How I see It

Posts tagged ‘Blog’

The Impractical Spending Of The Wealthy

By Gabriella Aka
Fri April 21, 2017

Does it make sense to think that just because one has more money than they need, it’s okay to spend it excessively?

What do I mean? Well, I’ve been thinking about wealth. I don’t mean the kind that money cannot buy i.e. happiness, peace of mind, etc. I’m talking about the kind of wealth that we all dream of having; $$$$$$$$.

I was thinking about what I would do if I came into a lot of wealth. Would I buy the most expensive car and then buy six more? Would I build a huge mansion that even my entire family couldn’t fully occupy? Would I over flow my closet with shoes, clothes, jewelry and accessories that I couldn’t wear in a whole year with three outfit changes a day? What would I do if i suddenly could afford anything in the world.

This got me analyzing the typical rich person’s spending habits. They probably own a mansion with five, six, or more rooms than they cannot fill, own a fleet of luxurious cars and a closet full of clothes that they wear once or never wear at all, and probably splurge on the most luxury vacation destinations with only VIP service. I watched “Million Dollar Rooms”, and I never really understood the guy who put real diamonds in his shower head, or the guy who had his door knobs made out of gold, or even the people who collect cars and pinball machines.

While this is all great, I couldn’t help but think how impractical it is. Why does one person need six cars? I mean I get having two or three (for backup). But six, seven, eight? Why? Why does your house need to be so big that one could get lost trying to find their way to the other end? Why do you have more clothes and shoes than you can reasonably wear? In the TV show “Schitt’s Creek”, Eugene Levy and his son star – among others, as a wealthy family who are forced to live in a “crappy” city they bought as a joke. How does it make any sense to purchase a whole city just because you can?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against splurging on the finer things in life, if you can afford to. If it’s yours, then you deserve to buy seven cars and an island if you feel like it.

I just think it is impractical. If you have a big family who occupy the many rooms in your resort type home, then by all means build as many as you need. What I don’t understand is spending on the excess.

At the risk of sounding cliché, I will say this; I am a believer in the concept that world has so much to offer. If I had lots of money, of course I would buy a few extra clothes, get a nice comfortable house that fits me and my family, and make sure that those close to me are comfortable. I just would not buy seven cars and build six mansions, or buy a city as a joke.

I would help improve humanity the best way I can; schools in my home country, food banks/shelter for the needy, charity programs that uplift people, adopting a young person who needs someone to help them achieve their potential, the possibilities are endless.

I would chase the adventures the world has to offer. I would travel to every continent (every country if possible), take loads of photos, write stories, learn other cultures, have life fulfilling experiences and live life in a way that brings me the wealth that matters; happiness, peace of mind, love, etc.

Most importantly, I would always remember that wealth will fade away because after all, it is vanity.

Disclaimer; the views in this article are solely those of the author and are not intended to reflect badly on anyone who might identify with topic.

 

 

To Non-Africans; Response to coverboy James Charles’ Twitter ignorance

Dear non-African people guilty of this,

Why is it that when you visit a country in Europe, Asia or the Americas, you’re usually specific about where you go, yet when you travel to somewhere in the CONTINENT of Africa – which by the way has 54 countries, you refer to it as if it’s one country?

If you had an amazing experience at Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, went on a Kenyan safari, or hiked Table Mountain in South Africa, PLEASE do NOT say “I had a blast in Africa”. It’s a small minded thing to say. You wouldn’t say “I had fun at La Tomatina festival in Europe”.

Educate yourselves freinds. I’d say grab a map but Google already did that for ya.

To my non-African friends who know better, teach your friends, share your knowledge.

While I’m on the subject of the CONTINENT of Africa, let me say this; not all children are starving. We don’t all live in huts. Yes, Africans have skyscrapers, electricity and running water. No, we don’t live in trees either. It’s not all muddy/dirty/ridden-with-disease or underdeveloped.

You want to know what Africa is like? Do PROPER research.

Sincerely,
A pissed off African

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.

 

I Have No Words

I want to say so many things regarding black people and white police, brutality, racial profiling.

July 5th; Alton Sterling is shot, in the chest, at close range, while pinned to the ground by two officers.

July 6th, Philando Castile is shot, while his four-year-old daughter watches from the backseat of the car. His girlfriend streams his pain live for the world to see.

I have so much grief to express, so many tears I’ve shed.

But I have no words.

Here’s what a poet friend of mine; Jason Nkwain, wrote in response to these incidents.

Jason's Poem

And here’s art by Laolu Senbanjo, that tells a story. It’s the story of what today’s America is like for we blacks.

Laolu's Art

I’m left to grieve for the world, speechless. What can we do? What haven’t we done? What did we ever do?

-Gabriella Aka

We Must Fight

I have a question….

Disclaimer: this question might be considered offensive to some folk.
P.S, it is not intended to spark hate or be offensive, it is intended to spark conversation…

Ok so here’s my question… If given the chance in today’s America or perhaps today’s world, for black people to enslave white people the way they did blacks during slavery, would Black people do it?

Our wounds are deep and our scars will never fade. The history can never be forgotten. But will hurting the ones who hurt us make the pain go away? Will holding on to this pain somehow make our struggles less of a burden?

This is what I say. I say the only way to beat racism is to take our wounds, our scars, our history, and make it beautiful. It’s to rise up to excellence and be majestic and unapologetic about who we are.

We are a people, stronger than chains or beatings, stronger than plantation farms or forced labour. Stronger than abuse or insult. We are strong even when we are at our weakest.

So while we can never forget who we are because we will carry our scars until the end of time, we can also not live in perpetual hate and limit our possibilities. We must not find every excuse to relive our torture, to blame, even though the blame is very justified.

We must wear our scars with pride, and March in strength to excellence, for the strong were born to fight!! We must fight!

Happy Fourth America!