new york city's confessional: destiny

I finally felt like writing.

So here we go.

I've been in this crazy ass city for four whole years, I actually can't believe it. And as I was wheeled into the ER a few days ago on a stretcher... I can pretty much officially say I've done damn near everything. Because I feel like being admitted into a NY hospital, a Brooklyn hospital and making it out alive, is a notable thing only New Yorkers would understand.

God, it is so easy to lose yourself in this city. That is what I have learned in this last lap. It's not that it is news to me, I know it's easy to get lost in the crowd and become one with everything that is going on. But it's also quite plainly easy to lose yourself. Your grounding.. what mayhaps made you.. not so NY. Not necessarily what "made you different" but what made you, for lack of a better term, an outcast. And in my eyes I'm not saying that outcast factor is a bad thing at all. I think we chase things, we're here for something right? Even those who are native. We're chasing it and in order to get closer to that thing we have to get closer to people and resources, live that life and who's to say it's not enjoyable? I don't feel like you realize what you need until you're in it; you'll need this exposure later, you and this connection could build a really beneficial, great grind relationship. Until one day you ask yourself where you are and what is this life you've found yourself in? I find you can find yourself in one of two scenarios:

+ Whatever you were chasing or desperately trying to create you've now lost sight of because now you're trying to maintain this completely different beast. The beast that demands instant gratification, demands reassurance, glorification, attention, validation, being surrounded by people and to be seen at all the latest. Your low maintenance is fading and the you that "doesn't care about that shit" has been replaced. Funny enough, you're still trying to hold onto that imagery.. so you feign the nonchalance. Faking who you are because somewhere you still believe you are that person. But you're not. And not to say that's good or bad, who am I to completely judge, but it is.. expected. I mean, were you never to change? The question is was it for the better?

+ So then there's the running through all the hoops to get resources and a backbone for whatever it is you're chasing and trying to create.. but who's to say all of those surrounding you, the crowd you find yourself in, will be your support when said time comes? Because that is the reason all these damn people are here, you've convinced yourself everybody you meet needs to be in your network, every seemingly cool person "doing something" you need to keep around for whenever it's your turn. Becoming that "if your friends don't support you they're not your friends" person is a lot easier than it appears. At first it's fun, the invites, the parties, the secret rooms, celebrities looking your way and treating you as part of their world. It quickly begins to feel like constant upkeep.. you have to keep your face out there, you can't be forgotten, you have to find your way into this event, you have to be in a section, you can't be seen outside or in a line.. all in the name of whatever dream you are trying to push forward... right? Exactly, not so more huh?

Living here can make you start to feel like you can't miss out on certain things. And then comes that odd ramble of speech trying to justify just why you don't care and why it's not even that special or important.. but then given the chance you'd jump at whatever it is because admit it, you've fallen. You do care and it is eating you up any moment not being on the scene. Not to have updatable things about your life and "funny" tidbits that all become rather staged and actually aren't funny at all. I think this is a place to find yourself.. but I think it's easier to lose who you are. You don't find your worth here, you have to come here knowing it and never lose that. It's easy to lose your core, you know the things that make you you, in exchange for what's happening.

I have the privilege of seeing people I've known in past lives move into the city, move out or stick around and just observe them. Watch the doe eyes and always be able to identify right away why they're here, what crowds and spots they'll find themselves in, pretty much predict how long they'll be here and if their personas can withstand the city or if it'll naturally fold to influence. I wouldn't be surprised nor would judge if somebody is doing the same to me.

I think I finally understand the whole notion about how if you can make it here you can make it anywhere and how near impossible it is to make it here. It's not that it's really actually hard to "make it" it's about the concept first because whose idea of making it are we even speaking of.. the crowds' we're surrounded by's twisted perception? That I may mention is popular so it's now standard perception. Ha, then it's really the making it out of those crowds, those happenings, the constant people. It's a working thought but no where is like here. And it's not because of the architecture or the jobs or the restaurants. It's because of the people. It's because of the pride. So if you can mount yourself above all of it, despite the pressures. Congratulations, you've made it.

xxoo, missusmonroe

Seeds of Doubt

You know what's really crazy? Having a conversation with someone who was influential in your life, or that you just thought was cool, who might have at one point advised you not to do something or told you offhandedly you couldn't do something. To find out years later that they actually thought so highly of you. That they admired you, were inspired by you. They thought you were brilliant even though you could swear you remember little instances of them calling you dumb or maybe not smart enough. And they told you not to do a thing or things because ultimately they needed everyone to feel the fear they felt when ideas, thoughts, or pursuing endeavors came to mind. They tell you years later that you were always capable of doing anything and everything, that you moved with no fear; meanwhile they would say the exact opposite, seemingly no big deal, no big argument just comments here and there. They planted their fears masked in words of doubt. Your previously pure ears caught wind and it first started with second guessing before moving and later grew into something much bigger.

I wish when I was younger someone told me not to listen to what anybody had to say, including themselves. I wish someone told me not to believe adults because adults have a tendency of passing on the same fear they were handed.

Being told to be realistic killed a lot of our dreams. It killed or dimmed the light on all the dreams I made the mistake of telling others. See look, even calling them that. Why do they have to be dreams? Why can't they just be a future reality? I want to hear "what do you want to achieve in the future?" not "what's your biggest dream?" Dream has the connotation of a chase, it surrounds the word with an imaginative essence or else there wouldn't be a difference in feeling from when you hear dreams and when you hear reality.

I feel like it all begins with second guessing. Doubt pushes its way through easily when second guessing...hesitation has already greased the walls.

When doubts are present? Oh baby, just about anything can happen from there. Fear is only a kiss away and fear!? Fear convinces you you're going to lose.

Fear knocks out passion, faith, your gut feeling.. shit fear erases your gut and calls itself "the real world". There are facts and then there's fear.

Have you ever worked so hard for something? I mean, it's as if you beat all odds even getting to the point where you could think and explain this thing in detail because how did you get to the point of being afforded the opportunities to even know of such thing? Have you ever worked so hard and so long for something, as in you took a complete risk on yourself, you exceeded your own expectations with how far you'd come? You didn't have the acumen, the experience, the network, the vocabulary even, shit. All you had was self, the knowledge you did carry from previous experiences or work, your support system, And yet, you did it. You achieved it. You got the yes. Then day one comes or weeks later and that foreign knowledge is being tossed around like a salad, everything is moving so fast, you're in complete information overload, you're being told the expectations are one calm thing but the questions are another anxiety ridden thing.

Then there goes that feeling... maybe you're not even supposed to be here. Maybe you thought you'd be good at this but you clearly won't be. Maybe you aren't as smart as you sold yourself to be. It's like every affirmation that was confirmed and hailed at the congratulations to yourself is now what? Doubt.

I think we fear hurdles because what exactly comes after them? Fear is comforting as backwards as it sounds. And I say this for you but I most importantly say this to myself. Fear is comforting because what exactly is on the other side of that hurdle? Luckily I know, it's called the unknown. Have you ever seen someone close to you, someone tangible reach whatever you call a "success"? If so, you're likely not so fearful of it, you've seen it happen it's not something new, it comes with such and such territory. If you haven't had direct access to someone succeed at what your fear is inhibiting you from pursuing then you, even just subconsciously understand that at least with fear, there are no surprises. Fear is familiar.

Being afraid is completely disrespectful to myself and being afraid is disrespectful to God. For a fact. As if you  haven't gotten through hell and back before? As if I you hadn't worked so hard to get to the point you'd prayed so hard for? And then have the audacity to get so close or get to the other side and now you’re afraid?? Or now you doubt you can do it or worse, succeed? I'm incredulous and like hell fucking yeah at the same time. It’s this constant opposition fight that’s senseless but all the more understandable, simultaneously.

It's like saying you're afraid of being alone. How, when you've already been alone? How can you fear putting your application forward when you've already been put in a position where your application could even be accepted? How can you be afraid of what you've already been given you the power to handle?

I tend to have to remind myself: your future is already determined we're simply working our way to get there. God has gone ahead of you already. There should be comfort in, if anything, that.

People will discourage you when your visionary bigger than their reality.

xxoo missusmonroe

"your fear was fueled by your doubt but your doubt should've been controlled by your faith."

Giving Myself My Flowers

Everything about me has been shifting and I mean pre-pandemic. In my most recent post where I highlighted feelings of displacement and the not so cute but rather confusing parts of transitioning, I also touched on clarity. Remember that?

I remember a few weeks of working from home I was in a state of frustration and prayed that everything that’s not for me should just go away, that “I don’t even want to see that shit”. And that I wanted peace and clarity, I wanted to see only that in which I was to see. Maybe two days later, that Monday there was a massive second round furloughs. Funny enough, and I know everybody cannot say this but, that was literally the best thing that happened to me at the time. I could fucking think again. It was as if, instantly, all the haze and blur cleared up. 

I wrote down my intentions, I wrote down what I wanted instead of just it being in my head so that I could say the same thing every day, out loud. Not in the chant-like corny way but a positive, confident statement. I think there's power in repetition and I did not want to forget exactly what I'd wanted when I received it. And against all odds I set out to believe in myself when these niggas had the nerve to tell me not to. This past year, nearly to date in fact, I’d been trying to pivot my career, it had basically consumed my life because it was the determinant for a lot of things. I couldn't get my new apartment without a new job, I couldn't continue to build my fashion 9-5 without it and continue my plans of taking it all to my own business without it. Do you know the stress of when everything seems to be banking on one thing? That there's a domino effect and that you can't seem to jump to the next task without operating in order. To say the least, it's very frustrating. And I think it’s so funny, sarcasm, the people who are supposed to be helping you, as in it’s their job and shit, are actually the ones minimizing and gaslighting. I thank them for claiming they saw my vision but did not actually believe in my capability. Because that might have mad me trusting and lazy. But my network, my very own stubborn mind, and my friends who checked up on me, who lent an ear, who lent a resource, made sure I saw it to another side

Despite what these online critics say, I’ll be the first to tell you believing in yourself when the world is not affirming your affirmations, when things are not going your way is fucking hard. IT'S NOT EASY. It feels like in that moment you're going against the world. But I will tell you betting on yourself is never not worth it.

For the first time in a very very long time, I am in the moment, my moment. I’m not thinking about 100,00 things at once.. maybe just 1,000 things hahahaha ~sincerely~

I can smell my flowers, I can breathe, and I am grateful to begin this journey of full transition. And it's been hard too! That's another word to tell, it has not been easy but I cannot tell you it has not been worth it.

Be kind to yourself. Check yourself but also congratulate yourself. You can never be late on a trip to your own destiny.

xxoo missusmonroe

A Transitional Era

Well. Where are the words for right now, honestly? I hope and deeply wish this finds you in a place of wellness and mental stability  because I know it's been .. just a damn pivotal time. I can speak for myself that this incarceration-- I mean quarantine has absolutely had its great ups and reflective ass downs, bringing it home as just a particularly trying time.

One thing, well among many things as you'll see, I can advise with confidence is not to force yourself into anything right now just because everyone appears to be active, or productive, or creative, or or or. From day one to  day ?? of this lockdown I have the same sentiments that this time is for you, take time for you in whatever that means to you. For the majority of you all I know that means rest. Well deserved rest, not looking at a screen an hour before closing your eyes rest, stretching your limbs rest, unfurrowing your eyebrows rest. You get what I'm saying?? I for sure needed a deep cleanse and this time to really feel again. And to feel what resting meant.

When this mess began I was really happy actually. Obviously not for the circumstances that got us here and the affects, the deaths and ailments that have been very much so real. But I was happy because for months and months I was so tired of going into work, I was exhausted getting up and "showing up" I just wanted to be present at home. I wished and wished, kept saying aloud I wish I could just work from home, it would be so much more comfortable for me. I wanted to multitask, I wanted to be able to sit on my bed or couch and do work related activities along with completing shit I wanted to do as well. Well that's literally what I got. Now although it came with massive caveats, it's what I got ~insert blogger professional term of lol~

All should've been well but that first week I was sick, crippled with  nauseating migraines from hours and hours of looking at a multitude of screens and probably also confinement in general. After that hump though it was pretty much smooth sailing, aside from work changes but with me and myself I was proud of my navigation. I allowed myself to be as productive, and how I define productive, as I wanted to be. And some weight of the backlog in projects was finally lightening up. I literally stayed in my house for about 23 days, as in no stores, no walks no nothing, in fact the most I did was take the trash out and get a package from my doorstep. That shit is crazy. But I say that to say I've really been stuck with myself, which for me is a great thing because I don't fear myself and I love my company. I love being around me. I love having me to myself.
But bitch when I say I reached a dirty core I had to reach and finally pull to the light, finally say aloud so I can strive for a higher version of it and that was the beginning of my breaking point?? This past week has been hell (relative to when this was originally written), and yes I'm reporting live from amidst of it because we know how I hate over the river and through the woods, only when I've reached the rainbow ass stories. What about the pudgy, wincing midsection? What about the meat? Why can you only speak of your hurdle with an "overcoming" story, why not raw, uncut, no fluff and fillers? Too transparent I suppose. 

But many weeks ago, right before all of this, I was talking to a friend of this current time but before it actually happened. And how I was going through so many differing things and facing so much tension and essentially conflicts in what's usually my normalcy or what should've been working. And he said to me, I think you're going through a transitional point right now. I couldn't have agreed more because that's exactly how I'd been feeling. And right now could literally not solidify this any more than it has.

And it's cute to say I'm transitioning, it's a very buttercup word and it frames things in a positive light. Which of course it necessary for your mental but to be quite frank this shit is not cute. It was whimsical at first but baby.. it is hard. It is frustrating. It is .. displacing. I'm going to be completely honest that I've been feeling far more lost than I've experienced in a very long time and it's because all these doors are being closed on me so it's challenging where the door meant for me is. If something is my purpose and meant for me, why is it hiding? And if the next response is that I'm not looking in the right place I'm still questioning why it's not revealing itself. It's for me right?? Right. Confusing.

So many things have changed and turned upside down these past four months it's truly unbelievable. All I'm asking for is clarity and preparation for my time. I'm asking for clarity upon your future, even just your tomorrow as well. Don't forget to do the things that help you breathe a little easier, smile a little harder. And be kind to yourself, we're all making it.

xxoo missusmonroe

things and such

Life is of this constant ebb and flow.

If there's one thing about life it's that it is consistently flowing. Everything must have its balance, whether we see it now or later. But you know this. I hate being that repetitive voice that only repeats what is actually already well known. I would hate to be that shit cause I truly hate that shit.

I don't know what compelled me to begin this with life as the opener but I've been repeating that sentence ever since it first popped into my head. And repeating it so I didn't forget I had to write it. I guess there’s something calming about the shit, that regardless of the matter with every tide comes some peace and stillness.

I'm currently trying to talk myself out of a weird mood, as this week began parallel to trash and today ended a little unexpectedly. But as I sit here, waiting for words to find me I'm feeling a bit.. well there's no way to describe it but "blah". A bit humbled in a way. I'm not upset nor am I sad or disappointed, but just that feeling at the back of your cheek that comes with being humbled or sat back down. Ebb.

Thankfully, I've been a bit encouraged as of late and oriented for the first time in many weeks so that's what is actually likely keeping me from sadness or a rotten attitude. For somebody who barely has things go her way without busting her whole ass for it, I feel like life still feels the need to remind me not everything will go my way? As in...bitch I know that, I live in this! Momentary pause in articulation, cause how you gon try to tell me! Like I’m new to this or something? Anyway, it was a cute attempt, innocent almost.

In all of this meander I stumbled upon a mirage of mind and still unbeknownst to me, I'm not sure why I find it interesting that I really picked up my bags to pursue a life I wanted and I'm actually living it. Like actually, here. Imperfect but for damn sure close-ish. Black women in fashion in an industry we made, now we are convinced to believe it's some upper echelon thing, some delicacy and achievement to get into a space that wouldn't have been possible without us and our ultimate influence. We are the influence! We are what’s trending, we are style.

I've been thinking these days about perception. How yes, things are not as they appear to be but that we have everything to do with that and in fact, they aren't what they appear to be because we want it to be that way. It gives us something to believe in. It allows us to create a world outside of what we’ve confined ourself in and called our possibilities.

Sometimes things appear to be at some sort of a standstill. Things haven't necessarily been going my way lately but I think in this odd way they have, I think they appear to not be because of how I want to see it or how I want it to be seen. But in due time it will reveal itself to be exactly that of my imagination. Or maybe I couldn't conceptualize it because it is actually bigger than my thoughts.
I've also been ruminating on wants versus needs and this conception of how I conceptualize getting to my wants and how God usually bursts my manicured bubble and cute little laid out path and forces me into a need.

It's really easy to talk about these things, needs versus wants, perception, how things may not work out, when you're on another side of striving. It's exceptionally easy when you've just achieved a goal. When you just secured an opportunity. When you've done whatever it is you do knowing your Instagram audience will fawn over. I sincerely hate those "it was so hard to truth and belief, but somehow I did and now look!" when you've crossed the boundaries. Like bitch where are those words when you’re in the mud?

This has been well all over the place and yet it’s followed a pattern of thoughts that follow each other and build, as they’ve been building and fermenting in my mind. I’ve been trying to feed it.

Thank You 2019 but f*%!& Off

I know someone is tired of seeing 2020 is for clear vision.

Although I could agree with the's corny and overused at this point. However, howeverrrr, I will put my bias and judgmental enough spirit aside and piggyback on its actual point. I eluded on twitter dot com that I was attempting to gather words I hadn't already said what feels like a million times but we just have to harp again how 2019 was just not it. Not that it was a horrible year but it was tired before it even started if we're being honest. 2019 was work, it was so much work!

Now let's get something straight, it was not worse than 2018. I don't think anything could be worse than 2018..aside from 2017 but stay focused with me here, 2018 was slaving work all year round while last year was difficult paralleled just with lighter moments. The greatest thing about last year was the resounding feeling of hope surrounding all of that hard work. Last year was hopeful, as hopeful as it could be following a tumultuous year like 2018. In all seriousness, 2019 was the year of light because of the magnetic and undeniable feeling of what the next year was sure to bring.

For whatever reasoned ordained, as last year was rounding up, as in after our super Hot, Girrrl summer, the greatness of fashion week, the Libra takeover that was my birthday month, then straight into the depression of all of the above being over, colder weather, and daylight being broke as hell and saving all it damn could, I was literally left with no choice but to think of the next year coming. And every time I would think of 2020 I would for no reason at all feel good. 2020 felt good before it even began. 

I suppose it's just the law of nature. You keep working hard at something, something will come out of it. Pressure makes diamonds.

2019 I stumbled upon and collaborated with so many artists, creative minds, and visual geniuses.. so many that I truly didn't realize it far exceeded 10 until I sat down and attempted to make a post out of it (thanks for the reminders Instagram limitations). I'm grateful for the people around me but I'm even more grateful for these energies I just bring in and connect with. In some proclamation shit, I want to be more intentional with this this year but honestly and truly.. I LOVE how things "magically" fall into place or really how we literally fall right into our destiny. Our predetermined paths. Because I don't think anything is by chance. 

It's not by chance I started 2019 off in a job where my boss literally hated me and not even halfway through the month separated with the company. It's not by chance this was right before catching a flight across the world all by myself to one of the most peaceful and spiritual places in the world only to come back jobless but also granted opportunities to begin freelance in celebrity styling. That's not a fucking coinky dink, how one door seems like it's closing but in reality it's opening in the opposite direction.

What's in Your Wallet? A Nigerian Proverb

This is why we work so hard.

For the "better life" sentiments, for our legacies. This is why mediocrity isn't accepted and never encouraged. Honestly, you don't fully grasp the urgency and aggressiveness of it all until you're there, until you're in it. My mother;s words from when I was young will probably always ring in my ears, "do not forget where you came from" as where you came from is important. It is identity.

In my early youth I used to think this simply means to not deny my heritage, to be proud of being Nigerian, but a few years ago I realized the depth to it. It means to use my uobringing and the people oh who I am and are from as a compass. Not to forget where I came from and what it means to walk that soil, not to forget the people and habits of my origins and move as though I don't have any bearings. In lames terns, What Would Your People Do? Not to get lost in the enticement of emigration and belonging" where you forget what differentiates your people from everybody else in this world. That's fucking pressure.

The crazy thing is, it's really only pressure if you want to be your own person. Where's my voice in all of this?

Don't get me wrong, Naija was an incredible time, I truly wasn't expecting the caliber I experienced even with knowing it would be a blast and I'll get to the rundown of that further. However, I think it would be unjust to not speak on this notion of a lack of acceptance for how people come. As this year was Ghana's "Year of Return" as I'm sure everyone has heard of at least once by now, it's suitable to say this was sort of the theme of the diaspora this Christmas and New Year season. Although Nigeria is always swarmed with generational natives or first-time goers, this year was particularly different. And in the home of tradition then no mann's land of motion and energy, the rejection of expression or simply anybody and any notion "unlike" surely discourages visitors from returning. Because once you stop partying long enough and actually put your ear to the conversation of why everybody's eyes are on you and giving you funny looks, you begin to ask yourself a question that lingered in my brain as the cabin doors closed and the flight attendants scuffled to their duties, with all of the crude humiliation defended by "this is not what we do here" quips, who would actually like to willingly return?

Nigeria always teaches me to be shameless, to be proud of your difference. We have so much national pride, it's literally a notion of why would you want to be anything else? (we good over here vibrational energy you feel me) Shameless. Which, let's be clear, is actually somewhat difficult to practice there. I think that's a great part of the reason we breed such enigmatic people, "creative", "different", "hungry" people, it's rebellion really. Rebelling against all of the "you're supposed to do"s, all of the hierarchical expectations and surviving yourself, self doubt, self worth, self harm even.

It's a mess at first, just doing any and all things in hopes of finding happiness and joy from them in the downtime of simultaneously appeasing family ties and legacies in the corners of your mind. It's a mess because for a long time you'll think you're doing these things for everybody, you and them. But in reality, the reality you're absolutely aware of but have convinced yourself isn't the whole truth so won't necessarily speak on unprompted, it's for "them". It's to make "them" who made all of these sacrifices, all of which you didn't even ask for, proud of you. I'm reminded of this every time I excitedly step back on my soil and honestly I'm not sure if it's what I'd exactly call unnecessary, because it's made me and so many others into the inspiring people we are today but we had to fight to get "here".. but then again it's also the take of if all of this shit was encouraged and actually supported would we have yearned and gravitated toward our path? I'm not so sure.

I do know that Nigerians are fighters regardless, we fight for what we believe in and sometimes what we don't believe in but are passionate about nonetheless. Even in our rebellion we are native.
I wonder how we'll raise our (y'alls) kids... for some reason I heavily believe they will want to become healers and negotiators (doctors and lawyers alike).

In the end I believe it is all about support, that's what we've all always wanted. That's why we'll do things we don't enjoy for years because to do the opposite of that would have said support from those who literally birthed and raised us whisked from the bottom of our feet. Imbalanced. That is until we succeed.

When I opened my notepad to begin writing thoughts about this trip in order to form phrases, sentences, and paragraphs that would become this post I found that I just had a bunch of phrases and couldn't complete any of them. To be all dandy and recap the frills just wasn't sitting, it literally wasn't producing. I will and actually want to go into the wit and humor of our trip but this just felt right. Right now.

We're moving forward. It took us a long ass time to even get to this space and the motion is not over. But we definitely still have work to do, we can't deny that and it would be a disservice not to speak on it. It all starts and will continue with us going back home.

xxoo missusmonroe

A Memoir to Self

A month ago I was truly trippin over turning 24. 24 is a year closer to 25 and who exactly is begging to be 25?? Who is seeing 25 as more than your "MID twenties", more than a quarter century, quarter life really, crisis?

I'm not even 25 yet so let's get that clear self but honestly...honestly if it wasn't for my timely epiphanies I just might still be feeling like all of the above. I've wanted to "get a lot done" by this age just to say I've done it. Literally, just to say I did this before *insert age*. I've wanted to create a lot of things by this time just to proudly (braggadociously) say I did so. To stay ahead of fear
To stay ahead of fear. Because who wants to be 30 "and not achieved anything"?? We fear this time of our lives, the time to be wanderers, because we've been made to believe since youth that by NOW we should have something if not everything together! Looking at each other, even not knowing it, we put our lives, wants, and achievements up against what we're shown of other humans. And we compete. All because of what, these ages we've been assigned, false life expectations, quick satisfactions, and a sinking gut wrenching feeling that time is running out? And the notion of will you ever live up to the expectations you have of yourself? Especially if that expectation is to be in the same place as someone else. Or even a little worse, better than them?

I'm about to turn 24 (surprise at 7 AM I became she). 24 to me means fruition and realization. It means payoffs and simultaneously necessary groundwork. 23 was proving myself right, it was celebrations. 23 took a turn for one of my lowest. 23 I was at one of my proudest. So much can happen, so much can change, we can't be defined by these barricades in time. I'm saying this as I'm telling myself this as well. This big, big age, I'm so emotional about it, I don't even know why! I feel as though I've shed a life, left a shell behind. In terms of how in modern day success is measured, I technically should be yearning for much more, more "hey look at this, this thing I can point to" accolades but that shit doesn't justify nor satisfy me. Quick  satisfaction doesn't satisfy me. I know what I've done mentally, physically, fucking emotionally. How I've grown, how I've shed so far, how I know I'm a damn force to be reckoned with! I move mountains; and I know this. The makings of a dangerous woman. In a year I've created a life.
Staying true to self is so hard these days but once you know yourself you also discover there's no going back and every step, whether forward or backwards, is monumental. To find yourself is to lose yourself.

In your self memoir, keep true to these things:

1. trust yourself, you know much more than what you swear you don't know

2. stop arguing with people on the internet

3. love lost is not a loss

4. what you call yourself is what you are

5. even the most idolized of this world is replaceable

6. your loyalty does not determine that of others

7. you're not in the business of proving your worth

bonus: forgive your family members

xxoo missusmonroe

Last Day of Summer

Ever since I was a child I looked forward to summer-time for two primary reasons, getting out of school and getting the fuck out of the United States. I've traveled near and far for as long as I can remember and I can truly say I never missed home. I got to college, I graduated, I moved and I can also say summer has never truly been the same as when I was younger. It's felt like a small break, intermediary periods, but never that unmoved excitement. It hasn't felt like that itch to be outside even though I wasn't allowed out with the other kids, it hasn't felt like that salty, face-tight sensation after coming back from the beach knowing for sure you're ten shades darker and your mother's gunna beat that ass *deeply rooted I'll tell ya*, it hasn't felt like days and days of "unproductivity" because you're actually far too busy living life to just sit still, it hasn't felt like new people and newer adventures, it hasn't felt like staying completely still and letting your embodiment bask in the rays, it just hasn't felt like dancing until your feet cracked, laughs of longevity, and sweat dripping from all of the above crevices,  it hasn't felt like nights that turn into memories that you want to do-over just to feel it twice, it hasn't felt like smiles brighter than your favorite all-white, it hasn't felt like eternal days and ink nights molding into the folds of dawn... it hasn't felt like summer in a long fucking time. Until this summer.

Laughing until I could literally laugh no longer just gasping for air, lustful nights, heavy-eyed mornings, sand I still can't get rid of, broken pants zippers, late-night walks with nothing but my thoughts, "celebrity" parties busting out ratchet dances, outfits that never worked, outfits that did nothing but work, unanswered messages, 1,000 wine videos, genuine friendships, new cities, numerous times behind a lens.. I could literally go on and on.

There are no real complete sentences to fully describe this summer. It was life-changing and sincerely the best summer I've had in a very, very long time. Refreshing...a necessity. I can actually say I was so happy, so carefree. I remember in the past these hot months would drag and just remind me of what wasn't. For the first time in a while I felt rewarded. Rewarded for so much I've had to endure to be able to enjoy these moments. God never ceases to amaze me, my future never ceases to amaze me. I've tried time and time again to sit and write something fulfilling, similar to how I just used to talk a few years back, no real subject matter at hand just something of a free-write. I hadn't been able to edit videos because literally every new editor I would try out for fit did everything but that, fit. There's always a reason. Mine just led me here. With my thoughts and my memories that run deep. As usual. It's a comfort to know how much of "me" I will always remain, no matter how much people who do not in actuality know me claim I may be changing. This summer was an ode to reflection. The ultimate Black Women healing and rewarding herself.

Summer of 2019, you were the best thing to happen to me yet.

xxoo missusmonroe

A Homage to the Greats, Afropunk's Steady Revival

It's been a while. And there are many of things I want and need to discuss but I just settled from Afropunk 2019 and honestly I'd like to talk about that! At this point we've removed the makeup, the body paint, took off the "costumes" cause that's what they are really, y'all have finally hung up those poorly constructed wigs and now we can attempt to recuperate and adjust to a normal scheduled program of life. It was a wild ride though! If you don't remember, last year I did an AP recap asking the rightful, in my opinion, question Did Afropunk Sellout? and I've been asking that question ever since. I think a couple of people might have slightly agreed with that notion of curiosity judging by the mass dip in attendance this year coupled with the conversation sparked from said post. And I'd like to know what others think is why.

Well, I never really got an answer, not that I thought I would, but I can say that this year... was different. The vibe was different, many of the attendees' energy was different.. I just enjoyed myself far more than last year and even the year prior. There's no equation to it really other than I feel as though AP went back to the drawing board a bit and attempted to hone into their principles, their beginnings..yknow.. blackness/creation and not profit. What it looks, feels, and sounds like to be a black outcast if you will, and creating a space for others alike. There's always time for profit. That's the thing, money doesn't go away, it's here forever but your integrity sure does. I know for a fact it also really helped that far less people attended. Don't get me wrong, there were a lot of attention-chasing, pre-planned couple fits, and a little too put together arrangements but compared to previous years it was certainly manageable.

My personal experience was also drastically "un-normal" because I felt as though this was my real first year attending as a Brooklyn resident. A thorough resident, not a visitor and not someone who just moved in across the street a month ago. I had previously established relationships, I came on the first day with a all know I don't do that shit! I show up on all of my dolo to solo shit and make do but this time around was genuinely different. And I liked it. I felt as though I created my own standard, my own normal this year and I'm not mad at it. Change is bound to happen, it's inevitable and can be great but the importance is not to lose the foundation... that word every time I say it has a different implication now and resignation but it's the truth.

Captured by @_ibra80

As for me, this summer I've really been stuck in the early 2000s and last legs of the 90s. And I've known what I was going to do for my hair for months now, a lot of the time for big events such as this whatever you see was probably a year+ old thought. I definitely briefly thought of this headpiece last year but could not figure out the name to express ship it. Til this day I still don't know what it's called but I do know it worked perfectly in the time period it was supposed to. I didn't have too much of a fight with USPS this year which brought down my blood pressure, and made for a less anxiety driven prep. Everything actually arrived on time. Imagine that!

Captured by @phobymo

My Saturday outfit came straight from the internet, there wasn't much deep thought or  customization into it besides from wanting some low-riders for a long time now and being in this nostalgic ass mood. I searched for what I wanted and literally stumbled upon this. The set was available in either red, black, pink, or lime. We all know what was first automatically withdrawn from that list and then I just knew I didn't want to have a lime moment, spoiler alert I had one. I hesitated with red initially because I did not want to accentuate my undertones so explicitly but seeing as though I wasn't in love with the other palettes, it would have to do. I knew I wanted to wear platforms to AP since years ago but I didn't actually want to wear heels of any sort. A funky take of the flatform it is! Then, my initial plan was to get a gold headpiece and I'd wanted throughout it to be similar to the coin charms but I could not for the life of me find such. So I opted for the white to make my shoes (forcefully) relate to everything else that was going on. It worked lol.
Captured by @thelensofnovakane

Captured by @thelensofnovakane

My Sunday get together was the prized possession all along. Months and months ago I saved Solange's Evening Standard cover photo with the braided hair art to my phone because it was literally a sight to be seen. I knew I wanted to recreate it for something and when the time rolled around it was only right Afropunk would be the recipient. And can I tell y'all how long I've wanted to recreate a Lil Kim ensemble? Because it's been a thing. What better than to, the day prior to the VMAs, remind everyone of when our living legend shook us for the nth time? For the construction of this I really just hand picked a bodysuit that was on sale, it didn't need to be all pretty I was going to cut it up anyway. I did want it to be of two things though, wide legged because of a vibe and see-through because... well, me. 

Captured by @thelensofnovakane

I cut, sewed, reconstructed it all, in fact I didn't even add the feather trim like I'd envisioned but I'm glad I didn't because that would've probable given a naught Mrs. Claus look that I was not under any means going for. I hand braided my crown, okay see let's discuss my hair. ~gasps in laughter~ I searched high and low for the damn hair coloring wax that would get to me in time.. I initially was to do a braided platinum cornrow wig but decided against it; so I wanted to temporarily color my hair a bright blond, braid it, install the headpiece. Well. After much ado the wax did come in time, I applied it the day prior, mixing the white and gold to hopefully get a brighter gold.. baby when I separated my hair it looked like I had already been to and back from the festival circa 2016. I looked dusty.

Captured by @dreadedphoto

I really had to think quickly at that point because I'd spent all morning braiding, after forcefully dragging myself up, and at that point was already terribly late. Then the wire was actually playing with me, mocking me really so I changed the entire design of the braids bro I was tiyad. At that point I said to myself I just need to throw something onto these braids because the front is all that matter at the present and presently the front looks fucked.
I problem-solved in a matter of seconds and thus created what you see here..what hundreds saw. Literally amazing. This year was homage to my legends, to icons in this black woman world game, the creative mind and industry game. True outcasts, punks if you will, creating spaces and lanes for other misunderstood black humans to just be themselves and live off of that.

Captured by @coolblkkidanyc

In my eyes that is what Afropunk is all about. But let me not talk on and on about it, I'd rather show it in this interview I did on the lawn with Essence! Check it out y'all. This year was surely one to remember.

xxoo missusmonroe

Captured by @_ibra80

Captured by @ikeslimster

Captured by @icolenob

Captured by @thelensofnovakane
Captured by @thelensofnovakane

Captured by @callme,frankie

Captured by Hugo Scott