eraser burns.

We all have a narrative.
Some moments are written in lead, ink, or blood- but, nevertheless, we all have a story- the narrative we’d all love to tell about ourselves. In our own way.

If we could, we’d write chapters about our accolades and exaggerate the glamour. We’d paint ourselves in fluorescent lighting- unknowing of its faulty exposure.  It’s so easy to waltz your pen across paper- d r a g g i n g out the highlights and beauty of the story that is you. It is so easy to scribble the stable, wise moments of our lives in BOLD INK. We have no problem illustrating the “flat” characters in our lives- the people who played their roles and left on cue.

We try to hide the complex, round characters that
enter on page 2 and cause havoc until page 200. We lighten the font on people who made an impact on our protagonist selves – the ones causing heartbreak and tears. We try our best not to admit that we can be impressionable … through naiveté, love, or pain. We use words like “impressionable” to avoid words like “vulnerable”.  We only allot a page or two to the things that haunt us and bind us. We award a paragraph to the pain and a sentence to the sin. Honestly, we’d rather be heroes than sidekicks. We'd rather display the strong moments instead of the weak lapses.

Then we have the unspoken narrative: we mull over the unsaid words that are left ‘pin balling’ in the dark and sharp corners of our minds. We mourn the death of worthy words that are drowned in waves of bed sheets. Or perhaps, some of these romantic whispers are muffled under fists ... fists that are clinching these same waves in an erotic swim. The things we wish we could say. The things we yearn to proclaim. The thoughts we’d love to birth into the air. How we would love to give up our fear for adoption. How we'd love to foster up our own narrative in love. 

With every day that passes, every emotion felt, and every word said…we write our narrative. So, speak. Speak your passionate, flawed, dark, and lovely story into existence.


bawm chicka wamm wamm.


You do not deserve love regardless of the suffering you have endured. You do not deserve love because somebody did you wrong. You do not deserve love just because you want it. You can only earn- by practice and careful contemplation- the right to express it and you have to learn how to accept it. Which is to say you have to earn God… love is not a gift. It is a diploma. A diploma conferring certain privileges: the privilege of expressing love and the privilege of receiving it. Paradise, Toni Morrison.


pack light. ohhh, oh!

Imagine taking a stroll down the street and seeing a beautiful Porsche for sale. All black everything, this car is stunning and breath-taking. The price is really reasonable… in fact, it’s practically a steal! You look inside the window to see that the car has 200,000+ miles on it. You, as the buyer, will probably do one of two things:

1.     You will decide that the car is not worth the trouble and leave it alone.
2.     You will buy the car (for little to nothing) and decide to use it while you can- expecting to toss it when it breaks down on you in the middle of the 205 freeway.

This could be similar to you- “breaking down” in the middle of Whole Foods on your significant other- making a huge scene because he/she said something that reminded you of a triflin’ ex lover. When you are traveling down the road of life, you acquire mileage. That is a given. Recently, I had conversations with people who are emotionally scarred- and it makes sense. People have a harder time seeing what real, healthy love looks like. Their parents barely say two words to one another. Their past relationships have literally shape shifted from gold to dog shxt. Basketball wives, football wives, baseball wives, housewives of Atlanta … and I cannot find one, legitimate wife on television. A lot of my friends are graduating from college believing that love is something that died in the 90s with the VHS and ducktail braids.
            So you “don’t believe in love”? cool. However, there is a problem: human beings are dependent on intimacy and innately search for someone to love them. Whether it is at the age of 19 or 60, eventually, we will level with ourselves and admit that we want someone to genuinely care-in a romantic sense- about who we are. A lot of my guy friends say, “I’m never getting married” or “Imma be a fifty year old bachelor”. Cute. The bible talks about roads commonly traveled being fruitless in its destination. However, the winding, narrow road always pays off in the end. Loving is hard and tedious. It calls for vulnerability, trust, and seeing yourself in its rawest form; But the reward is priceless. At my graduation dinner, my grandmother was in tears .. dying laughing because my grandfather was…well, being my grandfather. “Edgar!” she said panting, “You make me laugh, boy, you make me laugh.” It’s been fifty-two years and I swear, their love has sustained one another. That, my friends, is priceless. 

“you said you’re learning to trust men again. But this is love, made unselfish. Made for you to feel empowered, at the same time helpless.” – Common.


bittersweet farewells ...

On Sunday, May 20th, 2012, I became an official alumna of Spelman College. Spelman has given me numerous things over the past four years- laughter, tears, societal-shattering thoughts, craft, love, and at times … headache. I would trade absolutely nothing for the moments I shared with my beloved Spelman College. I understand myself more as a woman, an African American, and human being. These past four years have been HARD. College is more than the parties and debauchery. Spelman College, in particular, causes one to look in a mirror that reveals all angles- the good, the bad, and the hideous. I could not have done this alone. With that being said, I have people to thank:

I know you hate all the attention, spotlight, and mushiness associated with these goodbyes. I know lol. But i just have to say that you have been such an inspiring and generous person over the past four years. I am so proud of you and I truly admire your humility and grounded behavior. All my love, Stevi,

I love you so much Ray Ray J. A lot of times, people undervalue the contribution of a drama-free, easygoing friend. Because of your light-hearted spirit and grounded soul, Spelman’s freshmen nonsense never seeped into my pours. You are beautiful, brilliant, and so loving. You let us into your house and shared "momma pittman" with us. I appreciate everything. Love you!

Viv! My roommate and one of the first people I met at Spelman. I love you Viv and I am so proud of the woman you have become. From the beginning, I always admired your humility and generosity. Even more so, I admire your resilience and I know God has something amazing in store for you…

JAMMM JAMM! Lol. Jamila, you are a remarkable human being. You have broken so many barriers and stereotypes in your hometown of Baltimore and here at Spelman. I am so proud of you, 4.0 this semester, job offer and Phi Beta Kappa! Your drive and focus has inspired me more than you know. Beyond the accolades, I am proud of you for so many other personal reasons. It is much harder to persist over personal diversity than academic. You are such a treasure to me and continue to amaze me. I love you and I know those little rugrats in upstate NY are in good hands lol.

Lea Zora,
Shmlea, as much as I roll my eyes and smirk at you- I promise, it is all out of love lol. Lea, you have been SO vital in my matriculation through Spelman College. When I almost decided to stay home in 2010, you encouraged me to come back and generously offered up your home to me. I know you had a lot to deal with and I thank you for your encouragement and selflessness. I am so proud of you, and I am so proud of the woman you have become. You are “prime real estate” and more than capable of taking the world by storm. Stay grounded in God and believing in yourself. Love you.


Brenny, I am so happy that you called me out Sophomore year for being a bad Spelman sister. If you didn’t, I would have never had the chance to meet such an outstanding brother. You have no idea how much your grounded, positive energy means to me. As a woman, living in the AUC can make you feel like a piece of meat and/or undervalued. You always appreciated the woman I was and my values. It means a lot bro bro. Stay you. Stay positive. Stay incredible.

There is a reason why Lea calls us “Fah-stevi” lol. I have never met someone who understood me quite like you. You are truly one of my best and truest friends. It’s crazy; I don’t trust many people enough to give me advice on life. However, I truly value your opinions and contributions to my growth as a woman. I mean that. We never cared about the hype and drama of the AUC because we had our share in high school. Thanks for being so easygoing and drama-free. You have been the ear I needed when confiding in you about boys, school, the loss of Samantha, my mother, and most importantly, God. I am honored to be a witness to your growing faith and walk with God. We both know, at the end of this … our faith is all that will sustain us. No matter how far we stray, God will be our “home base” and you will always be my sister. I love you Tima, thank you.

There are no words. You have been more to me than a sister. Sister cannot even describe the pride I take in you and the love I have for you. We have seen it all. I met you when I was six years old and we could never fathom where we would be today. We liked the same boys, fought, laughed, cried and grew together as women. We shared mothers. We shared, everything. When mom died, you were sitting on my bed with a snicker’s bar in hand to cheer me up. You have always held me down in ways that no one has. No matter the inconvenience, the time, or the struggle- you have held me down. Seeing that envelope in the mail junior year with the words, “If you need more, let me know.” … That meant the world to me. We lost Sammi last year and I have to tell you that you mean the world to me because tomorrow isn’t promised. You are so talented and you love so hard- both great qualities that I do not take for granted. I am so excited to see what God has in store for you. I love you.

I’m so sick about losing you and I have yet to completely come to terms with your death. Yet, I want to thank you for all of your love and support. Your struggle with sickle cell was … heartbreaking and ugly and incomprehensible. Somehow, you always had leftover love for people as insignificant as myself. You always understood the importance of finding love – in ways that no one else could. You kept me humble and knowing that a person is nothing if they have not loved. In spite of the heartbreak, we always had each other. There are times when I still pick up the phone to call you to vent and laugh and I miss you SO much. Howard University missed out on one hell of a graduate this year. Rest in peace sis.

Stephanie Renee Darden,
Gorgeous flowers mean absolutely nothing without the substantial roots of the tree. Mom, people compliment me on my grace and keen mind. The woman I have become today would mean absolutely nothing without your foundation and investment in me. I finally did it. I am graduating on Sunday and I wish more than anything that you could see me crossing that stage. I did this for you. There were times that I did not want to face the day, but your investment in me was the motivation to breathe, to sit up, to push. Your love was the encouragement thus far and I love you so much for that. You always told me I was special. You always told me I was worthy of love, worthy of respect. Mom, the things you didn’t say were set in your example and I thank you. I have yet to see a stronger, more elegant woman and I do not think I ever will. There are some lessons that you did not get the chance to teach, but I realize that those moments help to construct who I am as Stevi. I would give anything to hear you screeching my name as I receive my diploma. I am resting assured, however, that you will be screeching from a front row seat in heaven. I love you, I miss you, rest in peace.

I thank you for loving me and cherishing me throughout this process. I thank you for the plans you have for me that have yet to become a reality. I thank you for our relationship and your presence in my life. As hard as it is to say, I thank you for my heartache and loss. Those things made me strong and wise. Although I may lose sight from time to time, I know where my center is Lord … that is with you. Thank you for keeping me in my darkest hours and giving me the shine I do not deserve. You and I both know that it is merely your grace and mercy that allowed me to get this far. A lot of times, I teetered on the fence between tapping out and pushing forward. Thank you for the nudges. & God,THANK YOU FOR THE PEOPLE PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED, THEY COULD ONLY HAVE BEEN SENT BY YOU.

P.S. thank you to all who were not mentioned. I would have mentioned my dad and brother, but they don’t read my blog lol (I’ll just tell them in person). To Ron'nay, although we are new friends, i appreciate you being you. I hate that i just met you last semester and I hope we can remain friends forever! lol. My boys Justin, Darnell, Charles, and Gary - love you guys and thanks for being awesome. You guys are brilliant and fun and honest- so hard to come by. Love you. Thanks to the people who shared a kind word, encouraged me, and enriched my mind. & Thanks to the person who is proving that quality men still exist :) YOU ALL HAVE BEEN GREAT!