Category Archives: my friends

Mission, Tab-possible.

I have been able to lead a life where I can cultivate the type of people I spend time with and build with. My chosen community consist of queer, radical and open-minded folks. My time in St. Lucia earlier this year had me around more cis-hetero people than I am used to. They were all older and many subscribed to very different politics than me. I can only imagine how they read my queer self throughout our week together. I believe they would say I was idealistic and perhaps naive. This tends to be the reactions folks give you when you believe you can create the world you want to live in and question things they have been taught are facts.

I spent the night of my birthday writing a mission statement for my year and my life. I wanted something that could serve as a guide of who I strive to be and a document for my community and loved one’s to hold me accountable when I fall short or forget.


Tab’s Mission Statement

It is Tab’s mission and desire to undergo transformative, radical and sustainable growth.

Transformative in the way that it transforms not only Tab but those around Tab, particularly the communities that Tab is accountable to. This means practicing listening as well as vocalizing the things that Tab has previously been uncomfortable and afraid of saying. This means understanding and recognizing how interconnected we all are. Remembering and cherishing the values we all bring into our communities. Reminding oneself of how much we must learn from others.

Radical in the sense that Tab was not been given the tools to love Tab’s Black, queer, female-bodied, GNC self fully.  Remembering that it is a political act to love ourselves and others fully. It is Tab’s goal to practice intimacy, vulnerability and accountability in platonic, romantic, personal and professional relationships. To engage in a practice of showing up for people, how they need Tab to show up. This means not presuming to know what is best for others. Practicing forgiveness and reconciliation whenever possible. Remembering it is ok to step back and breathe.

Radical in the sense that Tab must fight capitalist ideas such as “production” and “consumption.”  This means Tab must practice not measuring their worth in what they can produce in a given day, month, or year. Tab must also be mindful of the products and ideas Tab consume. This means eating organic and local products whenever possible. Purchasing fair trade products, preparing meals for Tab and those Tab loves. Divesting from companies that support apartheid Israel, profit from prison labor and engage in other exploitative business practices.

Tab recognizes change can be a slow and arduous process. Tab must give themselves and others grace as we implement the changes in ourselves and work for greater liberation in our world. Rather than commit to huge life-altering steps, it is important for Tab to engage in changes and relationships that are sustainable. Is it feasible in Tab current life to never eat out or stop purchasing processed food? Or rather is a more sustainable for Tab to be conscious of the choices Tab makes with food and try to make better choices as much as possible?

Is it sustainable for Tab to continue one-side relationships where Tab’s needs rarely if ever get met? Is it sustainable and a best practice to wait until the night before to create lesson plans and/or grade? Is it sustainable to commit to meditation for an hour each day? What are ways that Tab can shift their  relationship with things Tab “hates”?  An example could be grading. Shifting this negative relationship could include spreading out grading, creating more exciting assignments or utilizing non-traditional assessments. grading prompts.

Is the way Tab receives money (employment) sustainable to Tab’s mental, emotional, spiritual and financial health? If not, how might I create sustainable and life-affirming financial stream. How might Tab engage in a practice that is patient and gentle with themselves as they create this stream?

Who does Tab give money to? Do their vision for the future aligns with Tab’s? Do their policies and business practices have a negative effect on the world?  For Tab this means divesting from the “fast-fashion industry” (see “The True Cost”). This looks like rather than paying for a blazer from J. Crew, that might have been made in unsafe working conditions in SE Asia,  hiring those in the community to make and/or rehab a blazer for Tab.

The mission statement serves as Tab’s intentions and check points for accountability. The statements reminds Tab of their values and serves as a check point for decisions Tab makes. These values may shift and change organically, and new ones may emerge.

While I wrote this statement for myself, I want to reiterate this statement is for everyone I am in community with. I desire and encourage you to hold me lovingly accountable as we create a more just world. I plan to share with you my progress on this journey.


-Just Tab





Posted by on January 22, 2018 in Learning bout Tab!, my friends, politics


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Boots Tuesday

4-5-2016, 11:00am

“Do you have a hard time asking people for things?”

“I don’t really need to ask people for things. I am pretty self-sufficient.” That’s the response that first came to my head. I didn’t respond. I sat with it. This woman stays trying to see me. To read me. Demanding I drop whatever mask I think I am wearing. This  annoys me. This makes me uncomfortable. So I fade away.

I met her last summer at the Movement for Black Lives. While the conference was officially over, we just had an impromptu action against the Cleveland Police.  Afterwards- in victory we chanted, “we gonna be alright,” in unison with over a hundred Black people. Someone started a healing circle. Others dealt with those who were pepper sprayed. I noticed her boots before I noticed her. Cowboy boots and shorts. She stood out. She was cute and different. As you might already know, I am smoother than freshly churned butter. I went to her and asked her about her boots. Somehow this turned into a whole conversation, where she gave me the origins of her boots. She got them on a trip to Arizona with her ex-girlfriend. She was quick and witty. We exchanged info, for you know community building, the revolution and what not.

Power to the people.

7-27-2015  Facebook messages

Me: Nice meeting your boots as well as you yesterday. Stay in touch. I’m sure you have great stories about the places the boots been.

Her: Ha! So many stories.

Me: Maybe you should do Boots Tuesday and tell me a new story about you and those boots i lusted after. (I’m good now, I have accepted they are yours :))


And just like that, she started sending me weekly stories. She never told me which ones were fiction. Her stories were great. Moving. Interesting. Insightful. All keeping with the theme of the boots. I found out later that she majored in creative writing. So yes, she had skills.

Eventually, I asked what I could give her in return. I was enjoying the experience of a weekly story so much. I didn’t want to take and not give. There is beauty in exchange.

I was going thru a Tab love crisis at this point. Feeling like I was fucking up with multiple people. I abruptly ended a relationship that I had been cultivating. You know Tab shit. She wanted me to write through this. Sometimes she gave me a prompt sometimes she didn’t. I would write about my journey of being a better person.

This went on for almost 2 months. In retrospect, this impromptu writing exchange/collective was pretty amazing. It gave us both an audience and reason to plan writing into our busy lives. She was always on a plane flying somewhere. I never knew what city she would be in.

Maybe it was one too many ignored questions that made me call her secretive. Maybe I am. I just don’t like questions. I like the control of the information. I will tell you everything if you just don’t ask.

She told me that sharing was invasive. She wasn’t willing to be vulnerable and share aspects of her when it wasn’t reciprocal. She heard my confession that I struggled to be open and honest. She pushed me to know why (more for myself than for her knowledge), She asked did it help with others are open and honest with me? She pushed me on my evasiveness.  I answered briefly. And then stopped answering. You know Tab shit.

In the last two months, I have spoken to her more. Thanks to the snapchat and a new phone that makes texting easier. She mentioned my disappearance early on in our “reunion.” I think I briefly addressed it. But we continued. No stories tho. And not many questions from her.

This morning I was reminiscing on Boots Tuesday. Sent her an email inquiring about restarting Boots Tuesday.

She replied “Dr. Chester, don’t you believe in assessment and reflection before repeating a course.”

Guess who didn’t respond.

She texted me about a favor I asked her to do for my class. I told her never mind. That we can try for another time. Maybe next semester. Some shit about me knowing she had a lot on her plate.

She responded: “Do you have a hard time asking people for things?”

I remembered how much I hated her questions and her ability to not only see me but ask me the questions I hate to answer. She doesn’t know me but she knows me. She is a reminder of how transparent I am even when I believe I am performing cryptic and complex.










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Lovers. Friends. A Story.

A story.

As I remember it.

Eight years later.

We had met before. She was “hanging” with a classmate of mine.

I had recently moved to Philly to start grad school.

She was tall. Very tall. 6 feet tall.

I was 20. Head-strong. Bold. And Christian. Very Christian. More than I even realized at the time.

On this particular night- her, the classmate and this really zealous girl I had met at lesbian club my first night out in Philly. How that experience scared the hell out of me is a story for another day.

But they were over my house. We went to get barbeque. Those were the days I was in love with pork. I wrote poems about this love.

This night stands out to me for several reasons. 1. The overzealous girl called God a she. I was Christian remember, very Christian. The type of Christian that thought calling God a girl was blasphemy. I don’t remember what she said, but I remember telling them (all three of them some type of queer-identified) that they were going to hell for being gay. I was righteous with my condemnation. Because I was Christian, very Christian. Of course, I had gay friends….I grew up and in the theatre and church. I also went gay clubs, but that was them and not me. And I mostly kicked it with gay men. Lesbians scared me. I thought they were all predators. I made sure to keep my distance from lesbian women.

I had never kissed a girl. Because that was gay. And a sin.

Times passed. I learned more about Philly. Dated some guy. He took me on my first $100+ date. I was 20 and easily impressed. He was sweet. I should gave him some. But not because he paid for dinner or because he offered to buy me a winter coat.

Anyway she stopped “hanging” out with my classmate. I say “hanging” in quotes because they were dating. Something she still refuses to admit.

I would see her around. I think she invited me to a sex toy party. And we were Facebook friends. Sometime over Christmas Break we started interacting via the FaceBook heavily and decided to hang out when I got back.

This a good point to mention I flirt. A lot. Most of the time I don’t even know I am flirting until the person is trying to pull me into the restroom for a quickie. (That has never happened, but you get the point.)

She liked men as well. So we would go out and scoop out dudes. I know…anyway she wasn’t really a threat because we would talk about boys. And she wasn’t one of those scary lesbians. I told you, I had issues with lesbians. Thought they were all predators. Over the course of the next couple of months we hung out. Heavy.

I remember one time we made plans for a sleepover and cuddle sessions. All this sounds very gay. I promise you the gayness escaped me at the time. Cause I was straight. But everyone loves to cuddle.

For Spring Break that year I went to Jamaica. I came back with a hickey. Some drunken night with some guy who worked at Dunns River Fall…who still calls me. But that is another story.

She was so mad about the hickey. I did not understand why. Cause me and her was friends and I was straight.

One day when I left her place. She asked me why I never kissed her.

I thought that was the most ridiculous question ever.

“Because I don’t kiss girls!”

She knew this, remember I been told her all the gays were going to hell. I went to church every Sunday so clearly I wasn’t going to hell.

But all the next day I would wonder…”Hmmm…why don’t I ever kiss her. Her lips are pretty nice.”

I figure I can like a girl and not be gay. Looking back I don’t understand how the fact that we were basically dating the whole spring escaped me.

The next time I saw her. I fixed the not kissing her thing.

What came after is none of your noisy ass business. We begin dating consciously.

We begin dating…consciously.

But you remember I was Christian. Very Christian.

So this did not work well for my consciousness. I was a wreck. I would have to take shots to be intimate with her. I was on the “Jesus don’t love me” ride. Blasting Tonex’s “Lord Make Me Over” and crying. Would not hold her hand in public. Would jump when she touched me. All that self-hate shit.  Plus I did not know anything about dating a girl. Did not understand why she expected me to open the door for her cause she was a girl….I was a girl too. Very confused about so much.

We had good times but this did not bode well for starting a relationship. To add to this one of my closest friends was dying from cancer. I was an emotional wreck.

I was getting better though…I might have been down to one shot before. And I only jumped sometimes when she touched me.

I understand now why she eventually ended things. It was a lot. I had my own experience being some extra-Christian woman’s first. I understood even more after that.

(I am almost to the point.)

I spent weeks trying to win her back. Maybe I wasn’t in love, maybe it was deep infatuation. I would write her poetry weekly. They are still saved in my email…some are better than others. But Lorde, I was serious.

She was the closest to love my young heart had experienced. The months that follow was rough. I could not see a place for her in my life as anything other than my lover. Part of this was me not be comfortable with my sexuality. If she was the only girl I ever dated, I could convince myself it was just her and that in general I wasn’t into women. So somehow not as big of a sinner. This is my 21-year old logic.

She taught and showed me how to form a friendship with someone you were so intimately connected with. Eight years later, I can text her at 1am about how ____has moved on and doesn’t want me no more. (This happened last week, I been in my lightskinned feelings). I can go on trips with her. I can hear about her relationships and not feel jealous. Legit be her friend. This took time I got the (email receipts to prove it). This also meant time away from each other. Open communication.

She is finally (kinda) over the fact that she had the Tab who didn’t hold hands in public with girls in public and not the Tab who makes out with women in Baby Gap. (This has not happen but I would be open to it).

I read a facebook post the other day from a friend from college.

“For those of you who have break-ups, just know that love is not limited to a particular person or situation. If you have patience, love will find you again (and again if necessary lol).

For those of you who have a hard time celebrating the successes and happiness of those who you have dated and loved…maybe you did not love them in the first place…maybe you just loved what they were to you.

For those of you who are battling to make a relationship work, because you have invested time, you love the person, and it seems like the both of you are good people outside of the pressures and confines of a relationship… it is possible, though unconventional, to resort back to a friendship, and it may be healthier for you both.

It takes a different way of thinking, a greater understanding of life and love, and an appreciation for the person beyond the relationship once shared…but in the end, “friends can become lovers, and lovers can become friends”.

When I am feeling like I can only be in someone life as their lover. I am reminded of her. I am reminded of her teaching me how to be friends with a former lover. I might have to take time to mourn the person as a lover and have patience imagining what new space we will occupy in each other lives.  The love does not have to go away, like energy it can just be transferred or transform until a new shape. Another type of love.  Transitions. Love has the ability and power to help transform us. When I say I love you I mean that forever. Anyone I have ever loved is still in my life.

I am not very Christian anymore. I am still not gay though.

I wrote this for me. I might currently be in the phase of ceasing communication to stop myself from writing a poem a week to proclaim my love to someone and remind their new boo ain’t got nothing on Tab.  I wrote this to remember what it was like making a lover a friend. You know…a friend that I don’t have sex with. I wrote this because I needed to affirm that things will be ok. I’m be ok.

Oh and just because you waded through this long ass story. Here is an excerpt of a poem I sent during my poem a week to reclaim the love phase. Hey, before you judge let me remind you I was 21.

If you had never ask why I didn’t kiss you
I would have never kissed you
If I had never kissed you
I wouldn’t have wanted to taste you
If I would have never tasted you
I wouldn’t have desired all of you
If I didn’t desire all of you
I would have never ask you to be my girl
If I never asked you to be my girl
It could have never been over
If it had never been over
I would have never try to forget you
If I never tried to forget you
I would have never known how much I valued you
If I never knew how much I valued you
Then I would never had the inspiration to write a poem a week for you
If I never wrote a poem a week for you
Would you have ever known how much I cared for you?

~Just Tab


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Ima Read!

Who is pretty much my heart and one of my favorite human in the world?


He was formerly associated with House of LaDosha…but now he is focusing on his on project Zebra Katz.  Here is their newest video- “Ima Read”. There is a bit of adult language but nothing you haven’t already heard.

While I am here sharing videos here is a trailer for a documentary that really made me think about my self-imposed exile from people and also reflect on the degree in which we matter to each other.

So think about it…would anyone miss you? Or even noticed you are gone?

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Posted by on January 21, 2012 in my friends


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What I know for sure (at 25)…

Whenever I think about turning 25 I hear the intro to the last season of the Oprah show where Paul Simon sings twenty five, twenty five in this slow melancholy way. Oprah was on for 25 years and Tupac died at 25, the number 25 is pretty significant in the lives of my heroes. So I decided to this Oprah style.  What I know for sure (at 25).

I am learning that there is no prize to be given for navigating life without anyone. For showing everybody that you don’t need them. There is no award given for never crying on someone else’s shoulder, for keeping in all the hurt. Because if there was…

But I also know there is no prize for having the most people in your life. You don’t get an award for putting up with people who add no value to your life. No one is going to congratulate you for keeping the same toxic person in your life since elementary school. 3,500 friends on Facebook mean absolutely nothing in the real world.

So I am trying to negotiate a space between self-imposed solitude and thinking everyone is my best friend.

My birthday yesterday, was quite different from my previous one in Haiti. I spent it in Arizona. I took myself to a movie (New Year’s Eve), had some Ethiopian take out, went rock climbing, went to another movie (50/50), ate french fries, downed a bottle of champagne and called it a day.

I have been called cocky on more than one occasion. I prefer the word confident. I am well aware of my strengths and I am very honest about my weaknesses. I try to be sincere in all that I do. I am good friend.

I am strong believer that people will treat you however you allow them to treat you. Many times the way other people treat you is a reflection of how you treat yourself.  When you set standards people will either rise to them or they won’t but you have to let you expectations be known. There is a huge difference between the work ethic of a child who knows their parents only accepts A- work out of them, versus the work ethic of a child who parent doesn’t set any goals for them. This is the same thing with any type of relationships; let people know your standards and expectations. What are your non-negotiables?

For me, the two things I must have in any close friendship, relationship or partnership are reliability and consistency. This does not mean I need you to talk to me every day, I just need your actions to be consistent. And when you say something I need to be able to believe it. This is what I NEED. And no matter how beautiful and smart you are. How amazingly cool and perfect you are…if you can’t give this to me I have no problems cutting you out of my life. And it doesn’t mean I don’t love you. There are several people that I have cut out of my life or no longer hold them in such a close space- that I love so dearly and would still do just about anything for them. But I love myself more and I can no longer allow them the same access to my life because they are not willing or able to give me what I need.

I spent my 24th year breaking down-physically, emotionally and spiritually (more on that later). My “inner-circle” has also been broken down. The states of my relationships have so drastically changed in a years’ time. I am looking forward to building up this coming year. Since I am quite vain I am starting with my body, I have my first Crossfit competition in January. It is all about that core strength aka my abs.

I think I have proven to everybody including myself that I am able to make it alone. I have traveled to foreign countries by myself. I have moved halfway across the country with no friends or family remotely close. I have spent both Christmas and my birthday alone. I go to movies alone. I eat alone. I live alone. Safe to say I can do just about anything by myself and not want or desire another person with me.

I know that for sure.

But what I don’t know is if I can survive with someone else. Could I travel with someone? Could I live with someone? Hell, can I be friends- real friends with someone (I am talking Oprah and Gayle style)? Will I ever allow myself to be able to depend on another human being? The thought of depending on someone else is more terrifying than being alone in the slums of Honduras at night.

I have a habit of saying “No one really matters anyway.” That comment is usually preceded by an expletive.  I had friend who always got mad whenever I said it, she said the comment hurt her. Truth is people matter to me a lot and rather than face the disappointed of no mattering to someone as much as they matter to me, I force myself to believe that no one really matters in my world. I am always ready and expecting people to leave.

So let’s see what 25 has in store. Let it be monumental or unsubstantial. Let it be audacious or low-key. Just let it be.

~Just Tab


Posted by on December 27, 2011 in Arizona, Holidays, Learning bout Tab!, my friends


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Eating alone

I live alone. Well when I am not in Florida with my parents. I like it. I have never been much of a roommate type person. People in my personal space tend to annoy me and of course I don’t like to wear clothes a lot. So living alone suits me fine and I feel like I am a pretty independent person. However, over the last year or so I have discovered something about myself- I hate eating solo. Hate it. I like cooking for others, hate putting forth the effort to cook if it’s only me. This is crazy coming from a girl who spent most major holidays eating in her room rather than eating with her family. I often skip meals or eat extra light since it’s only me. I find myself offering to pay for people food so I can have company. I tend to gain weight when I am home in Florida and lose weight when I am in AZ or someplace living/eating alone. My disdain for eating alone is precisely the reason I loved my time in Tactic so much. I never ate alone. Nabila’s parent’s house was a 4 min walk from her house. Her sister, Amanda lived within shouting distance. I would wake up in the morning- chill in Nabila’s house, read and listen to music. She would be at work and her daughter at school so I got my “personal” time. Then either walk to Nabila’s parents or sister house for breakfast. By lunchtime Anatye, Nabila’s daughter would be home from school and we would all eat lunch together. Some days I went to Coban and had lunch with Nabila while she was at work. I usually ate dinner at her parents’ house with the whole family. We would all walk back to our respective houses at the end of the night. I never had to eat a meal alone, which made me very happy. I spent the rest of my time on “excursions” with various members of her family, everyone wanted some “Tab time”. I went to a restaurant name Lo Ranch with her father, where the owner got camera happy with my camera and took about 40 photos of me “modeling”.

Then we hiked up to see the view at this man who house was in the hills above the restaurant.

I hiked to see the church on the hill with Nabila’s brother new wife Lili (7mths pregnant), Anayte (7)and David (3).  Anayte and David taught me how to pray to Jesus who was on a cross in the middle of the church with a really bad wig surrounded by flowers in a glass container. He had a little box for money behind him. They showed me how to give him the money and the Catholic way to make the cross after you pray.I suggest staying home and praying, a hour hike uphill is ridiculous. I am sure God understands.

I went shopping in Coban with Nabila, Amanda, Anayti and Amanda’s friend Nellie. I went walking around the stadium at 6:30 am with Nabila’s mother, Carmella and Amanda. They ran, I walked. It was a beautiful morning though. 

I also had a chance to visit the family I stayed with in Coban last year.

Oh and of course I spent too much time playing with David, Anayti and Christian, who thought I was the best playmate ever. I really enjoyed how close the family was. Since Nabila worked and Amanda did not, Amanda would clean up Nabila’s house and do her laundry for her. There was always some adult checking Anayti’s homework after school or picking her up from school. I couldn’t imagine cleaning my sister house for her, mostly because I don’t have a month to dedicate that process.

Everyone pretended to understand me and whatever language it was that I was speaking. I won’t disrespect the Spanish language and call what I was speaking Spanish. They really made me feel like I was part of their family. Just a bit taller and Black. Nabila’s mother told me I could come back anytime I wanted. I have my choice of houses to stay in. Hopefully, I can repay their hospitality when they come to the states.

Nabila walked me to the bus stop to head to Guatemala City. As we waited I felt something drop on my head, it had been raining a lot so I assume it was water and tried to brush it off. Nabila looked at me and asked what was in my hair. Turns out a bird took a crap on my head, which was now also on my hand. We clean my head and hand up the best we could with a combination of tissue, water and hand sanitizer, just in time to get picked up for the 4.5 hour bus ride. Once I arrived in Guatemala City I took a taxi to another bus station “Tica Bus” for my trip to El Salvador. We left at 1:30 ish and got to San Salvador at 7:30 pm. We spent about 2hrs doing immigration and getting our passport checked by Guatemalan and El Savadorian officials. Some people got their stuff searched; I guessed I did not look like a big enough threat to get harassed. I wrote letters as I waited. Remember, I still have the remnants of poop in my hair and I had been up since 5:30 am, I was tired and dirty when I arrived. It felt so good to see Carmen waving at me, ready with her car to pick me up.

Wait, who is Carmen? According to her profile she is a World Language teacher and a vegetarian. There were other things but that’s all that I remember. But most importantly according to her messages she was down to let me stay with her while I was in San Salvador. Couchsurfing is a website where travelers from all over the world can find people who open their homes to traveling strangers to crash for a couple of nights. When I first heard of this, I thought it was crazy and only for white people or people who wanted to get killed/robbed by strangers. It is actually pretty cool. A lot of the time you don’t sleep on people couches, it can be a floor or a private bedroom. I have my own room and bathroom at Carmen’s house. As well as access to her computer, kitchen or whatever else she has in her house. Oh did I mention this all for the free, it is supposed to offer some sort of cultural exchange. Last night she took me to dinner, I got some “authentic El Salvadoran” food- pupusa’s.Today, I went with her to work and will be exploring the city solo. Tonight I am going to a party with her and some of her friends. So far so good. I am not dead yet. And I am not eating alone.

~Just Tab

Randomly:  I have gotten quite used to “chicken buses” and being crammed in a mini-van with 50 people. I have also gotten quite used to people breastfeeding in front of me. I was totally ok with Yohana feeding her baby in front of me when I visited her in Coban. One night on the way back from Coban we were extra packed on this bus, a man’s crotch was 3.5 inches from my face. I could not even reach in my pocket to pay for the trip. To my right was a lady and her baby, the baby was fascinated with me- ok my earrings from the moment they sat down. The baby would grab my hand and try to reach for my earrings. The baby was probably about 5-7mths but I am not a good guesser when it comes to baby ages and it was a really big baby. The mother proceeded to take out a breast (of course the one closest to me) to feed the baby …I promise you I could literally smell the milk coming from this woman’s breast and the whole time her child yanked on my hand. Considering I never plan to have a creature come out of me, this is the closest I will ever be to breastfeeding a child. 


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Look back. Look forward. Spring & Summer ’11

Last Saturday I submitted my last paper of the first year of my doctoral program. The previous Thursday I was informed that I passed my qualifying exams and I was being “invited” back for a second year- Suffice to say I am a 2nd year PhD student. As lovely as that is to type, it does little for my dating life.

Let’s get into the recap of my life since January.

I have always hated bras. They are uncomfortable and restricting. I have gotten resized, change brands and they are still the most uncomfortable things ever. I constantly take them off the moment I can, sometime in class, at friends’ houses or my car. This leads to me finding them at very random places. Since I could never keep them on for long, I decided to stop wearing them this year. It has worked out pretty well. Of course, I wear bras to church, special occasions and to work out. Other than that I stay bra-free. I have to say it’s pretty liberating and since I have issues with buttoning up my shirt all the way I have been told it’s pretty hot as well. Most times people can’t tell unless I want them to, I have discovered button downs makes it pretty unnoticeable. At first it felt pretty awkward teaching a class or something minus a bra, now it has become pretty much the norm. However, it has yet to become the norm for my mother “Tab, you are still not wearing a bra?!?!?” I have also become increasingly aware of cold temperatures in rooms for obvious reasons. I am starting a movement, spend more braless. Get free. Of course, this might be easier for me because of again obvious reasons.

As of March I have been a vegan- no animal products at all. Why? It’s a combination of a couple things- The influence of my vegan friend Nitty, Oprah doing a show on vegans, needing something to give up for Lent and a personal challenge. So instead of doing it for 40-days, I decided to do it for 3 months. It’s been good, not as bad as my pork loving self would have thought. I have discovered the joys of Ethiopian food, reading food labels, and quinoa among other things. I am actually kind of sad to have it end in a couple of weeks. I have decided to be vegan during the school year because I think it makes me more energized.  Plus, I like feeling superior to carnivores…”Oh, I am vegan.” My parents wants to get down with the vegan train…I am turning everybody out. Come on, Atira. Do it!

Also since March I have started kickboxing class. Before this it’s been a couple years since I have worked out, mostly because it’s boring. Kickboxing has been the most intense and fun workout I have ever had. I normally stop working out when I feel sweat forming; now I leave kickboxing now drenched.  It also doesn’t hurt that my instructor Jordan is one of the sexiest white man I have ever seen.

Oh yeah, school. It’s challenging to say the least, but no complaints. I signed up for it. I really could not have made it through the semester without the musical styling of Nicki Minaj, Sugarland, Lupe Fiasco, Kirk Franklin and B. Slade. My long distant PhD buddies Don and Al. My AZ PhD buddy Asantewa and our Sunday study dates aka Black power summit sessions. Gchats with Tasha and Kali. Trinty UCC Sunday service webcast. My parents and my lil brother Jeremiah. Of, course Jesus the Christ. Randomly, Asantewa and I started going around campus, finding Black people and having them throw up the Black power sign. I also participated in the ASU undies run, which basically involved me running around campus in my underwear for charity.God loves a cheerful giver I hear.

I was blessed to see Bill T. Jones, Maya Angelou and Angela Davis speak this semester.

But that is old news, the Spring semester is over. We are on to the SUMMER, the most amazing time of the year.

  1. Read. A lot. I have some book reviews to write. 50 plays to read in preparation for my comprehensive exams. Theory to learn. Hopefully squeezing in pleasure reading.
  2. Writing. I have some conference papers to finish/write. But I have also started a letter writing campaign. Basically I am sending letters/ postcards to my friends, family and strangers- whoever gives me their address. The majority of the mail we receive are either bills or advertisement- trying to change that. If you want a letter send your address to my e-mail. I am bringing back snail mail, saving the Post Service…all in a day’s task.
  3. Travel. In June I will be leaving Florida to travel to Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua for about a month. Coming back to Florida for a bit then heading back to Arizona. Doing some road trips to California. Also, flying to Chicago before school starts again. Which you will all be hearing about extensively…
  4. Love. Mostly life and family. Flirting with strangers and friends. Breaking hearts and all that jazz. Shout out to single mothers who love Tab.

And there you have it. A Spring recap and a Summer preview.

~Just Tab.


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