5 Essential Life Skills I Don't Possess at 22
Sometimes, I feel like an incomplete adult human. When I was younger, the adults I saw in real life and on-screen always seemed like they had their lives put together. It’s part of the reason I was so excited to reach adulthood. I figured life on the other side was exponentially better.
Limos Rises Again
2052. They predicted the oceans would do us in. No. It was the bees. It was the flies. It was all the creepy crawlers we swatted away mindlessly before the Fall. Most imagined the end would come barreling out of the sky. Or else some forgotten primordial beast would lumber out of the ocean and consume us for our transgressions against nature.
My Parents Never Read Me Bedtime Stories
I didn’t have a typical childhood. My mom got pregnant with me at 16, and the chaotic energy of my upbringing reflected that. Having young parents meant that were always busy, always working to put food on the table. My nighttime routine comprised my mom tucking me into bed, planting a kiss on my forehead and saying: "I love you, and I'll always love you, forever and ever."
I Slept Through A Murder in My Childhood Home
A couple of nights ago, while trying to fall asleep at 2 AM, my mind wandered. Coffee at 9 PM was a bad idea. My thoughts shifted and twisted, running through situations that I thought had been all but buried deep within my psyche. Do you remember when you farted loudly at the library, and that cute guy and his friends turned around and stared at you? Yes, I remember. Or when you were giving your valedictorian speech in primary school and almost threw up on the podium? I’ll never forget.
My Happiness Skyrocketed When I Lost My 4.0 GPA
“Stay in school and study hard so that you don’t end up like me.” My mom got pregnant with me at 16 and would repeat this phrase often when I was younger. Along with some other bangers such as “Don’t grow up and get with any broke, good-for-nothing guys” and “friends will carry you but never bring you back.” Even at a tender age, I understood these directives for what they were: projection and a deep-seated fear that the trail of bad decisions that led to me and later, to my younger sister, would enact an unbreakable cycle of teenage pregnancies and perpetual suffering.
What if the Killer Was an Ideology, Not a Person?
My anxiety-ridden mind is prone to chronic overthinking and scaling minor doubts into full-blown freakouts. Case in point, when I first moved to Ottawa for university, I was terrified. I had endured the 6-hour flight alone. It was my first time in Canada, and I had no family and no friends here, so there was no one to pick me up from the airport. Everything felt foreign, and my mind kept turning over a singular thought: what if I disappeared?
The Intersection of Black Femininity and Queerness
I grew up curious and queer. Out of place amidst the expectations of a violently heteronormative and denominational country. When I got accepted to attend an all-girls secondary school, I distinctly remember family members joking: "Don't become a lesbian. We'll disown you." Haha, super funny. This was the early 2000s when being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community was still something you whispered about in hushed tones and hid relentlessly from your family and friends. There was virtually no queer representation in the media and even less so for those who happened to be queer and black (at the same time!).
The Summer I Spent Alone
A crisis. Havoc. All at once, alone. Advice defined, doors sealed, the virus raged. When ‘shy’ is default, silence feels as home,