do it like it's your b-day
let's make "me season" a 365 thing
“Do it like it’s your b-day”
- Joseline Hernandez, A Puerto Rican Poet
My birthday was this past weekend and it was one of my best yet. It wasn’t a milestone and I didn’t do anything particularly grandiose but the weather was beautiful, and the energy I felt was a welcome shift from the usual humdrum that is life in an imploding society during a global pandemic. Birthdays were always big deal to me, when I was a kid on October 8th, I would tell everyone “today is my half birthday”! Maybe it was the excitement of getting to play with my cousins, eat cake, and open presents but part of me thinks little LaChelle loved birthdays because it was the one time of year that I truly felt special. All of the long languages coalesce on birthdays. You get words of affirmation, gifts, quality time, acts of service (because no one expects you to do things yourself on your birthday) and if you’re super lucky you get physical touch as well. On my birthday, I am the most optimal version of myself. I’m energized, magnetic, open, optimistic, and fully accepting of myself.
I went to Magical Jewelry in Chinatown and got an aura reading which was super accurate. One of the things that stood out to me is that the reader noticed positive energy emitting from me, I didn’t tell her anything prior to the reading so she had no clue it was the birthday vibes flowing through me. It made me wonder what it would be like if I could channel this feeling on the days when I feel the complete opposite of how I felt at that moment. Certainly, nobody feels amazing every day, and even aspiring to that is a tightrope walk towards toxic positivity but if I can use this feeling as a reference point or a tool, it can help remind me of how capable I am of feeling and being great. I think Joseline Hernandez was onto something when she said “do it like it’s your b-day”, it’s not just a statement, it’s a mantra, a callback to the best versions of ourselves when we need a little gassing up. So, if you happen to be feeling like shit today, just play pretend for a moment and do it like it’s your b-day.
What I’m Watching
If you’re unfamiliar with writer-director Stella Meghie’s work outside of her 2020 film ‘The Photograph’, starring Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield, you should definitely check her earlier films ‘The Weekend’ (2018) and ‘Jean of The Joneses’ (2019). What I like about her work is that she writes Black women characters who are complicated, quirky, and authentic which, unfortunately, is still rare to see on the big screen. I recently watched and thoroughly enjoyed ‘Jean of The Joneses’ which is about a family of Jamaican-American women whose estranged patriarch visits them unexpectedly and dies on their doorstep. Jean, the eldest granddaughter who does not have her shit together, is tasked with arranging for the funeral arrangements of a grandfather she never met and mediating unaddressed issues in her family of women. Check it out on Hulu, Tubi, Pluto, or Roku.
What I’m Reading
Written by the late Gloria Naylor (Women of Brewster’s Place), Mama Day will give you folklore, magical realism, and Shakespearean narratives set against the backdrop of New York City and Willow Springs (a fictional place that seems to be heavily inspired by the Gullah Geechee region of the south). The ending was not 100% satisfying but I really loved the journey throughout this book, it had wonderful imagery, and was super imaginative.
What I’m Listening To
I’m a bit late to this one, which I suppose is easy to do these days with a multitude of artists releasing music at what seems like rapid-fire speed but I absolutely love CoCo O.’s project ‘It’s a Process’. If you’re unfamiliar with CoCo O, she is 1/2 of Danish music duo Quadron who are best known for their 2013 single ‘Better Off’ featuring Kendrick Lamar (but please do yourself a favor and listen to their self-titled debut album and the follow up ‘Avalanche’ if you have not). ‘It’s a Process’ is a soulful and cathartic self-reflection. Great for listening to passively or when you’re in your feelssss (which I usually am)
Who I’m Supporting
This week marks Black Maternal Health Week. Black women remain 4x likely to experience pregnancy-related death than white women. Last Friday, the White House made its first proclamation committing to addressing the healthcare disparities Black mothers face, but of course, we can’t depend on them. I am supporting Black Mamas Matter Alliance, a non-profit that advocates for Black maternal health rights. Donate here.
Be safe and enjoy the rest of your week!
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