The other day I was watching the year end review of a blogger/vlogger that I have been following for quite some time. Fly Brother is a black travel blogger who has traversed the world, he is also someone who is an incredible writer. He reminded me of an age old adage that I would always hear in the ‘hood when two people, namely boys, were so fed up with each other they were about to physically fight. Most of the time the beef was over some stupid ish, but when you’re young you don’t know no better. They would push each other sometimes with hands but most of the times with their shoulders. They would stand so close to each other their chest would bump and they would move around in a comical fashion. “What, what?!” they would yell until the braver of the two (or dumber, your call) would push the other and say “Ain’t nothing between us but air and opportunity”.
Fly brother brought up a good way to turn this phrase around. Ain’t nothing between me and what I want …but air and opportunity. This will be my mantra, or theme for 2015. My plans are definitely not concrete, but they also are not impossible. I’ve always been private about my plans and I continue to do so. I believe in bad juju, and although my friends may want the best for me, there is always someone out there with a little envy. This envy can turn negative which could go out into the atmosphere and all I want right now are good vibes. I am not totally innocent in this. There have been times where someone has expressed their amazing plans and I feel a twinge of jelousy. Hey, I’m human.
But I can say that 2014 has been… Amazing. I’ve done quite a bit and have definitely reached a lot of my goals with a few surprises in between. Here’s some of the biggest moments…
1. Living in Europe
The year before I decided to go to Grad school in Europe. I had always wanted to live across the pond and I decided the only feasible way I can do it was to go to school. It also coincided with my plans to get a Masters anyway so…perfect timing!! I traveled to different countries like Germany, The Netherlands, France, Portugal and Spain. I’m back home, now but am looking for the opportunity to venture out again. Europe just may have stolen my heart.
2. You can make it on BuzzFeed, you can make it anywhere.
Ok , so this was a bit of a surprise. A while ago I submitted my photo to a Tumblr account Reclaiming The Latino Tag as a proud Latina of African descent. I am also a flag waving Garifuna-American. When people find out that I speak fluent Spanish, as expected, their faces go up in surprise. They never expect someone like me to be who I am: a dread-loced black nubian sista who can dance Salsa like the best of them. The Reclaiming The Latino Tag account has been instrumental in providing a voice to those of us who others may not consider Latina because of the color of our skin, or the way we look. In August, the account was picked up by Buzzfeed, and out of thousands of photos that was submitted, my photo was one of the few selected. Although it did not include my bio, it was still an honor to be included. Yes, we do exist!!
3. Sistas in Paris
My sister came to visit me while I was living in Belgium and we made our way to Paris. Why is this such a big deal? Because how many sixteen year-old’s from the housing projects in Brooklyn can say they have been to the infamous City of Lights? She missed two days of school but she told me even her teachers were impressed- some have never been to Europe. I’m proud of her, making her way to Europe by herself. The first time I traveled on my own I was 21. Now she’s itching to explore.
4. Friends catch up
While in Belgium, I hopped on a bus and two hours later, I was with some great friends in Germany. I met these guys as a college freshman almost fourteen years ago as foreign exchange students. We kept in touch over the years and finally got together for a night of laughter and reminisced all night. It was one of the best trips I’d had in a long time.
5. I am a MASTER
After ten years of contemplation I finally completed a Master’s program. I had always been putting off getting my Master’s due to life and not thinking it was the time. But like with many other things, if you’re waiting for the right time, you might as well be waiting for forever. Opportunities don’t wait for you, and neither should you. And with that I picked the right program for me, in the place I wanted to live-Europe. Belgium was a great place to live with lots of interesting quirks, I enjoyed myself immensely. It was a tough year with a curriculum that took some getting used to, but I did it. I am a Master!
And with that I wish everyone a Happy New Year. If the ball has dropped in your area of the world, I wish you all the best in the coming year. And if not, I still wish you the best!
Remember- Air and Opportunity