Euphoric

Writer’s block is a phenomenon I hope to never suffer from again.

Some people say you can never do anything until you’re ready.. I believe that. My blog has always been my baby, and although I feel like I should smack myself for neglecting it this long, I didn’t want to come back without a clear vision of what I wanted to do with it moving forward. That, and also, I fucking miss writing. Every single person on this earth has an outlet, or even a passion, that allows them to escape figuratively and experience some sort of euphoria, or relief. This is it for me.

The portfolio portion of my blog is dedicated to any published work I’ve created for other sites, such as the centric-media company, Viewing.NYC. I’m unbelievably happy to be writing for not just one, but now two sites, where I will be listed as a contributing writer. StoryChick.com is an NYC -based online publication for millennial women, which focuses on a plethora of topics. Love. Health. Beauty. Entertainment. Whether it’s an alternative website, or my personal domain, the idea of creating content for the culture is all I’m focused on moving forward.

I stumbled across this post online, I believe it was on Instagram, that referenced something along the lines of of this: “People are most attractive when they’re talking about something they love, with passion in their eyes.” I think young adults in my generation are pressured to have a definite answer when asked what they believe their purpose is.

“What do you live for? What are you passionate about? What were you put on this earth to do?

Initially,  I think a lot of us bullshit the answer in hopes to portray this sense of stability.. like we have everything figured out. But I tell you what, when you find that one thing that you whole-heartedly love, that shit is truly an epiphany like no other. It’s like.. finally realizing what you were put on earth to do. When you love that passion like your first love, that’s when you know you’ve found it and need to run with it.

I’m so happy to be writing publicly again .. Lord knows. Please stay tuned for what I have in store!

Peace and blessings. 🙂

PS: Here is an article about an artist who uses their art expression by means of healing, or “a tool to help us when we are unable to express life’s burdens with words.” Beautifully written and ironically spot on to what I’ve discussed in this post. That line is taken from a post written by an artist/mom/blogger, Hanssie, out of Southern California. Here’s an excerpt from her write-up:

“Eight years ago, as I was battling some of the lemons life had thrown at me, I started my photography business. Pouring out my heart and emotion into making images while my heart was bleeding was the best medicine for me. Photography was a balm to my soul.”

NYC Ballet Photographer Luis Pons | Photography As Tool To Heal

homegrown

Let me just acknowledge the fact that there are 23 days remaining in 2015. I’m literally sitting here at work trying to visualize what I’ve actually been doing the last year. Did I make it count? Did I achieve anything worthwhile?  This time last year, where was I mentally? Spiritually? Physically? You don’t realize how fleeting time is until you’re sitting alone, accompanied by nothing other than your thoughts; forced to recognize what you’ve done with your life the past 365 days.

Needless to say, here we are.. in the last month of the year! Approaching my 22nd year of life, I’m reminiscing on the past year especially wondering if I’ve taken pieces of my writing and applied them to my own life. I think, for twenty somethings like myself, a certain blueprint is created that we as young adults are just supposed to follow. Without any say, we’re predestined for this cliche. My life, thus far, & my experiences have shown me to focus and build on positive parts of my world and allow them to flourish.

I hate to reiterate the obvious but, I’m a firm believer in doing what makes you happy. Don’t be afraid to take on the sh*t life throws at you. Be able to break down boundaries and overcome obstacles alone. Being with someone isn’t a necessity, but a bonus. Love yourself, trust your journey, and work towards making YOU proud of YOU. F*ck anyone else’s standards! That’s why I make it such a point to promote homegrown artists.. whatever their craft may be. Share & uplift. Promote. Recognize.

Never beg anyone to support your movement. If they see the potential in it’s growth, they’ll be right alongside you the entire journey.

 

 

clockwork

It’s been a minute.

Thanksgiving break is upon us. You wanna know something so crazy? Well, I think it’s crazy. I haven’t spent Thanksgiving at home in six years. SIX years! Since my brother always played either collegiate or professional football, each year we would travel to spend the holidays with him. Being that his schedule never permitted him the leniency of traveling home for the holidays, my mom would prep everything and bring home to him. Spending the holidays in State College, PA & Los Angeles, CA are a bit different when compared to giving thanks in my hometown. S/O Norwalk. As much as I bitch and moan about CT, home is where the heart is.

Sometimes our lives are so overwhelmingly chaotic that we as human beings forget to take a step back to acknowledge the multitude of blessings we’re showered with daily. Every morning on Twitter, at least 1o to 15 different accounts give thanks to the most high for being able to see another day. Every morning, like clockwork, they acknowledge that opportunity to live another 24. Something as significant as life is ironically so easily overlooked and taken for granted. Bizarre once you actually break down the idea. “Thank God for allowing me to see another day.” It’s humbling as hell once you truly internalize the idea that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. That being said, this holiday season I’m just thankful to be here. Cheers to life.

 

 

In My Own Words

Happy Thursday! I’m too ready to head back home to the 203 this weekend. My nephew is having his 2nd birthday party this upcoming Sunday! I talked to him over FaceTime yesterday and we literally had a full on exchange of sentences. The fact that he was able to adequately answer my questions then subsequently follow up his response with: “How are you Ray-Ray?” is entirely too much for me to handle. He’s too grown!

In other news, I’m currently flipping through the the November 2015 Cosmopolitan issue. Typical. They have this particular feature titled, “In Her/His Own Words.” It’s essentially a fill in the blank, survey of about 10 questions that are designed to help the reader get to know the prospective celeb’s peculiar qualities, opinions, secrets, and overall characteristics. I took it upon myself to steal a few questions and apply them to myself.  I previously changed the headline on my home page. Now it reads, “Welcome to my World.” Much more fitting. Everything I share on this site is meant to mirror my life, my thoughts, my reality. Here we go:

Nickname: OVO, Ravey, Rave, Ray Ray.

The thing I’m most proud of: My blog & my brothers.

My happy place: My bed.

Favorite cocktail: Hennessy & Coke.. or OJ.

Last thing I watched online: Gotham! It’s so sick but ridiculously good! Watch it.

Pet peeve(s): Unscented skin products. When people respond to a text message with LOL. Short nails/broken nail(s)/ugly nails. When someone doesn’t pick up on social cues.

Most overused word/phrase: Dope. OD. God bless.

My first kiss was: @ ESPN Zone

Biggest turn-on: Someone who’s sense of humor is as weird as mine. Also.. someone who can put me in my place.

The key to getting over a breakup is: Look 3x better than before. Look good, feel better.

The best relationship advice I ever got was from: Erica.

I constantly get teased about: My voice.

My mantra: No apologies.

insta-grammy

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 3.47.30 PMIf you follow me on social media, you know I ride for Instagram. I am always posting pointless selfies, quotes stolen from Tumblr that somehow relate to how I am feeling that day, and snap shots of my weekend shenanigans. I love the idea of Instagram and hope it doesn’t go out of style like Myspace did. In hindsight, the idea of having a digital stream of images that have highlighted the the best of times of our lives is pretty reassuring. Being able to reflect, and get a little nostalgic at times, is good for the soul. Life is a journey and it’s refreshing to be able to look back on the memories and mental pictures turned IG posts. Tom, I respected your vision but better social media outlets have stolen the stage since your media demise. Sh*t happens.

Do: Feel free to put filters on your pictures, as long as it still actually looks like you in reality. Last thing someone wants to hear is, “You don’t look like your Instagram pictures..” Traaaaaaagic.

Don’t: Post the the animated, sexual pictures/GIFs with the caption, “I could really use this right now.” Keep that to yourself. I guarantee you posting that picture won’t get you what you’re looking for. Just food for thought. I think talking about intimacy, as it relates to yourself & your partner, on social networks is uncomfortable.. and awkward.

Do: Post selfies! I’m probably the biggest selfie enthusiast you will ever meet in your life. Look good, feel good, post selfies! Plus, a selfie a day keeps the basics away. 

Don’t: Get all worked up over your significant other getting trigger happy with the like button. It’s Instagram, I honestly wouldn’t read too into it. If he’s the one you’re going home to at night, essentially the comment under that random girl’s selfie doesn’t mean much.

Do: Get lost in the explore page! Sometimes I find myself scrolling for days seeing how differently people live around the world. Although I’ve grown up in the age of the internet, it still amazes me how efficiently we’re able to connect with those all over!

Don’t: Believe everything you see! Social media is a facade. People post what they WANT others to see/perceive. Believe it or not, people do have a life outside of social networks. Don’t compare/contrast your life with those of your followers because you don’t always know someone’s story. Their hustle. Their day-to-day routine. Their accomplishments. I’m super open with my life being that I blog about it. Being an open book is a personal choice.

Don’t: GUYS. (I’m dying lolol) You MUST stop commenting the sly guy/heart eye emoji under girls pictures giving people the impression you guys talk. If she responds, it’s cool. If she doesn’t, just take that L. Also, commenting on picture from 54 weeks ago asking, “What’s your number?” ………..God bless.

Don’t: Girls, please stop posting your boyfriend every single #MCM. Also, puuuuuhlease stop with the “I am my own #WCW.” That’s foolish, stop it girl. We get it, you’re single.

Do: Follow me on IG! @raveyredd

I could honestly keep blogging about this but I’m about to catch the last quarter of this Redskins/Patriots game. Being a Skin’s fan is stressful. It’s still #HTTR to the end though! 

big girl, dawg

b16da96516236a7ac595935a558808deI feel like I haven’t blogged in so long! Even now, I don’t have too much time but I wanted to try my best to get a post in! Whats good, guys?! I don’t even know where to begin, really.. and don’t get too excited, I have no groundbreaking new news.. I’ve just been busy AF! Working full time, in addition to being a full-time student, is definitely as exhausting as it sounds. I’ve been working 30+ since last Wednesday! It’s completely insane that we’re already in November of 2015. I was literally spacing out (as usual) & reflecting on the events that have decorated my 21st year of life. The good & the bad. As I continue to thoroughly enjoy my twenties, I try to take note of my experiences and continue to focus being kinda grown.. kinda independent.. Nothing is more attractive than a female that has her sh*t together.

This month marks the one year anniversary of my blog! You guys have been putting up with my musings for an entire year and I am eternally grateful for that! I promised myself that I would remain consistent with my website until I turn 23. If it pops by then, it’s lit. If not, it’ll have to take a backseat to whatever career path I choose to focus on instead. With a year under my belt, I am thrilled for the future of my page. I am genuinely shocked by the response my blog as gotten, especially once I started racking up on views from all over the world. Life is weird.. & it’s both nerve-racking and exhilarating to see how our lives continue to unravel.. while the pieces ironically all come together in ways beyond our control. As crazy as life gets sometimes, it’s important to always remember to trust the universe.

Trolling through Twitter, I came across a post the other day that ignited a series a thoughts: “adulthood is literally what you make it.” The phrase is so simplistic but the concept is monumental. It took me a long time to understand that what you put in is what you get out. That can be applies to every avenue of your life. Some days, I still struggle with the discipline to stay focused. You have to learn/remember to motivate yourself. Remember the end goal. 

As I begin to approach my 22nd birthday, I’m unbelievably optimistic as to what is in store! I continue to wake up every morning with the notion to trust the universe. Continue to create, learn, love, and most importantly, live. I’m constantly conscious of the energy I allow to penetrate my life. Well, I try to be as mindful as possible.

When the vibes ain’t right, go left. 

ELO

1465126_10152403006974848_1991163904_nLet me preface this post by saying that I’ve been wanting to feature this girl on my website for months now! While I would’ve preferred a more personable interview face to face, I’m just so thrilled to have her on my website finally! I couldn’t wait. Eloisa Melendez, who is Norwalk’s youngest Common Council Member, is not only a community figure, but a good friend of mine! I’ve followed and supported her journey so far, and just continue to admire all the work she’s put in. Keep grinding, boo! The whole city is behind you. #203

I want to start this off by saying I admire you so much, Elo. Your determination is unparalleled and I’m so happy to say we’re from the same city. Definitely proud to call you a friend of mine! When did you initially become interested in politics?

ELO: I’ve always been interested in politics! I just didn’t realize how important it was to me until after high school. I wanted to learn more and get involved. There’s so much to learn so it’s great because it never gets boring!

What does it mean to you to have such responsibility at such a young age? Do you feel as though you’re a voice for the youth?

ELO: I have been honored to hold this position for almost two years now and sometimes I still can’t believe it. I definitely have a lot on my plate, but I like it that way. Two years ago, I went out into my district and promised my constituents that I would represent them. It means a lot to me that they trusted me with this responsibility. As a councilwoman, its my job to represent everyone in my district. Although, as the youngest one on the council I feel my role is very important because I also represent a group that usually isn’t represented in politics. My position on the council is also important for the youth because it serves as an example that despite the obstacles, we can achieve our dreams at a young age. It’s about taking risks and keeping in mind that our age shouldn’t limit us but rather inspire us.

What does it mean to you to be both Latina, and a female, common council member?

ELO: Women and minorities are still poorly represented in politics nationwide. To be an elected woman AND a Latina is truly an honor. But, things need to change. In Norwalk, I’m one of only five women on the council (15 members total). Despite a large Latino population in Norwalk, I’m the only Latina on the council. How can we truly represent Norwalk if Norwalk is not at the table?

What’re are some things you’d like readers to know about you that they probably wouldn’t have guessed?

ELO: A lot of people don’t know that one of my dreams is to have a talk show. Ha! I definitely would want it to be later in my life. My dream is to host a show thats main focus is uplifting women and girls.

Biggest inspirations? Role models?

ELO: I definitely have some role models/ inspirations but I always say you have to be careful when talking about role models because everyone has problematic faves! My biggest role model is my mom. She’s my everything. Her love, support and example has given me the strength necessary to do what I’m doing. Some of my famous inspirations include: Oprah, Kerry Washington, Sonia Sotomayor, Beyonce, Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Your cousin Duzzo was one of the first features I had on my blog when I initially started my website. Although you guys have totally different careers, do you two ever take advice from one another?

ELO: My cousins, Duzzo and Alex were with me so much growing up that I consider them brothers lol. Duzzo and I (being the oldest) have recently been able to share a lot about what we’ve been doing. I really know nothing about how the music industry works and Duzz although politically aware, is no political junkie but we support each other so much. Whether its him looking through some of my voters lists for people he knows or me sharing his music and bring friends to his shows, we’re always there for one another.

What exciting events do you have to look forward to as this year comes to an end? Future plans?

ELO: The future is a cool and unpredictable place! I’m not sure where this will all take me but I know for sure I will be involved politically forever. I don’t know about always being elected but I plan on fighting for issues that matter to me for as long as I need to!

Thank you for this, Elo, I appreciate you. xoxo

BOMBERS

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 11.06.19 AMMy style is, for lack of a better description, all over the place.. It’s constantly changing. Without putting a label on it, it literally comes down to putting together and wearing whatever I want. Somedays, I feel like wearing Vans and a classic, all blue Yankee fitted. Other days, I’ll throw on thigh high leather boots with a cropped leather jacket. Depends on the mood. Dress how you want without fear of judgement. It’s your body, decorate it as you please.

My current obsession: I cannot get enough of bomber jackets!! Especially army green, anything close to camouflage is just.. the best. Or, black of course. Everything is better in black. I love that you can dress them up; pair a bomber with a body con dress, or even a pair of pumps. You can completely flip it and wear them casually with jeans / joggers / sneakers.

I mean, look at some of the runway shows from Fall 2015 NYFW, bombers errrrrrywhere. Sorella Boutique, a LA-based boutique created by Heather Sanders, has this super dope, army green “Girls Tour” bomber that I’m obsessed with. SoSorella actually has a lot more bombers than I realized. I’ll be sure to include the link below. Happy shopping! 🙂

http://sosorella.com

TWITTER FINGERS

tumblr_nw2ehaxKz11uynyeao1_500Meek Mill, I’ve had just about enough of you.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m obnoxious on pretty much every form of social media. I’m always Snapping, always posting on IG, & constantly refreshing my Twitter timeline. I’ll partly put the blame on being a millennial and somewhat put the blame on the fact that I’m obsessed. Whatever. 

The only reason I chose to blog about this topic tonight is because of the current conflict between Meek and Wale. According to @TheShadeRoom, Meek has chosen to express certain sentiments towards Wale via IG regarding a host of issues, mainly expressing the fact that Wale is no longer apart of #MMG. When the whole Drake / Meek Mill feud started, I wasn’t entirely opposed to Meek’s argument. It’s not necessarily what he had to say, but instead the way he went about relaying the message to the rest of the world. Listen, I’m sure there’s a bunch of nonsense that goes on behind the scenes in the music industry. I never doubted that. We as fans probably only see a sliver of what actually goes down. From interviews to Instagram, it’s so accessible for fans to keep up with rapper relations to a certain extent.. good and bad.

I’ll never present myself to be some hip-hop intellectual. No, my blog is not Rap Genius. I’m a fan of rap & it’s culture so it’s always interesting to me to see how some of it’s heavy hitters maneuver in the game. Hip-Hop culture plays such a vital role in pop culture as an entirety. It’s deeper than just rap. We are the culture.

I guess my first question is, who is Meek Mill’s publicist? I really don’t want to bash him because I’m a fan of his music, but why does he continue to inflict what seems to be self harm on his OWN career. We get it, you have the baddest female in the game by your side. We’re all well aware of how much money you have and continue to make. It seems he just lets social networks get the best of him.

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 7.57.38 PMOne valuable lesson I learned years ago is that you can never act out of anger. Don’t respond to certain situation when you’re enraged, or irritated by a given situation. You have to learn to bite your tongue sometimes.. as hard as it may be. That’s coming from someone whose extremely stubborn and hard-headed. Don’t let these networks get the best of you because once it’s out there, you’ll never be able to reverse the damage thats been done. I remember I aired a whole bunch of my dirty laundry out on Twitter regarding one of my relationships a few years ago and I’m still embarrassed by it. It’s out there forever.

When fans discuss Meek’s music moving forward, those indiscretions will always be a topic of discussion. Although I can’t bring myself to follow him on social media, all I’ve seen in his picture comments are rows of diamond emojis. *cue What A Time To Be Alive..*

I’ll never knock anyone’s hustle or success. That goes for a multi-million dollar rapper as it applies to any one of my peers. I think it’s just significant to be mindful of the way one responds to anything in their prospective life. Not every circumstance needs a reaction. Sometimes no response speaks volumes. 

Image Credit: instagram.com/theshaderoom