Hitam Manis

“Hitam manis” (Indonesian for sweet black) is not a compliment. When you first hear it, it may feel like one, but after the 100th reminder that you are the “black” exception to a long-held standard ideal of beauty, it is a slap to the face. And the sting resonates long after the words are spoken.
It’s the same as hearing “oh you’re pretty for a dark skinned girl”. Sometimes it’s said like the words are a gift of light I’ve been searching for in a dark room of insecurity and uncertainty. Quite the opposite. It is not a confirmation of beauty; it feels like words urging me to hold tighter to the foundation of what I consider beautiful: An all encompassing, infinite beauty. An all-color, all-shape beauty. I am not “Hitam manis”. I will not claim something that negates someone else, my history and the history of others.
I am beautiful. Plain and simple.

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Generation Y

Millennials.

It takes a million milli-seconds to douse a fire set before your lifetime.
It rebuilds like an on-coming storm, overwhelming fear. Tragedy, mistakes, and hesitation over-power the timidity of fear.
Here we see again, like an old dance, once standing on our fathers toes to learn the moves,
We stand up and reach out proud & tall, Expectations breaching the clouds, beaming through like sun rays.
When it hits our faces, we smile, teeth white, in neat secure rows, defying what we’ve been told because in that moment we have a happiness we’ve never had before. This is not 9-year-old-watching-saturday-morning-cartoons happiness, this is a new kind we’ve made. Because we face this oncoming storm, waiting with the expectation of coming out on the other side.
While they’re walking, counting their pace,
We run ahead, around, and fly skywards, wind whipping around our faces.
We know we won’t crash and burn like the people before, because our hearts are more aware of their room to love, to conquer the unconquerable, to understand what others didn’t try to understand. This fuels us: this untapped potential.

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Connection In the in-between

The last I held my mothers hand, her fingers intertwined with mine. Our hands were exactly the same size. It was like holding my own hand.
I realized ,in some way, my sisters and I were stepping into a place that my mother was moving away from. Her hand was my hand and it’d never fit so perfectly before.

Since then, I’ve looked everywhere for that fit.We love those who fit the peculiar voids within us, our hollow wounds. We love to fill the spaces old loved ones left behind. This filling feeling that I feel is never permanent (though it lingers). It comes and goes in comfortable familiarity with friends or strangers, a connection brought on by raw openness and honesty, and in moments of reflection. I live for those moments, but that doesn’t mean I feel lost in the between. Seeking these moments of connection, between the spaces, is thrilling. It’s an adventure that began the first time I held my mothers hand and mine only wrapped around one of her fingers. Though, I don’t physically hold everyone’s hand that I meet, it is in that moment of authenticity and genuine happiness that I feel the warmth of the spirit of humanity’s hand, tugging mine to wander the uncharted. I will follow.

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