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For The Culture- A Day At The NMAAHC

Simply put: one day at the National Museum for African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is not enough. At all. I’m amazed at how much I saw and have been wanting to go back ever since! I went up to the D.C. area for Fourth of July weekend. With my office being closed that Monday-Wednesday, I took the opportunity to plan this last minute trip and enjoy the extra long weekend. My family and I got to the museum around 11am, taking the metro into D.C. Just the structure of the museum is astonishing. Ever since it has opened, it has been on my list of never-ending things to do in D.C.

After getting into the museum, my mom, brother, and I decided to start of with the lower level concourse that has three levels within itself. My dad decided to check out the Family History Center part of the museum. I knew there was a lot to be seen and quickly realized we would be at the museum until it closed at 5:30pm that day.

An overwhelming amount of history surrounds you when making your way to the different levels. The lower level layout of the NMAAHC on starts off with slavery and progresses to the present day. It’s divided as: Slavery and Freedom (1400-1877), Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom, The End of Segregation (1876-1968), and A Changing America: 1968 and Beyond.

Spending about three hours on the lower level, I felt a wide range of emotions. Seeing a visual progression that Black people have made throughout time is so amazing. I even got teary-eyed looking at some exhibitions because it didn’t hide anything; the truth and history was laid out right in front of me. Everything from the slave trade to the civil rights movement to present day issues, the NMAAHC covers it all. One of the most profound moments was seeing Emmett Till’s casket. In a more secluded section on one of the levels, in a no camera/video area, showcased Till’s casket, his background, and how his mother, Mamie Till, carried on his story after his death. A setting like that is so rare to come across and I’m glad I was able to view it.

Halfway through our time there, the fam and I had lunch at NMAAHC’s very own Sweet Home Cafe. The food is bomb and isn’t priced too bad. The menu is divided up based on different areas of the states and dishes you would find in those places.

After stopping by the museum store to pick up some souvenirs (I of course had to get a t-shirt), we headed up to the Community and Culture Galleries. These two levels had some of my favorite exhibitions. Being the person I am, I was soooo excited to view the arts and music section where artists’ work was highlighted and shown. Working in the music industry as a half Black, half Filipina woman has had its challenges. However, being surrounded by all the work these great artists have made and what impact it has, was comforting and reminded me that I’m doing alright.

Pretty much the whole time I was in the NMAAHC the thought of, “I love Black people,” kept coming to mind. It’s almost hard to put into words, how there’s finally a place where this culture is being celebrated and getting the attention it rightfully deserves. Being surrounded by so many people from different states and backgrounds was nice to see as well. A very inspiring place to visit to say the least and a bunch to soak in.

Always finding the records!

Being in an environment like this really does make you think. Think of where we are now. Think of how while there has been progression, there is still so much work to do. In lieu of recent events, specifically in Charlottesville, Va there’s still an alarming (yet not surprising) amount of racism, hatred, and straight up terrorism going on in our country. It’s been frustrating to see what has evolved the past couple days in the U.S. Frustrating of how a person can hate someone so much just because of their skin color. I know this isn’t new (and if it is to you…you’re apart of the problem), but it’s times like this where you really reflect on the state of humanity.

For the sake of my mental health, I wanted to channel some of the frustration I have been feeling with all of this and reminisce on something good; this trip to the NMAAHC specifically. At the end of the day, I wanted to just think about how great Black people are through everything.

If you have the chance to visit the NMAAHC, I do definitely recommend it. Also, try to get a pass for the morning/early afternoon. You’re going to want to spend the entire day there!

It looks like I’ll be back in D.C. in a few weeks for Labor Day. Let’s see what new places I explore then!

 

Lifestyle

Hard Times

All that I want

Is to wake up fine

Tell me that I’m alright

That I ain’t gonna die

I’ve been thinking about change a lot.

This year has taken a turn in a way I didn’t expect. It changed.

Over halfway through 2017 and I’m struggling to deal with all of it. In various facets of my life, an overwhelming amount of change has me feeling lost.

I wonder why. Why is all of this happening now? I think of the timing of situations often and with me being me, I try to figure out what went wrong. At times it’s too much. At times I feel stuck and don’t know how I’m going to move forward. I had a handful of goals in the beginning of the year and they are still things I want to accomplish. However, those goals feel different now. I have to approach them in another way and am finding inspiration to reach them again.

The past couple months haven’t been the best. In fact, it is probably the lowest I’ve felt in a while. And I’ve been pretty honest about that when people as of late ask me, “how are you?” In order to be more in tune with my emotions and what I’m going through, I don’t want to mask it at all. I don’t see how that’ll help me progress with anything. So instead, I’ve been embracing them. Embracing that yes, this is a difficult time for me. Embracing that my emotions are valid. Embracing that I’m just person trying to get through life. With that embrace also comes acceptance. Acceptance in that I can’t change everything. I can’t change what has happened in the past. I can’t change that even on the days where I want the world to stop…it’s still going to continue on.

Through this acceptance has also come a lot of reflection and learning how to grow from it. This isn’t an overnight thing at all. It’ll take time and I’m doing my best to work through it. Self-care has been key in all of this. Whether it be my health or personal issues, making sure I’m doing what I can to take care of myself is essential. Hiking, face masks, yoga, writing, blasting sad songs… these are just a handful of things that seem to be helping. And it goes more into just doing things that make me feel better. It’s also actively working on myself, so that there’s an actual change on the inside.

The song I quoted at the start of this post, “Hard Times,” comes from one of my favorite bands, Paramore. Coincidentally this album came out around the “start” of this hard time for me. Whenever I’m going through anything really, happy or sad, music is always something I turn to. Recently, a lot of Paramore, SZA, Lorde, Halsey, and Haim have been in rotation. Multiple song lyrics have been mantras for me in a sense and I’ve repeating (and singing…very poorly) those daily.

As Big Sean would say,

Last night took an L, but tonight I bounce back

It seems like I’ve taken WAY TOO MANY Ls in 2017 and yet again, I have to find a way to bounce back.  In this “I have no idea what’s going on in my life” phase, I find myself focusing on the things I want. I’m planning trips, working out (& reaching my goals!), building the career I want, and just overall finding happiness again.

I recently read an interview Hayley Williams of Paramore did and there was one quote that has stuck with me and has changed my perspective of things the past few weeks.

Everything’s gonna be everything

When I read that…I had a bit of a lightbulb moment. Things in life are going to happen, but everything will be okay. Everything’s gonna be everything and it will still be amazing.

Now with all that being said, I’m excited to put content out there again (for real this time)! Expect posts about my travels, music I’m into, and whatever is going on in this wandering mind of mine.

Huge shoutout to my lovely friend, Nicole, for taking such great pictures of me for the site!

Lifestyle

Refocus

A couple months into 2017 and I’ve finally have a better grasp on what I want to accomplish this year. Constant conversations helped fade some of the doubts I had within myself. I’ve noticed since the start of January, I had fallen off on goal setting. Of course, I had thoughts on what I wanted to do, however I wasn’t actively pursuing any of them. There wasn’t a specific reason I can pinpoint as to why… it just did. Within the past couple weeks, that has thankfully been changing. Something recently has reignited a spark, a drive, that I had been missing. I’ve been trying to refocus.

Refocus on my abilities. Refocus on my goals. Refocus on this point in my life.

It is my #JordanYear after all! There have been such good memories that have come from this year already and I want to continue living for those moments and making the best of life thus far. Granted, there are still some things that aren’t ideal going on in my life right now, but I have been really trying to, “accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative.”

One thing I do not want for what’s to come this year, is to get “stuck” again. When I say this, I mean get stuck in my old ways of letting my anxiety, emotions, etc. get the best of me. There’s a song by The xx that comes to mind when writing this. In “Replica,” Oliver Sim sings a verse that goes,

25 and you’re just like me

Is it in our nature to be stuck on repeat?

I interpret this as will I break out of my comfort and seek what I want, or will be stuck on repeat of this cycle of thinking about breaking out and never fulfilling it. With the way things are going… I will break out.

Let’s see where the next few months take me.

I leave you with a few songs that have put me in a good mood recently!

Lifestyle Music Travel

All Summer Sixteen

So there was this one time over the summer where I got the opportunity to see the love of my life, Drake, two days before my birthday. This would be my third seeing Drake but the excitement was still very real. One of my best friends, Jasmine, surprised me with tickets as a gift for our birthday (hers is 4 days before mine). When I found out, I was in California for Coachella, and told all the people I was working with,

 I’M GOING TO SEE DRAKE FOR MY BIRTHDAY!!!

 

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Lifestyle Playlists

Summer Is Over (And I Wanna Leave You Satisfied)

First, I’d like to thank Walk the Moon for inspiring this blog title. 

A week ago I turned 23 (#JordanYear). Weird. Thinking back to last year around this time, I’ve definitely made some strides in continuing this goal of being “something” in the music industry. I’ve definitely improved on taking care of myself in a time, in a place, where it can be hard to wake up every morning.

I also made eye contact with Drake at his Atlanta show on August 26th from the fifth row and realized life can’t be that bad.

As summer winds down, I wanted to reflect on some awesome moments that have happened these past few months. Majority of them are…concerts. What else would you expect? I’ve had the chance to see some of my favorite bands perform this summer and just haven’t had a chance to recap on them until NOW. I’ve also done some traveling and am convincing myself I need to move to California. The summer is always a weird time for me, but I am grateful for the people I’ve surrounded myself with that keep things fun and always give the best advice.

I’m excited for fall because everyone is touring, I’m going back to California, my brother gets married, JIMMY EAT WORLD IS RELEASING A NEW ALBUM, and it won’t be 90 degrees outside anymore!

It would only be fitting to mention some of the new music I’ve been listening to.

  • Frank Ocean- Blonde
    • The long awaited album is finally out. I listened to part of this on my flight from CA to VA and let me tell you…it was an experience.
  • Charlotte Day Wilson- CDW 
    • This EP is essential for listening to at night when you’re in your feels.
  • Travi$ Scott- Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight
    • La Flame is back & this album is gold.
  • Glass Animals- How To Be A Human Being
    • My favorite Oxford boys released their 2nd album that builds upon those eccentric jams I feel in love with on Zaba.
Snapchat chronicles from Jasmine & I's surprise birthday lituation

Snapchat chronicles from Jasmine & I’s surprise birthday lituation

Even though September just begun, a lot of music has already been released! Check out some of the tracks I’m listening to in the playlist below:

Posts on how Matty Healy is making me wear less black, everyone now knows who Twenty One Pilots is, and why Drake forever has my heart coming this week!