happy birthday to me


up late last night wrapping up this fulbright. man. i have put so much energy into this thing that i really hope i get it. but i think the lesson is learned anyway. it was a lengthy, and involved process of writing the grant proposal, personal statement, drafting the writing sample/script (i might share some of it on here since i had a devil of a time finding good samples online when i looked), not to mention getting the recommendations, affiliations, and transcripts. in the end, it amounts to a synopsis of my personal and creative development thus far. and with the word dredging i've been doing, it sort of feels like i'm excavating my life.

that's me, above, at my first birthday. today is my 29th, and i'm a lot taller and less weepy now, planning a grownup dinner party with friends and then going out dancing. i feel good. better than good. it occured to me yesterday that, if i had a million dollars, i'd be doing exactly what i'm doing now. so i must be blessed. and lately i've noticed that i don't care as much what other people think about me. showed up to my friend's traditional ibo wedding in queens last weekend in a dress slightly too short and low-cut, but didn't feel too self conscious about it. looking forward to more of the same--confidence, that is, not cleavage--in the coming year.

two days ago was my mom's birthday, and about a week before that the anniversary of her death. october's always been a tough month, but it didn't feel so heavy this year. i think the fulbright application was an engine keeping me going. it's now less than a week to my naija trip, when i'm supposed to work on some kind of memoir essay collection about my mom and me. to visit and revisit places that were important to her, to me. i'm not sure i'm ready to do that--in fact, it took a great deal of prodding to sit myself down to read the beginnings of the essays i already started--but i'm surrendering to the divine force at work. it will carry me there and back safely, perhaps will carry the muse also.

travel mercies.

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  1. Belated Happy Birthday, AL!!! You're so young :-) It does appear you were pushing the grown-up (your mom?) away from the cake. Were you crying because you thought she was stealing some of your shine? lol... Think of it; everyone's behind you in the picture except her. She should be behind you too, shouldn't she? I ain't mad at you for crying then... LOL... I wish you many more happy, healthy, and fruitful years.

    On a different note, congrats on completing the Fulbright app. It shows a lot of strength, focus, and determination on your part. I'm sure you'll do great on the memoir project, although I can't say it won't come with any emotional drain. Here's to wishing you great success in that endeavor.


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