Distractions

Lean more into being a person.

Wake up to Odesza. Play her while you get out of bed, go through your routine, make your bed, and get breakfast.

Open your windows, open your shades. Look three backyards over, to where men are re-roofing a garage. Remember that they can probably see you, too.

Exercise.

Talk to friends. Talk to family. Talk to strangers.

Make yourself open to new things. Let someone take you to Aladdin on Broadway. Marvel at the genie. Laugh at Iago. Appreciate how many beautiful black women are on stage, even though their roles are secondary and they end up serving a white woman. Dance a little as you walk.

Work on being comfortable with strangers.

Go back and forth on the black hole bridge in the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum. Lean over the edge and feel like you’re high.

Go to the Harlem Jazz museum.

Consider competing for Miss Harlem Shake, even though you’d be disqualified for living in Westchester. Maybe next year, when you’ve moved.

Seek out the scariest attractions at the amusement park. The rush will make you forget who you are for a minute.

Don’t react when you see that the white French girl in your house now has box braids. Talk her through how to take care of her hair.

Laugh about it with your friends. Be thankful that she’ll be back home when her hair starts to unravel.

Reflect on what you did while you didn’t think you were alive.

Think about cousins when you want to cry, and trust that you’re going in the right direction.

Listen to Spotless Mind on repeat. Connect to Jhené Aiko’s character.

Try not to analyze your situation. Try not to think about the future.

Be kind to the stranger on the train who wants to know what you’re reading. Show him the blurb. Let him buy you dinner. Listen to him talk about God. Ask him not to call you a female. Shake his hand.

Think about angels.

Think about friendships.

Try to figure out what you’re waiting for.

Sleep.

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