Saturday, August 1, 2009

Looking Back and Looking Foward

I saw this on another blog and thought it would be an interesting activity to do so....

20 years ago: 1989: age 13-14

I had just discovered the difference between wannabees and jiggaboos (via Spike Lee's School Daze). Bratty self-hating, I mean, poor, misguided classmates labeled themselves the former and me the latter. I took ownership of my giggaboo-ness and relished in the thought of going to my highly selective college preparatory high school (Yay Renaissance!) and leaving my classmates behind. To be young, gifted, and black!!!

15 years ago: 1994: age 18-19

Sophmore year in college. I discovered Iyanlya Vanzant, Ifa, and natural hair. Cut my apl (arm pit length) straight, relaxed hair off and determined that my beauty went beyond my hair. had a disasterous and (mainly emotionally) abusive relationship that resulted in both the worst semester of my undergraduate academic career and (the next semester) one of the best (dad said to shape up or come home). So I dumped the "zero" and hit the books.

10 years ago: 1999: age 23-24

Finished my post-BA teaching internship. A single mom engaged to my high school sweetheart (not my son's father). Trying to fit in the upwardly mobile buppie box, but the revolutionary rebel in me was itching to get out. Ended up breaking up with my fiancee and joining the Shrines of the Black Madonna.

5 years ago: 2004: age 28-29

Master's degree in Library and Information Science under my belt, living on my own terms with my son, working as a school librarian, a job I loved in a place I loved with (some) people that I couldn't stand. Making moves to get into a doctoral program....somewhere. A couple of disasterous relationships...lessons learned....

3 years ago: 2006: age 30-31

In my PhD program, learning that finding a community to connect with can be hard. Feeling happy with my academic life but dissatisfied with my social and personal life.

1 year ago: 2008 age 32-33

Spinning too many plates-field instructor, course instructor, research assistant, while writing a dissertation proposal, fellowship proposals, prepping for part two of my comprhensive exams and battling racist teachers and administrators hell bent on destroying my young black boy. Just reflecting on all of that makes me sick to my stomach... *humming "How I Got Ovah"...notice, no social or personal life mentioned.


Attended a workshop at the local university in Salvador da Bahia. Got a potentially (quality of) life altering proposition, attended the unofficial opening day of a friend's resturant.


Welcomed a houseguest into my home for a few weeks. Worked on a social network site for an international organization. Washed some linens. Planning on going to Pelhourinho. Later going to the official opening day of a friend's restaurant. Calling parents (before they sendEmbassay after me). Making a pro-con list for the aforementioned proposition.


Going to the beach early. Going grocery shopping. Calling grandma. Practicing Portuguese. Planning my week (including Friday, F's B-day).

In the next 5 years

I will: Finish my degree. Get a university job or another job that is fufilling. Return to the D for some period of time and helping out. Dating, falling in love, getting married and having another child (a girl has to keep hope alive, right?). Helping my son navigate through middle school, high school, and the college selection process (yikes). Traveling more, but finding a place to put down roots.

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