Welcome to my blog. Some of you may have followed me here from my travel blog Awkward American Traveler and others might be joining for the first time, but no matter, I’m glad you’re here.
This is different for me. Stripping down the costume of a themed blog to just my name. My writing. Myself. It’s taken a lot of strong people in my life to help get me to this point, but I’m finally happy sharing this quieter, simpler side of me with you.
I’ll start this off with a 5-secrets prompt from one of the strongest people in my life—my soul sister, mentor and friend—Trelani Michelle. I couldn’t think of a better way to introduce myself to this new community. Thanks girl.
- I’m autistic
I debated tucking this in somewhere else, but I’m not one to beat around the bush and it’s still a bit of a shock to me, too. Being diagnosed as an adult came with a whirlwind of emotions and a period of rewriting my entire life’s memories, but when it all finally settled it felt good. I have sensory issues and hyperfocus issues and emotional sensitivity issues. I also have a ravenous need to learn, an acute ability to feel someone’s energy, and an imagination that can save me from the darkest of moments. These days, I see it as a gift, but it wasn’t always like that.*
- My dream is to meet Ellen DeGeneres
My childhood was filled with quotes from celebrated comedic actors like Eddie Murphy and Bill Murray; we were always “on a mission from God” like The Blues Brothers and found every opportunity to give eyebrows like Clark Griswold. Growing up in a combined family from divorces, I learned quickly how magical laughter could be. No one covers those dirty laundry issues like Ellen and I admire her for that. Woman’s been through enough in her life, too, and I find inspiration from her ability to keep constant positivity throughout her standup, talk show and personal life.
- I abuse(d) alcohol
This one is a biggie. It’s something I still struggle with and prefer being honest and open about. I suffer from anxiety and depression—prerequisites for being a writer, I know—and I fell in line with the habits of some of the greats. But when I started respecting my body and mind as a result of my wellness passion, I realized I was stifling my creativity with an addiction. Sure, it makes me freer in the moment. But the days it takes me to recover leave me unhappy and unable to write. I forget sometimes and get caught up in the occasional excitement of a party, but for the most part I stick to water and tea these days.
- I only use the word hate with bacon
This is where I really weed people out. See, at first people think I don’t eat bacon because I don’t eat a lot of meat. They respect that, quietly assuring themselves I’d obviously partake in their greasy, lip smacking feast if I did. No. I’m one of thirteen people in the entire world who hates bacon for being bacon. The smell is like cooked swamp and it’s like my salad has dirt in it when they slip in those shitty Bac-O Bits. The rest of the world is fine and I only mildly dislike other things.
- I want to hike the AT
For any of you unaware of the epic geekiness of this secret, I want to hike all 2,181 miles of the Appalachian Trail. This is the stupidest dream I have because I tried to hike it for one whole day once and quit about three hours in. I don’t care. I’m stubborn and I’ve learned how to use that to motivate myself rather than limit. Whether I say “Fuck. This.” with corresponding right, left stomps or miraculously skip through the whole trail singing “Climb Every Mountain,” I’m doing it.
*I’m always happy to answer questions for any blog post or creative piece I write, so please feel free to comment publicly or email me, just remember to be thoughtful and respectful. Thank you 🙂