To Current Davaughn

I’ve always taken care of the past. Writing to my old self assuring him that his battle scars of  manhood weren’t in vain. I’ve always written to a future self, with a comforting message that everything I did was so we could be better and have more. I’ve never addressed the present. Maybe it was me not trying to face all the uncertainties about my love life, education, and unprocessed feelings. That was then this is now.

 

Dear Davaughn,

I’m writing to this acknowledge you and to apologize to you.

I’m sorry that you currently feel out of place about our educational choices. I’m sorry we’re not graduating in 4 in years like the rest of our friends but instead 4.5 years.

 

I want you to know that even though we joke about the honors program being a setup, it’s an opportunity that comes once in a lifetime. We’re the cream of the crop when it comes to the  English department. That’s something we’ve always wanted.

 

I’m sorry I keep exposing you to trash ass men. I’m sorry I keep doing the same thing and hoping to get a different result. I’m sorry when we were 21 I gave our most cherished and precious gift to a perfect stranger. I’m sorry I ever went back to that ex or the guys who never made it out of the talking stage, but still allow them to text us. I’m sorry I didn’t hurt them the way they hurt us. I’m sorry we even still have a soft spot for Idonus, Danny, or Eli. I’m sorry that no matter long it’s been I still answer when we they text us. I’m sorry I play gravedigger to all the moments we want to forget, but allow our thumbs to type the narrative in  an iMessage, a Dm, or a Snap hoping to get the admittance of guilt and recognition we longed for. I’m sorry I still let the lesson learned from Victor dictate our interaction and trust levels with other men. I’m sorry for acting on our sexual desires only to regret it later.

 

I hope you know we talk to God every night not just for a better future and to make peace with the past, but to realize that our present is a gift we get to unwrap everyday. I want you to know the man we talk to God about is coming to us. That the sexual liberation you want isn’t a curse but your right and choice to live life how you seek. I hope you know that remembering the things that broke you doesn’t make you bitter. I hope you know remembering  allows you to set in stone how we want to be treated. We will not settle for less. I hope you know that those moments of weakness where you cave and text back are normal. The potential that they have is what made you interested in the first place, but remember undeveloped potential will always be a waste.

 

I’m sorry I drag up the past. I do it because if I could go back sometimes, I think I would.  I would save you from the hurt and look on your face now. I think about the future more than the present because I know the things we’re worrying about now won’t matter and all the stress will be worthwhile. I’m sorry I’ve only paid attention to the outside and haven’t addressed things eternally in a while. I’m sorry you were starting to second guess me.

 

I hope you begin to realize you are the fruition of your mothers prayers. I hope you come to understand you that you’re allowed to make mistakes and fuck up. I hope you allow yourself to know you’re more powerful when you’re vulnerable. That vulnerability is a benefit and not a burden. I hope you come to know that yes, you enjoy the rainy days, but you’ve laughed more when you danced in the sun. I hope you know I love you more than you know and I’m sorry I haven’t done things to remind you in a long time. I hope you know it’s ok that you want to talk it out. I hope you know that I love you until death do us part. I hope that weight you feel lifting off your chest because you were finally able to put all these feelings into words doesn’t come back. I’m glad that despite all the uncertainties and bullshit you’re still here and haven’t given up. Loved you yesterday, love you still, always have and I always will.

XOXO,

-Davaughn

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In Love With Love wrap-up

Hi again! Today I’ll just be writing a brief wrap-up post farewelling this blog series and the spring semester. This semester really wasn’t a fun one for me. But I did have fun working on this blog series and getting to post every week about something I am passionate about.

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“In Love With Love” allowed me to revisit the feelings I had when watching or reading these series for the first time. And it certainly allowed me to realize just how much shoujo manga I have read! I’m sure I’ll be a blogger again next semester. I haven’t entirely decided what I will be blogging about, but one idea is to do something similar to this series, except with slice of life manga and anime instead of romance.

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I guess we’ll see.

-Milena

Here’s To Us

Here To Us  

Here’s to all the nights aimlessly wondering why you aren’t enough.

Here’s to all the nights staying up late trying to make a way of out of no way.

Here’s to all the times someone told they understand but never will.

Here’s to all the times you thought having a man would suffice for the things you thought were missing.

Here’s to all the time wasted on someone who ended up being a perfect stranger.

Here’s to all the times you gave your all and didn’t get half back.

Here’s to all of times you wished someone would be half the friend you are to them.

Here’s to all the times you’ve poured your heart out to someone only to be ignored while they’re on social media.

Here’s to crying on your birthday.

Here’s to all the times you thought you weren’t perfect.

Here’s to all the times you worried about getting the job or a degree.

Here’s to every single heart break.

Here’s to picking yourself up.

Here’s to loving like you never been hurt.

Here’s to being an empathetic kind soul despite the chaos and dysfunction you’re used to.

Here’s to being needy and not knowing what it feels like to be needed.

Here’s to conquering adulthood without prior knowledge.

Here’s to not knowing what happens next.

Here’s to not knowing why you have so much vibrance in your hips but knowing you’re walking in your purpose.

Here’s to writing being your saving grace.

Here’s to drinking cheap wine and making the best memories.

Here’s to new beginnings.

Here’s to always looking at the glass half full.

Here’s to the people in your life that matter.

Here’s to imagination and creativity.

Here’s to never losing the faith

Here’s to the times you almost did.

Here’s to you.

Here’s to me.

Here’s to us.

Davaughn M. Riley

Diabetes and Hypoglycemia

Hello my readers I know it’s been a while but I’m back with an interesting health and medical update for you. Also happy Mother’s Day to all women and even the men who step up for both roles. My mom hasn’t been in the hospital in a bit but she feels like she’ll be returning on Monday because of her leg swelling and tightness of her breathing. Nobody ever wants their loved one in the hospital but you just have to stand strong. Also the visits of the visiting nurse and social worker are coming to end. We’re working harder at making me her home health aide or CDPAP. So the week prior to this week my mom had taken all her required medicine but little did I know she over did it inadvertently.

Sometimes my body tends to wake me up extremely early in the morning for the bathroom so I woke up at six am for this very reason. As I come back in the room to go back to sleep my mom tells me she feels extremely dizzy and nauseous. She wanted to know if I could stay home with her because she had over medicated herself and couldn’t be alone. I haven’t been afraid when it came to diagnosis of Diabetes since one night when I was high school and her sugar ran extremely low and she woke me up to get her orange juice. However this time was different because she could barely even sit up or deal with going to the bathroom without feeling light headed or as if she’d pass out. So I emailed my professor why I wouldn’t be in class and messaged my classmates about the same reason. I appreciated my classmates in wanting updates and understanding why I wouldn’t be in class. My professor was also understanding as well. So I tried help my mom get to sleep and once she was off in snooze land I went back to sleep too. After we woke up my mom wanted to attempt eating something so I showered then got some food for us. While showering I became extremely sweaty, light headed, and felt as if I was going to pass out. I was able to make it back to my mom to get some water and eat some candy.

I told my mom I felt like I had diabetes and she said no you blood sugar ran low and most likely have hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is when your blood sugar runs low extremely sweaty, anxious, dizzy, nauseous, and unbalanced/shakiness. Hypoglycemic attacks can happen when you haven’t eaten in a long period of time. In my case the only thing I ate before I got me and my mom back to sleep was pretzels which wasn’t wise. So after I ate some candy and drank something sugary my blood sugar same back up a bit. My mom also had a hypoglycemic attack but hers was different because hers was caused by her accidentally over medicating herself. I learned that some good snacks in these types of attacks are oranges, hard boiled eggs, orange juice, and yogurt. This my fellow readers is how I began to understand the difference in Hypoglycemia and Diabetes.

Hypoglycemia isn’t exactly a type of heart disease like Diabetes. Hypoglycemia is part of Diabetes and I myself have been tested for it. The results for negative but of course because it’s hereditary in my family I’m at risk for it. I had been a lot more curious about it so I researched it. I realized even though it’s only self diagnosis I could possibly have this. When I wake up and get ready for school I generally don’t eat until I get on campus. Sometimes I’ll have a snack on the train but in general I eat during or in between classes. If I finish all the snacks and food I carry with me then I end up buying something. However, since then I never et my blood sugar get that low again. I was also trying to avoid the going to the hospital. But that’s my story for you guys for this week. Also a praise update is that my mom has been doing great with watching salt/sodium intake. Also I’m getting better with food shopping. We’re also using a lot more of the resources for food options at my school. So my school has a food bank which is basically like a food pantry. I make weekly appointments for food pick ups and have gotten some great stuff as well. I also recently signed up for the Corbin Hill Farm Share food. Both of these are great resources on top of general food shopping. I get veggies, proteins (meat), and fruits from both of these places. I love that one is free and the other my mom can use her EBT food stamps card to pay for as well. Local grocery and supermarket stores make it hard for me to find healthier choices of food for my mom and I. However, between friends, Lehman Food Bank, Corbin Hill, Trader Joe’s and of course my local supermarket/grocery store we’re making due.

I’m sad that my mom is going to go back to the hospital on Monday but she’s trying to take care of herself. She is truly in a battle with her body but she’s not giving up and I couldn’t be more proud of her. My mom shows me the definition of strength in many ways. She is also showing me how to care for my body as well. Sometimes I get scared of nervous that her time is running out but I can’t think like that because I know God has the final say so over her life and all her diagnosis’. Also we had a conversation a few nights ago where we were looking back about all the surgeries she’s had minor or not she’s always come through strong and fighting. She may struggle with following her new lifestyle but she’s trying harder. I’m happy that she finally got the bathtub bench she wanted although it’s not the exact one she requested she finally has one now. The next thing we’ll be working on is the walks in the park using her rolater which is meant to help her walk longer distances. She’s been doing things little by little and also using her oxygen machine but we have to speak to someone about getting her another wholes thingy. But that’s it for me guys I had fun updating you guys again and teaching you hypoglycemia.

In Love With Love 16th entry

Hi again! Today’s entry will be all about Shortcake Cake by Morishita Suu. This series is by the same creator duo responsible for Hibi Chouchou. So far only Shortcake Cake, their most recent work, has been licensed by an English publisher. It’s also my favorite of the two!

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Our main character is Ten, a refreshing female protagonist with some odd and entertaining mannerisms. Since starting high school she has opted for the 2-hour bus ride down from the mountain where she lives rather than move into a boarding house closer to school. Her friend Ageha chides her for this, but it isn’t until Ten sees what she’s missing that she reconsiders her choice. If she didn’t have to catch the last bus home, she wouldn’t have to leave her friends early and miss spending time with them after school.

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Ageha talks her into spending the night at the boarding house – it’s the weekend, after all – and Ten experiences the rest of what she’s missing out on. Everyone living in the house is nice, not just Ageha. The house mom’s cooking is excellent. And the house is only a 7 minute walk from school. And as Ten herself would say, there sure are a lot of beautiful people living there.

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This series has some interesting similarities to Dreamin’ Sun, and so I like Shortcake Cake for some of the same reasons. The world within the boarding house generates a sense of community and belonging I can feel almost as if I were there. I love Ten as a protagonist – she has great charisma and I’m pretty sure I would follow her anywhere. Her potential love interests are charming, and even the house mom is super cool. I would love to be friends with almost every character in this series (except for a certain individual who calls Ten ugly), and to me that’s a good sign. I’m also a big fan of the art, which ties the whole thing up in a beautiful package.

 

-Milena

Learning To Love Me

 The person I remember falling in love with multiple times is me.  Not to sound self-centered or like a narcissist, but I was the one who needed it more than anyone. All my past love encounters knew what it felt like to get love unconditionally because I was exuding it from my pours, spirit, and essence. I was loving everything in sight except the person staring back me in the mirror. When I thought about who I was l in love with it left me emptier than I was before. When it comes to the men from my past, I was just in love with the idea of love. Ignoring the empty promises from empty men because in those moments I clung to every word because it was what I wanted to hear. It was a fantasy I wanted to be reality.

I thought long paragraphs and Instagram post suffice when it wouldn’t. The first time I fell in love, I was fresh out of high school and college was about to be the best time of my life. Academically I was undefeated, but emotionally I was disappearing. My heart would soon break because I trusted someone with my heart when it was still premature and learning itself. I fell in love with imperfections, and missing pieces I saw in the mirror. Not just the well put together student, and friend, and gentleman I was known for being. The emotional, overthinker, and self-doubter I was. Understanding that just because someone favors one part of you over the over doesn’t mean you can. I must love all of me equally.

The next time I fell in love was with my body at the age of 22. I have always been skinny. People would always skinny shame asking if I eaten today and if I did it was probably a salad. I wrote this

Dear Body,

With skin like porcelain, chinky eyes, fully lips, arms, legs, fingers and toes you’ve seen me through it all. you have been with through all the scarps, bruises, and blows both internal and external. You were there to love me when I didn’t love you back. Even when I saw everything I thought was wrong with us. Still like a phoenix, you have helped me soar above every adversity life has thrown at us. From now on there will be no more settling for less. You are temple. Our mind is a canvas and the world is ours.

Love always,  

Davaughn xoxo

The English Awards Ceremony

Hey y’all!

Welcome back to James’s Corner! It feels like a lifetime since I’ve blogged to be honest.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Spring Break! Mine consisted of work, work and more work. Yay!

I’ve decided to blog about my experience at the English Awards Ceremony, although this won’t really be a blog post about the English Awards Ceremony. It’ll be about how I failed to prepare properly for the first ever staged reading of my play.

First off, as a former theater major and retired actor (yes I’m pulling an Amanda Bynes on you all and I’m “retiring from acting”…for now) I have done a few staged readings in my hey-day.

You would think that I would be prepared for something like this but NO! I was highly unprepared.

When Professor Amend, emailed me and told me to let her know if I needed anything, I just figured she was being nice.

The day before the reading, I ran over to the library and printed out six copies of my script. I figured that the worst that could happen was that we had zero copies of the script for my actors. Again, I was mistaken.

As I walked into the Art Gallery, I immediately thought to myself where are the music stands?! Where is the reserved seating space for my actors?!

Of course my anxiety went into overload and I had no one but myself to blame for not asking for music stands!!

Thank God for Alaynia Fox and Giselley Munoz, two of my amazing actresses for racing over to the Speech and Theatre building with me to steal music stands.

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t that bad. But it was still worth blogging about.

I learned my lesson though, whenever I’m asked to do another staged reading I’ll make sure I have music stands and reserved seating for my actors.

Congratulations to all of the winners!

Signing off,

XOXO

James