[now a word or two]

words mean things

from the sky: my top lessons from BlogHer conference — July 29, 2015

from the sky: my top lessons from BlogHer conference

BlogHer15 floral wall

Many days later and do I have a clear understanding of what impact BlogHer will have on my life?

Nopes. Not even close.

I broke down the conference from the ground up, but this one – is from the sky. Where my new dreams, goals and aspirations reside.

Own your work. Listening to the founders of #BlackLivesMatter (and later in my last session with Feminista Jones, Beverly Gooden and Mikki Kendall)- I’m sure at some point, they all thought: it’s just as hashtag. Then it became something bigger than them and they were all moved to stand up and say I own this. I run this. This is something I created. It took me a long time to call myself a blogger and writer. But now? I’m a less likely to hold myself back.

#YouOkSis #SolidarityisforWhiteWomen Hashtags BlogHer15 Blog Conference session

Your attitude is key. From Soledad’s Starfish to Tenisha’s tenaciousness – bad things will and do happen to good people. Sometimes the only difference can be in how you eat those bad things (vs letting them eat you). Hard work, determination is important here too – but belief and faith are pretty high up there. When I started this blog – I had no idea what I wanted it to become. Though I’m still not sure, I’m going to make sure that I remember that words mean things when I speak of my circumstances.

Why not me. Voices of the year (which seriously next year should be sponsored by Kleenex) was incredibly moving and heart-wrenching. From the moving images to the written word – it was about honouring people who produced amazing content. I thought to myself – I produce content! There’s nothing that separates me from those honorees (except Luvvie of course. Lol) other than writing the right piece and the right time. I could be up there someday.

Amy Juicebox Luvvie BlogHer15

Heroes may fall, but continue to have them. Before I left, I wrote about wanting to meet specific people that I look up to. And while watching the Bill Cosby situation unfold tells us that heroes can and do fall everyday – we do still need to believe in them. Bumping into Luvvie and her knowing who I am, getting to sit and chat with Feminista, introduce myself to Erica – they will tell you they are just regular folks, but are still gracious enough to withstand the peaks and valleys that come with being put on pedestals. They inspire me to be bold, brave and bawse!

You are (good) enough. If there is something universal about women is that we are really really REALLY good at downplaying ourselves, our talents, our abilities. We say oh it’s just a ___ blog, it’s small, it’s no big deal. All of us do it. From Gwenyth to Ava, The Pitch to VOTY’s – we diminish ourselves. It’s so ingrained in how we operate, we don’t even know until someone else points it out and slaps us on the hand. Moving forward, I will try to not do that, but I’ll also try to remind any woman when they are doing it.

Ava’s keynote went viral when she said : “copy the white men”. Men don’t ask for permission. They don’t diminish their accomplishments. They just take and do. They are fearless in the pursuit of their dreams. Can you imagine how much a force we women could be if we were the same?

The Stretch BlogHer15 Keynote Blog Conference

Defining moments. I booked my flight to New York in January. Before the conference. Before registering for school. Before my career epiphany. Before I knew who was going to watch my son for 5 days. I took leaps of faith in hopes of the puzzle pieces falling into place and gaining clarity on where and who I wanted to be. I dared to put myself in the same room with giants. I stretched before I knew what that meant. And now that I’m here – I know why my job search of 4 years (four years) has proven to be futile. I know why the caged bird sings. I know I can’t look back or stay here for too long.

No longer knowing that my future holds (or at least pretending to know) is scary. But since I’ve been back – I’ve never felt more free. I’ve never slept more sound (when I sleep). I’ve never stepped more surely. It’s an amazing feeling.

Finally, don’t wait for permission. All the panels I attended had a common theme – if there’s something in you to write – just write. You can be a food blogger and write about SCOTUS ruling on same sex marriage. You can be an Asian blogger and write about your parents. You can be a beauty blogger and write about #BlackLivesMatter. You can write fearlessly. Unfollowers, loss of brand partnerships be dammed. Ask yourself: What’s it worth to you?

One of my personal key takeaways is that it’s not weird or as crazy as I thought to write from an alias. I’m actually giving myself freedom that others may not have. Special thank you to fellow Canuck – The Ethical Thinker for the peptalk on this very subject.

So that’s it. (Well not really). It not hyperbolic to say that BlogHer truly changed me and my life. Thanks for joining me on this journey to somewhere.

[amy]

what’s your word? did i leave anything out? did any of my readers attend this conference?

ps: i wanted to include my thank you video I made on the pier..but..can’t figure it out. womps.

 

circle of life: Whitney, Bobbi Kristina & Sandra Bland — July 27, 2015

circle of life: Whitney, Bobbi Kristina & Sandra Bland

Whitney Houston Bobbi Kristina

we are born. to 2 people ready to receive us. they raise us. they fear and fuss over us. they teach us. they love us.

and as we get older, so too, do they.

then we turn around and they are gone.

that’s the circle of life. or at least how it’s supposed to be.

with the news breaking that Bobbi Kristina, daughter of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, has been taken off life-support and passed on – i think about the circumstances of their circle.

Bobbi was younger than one would like to be when she lost her mom. she didn’t get a chance to show off an engagement ring or plan a wedding. she didn’t get to see her mom’s face when she announced she’s expecting. she wouldn’t be able to have dinner at “grans” house with her branch of the family tree.

now, with her gone, she won’t get to experience these things at all.

also who comes to mind though at this time though, is Geneva Reed-Veal – the mother of Sandra Bland. whose own circle has been disrupted in the most cruel of ways. it goes against all laws of nature for parents to bury their children. dreams interrupted and unfulfilled. all the moments you were supposed to have washed away.

i won’t say one way or another, which is the worse of the 2 – because both come with their own pains and hurts.

mama quote

i saw the above meme on facebook and chuckled. i also archived it to use for future reference to my offspring when he gets old enough to act up and need a reminder that i’m about that life.

but the smile fades, when i think of the tale of two mothers. their lives couldn’t have been any more different from each other – but they had one thing in common, that unbreakable, undeniable love that comes with becoming a mother.

the only silver lining through the tears comes when you know that Bobbi and Whitney are both at peace. they are together. reunited and recreating this moment.

Geneva Reed-Veal won’t know such peace. even if death came for her tomorrow, there would be no rest for her.

a daughter without her mother. a mother without her daughter. both heartbreaking, no matter the circumstances.

[amy]

 

 

 

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