Two Minutes And 37 Seconds

I want more stories we never told blended with sins we always commit. Maybe that’s what I never knew–that I wanted more.

You were in rare form that night. And for two minutes and 37 seconds, I saw you.

See, I’ve seen you at least four dozen times. Crawled under your comforter. Used my fingertips as brushes and painted broad strokes on your back. Asked you the best way to negotiate a salary. Sat on your couch and watched YouTube videos. Mixed jack with ginger and benefits with friendship. Wished you a Happy Birthday and texted you Merry Christmas.

Oh, I have seen you. And up until that moment, I always just assumed I knew you. Because isn’t that how it works? We know people for years, so we must know them. We laugh with them and drink with them and call them up for advice. We start to equate years with knowledge. We start to connect dots of familiarity with other dots of assumption until we decide that we’ve completed the sketch.

Except I didn’t know you. I did not know you until we stood there in the wee hours of the morning, clothed in a lack of inhibition and not much else. I didn’t know you until those two minutes and 37 seconds when you looked at me and clawed your guard down. Told me your story. Revealed your humanity. Undressed your masculinity. Unveiled your scars.

I did not know you until then. All these years and I did not know you until then.

I want another two minutes and 37 seconds. And another. And another. See, I think I could want a lifetime of two minutes and 37 seconds. I want more stories we never told blended with sins we always commit. Maybe that’s what I never knew–that I wanted more. Maybe that’s what’s been hiding underneath my layers for all these years. You clawed your guard down. So here I am, clawing mine down too. Except I am the cowardly lion, roaring my truth and knowing you’ll never hear it.

Something tells me that I will not get another two minutes and 37 seconds. These years will pass. Time and adulthood and sheer distance will pull us apart. I will fall in love or you will fall in love, but not with one another. We will move on. Things will change. We’ll outgrow the invincibility of our twenties. The hunger of our twenties. The we-fall-hard-and-pretend-we-don’t-give-a-fuck recklessness of our twenties.

But, for now, we have those two minutes and 37 seconds. I know I won’t forget them. I hope you don’t regret them.

Xoxo,
Tyece

Book Launch Party Photos | 7.16.15

Here are some of the photos from the book launch party. Thanks to my wonderful friend and photographer Jazzmin Williams (@jazzthenoise) for capturing a night I won’t soon forget.

The book Twenties Unscripted: A Journey of Womanhood, Writing, and Relativity is now available as a paperback and digital version. Head to the book page on Twenties Unscripted to purchase your copy!

[slideshow_deploy id=’4579′]

Peace Out To The Most Relentless Winter In History!

I never put exclamation points in my titles. That is how you know this shit is serious.

Usually, if you’re writing or talking about the weather, it’s because you’ve run out of ideas and are grasping for a creative morsel. But, in this case, it is my God-given duty as a citizen of the United States to formally bid farewell to the most soul-sucking winter the world has ever seen.

photo-2
My snow gear

I lived through the Blizzard of ’96. I survived Snowmaggedon. I even spent half of a winter in Boston. Somehow, none of those things come close to the bitchass winter that just happened. It’s not as though I’ve ever loved winter or even liked it a little bit. But, I’ve managed to suck it up, extract my giant purple coat from the closet and endure the temperature. But, this winter? This winter was truly a test of my faith, sanity and overall ability to function as a decent human being.

You know when it got ugly? February. The snow stopped giving you that “Aw, it’s beautiful!” feeling and really made you just want to curse someone the fuck out. Before the snowstorm that happened the week of Valentine’s Day, my best friend mentioned something about keeping her car parked in a garage because she didn’t want to have to dig it out.

“That’s a good idea!” I said.

I’m not sure why at this juncture in the conversation it did not occur to me that I, too, would need to get a shovel to dig my car out. But, because I am an idiot disguised as a smart person, it did not occur to me to go buy a shovel. The next morning, I looked outside and saw my 1996 jalopy drowning in snow. I looked around my house to see if I had anything to substitute a shovel. Broom? Mop? Countless wine bottles? No, Tyece. Those won’t work.

In my sorrow, I checked my email and noticed my apartment complex had emailed the residents about “winter storm procedures.” Toward the end of the email, it said, “We have a few snow shovels that we will be happy to lend out on a first-come, first-serve basis during normal business hours.”

I had never put on 5,000 layers so fast. I walked to the leasing office and got one of the coveted shovels. When I went to return it, there was a wait list. A WAIT LIST. FOR A SHOVEL. Sorry, suckers.

I assumed my first mad dash for a shovel would be the last. But, it just kept snowing throughout the winter. And, I just kept being idiotic enough not to buy a shovel and to instead show up at the leasing office when it opened to borrow one.

Let’s also discuss all of my friends who have “government” jobs or jobs that adhere to “government procedures.” Let’s discuss the copious amounts of envy that ran through me whenever I saw “Snow day! Back to bed” tweets while I had to “work from home.” Snow days did not exist for me. Not a one.

And, finally, there was my social life. I’m already a homebody and after the holidays, I am very adamant about hibernating. But, this was some next-level, pariah-type of shit. Admittedly, I was probably a really terrible friend because I said “no” to virtually every invitation that came my way to do anything that required me to walk more than 10 feet from my car to the destination. After the holidays, I guess I was still somewhat in the festive, pre-hibernation spirit and I grabbed drinks with a friend on U Street. But, the wind whipped my narrow ass so badly and I’m still not sure if I got my ears back. After that, there wasn’t any more trying to be cute in sub-arctic temperatures.

By March, we all finally assumed it was over, or at least about to be over. We could stop fretting that every time we walked outside, our nipples might fall off or our faces would freeze mid-conversation. Some 50 and 60 degree days started to appear. And, then it was as though winter said, “GOTCHA, BITCHES” and then showed back up in the form of a freak storm or some freezing rain. I started to completely lose faith that I would ever wear a maxi dress again.

But, I feel safe now saying goodbye to winter. I’m ready and, dare I say, excited, for what’s ahead for spring and summer. So, may you flourish in this weather. May you reunite with friends and get drunk outdoors. May you wear all the crop tops on the planet. Goodbye, black tights. Goodbye, puffy jackets. Goodbye to the worst winter ever and may it never, ever come back.

Xoxo,

Tyece

To The Woman Who Helped Make My Showcase A Reality

Wildflowers Unscripted Writing Challenge Day 12: Praise a person

ssf-invitation-webfinalToday the showcase that I have been planning since December sold out. It was sort of a surreal feeling given that when I booked the venue a few months ago, I lost sleep over whether or not I would even be able to put a show together. I didn’t know if anyone would be interested in showcasing their work. I charged $5.00 for the tickets because I was so worried that people would not come, so I didn’t want price to be an issue. Then, over the past few weeks, I saw the amount of available tickets go from 60 to 30 to 11 and then to 1.

Today was a good day.

And today’s writing challenge topic is fitting because all of the effort behind this showcase comes from so many people. The person who sticks out most in my mind is my friend Kalani who has done all of the graphic design for the show–the original call for artists, the showcase invitations and the program for that night. She was one of the first people I talked to when I came up with this idea last summer. It didn’t quite work back then which only increased my anxiety about trying it once more.

I won’t deny that I can be a bit of a Nazi to work with. I send a lot of emails, I always have edits and I can be a manic perfectionist. I expect a lot from people because that is the standard I hold myself to. Do it right or don’t even bother doing it. Kalani has witnessed all of this and has still done a kickass job. An idea is usually just an idea until someone puts some creative thought behind it and makes it visual. Visuals make it real. She made the vision for this showcase real. She gave it a look and feel. She gave it a design so we could promote it. And, now it’s fucking sold out.

One of my favorite quotes is the sentence, “Praise the bridge that carried you over.” Praise the bridge. Praise the people. Praise it all. So many of my friends have stood behind me and this blog. No one has to believe in you or anything that you do. But, when people back you up and support your work, it’s an incredible thing. I am a manic perfectionist when it comes to Twenties Unscripted because it is such a huge part of who I am. In about two short years, I have put an investment in this space. I put my heart into this space. I put my soul into this space. I put my thoughts and my time into this space.

I am always, always, always thinking about this blog and this brand. And, sometimes I even hate calling it a “brand” because this isn’t Ralph Lauren or some shit like that. But, I do believe this has become more than a blog and I truly don’t think I could say that if I didn’t have the solid support of so many of my friends. Graphic designing is not my talent. Photography is not my talent. Hell, event planning is not my talent. Writing is my happy place. Everything else only comes together with the help of so many people behind me.

I thought I would wait until showcase night to shower Kalani with accolades, but, if you are reading this, thank you. Thank you for helping to make this crazy idea/dream of a showcase actually happen. Thank you for loving this idea even last summer when I didn’t know what the hell I was getting myself into. Thank you for dealing with my many emails and then subsequent gchat messages when I got too anxious. But, above all, thank you for having faith in this very infant brand. Hopefully I get a sweet book deal one day and can look out for you. If not, there’s always monopoly money.

Xoxo,

Tyece

The Evolution Of Post Grad Friendships Pt. 2

adult friendships
The Function.

I treasure my Sunday nights. I take care of them, remaining disciplined about packing my lunch, getting ready for the next day of work and crawling into bed at a decent hour to set the tone for the week. This past Sunday night I was done with my routine by 10 p.m. because I had carved out time to catch up with a friend on the phone. Shortly after that conversation, I shut off the lights. But, then I sat in bed feeling a bit nostalgic.

I rolled over, grabbed my phone and texted my best friend.

“I feel like I haven’t seen you in 100 years.”

She replied, “I know. We shall prosper over spinach dip on Friday!”

Spinach dip at happy hour. These are the things that unite 24-year-olds.

There are increasingly more times now when I feel guilty about my role in my friendships. There are only one or two friends who have a regular pulse on my life; everyone else falls into that category where we have to reflect on the past three or four weeks of our lives and catch each other up. And, those catch-up sessions seem to become fewer and fewer as everyone’s paths diverge. I have a firm “No phone while writing” rule which means I ignore calls and sometimes forget to follow up and call back. I don’t know if this makes me a shitty friend or a disciplined writer. Probably both.

Especially now that summer is long gone, my friends and I have all retreated to our individual cocoons, only emerging for the big-deal things like the holidays or someone’s birthday. People have school and second jobs on top of full-time ones. They have their families and their side hustles. We all have our own lives and it’s beautiful and bittersweet all at once. It means that we are not a mere 10 feet from each other anymore. It means sometimes we have to say “no” to things. It means we see each other less and have to make so much more of that time we do spend together.

But, I had to take a step back and realize once you’re almost three years removed from college (yes, let us collectively weep for that statement), you can’t hold your friendships against the same success measures you used back then. In undergrad, it was easy for everyone to have a regular pulse on your life; hell, you pretty much lived right on top of each other. Now, like everything else, friendships require a certain level of effort if they’re going to survive.

Last year I wrote “The Dissolution Of Post Grad Friendships” as well as “The Evolution Of Post Grad Friendships.” But, many of my friendships have evolved since I wrote those posts. The older you get, the more confident you become in your friendships. There’s a time shortly after college where you’re still weeding people out. You’re still mourning the friendships that have drowned and are holding on for dear life to some of the ones that are dying. But, eventually, you come to terms with who is in your life and who is not. You migrate all that energy from the dead friendships to the really strong ones where you get the return on your investment. In short, you give way less fucks about the people who have shown you they are not there for the long haul.

And, the friendships continue to change. They continue to evolve. And, you let them. You are OK that there are some friends who you only see once or twice a year, but when you do, it’s as though they never left. You need the people who can pick up without a pause after six months just as much as the ones who know what you ate for lunch that day. But, you learn to accept friends for who they are and what they bring to your life. You realize you have one person you call when you’re a complete wreck, another when you need some hardcore advice and another when you want to laugh. You need all of them just the same.

Xoxo,
Tyece