Intox vs detox

Many tend to rationalize the things others say and/or do according to their own standards and past experiences, myself included. I cannot deny that personal values blend with “statistics” help us assess our surrounding and navigate through the world the best we know, but could systematic assumption harm our good judgement? Or how could we become more understanding of others, and able to communicate better? Most importantly, decipher valuable information from white noise.

Compassion and active listening seem to be great tools and qualities to work on in order to shape healthier relationships.

It takes time and effort but I believe it is beneficial for everyone. I’ll try to work on that in the future- wish me luck!

#FoodForThoughts.

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©️ Daphne Mia Essiet, 2013

It might look messy from afar…

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(Pic by Brianna Kilgore)

Like many of us, I sometimes feel depressed.

That’s why I like to remind myself how awesome my life is.

Moving to New York almost 10 years ago has been one of the most important life experiences I have ever had; and although the big apple can be a lonely place, I was able to secure meaningful relationships, and become the woman I am today.

I am mostly grateful for the opportunities presented to me, since they would unlikely have had been an option in my douce France, cher pays de mon enfance.

I am a self-made person. Remembering getting ready and dressed for school, by myself, since as young as 8 years old – and yes, this was immortalized in the school pictures, years after years…

Although I never doubt about my intellectual capacities, I never thought I was pretty enough. How can I be? I looked so different from the archetypes and people surrounding me. As a result I often felt sorry for myself, engaging in self-destructive behaviors and/or relationships.

Through adolescence I was able to manage graduating junior high and high school, getting my Baccalaureat without any problems despite the certain lack of “serious” efforts. After a year hanging at la fac d’Aix-en-Provence (University of Aix-en-Provence) and more particularly in the dorms of Les Gazelles – dropped – spending the following year in BTS for becoming a trilingual PA –dropped-, moving to Paris to work for a while– moving back down south for a few months, where I studied Tourism and operating system to work in travel agency  (that I never used)–dropped–, I finally ended back up in Paris, in search for a better future (but still no plans) – I should mentioned that “planning” is not a concept widely taught in France; or at least I am not aware of it.

Moving to New York, and most particularly accessing the higher practical American education system (and the fact that anyone, regardless of their age and without being judged, has the chance to go back to school for any career under the sun), has been without a doubt, the best thing for me.

Before abundance, I have been so far “making my mind up” and studied topics, ranging from music engineering to jazz performance and now nutrition, and still working towards my undergraduate degree (ah ah). I would never have had this chance back “home”. Matter of fact, when I first arrived back in 2004, I was already considered “too old” to go back to school.

Now you might tell yourself: what’s wrong with this one, dropping careers one after the other. Well I wonder that same thing. It’s really a mix. Sometimes, I didn’t like things anymore; other times I didn’t feel I was good enough, and got scared to fail.

Nonetheless, I keep going hoping to one day inspire someone by assuring them that I survived it all, and that all was not in vain. Who knows what the future holds?

Right now, I am a small business owner (oh I forgot to mentioned I am making awesome jewelry), working on my BS in nutrition, looking for musicians to start a band and writing a few blogs on nutrition, cooking and my experience as a French girl in Brooklyn…

I might get up depressed sometimes, and my life might look messy from afar, but I do love it and wouldn’t switch places for anything, because the journey is awesome.

©️ Daphne Mia Essiet, 2013

Keeping it Real

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I truly believe that we are the product on our environment. Hence, I refuse to put myself in a box (as pretty and comfortable as it might be for you and me) because of my “Brownness”. Neither my complexion nor hair texture truly defines who I really am as an individual.

Occasionally, most of the time actually I seem to be judgmental. However, the ones who know me best recognize I like making people uncomfortable by bringing up those topics. Those topics that spark flammable conversations, since there are no better ways for being ridiculously outrageous!

 It doesn’t always go as planned: there are the ones who see my Frenchness as presumptuous and assume it is the root for so little political correctness, I make them laugh on the inside, and sometimes on the outside too. The others, just dislike me (I think?), but I will speculate that, deep inside they think what I say is true.

 In the end, nobody really follows through my arguments, and what could have been a real interesting debate dies down, between admiration and hate – just cause I am French.

And the best part is I am only expressing a third of what’s on my mind, without any LOL to end my sentences?

What would it be if I really were keeping it real (son)?

©️ Daphne Mia Essiet, 2011

#ItIsWhatItIs

I miss France & Europe, and lately I have been glamorizing about my mother’s land the way Americans do, which is the way French (and non New Yorkers) think of New York City from watching Sex and the city, which is uncanny…

 I randomly fantasize about going back to France but then I have to reconsider: who is going to do my nails for that cheap? Bygone…

 France is different from the way it is portrayed in the medias: We do drink a lot of wine, coffee, Perrier & smoke cigarettes, eat croissants and walk topless on “La Côte d’Azur” but that’s not everything. For instance, not everyone look like Vanessa Paradis or Catherine Deneuve (look at me…and some of my French friends). What I mean by that is that it is more diversity and color than many picture. A trip to Europe should be a requirement to all American kids, so to realize there are more than what Pepe le Pew taught them!!!

 My point being that I like being French in New York and American in France. It does sound exotic (even if most time I am respectively Dominican or Moroccan)

 But, it is what it is…

©️ Daphne Mia Essiet, 2011

Intro: Where Are You From?

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“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” Audre Lorde

I guess I am not what y’all were expected.

I usually get one of the two reactions when I disclose that I am from France: “nan, you’re not!”  or “oh really?”. Then I have to give them the “look” (they call it the French look)… Who do YOU think YOU are to tell me who I Am, huh?

Then the REAL question arrises: “but where are you originally from?” – STILL the same answer: France!

Do I get it? I get this is a quite ill-informed vision some people have of France. Maybe I should wear a beret and walk around with a baguette under my armpit…

I guess they are wondering where the melanin comes from -Nigeria – but I won’t give them that pleasure. Don’t get me wrong: I am proud to be Nigerian, but don’t come at me telling me WHO TF I AM. Also, just stop asking brown people where they are from.

Since I am in a good mood, I will tell you all about meh-self today: I was born in Los Angeles, then I was brought to France where I spent 23.5 years, and been living in NYC since ’04.

So I guess I am an American-born, Franco-Nigerian, or Afropean (that sounds about right).

I hope that was helpful to you, but just so you know, it does not really informed you who I am, cause you can’t box me like that.

Peace.

©️ Daphne Mia Essiet, 2011