Golden Year.

I haven’t written a post in a while, so I apologize if this post is choppy or plagued with grammatical errors. LET ME REPEAT THIS POST MAY CONTAIN OFFENSIVE GRAMMAR.

Tomorrow I turn 24 years old. I turn 24 on the 24th and it is my golden year. One year away from a quarter of a century and it is my Kobe year, if you will. Yikes, it is crazy how time flies and even crazier to think about how I have changed over these past couple of years. Woofffff, this is some deep shit. Anyway the purpose of this post is to (1) express my gratitude and (2) to acknowledge the key people who have played a major role in my development over the years. If this is too deep or unexpected turn back now, you have time to stumble across someone else’s blog and if this strikes your fancy then please keep reading.

At the beginning of the September, I had planned all of my trips for the month and this past weekend I went home to spend time with family in Lynchburg, Virginia. I currently live in Northern Virginia and when I tell people I am heading home they always hit me with “by yourself, you are driving 3-4 hours by yourself or don’t you get bored on those rides all alone and why don’t you fly or take a bus makes the trip faster?” Blah, blah, blah. What they don’t get is, occasionally, I appreciate solitude and these car rides are more than just car rides.

My solo trips are filled with several cups of coffee, a ratchet Spotify playlist, and several sessions of self-reflections. (For my Habesha followers, I sometimes tune in to Ari-zefen and eskista by myself – yes, even on the back roads of Southern Virginia and let me tell you IT IS glorious.) Anyway these sessions of self-reflections are usually prompted when my playlists lose appeal, when I actually start listening to lyrics and become disgusted, or I lose reception; which ever happens first. None the less these moments are precious and are moments I look forward too.

So, back to this past weekend. I went home and spent time strictly with family and saw a person I would consider a part of my extended family and her name is Rosie. My parents met Rosie when I was about four or five and she was one of my parents closet allies when they first came to the United States. African-American, in her late 70’s, and literally the a neighborhood care-taker, Rosie played a critical role in my development at a young age. Hanging out with her on the front porch, reminiscing on my childhood in Rivermont and laughing about how much trouble I caused as kid was pure nostalgia. In that very moment, sitting in between her lap like I did when she used to braid my hair as a kid, it dawned on me how much I did not get to where I am today without the love and support of people in Lynchburg. Like every piece of me is influenced by my real day ones, I learned how to navigate cultures growing up in Lynchburg, and developed a true sense of identity by growing up in Lynchburg. (One time for the Burg!) Not only are the people critical but the many neighborhoods I grew up in really molded me and when I sit back and think about it, it is truly mind-blowing.

There is so much I want to say about Rosie and others but that deserves a separate post, if not book. So I am going to stick to the agenda and the bottom line is I am thankful to have people who believe in my future and I am blessed to have people who pray for me even when I do not know it. (Shit just started tearing up.)

My parents have a magnet I made in church when I was six and it said: “Thank you, God for who I am” and at this very moment I can think of so many people to insert in this phrase but I think it is appropriate to stick with THANK YOU, GOD FOR WHO I AM.

Stay Down Blaze Up


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