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.
The story goes a little something like this: two years ago, I had nothing more than advice from Melinda Emerson that I needed to purchase a dot com for my blog coupled with an insatiable hunger to write. That was it. July 5, 2012 was the day I bought the domain name for www.twentiesunscripted.com and it has been a wild, unpredictable and life-affirming ride ever since then.
In some ways, the blog’s “birthday” has become bigger than my own. Perhaps it’s a bit strange to celebrate the birth of an inanimate object, but this blog is my lifeblood. It gives me meaning and purpose to have a place to share my truth and connect with people who receive that truth. It’s a tough thing to explain without turning into a half-crazy zealot the way I did a few nights ago when a friend of mine mocked me about a blog post. (I may have set the Guinness World Record for number of times “go fuck yourself” was uttered in a conversation, but that’s neither here nor there.)
I’m reserving this entire month to writing specific posts about this journey, the people I’ve met, the lessons I’ve learned and the gratitude I have. So, I will not squeeze all of those heavy things into a few paragraphs here. Instead, on the blog’s birthday, I want to honor the one thing that has kept this blog afloat–the writing. I’ve written a lot. Like A LOT. Like A LOT, A LOT. I’ve done my best to re-read my work and pull the bits from the past year that I think most reflect this space, my evolution as a writer and my propensity to say really ridiculous shit. Hope you enjoy this Twenties Unscripted trip down memory lane.
“Well, I started the blog because I didn’t hear my voice anywhere else. I wasn’t Lena Dunham. I wasn’t your Black Queen. I wasn’t Carrie Bradshaw. Oh, wait, Carrie Bradshaw isn’t real. Either way, I was some misfit of a writer with all of those influences projected on me, but none of them entirely emblematic of my life experience.” “I Rant, I Roar, But Mostly, I Write: 2013 Twenties Unscripted Mantra” July 10, 2013
“The primary way I’ve made an ounce of sense out of the past few years of my life is to write about them. Observe it. Experience it. Write it. Do not sugar coat it; life does not come to us complete with preservatives. It is raw, rare and uncooked. Sometimes it is ugly, unusual and unfortunate. But, that is what it is. So, you write through it.” The Rise Of The Woman Confessional Writer July 23, 2013
“I hope that by the time I’m 30, Twenties Unscripted became something. That if nothing else, it drove people to figure their shit out and make mistakes while doing it.” When Twenties Unscripted Is All Said And Done August 15, 2013
“When someone has only one foot in your life, their partial residence is more agonizing than their absence. Sure, at first you believe you are saving yourself the eternal sting of their vacancy, so you comply with the scant texts, the “let me hit you up” later and the invitations you initiate that they never seem to fully accept or outright deny. They are a master of diplomacy, saying things that do not blatantly make them an asshole but also not saying things that would undoubtedly persuade you of their feelings. Every text becomes a game, every conversation becomes a ball of nerves, every night ends in you sitting up in bed picking apart their sentences until you are down to their syllables.” Either Be In My Life Completely Or Not At All August 19, 2013
“Don’t chill out. Speak up. Think. Feel. Care about something. Be excitable and be excited. Let things ignite you. Be a pistol. Be a thunderbolt. Be someone at a dinner table with something thought-provoking to say.” You Don’t Need To Be A Chill Girl; Feelings Are Allowed September 18, 2013
“That’s why I think we have to dismantle this mantra of ‘keeping it real.’ It’s as though people can be outright douchebags and hide it under the guise of ‘just being honest’.No. It’s not honesty. It’s assholery at its finest and you need to learn and implement some tact in your life.” There’s A Difference Between Keeping It Real And Being An Asshole September 24, 2013
“Do not surrender your twenties to being a fraud. Stop faking friendships, stop faking relationships, stop faking happiness, stop faking your interests, stop faking orgasms. Just quit. And, learn how to get yourself on a path to the real thing. Learn how to chop down the weeds, cut through the bullshit and find the authentic thing. It’s there.” Do Not Surrender Your Twenties Pt. 2 October 7, 2013
“It never ceases to blow my mind when women know how many carats they want on an engagement ring and they don’t even have, um, I don’t know…a boyfriend? Wouldn’t that be the first step? It’s amazing that you can know you want a princess cut diamond and you don’t even have a fucking 401K.” The Silly Obsession With Engagement Rings October 23, 2013
“Rip up the sketch. Eradicate the image. Let go of the expectations others set for you, or worse, the ones you set for yourself.” Let Go Of How It Should Be October 30, 2013
“I sometimes doubt myself and my work. Not too long ago, I changed the title of a post about
ten times before I clicked publish. I worry about teetering the fine line between using my life as my material and keeping enough of myself private. I try not to drop a plethora of f-bombs per my parents’ suggestion. (Hey, Mom and Dad.) I work hard not to exploit my friendships or relationships. But, I also try to give enough of myself so that people, especially women, connect and see themselves. Because I know that no matter how tired I get, every day I work at this, I am doing something I adore. Few things in life can replace a feeling like that.” Writing, Goals And General Musings About WTF I’m Doing With My Life November 20, 2013
“Don’t let people tell you your twenties are 10 years of the same shit. And, if they tell you that, don’t listen to them. Don’t let that happen. Don’t believe them. Let yourself evolve and grow and change and let go. If you are the same person at 24 who you were at 21, you’re not doing this thing right.” The Difference Between 21 And 24 January 13, 2013
“Feed your passion. Get that check. And, if the rubber finally meets the road and you find a way to do those both simultaneously, well, that’s fucking amazing and some celestial being has looked out for you. But, do not sit idle waiting for that to happen. The rubber does not meet the road without you being on a relentless grind. Move. Work. Bust your ass. Then bust your ass some more.” Passion And Paychecks February 5, 2013
“I don’t want part. I want the whole. The entire fucking whole. I want the stories and the passion and the scars. I want the lust and the love and yes, the attention. I want someone to have my back the way I have theirs. I want someone to hold my dreams close and hold my secrets closer. I want someone to give of themselves fully the way I believe in giving of myself to others. The way I believe in giving of myself to everything in this world that I do. Every relationship I take on, every friendship I value, every goal I chase after. I do not want part. I want the whole.” Settling For Part When You Can’t Have The Whole March 4, 2014
“But, know that passivity is a decision. Keeping him around is a decision. Turning a blind eye to
what happened is a decision. People are quick to mistake doing nothing as indecisiveness. Doing nothing is a decision. Inertia is a decision.” Doing Nothing Is A Decision April 30, 2014