to me is a representation of the good American dream. He’s a happy father, loving his wife and child and working hard everyday for them. He genuinely looks happy to come home every night to the life he’s built for himself.

I want to be like Mr. Pasquantonio when I grow up.

P.S. I knew he’d be cool. I mean come on, even his last name is cool! And now, I won’t forget it again.

-Gabriella A.

Everyday People – August 30th 2016

I met Robert Adams today. He’s a tall African American man with dread locks that reach the small of his back, pulled in a low ponytail. When I first walked into the historic looking high-rise building on Vermont avenue NW, Washington DC, he greeted me with charm and eloquence. He had been typing an email.

“Hold on a second, I’ll finish this email and I can be out of your way”. Just a moment later, he asked – looking down at his computer screen; “So are you in school? Or…” I smiled and told him my education spiel and how I’m working a new job now in addition to this concierge gig (updates about this in a new blog coming soon).

In the few minutes we talked, I found out he’s been playing guitar for 40 years.

“OMG that’s crazy cause I sing too!”, I said, gushing as he pulled his guitar from under the concierge desk and put it in its bag.

“Well then, you should come to our Live Music Monday shows in Silver Spring” he said, the sound of his guitar bag zipper subtle but noticeable as he spoke.

For a moment, I did consider it. I mean, I’ve been thinking about a venue where I can sing with a live band and just have a relaxed time on stage, sharing this gift that God bestowed upon my vocal pipes. As I processed his invitation, he pulled out a card and handed it to me. I looked at the card thinking; I’ll keep this. Maybe one of these evenings. Who Knows? 

“I wanna learn to play. I bought a guitar once, and my fingers just wouldn’t cooperate.

“Hah! see? You know what they say… when the student is ready, the teacher will appear”, he said in response. I smiled at his subtle invitation be my teacher.

A few minutes later, his girlfriend came down to meet him in the lobby for their lunch date. As she stepped out of the building, he stayed back, pulled out a black newsboy hat, the kind with extra room for long locks like Bob Marley’s, and he put it on.

In that moment, I saw the artist in the man. He had gone from a suited up, prim and polished look, to an approachable lover of the arts, just by adding a hat and removing his name brooch.

When he finally stepped out to meet his woman, no sooner had they taken 3 steps before he extended his left hand and placed it on the small of her back; a gesture of protection, and affection. I smiled in admiration as they disappeared down the rather quiet street.

I met Robert Adams today and I saw the meaning of simple happiness. I saw love, passion, art, and life in his eyes and heard them in the words he spoke. It was my pleasure Mr. Adams, and maybe I’ll visit and listen to your show one of these Mondays.

 

My Weave Life

I’d always dreaded the sew-in weave. There was just something so western about it that I didn’t quite appreciate -not that I have anything against the silky western hair. Thus, for the majority of my young adult life, I didn’t indulge in the bliss that most black women feel when their hair extensions sway in the wind, the way typical course and curly African hair doesn’t. I didn’t mind at all.

Braids have always been my thing. Hypocritical right?  Yes, I know. Installing those requires using western synthesized hair. To me, however, the feeling of picking out small chunks of thick, sponge-like, curly hair and plaiting them to create long single tresses that echo a lock-like natural African look, somehow makes a difference. In my mind, the African-ness of the style makes using synthesized hair not so western. Somewhere in between, the straight, silky locks become an African thing.

I had a crochet braids phase. One of my closest friends talked me into doing that. She said; “It’s not like weaves. You crochet them into your cornrows with a pin. They come out looking like single braids but a lot fuller. To the eyes looking at you, the hair looks like regular braids.” Yet, I still dreaded it so much. I mean it’s practically like sewing in hair extensions, except you don’t sew them in, you crochet them in. Still, it involved covering up my natural hair and wearing fake western hair as if it naturally grows out of my head. Even the convenience of how little time it takes to install and how gorgeous the curls look, did nothing to soothe my fear of looking inauthentic. But at some point I gave in at her insistence, and I’ve tried it twice before.

Please don’t think of me as some high and mighty girl who thinks she’s so much more African than the next weave wearing lady out there. If we’re being completely honest, my dislike for weaves and hair extensions in general was more rooted in my fear of looking too mature. I mean, I’m a 24 – year- old who looks like a teenager. I love it (to a certain extent). Plus, I’ve used hair relaxers and texturizers before. Those are western products that make course hair straight and silky. I’m definitely not innocent of western influences on my hair-care routines.

Perhaps it was that guilty feeling that led me to finally give the weave thing a try. Well… that and the persuasion of my best friend, who completely believes that I can totally pull off any hairstyle regardless of its ethnic affiliations.

I let his praise seep into my subconscious and riding off that high, I dared the dreaded weave-on. I took the plunge into the cold depths of the sew-in sea. I was bold about it too; the extensions I picked have a light-brown, borderline blonde color. I also chose a stylist I believed had experience installing such extensions and I explained my non-existent weave history to her, as well as my concern about what I’ll end up looking at when I stare into a mirror everyday for the next month or two.

To slash a long story in half, I will say this; My stylist did an OK job yet my best friend is completely in love with it. I’m neither thrilled nor turned-off. Don’t get me wrong, I think it looks fine… strange, but fine. Maybe I’ll be more ecstatic about it when I get used to seeing myself wear weaves – if i do it again. My brothers laughed their lungs to the floor when I stepped in the house yesterday. They thought I looked ridiculous. My mom isn’t too thrilled about the ‘do either.

I went natural a year ago, so my hair is short. The black ladies out there rocking their natural curls would understand how essential it is to keep natural hair protected and healthy. Protective styles are key and sew-ins happen to be one of the best options. It’s either I do that, crochet or single braids, which I’ve done so many times already. The other option would be to get a sassy Halle-Berry-like haircut, which I’d rather not do, considering I’m still recovering from my ‘big chop’. That said, it’s either I get with the weave life, or stick to the single braids/crochet look for God knows how long, until my natural hair is long enough to be style versatile.

Oh the struggle!

 

I Wore Heels

Added inches give a confidence boost (most women would agree). I woke up this morning feeling energized and ready to conquer the world. So when I took my shower and wore my pencil skirt and white flowy blouse, I knew I had to wear my favorite pair of chunky black sandals. I was feeling on top of the world.

I work as a concierge in the District of Columbia. The hustle and bustle of city life is what keeps me entertained as I waltz down the streets on my way to work. But today, I couldn’t really waltz. Today, I was in a mad rush. In what felt like 99 degree heat, it was no fun. And the heels did NOT help.

I’d planned ahead of time. I knew I had to take the metro then walk a few mins to my first desk. I’ve been doing whats called a “lunch run” these days.  That’s when a temporary concierge covers for the main concierge while they take their lunch break. I love the versatility of the lunch run. I meet new people almost every hour and i get to relax on my walk to the next desk which is usually about 10 mins away.

I got into the train and it was about 9:12 a.m. I’m thinking “35 minutes tops and I’ll be at Farragut West Station and then I’ll just work it in my heels and have all eyes on me and all heads spinning.” Well, 10 minutes later, we’re only 3 stops in and I’m now thinking “this has got to be the slowest train ride ever.”

Anyway, I got out another 23 or so minutes later and I can swear to you that my legs in these chunky sandals, were going a few seconds faster than my brain was thinking. I had confidence alright, but it didn’t feel as great knowing I’d be a few minutes late for work.

Oh the chronicles of a woman’s life.

 

Job… I Need Job

It’s been almost three months since I graduated. I still don’t have a job. Slowly but surely, the time is creeping up on me and I’m watching the months add up.

At home I’ve become the cook, the cleaner, the washer, the baker, the one with absolutely nothing to do.

At first I loved it. I loved the break from school or anything important. I loved sleeping in, and only getting out of bed when I wanted to.

Now, I’ve gotten tired of having nothing to do but be a house maid. I want the American nine to five. I want to come home exhausted and talk about the most interesting thing that happened at work that day. I want to look forward to free weekends a paycheck that might have a comma in it every two weeks.

Worst part is that my right-out-of-college dream job is keeping me waiting. I’m in the worst part of the interview process, the part where they tell you “we’ll keep you posted”. It’s  been two weeks since I sat down with the interviewers from that organization. I think the interview went phenomenal – might I add.

Now I’m stuck waiting, afraid to continue my job search in hope that I will secure that position, yet feeling stupid for putting all my eggs in their basket.

Anyway, long rant short, I NEED A JOB ASAP!!!

 

How To Be An African Child: 27 Do-Nots

Here’s what I tried not to do as a child growing up in Cameroon.

 

  1. Do not – under any circumstance, talk back to your parents. 
  2. Do not take anything from your parents or older relatives with your left hand.
  3. Do not be left-handed. That hand gets slapped every time you attempt to use it.
  4. Do not be too needy.
  5. Do not complain.
  6. Do not get in fights.
  7. Do not ask for allowance. 
  8. Do not grumble. Take all punishment for wrong doing remorsefully, and in silence.
  9. Do not look anyone older than you in the eye. Look to the ground in respect.
  10. Do not keep any money received from relatives. Hand all money to parents.
  11. Do not address elders by their names. Refer to them as Auntie or Uncle (whether they are relatives or not).
  12. Do not throw away used containers or jars. They are for storage.
  13. Do not fail a test.
  14. Do not forget stuff.
  15. Do not play too much.
  16. Do not throw unnecessary tantrums in order to get what you want.
  17. Do not ask for too much. Take what you are given with gratitude.
  18. Do not pick a career choice other than Medicine, Law or Engineering. 
  19. Do not hide anything from your parents. They will find out.
  20. Do not sleep too much.
  21. Do not eat too much.
  22. Do not dodge a blow coming at you.
  23. Do not desire luxurious things that your friends might own
  24. Do not bring friends of the opposite sex to your house.
  25. Do not visit a friend’s home without permission.
  26. Do not stay at a friend’s house past sundown.
  27. Do not have a boyfriend or girlfriend.