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Poem: Untitled

She had fears

of what others would say

about her newly, expanded hips,

and kangaroo pouch

for a baby she had 9 years

after 25, her body changed

as did her brain, Mom,

her new name became

the most rewarding, yet

stressful job to date

but not as stressful as

what she thought they’d say

to letting her stomach hang

out from underneath

the halter top she’d been dying

to wear but was too scared

of the backlash about black women

needing to feel ashamed

of show and telling everyone

they survived labor and

delivery was enough to birth

a new identity: a woman unafraid

of anyone’s “by all means”

telling her to cover up

a victory with no recollection

of anybody else pushing

out.the.frustration

of interns, nurses, and PhDs

gathering in the room, watching

as if it was reality TV

when she was simply

having a non-medicating,

non-sugical,

natural birth.

She had fears that disappeared

the moment she looked in

the mirror revealing her

reflection.

Took out her phone,

pointed in the direction

of her outie,

got in position,

counted down from three,

two,

one,

PUSH.

Click.

Then uploaded

onto the internet

unafraid

to represent

a new image.

Be Creative

By Tequila Cheatham

 

I knew the reason ‘why’ I wanted to homeschool my child: I wanted to be in control of what was being instilled in his mind the for the most important stages in his life. I did not want him to have the social pressure at such a young age; and, we with the negative media images in the news about the neglect in daycares, I did not to risk endangering my child.

When first deciding how to teach my son, it was important to structure it similar to what children were studying in school, as well as make it more hands-on to encourage a combination of education and entertainment. We did reading, writing, arithmetic, as well as chemistry experiments, science, human anatomy & health, financial empowerment, physical activity, Spanish language, meditation, Black history, culinary arts, and even went on field trips. Each day, there was a new agenda. We didn’t do everything in one day because I did not want him to feel bombarded and discouraged.

We wrote sight words all around the place so he could learn to start recognizing words. We used flashcards to count to 100. We even took trips to the library and museums to expand his imagination. What I’ve is the importance of being creative which motivates your child’s learning abilities. No one wants to do the same monotonous routines everyday. It is presumably one of reason many schools ail at grasping students attention long enough to pick-up a subject.

Learning should be fun, not looked upon as a chore. Encouraging the use of the imagination and applying knowledge is not something to be taken lightly. Afterall, these beginning stages will determine the rate and willingness your child will have once he transitions into public or private school, if that is plan. What homeschooling does is allow your child to be more open minded and free-flowing. The one-on-one interaction is not only effective, but it allows your child to bond with you as his creator and teacher.

Homeschooling allows the world to be your child’s classroom; so, let him explore and discover. You never know who you’re raising.

Image from homeschool-life.com

What I Learned In My Twenties

What I Learned In My Twenties

By Tequila Cheatham

 

Let’s face it: Life is not easy. We all have a story to tell, people that have influenced who we are, and situations that made us stronger. Now that I have made to 3-0, I am able to look back on my twenties as if they were a stepping stones to the woman I am today. I realized at age twenty-eight that my life shifting. I’ not sure if it had anything with age, but I do know it has much to do with time and my third eye.

Surprisingly, I did not spend my thirtieth birthday “turning up” like everyone else does in our culture. Instead, I spent time with my small family, dancing, eating, and reflecting. I’ve experienced and learned a lot. Here are some major lessons I’ve learned during the past ten years:

  1. I stand out. I grew up as a bashful girl. I would have never thought my personality and genuine spirit would attract others. Although I was recognized for many things, I’ve never received so much attention in my life until I moved to the nation’s capital. I used to be uncomfortable with the idea of being different, but I’m happy knowing I’m a rare breed.
  2. Insecurity is a result of not knowing who I really was, and being uncomfortable with the little bit I was aware about myself. For example, no one would have ever thought I was self-conscience about my slim build throughout most of my life; but as Maya Angelou once said: “When you know better, you do better.” Those insecurities remain in my twenties.
  3. I am constantly growing. Oneday, I noticed my taste changing. From food to friends to books to entertainment, I interests have ceased while new ones have surfaced.
  4. The world is small. Never know who knows who, so being cautious of how I present myself is imperative. Real recognize real.
  5. Be authentic at all times. I am guilty of stepping out of character for the sake of fitting in, or to please a boss at a job. Although it happened very seldom, the times I found myself being a people pleaser, I was unhappy and vowed never to do it again under any circumstance.
  6. Patience is a virtue. Convenience is something America consistently promotes; and, as a result we pay more whether financially, mentally, spiritually, or emotionally. I’ve rushed many times, and am very impulsive which has oftentimes caused problems in my life.
  7. I believe in myself even when I do not believe in myself. It sounds confusing, but the days wanted to quit college, not publish my book, anything where fear takes place, I believe that I will pull through, and I am experiencing a momentary emotion.
  8. I’m a sap. Being a fire sign, Aries to be exact, I’m very strong yet sensitive. I cry for the simplest things, and I’m okay with that now. I used to hold back tears or pretend I was fine; but, it’s okay to not be okay as long as it doesn’t last long.
  9. I am an awesome artist. Many people rag on Kanye West for his self-proclamations; but, if one doesn’t praise oneself, no one else will. I create my best work during bad times.
  10. Growing up with the basics allowed me to appreciate the littles in life. I am not wowed by materialistic things. Every now and then, I will treat myself, but it is not mandatory. Im happy watching the sunrise, to receive a message from someone saying I’m thought about, or to get a book as a gift. I was taught to maintain on my own by learning how to cook and take care of myself and my family.
  11. I’m a sapiosexual attracted to both men and women. Talent is sexy; ambition is sexy; intelligent conversations are sexy; and, energetic, kind spirits are SEXY! It took a lot to be okay with that, and the day I presented a poem about self-identity, I was liberated.
  12. Everyone does not want to learn what I learn, but that will not stop me from teaching. As I learn, so will others, no matter where I am.
  13. I’m not perfect. That was the hardest pill for me to swallow. Being the oldest child, I always felt the need to be in role model mode for my siblings. The day I realized I will not to be great at everything felt like the world was lifted off my shoulders. I put so much pressure on myself to be the best at everything. It is okay to be great and an expert at some things, not all.
  14. Don’t take everything personal. Sometimes, what others do unto you has nothing to do with you. There are coping and living the way they are accustomed, may have a habit, be mentally ill, or may not be aware of their influence on you. It is usually their problem. Do not think it is because you are not loved.
  15. At some point, get tired of being angry, and pointing the finger. Be responsible for your own happiness and stop holding on to the past.
  16. Networking is an important tool. It is not only what you know, but who you know as well.
  17. Being a mother does not mean you have to lose who you are. You can still be sexy, still accomplish our dreams, and still be you.
  18. I never knew what love really felt like until I had my son. He gives me unconditional love that I hope to inspire other with.
  19. Diet and lifestyle goes hand-in-hand.
  20. The purpose of meditating is not allow your thoughts to control you.
  21. I am a product of the South, and I embrace everything from Trick Daddy, decked out box Chevy Caprice the beach, tropical fruit, different cultures, and accents.
  22. Some people are rooting for me in the background, and I will not know until the moment they feel I need support. I appreciate that a lot.
  23. You never stop caring about loved ones; you just learn how to live without them.
  24. Never be afraid to question, especially those with important “titles.” Titles are overrated.
  25. Never be afraid of nonconformity.
  26. Twenty-eight is too young to say you’re getting old.
  27. Nothing is ever what it seems on the surface. Pierce the wall and you will discover much more under the surface.
  28. Poets have special powers. We have the ability to transcend the times in very few words.
  29. Laugh, love, and live.

I am grateful for such a journey. I would have never thought, I, a once bashful girl, will turn out to be the woman I am today. I am proud of my efforts, ambition, heart, humanitarianism, and level of intelligence thus far. For those who have come and gone in my life, I will forever pay homage.