26

“Can I see your I.D.”

I roll my eyes internally, and sometimes outwardly, when asked that question.

“I am 25 going on 26, can’t you tell!”

But this post isn’t about how young lookin’ I am on the outside and how young actin’ I be on the inside.

It’s about the important lessons I’ve learned in my early 20’s; many I am still working on as I head toward them late twenties. 

  1. Some lessons are bigger than a person or the people involved. Give yourself time to heal from what makes us all human, but remember, the Universe/God uses people and situations to guide you. It is not right to hate or hold on to interpersonal anger. It is also not wrong to distance yourself from points of stress. But, let go of hate and let go of anger, and work to understand things outside of bodily experiences.
  2. Keep your childhood and/or college friends, they are love and moments you will never forget, but don’t be afraid to form one or two quality adult friendships with people who share your value/moral scale and who make you a priority. 
  3. Live honestly. Tell yourself the truth and be earnest with the people you encounter in this life.
  4. You will make mistakes, maybe even some big ones. Forgive yourself. The people around you will make mistakes, maybe even some big ones. Forgive them. Secondly, pay attention to how people in your life react and treat you when you do make mistakes. From there, decide how to proceed with them. There are people out there who will want to use your mistakes to write a negative narrative. There are people out there who will not forgive your mistakes. There are people out there who may never want to forgive you. Learn to be okay with that. Life is so much more than the mistakes we make, and that old saying about learning from them applies. 
  5. Set professional boundaries for yourself and don’t let anyone guilt you for it. At this stage in life, you are probably working to fulfill someone else’s dreams; you have dreams too — learn to leave work at work; log off your work email when you’re home; come up with a way to decompress before you get home; demand better pay; speak up for yourself when you’re treated like shit; bring down the patriarchy and white feminism!! — sorry, got carried away. Anyway, I’m not trying to get anyone fired out here, so do this responsibly.
  6. Therapy! Growing up in a Haitian household, I learned that no one deserves to know my family’s business. As much as I think discretion has a place, it’s not to be used when sitting on someone’s couch who you are paying to help you heal. Therapy can be expensive and depending on your health plan, it might not be feasible. In that case, find someone who you trust to be honest with you to speak with on a regular basis. Maybe it’s your favorite aunt who you call on the drive home from work. Maybe it’s your mama. Maybe it’s boyfriend number 2 who knows how to drop that philosophical knowledge.
  7. Know thyself (Delphi Ruins). I’ll share a short anecdote for this one. Someone once told me that I have no concept of privacy. It was a way for them to bully me in a conversation where that statement was unnecessary, but I wasn’t hurt because I know myself. I hold very few things private, purposely. The things I keep private usually have to do with other people’s business, but I generally feel comfortable openly sharing of myself. If I had not known myself enough to be comfortable with that truth, it could have made an already painful week in my life even more painful, but it did not because I know myself and that is a part of myself that I am comfortable with. In knowing yourself, it is important to accept that not everyone will love all aspects of who you are; that’s okay. 
  8. Choose love over loyalty. I learned this early in my 20’s and it’s an easier lesson for me because I am a natural critic. You will learn that human beings crave allegiance, we want loyalty, but loyalty can be dangerous. Hold close people who aren’t here to blindly support you but will be honest with you because they love you. Hold close people who will disagree with you but lovingly. Hold close people who know your faults but who will not belittle you.
  9. Educate yourself. You don’t know everything, no one does, so remain open to learning. I’m not only talking about classroom learning.
  10. Have a financial plan. My cat is sitting on her perch laughing at me as I write this rule because she sees me stressin’ about finances at least twice a month when I do a version of budgeting that ain’t really budgeting. In all seriousness, this lesson is my greatest challenge, but I am doing number 9 to help me get to a place where I have a solid financial plan.
  11. Learn a few legal things. Not every contract or agreement put in front of you is legit, know the difference and if you don’t, rely on friends who do to help guide you.
  12. Don’t settle for sub-par sex. Sex should be like eating ice cream. There are so many flavors, colors, tastes, cone sizes, textures — ice cream purists, don’t debate me on this, I like my ice cream melting soft, it’s a thing. This lesson is especially important for women because sex positivity is not encouraged in our culture. Anyway, you don’t have to settle for a lame who don’t know how to get in the mane, nah mean. And a secondary lesson, it doesn’t matter if the sex is heavenly if they treat you like crap. You are a freaken gawd, don’t be out here with sub-humans who don’t know how to return texts or calls. Thirdly, don’t be a crazy person and out here sending six paragraph text messages cuz the ice cream put you in coma — you gon’ be alright!
  13. Some people are assholes; you don’t have to be an asshole so don’t be an asshole. And if you ever are an asshole, own it and apologize.  
  14. You might not save the world, but you can change it. This TED talk says it all: https://youtu.be/JH6FBwbqxUA ((you better come back and finish reading this whole dag-on post!))
  15. Failing does not make you a failure, it makes you a scientist! Not exactly, but failing is not the end. When you fail, you learn. Remember that time when the hip-pop, rappin’ group Girls Time didn’t win that boring ass show… 25 or so years later, we got Beychella. I use this analogy because it’s important to Beyonce between the failures. Yes, I used Beyonce as a verb! Don’t sit here and gloat when you fail, figure out what led to the failure and determine how you can be better then repeat as many times necessary.
  16. Learn to be silent. I talk a lot so this is especially for the talkers… learn to be silent. You might not be right about everything you think you are right about, so be silent and observe every once in awhile. Of course, don’t use this lesson at the expense of using your voice or if it makes you feel small to be silent.
  17. Be.Be you,
    the truest version of you
    Filters are meant for Instagram,
    not the sound of your beautiful heartbeat
    You are a marching band,
    when your feet hit the ground pavement waves
    Find your rhythm,
    through the smiles and tears there’s a truth
    It is you.
  18. Support your friends and colleagues. It’s great to love Beyonce and attend every single show, but it’s also great to support your friend with the budding poetry, art, music, interior design, travel, etc… career.
  19. Take care of your health. Diabetes and high cholesterol run in my family, so I am taking better care of my health. As much as I would love to look like Teyana Taylor, I’m cool with my extra bootie and stretch marks as long as I am living a healthier life. Start small, right. Don’t overwhelm yourself. For me, this meant picking up an informational booklet on diabetes and cooking foods that combat the onset. It also means walking or jogging a couple times a week and doing weird little blood flow exercises in my apartment. I use to be so hardcore with my insanity and extreme fitness exercises, so I constantly need to remind myself to not set crazy expectations because it’s discouraging for me. Refer to number 7, know yourself enough to know what works for you.
  20. Be love, be peace, be whatever the heck you want to be!

Celebrate my birthday by reading my books: goo.gl/oE72rh

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PC: Kaila Skeet Browning

 

Weathered Heart

missing you is
the shiver
crawling on my
skin — one
thousand micro
worms freezing
every part of me
you once touched.

being with you
is a million thirsty
tongues falling in a
salt-less cool ocean water.

you are sunshine
on chocolate skin.

you are savor
swimming inside boredom.

you are awakening
when the night is dark all over.

Written by: Flose Boursiquot ((goo.gl/oE72rh))

 

You ain’t gotta be lonely just cuz you alone, baby.

I am on my own again! 

When I moved down to Florida almost four years ago, I initially lived with an amazing couple, Jorge and Marie, on Miami Beach. From there, I found a couple of dope roommates, Mark and Tony, and Tony’s black lab, Sally.

After a few months with the most amazing 30-somethings in South Florida, I moved out on my own, but I wasn’t really on my own. When I lived alone for the first time, I had an amazing neighbor-friend, Greer.

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Greer and I both worked for the same community organizing network, DART.

Though I was on my own, in my independent living space, Greer was apartment 5 and I was 6. We spent a great deal of time together and counted on each other when we had amazing days and tough ones. Not only were we each other’s emotional support, we jogged together in the morning, shared meals, hung out on the weekend, and exchanged advice about love and life.

From there, I became an organizer for the 2016 election year. The commute from Broward County to Palm Beach County proved to be difficult. Us Floridians know, I-95 is unpredictable, so a 30-minute commute can easily become an hour and in some rare cases, two. Because of the highway’s unreliability, I found supporter housing with Jim and Lorrie, who I spent two years with. Read about how Lorrie, Jim, and I connected here: https://delraynewspaper.com/5-questions-flose-boursiquot-24056!

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Also pictured: Flossie …. Artist: https://www.facebook.com/TiffanyFreemanStudios/

After two years living with Lorrie, Jim, and all the pets pictured, I decided to venture out on my own again!

When it came time to settle in my apartment, I knew it would be important to cure loneliness before it set on. Don’t get me wrong, I sometimes need to isolate myself, I can isolate in a room full of people — I climb in my head and stay there until I’ve worked out whatever it is that requires isolation, but I love being around people. My friend, Danielle, and I recently talked about where we get our energy; I derive much of mine from positive interactions with other human beings.

Living alone is the opposite of interacting with human beings, so what could I do to not feel so far away from life forms. 

  • First, I got a cat! Sasha. She’s the sweetest, most mischievous creature on the planet. I love that she has gotten use to my alarm clock in the morning and gets in my face until I wake up to feed her. Sometimes, she even gets all up in my face before my alarm and causes trouble. I’d like to think that we share a mutual bond. She purrs and meows when I get home and sits on my lap for pets whenever she feels like it. The bottom line, I’ll always have a pal in Sasha.

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  • Lastly, I have started planting herbs in my apartment. Not only has having my personal herb garden scattered around my apartment been a slight dollar saver, it’s also helped liven up the place. Plants, much like a kitty cat, help foster a routine — if I don’t water the suckers and show them love then they die. You don’t want your plants to die, do you, DO YAHHHH!

 

 

Don’t be afraid to take the living-alone-leap, when you’re ready, it won’t be so bad if you anticipate loneliness and find ways to cure it before it sets on. That’s not to say there won’t be days when you do get lonely, but those days won’t become routine.

Do you know about Syria

I often hear that question from excited faces
who have just learned of the massacring of an entire country.

They point out something Obama said about regret in an article — they shake their heads wanting me to acknowledge that they now realize he is not perfect.
They reference an HBO documentary —  because that makes it real.

It’s really depressing stuff, is what they’ll usually follow the question
with then unveil their expertise.

Syria is not a fad.

It’s not a topic for you to pick up like a handbag as you leave
the Nordstrom store, show off to your friends for weeks on end, then leave off with your pile of to-go’s in two months.

–Flose Boursiquot, loudmouth ((goo.gl/BCX3Ub))

#MeToo

Sexual assault is a pervasive beast that plagues many lives. Last night, I was privileged with the opportunity to sit on a Sexual Assault Awareness panel with three amazing women (Alex Heathcock, Julie Diehl Weil, and Commissioner Paula Ryan) who, like me, have had many Me Too moments in their lives. My sexual trauma began when I was about 5/6 years old. People who my parents trusted to take care of their children, abused their power. I later, in college, encountered an aggressive man who would not take no for an answer and began to kiss me in a hallway. Thankfully, there were friends around and I avoided what could have led to rape. My four years experiencing trauma as a child did not end with rape being avoided, and I unfortunately did not know how to communicate what was happening to my parents. It has taken me years to heal, and I still deal with anxiety (social & panic disorder), depression, and self worth. Sexual trauma is not the fault of the children involved or their parents. However, there are some ways we can move toward a culture where sexual education and social norms do not repress those conversations. It is important for parents with young children to talk to them about their body parts and to create a system of trust. It is important that we maintain sexual education in the public school system and teach young adults how to engage with each other sexually. And it is imperative that we maintain a sex positive culture and that we do not encourage women/girls to play a hard to get card while we encourage men/boys to be on the prowl. I’d like to recognize that though sexual trauma affects girls & women by in large, young boys & men also fall victim. Junot Díaz’s essay was heartbreaking but a necessary part of the conversation. Sexual assault is a pervasive beast, but together we can work to put an end to it for every single human being, because no one deserves to live their life in the shadow of sexual assault. Lastly, it’s important to have conversations like this with compassion, but have them without pity. Those of us who have to say Me Too, as Junot Diaz outlines in his essay, sometimes feel romantically and sexually isolated — we don’t fit in society’s norms for what it means to be a woman or man or lover or fill-in-blank. Many of us struggle to have healthy romantic relationships. Don’t clump us into a box with walls of pity. Approach us with honest, open conversation, and if you seek any sort of relationship, be open to difficult conversation.

**Major thanks to the Palm Beach County Young Democrats for hosting the panel, and many thanks to Tarana Burke for using her voice consistently until we were heard.**

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Pictured with the other panelists (L to R): Alex, me, Julie, Commissioner Ryan.

Sometimes it’s okay to just say “me, too.” 

Model for good :)

I’m about to be all y’all’s #WCW when I hit the runway in a Caribbean inspired outfit for the A Proper Affair event next Wednesday night at 6:30! 💃🏽 Beyond Proper by Boston Proper is partnering with Current Celebrity News & Dream Vacations to host the Tenth Annual Proper Affair to support the Achievement Centers for Children & Families which benefits low-income families in the #community.

Tickets start at $100: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/10th-annual-proper-affair-tickets-43487357858

 

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