Natural Curly Hair: The Struggle.

Growing up within an interracial household has impacted my life on so many levels (Which I will explain further in the future), but one struggle has been accepting my natural curly hair.  I am the middle child.  This leaves me with an older half-sister which is white with perfectly tame straight hair, and a younger brother who keeps his hair in a bald fade.  So I had no one to compare my crazy curly hair to.  Growing up, I hated my hair.  It was a fro or styled by my mother in pigtails and braids.  As I got older, the hatred for my natural hair grew.  I got my first relaxer at 11 or 12 and straightened my hair daily after.  At the age of fifteen, I decided to go somewhat natural.  I decided to no longer use relaxers, but I still straightened my hair on daily basis.

As I have grown older and towards my senior year in high school and especially through college I have embraced my untamed tight curls.  From day to day my hair changes from straight to curly. i have rocked way too many styles to count.  I still have a love/hate relationships with my natural curly hair, but here are some of the struggles of naturally curly hair (In my case mixed curly hair).

1. Your hair will never look the same twice.

Even if you use the same products and the same technique, it will never look the same way that it did the first time you styled it. it is truly a mystery on the way it will turn out.

2. When you go from straight to curly, people will always ask if you recently cut your hair.

I used to be really polite and explain that I have naturally curly hair and that my hair is long but my curls make it look shoulder length. Now i simply look at me people and say with great sarcasm “No I washed my hair so the curls came back”

3. Even worse is when you actually get a hair cut and no one notices.

There have been plenty of times that i have gotten a completely different style at the salon and no one notices at all.  It slightly sucks.

4. People ask If you just got a perm.

Does it look like I would stylistically do this to my hair? Do people really waste money to do this to their hair?  I mean to each their own, but the answer will  always be No. This my natural hair.

5. Never being able to truly brush you hair.

You keep brushed ten miles away from you head at all times.  Using a comb becomes you best friend. Oh and comb it while in the shower or it is freshly out of the shower if you want to have a decent hair day.

6. You will never be able to wake up and just go out the door.

I have never been able to wake up after sleeping more than an hour with my hair looking even somewhat decent.  It takes at least five minutes to un-flatten the side you were laying on, or fixing the birds nest that has formed.  One of many reasons I become jealous of naturally tame hair.

7. SHRINKAGE

You leave the house with long curly hair and on your return you hair has shrank in size, but grown in width

8. Constantly being asked how you get your curls so tight.

UHMMM…can you ask mother nature. I really did not ask for this death wish.

9. You mortal enemy is the humidity

People hate when the turn on the news and see a high chance of rain, but I want to spring a tear when the announce the humidity levels for the day.

10. Running out of condition, but never buying shampoo

I think I buy shampoo once every other month, but I buy a bottle of condition every week to every other week.  I think they should adjust the size of bottles for curly hair products. 5 ounces of shampoo and 35 ounces of conditioner.  Maybe I will finish them at the same time.

11. Finding that lost bobby pin you hair about two weeks later.

Two weeks after doing your hair in an up-do and you feel something stabbing you.  That is that last bobby pin you thought feel out.  it was just temporarily lost in the abyss.  Needle in a haystack complex.

12. People Always seem to want to touch and play with your hair

Overall I love my natural hair.  Unfortunately it comes with a bundle of struggle, but I do not think that I would ever change it.  After years of struggling to manage it, I have gotten to a point where I can leave me hair in it’s natural state or style it in tons of different ways.

If you need any tips or questions on naturally curly, Leave a comment.

A letter to Jeremy

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Suicide.  The word instantly grabs people’s attention. The word carries a burden that no one seems to want to address.  Suicide.  You would think that the more you see or say a word, the easier it is to read.  SUICIDE!

Suicide is an issue that plagues many societies yet often becomes overlooked.  The word and the action of committing Suicide catch everyone’s attention, but the actions leading up to suicide usually goes unnoticed.

You have read the word suicide seven times since you have started reading yet the implication of the word still carries great weight, and does not at anytime become easier to read. Within the past six months suicide has become a major aspect of my life.  A family member of mine decided to end his life in the worst way possible. I have needed to write about this subject for some time, but every time I start it always seems to go unfinished until today. This is an open letter to my cousin because it is the only way to end my mental battle with the subject. This letter I started and finished a week after his death, that letter has since been replaced because life happened to me.   Now it is time to finally release the emotion that has been built up inside for so long.  Here is my letter to Jeremy:

Dear Jeremy,

The day I found out that you passed was one of the oddest days I have ever experienced.  Death is a subject that never draws much emotion from me in particular.  I am a firm believer that death is evitable, and that death should be a time of celebration of the accomplishments and the life that someone has lived.  It usually takes me a good while until the reality of the death sinks in for me, and my emotions let loose.  Your death was different.  To say the least it took me by surprise, which this is not the first time that someone has died without warning in my lifetime.  I was driving (do not ask me where or who was with me because I have no idea) and I was told you were dead, you killed yourself.  To this day I cannot explain the mix of emotion that swept over me.  I was upset and also really pissed off at you.  I felt like you took the easy way out. You left this place that is a hell hole for many of us.  Immediately following this brief moment of rage, I was filled with the unusual feeling of loss and grief. The first memory that popped in my head of you was when I was four or five years old.  I would fill my cheeks up with air and you would push my cheeks and let all the air out.  The last time I filled my cheeks with orange pop, you as normal pressed on my cheeks to get a face full of soda.  I cannot tell you why this was the memory that I remember, but it is one of many that stuck with me.  As I replayed that memory in my head a few times, I stopped the car and just cried for a couple of minutes by myself.  I could hear your laughter as you pressed on my cheeks.  I can see your face as orange liquid splattered everywhere.  I think this was the first time you ever yelled at me.

It is fair to say since that day I have thought about you often and each time I end up in tears.   Do you remember the last thing that you said to me?   You sent me a message and told me how proud you were of me. Going to college and becoming a young woman. I replied and told you that I missed you and thanked you for your kind words.  That is the last conversation that we ever had.  The last time I spoke to you.

To be perfectly honest before your last day on earth, I always held the opinion that taking one’s own life was a selfish unnecessary way to shorten a life.  That is not to say that I do not understand the psychology behind it or that each person’s mental stability is not on the same page.  Depression is real and has many unforeseen consequences; I just thought the person was making an easy escape from this hell on earth.

The months following your death have been quite difficult for me, not just because of your death, but for a variety of reasons.  One night, following a long difficult stressed filled day, I was sitting in my dorm room alone.  This was the first time I realized suicide is not the easy way out, but is an escape route.  This was the first time ever in my life that I really just wanted to give up, and throw in the towel.  I often express wanting to give up to my mom, but this was the first time I shut off my phone and did not want to move forward with my life.  I felt for the first time in my life that suicide was an option.  It would simply end all the stress I had.  All my responsibilities would be gone.  I would not have to work my behind off to pay for a tuition I cannot afford. Every cent to my name would not be placed on a bill or payment that I need to make.  I would not be constantly tired from working all night and having class all day.  I would not be putting stress on my mom to make up for the twenty dollars here and there I need to put gas in my car just to get to work.  I would escape the 50,000 dollar debt that I will be facing in less than a year.  I could go on for about another ten pages, but I think you get some of the more trivial reasons I could see the benefits.  To say the least I was at the end of the rope and I could no longer see the light at the end of the tunnel for the first time in my life.  It was the lowest I have ever felt. That night I looked at that last message you sent me.  I sobbed for a good four hours before drinking a bottle of wine.  You stopped me that day or maybe someone from above, I cannot really tell you.  I do not know if it was you in my dorm room that night, or just my unusually strong stubborn will and faith in God that changed my mind.

What I realized that night was suicide is not the easy way out.  Wanting to end your life is hard knowing the affect it will have on the people around you.  On one had you are to the point that it seems the only way out of the misery, but on the other you are sacrificing the lives of those who surround you.   I know that you were stressed and life was not easy for you.  We are not the type to reach out and pull the sympathy card either so I know you eternalized many of your feelings.  I am not mad anymore at the decision that you made that day, but often wish that it would be different.  I wish I could see you one last time.  The truth is I do not know how I feel about the word suicide anymore. What I do know is that life is tough and there are times that people do not see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I want to simply thank you Jeremy.  Every life event is put into my life for a reason, and your death has taught me so much about life and loss.  There are so many memories that I hold near and dear that was created with you that are more vibrant than ever before.  To give you a brief update, Life has not gotten any easier and I take life day by day. Life has been a series of trials and tribulations lately, but I am not strong enough to make the decision that you did.  I have more time in store for me here on earth.  Hopefully this will be the last time I write you to tell you about how terrible life can be.  In the future at my graduation I promise to write you another letter, at my future wedding, my first child (which hopefully is adopted in my late thirties), and other great life events that prove that the night in my dorm room was you telling me to hold on. I have realized life can be tough and sometimes you cannot always see the light, but there are people, songs, and precious moments that help lead us through the dark and makes life worth living. Passion keeps us moving, and hope takes us further.  I love you and hope you rest easy big guy.  Until the next time we meet.

With Love,                                                                                                                                                               Kate-Kate

Finally Weighing In: “Black Lives Matter”

It is not often that I write, discuss, or share my personal beliefs on politics or current events, but in the recent weeks I have been pondering about the controversial civil rights issues that have been present within the media and political debate within the past few months. I abstain from many politically charged debates mainly, which lead many to believe that I have few opinions. This is far from the truth noting that I am a political science major, and have a strong stance on most issues, but often view situations quite differently due to my extensive political background. I refrain from debate due to my twisted unusual views and the fact that I hate debating people who are emotionally attached to a subject that they have little to no accurate knowledge about. With that said, I warn those who decide to continue to read that this is purely my opinion and up for debate, and I will not give you a simple response.

Within the media, I have seen to spectrums of the argument. One stating that the incidents are not civil rights issues, but actions of the officer were caused by these individuals violating the law. On the opposite end, people state that police brutality is a persistent problem that plagues black communities. These two sides are blaming one another for what occurred and for the outcome and results of these incidents. As an educated woman of color, I can appreciate both of the arguments and relate to both sides, but there are some many underlying issues that are never addressed by both sides.

Yes, I agree if these individuals did not commit a crime or show aggression towards officers there could have been a different outcome. (the key word is could because no one truly knows) There was so much controversy when Pharrell Williams stated that Michael Brown committed a crime and was pursued by the cops for his actions. Williams was correct, he was being pursued because there was a crime committed. His death was a result of his mistake. No matter how smart he was or the bright future that he may have had, the facts are he committed a crime, and the officer was in the right to pursue him. No one can dispute this, regardless if there was the end result of the situation. I understand that this outcome probably would have ended differently if this was a white male versus a black male, but the reality is that we will never know because that is not what happened. To put it quite frankly there would have been little to know media coverage of the incident if it was a white male and there would be less controversy and interest in the case. Would society be blaming police brutality if it was a black cop and a white suspect? Would the black cop be charged with a crime? We simply cannot say with certainty the outcome if the roles were reversed. One fact is for sure; there would not be riots and protests on the scale of this event if circumstances were a bit or radically different.

With the being said, I also agree that there is a sense of racial profiling within the American society that has existed for years, and are targeted towards black individuals being criminals or law breakers. I agree that on a daily basis, black individuals get stopped and pulled over by the police at a higher rate than white individuals. We are accused of crimes that we did not commit and people look at us more suspiciously. Recently, I was shopping at a store and went to leave at the same time as two white individuals. The security alarm went off, yet I was the only one stopped. I was asked to verify my purchases, and ask to search my personal belongings. I willing obeyed knowing that I did not take any un-purchased items. I was released shortly after with an apology. The worse part of the situation was that one of those other individuals could have easily taken an item, but I was automatically the target. Someone dressed properly and with proper grammar is still defined by the color of their skin. The high rate of racial profiling within America continues, and it seems impossible for African Americans to break these stereotypes that many people place on them.

Putting both arguments aside the problems lies within the great divide that still exists within society. The struggle and hardships that are faced by African Americans is the true problem in society, and is greater than just police brutality and the death of one or two individuals. This is not to say that White Americans have not embraced some the black culture such as music, dance, style, and the outrageous slang but simply realizing that there are still misconceptions and stereotypes still placed on African Americans. Many people who are posting on social media about police brutality and the terrible nature of the police department need to realize that the protests and riots are not due to a single incident, but rather linked to deeper underlying issues and frustrations rooted within many communities of color. We need to unite not as African Americans and people of color, but as a human race to stop stereotyping and to become as one. I am not saying to hold hands and sing Cumbyeya, but to simply recognize that there is a problem in our society that stems from our own misconception and beliefs that is deeply rooted within society and to move on to become a stronger society. At the end of the day I just want everyone to remember not every black person is a criminal or thug and not every cop is militant jerk ready to kill. We are all human beings that make mistakes that should take responsibility for our actions.

To simply put my opinion for all those who have trouble following my endless rant. Michael Brown was in the wrong, and that cop had every right to pursue him, but did he have the right to shot him…. I simply do not have a definitive answer, but at some point will he realize that regardless if it was right or wrong he took a life of a young boy who made a mistake. No human is perfect. We cannot blame him entirely for firing upon him, and it was up to our judicial system to discover an appropriate decision for the case regardless if we agree with the decision or not.

Simply keep in mind regardless of your race, ethnicity, or family background next time you pass someone rethink that stereotype you just placed upon them because there is a ninety-five percent chance that you have already created one for them. Stop judging a book by the color of the cover and move pass the preconceived notions that you may already have. Lastly, stop judging me as you read this last sentence. Peace and love to you all!

Why Model UN is the Ultimate Club to Join in College

Becoming a Model UN nerd was most likely the second best decision that I have made in college. As ludicrous as it may seem, it has really impacted my life more than most people would imagine. There is so much room for growth and understanding that you cannot gain through other groups and organization. Here are just a few reasons that everyone should try Model UN regardless of you major.

1. Public speaking becomes your best friend.

Some of the quietest people I have ever met are in the club and are some the most eloquent speakers that you would ever meet. One learn how to give an educated and through speech in front of hundreds of strangers that you will spend only a few days with. You speak about the most mundane items such increasing speaking times and how many questions people should ask you. It allows one to gain confidence in speaking in front an educated group of peers. This is a skill that will extend into many aspects of the future. It is a lesson that anyone entering the work force should be able to do. Gaining the confidence to speak without stuttering and nervous ticks is one of the amazing advantages of joining model un.

2. Becoming worldly.

Model UN students and club members are able to step outside of their shoes of being an American citizen and embrace a new history and culture that is not always familiar to your life. Within varies conferences, I have been able to represent the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Tunisia, and Russia. All of these countries have different perspectives and policies on many issues that are available within the work of the United Nations. By representing these countries, one is able to learn about the culture and the areas that they need to improve. It allows one to understand the culture and the struggles, and recognize the importance of small growths and improvements in developing countries. It allows one to see the problems faced globally, and the issues that is affecting the world today.

3. Meeting amazing people at conferences

Since I have started participating in Model UN, I have attended four big conferences. Each conference I was able to meet people from all across the United States. These people have become friends and connections that span globally. These people become some of the people that you may work with in the future. It is expanding your network, and opening doors you have not arrived at yet. It is probably one of the perks of conference. Not only do you meet these people, most have common interest and majors.

4. Experience dressing in Business attire

At the beginning of my experience as a Model UNer, the worst part was the dress code for conference. Most conference requires western business attire. This usually includes a professional look and the need for a lot of black, gray, and navy. The silver lining of the situation is that it is practice for the real world, and the expectation of most modern employers. They expect you to have class and dress well for any occasion. Although it is not the greatest waking up an hour and half earlier to make sure that your clothes have no wrinkles and you look the part, one is able to know the feeling of being in business attire for more than eight hours. Now as I am about to experience my last couple of conferences, I have come to enjoy dressing the part and have incorporated many of the items into my daily wardrobe such as my blazer and pencil skirt.

5. Learn to properly Research

Research is one of the most valuable lessons that can be taught during the experience. Finding out other nations foreign policy is not always a simply task. It is analyzing speeches, actions taken about the countries, treaty agreements, and press releases. Sometimes in a different language. Researching can be rather difficult especially when a country does not have much on the topic. There is finding concrete information and there is trying to figure out an appropriate position based on the research that you have found.

6. Writing ability maximized

The entire conference has two main components or skills that used throughout the entire time, speaking and writing. There is so much writing involved within the conference. From position papers, to resolutions, and even reports, there is no escaping at least some writing during the process. It shows a new form of writing that is not common within the academic setting. It is creative and unique but also straight to the point. It includes things minimizing an entire foreign policy to fit on one sheet of paper, resolutions with perambulatory clauses and operative clauses, and reports that are similar to those made in a business setting. Needless to say, you either learn to write or adapt to a new writing style.

7. Model UN family

One of my favorite aspects of the whole experience would be your fellow students becoming your family. We all travel together, share beds, and create memories that will last a lifetime. These people will always have those inside jokes that no one will understand, and a connection that can never be described. In the process of fixing the problems that face the world you are bonding, making inside jokes, living life to the fullest with people that may not have been your best friend before the conference. We all become one dysfunctional family that has contains the serious one, the inappropriate one, the know-it all, the person who stays in character, the social butterfly, the resident alcoholic, the comedian, the “leader”, the outspoken one, the newbie, and so many more personalities. As you get back to campus, you realize that you have friends outside of the your “usual” group, and people that you created some of the greatest college memories with, the memories and stories that you will talk about for years to come.

8. Traveling

The aspect of traveling to big cities across the world is another highlight of the conference. Traveling from Toronto, New York, Chicago, among many other cities is another great perk of being a part of the club. You are able to explore cities in a way that you will never be able to again. Eat amazing food. During one conference there was a major protest within the city only a block away from the hotel that we were staying at. We were able to be a part of history and experience what the real world is really like.

Being a Model UN nerd has changed my college experience in so many ways. It has opened up so many opportunities that range from meeting new people, seeing new places, and experiencing life around the country. It has helped decide and change my path in the future and learn so many new skills that will carry with me into the real world. Model UN may not be for everyone, but it is worth given a try. It will be an unforgettable experience that will be discussed in the years to come.

25 Reasons being A Big is the Best.

Why becoming a Sorority Big can be the best part of Sorority life?

Being in a sorority has many perks such as leadership experience, tons of t-shits and hoodies, friends that will last a lifetime, finding your future bridesmaid, mixers, and in general sisterhood. One of the best parts of sisterhood is becoming a Big. A big-little relationship is unique and special bond that can never be described, but is simply amazing. Becoming a Big is a part of growing up and learning responsibility as well as sharing a bond that goes beyond the normal role of friendship.

Here are 25 reasons why being a Big is the best part of sorority life:

  1. Having someone that looks up to and you and always thinks that you are awesome.
  2. Someone to take to dinner when it seems you have no friends
  3. Someone that compliments your outfit or you on a daily basis
  4. She laughs at your ridicules jokes
  5. Always having someone to go out and party with
  6. Spoiling someone like they are you actual child
  7. Crafting really cool things for the person because they are awesome
  8. You will have someone that will always take your side
  9. Someone to sing in harmony with you during car rides
  10. having someone that you can be your absolute self with because she will love all your flaws
  11. Having someone to tell all your mistakes from last night
  12. The only person who knows all your dirty secrets
  13. Someone who will hopefully give you a fabulous G-little.
  14. Having someone to spread the knowledge and experiences gained through college
  15. Someone to talk to when it seems your world is coming to an end
  16. Having someone that believes in you no matter what.
  17. Having a future Brides maid.
  18. Someone to share a pint of Ben and Jerry’s because you cannot do that on your own.
  19. Someone who reminds you about the important parts in life
  20. Someone for you to take care of when they have had too much to drink
  21. Being able to share the sorority experience with.
  22. Someone who is your best friend that you will forever call you little one
  23. Your family away from home
  24. The person that reminds you to be spontaneous
  25. The person who brings down to earth when you need it, but also places you on the higher pedestal.

Being responsible for a new member and to call her little is a privilege that is not granted to everyone. It is a special connection that goes beyond the normal call of friendship. I could not imagine life without my little. I shall call her little and she shall be mine and she shall be my little!

My American Dream

While growing up in America, we are told as young children that we can become whatever we strive to be. The American dream could lead us to places bigger and better than we could ever imagine. As a young child, we are asked on a daily basis: “what do you want to be when you grow up?”. Like most children, my answer changed frequently. When I was four, I was convinced that I wanted to be a doctor. This is common for a young pre-school student. As I got older, I did not deviate too much, but I knew I wanted to work with children. As time passed, becoming a teacher became a clear choice. This was more of a pipedream. I finally defined my future career in fifth grade. We had to research a future career, and one of my friend’s choice to be a lawyer, due to limited research material two students could not be that same career, I settled with researching a paralegal. For about two months I was convinced that I was going to be a paralegal until my grandmother stated “you are too smart and will make very little money, you should just become a lawyer”. I am unsure if this was my idea or someone else’s but I focused all of my energy and scheduled all of my classes in the hopes of becoming an attorney. It affected the extra-curricular classes I took in high school, the perfect grades that I focused my efforts on, and eventually the colleges I applied to.

As I was accepted to college, I know that I was going on a pre-law track when a concerned High school teacher gave the advice of majoring in a subject that I would peak my interest because I could apply to Law school with any type of degree. To make a long story short, I entered college with a History major and soon would become a double major in political science. Now that I am a senior in college and it has become closer to the time of graduation, I realize that my dreams were not originally my own but had become my own. They became my entire focus and consumed my life. I do not regret focusing my efforts on a dream that was not my own, but have simply redefined my life.

To this day people still ask me difficult question about my future and what I will become. The conversations usually starts out along the lines: “what are you studying in college, What are you going to do with that?, and What do you want to pursue that career?”. All of these questions are quite intimidating and I usually give the short explanation about becoming a corporate attorney with a focus on international trade agreements, which usually leads to many more questions. This has become my rehearsed and coup out answer. As time passed, I have finally found out what I want to do with my future.

The truth boils down to the fact, my American dream is to be remembered. It is a simple life goal that has more implications than could ever be imagined. I want to be someone that is written down in history and is known for the things I have said, the difference I have made, and the life that I have lived. Someone to remember years down the road for something remarkable. As conceited as this may sound, it stems from the notion that one day everyone gets buried in a grave and forgotten about.  Within their graves are their hopes, dreams, admirations, and unwritten past to no longer be told.  I simply want to be remembered rather than a person who has been forgotten about or another number or statistic in the United States Census. The fact the I will never be the president or someone crazy famous has made me realize many people will never remember me or my legacy, but what is clear is that the people I impact the most on a daily basis will pass way before me or have already passed.

This has been a reality that has constantly been on my mind until early this week. Early this week as I am working at my seasonal job in a personal care home taking care of the elderly, I was dressing one of my residents for the morning, as I am dressing her on the television was the annual Christmas eve parade from the day before. As the parade is going each float has a performance or a group of singers. Than a group begins to sing “My girl” by the temptation. My resident tells me how much she likes the song and ask if we could sit down for a second and listen. Ironically this song was my grandfather’s favorite song. To this day this song brings back so many memories and reminds me of the man he was. The caring individual that was nowhere near perfect but someone that was a comic relief within our family. Someone that was cared for deeply and impacted my life more than anyone could ever realize. He inspired some of my greatest poetry and some of passions that I had in life. This moment made me realize that we are all remembered by those that we choice to spend the journey of life with. My legacy is not simply my future, but also my past. It is not the fact that I may become an amazing philanthropic attorney or whatever the future may hold. It lies in the fact that I hold memories of thousands of people that I have been in direct contact with. The hundreds of resident’s that have told me their story and their past life while I have taken care of them over the past four and half years. All of us will be remembered and everyday is a chance to have another person to remember you in the way you have impacted their life. I have learned another great lesson on life. Treat everyone with respect, dignity, and make a lasting memory because this will become someone else’s memory. You are making that impact on someone and you will be remembered.  My American Dream rest upon those I make memories with and interact with.  My will be remembered even if it may only be by one person.