Getting Back to Healthy Habits

For the last month, I didn’t prioritize my health. I just kinda kicked the can down the road, going out to eat, skipping workouts. This weekend, Fernanda and I found ourselves just feeling bad, and we knew it was because we’d ignored our fitness for too long. It really comes down to making the next decision a good one. Doesn’t matter if you’ve been off for a while. Just stop putting off what you know you need to do. Your body will thank you when you eat right and exercise. My mind—and I think everyone experiences this—will try to convince …

Sharing is Healing

Sharing your story can help you grow past what’s happened. I’ve felt compelled to write the story between my Dad and I. When I get lost in the writing I feel this warm, buzzing feeling in my body. I tap my foot and bob my head and blast out how I feel. Getting up to write feels like spending time with him, inhabiting a time when he was alive and cracking jokes or musing philosophically. I craved my Dad for most of my life, and when the opportunity finally came to get to know him, it came with a deadline. …

Take Honest Criticism

I had a recent writing speed bump. Last week, I had my final meeting of the semester with my writing mentor, Manette Ansay. Before our meeting, she wanted me to condense the first 200 pages of my memoir to about 50. Amidst end-of-semester work, I scrambled to produce 8 re-written pages. The worst part was I actually thought they were pretty good. We sat down in our usual meeting place, and I could tell what was coming. “It just seems like you’re tired,” she said, sifting through my meager writing. “Finish up your finals, take a couple weeks off writing, …

Joseph Beam’s “Brother to Brother” is Healing

Had to read some Joseph Beam for Africana Studies and I’m blown away. Take a second to read this. Men need to take a break from competition to show love for each other.   Here’s a sample: “I am at a poetry reading. The brother at the podium is reading a poem about his running buddy who was killed in Vietnam. At the gravesite of his dead friend, the poet reminisces about the big fun they’d had, sharing bottles of wine and hanging on the corner. Only when everyone has gone and he stares at the mound of dirt that …

Thank God for Sweet Potato

I’m feeing pretty good about myself. At my campus job, there were two big boxes of luscious Mojo Donuts. And I didn’t have one. Bro, two months ago, I would have taken down at least two or three. No question. I would’ve also regretted it before I was done. The payoff is never as good as your mind says it’s gonna be. Stay on track! Luckily, I could text Fernanda about it and she texted me back saying, “STAY STRONG! STAY FOCUSED!!” So I had the lunch I made for myself: italian-seasoned chicken, rice, and sweet potato. As soon as …