Honoring the Space In Between

The feeling of a pen in my hand dressing a blank page is foreign to me.

It is perhaps the greatest irony and embarrassment for a woman who identifies as a writer. But, it is also the reality of a woman who identifies as a blogger. A woman who has told the Internet a lot of her secrets. A woman more comfortable typing within the four walls of a WordPress frame than penning on a piece of loose leaf. A woman who hasn’t kept a steady diary of her inner thoughts since freshmen year of college. A woman who just recently took up a self-discovery course, hungry for it to catapult her back into journaling. A woman who now knows that public wounds still require private healing. A woman trying to find her way back to writing off the record.

Woman.

A woman who has been transforming and watching her tides turn for some time now. A woman at the juncture of who she shared with the online world and who she became when they weren’t watching. When they weren’t reading. When they weren’t there to bear witness.

Five years after breaking ground on this blog, I am less wedded to the trademark of being in my twenties. I have foregone impassioned rants about rent and the relentlessness of adult responsibilities. I feel less compelled to preach and pontificate, all too aware of how that approach diluted so much of what I wrote early on. I do not need to shout from the mountaintops that I am a feminist or a millennial or any of the other labels I once wore so proudly. I simply need to live the life I am convinced is mine for the taking. Some times, I need to write about it. Other times, I just need to walk in it.

Tyece – 2014 [photo by Jazzmin Awa-Williams]
Nowadays, I am more wrapped up in my womanhood and all of its complexity, fragility, and multiple dimensions. What started as a coming-of-age outlet brimming with angst has transformed into a sea of thoughts and ideas about what it means to shape one’s place in the universe. What it means to feel lost and found in the same body.What it means to experience life in a way that often times feels different and unconventional from the way those around me live it. What it means to honor the past without allowing it permission to dismantle the present. What it means to be a woman who aims to thrive with intention, substance and self-possession.

I also crave a more private life now. A more full-bodied life. A life that takes shape off the screen. A life that doesn’t beg for documentation. A life and a set of memories that can stand on their own two feet. There are times when I thumb through my book or scroll through my blog archives, cringing at how I made parts of my personal life so public. But, perhaps all I can do is appreciate that version of myself from afar, a girl who gave the digital world all of the fearlessness and chutzpah she had. She is the reason I now know how important it is to snatch some of that fearlessness and chutzpah back from online airwaves and return it to myself.

So, this blog anniversary is not like the others. It’s a milestone that arrives with the most bittersweet blend of celebration, reflection, nostalgia and vision. I always knew I would not wait until I turned thirty to answer the question, “What happens to the blog when you’re not in your twenties anymore?” I would not wait for the arrival of a new decade to force my hand; I would only wait until the Universe whispered that it was time to begin again.

Tyece – 2017 [photo by Jazzmin Awa-Williams]
The Universe started to whisper a few years ago, prompting me to register a domain that’s been waiting in the wings. There is still a bit more left here at Twenties Unscripted to do. But, I’m assured that when I move out of this Internet home, I will be ready to start construction on a new place. A place that will evolve over time. A place that will give me new layers of purpose and meaning. A place that I will pour parts of myself into. A place that will come alive with my signature blend of poetry, prose and power. Another place that I can call my own.

Five years feel right. They feel round. I feel ready for a new leg of the marathon.

But, for now and the balance of the year, I will honor the space in between. Between Twenties Unscripted and her successor. Between being a woman well on her way while still a work in progress. The space in between a shrill life on the Internet and a rich existence outside of it. The space in between the vastness of the ocean and the stable sand of the shore. The space in between then and now, past and future, yesteryear and everything that’s still to come.

Here I am, at the space in between, prepared to honor it with my whole heart.

Happy 5th Birthday, Twenties Unscripted.

Xoxo,
Tyece

Announcing Twerk, Write & Roar: Celebrating Four Years of Twenties Unscripted

Blog anniversary graphic

This happened somewhere on a rooftop bar in Chicago, after my Jack and coke and before my Corona. This happened after an 11-hour work day where I almost gave in to my old habits, the ones that tempt me to say no to plans when I know I should say yes. This happened while I sat next to Melissa Kimble for the first time ever, even though the minute we started talking, it felt like we’ve spent a million Tuesday nights together at a bar named Reggie’s.

I threw around both of my potential ideas for this year’s blog anniversary theme with Melissa, and the minute this one came out of my mouth, we both knew.

“That’s it,” Melissa told me. “That’s you.”

The words “twerk” and “write” as a duo have been sashaying through my head since the beginning of the year. I didn’t quite know what life they would take on, but as I approached my four-year mark, they finally made sense as the umbrella for this year’s theme. And roar? Roaring is my native tongue. It’s what I’ve been doing on this blog since 2012. It’s the verb that explains everything from the fonts I choose to the opportunities I create. It’s the reason I’m here: not to whisper my truth, but to shout it from the Internet skyscraper I built by hand.

Twerk, Write & Roar captures where my heart and mind are at this distinct wrinkle in time. This year has been unprecedented when it comes to my sense of personal freedom and my detachment from the treadmill. This year has been about writing my definition of carefree black-girling. This year has been about kindly pointing my middle finger to a drum that beats to the tune of fighting to remain relevant in an ever-changing online world. This year has been about silencing the noise and listening to my heart, whether her tune is a lengthy and lovelorn ballad or the best 16 bars I ever heard. This year has been about bottomless celebration. It’s about embracing the here and now despite every single demon in my head that cries to connect the dots of the future. This year has taught me that it’s one thing to live the life you’ve always imagined, but it’s another to live one you never expected.

So, let’s celebrate, shall we? Deets below.

07.15 | Twenties Unscripted DC Happy Hour 5 p.m. El Centro, 14th Street Location
If you’re in the DC area, head over to El Centro for drinks and turn up.

07.16 | Twenties Unscripted honored at Black Weblog Awards
While this is a ticketed, closed event, I can’t thank you all enough for helping me win the Best Writing in a Blog award last year! I can’t wait to celebrate with the other honorees during what’s always a very special month for me.

07.17 | Special 50th Edition of Sunday Kind of Love Newsletter
It’s hard to believe I’ve sent almost 50 editions of my Sunday Kind of Love newsletter. Look out for a special edition on July 17. You can subscribe here.

07.17-07.23 | Guest Writers’ Week – Submissions due July 10
This is always one of my favorite parts of the blog anniversary month. It’s a chance to showcase the voices of other talented writers, many of whom inspire me on the daily. If you’re interested in learning more and submitting your work for this year’s Guest Writers’ Week, click here.

And finally, the book will be on sale all month! Purchase your discounted signed copy here starting Friday, July 1.

Xoxo,
Tyece

Why I Am Here: My Third Blog Anniversary Post

 

The past year has been one hell of a ride for Twenties Unscripted.
The past year has been one hell of a ride for Twenties Unscripted.

I would leave at lunchtime to go to therapy. The therapist they recommended to me didn’t have evening hours, so every other week I would sneak out under the guise of going to a “doctor’s appointment.”

That was November 2011.

You remember some years because of how lucky you were, and you remember other years because you are just grateful you survived. I’m grateful I survived 2011.

Without 2011, there wouldn’t have been 2012. There would not have been me sitting in an apartment in Texas after attending Blogging While Brown. Shit, there would not have been the courage to even attend Blogging While Brown. There would not have been me deciding to stop blogging on Tumblr and electing to get a real dot com. There would not have been me being so happy that I survived 2011 and finally being ready to bear the untold stories inside of me.

It wasn’t serious back then.

I called my sister on a Sunday afternoon and we kicked around ideas for a tagline. “Sincere” was a no-brainer. “Sassy” came soon after. She conjured up “smart-assy.”  And it was a sincere, sassy and sometimes smart-assy take on growing up that underscored the things I would write, the words I would choose and the path I would take.

But, never ever did I think that path would bring me here.

Here. To a place where I have been called to be a voice and vessel for truth, honesty and courage. Here. To the space of reconciling so many of my past demons and feeling prepared to slay all of the future ones. Here. From blogging on the couch to asking for a desk as a Christmas present to finally getting a home office come September. Here. To a point where I have been blessed to connect with hundreds of women who see their own reflection in my work. Here. To a juncture where I have amassed nearly 600 posts, and plucked the leading ones to curate a book. Here. To a place I did not set out to be, but one that I am so grateful is now my residence.

That path brought me here. And that path brought out the best, bravest and boldest parts of myself.

I used to think revealing a mission statement was corny and short-sighted. But, it is important to verbalize exactly what you have set out to do. Today is the third anniversary of Twenties Unscripted, and I want you to know exactly what I set out to do.

mission statement

Cultivate.

Nurture. Take care of. See something through to its full potential. Leave it better than it was before you came. Not here today, gone tomorrow. Not “let me see what’s trending and write about it.” Not just when I feel inspired or energized. But, take care of it even when I don’t feel like it. Even when it’s past my bedtime. Even when what’s on my mind is not the same as what’s trending. Take care of it, and see it through.

Personal blog.

I’m a personal blogger through and through. I’m not a DIY expert. I don’t have recipies. I can’t tell you the best lipstick or where to shop. I can’t offer you pretty pictures. But, I can offer you myself. My stories. My truth. My battle wounds. My mended heart. My courage. My fallouts. My fuckups. I can offer you words that rise from the pit of my belly.

Community.

Reach up. Reach out. Reach back. Reach to your left, and reach to your right. See, somewhere along the line it got so much bigger than me. It got bigger than my sincere, sassy and sometimes smart-assy take on growing up. It got bigger than venting and whining and screaming. It got bigger than just me. It is bigger than just me. It will now always be bigger than just me.

Spark.

Reading Twenties Unscripted shouldn’t be a passive experience. Twenties Unscripted ain’t for everybody. If you can’t read without accompanying pictures, then you shouldn’t read this blog. You should come here so that something inside of you gets and remains ignited.

Women.

Oh, women. Fragile, complex, beautiful, smart, observant, cerebral, introspective, opinionated and inspired women. I love you. I thank you. I honor you.

The best parts of yourself.

The parts that make you feel good and make you want to dance. The parts that you whip out on first dates and job interviews when you are trying to impress someone. The parts that you know are beyond amazing. Feel those parts of yourself.

The bravest parts of yourself.

Tap into the vulnerability. Pull up the roots of your sordid past. Make your way to center stage to tell the story. Face the fear. Stand close to the edge. Throw your hands up on the roller coaster. Seize the courage that’s been buried underneath what you handcraft for social media. Expose those parts of yourself.

The boldest parts of yourself.

The badass in the leather jacket. The girl who wears the red lipstick. The one who takes no prisoners. The woman who laughs loudly in public. Listen to those parts of yourself.

This year’s post isn’t about collecting quotes or reminiscing on past events. The quotes are all in the book. Just go buy the book. This year’s post isn’t about confetti or balloons. This year is about honoring my call to cultivate a personal blog and online community that spark women to connect with the best, bravest and boldest parts of themselves. This year is about owning that it is bigger than me. This year is about stepping into my purpose. This year is about acknowledging the gravity of what I have been put here to do. This year is about celebrating how good it feels to be here. This year is about understanding that Diane Sawyer quote: “The moment that carries you forward can also mean no turning back.”

Here’s to being carried forward. Here’s to not turning back.

So, thank you. Thank you for being a part of this journey by reading. By reaching out. By emailing. By tweeting. By liking. By sharing. By showing up. By texting. By direct messaging. Thank you for bringing me to a place and moment such as this. Your prayers, support, connection, confidence and understanding have been the bridges that carried me over and carried me forward.

Happy 3rd birthday, Twenties Unscripted.

Xoxo,
Tyece