The 10 Things I Learned in my 10 Minutes in Iceland

This week, I ventured across the pond to Ol’ Blighty….London, to be exact.  I went via WOW Airlines (which I think is pretty cool and inexpensive), which transfers planes at Keflavik Airport, in Rejkavik–the capital of Iceland.  My layover was scheduled to be 1 hour, 25 minutes.  I swear it was only 10 minutes, and even though it was shorter than I expected, I learned so much.  Here’s what I know:

THERE IS NO ICE.  Well, at least not today.  I’m sure most Americans grow up thinking Iceland is actually Antartica.  Alas, it is not.  Don’t be fooled by the name. There was a plenty of ice cold rain, however.

YOU CAN DE-BOARD THE PLANE FROM BOTH ENDS.  The flight attendant said, “Passengers may also exit from the rear of the plane.”  I was excited that I could by-pass all the slow people in the front.  Yay!

YOU WILL LIKELY DE-BOARD THE PLANE DIRECTLY ONTO THE TARMAC. Hence the 2nd fact. I mean, I did briefly think, “Wow, how do they have two jetways from the door?” Um…they don’t. Why didn’t anyone say you have to walk down a flight of stairs from the plane (in whatever elements…like 30 degree rain).

YOU RIDE A BUS TO THE TERMINAL…..a terminal that is approximately 30 seconds away.  And you ask yourself, “What just happened?”

THE TERMINAL IS SWANKY.  It’s like an airport on IKEA.  All neat and sleek.

THE BATHROOMS ARE SLICKER THAN YOUR AVERAGE.  I was forewarned about the European disgust about the fact that Americans can see into and underneath each stall.  So every one in this place is a personal restroom with a full door. Complete with a slick ass faucet/hand dryer all-in-one situation. So smart and efficient. Good job Europeans.  iceland bathroom 3Iceland bathroom 4

$1 = 127 KRONA.  If only I had time to go to the currency exchange to get some Iceland dough.

WHEN THE BOARD SAYS ‘GO TO GATE’, YOU SHOULD PROBABLY DO THAT.  Especially because of the next one.

YOU WILL RIDE THE LITTLE TRANSIT BUS BACK TO YOUR FLIGHT.  And you might not want to miss that. Despite the stoic, stone, non-friendly faces of your fellow passengers at 6 AM, you still want to take that 30 second bus ride to the next plane.

And lastly….

YOU WILL GET THE MOST ABSURD SURPRISE….Did i just walk off a plane, ride a bus to the terminal, race to my gate, get back on a bus….to go back to the EXACT SAME PLANE?  EXACT SAME SEAT?  Good morning, new flight attendants.

Ok, so maybe I was in Iceland for 45 minutes…..

See ya later, Iceland.

Advertisements

I’m Black, and I’d rather RIP Robin Williams

I am quite done with Black people complaining that too many Black people are RIP-ing Robin Williams, but not saying anything about Mike Brown. One doesn’t have anything to do with the other. I am sad the man took his life. He brought joy, laughter, and thought-provoking emotion to me…a ton of it. He shared his craft, his gift with the world—and unbeknownst to us, all while hiding his own pain. What it takes to live with depression, and give yourself to the world despite that, is extraordinary. Besides, I am sad when ANYONE ends their own life. Exercising compassion does not detract from my “Blackness”. It’s me being HUMAN.

 

Meanwhile, I am not sad about Mike Brown.

 

I am ANGRY. Really fucking angry.

 

I’m a talker by nature. I accept the ‘know-it-all’ tag that has been given to me all my life. Between my FB ‘randoms’ and occasional soap-boxes, I always have something to say.

 

But when I am angry, I stop talking.

 

I am so angry that it is emotionally easier for me to RIP Robin Williams on Facebook, than it is to even figure out what to say about Mike Brown. This ain’t the first, third, tenth, or last time we gonna have a Mike Brown story. I have done everything that has ever been done—protested, wore a hoodie, wore Black all day in solidarity (even though I was thousands of miles away), changed my profile pic to a solid color, signed petitions, donated funds, written congresspeople, registered us to vote, marched in the street, talked to drug dealers on corners, organized community meetings, facilitated community crisis efforts….you name it. I’ve ACTUALLY done it. And guess what? INJUSTICE STILL HAPPENS. And it will still happen because injustice is interwoven into the fabric of America. There is no escaping it or changing it. There is only ACCEPTING it.

When I’m angry, I stop talking. But don’t mistake my silence for apathy. I’m pondering critically, questioning, and brainstorming.   I’m being careful not to turn into a “I hate all white people” type because I was born in a country founded on deception, oppression, and just plain ol’ crookedness. I’m frustrated because we stir up dust, only for it to clear to the same scenario, and it never works. I’m over it not working. I’m over the limelight whores who capitalize on the grieving mother, or the Jesses and the Als, whose antiquated tactics no longer work for a social media society and a community of consumption like ours. I am scared to have a Black baby in America, and I don’t want to feel that, which conflicts with my personal desire to be a mother, and it feels horrible. It overwhelms me to feel that my nephew could be next and he is only 10. I am conflicted by the fact that my passionate pro-Blackness is jaded daily and creates a desire in me to fuck it all, leave it here and just move to another country. Photoshopping some angel wings on Mike Brown and blasting it around social media has never, nor will it ever, keep a police officer from taking his authority, salting it with bigotry, and sprinkling dead Black kids all over the country, so I will not ‘share’, ‘like’ or ‘tweet’ that.  And that does not bring “awareness”…we all already know.   This mixed bag of complex layers of several emotions has so far led to us attacking each other, further community disconnectedness, and in Ferguson, Missouri, riot gear and more death.

So because I’m angry, I stopped talking. I recognized my rage and I stepped back because emotions are irrational. Emotions will have you doing and saying and believing, and maybe even regretting. And we all express them whatever way we know how. “Hood” people are looting and tearing up shit in their own neighborhood. “Educated” people are protesting in the streets. “Broadway” people are doing conscious poetry in front of police stations. “Conscious” people are projecting their anger on anyone whose response isn’t pro-Black-enough. Non-black supporters are doing what they can without really understanding the depth of the pain, the internalized oppression, and the daily anxiety involved. Other people are ignoring it because indifference is easier. And everybody is recording it on their cell phones and posting it to YouTube.

 

We all in our feelings. And that is HUMAN.

 

So I will not apologize for being moved that a white man killed himself. He was not all white men. He certainly wasn’t the police officer that gunned down Mike Brown. I’m responsible for my emotions, and I refuse to project my rage anywhere but somewhere productive and strategic. And today, I don’t know yet where that is. I just know I’m angry.

And I’m not talking. Don’t judge me.

Got hope?

me in glasses

hope  /hōp/  n.   1.  a feeling of expectation & desire for a certain thing to happen  2.   grounds for believing that something good may happen.  v.  1. to want something to happen or be the case  2.  to intend, if possible, to do something

Optimistic. Aspire. Wish. Goals. Plan. Intention. Faith.

When I became a grown up, I started GIVING.  At my core, I’m sure that every person has everything in them  they need to be all they want to be. And I decided it was my responsibility to help people see that in themselves.  I was always baffled about how people could look at another human being in need and not care enough to do anything about it.  Bleeding effin’ heart. I dedicated my professional life to that for very personal reasons.   I have since worked in some seriously difficult and sometimes dangerous situations because I can’t fathom NOT helping.   I love that about myself and really wouldn’t have it any other way.

But there is a whole lot of merit in BALANCE.  I’ve spent a big ol’ chunk of my adulthood focused on building people up, meanwhile ignoring some key elements of all the awesomeness that is me.  [See the ‘This Woman Right Here‘ section for explanation of said awesomeness.]  I still live and work to see people do better (and still enjoy it), but I am balancing out all my do-gooder-ness.  My kitchen cabinet  overflows with quoteable coffee mugs that are unapologetically glass-half-full, but fifteen years in the game, my strategy and motivation is undergoing a major makeover.  Living martydom is so passe’.

That brings us here, to The Chronicles of a Hope Fiend, a place where I plan to navigate this as weirdly and uncomfortably as I need to.   Pardon me if I get a little Nikki Giovanni or Assata Shakur on you.  It happens.  I won’t pretend to be Maya Angelou or promise to get all Deepak Chopra on you.   Real talk, this blog isn’t even for you.   It’s a selfish expression of all the crazy that goes on in my head.  And we ALL have our own type of crazy (a blog for another day). Should you actually arrive at some place of self-actualization because of something I said, that would be some cool shit that I’d be pretty happy about.

Please don’t confuse this here with ‘Confessions of a Hope Fiend‘ (the book) or ‘DopelessHopeFiend.com‘ (a website for recovering addicts).  Do expect to see what evolution looks like when you have  given yourself permission to not get it right all of the time.  I broke up with religion for spirituality, so since the Universe is perfect, me and all my personalities, must be too.

So welcome to the Chronicles.  Read, laugh, comment, whatever. Do YOU up in this piece.  Random FYI–I drop F-bombs daily and it don’t detract from my shine.

Until there’s more dopealiciousness to share…

web signature small