Posted in My Thoughts

Only 19, but my Mind is Older

So, today’s the last day I can accurately make this statement. Tomorrow I will be turning 20, entering a new decade and ready to see where life takes me. As with the reminder of time’s passage, I’ve been thinking about the past and what it means to mature.

Growing up, many of the adults in my life would tell me that I was very mature for my age. From elementary school and long after, teachers would go on and on about this to my mother and whoever else would listen. As a young child, I would beam every time someone said it.

During my senior year of high school, I started to wonder if being “mature” was even worth it. I questioned if this so-called maturity was causing me to miss out on being a kid and really living my life. There were so many other students making reckless decisions that seemed to turn out fine. At least they looked happier than I was feeling at the time.

I spent part of my senior year making dumb decisions in the “spirit of youth.” I realized early on that I wasn’t actually missing out on much and decided to go back to being “mature” with my choices. With that, I started to realize that I was creating my own future instead of waiting for others to take the lead.

Rachelle Saint Louis
Check out 18-year-old Rachelle at The Breakers Palm Beach. Sorry about the quality, this was taken on an Android.

So, what does it mean to be mature?

When it’s being used as an adjective, maturity is defined as:

1. fully developed physically; full-grown.
2. having reached the most advanced stage in a process.

Considering my forever baby face, I’m pretty sure the adults in my life weren’t referring to the first definition. My maturity was often brought to light in comparison to the other children my age. In the vast majority of these cases, they were a reference to my verbal capabilities.

Looking back, I realize that maturity has more to do with wisdom than with “acting like an adult.” As a kid, I would sit with my teachers during recess and have conversations with them. I’d provide insight that had a place in the conversation. This “maturity” wasn’t that I took time away from physical play to sit around adults, it was the fact that I was giving educated input into actual conversations. I was learning lessons that I wouldn’t ever get in the classroom.

Now that I’ve been out of high school for over a year, I’ve come to realize that this “maturity” was never a curse. Rather, it’s a gift that I can continue cultivating.

Here’s a tweet that’s kind of relative.

What does maturity mean to you?

Do you think it’s a good or bad thing to be mature for your age?

Let me know in the comments, let’s chat!

Posted in Community, Culture, The Writer's Block

Open Mics in Coffee Shops (Take 2)

These open mics have become a part of my biweekly routine and I’m loving it. Last Saturday I brought my brother’s camera along (I promise I’ll be getting my own one day).

I’ll be highlighting a few of the performers in this post.

First up, enjoy these pictures a friend of mine took.

Continue reading “Open Mics in Coffee Shops (Take 2)”
Posted in Culture, Family

Prom: But Make it Culture

So, it’s been a hot minute since I went to prom and I was reminiscing with all the pictures on my feed a few months back. I went to prom both junior and senior year of high school. Junior year, I went super simple with a black dress and makeup I did myself. This was before I knew the difference between day looks and night looks, so please don’t judge me if those pics every resurface.

Senior year, my mom helped me go all out. We brought our A-game. I was given the opportunity for a prom she’d never had. I’m talking custom-tailored dress, face beat, a professional photographer, and a Mercedes for the night. I didn’t get to drive it, though. Prom was truly a night to remember.

Continue reading “Prom: But Make it Culture”
Posted in Community

3 Reasons You Need to Support Local Bookstores

I always wanted to be the kind of person that shopped at local bookstores and had tote bags with quotes on the cover. Growing up, that idea was never something that fit into our family’s budget. But now, I’m an adult.

There’s a bookstore that opened up downtown about two years ago that I’d completely forgot about. When I started visiting it this summer, I learned so much about the importance of supporting independent bookstores. Todd, who works at The Book Cellar, even let me take a few pictures of him.

Here are three reasons you should support local bookstores, too!

Continue reading “3 Reasons You Need to Support Local Bookstores”
Posted in Community, Culture

Open Mics in Coffee Shops

I am a Spoken Word artist. Writing has always been a part of who I am. I wrote my first short story in second grade, it was about a land of flying turtles. I’m pretty sure I modeled parts of it after Avatar: the Last Airbender.

In middle school, I had the gift of an amazing English teacher. She introduced our class to the workings of Langston Hughes. Before then, I had only known of Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson. I wrote my first poem in seventh grade and published it on Wattpad immediately. Those were the days when Wattpad was really poppin’.

Freshman year of high school, I started hearing about this Spoken Word Poetry Club. I didn’t even know that was a thing. So I went to a meeting of these so-called poets and immediately fell in love. I started writing that same day so I could come back the next week with a piece. I was so scared to perform, even if it was just in front of ten classmates. But one day, I did.

Continue reading “Open Mics in Coffee Shops”
Posted in Commuter Chronicles, Culture, Family, The Writer's Block, Travel

My Haitian Vacation: A Return to the Motherland

I wouldn’t consider my summer one of the Hot Girl variety, but it was a fun one, nonetheless. This summer was one of travel, adventure, and newness. It was also my first time out of the country in six years.

I went on a cruise at the start that gave me a small taste of Haiti. Labadee was the tourist side of my ancestral plane, but it was also a place where I could hear the melodies of my native tongue.

I drew a close to the summer engulfed in Her beauty. The week I spent there was what I can only describe as complete cultural immersion. So before I get into the happenings, let’s get some backstory.

Continue reading “My Haitian Vacation: A Return to the Motherland”