Entry IV | 10.6

“So that we ain’t gonna drop out!” One student answered. I stood facing a group full of young teenage boys as they thought through the question. 

“Okay” I said. “What else. Why is this Poly club important to you?” They looked at one another and bustled with laughter and howling as if I’d said the funniest thing they’d ever heard. 

“Food!” one boy said, addressing the roll of bagels that sat awaiting the end of the meeting to arrive. 

“So we can know our roots!” Another one said playfully. They applauded to his answer in a collective approval. 

“Ahh, I like that. Did everyone hear that? To know our roots so that we can be grounded in them!” I made direct eye contact with each pair of eyes, hoping they’d catch the seriousness of my response. “Because if we ain’t grounded in our roots as Pacific Islanders, we will become lost.” 

Entry III | 10.3

The recent mass shooting at Umpqua Community College is being covered by national news and media sources as an alleged persecution of Christian students. This mournful catastrophe places my faith unto the pulpit of inquisition where I cannot help but question its strength and veracity. I’ve read in the news that the gunman, who shall be remained unnamed to prevent glorification, singled out Christian students who, when they addressed their faith in Jesus Christ, their fate was death. How do I – a Christian woman in higher education – begin to process this? That nine of my brothers and sisters in Christ lost their lives. The crime? Their faith.  

In the New Testament, Peter denies Christ three times prior to the Crucifixion. Peter, a man that followed Christ as a disciple, who ate at the side of the Savior and begged to wash his feet as a testimony of his obedience to the living prophet could not as much admit to knowing him in the last hour. When I study the theory of Peter and the comparative resemblance of this Biblical character to modern mankind, I think of most Christians – including myself. Had I walked intimately with Christ and fearlessly followed Him and His way, would I be able to honor my Teacher, my Father, my Friend even if it cost my life? Had I been held at gunpoint with the thumb on the trigger prepared to end my twenty two years of life, would I have rejected Christ? Would I have bore the cross without any affliction of leaving the human body? 

In this instance, my faith would no longer serve as a passageway for purpose or a method of keeping above water through life’s toughest storms. No, faith now becomes an ultimatum where in a moment, shifts from being hypothetical to being as certain as death. Prayer and fasting no longer serve a purpose, only that His will be done. This, is what I as a Christian must face. As easy as it is to dismiss my faith to preserve human life, the most difficult reality is acknowledging my temporary existence here on Earth and succumbing to the peace and assurance that lives in a realm not of this world. That in light of adversity, as tragic and sudden as it may be, I must be prepared to stand firm in my faith just as those that died did. 

As the press continues to investigate, people like me — with our own spiritual insecurities and hypothetical scenarios of ‘what if that was me being questioned of my faith at gunpoint’ — know that the nine that lost their lives did so in the utmost heroic manner. Maybe the victims of UCC were unaware of the results of admitting their faith in Christ. Or, maybe, they were willing to sacrifice their life here on Earth as a sanctification of what followed in eternity. Nonetheless, the strength and courage it takes to admit Christ under the circumstances symbolizes a faith that we as living Christians must learn from .

Entry II | 10.1

Ever rest your head at night with a strange excitement to arise before the sun? If you’ve ever felt this way, darling, you are indeed what we call a “morning person”. Most enjoy the extra hours of slumber before having to get up and tackle on the day, but for us morning persons there is indeed joy in taking advantage of the silence in the wee hours. Now, just to be clear, I do not pigeonhole myself a morning person because there are days – even weeks – where waking up around noon is just as productive but for the sake of relevance, I desire early mornings because … well, continue reading and you’ll find out. 

As I outlandishly mentioned in ‘Entry I’, me-time has unfortunately been tweaked to focus more on project management and dream building with other people. Is this a ‘bad’ shift of time allocation? Not at all! I think it’s important that as young professionals, we carve in more time to build the empire BUT I also think  believe that if you’re going to withdraw time from taking care of yourself, than you must deposit back time into the self-care account. This, for me, is found in the morning.

Is it just me or does the taste of coffee coming from a pot made just for you taste much sweeter? Okay, I may be exaggerating a bit, but my point is – you take notice of the regular robotic morning routine that you may practice every other day when you’re rushing out the front door. I live with roommates and so being the first one to spring up out of bed naturally is obligated to make the first pot of coffee. In my case, I’m met with the convenience of making a pot for myself to jump on the caffeine train first (this is my favorite train) and than, when the house is awake, I greet each one with a hot cup of coffee and an animated charm to get them going in the am. This is what many morning persons are held responsible for, especially if you live with roommates who may be a bit grouchy coming out of REM. 

I’m also the type of morning person who – when enjoying a couple cups of coffee – relishes in uplifting messages found in gospel music. Frontline Worship — my absolute favorite gospel artists — make mornings especially valuable because it places me in a quiet space to be thankful for the big things that I normally would take for granted. When the day is done just as quickly as it began, there might not be time throughout the day to reflect on the goodness and simplicity of life because let’s face it, there may not be anything good or simple to celebrate in a day’s work. Our troubles and stresses over certain things can rob us of seeing how damn lucky we are. The daily anxiety can cause us to see past how just being alive and in the moment is simple and good.  This is what morning reflection allows me to re-ground myself in.

I’m a firm believer that thirty minutes of writing every morning guarantees an uplifting attitude. I write about pretty much anything in pretty much any style- a poem, short story, a journal or blog entry such as this one – any form of writing helps capture where my spirit and mind may sync or differ, in which I can acknowledge and adapt. If I, a morning nostalgic, can find peaceful remedy in writing, music and a nice coffee buzz than I know you, who may be longing for something new, can benefit from this as well. Luckily, if you do give waking up before the sun a try and you fail miserably, you can always creep back into bed and no one will ever know. 

Entry I | 9.28

Landing a job after graduating from college is like the best grad gift ever. Yes, a complimentary round trip to Greece is what you begged the parentals for, but financial security has been every 11:11 wish since second semester of the final year. What most ‘almost-done and already-over it’ college seniors dread is the “so what’s next” question. This is when I, a determined woman of color who made it out the hood, begin to impress said question with a whole lotta bullshit on how promising my future is and how readily (un)prepared I am.

The reality of post-undergraduate life is a couple of cheap bottles of wine a week with your best friend from college and talking about how not-together your lives are but knowing the importance of maintaining a high-level profile to those you interact with. Linked In, Google, Facebook, Instagram — who needs a high school reunion to fake your lifestyle when you have social media, right? It also consists of getting too deep into the emotional tundra of why employers aren’t filling your inbox with interview requests and job offers. Maybe then, questioning a Bachelors of Arts in Race and Ethnic Studies may come into play and you may or may not begin to resent your college experience in its entirety.

But then .. it happens. You’ve suffered six long weeks of silence and even considered cashing in on unemployment benefits when it happens. You get a job, maybe not the job of choice, but it’s better than working the night shift at a 24 hour drive thru (though you are thankful). You gear up to start a season of new beginnings and begin re-orienting yourself into the world of production. Just as you take on this opportunity of employment, another comes along in which you gladly accept. You tell yourself you’ve worked super hard — aka a consistent drunk off two buck chuck — and have rightfully earned another hat of profession, so you dress that hat up and rock it.

And yet another door opens. Hallelujah! Three hats and counting, you deserve to be proud! This doesn’t happen to people like you, so you go Glen Co-Co! Another hat, another dollar. Your talent for multitasking becomes an essential skill that you rely on heavily considering the three yes’s you’ve given out. ‘You can do it’ you say to yourself when a little pressure is applied to your full day of project planning, schedule coordinating and task delegating. You begin to trade in ‘me-time’ for ‘team-time’, which was once a non-negotiable but a sacrifice needed in order to succeed. Self-care now lives in a tiny box tucked away under the chaos of thought and coordination imprinted on each hat. These hats soon become umbrellas that which various small projects and tasks stem from. Me-time is of the past. So is working out. Unresolved stress is new, though. And so is self-deprecation. You begin to question life and why wanting a job after college was such an urgency in the first place.

Haha ..

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