Konnichiwa my friends! By the time I was a preteen, I had one goal which was to travel to different places around the globe. Since I have a penchant for multiculturalism and geography, there are a whack of places that are on my "travel bucket list". Japan is one of the places that I have on my lengthy travel bucket list, because of its attractive natural sites, the delicious food, the variety of things to explore and do, as well as my overall passion for Japanese culture, language and cuisine.
Growing up, I admired music by multiple Black artists and music groups from various genres and eras such as the 1970's and 1980's. At first, my brother was the one who got me interested in genres like hip-hop and rap, because he would constantly play songs by T-Pain, Kanye West, and Rihanna in the car and at home in his bedroom. He and I would dance and sing along to some of their tunes, which created very special childhood memories. Over time, I have also branched out into other music genres, groups and artists like Billie Holiday, Percy Sledge, Sister Sledge, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye and Technotronic. I would download these songs and listen to them repetitively on YouTube or Apple Music during any time of the day or night. Watching several television sitcoms such as The Cosby Show (one of my favourites!), The Jeffersons, Good Times, That's So Raven, Smart Guy and Sister, Sister during my elementary school years definitely gave me some extra inspiration to explore music made by Black artists.
Hey my friends! It's that time of year in which people across the globe are preparing for, budgeting for, shopping for and thinking about the joys and sorrows of the holidays! Holidays such as Diwali (which has passed), Hanukkah, Christmas and Thanksgiving (in the USA) are the most common celebrations during the winter months. Prevalent holiday-related questions such as "Who is invited to my party?", "What food am I going to make?", "Where are we going to celebrate and what gifts are we going to give?" are what people are most likely asking themselves and others during this time of year.
At the beginning of the pandemic, I did not feel thankful for anything. Facing the surreal reality of lockdown, social distancing, death, grief, trauma and anger did not fit into the gratitude category for me. I was nothing but unhappy, so that prevented my ability to be thankful for what I have in my life. I just didn't reveal the negative emotions I was facing, because I am tough as a cookie.
Beige brick townhouses
silent spaces of greenery
kids playing ball hockey
in the city of Richmond Hill.
On September 23rd 2018, I began my spiritual journey for the better. Embarking on this spiritual journey wasn't going to be simple. I needed necessary support, resources, knowledge, and an answer to my question, "Why am I on this spiritual journey?" The answer was, "I am tired of suffering and feeling badly about myself. I moved out of my family's home, it is a new beginning to a chapter of my life, and I needed to climb the ladder to success". I knew it wasn't going to be something that I was going to master overnight. I knew that I was going to have some bumps in the road, but I told myself that I was going to keep working on this until I gained the necessary knowledge, supports, skills and the understanding I need to continue and end my journey to improved spiritual wellbeing.