My Wonderful Friend Sadie/Sarah Hawkins

I don’t even know how to begin this blog post because writing feels like I accept that one of the best people and friends I have ever known is gone. The how is also the roughest part because she was murdered near her home by someone she knew. So in essence it is a Black woman harmed by a white man/person. While that devastation leaves me with tons of anger, it’s the other emotions that overtake it. There are strange moments of sadness and confusion but my mind also tries to go back and remember my last joyous video conversation with her.


The reason for that is that it was nearly three hours of conversation spanning our entire lives where we had gone and our plans for NYC these holidays.

The conversation went from our small origins in Atlanta nearly 12/13 years ago when I visited her while I was in college after a midterm or final. We had a lot of discussion before the visit but then we enjoyed each other’s auras and had a great time immensely. She put me onto to the wonder that is Atlanta - I lived there after a year there due to her introduction, Janelle Monae, hood joints with the best food and more.

We then would see other at different kink events called DomCons in both in LA or Atlanta. Sometimes we would have our fun, other times we would simply chill. Honestly, most of the time we would just chill, discuss Blackness and how it mattered in kink and in life. We learned a lot about each other on a personal level with our supports of education, women, Blackness, diversity, queer support, travel and hip-hop.

Later, she would visit me in NYC and we were excited to have her visit again as we discussed what was happening in NYC from our mutual friend with the amazing Black widow spider tattoo to Kwanzaa in Harlem.

I knew Sadie/Sarah for about thirteen years. I saw her budding moments in Atlanta, her lows when she struggled in California, her visits to the East Coast, her foundations in Phoenix and her highs of all the lives she touched in between. My friend was a force a Black feminism but also joy that was infectious to be around. I miss her so much because she was one of my closest friends that I truly would be hurt over. It’s sad that I don’t have a solid picture with her but I know she knows I love her and she is watching me with support & gratitude for our time spent together.

Life is a precious thing and loss can hurt deeper than a pain I’ve ever known, but she would’ve wanted me to keep on doing what I love and continue to honor her by supporting Black women and the wonderful lives they lead whether they’re sex workers, educators, mothers, sisters, daughters, leaders, support systems and everything else. I love you Sadie, Sankofa my beautiful friend, Sankofa.

Why We Like Sense8

Sense8 is a rare love or hate show that is solely based on if its globalism appeals to you or not. If it does, you're hooked if it doesn't there is little anyone could do to sell you on the idea. However, for me and many others this show works because of its passion felt through every character and situation.

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Purpose, Reflection, and Future

Recently, I have been in a deep analysis as to who I am and what purpose do I serve in my own life, the lives of others and on this earth. I am not a spiritual crusader, but I do ponder on one's mission or meaning in life. As I nearly turn 30, I am at a crossroads in what to do with myself. Logical progression years ago seemed to teach which turned into leadership which turned into running my own school or becoming a professor. Then I lived and explored Southeast Asia for two months which led me to wanting to get out of America fast. With our new president it has only solidified that want.  

I began to research how to teach abroad, specifically around social studies and english. I had hopes for possibly teaching High School or sticking with what I already knew in middle school. I joined a few different institutions from Search Associates, research with International School Services, and Teachaway and a few others. Ultimately the Search Associates Fair, was a great experience, but due to missing out on a chance at teaching at Lebanon, I began to wonder my true reasons for wanting to teach abroad and true reasons for wanting to teach.

As such, I was led to believe I may have been going about this wrong. I was led to that by a great self-help book called What Color is Your Parachute? Within the book there is a thorough process called the Flower Method that takes a look at your thought process in regards to skills, knowledges, and locations and people for work. As such, I realized that teaching is almost but not quite satisfactory for what I wish to do with myself. Now, there is a process for still teaching a year abroad with Teaching Nomad to cover some college  and credit card debts. This is acceptable in China even though it prolongs what I want to do with myself. Still, it would be simply building towards a transition.

This transition has me looking at museum and historical research jobs as I think that that is truly what I'm best at besides travel. However, the research could even lead me to more travel to research the history of various civilizations in a cultural and social sense. As I am better at working with data and information around the humanities subjects this fit will be better for me. Thus, I am looking at jobs that focus on this through film and writing. So far, the museum world of NYC (Natural History Museum), The Smithsonian and it's African-American Culture Museum, and organizations such as the History Channel, Discovery Channel, PBS and National Geographic have a high appeal to me for research, study, writing, filmography and museum curation.

I may regret the years I lost on not knowing myself, but I don't regret the purpose I gave to hundreds of young Black and Brown kids in the US. In the end, my future lies elsewhere and all roads will lead to this. 

California *Insert Stereotype*

My winter break in California was enlightening but more so because it was trip down memory lane to fully comprehend and appreciate where I came from. As I haven't lived there in seven years I have felt that I was distancing myself from the state, family and friends. However, I came back and had a muse to take the journey with. Therefore, I felt terrible for my recent disdain for a beautiful home that was filled with fun and great times. A lot happened on the journey so I will recap in pieces.

Reconnecting with the parents: I hadn't talked to my parents in nearly two months since the election; however, they did a great job in not talking about politics or watching Fox News with me around. As such, it made everything a whole lot more peaceful. Honestly, I missed them and my mom got the house nice for my new year's party while dad reminisced about life with me. I'm glad I can talk to them again, but I now know there is something I can't talk about with them which is sad but true as the only time it happened was speaking on education which I went in on right before my flight back. Definitely told me that we should talk about everything else. 

Reconnecting with my brother: I had a fun time with my brother for a change of pace. He hung out with me and my friends multiple times. I laughed and chatted with him about his child/my niece and our cousin. I saw his barber for a cut, meanwhile I washed his clothes. Then I treated him and his friend to a meal at a great burger joint with some friends in San Diego called Hodad's. Lastly, he came by my New Year's party where we partied up and I impressed him with my partying while I took care of him. It was a fun time and one of the better times I had with him. 

Exploring Schools of the Past: I basically saw every school I attended in California in a sense. I explored Coronado for the beach and saw my middle school. I also hung out with a friend from my middle school who I got to see lead an open mic. He and the muse got me inspired to get back to writing and filming again. I also attended my ten year high school reunion that I helped put on for everyone. It was great to see old friends and certainly hangout primarily with the ethnic crew for a change of pace....I still don't know why I didn't get my friends' numbers. Afterwards, I hung out with my high school homie after seeing his roommate for a brief moment to reconnect with them at a hockey game to discuss life in general. Proud he has a girlfriend now. I also drove up to USC and so how much had changed in nearly all the schools and the new university north center. It's a revolving world and the school's and their surroundings are changing, but I also drove past my elementary school which looks extremely tiny. 

California's landscape: I would also travel around California and see many beautiful sights from Mt. Soledad to Venice Beach to even going down to Tijuana, yes I repeated a city/country finally in a much different way this time with margaritas, tacos, and souvenirs. Best tacos I've ever had hands down. It was also a lot of fun to use Spanish to make deals and talk as well. Lastly, I also went to an intriguing kinky dungeon with an old friend that you can message me about. 

New friends in the city: After Christmas, I had a little San Diego tour with my travel group's friends and different locations around the city, Tijuana, and my house for a New Year's Party. It was the highest amount of Black people I've had at the house, but overall I found it fascinating how many different people have partied at that house - never the same set of people ever. 

Overall this trip was important in that before I landed at home, I felt it would be last time in California for years. Now, I feel that I will try to come back to California as much as I can minus the always boring flight back home. 

The Shallow End

Anyways, why the name "the shallow end?" Well it's because I'm not drowning anymore. The past few weeks I have been reeling back into a place that I have only been since before I started working with students. As such, it has certainly solidified the concept that students/kids/children broke me out of what I'm going to simply name as high-functioning depression. It is something I have gone in and out of for years before I started Troy Camp.

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