One year in NYC: on getting kicked in the back in Times Square and the beautiful conundrum that is this city.

There’s not a whole lot that can better describe my last year in New York City than the following particular 24-hour stretch.

On Sunday, October 9, 2016, I ended up at a private Alicia Keys concert in Times Square with a handful – a several thousand person handful – of my closest friends.

Alicia

Every screen was lit up Alicia – she had bought out the entire place to film a concert special for BET, promoting her new album.

To close out her set – which had included Q-Tip, Questlove, John Mayer and Nas, among others – on comes Jay-Z and they, in Times Square, every screen lit up with them switching out with classic, black and white photos of the New York City skyline, performed Empire State of Mind. Continue reading “One year in NYC: on getting kicked in the back in Times Square and the beautiful conundrum that is this city.”

Angry & Sad: Because yes, they can coexist.

On Saturday, April 8th, my friend Abeku Wilson, in his mid-30s, was fired from his job and in a fit of anger, stormed back into the gym in which he was previously employed as a personal trainer, shot and killed two people, then committed suicide. Two days later, on Monday, April 10th, an acquaintance from the same group of friends, Abeng Stuart, in his late 30s, died of a heart attack while he was driving.

The depth of grief felt by our friends, by the families of both men, and by the families of the people Abeku killed is one that I cannot begin to quantify. For us, the University of Miami community who lost two of our own back to back, the breadth of anger, confusion, shame, shock, sorrow, emptiness, and more is not one I think I will be able to describe. Sometimes there are things I just don’t know how to unpack so I’m not going to try. These were things that were things. They were dark and unfathomable until they happened.

In the days after, I put up a few posts about mental health and taking care of ourselves that I wanted to go ahead and re-share here, for the sake of them being somewhere in case someone needs them.  Continue reading “Angry & Sad: Because yes, they can coexist.”

Only love is real.

elephantsMy entire life and being could be summed up by this – I do absolutely nothing halfway.

If I’m going to get sick, I’m going to get SUPER sick. If I’m going to break my ankle, I’m going to break it the most it can possibly be broken. If I’m going to be an awkward idiot, I’m going to be the MOST awkward idiot.

But if I’m going to go for a goal, I’m going to sprint. If I decide I like something, I’m going to be the most enthusiastic supporter of it you’ve ever seen, be it Christmas or a world-changing organization. I go at my own pace – it is fast and intense and full of eagerness and gusto. And this way of being means that when I love, I love with my whole heart, my whole being, with every ounce of my intention centered on pouring belief and passion into that love.

And you, my friends, make it really damn easy to love that hard. I am so consistently lucky to have you all in my life. You make love easy. You make caring easy.

I’ve said it a million times before and I’ll say it a million times again – I don’t know how I deserve such amazing people in my life, but know that I’m appreciative and I love you with everything I have to the point that I’m consistently struck by and in awe of it.

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends. Love you deeply.

Published author, day 3

Lala Angela 2I’ve spent the last three days at my publisher’s home, nicknamed The Author Castle, outside of Washington, D.C. On Thursday, my book launched. Within the first 24 hours, my book ended up in the top 1,000 in the Amazon Kindle store and hit #1 in pain management in the US (#2 in Australia in the same category), #1 in disorders and diseases in Japan, #1 in chronic pain in Canada, and #1 in pain therapy in Germany. It also seems to be holding pretty strong in the high ranks for Social Sciences in both Japan and the UK. So yes, I am officially an International Best Selling Author. Continue reading “Published author, day 3”

My book is here!

My first book Beyond Powerful published this morning (go get it! It’s free right now, but not for long!). I wanted to share a few things with you on this big day!
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1) I didn’t curse in my book (publisher’s rules) but I do curse in real life. You’ve been warned.

2) I’m humbled that I got to write something so personal and that now I get to share it with you all. This book, at its core, is about having an innate need to do the things we want to do while living with chronic illness and figuring out exactly how, but I’ve gotten such amazing feedback from my advance reader crew that everyone found value in it, and that means so much to me. Continue reading “My book is here!”

This is me not writing my book.

You wouldn’t know how much I truly enjoy the craft of writing by how much I put it off. The next 7,000 words – chapters three and four – of my book manuscript are due on Tuesday. My intention was to start on them this past Tuesday. It is now Saturday morning. I have not started.

Instead, I have Continue reading “This is me not writing my book.”