Jewels of the Week (July 22-28)

A BALLATICIAN ON A MISSION

I did not come here to play with you hoes, I came to slay bitch!” — Big Freedia

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When carrying out a task I focus on what needs to be done, like straight up tunnel vision, it’s the only way I know how. That sounds like common sense but when you have social anxiety it can be extremely easy to get distracted from preoccupied thoughts of how you look or what other people are thinking if they’re watching you while you’re doing what you gotta do. I get caught up often and lose sight of what needs to be done so, I pretend that I’m a very important person that needs to carry out a specific task, even if it’s just me walking through a crowded Walmart looking for Harvati cheese.

Roleplay and acting in our daily lives is underestimated when it comes to coping with social anxiety. SA is sort of a very egotistical mental illness to have when you think about it; we think everyone is constantly watching and judging us when that’s never the case. Like nobody cares about us, not to the extent and intensity that we believe. I laugh to myself at all the times I’ve internally panicked (which are way too many to count) because I was embarrassed about making a mistake and was worried about people’s thoughts who had seen it, because I can’t remember any of it now. And I have those moments almost everyday. But despite knowing that no one is watching me through a magnifying glass, we continue to think otherwise, and It’s funny honestly. It helps to know that we’re one of the many inhabitants on planet earth, in this humongous galaxy that has yet to be fully explored, that are simply just out here trying to live and make something of ourselves while we’re here.

I am a perfectionist and it’s not something I state to brag about, because it genuinely is a character flaw of mine that I have yet to reconcile with. It doesn’t stem from a healthy place and I don’t think perfectionism in any capacity is healthy, it takes a toll on you mentally everyday. It keeps me pitted under a thousand pounds of weight and against my naturally ambitious nature, afraid to take the action that’s needed because I want to do everything right the first time and I want people to view me as perfect. I don’t want to be embarrassed by mistakes and scandals and publicized failures the way I’ve seen it happen to so many other people. Everything is my way or the crash-and-burn way, but I’m teaching myself to being open to the other outcomes that life has to offer me.


Youth To The People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Oil

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Ive been using this for about 3-4 months now and I can’t not use this at night now, even if I already have a moisturizer on. This oil is super lightweight and gives my skin the nourishment it needs, plus it’s a nice blend of oils that work well with my oily, acne-prone skin. I’m big on layering the moisture to keep my skin as supple and healthy as possible so I always use this after moisturizing at night so I can go to sleep looking like a greaseball.


Braids. All types of braids.

Because of the very delicate nature of my edges, I’m usually afraid of braids. I wore braids and ponytails consistently as a kid and now I’m trying to preserve what’s left of my edges because they are not a renewable resource. Because of that, I’ve stuck to wearing half-wigs which has been great for me so far but…

It’s hot. I can’t be wearing wigs during this oppressive weather because it’s really no different than wearing a hat to me, I sweat all the same. And I don’t have the time or energy to be doing twist-outs every night, plus I have to wake up at 6am everyday so I just like to get up and go. I also have a bit of heat damage in the front of my hair so the curl doesn’t hold well in this humidity either and I end up looking kinda crazy the next day. It’s just too hot!! I was pondering the thought of getting knotless box braids but I was also thinking about getting some feed-in braids too, I guess I’ll get whichever one is cheaper. 🤙🏾


Wake Up With Marley

One of my favorite Twitter accounts to follow, she consistently puts out good content everyday with quick plant-based recipes and wellness tips for healthier eating. I have yet to try any of these myself because I’m extremely lazy but when I gather the strength and consistency to cook my own meals 3x a day it’s over for McDonalds and Shake Shack and my future congestive heart failure.


Keanu Reeves

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Aside from him being extremely attractive, his personality is his most attractive feature. He doesn’t use social media, he doesn’t operate the way most celebs do. He lives his life like normal and prioritizes good health of the mind, body, and soul above all else. He treats his riches like it’s nothing. He’s extremely humble, somewhat shy, but overall is a very solid person. He treats everyone with kindness and respect, rides his motorcycles, reads his books, and loves dogs while minding his business. That’s my type nigga, that’s my type.


Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in A Noisy World by Cal Newport

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I think we’ve all had an inkling that smartphones and apps and social media have been developed over time to become more engaging (read: addicting) but this book has been a great breakdown of the ways of how that started, how it effects us, and the measures we can take to start using technology with purpose instead of letting ourselves waste our precious time by not being productive with technology.


Merchandise

I’ve always hated merchandise because most of the time it isn’t done right. It’s not cute, I don’t want to be walking around with a $50 t-shirt with your name printed on it in some boring ass font. I love when merchandise is creative and keeps the brand’s name and style in tact while not making the consumer look goofy. I don’t mind being a walking billboard for the right people, and with the right designs of course.


WILLOW by Willow Smith

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Even though I feel like I’m not quite the demographic of this album, I still loved it because it spoke to my younger self, my teen self. I remember laying in bed listening to Best Coast and daydreaming about having the stereotypical teenhood filled with boys, parties, and proms and Willow’s melodies on a few of the tracks reminded me of Bethany Cosentino’s voice from Best Coast. Covering themes of generational nostalgia in Time Machine, superficiality in PrettyGirlz, and the paralyzation from overthinking on Overthinking IT, this was the kind of album I needed from the ages of like 15-18.

She makes music that serves as the soundtracks for teenage life and exploring spirituality at a young age—questioning everything and beginning he journey to knowing yourself on a deeper level—and I love it. His album could be described as a musical version of the coming of age film genre, with guitar melodies that sound like something straight from a 90s teen movie and the classic storytelling of young love in its different forms.


Elecktra Abundance

The beauty of fictional characters is that they can be created as people who we wish to be, allowing us as the viewer to draw from that strength and confidence on the right occasions. Elektra has a mouth on her that she weaponized against those she thought of as enemies and turned out to be her allies, but I appreciated the fact that once she reconciled with Blanca later in season 1 she learned to use her sharp tongue and hateful comebacks for the people that deserve it, not for everyone who challenges her and makes her feel defensive.

She continues to teach me that so many different qualities can be present in one woman, which is really the beauty of womanhood. I can be an utter bitch to you as I see fit and still be considered a sweetheart by my loved ones, because I treat those as they treat me. I’m always inspired by how respectfully and dignified she carries herself, she has a powerfully feminine presence that you can’t help but admire.


Flip Phones

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While reading Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport, he mentioned a digital minimalist named Adam that completely got rid of his smartphone in favor of a flip phone because it was consuming so much of his time as a father. After doing so, he was still able to run his business like normal and spend more time with his kids, the only inconvenience being that it takes longer to type with the key pad. But I think that’s a pretty decent trade off because time is priceless.

A lot of the apps on my phone aren’t needed, they’re merely for convenience. All the photo editing apps I have? I can simply use Photoshop on my laptop. Social media apps? I can use Twitter and IG through Safari, on my laptop. I don’t have any gaming apps on my phone and definitely don’t need them. Truth be told I don’t really need astrology apps like Co-star and The Pattern sending me the same recycled messages I already know, pretty much either triggering me or annoying me on a daily basis at this point. Selfies? Cameras still exist outside of phones.

Everything about my phone, besides being able to call and text, is about convenience. I’m 22 and have been on Twitter since I was in middle school, it’s been an extensive addiction when you think about it. My tight-knit attachment to my phone stemmed from Twitter and only got worse each year as more advanced and efficient phones were developed along with a ton of unnecessary apps designed to use up our time and keep up glued to the screen.

I wonder now how my life, especially my social life, would be if I were to switch from my iPhone 6s + to a regular flip phone just to be able to call and text you people, like phones were originally meant to do. It gets overwhelming having the world in your pocket and at your finger tips everyday, but I guess I’ll challenge myself to using technology more efficiently instead of letting it use me. If you see me walking around Philly with a pink Razr, mind your business.


Lenny Kravtiz’s Brazilian Farm

Until I’m able to retire in somewhere like Brazil, Jamaica, or Thailand, I will never not complain about how trash city life is, at least in America. Every single day I dream about escaping the city to something much more reclusive and grounded, surrounded by nature. I want a farm where I can raise a handful of goats, highland cows, some dogs, 2 horses, and maybe an alpaca while I grow my own fruits and vegetables so America can stop killing me slowly with that GMO shit.


My cat, my daughter, Zoe.

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