Take the cold bath bravely

A dear friend of mine brought this letter to my attention today. It’s a letter written by W.E.B. Dubois to his daughter when she first left to college in 1914. This was before women were allowed to vote and the Civil Rights Movement – you can imagine social and political climate this young girl face at her school. He wrote to her some of the most poignant life advice I’ve read in a long time:


.”..Above all remember, dear, that you have a great opportunity. You are in one of the world’s best schools, in one of the world’s greatest modern empires. Millions of boys and girls all over this world would give almost anything they possess to be where you are. You are there by no desert or merit of yours, but only by lucky chance.

Deserve it, then. Study, do your work. Be honest, frank and fearless and get some grasp of the real values of life. You will meet, of course, curious little annoyances. People will wonder at your dear brown and the sweet crinkley hair. But that simply is of no importance and will soon be forgotten. Remember that most folk laugh at anything unusual, whether it is beautiful, fine or not. You, however, must not laugh at yourself. You must know that brown is as pretty as white or prettier and crinkley hair as straight even though it is harder to comb. The main thing is the YOU beneath the clothes and skin — the ability to do, the will to conquer, the determination to understand and know this great, wonderful, curious world. Don’t shrink from new experiences and custom. Take the cold bath bravely. Enter into the spirit of your big bed-room. Enjoy what is and not pine for what is not. Read some good, heavy, serious books just for discipline: Take yourself in hand and master yourself. Make yourself do unpleasant things, so as to gain the upper hand of your soul.”


Alive and Kicking

Alive and kicking. 

Things you hear when you tell people you have a blog you write in everyday:

“Are people actually reading it?”

“Do you want it to go viral?”

“Wow, you’re still writing in it everyday?”

“Are you really going home to write?”

“Ugh, isn’t it a lot of work?”

“What do you plan on doing with it?”

“Why are you writing?”

“You should write about blank, you’ll get a lot of likes”

Since I’m an optimist at heart, I feel when people say these things they have good intentions, but deep down they don’t expect you to follow through. Practice and commitment are tough and can be very unpleasant.

Here’s to following through with the unpleasant.

Dreaming costs nothing. Doing costs everything.

Yep. Alive and kicking.

‘Twas the Night Before Valentines

‘Twas the night before St. Valentines, in her apartment house

Not a single lady was stirring, not even a mouse.

Yoga pants hung by her door with care.

In hopes that when awoke, Tom Hardy would be there.


Around NYC, the single ladies were nestled snug in their beds

With visions of Ryan Gosling and sexy crawling from Magic Mike danced in their heads.

She was chilling in her “snuggie” and dancing with her Selena cap

When suddenly she decided, “This depressing, I should go to bed ASAP”


When out of nowhere arose a text message with such clatter

She sprang from her bed to see what was the matter

Away from to her bed, she flew like a flash.

Punched in her passcode, hit her knee in such a dash.


When, what to her wondering eyes should appear,

But a text  message from an old flame, oh dear!

She was a little wiser, more lively and quick

She knew in a moment it would be followed by a “d*ck pic”

More rapid then eagles his messages came

And she shouted, “God help me, I’m so over this dating game!”

Langston Hughes “Mother to Son”

Langston Hughes – Father of jazz poetry, social activist. Being a black man in 1920s America had it’s own challenges and instead of becoming bitter, he created some of the most meaningful poetry we have today. If you’re not familiar with his work, I encourage you to look it up. Fun fact: Lorraine Hansberry’s Raisin in the Sun was named after the last line of his most famous poem, “Dream Deferred.” Some of the closest people in my life are mothers, and since I’ve become an Aunt (a Titi!), this poem resonates more deeply than ever before:

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor —
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now —
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.