Afropunk, American Ultra and Anxiety

Day 1- OMG, Afropunk!

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But before I get into that, I have to acknowledge the bomb pizza we had at Not Ray’s Pizza before we even got to the event. I can’t quite remember the slices we had but I don’t feel it matters. There were so many options and they all looked so delicious! The ones we picked were BEYOND! I told Mr. D we had to go back til we’ve tried all of them.

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So we made our way over to Commodore Barry Park after and had an easy time getting in because of how early we got there and because Mr. D was there on business so we went through the vendors’ entrance. As soon as I walked in and saw the marquee, I knew this place was set up to be home for so many.

This was my first day being out with black lipstick so I was feeling all types of fierce and had to take a zillion pics to document it. I was also rocking my “Black Girls Always Clap Back” tee so I knew I had to represent.

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Besides the awesome acts on the schedule, a couple of whom were new to me, we couldn’t forget that the reason we were there was to promote Mr. D’s book so we were posted up under the Greenlight Bookstore tent for a minute and I must say how grateful I was for the shade from that sun. Ch–!

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I hope you’ve picked up your own copy of Shadowshaper! 🙂 But if you haven’t, I gotchu! Here’s the linky link to Shadowshaper.net!

While under the tent I took my day’s quota of selfies (20-50 as is required by law) and I’m gonna share the ones with you that show the levels to my fierceness.

 

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While it’s slightly annoying that I put on that aqua eyeliner only to have it covered up, I’m a practical girl and I do believe that it’s just as important for me to be able to see as it is to be seen.

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I was anticipating my anxiety creeping up at Afropunk because it was basically an onslaught of strangers packed into a space that was new to me on multiple levels. But surprisingly, it didn’t. Maybe the abundance of melanin quelled that but I was so at peace there, it was amazing! It was special to me because I’ve felt like I’d be fighting off anxiety attacks at just the thought of being out and about in this new home of mine. To have this moment where I could close my eyes and not feel fear in any way, was magical to me.

 

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Day 2:

We were pretty exhausted from Day 1 because we had gotten there so early. And the fact that we didn’t bring an umbrella for shade after we left the booth, we were legit drained of energy by the sun. So we decided we’d leave out quite a bit later for the second day. “Quite a bit later” ended up being so late that we decided to opt out of going to day 2 and just go to dinner and a movie instead. Impromptu date night for the win!

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While trying to decide where we’d go, I started talking to Mr. D about anxiety I was feeling about not going to Afropunk Day 2. I was being consumed with all these thoughts of “what if?” because I dreaded the thought of how awful I would feel if I later regretted not going. I was already grappling with not taking pictures of the beautiful attendees on Day 1 (due in large part to the fact that “omg, how does one just walk up to strangers and ask to take their pics when it’s not like you’re getting paid for it?!”).

Somehow he managed to talk me down. I tell you, in the middle of anxious thoughts, it can sometimes feel like you’ve lost your ability to receive communication from anyone or anything in the outside world- your brain is doing its best to shout over everything, including you, to tell you that nothing is going right and that it’s impossible to fix so you may as well give up. Terrible feeling. But thankfully, he helped me ease it.

We didn’t have any set place in mind or movie really but we checked what was playing nearby and decided on American Ultra after watching the trailer.

 

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We walked along some streets looking at some restaurants trying to see what we “felt for”. Along the way, I remembered that I had been wanting to try Korean barbecue for a minute so we opted for the only restaurant we saw that offered it- Ssäm Korean Restaurant.

Now, I know I should have taken more pics of the food but I only took videos so until the Afropunk, American Ultra and Anxiety vlog comes out, you’ll just have to deal with these pics of side dishes that came with the Chef’s special pork bbq. We had some kimchi, potatoes, beans, radish cooked to perfection. They were all so scrumptious, even the tofu!

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That night they had a drink special that was essentially syrup on something that was trying to be Vodka. The highlight was the lychee in it. YUM!

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We were past full by the time we were to head to the movies.

I got the idea for the title of this post before arriving at the movie theatre but it was all so serendipitous that this film began with one of the leads suffering from panic attacks while the other helps soothe them. Uncanny! I don’t wish to give any more spoilers but I mentioned that to say that while it’s important to shine a light on anxiety and those of us who suffer from it, it is also necessary to give a shoutout to those who hold our hands and remind us that we CAN breathe when our brain is telling us we can’t.

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The one thing that irked me about this film was John Leguizamo’s character saying “nigga” multiple times. It was unnecessary and made me quite uncomfortable. Other than that, I’m a fan of Jesse Eisenberg as a spy and Kristen Stewart showed she’s more than her quivering Twilight character once again. I’d recommend the film.

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Until next post!

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