There is no end, only new beginnings…

•March 8, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I started this blog in grad school several years ago. It is a hodgepodge of my thoughts but I love and accept the representation of my beautiful mind that it yields. A vision of someone that won’t stay put in any single box the world puts me in, preferring rather the freedom to float above labels. Today I feel the need to acknowledge myself and acknowledge others who have guided me on my journey.

I would like to thank my personal trainer Reggie Lamptey, for always offering words of encouragement, assigning motivational videos for me to watch and for believing in me, at times more strongly than I believed in myself.  If I ever wanted to go to him for a pity party, he’d decline the invitation and ask to speak to the warrior within me instead. I always jokingly called him mean, but his tough love pulled me out from some of my darkest days and nights.

I also thank my holistic coach Safiya Oni, for helping me to work through visualization and teaching me to break down my tasks into smaller chunks. She identified the “analysis paralysis” I often face from “over-thinking” and not actually “doing.” This pattern had been known to immobilize me, providing a barrier between myself and my goals.

Lastly, I thank my life coach Om Boogie, for asking this question of me daily: “Who is Keyana today?” as a gentle reminder that I am always in control of the present moment. Contrary to popular belief, your past does not set a permanent precedent. At any time you can shake off old habits and chart new paths. This is a POWERFUL piece of wisdom and one of the most important tools in my kit.

What you will find in this particular entry is a journey of revelation about self-worth. An expression of that moment you realize you don’t have to accept a conclusion that someone else draws about you. Shake off that negativity and affirm who you are. “I AM” statements are the driving force behind that wise hammer in my toolkit. I use them to drive nails into the coffins of classifications  that do not serve me. And furthermore, I am teaching my son to do the same.

I invite you to take a glimpse into a day of my life by reading a letter I felt compelled to write when my son was denied a seat at the table. Although crushed at first, we licked our wounds and set out to get the wood necessary to build our own table. That hammer I spoke of will surely come in handy.     *insert sly KMJ smile*

Check out my original correspondence between the Cornell Summer Program here: Letter_Cornell Director

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This post was inspired by an article written by Greg Lorjuste on 2/19/18 – My Path From A 1.4 GPA To The White House

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#Cliffdiving

•January 25, 2017 • Leave a Comment

“Let’s jump off of a cliff,” he said

“YES! It will be fun!” he said

But there was no net,

And that’s just what I get,

Now I’m left holding all of my pieces…

 

~KMJ~

1/7/2017

Wave Early

•May 14, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Wave Early

I wasn’t ready when you called

I don’t know why life has us playing these cruel games

Always hide and seek with each other’s heart

I go running to find you, but you’re not there

You call out my name but I’m too far away to hear it

Back and forth we go

Getting nowhere fast

I wasn’t ready when you called for me

Your lips were saying sweet words

That my ears just could not, would not hear

“The one who got away”… Me?

I always thought I was the one you ran far, far away from

How could this love you speak of be for me?

How could this happily ever after tale end with birds flying about our heads

Donning wreaths of flowers around our necks?

Nah, not our story

The one with the poison that seeps through more than apples

Yup, that would be our love

Eyes wide shut in a comatose state

Needing more than kisses to revive the thumping of a bleeding heart

So I can’t be ready when you call

I won’t be there when you send for me

I’ve traded in heartache and heartbreak for a one-way ticket to Paradise

Freedom from Mr. Wrong who could never be right for me

Sweet nothings aint nothing when they don’t last very long

Words upon words lacking harmony, thus lacking song

Please keep far away from me with your empty promises

I have no room to pack your sins on top of mine

For that I’d have to pay extra

And you and I know this has already cost us too much

So wave your goodbyes early

For by the time you blink

I’ll already be gone

~KMJ~

5/13/15

The Eyes of a Stranger

•May 14, 2015 • Leave a Comment

The Eyes of a Stranger

In the eyes of a stranger

I’ve never seen danger

Some people call me crazy

But of course I don’t agree

When we sit for a while

I can’t help but smile

Some chitchat here and there

And of course I’m filled with glee

Who is this man?

Like to know if I can

An hour goes swiftly

Packed on a bus with such little space

Does my hair look fine?

Could I make this man mine?

1, 2, Inhale… 3, 4, Exhale

Be cool and put on your game face

You’re awesome, don’t blow it!

You’re nervous, don’t show it!

He laughed, he smiled, so there!

Looks like you’re good to go

The heart is resilient

And love can be brilliant

It’s not life or death

Even if he says “No”…

~KMJ~

5/14/15

So, Oh Well

•May 14, 2015 • Leave a Comment

The end of our road again?

Ok, that’s fine

I’m immune to your grand exits now

Each one less impressive than the one preceding

Who is this performance even for?

Certainly not me

I’ve stopped listening to your soliloquy long ago

Oh didn’t you know the curtain closed on this show?

I guess you were looking too long in your dressing room mirror

To notice your leading lady has long departed

Time to recast and honey break a leg!

One break here and one break there will make the broken heart easier to withstand

My understudy will need to be a pro at dealing with the broken things

Especially the broken parts of you

The parts you ignore with grand speeches

Knowing everything about everything

But sadly nothing about yourself, or me, or us

But I learned that’s not blissful ignorance you seek

No, it’s just plain denial

A temper tantrum of a fully grown man

Longing to have your way in spite of everything

So, oh well

What’s lil ol’ me to do?

To exchange my dancing shoes for laced up sneakers

I’m done doing this tango with you

All I want is to run in the opposite direction

When you bring the house down

All to keep from being lost in the rubble

Lost forever in the pit of you

~KMJ~

5/14/15

Why I Ran Through the Mud: Top 5 Reasons

•August 3, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Why I Ran Through the Mud: Top 5 Reasons

Mudderella NY/NJ 2014 was quite an experience. To become physically fit, I trained from January – May with the workouts provided on the website (http://mudderella.com/workouts/). The tagline for the event was “Own Your Strong” so did I feel strong? %$#& YEAH!

Here are my top 5 reasons for why I chose to run through the mud:

  1. THE CHALLENGE IS INTRIGUING – The thought of going through an obstacle course, if you’ve never done one, is pretty scary. You automatically think to yourself, “I’m not cut out for this!” but a small part of you is also like, “But wouldn’t it be cool if I DID do it?” So the thrill chaser in me was intrigued. Of course I am the girl who found chatting with strangers online invigorating more than a decade ago, and the girl who jumped out of an airplane skydiving, before I ever took a plane ride for leisure, and yes the girl who got that VCH piercing because it seemed so bad A$$. Thus, Mudderella was sure to be another feather in my cap.
  2. YOU FIND FRIENDS IN UNLIKELY PLACES – So I heard about Mudderella from a woman who wanted to create a team. Her enthusiasm made me enthusiastic. I said yes! Then I spread the word and invited my closest friends to join us. That’s where things went awry. Out of all the people I asked, only ONE person stepped up to the plate with me. That got me thinking about my circle. It obviously needed to be expanded. Our team ended up being comprised of 12 people and I only knew a few of them. I wondered how this ragtag bunch would do, but surprisingly, we connected immediately for a common goal: To support one another and have a great time! It was remarkable to see how quickly we meshed as if we had been the best of friends for years. This bond propelled me to do my best on game day. We were in it together and there was no turning back.
  3. YOU GET FILTHY – Ok, so obviously the operative word in Mudderella is MUD. And lots of it. Although I knew what to expect, I really didn’t know what to expect! That mud is an experience all in itself. I’m talking WALKING through it. Before we even got to Obstacle 1, the walk from the Start line was a challenge. Sneakers were lost and people were going down. I thought, “What have I gotten myself into!?!” Then later on at one of the obstacles, I accidently got dunked in a pool of muddy water. All was lost at that point. I was covered from head to toe. To my surprise I wasn’t bothered by it. Startled, yes, but I survived. I couldn’t see a thing and someone came to my rescue with napkins to wipe my eyes. All I could do was laugh and smile, even risking getting mud in my mouth. Yuck! So this was the pinnacle of the Mudderella experience, huh? Yup. Warning: Divas stay home! Signing up was a chance for me to forget about how I look on the outside and focus on what I’m made up of on the inside! And that’s where the best stuff is.
  4. GETTING FIT – I enjoy exercising, but are there times I slack off? GUILTY! However when I made the decision to participate in Mudderella, I knew I had to be focused and committed to a workout regimen. I was proud of myself that I woke up every morning at 5am to do the 1hr session. I had created a MudderellaTrainingLog to track my reps and put it all in a handy, dandy Mudderella binder. That binder was my workout bible. For 5 months I trained and saw results. I looked strong. I felt strong. I was strong. I was ready to take on anything. When I came home after the event, I didn’t even feel winded. I took a shower, then a bath, soaking with Epsom salt. The next day, I was up and working out again. Go me!
  5. SUPPORTING A GREAT CAUSE – The proceeds for Mudderella go to an organization called Futures Without Violence (http://mudderella.com/futures-without-violence/) that works to prevent and end domestic violence. As a woman, domestic violence is a relevant topic. Unfortunately my peers and I have experienced toxic relationships that have led or could have led to domestic violence. Therefore, to donate to an organization that fights for DV awareness was something I could not resist.

These are my top 5 reasons for why I ran through the mud. It was a great event that I’m thrilled I was able to experience. My team #BeautyFlies said they’d love to do it again. So I’m looking forward to next year! Will you join me? The choice is yours…

An Ode to Blogging

•May 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

     It’s probably redundant to say that I am a fan of blogging. That’s evident by this blog I’ve begun even now. However, I do want to point out that there are critics to this form of writing and notable bloggers have fought to find their place in journalism.

     In an article by Andrew Sullivan entitled “Why I Blog,” he made a strong case for why the web log should not be dismissed. He made a comparison between formal music and jazz that sums up the relationship between formal writing and blogging quite perfectly.  “Jazz merely demands a different way of playing and listening, just as blogging requires a different mode of writing and reading.”

     It is probably no coincidence that I would gravitate toward blogging since I have maintained a personal journal since elementary school. Sullivan notes that “the historic form closest to blogs is the diary.” I am thrilled by the idea of pouring out the trappings of my heart, but now I must get used to exposing them for the world to see. I hope to pursue this blogging journey with the same fervent attention that I give to the little blue journal on my nightstand.  I want to be as passionate about news and events outside of my life as I am about the personal tragedies and triumphs I record from my own little world.

      The face of journalism is changing all around us and many, including myself, are ready to jump board and explore this unchartered sea.

      Check out “Why I Blog” by Andrew Sullivan: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200811/andrew-sullivan-why-i-blog