5 Things I Want To Do When Quarantine/Social Distancing Ends
Photos by flickr
Written by Halle Smith
First, I miss going to the movies with my family and friends. I love going to watch a flick on the big screen and taking in that buttery rich popcorn smell. Going to the movies is one of my top 5 things to do once quarantine is over. I’m a movie buff and being able to watch a movie that is newly released makes me feel like I’ve got the inside scoop on something. The picture and the surround sound makes everything as realistic as it can get and feel. Along with the visual and sound effects, the big screen helps me to focus more on details and the story line. I’m able to submerge myself in a story line of fictional characters and escape from worries for a little while.
Second, I would really love to travel again. Traveling allows me to also take a break from daily duties that are routine in my schedule. Being able to taste unique food and not have the pressure of cooking for myself or others is also a nice change of pace. Traveling again will also allow my brain to take a rest and open my senses. It frees my mind to start the relaxation process that the body needs to reset. Traveling allows me to take care of my mental health and my physical health in a more laid back environment.
Getting more involved with the community again is the third item on my list. During this time, gatherings involving a large group of people aren’t allowed. People aren’t able to gather for events to uplift the community or have fellowship with one another. Once we are allowed to gather in larger groups of people, I would love to do more volunteer work and get involved with the community in ways that may give guidance to the younger generation or offer assistance to the older generation. Although many businesses have had to shut down during this pandemic, I am hopeful that new restaurants and cafes will develop, with exciting food and menus to experience. Being able to go to restaurants has been difficult because of the social distance. As fourth on my list, I hope to be able to actually sit next to other people after the quarantine is over.
The final item on my list is not wearing masks anymore. This subject is controversial with some people regarding whether the masks actually protect us from the virus. No matter what anyone’s personal opinion is, I’m sure we can all agree that it would be nice to not wear them when the pandemic is over. I personally can’t wait to not have to remember to always have a mask on hand or have to wear a mask around my grandparents or have social distance from my family members.
Beginning My Loc Journey
Written by Varya Asuma
After months and months of waiting and pondering, I finally decided to start my loc journey. This decision came with some personal challenges that I was not prepared for. The youtube videos will stress that starting locs comes with a spiritual and emotional journey. I took those perceptions with a grain of salt until it happened to me!
I can say that I began thinking about getting locs around December 2019, after spending some time with a friend named Ruth. She had been in the loc’ed hair game for 4 years already. I complained to her all the time that it was taking too much time and energy to keep up with the protective styles. I explained to her how I had trouble keeping my hair out as a loose natural because my 4c hair would consistently tangle and my tenderheaded scalp could not take the pain of detangling. I gravitated toward marley twists and single braids as my goto protective styles. However, those styles took 4-6 hours to install, depending on the size. It was starting to become too much for me to handle. I shared all these thoughts with my friend. Her advice was that I should start locs.
I knew nothing about locs, other than they are beautiful. I began my own research about the history of locs and how to maintain them. I learned how they are installed, how they are retwisted. However, the more I learned about locs, I found that I was more unsure about if I would actually get them. Another braid removal day came about and I finally decided that enough was enough. Instead of installing another set of braids, I would start my locs. It took 7 months for me to take the leap. Finally, on July 29, 2020, I began my loc journey from two strand twists.
Since this journey began, I have had many emotional rollercoasters. I used to think that I was confident as a woman. I believed that because I was already a loose natural with tight 4c curls, that short hair wouldn’t bother me. It was still a challenge to accept my new image in the mirror. I have compensated for that by concentrating on my makeup, which is another self care routine that boosts my confidence. I have learned to be patient with my hair because I want so badly to have hair that is similar to the instagram models that I see. But I have accepted the fact that my hair will grow at its own pace. It will not look the same as another person's locs because my locs are uniquely mine. And most importantly, my beauty as a person does not depend on my hair. This is the inner transformation that everyone was talking about that comes with getting locs. I’m proud and happy that I began this journey.
Is that job worth your sanity?
Written by Tenneh
Is it me, or does it feel like not only are these jobs sucking the life out of us? They are good at making us feel like completely nobody, on top of all the pain and agony they put us through on a daily basis. Maybe it’s me, or maybe everyone is feeling this way, and I’m just the first one to admit it.
My goal at my job is to "nail it". I focus on nailing it so badly that I forget to ask myself, does this company even deserve me? Don't get me wrong, I love some of the people that I work with, along the way, I've met some genuine people that I still very much respect and adore. But on the other hand, I've had many terrible runs ends with companies that were under poor management to the point where I almost felt like asking, why me?
People often try to stay as still as possible, even if they don’t like their jobs. In their mind, it is the right thing to do. We often look at it as security and downplay what we deserve, handing ourselves the short end of any stick and get comfortable with whatever that the company gives to us. We should have a mindset of never settling, and always aiming higher.
A wise woman once told me to never be that person who sat behind a desk for 10+ years for a company where I know I wasn't happy because "it pays the bills." I am not saying quit your 9 to 5 job because honestly, I don't know your situation. Nor do I have Beyoncé money to help pay your bills, but ask yourself, is the pay worth your sanity and peace? If the answer is “NO”, quit that job and see it as a learning curve and move forward to see what else is available to learn. Before you ever work for any other company, make sure they deserve you. Any job that is going to take away from you in any way, whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally it's not for you.
The Realities of Male Socialization
Growing up as a male child, you’re told boys are supposed to be strong, fearless, dependable. You need to be a rock, show no fear, show no weakness; these are the things we are told as boys and raised to believe. This foundation is what an entire generation of men is built upon. We are told to cry in public or show any sign of vulnerability is seen as a sign of weakness. A lot of men repress their feelings in an attempt to seem more “manly”. We put on a facade to impress our family, our significant other and our friends. It’s very rare for men to confide in each other and talk about their feelings like women do. We mask whatever we’re going through and find other avenues to express ourselves. People often ask me “what do guys even do when they hang out?” The answer is anything but talk about our feelings. We play video games, talk about sports, play sports, watch sports. Essentially, we channel our emotions towards the one thing that society agrees on as a symbol of manliness: sports. We pick a favorite team and use that as an outlet for all our emotions. Through sports, we can express our joy, sadness, anger and frustrations. Boys need to be taught at a young age that it’s okay to express themselves and openly talk about their feelings. They need to know that they are more than just providers and protectors, they are HUMAN too.