week 25|2017: Giving Thanks

Happy fifth birtheversary to my blog! Yes, people. It has been five years since gray suede’s inception. {Click here to laugh at my struggle.} I don’t know where the time went either, but it’s been a fun ride. Also the ride has been bumpy. Deserted. Lonely. I swear I could hear crickets. I would go months without posting or even logging in- ready to say f!$# it (more than once) and throw in the towel. But somehow five years added up and here we are!

I’m going to keep it short + sweet and end it with a big thanks to any and every one who has read my posts. THANK YOU to those that were moved and entertained enough to comment, share and subscribe. I also want to thank all the blog writers who inspire me to share my testimony and teach me new ideas and vocabulary; you are the real MVPs!

Y’all are so beautiful and dope and I’m glad we found each other. Feel free to leave any advice or words of encouragement in the comments! I’m also accepting gifts if you feel so moved 😘

Thank you ❤

Black Father Exposed

These are the kinds of images that we need to see and promote promote promote. I salute all of the consistently involved dads and father-like figures today and daily.

Head in the Cloudland

Cloudland Canyon had been on my radar for over a year; I mean, look at it. After my trip to San Juan, I thought hey, where can I hike that resembles heaven without hopping on a plane? 

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Cloudland is one of sixty Georgia state parks and is located in Rising Fawn about two hours northwest of Atlanta. I don’t mind driving, but I hate narrow, two-lane highways. Half of the drive is two-lane highways. Designate a driver that you trust(I only trust me), because of course, these roads that wind wind wind are the only means to reach the opening of this glorious canyon. There is zero room for error, so you might drive over the side or oncoming traffic won’t leave you enough room and you may crash + die. But it’s so worth it.

We walked down six hundred steps to reach the canyon’s floor. Yea..six HUNDRED. Reason one: waterfalls. And yea, to walk the same amount of steps back up is no joke. I expected to have Serena Williams-esque thighs at the end of the ascent.. but nah. Didn’t happen. I’m still feeling the burn, and we took this trip last month! I suggest a good stretch pre- and post-hike. And mad water intake throughout.

Being here reminded me of how tiny we humans are, how nature is a restorative and that nature always wins. I can’t wait to return in autumn to capture the transitioning foliage.

To learn nerd facts about Cloudland Canyon and see more pretty pictures, check out the Georgia State Parks site. Get out there and enjoy this free beauty, y’all! It awaits you.

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This trip was sponsored by BlackPackerz

All photos captured with my handy Galaxy s13

week 24|2017

Don’t become who hurt you.

Like any worthwhile task, mastering your emotions is ofttimes much easier said than done.

If we haven’t recognized ourselves as a version of the person who’s hurt us, we know someone that took on the role of someone who hurt them and plays it to T. I automatically think of anger. Sadness. Deception. Revenge-seeking. Useless, stagnating emotions birthed from the turmoil someone else has caused. (While that someone is most likely going on with their lives, unbeknownst to your pain + suffering, btw.) And in the long run, you end up hurting yourself by pushing loving people away, denying your pain and letting wounds fester. Languishing in the hurt lets the perp win! Whether or not you choose to acknowledge it, they still hold control if your actions are based on what they did to you. At least that’s how I see it.

Advice From a Tree

ry-spirit

Advice From a Tree:
Stand tall and proud
Go out on a limb
Remember your roots
Drink plenty of water
Be content with your natural beauty
Enjoy the view

author unknown
artwork ©Ry-Spirit

We Can’t Afford It (a reblog)

We can’t afford it We’ve been nickeled and dimed far too many times To make fun of our sisters on the welfare line or To make fun of the young queens on the payday loan line in a bind Trying to pay fall tuition in the wintertime No more change left to spare There’s no […]

via We Can’t Afford It — theblackertheberry

week 23|2017

When you acknowledge your flaws, nobody can use them against you. But if you don’t acknowledge them, the the ego pops out and retaliates. -unknown