Happy Birthday Daddy

Cool Daddy

 

James J. Conley April 30, 1930 – December 17, 2008

James J. Conley, who would have turned 83-years-old today; the man who taught me what it means to sacrifice integrity, pride, work, and life for love. The only man who has ever loved me unconditionally, as in loving wholly without perimeters or boundaries determined by external circumstance or ego. My best friend. The one who was always there to watch me run against the boys, reminding me, “you’re better than them. Don’t you ever forget that”. The one who came to watch me play basketball as an adult, even as he was confined to a wheelchair, still yelling from the sidelines, “you still got it, kiddo!”. The one who loved my beautiful mother during the 80s when white men weren’t supposed to love Black women, all the way up until his last breath. My father. My hero. My joy. My pain. The only man for which I would ever give my life. Happy birthday, daddy. I love you.

 

 

I Need a Break

I’m stressed. Despite access to free concerts, happy hours, and drum circles in New York City, I haven’t been able to find peace this summer. Even as I type this post, I can barely turn my head because my shoulders are holding my neck hostage.

Needless to say, I’ve been quite the worker bee this summer. So far I have instructed two courses at Columbia’s main campus and Teachers College, respectively (four courses if you count TA’ing). I’ve also been working tirelessly this month to create a dope curriculum for young African-American men. Don’t get me wrong, I’m doing what I love. I’m grateful. However, I can feel my body wearing down. I thought taking a trip Upstate with my students and playing Sunday ball with fellow academics would help, but the truth is I need to get far far way from this claustrophobic city. I have less than a month to figure how I am going to get out of the city so I can breathe before I take on a full course load, two part-time instructor positions, and devote time to relaunching my company Media Make Change.

In addition to being stressed out and tired *all the time*, and perhaps on the brink of a breakdown due to exhaustion (don’t worry, I’m good), I am a working class student. That means I don’t have “make it rain” money, otherwise known as “disposable income” for the bougie and sadiddy folk.

I like to stay busy, but I prefer to stay sane.

Wanna help a sista out?

Ideally, I’d love to go to the Bahamas (~$1500 all-inclusive) but reeealistically I’m cool with renting a car or hopping on a train to escape to the closest body of oceanic water.

So, if you’re at all interested in doing good for your fellow neighbor, please donate to the “Help Tara Get The Hell Out of New York City Fund” also known as my impromptu-vacation-before-classes-start fund, also known as my moment-of-peace-before-all-hell-breaks-loose fund, also known as my can-I-get-a-witness-to-support-my-mental-and-emotional-fitness? fund, also known as . . .

*exhale* <—- #this.

Unfortunately, you can’t claim this sort of donation as charity on your tax bill…BUT know that every time you donate Michael Jackson will moonwalk and shout “hee-hee” from Motown heaven. Aaaaaand, know that where ever your donations take me I will bring you back a souvenir, with love of course.

I’m well aware that stress is relative and people are dying of hunger and folks around the world are at war, this post does not function to negate other people’s trials, tribualations, pain, and sorrows. If you do not feel comfortable donating to my little cause, I understand. In fact, here are some great *organizations that you can donate to instead:

New Orleans Video Access Center (NOVAC)

Houston Area Women’s Center

Urban Word NYC

Brave New Foundation

Girls Write Now

American Red Cross

Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools

*these are some of the organizations I’ve worked with in the past, currently, would like to work with in the future, or I just think the org is pretty awesome.

However, if you do have some “make it rain” money on the side and would like to help me get the hell out of dodge, your generosity is warmly and lovingly appreciated.

Now allow me to entertain you before you head on over to my PayPal account. *smiles*