“Special girl, real good girl…” – Vivrant Thing, Q-Tip
I hate talking about myself. It makes me feel like I’m sitting in Conference Room A on the 22nd floor of a pretentious midtown law firm with a polished walnut oak table separating me from the pretentious bitch that just finished asking me to explain why I think I’m qualified for a job (that I really don’t want, but need because the bills at home are stacking up) as the overhead fluorescent light buzzes audibly in the background to silence the awkward pause. Whew, that was a mouthful. Nonetheless, here I go… talking about ME.
I was born in one of THE most influential decades of the 20th century (don’t dispute me on this, I said what I said) – the 80’s, in the borough of QUEENS (specifically Forest Hills, NY). The hospital was decorated with garland, wreaths, and other and festive holiday shit when I made my debut into the world on the 20th of December (#TeamSag) in the day of our Lord (lemme stop, I do NOT speak this way, LOL). My petite, creative, sassy, artistic mom and tall, intelligent, charismatic, funny Papas Fritas (that’s what I call my dad) left Long Island Jewish Hospital with a brand new peanut butter complexioned baby girl clad in a carnation pink sham and headed to our then home in St. Albans, Queens . Waiting for me was one of my big brothers, (I have two older brothers; the eldest is from my dad’s first marriage (he lived elsewhere for the majority of my childhood). The second, is biological to both my parents and resided in the home with me). A few years later my parents conceived my sister (and found some sick satisfaction in telling her and I about the night this happened – YUCK) was born and my family of five relocated to the home that would provide me with years of memories and nostalgia, my childhood home – in Cambria Heights, Queens.
Fast forward, my parents split, sold the crib, and we pretty much went our own separate ways. Dad went one way (remaining in Queens), my brothers went another (to Georgia), and the “three little women” (mom, sis, and I) settled into an apartment in Queens. The transition wasn’t exactly easy,but we made due. At one point my sis, mom, and I shared a room and pressed on with our lives; going to school and work to make ends meet. By this time I was in my late teens and completing my requirements to complete my Associates in Health Science degree at Queensborough Community College in Bayside, Queens. I ultimately went onto complete my Bachelor’s of Science degree from CUNY York College (in my late twenties) in Jamaica, Queens. Where I wound up next is not where I expected…
I did everything that “they” said you’re supposed to do to ensure a life of success and happiness. I attended and paid my way through college (so that I wouldn’t incur debt – mission accomplished) and joined Corporate America <<< Corporate AmeriKKKa (the spelling depends on your skin color) “falling” into Human Resources (HR) (*yawns deeply*), where I’ve been for more than a decade. After a breaking up with the man (who shall remain nameless) that I lived with and wholeheartedly believed I was going to marry, I moved to the place that made my heart smile at the mere mention of it – Brooklyn.
My move here was predicated on: (1) growing tired of the long work commute from Queens to the city, (2) falling in love with the brownstones of Bed-Stuy several years ago and wanting to live in one (so I made it happen), (3) wanting to be around other creative beings (i.e. writers, actors, chefs, singers, rappers, photographers. artists, etc), and (4) being intoxicated by the energy and vibe of Brooklyn (before it was inundated with NYC transplants and hipster know-it-alls trying to turn my neighborhood into the UES/UWS. For Christ’s sake, my neighborhood is getting its first Starbucks AND Chipotle in a few months -Bed-Stuy is gone son!!!). It was important for me to maintain a sense of community (because I was accustomed to this in Queens), so I chose to move to Bed-Stuy (where community is everything) and started my love affair with the second largest borough in NYC. Don’t get it twisted though, Brooklyn is bae, but QUEENS will always have my heart because, that’s home.
So there I was, living in BK – on a tree-lined brownstone block, traveling domestically and internationally at my leisure, shopping whenever I wanted and gainfully employed in HR. By most people’s standards I had it all, but I didn’t feel that way. I thought my happiness was contingent upon where I worked so I decided to swing from monkey bar to monkey bar (aka industry to industry) with hopes of finding the perfect fit for me. I swung from public relations/advertising/marketing to education to financial services to the non-profit sector, and most recently, to tech. When I arrived in tech I was certain that I’d made it. All of the rainstorms in my life had prepared me for this rainbow and meadow of flowers. I was working at one of THE biggest tech company in the world (and I didn’t even apply for the job, I was recruited) and yet I STILL wasn’t happy. In fact, I was fucking miserable. Months into my time there I had a “come to Jesus” moment (an epiphany if you will) after one of MANY panic attacks. I looked at my life in one of the most introspective ways possible and time started to slow down. Shit started to click – I was enlightened. I looked at my surroundings and realized how drastically my perception had changed.
Most of the people that I interacted with at work were miserable. Sure they smiled and laughed, but A LOT of it was contrived. I saw stressed, mean spirited, zombie-like, people that were as red plastic as my Bank of America debit card. What was worse was the emptiness, dear GOD – their eyes were ridden with destitute orphan-like vacancy and it scared the FUCK outta me and made me wonder if I ever looked like that (I probably did at some point in my corporate career while “playing the game” with no concrete plans to leave). No matter how hard they tried to hide it EYE saw it (I’m an empath and am extremely sensitive to disingenuous behavior amongst other things).
I witnessed repeated incidents of “friends” throwing each other under the proverbial bus in an effort to make themselves appear smarter or more hard-working, failing marriages and/or relationships due to the result of working insanely long hours, people buying tons of shit to justify the long hours that they worked (I was guilty of this), and people simply living for the weekend – as if Friday was the only salvation of their lives. FUCK THAT. I didn’t want the highlight of my week to be a purchasing an article of clothing or a fucking Friday. I wanted more, but I wasn’t sure how to attain it.
I was then met with another problem – WTF WAS I GOING TO DO TO CHANGE MY LIFE??? Pray? Run? Cry? I didn’t do either. Instead, I did what has always bought me serenity and peace – I meditated…. and I meditated some more. I used guided meditation to literally save my life because I felt like it was spiraling out of control. In addition to meditating, I started to be more cognizant of what I ingested. I stopped consuming sugary drinks and started drinking water. I stopped snacking on foods with little to no nutritional value and started incorporating more fruits, nuts, and veggies into my diet. I stopped living a sedentary life and started working out four days a week. I became more mindful of what I listened to, what I watched, and who I shared energies with. I slowly started surrounding myself with nurturing, supportive, and positive people, started listening to up-building podcasts, reading more books, and listening to more and more inspirational YouTube videos. The pivotal moment was stumbling upon an old YouTube video (narrated by Alan Watts) that I’d seen several years prior. This time around I didn’t just hear it, I LISTENED. “What Makes You Itch” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCUFs2qJ1bs) was played on an almost daily basis and I realized that the answer to “WTF was I going to do to change my life” was already inside of me.
My creative ass needed to be doing something creative. I didn’t think about the money because having money clearly didn’t bring me the kind of happiness that I longed for. I wanted fulfillment more than anything so I paid attention to the signs and focused on what made sense, what felt right, what made me feel alive, and most importantly what felt natural – W R I T I N G.
I went from writing adventure based short stories as a little girl (I was a HUGE The Babysitter’s Club fan and attribute a large portion of my love for writing to this book series) to consistently winning weekly prizes in my middle school creative writing class, to writing erotic poetry in high school (for my friends to read and cackle over) to my HS senior English teacher (who wouldn’t pass me because I was late to her 1st period class 37 times in a semester) stressing that I go on to college and study English (because I was her star pupil). I didn’t listen, I ignored my God-given talent (writing and storytelling) because I didn’t think that it was good enough. I didn’t think that something that came so easy to me was the key to my success, so I stopped and focused on joining the workforce in attempt to chase money instead of my passion.
Months later I wound up writing as a means of escaping the mundane life I was living. In 2007, I started my very first (now defunct) blog, The Pennie Pages, a humorous collection of articles dedicated to my personal experiences at my first Corporate job, finding love, and other nuisances. My second blog (the one you’re reading now (Unicorn in Brooklyn) was started back in 2014 (before unicorns were “a thing” (read more on why I chose to title my blog “Unicorn in Brooklyn” here → https://www.instagram.com/p/BY498aHnKNE/?taken-by=unicorninbrooklyn ) and wrote on it consistently for about 2 years. Then I stopped. Cold turkey. I bought a one-way ticket to St. Thomas, USVI, wrote one last post in February of 2016 (entitled, One-Way) and never wrote again. Why? Because I didn’t feel inspired anymore. I moved out there and went into hiding because I wanted to start all over again. So much shit went on out there – I fell into a creative slump and never completed another blog post. Thankfully, I didn’t remain in said slump and eventually wound up documenting my experiences in Eden.
Fast forward to November of 2017, I’m re-energized and rejuvenated – fresh off a four months hiatus from Corporate AmeriKKKa. I’ve been reinventing myself while tapping into my creative side. I’ve been practicing photography, writing, and owning my newfound bad-assery. I’ve been in “labor” working with a website designer, various photographers, and creating content. This labor has birthed baby – the REVAMPED Unicorn in Brooklyn.
On the site I plan to discuss my dating debacles , brownstone living, self-care, work (I still work because I have bills to pay), Brooklyn centric restaurants, traveling, finding one’s purpose, taking chances, mental health, being vulnerable (after countless attacks on your heart), sex, my neighborhood, fuck boys (and their fuck shit), in short – LIFE!!!! All of this from the mind of a 30+ year old sarcastic (AF), dramatic, animated, SUPER sensitive, adventurous, ambiverted (one part introvert, one part extrovert), funny, Black woman residing in one of the most popular areas of New York.
Let’s see, more about me (now that I’ve gotten started I can’t stop talking about me, have you noticed?). I like: Beautiful sunsets, traveling, my father’s homemade carrot cake, my mother’s soft hands, my sister’s unapologetic sense of humor, Brooklyn, a good thrift/vintage store, photography, Thai food, a good massage, exotic cuisine, being courted the old-school traditional way, romance, dancing, laughing until it hurts, and creative beings. I dislike: Water cooler talk (because no one cares about your wack ass weekend or the weather outside), people that chew like barnyard animals with no home training (“Who raised you??” – s/o to TK Kirkland), jiggy nigga shit (all white parties (are parties more fun if everyone around you has on all white? *ponders deeply*), the term “love and light” (I cringe when I read and/or hear it), the smell of frankincense, and mean people.
So that’s me. You’ll get to know more of me as you read the musings of my mind. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from one hell of a Unicorn, Isadora Duncan “You were wild once, don’t let them tame you.” Do what keeps you wild, what makes you feel alive, and most importantly, what makes you happy!