Static

“When I first met you, I felt a kind of contradiction in you. You’re seeking something, but at the same time, you are running away for all you’re worth.”

― Haruki Murakami

She was static. A constant push and pull as you leaned in for more. She was the wind that slipped through your fingertips and brushed through your hair. Gentle but elusive. You could not catch her if you tried. She had the habit of being both things at once. She was hot with passion and cold with carelessness. The only thing that she was consistent about was inconsistency. She was left and right but she could never get it right within. She slept but never rested. She was the calm and the storm. She was internally conflicted in her worth today and convinced she was of high value tomorrow. She was today and tomorrow. She lived in the future but could only commit to the moment. She was arrogant yet insecure of what she was capable of. And although they could not hold her, they could smell the uncertainty as she passed them by. She could smell their fear. It was in her essence and essential to her way of life. It was undeniably alluring but down right terrifying because a girl who is good is boring. A girl who is bad is a lot of work. But a girl who is neither and yet both, is one you should watch out for. She was undefined in life and love. She was never satisfied, never certain and never herself or anyone else. She was a flight risk that took off before you gave the signal. She was a gamble that left you broke. She was all or nothing but you could never have all of her. She was the ultimate ultimatum. She was static and they were shocked.

 


 

Tumblr Tuesdays: Before WordPress or Evoke Embody Evolve, for me, there was Tumblr. This is where it got real….raw…emotional..brutally honest. For years, I poured my frustrations into a password protected space. Now, each Tuesday, I’ll release an unpublished post just for you. Hear that?… That’s the sound of a classic coming up for air.

EMPATH.

“For the girls filled with “too many emotions,” it is not your fault. It is not your fault you easily connect with people. It is not your fault that the world sometimes weighs you down…” Guest blogger, Brianna Graham is all too familiar with feeling it ALL..

Guest Blogger : Brianna Graham

em·path

ˈempaTH/

NOUN

  1. A PERSON WITH THE PARANORMAL ABILITY TO APPREHEND THE MENTAL OR EMOTIONAL STATE OF ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL. 

It is a beautiful gift, yet so so exhausting. For the girls filled with “too many emotions”, it is not your fault. It is not your fault you easily connect with people. It is not your fault that the world sometimes weighs down on your shoulders and you feel responsible to carry it. You allow yourself to feel everything. You are forever in touch with your emotions, which sometimes leaves you consumed.

As an Empath, you constantly feel compelled to take on your own burdens and others too. People gravitate towards you for advice and you always have the right words to say. But, you aren’t willing to tell anyone the difficulties of bearing such a gift.

Stress is all to familiar to you. You often feel overwhelmed. You recognize and understand all feelings. You easily express yourself. But, when you are burdened, you keep your problems to yourself. You fear being bothersome. Release any buildup. You are human.

You have the ability to not only see things, but “feel” them. I mean truly feel them. The Earth’s energy and vibration feels differently. You experience it all. It’s no wonder you are drained. It’s no wonder your mind is constantly in a race. You are loving, sweet, kind, and generous. But love, please understand you cannot handle it all.

Breathe.

Rest.

Take a moment for yourself.

Ignore a few text messages.

Give your mind a break.

You matter MOST.

Empaths are the healers of the world, which is why we deserve the freedom to be free.


18342730_10213327770573266_536854497084625217_n

Guest Blogger :

Brianna Chara Graham

Brianna is a writer full of life, with so much to say. Writing is her way of releasing emotions and inspiring others. She aspires to become a Journalist and Broadcaster, while traveling the world. Her newest project is her blog 7EVEN|Reign. It encourages happiness, self wellness, and so much more! She includes relatable topics of today’s generation and interviews from successors on the rise.

7EVEN | Reign is waiting for you! Check it out now: 7evenreign.com.

Lean In 

For those late night walks through the neighborhood. For stolen glances and any excuse to ignore the tension in the room. For intimate encounters without sex. For hesitating to say goodbye but needing to. For poetic inspiration. Lean in.

I don’t want to want you.

But I knew the minute I leaned into the kiss that you had started, everything I buried was being dug back up just for you.

I got butterflies in my stomach like you didn’t take my heart and burn it to the ground. Now you’re using that flame to set my soul on fire.

I’m watching my desires devour and destroy me. How nice of you to buy me front row seats to my demise.

Still, I WANTED … to kiss you. Can you believe that? After everything. I spent the whole time thinking I want to kiss those lips. I think you did too.

But, we resist. For a while.

Could you feel the gravitational pull as we started off across the room with comfortable but cautious conversations that always get carried away?

Moths to light. Mouth to mouth.

Do you remember the last time…

..when I decided to move on?

…when you found someone new?

….when we agreed to be friends?

…when I couldn’t commit?

…when you couldn’t stop killing me softly… deeply… slowly…?

Do you?

I do… but your eyes convince me to construct a case of amnesia.

The next thing I know,  I’m pushed up against a wall and my mouth is on yours.

I’m lying on your chest and taking in giant gulps of your cologne.

I feel safe while I suffer in the arms of my serial spring fling.

I am dying at your hands but your lips awaken me.

Kiss me, I think.

But I start for the door.

“This is a mistake,” I say…

Then I lean in for more.

unnamed


Tumblr Tuesdays: Before WordPress or Evoke Embody Evolve, for me, there was Tumblr. This is where it got real….raw…emotional..brutally honest. For years, I poured my frustrations into a password protected space. Now, each Tuesday, I’ll release an unpublished post just for you. Hear that?… That’s the sound of a classic coming up for air.

9 Great Tips For Building Your Brand

One of the great things about being an artist/writer is being able to connect with like-minded individuals who are passionate about what they do. In the past few weeks, I’ve collected so many great tips on how to become a better businesswoman! Check out this blog post for major keys to growing your brand!

1. Accept the opportunity to grow.

Fellow creative, don’t tell them that you can’t do something! Avoid complacency and refuse to limit yourself! Just because you’ve never done it before, doesn’t mean you can’t do it. You can’t get better if you don’t challenge yourself. Be willing to step outside of the box. Also, if there is something new that you want to learn, offer a discount to get more practice.

2. Know the difference between a business and a hustle.

A hustle keeps money in your pocket. A business keeps money in the bank. If you want to go fast, hustle. If you want to go far, build a business.

3. Change the way you look at your gifts & environment.

You can make money anywhere if you keep your eyes open. You just have to get their attention by catering to the needs of the community around you. What’s not being offered in your area? Is there anything you could do differently? You have to open up your mind to different avenues within your craft as well. Add to your skill set and hunt the opportunities down.

4. There is no better person to invest in than yourself.

This is self-explanatory. In order to make money, you have to spend money. This could mean paying for equipment to get started, giving something away for free, advertising costs etc… Investing can get a little pricey but it will pay off in the long run!

5. Set your price and stand firm in it.

If you have something you want to sell, don’t spend another day without having a set price for it. Find out the true cost and time that it takes to make your product. Otherwise, you’re more likely to basically give something away instead of making a profit because you didn’t factor in cost and labor. This will also eliminate any inconsistencies when giving quotes to potential customers.

6. Know your worth and then add tax.

There is a saying that goes: “Until you understand the true value of something, you’ll always get talked down on its price.” A great way to grasp this concept is to research what other people charge for something you can do. Repeat this step until it sinks in that your work is of great value.

7. There can never be too many.

There will be plenty of people who can do what you do but the truth is, they can’t book them all. You’ll always be able to find work for two reasons: You’ll only get better at what you do and there will be times when you’re available and someone else is not. You don’t have to necessarily compete. Just perfect what you do and advertise your availability.

8. Closed mouths wont get fed.

There are going to be times when you have to put yourself out there *ques anxiety*. Networking can be nerve-racking but in order to make money, you have to talk to people. You can’t be afraid to ask questions to get better at something. You have to be willing to work with others and promote them as well. People won’t know what you offer unless you tell them. (By the way, always be ready to give an elevator pitch.) You want more visibility? Opportunities? Business? You have not because you ask not. Go get it.

9. Check your image!

Know that when you attempt to build anything, the very foundation of your brand will be your reputation. You could have quality products and exceptional service, but if you don’t present yourself professionally to others, no one will buy what you’re selling. You are a reflection of the business you do. With that being said, social media presence is one of the leading ways people gauge who you are as a person. Review your profiles and make sure that what you say is in line with that you sell. Otherwise, hang it up.

Keep these tips in mind as you venture out to make a name for yourself. Feel free to add anything you have learned along the way in the comments below! I’d love to hear what you think!

Keep Evolving,

unnamed

 

What Falling Feels Like

It’s impossible to pinpoint the exact moment when you lose control. You don’t see it when it’s coming and it hurts to watch it go. But you can feel it…

It always happens this way…

It starts off with a spark; an inkling of an idea and it builds momentum. I can feel it, day in and day out, getting stronger and stronger. I weaken to the idea of it until it controls me. Until it functions on its own without my approval. Until I can’t think straight anymore and it begins to fill the cracks and crevices of my being. Until it begins to not only go to bed with me, but also awake me in the morning. Until it becomes the thing that gets me out of bed and going.

Then every other minute, a thought is centered around it. Every conversation leads back to it. The fascination is frightening and the infatuation tears into my flesh. So, I can’t think straight. I can’t get my words out. I can’t NOT check for you or wait for you or want you. It wakes me up and gets me going until I crash into a ocean of unrequited love that was never promised, only fantasized about.

Until I’m drowning in it and my temple is pounding, mind racing, begging me to “BREATHE and think of a way out of this.” To survive this attack of my livelihood. Until i’m choking on the words, “STAY AWAY NEXT TIME!”

So, don’t you dare let that spark set your soul on fire.

Not again.

unnamed


 

Tumblr Tuesdays: Before  Wordpress or Evoke Embody Evolve, for me, there was Tumblr. This is where it got real….raw…emotional..brutally honest. For years, I poured my frustrations into a password protected space. Now, each Tuesday, I’ll release an unpublished post just for you. Hear that?… That’s the sound of a classic coming up for air.

8 Things You Need To Hear After Graduation

I was standing on the edge of adulthood and the possibilities were endless. I had the freedom to be whatever and whoever I wanted to be. I had earned the right to leap, run, walk or crawl but it was one of the toughest seasons I faced. Here’s what I wish I knew then…

1. You don’t have to know right now

I’m serious! It feels like the entire world is dying to know what’s next for you! “What jobs do you have lined up?” “What grad schools did you apply to?” “What are your plans?” Ugh! It can be so nerve-racking! They want something that you can’t give them right now. I want you to know that you don’t HAVE to have all of the answers! They don’t. They may have an idea but the truth is, no one knows what God has planned. Yet we spend so much time trying to live in the future that we can’t even be proud of today. Relax! It’s okay not to know. We’re all stumbling around trying to figure it out.

2. Rejection is a redirection

So, you’ve applied for quite a few positions that you thought you really wanted? Maybe you applied to a few back ups just in case your initial plan fell through. However, it didn’t make much of a difference because they all said “No.” Ouch! You know you’re more than qualified! Maybe you were an honor student. Maybe you’ve accumulated an excessive amount of internship hours. Maybe you’ve got connections in every zip code. For God’s sake, the job posting only called for a high school diploma to begin with! So why did you receive that “Thanks for applying but we regret to inform you…” email? I’ll tell you: Yes, your degree has value. Yes, networking can be quite useful. Yes, having field experience is a plus! It doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough or that you didn’t do enough. It doesn’t mean that you chose the wrong major. Here’s what I found out the hard way: Sometimes it’s not about what you know or who you know; it’s about what God has for you. The worst thing that God can do is give you what you desperately think you want. The rejections could be pouring in right now, but pick yourself up, brush yourself off and know that it’s all apart of a bigger plan. Be patient.

3. Don’t force it

Don’t try to talk yourself into something that you aren’t passionate about. I know it’s scary not knowing what’s next and I’ve heard the saying “If the door doesn’t open, it’s not your door” but you don’t have to take any and every opportunity presented to you either. Be picky with where you invest your time and energy. I know that it can be hard to stay true to yourself but don’t jump into something just to say you’re doing something. It may sound like a no brainer to start a grad program in the fall to hold off on making payments on your student loans. I mean at least you’ll be working towards something, right? But, you know what you’ll find at the end of that graduate program? The same situation that you put off. You’ll still have to face some rejection. You still have to decide what you want to do with the rest of your life. You may still feel lost. I’m not trying to change your mind about furthering your education. You can never be overeducated (or overdressed.) However, I am telling you to make sure that your decision isn’t just a last resort. The same goes for jobs that will be presented to you. Every time I got rejected, I would find another position that had nothing to do with my interests or the position I had previously applied for and go through this process of trying to convince myself that this one was “the one.” I talked a little about this struggle here.  I applied to be a claims adjuster, software trainer, cellphone retail sales specialist, bank teller, management trainee… and the list goes on. What did all of these jobs have in common? Nothing. I just wanted something to show for my degree. I thought that something was better than nothing. I was absolutely, positively WRONG. If you’ve found an open door, I’m not trying to convince you to turn it down. I’m just telling you to consider what you want and what they have to offer you. Consider who you are and use Glass Door to see what others have to say about the company culture. Consider the position and whether there is room for growth. Otherwise, consider yourself a sell out because if you take just any door, the longer you stay, the harder it will be to walk through it.

4. You’re right on time

The absolute worst thing that you can do in this moment is compare yourself to others. When you hear about the luck your friends are having, the places they are moving to, and how they seem to be finding themselves, be happy for them.  Everyone is on a different schedule. It doesn’t matter if it took you 4 years or 7, if you graduated with a 2.5 or 4.0 or if you have 10 job offers or none. You’re doing just fine, kid. Just like a seed being planted, you can’t always see the progress, but the product will be beautiful. You’ll never be late to the party because you can’t rush greatness.

5. Money isn’t everything

If you have to choose between your passion and more money, please choose what you love. Your bank account can be full and your spirit be empty and it will show in the work you do. Don’t burn yourself out for a buck. Trust me, I get it! You’re a poor graduate with a stack of student loans and bills that have to get paid. But, life is also about more than just surviving. If you can’t do something that makes you happy now, just make sure you find time to do the things that make you feel alive.

6. They’re still proud of you

When you are at your lowest, remember all of those smiling faces that cheered you on as you graced the stage with your presence. They love you and want the best for you. But sometimes, you can put a lot of pressure on yourself to keep everyone else happy. They have expectations that you’re afraid you won’t be able to meet. Maybe they have expectations you have no interest in meeting at all. And if you don’t, it can feel like you’re failing them. You’re not. You’ve already committed to something huge and saw it through! It’s time to live for you. There may come a time when you realize that what they want for you isn’t what you want for yourself. In those moments, you’ll have to be your own advocate and it probably won’t be an easy thing to do! Maybe you want to be an artist but they want you to be an engineer. Maybe you want to be a social worker but they’ve always pushed for you to be a politician. Maybe you want to write…. I say do it. Don’t let other people project their lives and dreams onto you. Be brave, be bold, be honest with yourself but, above all else, be ready for the criticism and doubt that is to come because nothing you want badly will come easy. You will have to fight for those dreams. And don’t worry, even if it’s not what they want for you, they’ll continue to be proud of you (even if it’s in secret) because they’ll know, deep down, that they taught you to stand up for what you believe in. The time is now. You are responsible for the life you want. Go after it.

 7. This isn’t the end

This is where the plot gets interesting! You are standing on the edge of  adulthood and the possibilities are endless. You have the freedom to be whatever and whoever you want to be. You have the right to leap, run, walk or crawl but whatever you do… don’t stop! You’ve got work to do, a life to live and for the first time ever, you call the shots!

8. Don’t forget to breathe

You only graduate from undergrad once! This chapter came with a whirlwind of emotions. You’re in disbelief that you made it, sad about leaving your friends, excited about your next adventure, afraid of what’s to come… But just for one moment, do yourself a favor and BREATHE. Take a day off to take it all in. “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” – Matthew 6:34. This moment belongs to you and only you. You earned it.

So, once you walk across that stage, know that the work has just begun and that you are walking onto a battlefield for those dreams of yours. If you put them off, they will let you. If you slow up, they will let you. If you give up, they will let you. No one is more accountable than you. You are responsible for your own happiness, your own potential, your own life. Congratulations! You deserve the world! But first, you have to believe that you can conquer it! 

unnamed

The Top 5 Things My Teachers Told Me…

Here’s to the teachers who double as motivational speakers and therapists; who teach you about people and purpose; who push you to be better but not to be someone else; who have experience in both their professions and in life. You are well respected and greatly appreciated.

The best advice I’ve ever gotten didn’t come from a guidance counselor. I didn’t read it on a billboard or an advice column. I didn’t hear it from a friend or a talk show host. The best advice that I’ve ever gotten came from an underpaid teacher who spent countless hours making lesson plans, creating Powerpoints and grading papers. They taught me y=mx+b, the cruelties of the Holocaust and Newton’s Law of Gravity, all of which were useful to know. Still, their most valuable lessons didn’t come from a Calculus textbook or a Chemistry study guide. On the contrary, it was the wisdom that they poured into their students about life that stood the test of time. I carry these lessons wherever I go. Today, I pass them on to you.


1. On people….

“Statistically speaking, the best way to predict what someone is going to do isn’t by what they say. It’s by what they’ve already done.”  – J. Eastman, Sociology 101

He wasn’t saying that people couldn’t change. He was, however, being realistic about human nature and applying what he knew to be true about people. As a freshman in college with insurmountable expectations for everything and everyone, it was exactly what I needed to hear. Every time I applied it, I was a little less disappointed.

2. On life…

“You play with time and then time plays with you.” S. Nair, Prob and Stats

In a basic math class, full of high school seniors who had no idea what was ahead of them, Mr. Nair told us that we had no time to waste. I was 17 years old and my biggest concerns were prom, the senior trip and graduation. I looked away for a second and now I’m an adult with an extensive to-do list, a tight budget and an alarmingly high amount of anxiety and still… no time to waste.

3. On relationships…

“What you see is as good as it gets.” – K. Brinkley, Algebra

Known for her exceptional teaching and witty comebacks, she kept us all on our toes. On one occasion, she told us that she had been married before and that it didn’t work out because she never changed. Whenever I think about someone’s potential, I try to assess whether or not I would be okay if that was all it ever was… Could I marry potential? Would I be okay if I couldn’t change them? Would I be able to accept them? It made me examine the relationship that I was in at the time… I thought it would last forever but it was toxic and, as she said, was as good as it was going to get.

4. On work ethic…

“Excuses only satisfy those who make them.” – R. Pinnex, Global Studies

Ahhh, the world history teacher with a “no-nonsense” policy and a low tolerance for slackers. Your best was not HER best for you. She wanted more. There was only one way to do everything: her way. “If you don’t have time to do it right, you have time to do it over” she would say. She deemed me “Ms. Sassy Pants” because I challenged those rules. Today, I am thankful that she had so many. She taught me that excuses were useless to others and myself because they enabled me to be average. She held us all to a higher standard with the hopes that we would exceed it.

5. On finding yourself…

“Finding your calling is like your parents forgetting to tell you your name on the day you were born. You spend years trying out different names, hoping to find one that fits. Then one day, in a crowded room, someone whispers your name and it finally makes sense.”   Dr. W. Fondren, Communication and Technology

Listen, everything this guy said was pure GOLD! For this particular class, he based an entire course around 7 key concepts and taught them using tv shows, movies and his own personal anecdotes. On the first day of class, he told us that he never planned to teach. He got married young, decided to get a degree in Psychology, worked as the Director of Technology for a newspaper company, became an ordained minister and then fell into teaching and loved it. What did I learn from all of this? It was okay to not have all of the answers. It was okay to keep trying on shoes until they fit. I was a graduating senior, nervous about the future and at that time in my life, what he said was exactly what I needed to hear. Besides finding ourselves, he taught us the importance of knowing when to start over and admitting when there were “too many feathers on your back.” I was in no way, shape or form, a morning person but in that class, I kept my notebook, eyes and ears open.


Here’s to the teachers who double as motivational speakers and therapists; who teach you about people and about purpose; who push you to be more but not to be someone else; who have experience in both their professions and in life. You are well respected and greatly appreciated.

Future Educators,

The impact that you can make on the next generation is endless. Every word that you speak will have the power to change a life. I am a writer because a teacher told me that I had a gift. Whatever you pour into them, they will put out into the world. Knowledge is power but your wisdom is timeless. So go forth, be great and share it.

With all my love and appreciation,

unnamed

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”
–Henry Brooks Adams

SOLD.

The regret that came with taking a job that I wasn’t passionate about caught up with me. I thought that “making it” meant button ups and business cards. I found out, however, that the salary could not sustain the artist that lives in me.

I feel like I sold my soul for a seat at a table with people who don’t value my opinions or passions anyway.

I auctioned off my creative mind for a 9-5 because I thought success meant having an office.

They gave me a salary in exchange for the time that I’ve wasted trying to convince myself that I could be happy doing this forever.

They dangled business cards before my eyes so that I would feed into the lie that people knowing my name could be more fulfilling than knowing myself.

They gave me my personal extension hoping that I wouldn’t take any wake up calls. Took down my direct deposit information to send me the same amount every month but what I desperately needed was a reality check.

I sat in HR discussing benefits while burying the parts of me that make me feel alive. I had a funeral on the same day that I set up retirement.

You look so good in your business attire but you have no business being here when there is a fire inside of you.

Creative minds, beware of what it will really cost you to get paid at a job that you prayed for because you were too afraid that your real ambitions would fail.

Beware of the discomfort you will feel in the shoes that were easy to put on but made for someone else’s feet. You will have to shrink yourself to fill them.

The worst parts of your day will be when they point out your gifts but won’t value them. You will resent them for the box that you put yourself in.

Your purpose will shine through in the mediocrities of the job and their compliments will cut like insults because it insinuates your true potential.

You’ll take the title attached to the name attached to the face that you won’t be able to pick out in a line up.

Line up! Next to all of the lost, creative souls who did a disservice to themselves. Is it a homicide or a suicide to kill your dreams with doubt?

You’re successful but a monster for watching yourself suffer.. for a seat at a table with people who don’t know you or value you because you placed more value on your desired pay than your inner most desires.

“Congratulations! We are excited to offer you a position with our company” accompanied with the regret you will feel when you realize that you can still hit rock bottom.. at the top.

unnamed

When Your Sunken Place is a Person… GET OUT!

With the snap of a finger, do you sink into a place that is unfamiliar, unforgiving, unreachable from the outside, and un…healthy? I’ve got news for you: Your “Sunken Place” could be a person. If you can relate to any of these 5 signs, GET OUT.

SPOILER ALERT:

Since the highly anticipated debut of Jordan Peele’s, Get Out, an American comedy horror film that has surpassed box office expectations, earned a nearly perfect rating on Rotten Tomatoes and shed new light on age-old oppression, the buzz around the movie’s allegories and applications to reality have yet to cease. Upon its release, average movie goers and experts alike scrambled to pick apart the film and give their own interpretations of its hidden messages. Of their discussions, the most common speculation centered around the symbolic meaning of the “Sunken Place.” For those who have not seen the movie, the main character, Chris, is hypnotized into a cognitive state of mind, where he is wide awake but unable to move or call out for help; similar to sleep paralysis.

I’ve read so many different theories behind what the sunken place really is: the public education system, racism, slavery, etc. Peele even offered insight on Twitter, stating that we’re all in the sunken place:

FullSizeRender (6)_3

Still, I think what makes this concept so captivating is its abstract nature. It has the ability to take on multiple meanings and apply to just about anything. There is no right or wrong answer because each person has their own set of sunken places. For this reason, I would like to argue that the sunken “place” can also be a person or an unhealthy relationship.

Here’s what you need to know about the Sunken Place:

  • It happens so quickly that you don’t even notice until it’s too late
  • You are most vulnerable when you are cut off from friends and family
  • You are unable to live up to your full potential
  • Something prohibits you from getting out of it
  • The entry way is an insecurity or shortcoming
  • You feel stuck and like you have no control over the situation
  • When it happens, you make excuses for it instead of accepting it for what it is and leaving.

So how does this apply to a bad relationship?

1. It happens so fast…

When Chris comes in from a late night smoke break, his girlfriend’s mom, Missy Armitage, insists that they have a chat about the relationship. One minute she’s hitting a tea-cup with a spoon, probing him with personal questions and the next, he is lost in limbo, falling. This can be similar to falling in love. One minute, you are single, care-free, sure of who you are and what you want for yourself, then BAM! someone comes along and in an instant, everything changes! Before you know it, you’re in love and all you can see is them. You don’t notice the rising action at all; it isn’t until you’re in the climax, trying to figure out when it got so serious or so hard, that you see what its become. When did this stop being fun?, you ask yourself. When did this person become my life? By the time someone flashes a camera and you realize that something isn’t right, you’re in too deep. If it was called “stepping into love” then you would be prepared for it. But it’s not, so you trip and fall head first instead.

2. “Wait, something isn’t right…”

It didn’t take Chris long to pick up on the fact that something was terribly wrong. For starters, Chris remembered being hypnotized! Georgina and Walter were enthusiastically “off.” There is a scene where Georgina literally cries in front of him while reassuring him that everything is okay. The guests at the party treated Chris like he was on display at the zoo! Andrew a.k.a. Andre, the only black guy at the party, tried to give him a handshake instead of a dap. If ever there was a moment to prove his blackness, that was it and he failed! I promise you, no one had to tell a black person what Andrew did wrong in that scene! Finally, Chris’ friend told him to GET OUT! But do you know what he did instead?! He trusted Rose over his own intuition. He didn’t feel safe but instead of getting to the root of those feelings, he took her word. He let her talk him down because he loved her and believed she had his best interests at heart. Surely, she wouldn’t hurt him, he thought. He later finds out this isn’t the case. In unhealthy relationships, you can very well know that something is off. You know how you’re supposed to be treated. You can assess where your partner falls short. You can feel when you’re being lied to. You can tell when you’re not yourself anymore. You can see what you’ve given up to make it work. But instead of trusting your gut, you discredit yourself or make excuses because you think it’s easier to fix than it is to start over. You believe that your partner means well, even when they have had a hand in hurting you. I’ve seen things with my own eyes and got talked out of them! You can make up your mind about something over and over, but the wrong person will change it for you every time. Let me be the one to tell you: Love is not supposed to think for you.

The+Next+Reel+-+Get+Out+37

3. You become less of who you are…

In Get Out, there is  a scene where Chris, a talented photographer with an “eye” for detail and an athletic build, is being auctioned off to the highest white bidder with bingo boards! It turns out that Rose, the girlfriend, was luring black men (and Georgina) in so that white people could harvest and steal their bodies! While Chris and Rose take a walk to discuss the anxiety he is feeling, Chris is sold off to a blind man who covets his keen sight. Undergoing a procedure of this caliber would mean that Chris would no longer be himself. His body and life would no longer belong to him but instead to the blind man who bought him. I know you’re probably saying, “This is an extreme example!” But, is it? In an unhealthy relationship, you’ll find yourself becoming less of who you are and more of who they want you to be in order to keep the relationship. It’s called COMPROMISE. Your plans begin to center around a future with them even if that means that your own personal goals aren’t anywhere in the mix. Their life becomes your life because you’re desperate for a life with them. Little by little, you’ll compromise the parts of you that make you who you are. You’ll give up the dream that gets you up in the morning. Instead, you’ll live for them. Then one day, just like Chris, you’ll see a face in the mirror that’s familiar, but it won’t be you at all. Someone pointed out that the definition of sunken is literally “at a lower level than its surrounding area.” When a person is your sunken place, you’ll settle for a life that is only half as good as the one you could really live.

4. “There is strength in numbers” and weakness in solitude…

Although love can be blind, we have to account for what made Chris a seemingly easy target from the start: family. Or really, lack there of. He revealed early on that his mother died in a hit and run and that he never knew his father. On the surface, what would this mean to the Armitages? I’ll tell you: it meant that if he went missing, it was unlikely that anyone would look for him. Outside of the perceived physical advantage, this is probably another reason why Rose victimized black men. The wrong person will make you feel like you have to choose between a relationship with them OR the relationships/friendships that you had before them. Sometimes it isn’t voiced but instead, implied. And you may never say you’re making a choice but your actions will tell it all. You’ll start to leave out parts of a story, neglect them, become disconnected or uninterested or even feel as if you have to hide the relationship from them altogether. The worst thing that you can do is box out the people who know and love you because these are the people who will come looking for you when you’re lost! They will show up and go to war for you.  These people will notice when you’re not yourself. They will sense that something isn’t right and they’ll love you enough to tell you! Sometimes you can lack perspective in the middle of a storm. They can save you from yourself but to do this, they would have to know that you need help! Luckily, Chris’ saving grace was his best friend, Rod! Even though he had already done his part by warning him that something was off, he still went looking for him when the communication ceased. When you isolate yourself, you’re an easy target because you’ll be convinced that they’re all you have left. You need to know that your family and friends would never stop looking for you.

5. Flaws are open windows…

Have you ever heard someone describe fear as paralyzing? It can stop you in your tracks and hold you in place. However, there was another technique that was used to trap Chris. I want to point out that Mrs. Armitage would never have been able to make Chris “sink” had it not been for his underlying issues. She figured out that his weak spot was the guilt that accompanied his mother’s death and like a scab, she picked away at it until it was wide open. Once she got inside of his head, there was no escape; he could only suffer through it. In any relationship, you’re bound to be vulnerable with your partner and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing! But in a toxic relationship, this will be the thing that exerts control over you. We all have skeletons in our closets. We all have things that we don’t talk about for fear of being judged. You have to be careful about who you open up to because the wrong person will remind you of these things to keep you stuck. Your insecurities will be used to gain ground. There could also be mistakes OR a situation that you go through as a couple that can make you feel like you owe them. Seeing the dark parts of you and abusing them is a clear sign that they are not your safe place. There is no light at the end of that tunnel. I would also like to argue that Chris was a sitting duck from the start! She could only use something that he hadn’t forgiven himself for. Exploitation happens when you don’t come to God exposed. As long as you don’t believe that you’re forgiven, you won’t forgive yourself. Here’s a tip: when someone shines a light on those dark parts of you, when your flaws feel as paralyzing as fear and when you feel yourself sinking…Forgive yourself so that you can free yourself.

If after reading this you come to find that your sunken place isn’t really a place but instead, a person…

If you keep discrediting your intuition and calling it “trust issues”…

If you feel like you can’t share your love with the people who love you..

If you’re molding your future to fit around someone else’s life…

If you feel paralyzed by the things that you haven’t forgiven yourself for..

and there is always a voice to change your mind…

get out

No Holding Back: PoeticallyRaw

Meet Alayssa Thomas, a.k.a “PoeticallyRaw”, a 23-year-old writer and poetess who is passionate about personal freedom and women’s rights! Originally born in Georgetown, Guyana, PoeticallyRaw’s love for writing flourished from a very young age. She finds it easiest to write about heartbreak and uplifting men and women because of her generation’s desire for lust and lack of love for others and self. Artists like Lauryn Hill, Jasmine Mans and Sista Queen have had a major influence on her writing and perspective thus far.

allaysa1Aside from writing, Alayssa loves fashion; her style is uniquely her own! She is a recent graduate of South Carolina State University, an HBCU, located in Orangeburg, SC! There, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. She is driven to serve others through both writing and public service and aspires to be a police officer and author in the future.

I got the chance to talk with PoeticallyRaw about her art; heres what she said:

Who or what inspires your craft?


“When it comes to writing, quiet a few people and things inspire me. My top two people who inspire me to write: Lauryn Hill and Jasmine Mans. When it comes to Lauryn, she was the voice of the people and a top female MC.  What made her dope to me was the fact that her content was always very uplifting for both women and men; her style was untouchable. When it comes to Jasmine Mans, I must say her rawness is my inspiration. I remember coming across one of her pieces, “Dear EX Lover”. In the beginning she said, “Your words don’t start to mean anything until you start telling the truth.” I was a senior in high school then. From that point on, I knew that whenever I got on stage and opened my mouth to speak, I wanted it to be nothing but the truth because the truth shall set you free. One thing I’ve learned is that truth is the only safe ground to stand on. Jasmine Mans’ opening to that poem was the game changer for me.”

allaysa3

When did you start writing?


“I began writing at the age of eight. When I started, it was only as a means to feel better; I didn’t know that I would be creating a space for others to run and find comfort in. When I was in 7th or 8th grade, I came across a piece called “Try being a lady”  by Sistah Queen; she was one of the featured poets on the show Def Jam Poetry. While watching her, I remember thinking to myself, I can do that. Thats what I’ve been doing this whole time. In that moment, I knew that I would become a spoken word poetess.”

What new projects are you currently working on?

“I don’t currently have any projects that are set in stone, but I am writing everyday. In the near future, I intend to drop an EP! Later on, I’ll publish a book.”

What goal are you ultimately trying to accomplish with your work?

“Honestly, my ultimate goal has been changing since I started. I used to want to be famous for my  writing, but now I’ll be satisfied with just using my art to inspire as many as I can. Also, to publish a few books. If I did end up getting paid to do what I love, that would be the happiest moment of my life.”

Any advice for other artists?

“My advice to any artist would be to be true to yourself and your work. Always be honest. As long as you’re true to yourself, the crowd will always love you no matter how far you travel.”

Connect with Alayssa aka PoeticallyRaw!

Instagram:  @PoeticallyRaw (Newest work will be posted here!)

Youtube: Poetically Raw

Soundcloud: poeticallyraw

Interested in being featured for your own art? Tell me here!