Breaking news on your favorite words and phrases

A large reflective statue of the word EPIC.
A large reflective statue of the word EPIC.
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash.

This is Dick C. O’Neary reporting to you live from Lexi-Con — America’s largest linguistic convention. Wordsmiths, word enthusiasts, and terminologists from all over the country have gathered here to immerse themselves in all manner of vocabulary-focused activities and language competitions, to witness the latest advancements in neologism, and to hopefully get a glimpse of their favorite buzzwords.

Just a few moments ago I spoke to pop icons Hashtag, Trending, and Selfie. They were refreshingly humble. Hashtag and Trending told me that they are hoping to use their fame to shine a light on important issues, spark debate, and promote…


Memories, Miles, and Milestones in My ’96 Honda Civic

Woman hugs the steering wheel of her car.
Woman hugs the steering wheel of her car.
Saying goodbye.

Many miles make for many memories, and so it was with great sadness (and some regret) that I bid farewell to my faithful ’96 Honda Civic a few years ago. I had planned to drive it until it died — until the metal of it became dust and blew away on a breeze, dissipating like a cloud. Unfortunately, a careless truck driver denied me that opportunity. His negligence left my beloved car totaled.

It’s amazing how we can become emotionally attached to something that is itself incapable of emotions. And yet it is simply its steady presence in my life…


RELATIONSHIPS

It Grows Stronger with Time

An elderly couple walk along a city street. They are both looking down. The man has a cane.
An elderly couple walk along a city street. They are both looking down. The man has a cane.
Photo by bennett tobias on Unsplash.

We label a lot of things “love” that are really something else entirely. Lust is not love. Sex is not love. Sex can be an expression of love, but it can also be very far removed from it — its antithesis. Sex can be transactional, selfish, an abuse of power, or violent. Love is none of those things. Love is love, but when we say “love” let’s make sure we’re talking about real love and not any of its counterfeits.

Not all loves are created equal. Love can be good. It can be a muse. The love of a mother…


STRUGGLES

Three Bad Habits I’m Trying to Break

A white neon sign against a dark brick wall spells out “bad habits.”
A white neon sign against a dark brick wall spells out “bad habits.”
Photo by Manan Chhabra on Unsplash.

There are parts of myself that I’d like to abandon — pieces of me I hope will wither up, detach, and die like that extra bit of umbilical cord on a newborn child. I want to diminish these parts of myself as much as possible — distance myself from them by as great a margin as I can muster.

Fear

I understand that some fear is healthy and normal. That’s the kind of fear I want — the fear that leaves once it’s done its protective duty — the type of fear that doesn’t stick around after it’s delivered its message…


Mourning While Others Are Celebrating

Statue of an angel sits on a tombstone in a cemetery — head bowed down, hands in lap.
Statue of an angel sits on a tombstone in a cemetery — head bowed down, hands in lap.
Photo by Veit Hammer on Unsplash.

Mother’s Day will always be a little dark for me. Even if I try to reside in the brightness of my fond memories, there is no way to escape reflecting on what I’ve lost. I have buried three matriarchs in my family — my mother and both of my grandmothers. No matter how sunny the day, no matter how filled with joy others are, a part of me must mourn.

I overflow with love for the mother who birthed and raised me. I am grateful for all the women who have poured into my life. I’m so thankful for the…


SELF LOVE

Don’t Let Illusions Erode Your Self Confidence

Silhouettes of four women with arms outstretched in front of the sun.
Silhouettes of four women with arms outstretched in front of the sun.
Let’s celebrate the breadth of humanity’s natural beauty. [Photo by Dennis Magati from Pexels.]

The other day I had a conversation with a man who felt women had no one but themselves to blame for their suffering. He didn’t mean anguish due to violence, famine, poverty, or disease. He meant optional suffering of the cosmetic variety, the fashionable kind — the type of suffering that is (as my mother would say) “the price of vanity.”

Why do women wear short skirts and then complain that they’re cold? Why do they bemoan their foot pain, but still choose stilettoes? And why does anyone else (men or society) get blamed for this? They’re grown-ups. They’re autonomous…


Go Ahead and Play the Race Card

Civil rights march on Washington, D.C. on August 28th, 1963. Women in foreground hold up signs reading: “we demand equal rights now, we march for integrated schools now, we demand an end to bias now, and we demand decent housing now.”
Civil rights march on Washington, D.C. on August 28th, 1963. Women in foreground hold up signs reading: “we demand equal rights now, we march for integrated schools now, we demand an end to bias now, and we demand decent housing now.”
Civil Rights March in 1963. (Photo by Unseen Histories on Unsplash.)

On a trip to Frankfurt last February, I witnessed a scene that sent a familiar sensation of proximal panic through my body. Two young woman of color were crossing a pedestrian bridge with two children who were on Razor scooters. An older white woman and then an older white man began to engage them in an increasingly hostile manner. As the children stood behind their respective adults, the white man and woman yelled at them in German.

I could not understand the words, but the tone and body language — the look of contempt in their eyes and the contempt…


THOUGHTS

Just Keep Your Prejudice Away from Me

The following words are printed in black on a yellow wall: “Racism is so American that when you protest it people think you are protesting America.”
The following words are printed in black on a yellow wall: “Racism is so American that when you protest it people think you are protesting America.”
Photo by Hrt+Soul Design on Unsplash.

Another Black man is dead at a police officer’s hands, and what can I say that hasn’t already been said — more eloquently, thoughtfully, and with links to data? I don’t want to be another voice clamoring yet saying nothing. I don’t want to be another mad Black woman if my anger is shallow, just for show, or uniformed. I don’t want to be too angry to think, listen, act, or see clearly. I already know (and have written that) racism is easy. I don’t want to repeat myself. It’s exhausting.

I could very easily become a pessimist. It’s not…

Aabye-Gayle F.

Editor & Writer https://afavilla.wordpress.com/ | Dog person with cats.

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