Marching To The Beat Of My Own Drum

Do you hear that sound?
The unruly beat of drums in the background?
That is me.
The sound of me marching to the beat of my own drum.
The soundtrack of me living life on my own terms.
Not a care in the world as the beat grows louder.
The bass drum of my life intimidates.
The crash cymbal screaming “look at me!”.
Everywhere I go dirty stares follow.
Too busy dancing to the rhythm of life to notice.
You glare because my beat is different from yours.
The drumbeat of my life demands respect.
It calls for my voice to be heard.
It shows the world that it’s okay to depart from the band.
This beat is contagious.
Our beats, although different, carry the same message.
Life is too precious to adopt the sound of another.
Find your own movement.
Love your beat.
Dance your beat.
Make it loud.

-Asia Aneka Anderson, Marching To The Beat Of My Own Drum 2015©
Day 242: Thought I'd try something different again. I guess this style is okay. I need some more up dos so that I'm not twisting my hair at all. #PhotoGrid #naturalista #naturalhair #teamnatural #NaturalHairDontCare #2015 #365DaysOfHappy #HappyGoals
Day 241: There will never be another. #HappyBirthdayMichael #MichaelJackson #MJ #IMissHim #TheKing #2015 #365DaysOfHappy #HappyGoals

Lucky Where It Counts

A mood of misfortune hovers over me.
The darkness that seems to grow.
Although, I am still lucky.
Lucky where it counts.
I’m here to fight another day.
No matter how hard it may be.
Although, I’m still lucky.
Lucky where it counts.
There are those who love me.
Love I sometimes cannot feel.
Although, I am still lucky.
Lucky where it counts.
Money found in the road.
A meal on the house.
A million tiny specks of luck.
All the luck in the world and I still don’t feel complete.
Although, I’m still lucky.
Lucky where it counts.
Luck shows me her face everyday.
Too deep in a rut to see.
Although, I am still lucky.
Lucky where it counts.
I stop and I see how much I have overcome.
Luck has made my road less bumpy.
Perhaps I will finally see the gifts she has given me.
I am very lucky.
Lucky where it counts.

-Asia Aneka Anderson, Lucky Where It Counts 2015©
Day 240: Crosswords are so soothing to me. #2015 #365DaysOfHappy #HappyGoals
Day 239: Working on some #poetry for a contest coming up. #FingersCrossed #amwriting #poem #InsideMyCreativeMind #Instapoet #2015 #365DaysOfHappy #HappyGoals
Day 238: I think I have another obsession. #NaturalSoaps #MissSelbysSoap #OurFamilySoap #local #Ohio #natural #2015 #365DaysOfHappy #HappyGoals
Day 237: Just watching one of my most favorite movies of all time. #BASEketball #MattStone #TreyParker #TreyIsBae #2015 #365DaysOfHappy #HappyGoals
Day 236: #PaulMcCartney will be in Ohio 4 days after my birthday! Someone give me a car, a bike, pegasus, or a large bird so I can make it there! #TheBeatles #2015 #365DaysOfHappy #HappyGoals

It would be a project documenting the effect the recession had on businesses on my hometown/state. I’d hope to expand that to other smaller cities across the US.
Day 234: I love this lipstick color. #DarkWine #2015 #365DaysOfHappy #HappyGoals #naturalista #naturalhair #teamnatural #LipstickQueen

Review: The Book Of Mormon

         I FINALLY got a chance to see "The Book Of Mormon" here in Dayton at the Schuster Center. I know I mostly review skin care and hair products, but I definitely had to make a review on this musical.

It's fucking amazing.

That's it. Go see it if you haven't or go see it again if you have. Trust me.

And seriously.... Hassa diga eebowai.

-Asia Aneka Anderson

I was the last name picked. Luuuucckky.
In the very first row.

Day 233: I know the lighting is awful, but that's not the point. The point is I went back to grab that shirt from about a month ago and said to hell with my self doubts and bought it. #BodyPositivity #2015 #365DaysOfHappy #HappyGoals
Day 232: They pulled the best name last. #Dude #Sweet #IveGotAGoldenTicket #FrontRowBitches #BeingAPartyOfOneAlmostAlwaysPaysOff #BookOfMormon #2015 #365DaysOfHappy #HappyGoals
Day 231: #ParanormalWitness marathons are the only thing getting me through the mornings this week. Bless you, #Syfy. Can't wait until this show comes back . #2015 #365daysofhappy #happygoals
Day 230: Making my days a little brighter. Not sure if I should stick with the glitter or change it up and go with hot pink or neon yellow. #nailpolish #2015 #365DaysOfHappy #HappyGoals

My Mind Is Slipping

My brain overheats.
Watch my sanity crumble.
Reality gone.

-Asia Aneka Anderson, My Mind Is Slipping 2015©
Goals: To start on and expand on a photography project I have in mind.
Goals: To interview and photograph people that I admire.
Goals: To own my own art gallery/ youth center.
Day 229: Always looking for that perfect product. I look forward to using these and writing a review on my blog. #Cantu #naturalista #naturalhair #teamnatural #ProductJunkie #InsideMyCreativeMind #2015 #365DaysOfHappy #HappyGoals
Day 228: Pretty shitty day. Nothing #Sherlock can't fix. #2015 #365DaysOfHappy #HappyGoals
Day 227: Wearing my crown and keeling it cute in orange. Looking at more up dos because I'm so tired of twisting my hair 😩. #naturalista #naturalhair #teamnatural #2015 #365DaysOfHappy #HappyGoals
Day 226: Finally #DemetriMartin's new standup is on #Netflix. Love this dude to death and he's one of the sweetest people I've ever met. #LiveAtTheTime #2015 #365daysofhappy #happygoals
Day 225: Yes I did jump on the bandwagon to shamelessly plug my blog. Go like, comment, follow, and all that good stuff. I'm trying to be on my grind and I'd appreciate the love. @asia_aneka_writes,,, and #StraightOuttaMyMind #InsideMyCreativeMind #amwriting #poem #Poetry #photography #2015 #365DaysOfHappy #HappyGoals 
Day 224: Since I'm binging on #DoctorWho my #wcw is #BilliePiper. She's so cute and #RoseTyler was the best companion imo. #2015 #365DaysOfHappy #HappyGoals
Day 223: I can't believe it's been a year. I swear almost every happy moment from childhood revolves around a #RobinWilliams movie. He will forever be my favorite comedian. I'm glad his movies and genius had an impact on my upbringing. SN: If anyone close to you battles mental illness or depression be there for them, listen to them, and let them know you care. It's not an easy battle, let me tell you. #riprobinwilliams #2015 #365DaysOfHappy #HappyGoals
Day 222: I'm trying to shake the hell out of it. #2015 #365DaysOfHappy #HappyGoals
Day 221: We all know why I got these. #ImAnAdult #Marvel #TheAvengers #2015 #365DaysOfHappy #HappyGoals

Reasons I Don't Like To Be Around My Grandma

         My mom and I took my grandma to this festival in her neighborhood that she wanted to go to. At one point after we grabbed some food my mom points out this cute kid that’s clinging to her moms leg because she wants to be picked up. We both playfully laugh with the mom (Who’s a bit of a distance from us.) The mom picks the girl up and my grandma says “I wouldn’t have picked her up. Let her fat ass walk. There’s nothing wrong with her legs.” Did I mention the little girl looked to be about 2-3 years old? My grandma called a toddler a “fat ass”. Have I also mentioned that quite a few women in this family suffer(ed) from body image issues and/or eating disorders? Hmmmm….. I wonder where that comes from? Either way it’s unnecessary to call someone a “fat ass” and it’s more than disgusting to use that term to describe a child.
        After we were done eating and I told her how awful a person she was, we walked around and looked at some of the stuff people were selling. Out of the blue she asks “When y'all were into The In Sing did you know that guy was gay? Was he not gay then?” 1. Who the fuck is “The In Sing”? 2. NSYNC broke up like 10 years ago so why is this relevant? 3. And no he totally wasn’t gay then. He turned on the gay switch when the band band broke up and 4. Why do bring up gay people out of the blue all the time when you know you’re gonna say something dumb and offensive that is gonna push my buttons and make me go off?
        We decided to sit again and see this cover band play doo-wop. A few songs in this mom sits next to me with her two young kids. Her youngest, a little boy about 2 years old, was a total ham. He was dancing all over the place, moving his little Spider-man chair in front of the stage, and trailing this older lady who was photographing the band because he became completely obsessed with her camera (Although I think his mom should’ve grabbed him because at one point he followed the woman back to her seat and kept trying to climb onto her lap). It was completely cute and everyone in our section was laughing more at him than the band making jokes. When the set was over my mom and I were still laughing about this kid and how he must’ve gotten on the one woman’s nerves. My grandma just blurts out “I think he was mixed.” because that totally was a factor in the conversation and totally explained his mischievous behavior.
        If it doesn’t have to do with race, weight, or homosexuality she has nothing to say and they are the things she probably should keep her mouth shut about or at least think before she speaks. I swear I feel tense whenever I’m around her. It’s like nothing but offensive shit flies out of her mouth and when you call her on it she’s not even adult enough to at least say “Okay I can see how that may be hurtful or ignorant.” She just kinda laughs it off. Like, no, its not funny. I shouldn’t have to tell you this shit EVERY time I’m around you. As a human being you should know that some of the crap that falls out of your mouth is hurtful. Period. It’s not rocket science. It doesn’t take a Yale graduate to know you shouldn’t do something like call a 3 year old “fat ass”. I’m so glad that I have two jobs now cause I’d rather work overtime than be around her, honestly. I know that my mom feels she needs to take care of her since my aunt passed, but my grandmother needs to learn how to take care of some of her own business, take advice good people try to give her, think before speaking, and more importantly seek some therapy or pay for mine cause I feel like I need a therapist after every visit with her. She is mentally exhausting.

-Asia Aneka Anderson
Day 220: don't bother me for at least 6 days. #DoctorWho #TheDoctor #Whovian #2015 #365daysofhappy #happygoals

Day 219: Progress. So so close to bra strap length. #naturalista #naturalhair #teamnatural #2015 #365DaysOfHappy #HappyGoals
Ada, Ohio 2008© 
Photo: Asia Aneka Anderson 
Ada, Ohio 2008© 
Photo: Asia Aneka Anderson 
Day 218: I’m gonna miss #JonStewart on @thedailyshow. It’s been fun!! #JonVoyage #TheDailyShow #2015 #365DaysOfHappy #HappyGoals
Day 217: I keep this calendar next to my bed. Trying to wish this beach lifestyle into existence. #2015 #365DaysOfHappy #HappyGoals
Day 216: I took this about a month ago. I've battled with myself over whether to post it or not, but here it is. Many times I've tried on certain clothes, like crop tops, and end up talking myself out of buying them solely based on how I think others will see me. "Who cares? It's a fucking shirt." Is always my first thought when walking into a dressing room then shortly thereafter I rip my own self to shreds. Life is entirely too short to constantly worry about what others will think about what I put on MY body. No more. No way. There is no goal weight, just a goal mindset, and that mindset is to be happy and at peace with myself. I'm beautiful. You're beautiful. We're all beautiful. If someone doesn't think so, fuck 'em. #nofilter #natural #BodyPositivity #naturalista #teamnatural #naturalhair #2015 #365DaysOfHappy #HappyGoals
Day 215: You don't even know how excited I am for this. #Fantastic4 #Marvel #2015 #365DaysOfHappy #HappyGoals
Day 214: when you see that Johnny 5 is being sold for $3.95. #BestMovieEver #ShortCircuit #GuttenbergAF #2015 #365DaysOfHappy #HappyGoals

How Do You Forgive What Still Hurts?

         It is past midnight making it officially August 2nd. It is my father’s birthday. I am quite impressed with the birthday card I picked out. It’s very sweet and thoughtful. It says everything you’d want a birthday card to say.
         As many stories and poems I’ve written I’ve often stated that my father is a drug addict. I went from denial, where I lived for many years, to hurt, and anger. I’m still angry, but far more hurt. I am now in a place where I want to forgive, but how do I do that when I’m still hurt and no one seems to acknowledge that pain? I love this card, but I feel it speaks to the man my father used to be. He was the best father a girl could ever have, but the key word is “was”. The man I looked up to no longer exists. I look at this card and it says everything I want to say, but yet it feels like lies. Part of me would like to think that when I give him something like this it’ll awaken a drive in him to be better. I only set myself up for disappointment with that one. It won’t happen. He won’t get better. He doesn’t want it as bad as I do.
        I look at my father and I see someone that is lost. I see someone that doesn’t understand how he got to a low point in his life. I understand depression. As much as I understand it I still don’t get the individuals that drown that pain with drugs and alcohol. I don’t understand that addiction. I don’t understand allowing a substance to control everything that you are. I can look at him and understand that feeling of hopelessness, while at the same time not understanding him at all. I have battled depression for many years and sadly can only relate to how I handle it and how others similar handle it. I can feel like no one cares, but in the back of my mind know that’s not true. I can feel like I’m unworthy and know that’s not true. I can feel ugly and know that’s not true. I can feel all of these horrible things and still at the end of the day know that I’m going to make it out of that state of mind. There will be moments (or longer) where I’m stuck in my own thoughts and want to curl into a ball for days. I still could never imagine diving into an addiction. I feel that once you go down that road not only are you hurting yourself, you hurt the others that care. You make them go through the same hurt, pain, and anger that fills me. An addiction can ruin a family’s structure, finances, trust, etc. My college fund was blown on drugs. My mother is almost 60 and works 10-12 hour days to pay almost every bill in the household. Everyone is in debt to their ears. Everyone is stressed to the max and drugs is the main cause of this. We are all affected by one person’s actions. I couldn’t do that. When I sink into a depression the only pain I cause is not helping out to make my mother’s workload easier. That’s when I try my best to snap out of it. I can’t have her work like a dog then come home to work more. That’s not fair to her. It is also not fair for us to want better for our lives only to be weighed down by one person.
        As much as I want to be sympathetic to my father’s addiction I just cannot do it. I want to be at place to be able to forgive before it’s too late. I think I can only get to that place of forgiveness if there’s an acknowledgement on his part of the hurt he has caused. With him being an addict and stubborn I don’t see that happening. I can only forgive once he sees the destruction he’s caused his family. I can only forgive once he forgives himself. I have curbed my anger, but my pain still exists. Most likely after he is gone that pain and anger will still remain. I can only hope for the best. I can only hope that one day he’ll want to take charge of his life. I have to remember that I can’t force him to do that. That drives comes from within. I don’t know what it will take to kick start that drive, but the girl who had the best father ever can only hope.

-Asia Aneka Anderson

#SandraBland #SamDubose

         The main reason why what happened to Sandra Bland scares me to death is that this literally could’ve been me several years back. A few years ago, on my birthday, no less, my best friend and I were celebrating. We drove from where we live in Dayton, Ohio to the amusement park King’s Island which is about an hour drive south, if that. We went late because my birthday is in October and it’s Fright Fest around that time at King’s Island. On the way back, I honestly couldn’t tell you if I was speeding. I don’t think I was because I was keeping up with the rest of traffic, if not going slower. At one point I see this car tailing the fuck out of me. Whoever it was was dead on my bumper with bright lights, and because it was dark I couldn’t make out the car. Even though it was late the highway was still busy and I really wanted to get the hell out of this person’s way. I sped up a bit to get over and as soon as I did the cop threw on her lights. I was confused because the only reason I was speeding and getting over was to get the car off my ass… just like Sandra. Also, like Sandra I’m pissed. This was the second time I’d ever been pulled over and I can tell you both times my blood was boiling (the first time I was ever pulled over was when a cop cut me off, damn near hitting me, and then pulled me over because I flicked him off, but whatever). So she give the whole “You know why I pulled you over?” spiel and since my friend and I had just stopped to get food before this I just decided to eat with an attitude, give her as many “whatever” facial expressions, and told her I was speeding to get her off of my fucking bumper, until we could be back on our way. She was kind of a bitch to us, but I was just focused on her wrapping up whatever bullshit ticket she was going to give me.
        After what has just happened to Sandra, I’ve been replaying that incident in my head. My best friend that was with me was white. Would things have played out differently if we were both black or if I was by myself? I mean, we were on a dark highway and people were rushing down the road not paying any attention to us. If it was the middle of the night anything could’ve happened. I also think back to the many times when I lived in Chicago and when I wanted to drive back home I’d hop on the highway by myself. I don’t know if any of you have driven through Indiana, but through there from Chicago to Ohio looks like nothing but back roads and through most of it there’s hardly any traffic at all. Often times I wouldn’t see another car for miles. The only thing I was semi aware of is that certain spots of IN. are known to be racist so I took extra care when stopping for gas, but that was it. I never thought twice about it. Now I do have to think about that. I have to wonder if it’s safe for me to get into a car by myself. I have to double check and triple check my surroundings. This isn’t normal to be in this state of fear. I don’t want to live in a world where I’m more frightened to be pulled over than be in a car pileup. That’s fucked up. It really is. 
        What happened to Sam Dubose hits very close to home as well. For starters this happened in Cincinnati which, as I stated before, isn’t even an hour away. The reason Sam was pulled over is one that has caused police to pull over my mom several times. Something as dumb as a license plate not being on the front of a car cost Mr. Dubose his life. Completely unnecessary. When my mother would get pulled over it would only be in one neighborhood and, surprise, it’s a predominately white area. The last time she was pulled over the cop followed us in a parking lot and didn’t pull her over until she pulled out onto the road (which is dumb. Why not pull people over when they’re already out of traffic?). I remember the cop trying to be funny and looked at my mother, uncle, aunt, and I and said “Well look at you guys all dressed up? Where are you going to?” We were just coming from my 16 year old cousin’s funeral. That’s why we were so “fancy” *eye roll*. After that was all said an done since my uncle was in the car he put on the license plate for her. It’s funny how I still see tons of cars everyday without their front plates, but either way it’s still not a reason to ask someone to get out of the car let alone take their life. That scares me, because now we live in a time where cops are trigger happy and nervous because they’re afraid of a retaliation. I remember when this story first broke, my mom and I walked in the house and my father asked if we’d heard about it. My mother said she’d heard about it a little, but didn’t know why Sam Dubose had been pulled over. I just looked at her and said, “License plate.” I could see the look of disgust on her face to just utter confusion because that had been her many times before. I don’t even want to think about what could’ve happened the few times she had been pulled over for this. Black people are losing their lives for minor traffic offenses. Something as small as not using your turn signal will get you killed. I cannot comprehend why these things are happening. Why are we being murdered? Can we live?

-Asia Aneka Anderson
Day 213: finally got around to making a post about my new skin care routine. I look forward to documenting my progress. #InsideMyCreativeMind #amwriting #2015 #365daysofhappy #happygoals

My Journey To Better Skin: Post #1

        I made a post several weeks ago which was apart of my 365 Days of Happy. It showed several items I had bought to help get rid of the dark spots I have on my face that I've been trying to get rid of for years.

        I purchased 100% black soap with lemongrass and African shea butter (the castor oil was for my hair). I bought all of these items at a local beauty supply store. The shea butter is an 8oz tub that cost about $6 and the black soap was about $3.50. Both are from RA Cosmetics. For about the first 3-4 days I was loving the black soap and shea butter. I had heard that black soap can be drying and I more than anticipated it since my skin is so sensitive. With lots of products my skin can go from loving it to hating it to loving it again in the matter of a month. When it came to the black soap it really made my face feel clean and smooth. Those first few days my face would feel a little dry, but nothing I couldn't handle. (Both photos taken after using black soap for the first time. You may or may not be able to see the spots on my face, but trust they're there).
         After the four or so days I noticed that no matter what moisturizer I used or how much of it I used that my skin would be so dry to the point that it would burn, especially around my chin. I also noticed that my skin was breaking out and I wanted the OPPOSITE of that. I decided to put down the black soap (for now) and continue to use the facial cleanser that I had been using prior.
        This daily facial cleanser is the Walgreens version of the Cetaphil brand. I will admit that when I first bought this months ago it was by accident. Before this I would normally buy the Dollar General version of Cetaphil's GENTLE facial cleanser, but the DG's in my area no longer carry it. Still I thought I was buying the gentle cleanser instead of the daily cleanser. At first my skin had the same reaction to this as the black soap since the daily cleanser is much stronger than the gentle. My skin really liked this cleanser the first week then hated it the next. I put this cleanser aside for a while until my gentle cleanser ran out then decided to pick it back up. Now my skin LOVES this. That is part of the reason why I won't give up on the black soap. My skin is very fickle. Still as I switched back to my old cleanser I stuck with the shea butter.

        I had made the decision that, since I couldn't pinpoint which product was breaking me out, I'd stop using the black soap for a month and still use the shea butter at night and that if I was still breaking out then I'd switch and use the black soap for a month and stop using the shea butter. It took a week for my skin to balance back out and for that burning sensation on my chin to go away. I really love this shea butter. My routine is that during the daytime if I'm going anywhere I'll wash my face with my cleanser and use a vitamin E cream as a moisturizer. I only use the shea butter at night and in the day on my days off. I never use it in the day if I'm going out since it can be greasy. 
This cream I use in the day. Purchased at Dollar General.
        I can definitely tell a difference in my skin. My face is very smooth, I can see spots fading, and my face has a glow. The breakouts that happened from using the black spots are almost 90% cleared up after only a few weeks. I'm hopeful that after using the shea butter for another month or so will clear up my skin almost entirely. I have had acne/dark spots for 20 years or more. In my lifetime I've used everything from Clearasil to Proactiv to Neutrogena to Acne Free and everything else in between. It's so nice to finally find something after all of these years that works. It's also nice that I can finally look at myself and think "I don't really think I need makeup today". It's a freeing feeling. In the future I hope to use the black soap again and see how far that will take me. As for now I have nothing but great things to say about this all natural shea butter. I won't slam the black soap because I'm sure it's great as well, but my skin has a different opinion on it for the time being. (SN: Those longer eyelashes came from the help of castor oil lol.)

After one month of using shea butter
By: Asia Aneka Anderson