Busiest. Day. Ever.

Family

So here’s a little story about the busiest day of my life (thus far). It all started at 4 a.m. Saturday, April 8.

I woke up in my cozy little apartment in Conway, AR, ready to start the long journey ahead of me. I was about to travel to Chicago for the day for my grandmothers 80th (surprise) birthday party. I had to be 100% ready for the party before I go on the road, so I sleepily found my outfit and attempted to put on makeup (which by the way did not work out).

I got on the road around 5 a.m. to meet my uncle and cousins in Memphis to catch the jet to Chicago. Yes, you read that correctly, on this wonderful day I got the privilege to check flying on a private jet off my bucket list (eep!). Anyways, my dad had told me I needed to be at the place by 9 a.m., I gave myself an extra hour just in case I got lost, or there was a wreck or something crazy.

Anyways.. the drive to Memphis was long and boring, I fueled up on Red Bull and Burger King (awful combo btw) and was on my way. Needless to say, I made it to Memphis around 7:30 a.m. (I have a tendency to arrive places entirely too early). This all ended up working in my favor because while I was putting my makeup on in the wee hours of the morning, I had forgotten to apply mascara. So I decided to find a Wal-Mart to pick up a cheap tube of mascara and of course, pass the time.

I went back to the airport and waited…and waited…and waited some more. When my uncle and cousins arrived we boarded the plane and were on our way. I love flying and for some reason, I thought flying on a jet would be different, but in reality, it wasn’t. I never had to turn my phone off but once we got up high enough it stopped working so it was basically the same as any other flight, minus the massive amounts of people and better snacks.

We landed at a municipal airport in the middle of nowhere, not a soul was to be seen. Had I not known where we were flying into I would’ve never guessed we were right outside Chicago. My cousin Jordan called an Uber and off we were to the party. We made it just in time for the surprise. Those first moments of my grandma taking in the surprise and seeing all of her family and friends are memories I’ll cherish forever. I am so happy I was able to be there to celebrate with her.

The rest of the party went relatively smooth, I sat at a table with the rest of my cousins and we all just talked and caught up on each other’s lives. Time flew by and I was sad when my uncle told me it was time to leave. The long journey home was upon me.

We landed back in Memphis around 5 p.m. and I immediately hit the road back to Conway. I was so tired and it took everything in me not to fall asleep while I was driving. I did have a pretty cool realization though, I saw the sun fully rise and fully set in the same day. It was really pretty, and the sunset was relaxing after such a long and busy day.

I finally made it back to Conway around 7:45-8 p.m. and I literally ate dinner as fast as possible and passed out. I woke up around 12:30 a.m. and stayed up for an hour, but once I fell asleep again I was out like a light, and that concludes the busiest day of my life… thus far.

 

 

“I don’t think I should have to stand up”

Race

Today, on my 21st birthday I would like to celebrate the life and legacy of someone I can only aspire to become. This woman showed bravery and strength in a time when she could’ve been killed for defying a white man.

I am honored to share my birthday with this wonderful woman. Rosa Parks was a remarkable woman. Not only did she light the flame for the Montgomery bus boycott during the Civil Rights Movement, she was deeply involved in her local NAACP chapter and worked tirelessly to end segregation and the racial tension deeply rooted in the sourosa-parks-mug-shotth.

As a little girl I can remember learning about Parks in school, but my teachers never went much further past “Rosa parks refused to give her seat to a white man and that started a big bus boycott in Alabama.” As I got older I wanted to know more. I wanted to learn more about not only Rosa Parks but the Civil Rights Movement in general.

Throughout all of my schooling, the Civil Rights Movement is something that was almost always looked over. Teachers would touch on it vaguely during February because of Black History Month, but it was always the same thing, every year.

It wasn’t until I got to college and took an African American Studies class that I really learned about my history and what the Civile Rights Movement really entailed. Since then I have made it my goal to educate myself about that time period.

After Parks’ arrest, she was fired from her job and her husband was also let go. While she was a hero within the Black community, she was seen as a problem by whites. This is the same narrative that most black people face when they stand up (or sit down) for equal rights.

Rosa Parks was not violent or hostile to the men who told her to move on the bus. She simply said “I don’t think I should have to stand up,” which she had every right to say. What made that man so special? Did he have a disability? Was he holding a small child? Had he just finished running a marathon? No, I don’t think he was any of those things. He was a white man though, and that was the only thing that mattered. The color of his skin automatically made him superior to anyone of darker complexion on that bus.

The actions of Parks reminds me of what a few individuals are doing right now. You may recall me talking about Colin Kaepernick in an earlier post and how him simply kneeling during the National Anthem has caused nationwide outrage.

You may be tRosaparks_bus.jpghinking to yourself, “Jasmine that’s not the same thing, what he’s doing is disrespectful.” Is it really that different, though? Parks decided to stay seated because she was tired, not only from work but she was tired of giving into the racism. Doesn’t that sound familiar? Kaepernick is not kneeling because he hates America, he kneels because he, like many black people, is tired of discrimination, systematic racism, and senseless police brutality that is still all too present in the country.

I realize this post has strayed away from my original intent, but the message is still the same. Rosa Parks was an incredible woman. She embodied strength and dignity and did not give up on what she believed in. I can only hope that I become half of the women she was.

I am honored that I share a birthday with someone who was so influential in the Civil Rights Movement. It is my goal to uphold her legacy and live my life as fearlessly as she did.

21 Lessons Learned

My Journey

My 21st birthday is finally here! This Saturday, Feb 4, I will officially be able to drink…legally. So I thought a great way to celebrate my day of birth with you all would be to share 21 lessons I have learned so far.

  1. Nothing in life comes easy
  2. Friends come and go, and that’s ok
  3. High school was nothing like High School Musical
  4. College is much harder than they make it seem on TV, but it is still loads of fun
  5. Classic Disney songs never get old
  6. Don’t stress the small stuff
  7. If you want to try something new, do it, YOLO
  8. Just keep swimming
  9. Hakuna Matata
  10. Do what makes you happy
  11. Mac and cheese is always the answer
  12. Don’t put goldfish in warm water… They’ll die
  13. It’s better to go with your gut… it’s usually always right
  14. Workout because you want to, not because society tells you to
  15. Your vibe attracts your tribe
  16. This world was made for right-handed people
  17. Don’t go chasing waterfalls
  18. 90’s music is truly the best
  19. Books are the best way to escape reality
  20. Sometimes life hands you major Ls and you have to deal with that
  21. There is no such thing as “too many shoes”

So that’s my list, some of them are funny, some of them are serious, but they have all helped me get to where I am today.