Guest Post: I HAVE A VOICE

 

I had the pleasure of meeting Patricia Phillippe when I attended Celebrating the Voices of Haitian Women Writers presented by The New School Office of Intercultural Support. We have kept in touch via social media and when she emailed me about her upcoming trip to Africa, I was more than happy to lend her Cakeandeggs to use as a platform. Please read below and any way you can support Patricia would be greatly appreciated. 


As a child, family members said I was too sensitive and as I grew into adulthood, this statement would be repeated many times by others.  At some point, I must have internalized the message that something was terribly wrong with being sensitive.  With being me.  I shut off that part of myself and became cold, distant, and focused on being a superstar to compensate.  I went to a prestigious university and excelled in my career.  But a light switch turned on shortly after my 40th birthday.   My life felt empty and in spite of all my accomplishments, something was missing.  I felt like I did not have a voice nor a space to put the real me.

In 2010, I started a journey of healing in my life and started exploring the ways I could show up authentically and push past my internal roadblocks.  Writing turned out to be an incredibly powerful tool for healing.  I allowed myself to be vulnerable and blogged about the journey of showing up in my life.   I experimented with poetry and other forms of creative writing by taking workshops and engaging in encouraging and uplifting writing communities.   This enabled me to connect with the deep well of emotions bottled up.  I volunteered as Managing Editor of Kalyani Magazine to provide opportunities for other women of color to discover and share their own strong, powerful voices through writing.  All of these experiences showed me that there was indeed a space for me in the world.  That I am a kind-hearted, loving, and compassionate woman with a great deal of light and love to share.

In September, I will spend three weeks in Malawi, Africa facilitating writing groups with VoiceFlame for local teachers, orphaned girls and village women to help them discover the light within themselves through writing.  You can be part of this empowering mission to transform and heal lives by supporting the I HAVE A VOICE campaign and sharing it with everyone in your network.  Your support, encouragement and radiant energy are greatly appreciated.

Patricia Phillippe is an honest, powerful, courageous and intuitive woman. She is a life-long learner with many personal passions including travel, music, film, reading, writing, volunteering and exploring. You can find her on twitter as: @writehealteach or on her Tumblr

 

 

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Dancing the Night Away: A Shoe Story

Image courtesy of ninewest.com

 

Hey guys, hope you have been enjoying your summer! I’ve been busy trying to check things off my summer wish list.

I had the opportunity to write a post for one of my favorite bloggers, Darby of  Choices, Voices, and Sole! We actually met in real life at the Blogging While Brown conference in 2012 and have stayed in e-touch ever since!

Hey, I’m Martin.”

“I’m Brenda.”

We met the night before at River walk. He was the groom-to-be’s friend and too damn cute for his (or my) good. We didn’t speak much past the basic pleasantries, but I spent a lot of time looking. He was tall with broad shoulders and impressive biceps, a football player’s body. My favorite part though? His smile, it was almost shy.

I was not supposed to go to the wedding reception; I was simply on vacation and roommates with the bride’s cousin. Last minute — and I mean super last minute due to flaky guests — I found myself at the reception, seated a few tables away from my new crush. I was dressed a bit casual for the wedding, the dressiest thing I had with me was a short black and white flowered dress with a deep V-neck that I paired with my black patent leather nine west heels.
Back then, I wasn’t a big dancer, not in public anyway, but surrounded by my roommates I felt more uninhibited.

 

Read more at Choices, Voices, and Sole

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NYC Summer wishlist

 

Thanks to Truly Tafakari’s post on her visit to New York, I started thinking about all the NYC things I wanted to do and still have not done.

I realize its July but there is no time like the present. Besides, why do the tourists get to have all the fun?

  1. Go on a boat cruise–my gym actually owns a yacht so I can make this happen.
  2. Go to Central and Prospect Park: I have an image I am running in Central Park wearing cute printed leggings and then just hanging out basking in the sun. Cannot promise I will actually do the running part. Lol. Update: I went to Prospect Park on Sunday with my close girlfriend and enjoyed laying in the sun catching up.
  3. Outdoor concert: Last outdoor concert I went to was at Penn’s Landing in Philly for Boys II Men and it was awesome seeing them live for the first time.
  4. Winery: I love wine, so the idea of walking through a vineyard tasting wine is everything to me.
  5. Beach trip: I never make it a priority to go to the beach and I actually like lying on the beach or wading in the water (I do not swim). I want to go to Long Beach with a few girlfriends and chillax. I will need a few more weeks in the gym first though.
  6. Continue reading

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Life in a marital institution: 20 years of monogamy in one terrifying memoir by James Braly

image courtesy of barnesandnoble.com

 

“That’s why our arguments always drive me crazy. Because I’m not getting any sex, and I didn’t get much before I stopped getting any, so I don’t have much experience to fight back with. I can never say, with any authority, “You’re wrong. Normal woman are really like this.” Because I don’t know any normal women. I know Jane, and before her, I knew Anna, who became a paranoid schizophrenic shortly after she dumped me for art school and I wrote ‘The Devils You Know’. I’ve been on two first dates in my life—one of them with a woman who was clinically insane, and the other with a woman who is driving me crazy.”

James and Jane are at a crossroads. They have seen more than ten marriage counselors hoping just one of them will help them save their seemingly hopeless marriage. With twenty years and two kids under their belt, it is getting harder to relate to one another.

Twenty years ago, Jane offered to edit the angry poem James was writing post a bitter breakup and instantly he fell in love. After taking her number on a napkin, he waited the customary three days before trying to call. He was unable to reach her for three weeks. Continue reading

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Red beans and rice

As a child, I spent many hours perched at the kitchen table reading a book while my mother hovered over the stove cooking one of her many meals for her family. She was always in the kitchen and although I had no desire to learn how to cook, I was plenty interested in the end result.

My favorite childhood memories are tied to food. The sizzling sounds of the red beans gently frying in oil in preparation for traditional diri ak pois cole (red beans and rice) always propel me back to those intimate moments alone with my mother. Although we did not talk much, there was always a comfortable silence around us.

It was not until I lived on my own for graduate school that I realized my error in not learning how to make even the most basic of dishes. Pasta was easy and filling, it was my staple for a while. As were hot pockets, sandwiches, and Chinese take-out for the nights, I did not want to think too much. Continue reading

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Wife Lesson #11: Tips from the Seasoned

As I was treating one of my favorite patients, she casually mentioned it was her 36th wedding anniversary.

The blogger and woman in me could not help but ask, “What advice would you give your newlywed self as a woman who has been married for 36 years?”

She loved the question and this was her response (Paraphrased of course. I did not have a tape recorder rolling or anything. Lol.)

“It is important that you work on your relationship before having kids. Kids can make things more difficult, even the good ones. If your relationship is not ready for the challenges having children will bring, you may not make it.  It does not matter if it is love at first sight, if all you have in common is the kids, what will you have once the children are gone?

Take the time to work on your marriage and grow secure with each other.  Live life through the good and bad times to strengthen your marriage so that when the children come, you are already prepared for the challenges they will bring.”

 

What do you think? Any other advice you’d like to share?

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Writing my way to freedom

I changed my twitter bio recently, “writing my way to freedom” and yet I feel imprisoned in my own mind.

I haven’t been writing.

Actually, scratch that. I have been writing but have not been able to take myself there.

You know, the writing equivalent of an orgasm where you bare your soul on the page and are left a quivering, whimpering mess that leaves you free, if only temporarily. Continue reading

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Book Review: The fault in our stars by John Green

Image courtesy of amazon.com

Confession: When given the choice, I will always read the book over watching the movie.

Hazel Grace is a sixteen-year-old firecracker who possesses a vocabulary perfectly suited for an episode of The Gilmore Girls. She spends most of her days under her parents’ gaze or in support group and she is tired of waiting to die. One day in the literal heart of Jesus, Hazel meets the eye of Augustus Waters, i.e.  the cutest cancer kid she ever saw.

Augustus is tall, muscular, smart, and wickedly funny. At first glance, he looks like any other teenage athlete and he happens to like Hazel Grace who is knocking at Death’s doorstep.

He is pretty much perfect until he slips a cigarette between his lips in front of oxygen dependent Hazel. Only he wins her over with a simple explanation: Continue reading

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Book Review: The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna

Image courtesy of amazon.com

 

British Psychologist Adrian leaves his wife and child in Britain to work at the local hospital in Sierra Leone post-Civil War. His naiveté and eagerness to help the mentally ill are met with suspicious derision from the locals who view him as a foreign invader. Taking over an apartment typically reserved for on-call staff, Adrian bumps into Kai, a young Surgeon and they develop an uneasy friendship of sorts.

Unlike many of his friends, Kai stayed behind after the war and uses his newly developed on-the-road trauma skills that make him a star in the OR. Quietly, he suffers from his own demons and struggles to hold onto his one passion in the midst of failed dreams. Continue reading

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And this one is called Frustration…

I have been struggling with finding the words but I’m going to keep trying.
Recently we celebrated four years of marriage and although we have our growing pains, I feel we are maturing and learning together. One area that seems to remain in shambles is with family.
I struggle with juggling two families because even though we are at the epicenter, they are still very much separated.  Holidays are a delicate tightrope act and I always fall off the edge trying to please everyone.
Recently I was home for a funeral and a relative’s words cut me to the core, “Basically everyone in the family thinks you are in the wrong.” Continue reading

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