Weekly Life Updates

Happy 25th Birthday, Obie!

Just a quick little shout out to my best friend of 8 years whose birthday is today! I met Obie when I was just 15 years old and he was 17, and I can’t believe that he’s now 25 years old. In honor of his birthday, I wanted to share 25 things that randomly pop up in my head about him and our very long friendship, but for the sake of time and my poor fingers that will literally be writing this all day, here are 10 things about it! 😀

  1. The first day of my sophomore year, I had third-period Physics with a bunch of seniors (I was really good in science). Anyway, my teacher had asked the class what “E=mc²” was, and when I raised my hand to answer it, Obie had looked at me and said, “okay, Liz!” At this time, Obie only knew me briefly; we unofficially met in a math class I had my freshman year but after that little encounter…
  2. … We became friends because we sang in the same choir. In my All About 2010 post, I explain that I was in Performing Choir for the first time and it holds a special place in my heart because it’s where Obie and I officially became friends. Our choir was intense; we had after-school rehearsals for shows that we were going to do, and we traveled to a lot of places to perform. You can say we spent a lot of time together, and we just became close because of it.
  3. Back to physics: when we became official friends, I helped him out with physics whenever he didn’t get or understand something. During one test, I allowed Obie to copy some answers on my test and when our teacher caught him, he practically begged him to just penalize him and not me. I found it quite endearing that he would take full blame. That’s when I was like “alright, I fuck with you. You’re cool beans.” On another occasion, I had completed pages and pages of extra credit homework he had to do or else he wouldn’t graduate on time. Let’s just say we had each other’s backs hardbody. (And still do, under other circumstances).
  4. He is a man of many talents. Not only was he a baritone in Performing Choir, but he also ran his own dance group, Bad Intentionz, and created the choreography for it. I told him back then that his true calling was dancing and teaching it. He denied it. 8 years later, and now he teaches dance to middle school kids. I always knew it was his calling.
  5. He once watched me down an entire Big Mac on a coach bus on our way home from a performance. It’s not as dirty as it sounds. Literally, I was eating a Big Mac and he turned around from his seat and watched me eat it. I asked him afterward why would he even want to see me do so, and he responded with “you’re such a little girl with little hands; it was cute seeing you eat.” Eight years later, and he says the same thing whenever we eat together.
  6. In a turn of events, he was my first kiss. I was a 15-year-old girl surrounded by girls with boyfriends and who had their first kiss checked off their bucket lists. Me? I didn’t have anything checked off from mine. I always dreamt about how mine would be like and how special I wanted it to be. When I met Obie and started to get close to him, I became attracted to him (I used to have this thing where if boys used to give me the time of day and be my best friend I would instantly fall for them, hence why I had so many crushed in elementary and middle school). Obie felt different, and something in me was telling me to go for it whenever I had the chance, and I did. Most girls look back at their first kiss and cringe because it was with some boy that they never liked or did it just for the sake of doing it. I still don’t regret mine.
  7. Because I had this little crush on him in high-school, I use to be really eager to leave my English class just so that I saw him leave his government class a few doors down. It’s funny, because one time, I got out of class to go to my next one, and when we both met up in the hallway, he took me to find his boy that kept on bothering me at lunch. In the middle of the hallway, he was telling this boy off and telling him to leave me alone, and one of my friends passed by us and went “is that him?” Man as nervous and anxious I was then, it was cute of him to do so.
  8. So, Obie was actually at my high-school prom, and not as my date. He was dating a girl at the time and came as her date, but I was so excited for him to be there and experience my prom with me. Occasionally we danced (I remember dancing to “Beez in the Trap” by Nicki Minaj with him, which I don’t even know why we chose that song to dance to) but it was insanely fun and possibly one of the “few” highlights of my senior Prom. Spoiler: most of it sucked.
  9. I’m a girl who is constantly evolving. I learn from my mistakes and I try to become better out of them, but in the process, I’ve lost best friends who couldn’t handle my transitions. Obie has been my best friend for 8 years for a reason, and it’s not because I’ve had this strong attraction to him. Obie is a great example of a friend. When you know a person will always have your back whenever you fall down, you know that person is a good friend. I realized that about him when…
  10. … I fell into a major depression 5 years ago. As mentioned in my All About 2012 post, I was not in the right mind space. I’ve lost friends due to rumors and gossip, and despite it all, Obie never really left my side. There was damage made on both sides of our friendship, but he never thought about leaving me. Every year on our friendaversary, I thank him for never giving up on me because everyone in my life has given up on me at one point, and it’s a blessing to have someone who didn’t, and won’t.

Of course, I have 8 years worth of stuff to write about, but some of it is better left for us to laugh and cringe about. I’ve honestly watched him grow up into the man he is today, and the transformation (and glo’ up) have been surreal. There’s still so much left to learn about each other, and so many adventures to have and memories to make, so hey – here’s to 8 years of an amazing friendship, and 25 years of an amazing person.


Have a great day, Gemini! >:]

-Liz (:

Self-Appreciation Saturdays

Self-Appreciation Saturday. (5/6/17)

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I’ve always lived by this mantra that the most important thing to be in life is being yourself. When you’re showing your authentic self to the world, people will classify you as being “real”. Now, I’m not saying that’s the only reason why you should be yourself, I mean there are many other reasons, but the most important factor of it all is that when you know who you are and what you represent, everything else in your life becomes more clear. You know the important things to worry about in life, the relationships you have with people will be more real, and there just isn’t error for you to make mistakes because you just know better. 

But it’s not easy to get to that point in life. My reinvention of myself was 2 years in the making, and even when life came crashing down on me, I had to start from scratch and reevaluate the new things that impacted my life.

But reinventing yourself isn’t impossible.

  • First things first, throw out any unnecessary things that you feel like are weighing you down. A week ago, I had gone through a big box of old notebooks and journals and found a ton of things in there that I forgot I even had. Most of the things got thrown away because not only were they taking up so much space but some of those things were things I didn’t want to sit and look back on. Like, why would I want to remember all the times I was bullied in 6th grade in my 6th-grade journal? Why would I want to read about the things my own best friend made fun of me for having epilepsy in my 4th-grade journal? I just threw out anything that I knew that I didn’t want to see years in the future when I stumble upon it while going up to the attic of my house. After throwing out all these things that I kept for years, I couldn’t help but feel mentally “lighter” than before. There’s something about throwing old things away to make room for new things that feels like hope. It’s weird, but it makes sense.
  • Revamp your hairstyle or fashion style. So, when I first met Obie, he rocked an afro. In a school where buzz cuts or waves or whatever that was in for guys, he had a little fro that made him stand out. At the end of 2013, he decided that with the little hair he had, he was going to grow out dreads. Officially in 2014, his hair finally locked, and three years later, he has long, almost mid-back length dreads. He always mentions the fact that getting dreads was the best decision he made because it changed something in him and being around him during this transition, I could sense the change in him too. People don’t realize that there’s some psychological reason in why people dye or cut their hair and somehow feel different. I know when I went blonde a couple of times, I felt like a completely different person; even when I went black I felt the same thing. There’s something about a new look in hair or wardrobe that gives you that extra boost to help you reinvent yourself completely.
  • Go over what matters to you. If you were to ask me 5 years ago what matters the most to me, I would say how people perceive me and my friend’s judgment about me. 5 years later, I’m nothing like that anymore. When I was in the early stages of reinventing myself, I had a couple of people in my life who were dead weight to me. But because of my need to be there for people no matter how they treated me, it took longer than expected to completely eliminate those people out of my life. Instead of wanting approval from my friends, respect and support from my friends became what really mattered to me. Instead of worrying about what people thought of me, authenticity and honesty became what really mattered to me. As you grow older, you soon realize the things that you thought were so important in your life as a teenager was actually immature, baby shit that has no real impact on the world.
  • Identity isn’t always positive things; embrace your negatives. There will be a time in your life where you don’t know where you fit in and that’s okay because it’s a learning experience. For awhile, I thought I was an extrovert because in my younger years I was one. Once I became a teenager, I realized just how much I was actually an introvert because I was always in my head. To this day, I’m very much always in my head, and I’m timid and shy in certain settings. These things are far from being positive things to identify with, but after I stopped trying to change that part of myself, I felt better. Being shy and quiet is something that will always be with me, but I’m also trying to not let it hinder my social experiences and interactions with people. Identity isn’t always positive things because no one is perfect. I think the want to be perfect is a negative identification within itself, to be honest.
  • After reinventing yourself, don’t forget where you came from. In the midst of cleaning out my things last week, I stumbled upon my high-school yearbook. I looked through it for a few seconds and really thought about tossing it out because it represented a part of my life where I was severely depressed, suicidal, and lost with no hope in life. I saw all the people who were my “friends” at the time, I saw all the people who fucked me over, and all-in-all, I just had to ask myself if I’m just keeping this piece of shit just to be normal and say that I have my high-school yearbook. I took to Facebook to express myself, and the overwhelming responses that I got to keep it surprised me, actually.

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The fact of the matter is that no matter how bad an experience was, it is always good to know where you came from, and how far you’ve come. The difference between my high-school yearbook and the other books I threw out is because my elementary school years didn’t make me the person I am today. My bad experience from high school made me want to reinvent myself into a better, kinder, smarter, wiser, and honest person. People who completely reinvent themselves usually do it so that they can forget the person that they once were. Sometimes, your bad experiences humble you. They remind you why it’s essential to be kind to others, why you are the way you are. Long story short, I decided to keep it. Maybe in the future, if I ever have kids of my own, I’ll show them that if I could overcome it, they can do.

-Liz (:



Throwback Thursdays

#TBT: All About 2010.

It’s really crazy to think that 2010 was 7 years ago. People who were born in 2010 are turning 7 this year. People born this year are in the 1st grade. In 2010, I was a sophomore in high-school experiencing tons of new things and was introduced to what it was really like to be a teenager. No seriously. Before 2010, I was this innocent child that didn’t do teenage things yet. This was a different type of year. 

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This is 16-year old Liz. A little, naive, curious teenage girl who wanted to explore every aspect of life. Regarding school, this was my first year being a part of the vocal program’s highest-ranking choir, Performing Choir. I was one of 6 sophomores to be put into the choir during this year, and the adventures I had this year with my choir members were amazing. We traveled to many places, such as various churches all throughout the borough, we went to NYSSMA and received the first ever “Gold with Distinction” award BHSA got within all of the performing arts program, and we performed at Albany for Music in Our Schools Month. 

Just notice how awkward I looked standing in the front row. This day and performance was memorable because this was the first time that I noticed just how powerful we were as a choir. 25 of us sounded like 60 people singing, and a lot of these people had soul and passion in their voice. I am still honored that I was a part of such an amazing bunch. Performing Choir ’10 wasn’t just the beginning of a tedious vocal adventure and exploration I went on, but it was solely the reason how I met my best friend, Obie.

Fetus, Afro Obie. (He’s going to kill me for it. Lol)

I met Obie unofficially during my freshman year when I was in the same math class as him. Of course, I wasn’t really paying attention to my surroundings, so I vaguely remember him talking to me and making me laugh a lot. I was intimidated by him; he was a junior when I was a freshman and at first I wasn’t interested in making friends with the upperclassmen. Once I started my sophomore year, Obie was in my Physics class. I was in Physics as a sophomore because I was actually really good in science, so I was put in classes that most seniors took, and Obie was a senior when I was a sophomore. I still remember the first day of Physics, we were talking about what “e=mc²” stood for, and I remember answering most of the questions, and Obie said in the back of the class “Okay, Liz!” It made me smile, I can’t front. Later that day, I found out that he was also in Performing Choir, and that’s how we began to know each other. On October 9th, 2009, I gave him my AIM screen-name, and the rest is history.

When he gets into this pose, it means he wants his picture taken.

Obie, now 24 with a head full of dreads and a nice scruff on his face, and he’s still my best friend. He’s actually more than just that, but he’s… how do I say this without sounding like a complete cheese-ball… honestly he’s my everything. Obie and I’s friendship isn’t your typical friendship and it didn’t stay platonic for long. As mentioned in my post The “I love you” Story, our friendship developed into something more serious and connective. He’s been there through the ups and downs, the very good and very bad, and nothing has changed since. I think back at all the times we traveled together to Performing Choir performances and back, I remember sitting next to Obie, who was yelling out of the B44 bus window after NYSSMA saying, “I got gold with distinction, I don’t need this!” I remember all the trouble we got into during that summer, and all the adventures we had during it too. We’ve had a really great first year of friendship in 2010, and I wouldn’t change anything about it.

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Summer 2010: Poolside in Staten Island, NY

Towards the end of 2010, I had to start my school year without my best friend being there. I managed to actually spend some time with old friends, such as my Pershing (JHS) friends during a reunion we had.

Lmfaoooo, Bianca’s face though.

As well as hang out with some new friends from my high-school (I was even invited to my very first Sweet Sixteen party!)

Nina, Angelica, and I during gym.
Racquel’s Sweet Sixteen.

All in all, 2010 was a great year because I honestly thought that I grew up as a person. I had many firsts this year, and I experienced a lot of new things that I never experienced before, and I believe this was just the start of the person that I am now, aka the girl who isn’t all uptight and close-minded about things that are “bad” and “life-altering” like sex and smoking weed. 

Man, I’m glad I’m not that girl anymore. Thank you, 2010!

-Liz (:

Throwback Thursdays

#TBT: Favorite Memory of 2011.

So, I was a junior in high-school during 2011. Although 2011 was a year of regrets and mistakes that I made as a stupid 17 year old girl, I would describe 2011 being the year that my life was mainly Performing Choir.



I was put into Performing Choir for a second year. With the major success the previous year of PC was, it became a choir that a lot of people wanted to be a part of. The previous year of Performing Choir consist of  mostly seniors, and once they graduated, the question of who was going to be the next Performing Choir roamed through every single vocal major’s mind. I was grateful to be a part of such an amazing choir for another year, and I was really grateful to be more involved in the choir, whether it was helping my fellow Second-Sopranos with music, or getting minor solos in the bigger choral pieces.

If you will like to hear what Performing Choir was like in 2011, here are a few links to videos that depict just the many places that we performed and all the songs we did during this time period. (Remember, this was 2011, and video quality was still shitty…)

Despite these little clips that do absolutely no justice to the real thing, we also performed at places such as Carnegie Hall, The Capital at Albany for Music in Our Schools Month, received Gold for the NYSSMA competition after singing two Level 6 songs (the highest difficulty), and at the Bronx Zoo as the musical guests for a competition.

My personal favorite throughout the entirety of 2011: the Brooklyn Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble Competition in Bishop Loughlin High School located in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

The Winning Piece: “Lift Every Voice & Sing”

Weeks prior to this day in March, we prepared for this competition. Our vocal teacher, Mr. Williams, tried rearranging various choir members in little groups of 8, singing various songs that we knew. I remember being pulled in and out of various groups and feeling slightly discouraged that I wasn’t good enough to compete. Finally, I was put into the group that was going to sing PC’s infamous song to sing, “Lift Every Voice & Sing”. To this day, I still know all of the parts of each voice present. I was selected to sing the second-soprano section of the song, and we were one of the first to actually perform. I thought we did pretty well, but I never thought that I would be sitting in the audience, thinking the ensemble I was a part of, would win first place.

I can’t tell if we were really into the group that was performing, or the fact that we were waiting for the results.

When they announced that my ensemble had won the competition, I literally cried tears. I never felt like I was good enough in these group of people because they were all so much more talented than me, and to be a part of the winning ensemble, I really felt so good.

We literally walked from the high-school back to Downtown Brooklyn dancing and singing these different songs, and of course – the winning song. 

Our last show as PC ’11 at Riverside Church on June 19th, 2011.

Like I mentioned in my 2012 #TBT post, Performing Choir was really the only good thing I would relive high school for (besides meeting Obie in 2009). I traveled to so many different parts of NYC and rehearsed so many hours these different shows that I don’t think that I ever missed one. You would think that performing at Carnegie Hall would’ve been my favorite memory, and it’s one of them. Carnegie Hall was such an amazing experience because I know that it was going to be a once in a lifetime experience, and I got the pleasure to do it for two years in a row. To rehearse in the city, on the Carnegie Hall stage… seriously so breathtaking. 

Sometimes, I feel like I took advantage of my time in PC, but I think everyone did. We all look back now and see the hard work and dedication being a part of this and what our vocal teacher put into this group and the rest of the vocal program.

A former choir member, Jade Ashley, dedicated her senior project, “In Music I Trust” towards documenting the journey that the vocal program went through in Mr. William’s guidance. I was very lucky to be a part of the interview process with my best friend where Performing Choir was the place we both officially met! Such a beautiful depiction of what our vocal teacher created in his four years in Brooklyn High School of the Arts, and I believe 2011 was the peak of its success.

Our legacy still lives on in room B25. It will forever be.

-Liz (:

Throwback Thursdays

#TBT: All About 2012.

This was me. I sometimes like to call her “dumbass Liz” because, well, you’ll find out.

I’ve experienced 23 years of life, but I can only remember 19 of those years because who can actually remember anything significant before they are four years old? I’ve had my ups and downs every year, but 2012 was a different type of year for me. Five years later and I can say this was the absolute worst year I’ve ever lived. That’s not an exaggeration.

Lemme explain.

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This was me on my 18th birthday. My birthday was on a school day, and for the most part, I had many people show love to me and wish me a Happy Birthday. After school, I went out with a person who was really into and infatuated with, and we both had an amazing time out and about around the city.

A week later, everything turned upside down.

I am not going to sit here and tell you what happened (it’s all on my Tuesday post on the Importance of Mental Health) but I am also not going to sit here and play myself as a victim, because I wasn’t. I will take responsibility for the things I’ve done, for the people I hurt, and for the lies that I’ve told. I wasn’t the greatest person in the world. Not only was I starting to become depressed, I started to make drastic changes without any second thought about it.

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In March, I made this huge transition to being completely blonde for the first time. The process of stripping out my brunette hair color to this pale yellow/platinum blonde literally took my sister 6 hours to do. I came to school that next morning and had everyone turntheir heads towards me. I can’t lie, becoming blonde was something I enjoyed doing because it was something different and something new, and nobody in my grade had the guts to even put bleach in their natural hair. I started to stand out in the crowd, and shortly after, I started to be in more social settings. 

Despite still feeling the aftermath of what happened earlier that year, 2012 was my senior year of high-school which meant “Senior Spirit Week” was a thing:

Since I went to a performing arts high school, I was also in the vocal program; a member of the highest ranking choir within the entire program: Performing Choir. 

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It was my third and final year being a part of such an amazing choir with amazingly talented people. (Fun fact: Ariel Tejada, aka Kylie Jenner’s Make-Up Artist, was a member of Performing Choir as well.) Performing Choir traveled around these different places and performed at different locations over the years. In 2012 specifically, we performed at Carnegie Hall, Temple University in Philadelphia, The Statue of Liberty on ABC’s Good Morning America , and in Connecticut to some place that I totally don’t remember where exactly. In the midst of my depression, Performing Choir was really the only reason why I got up in the mornings to go to school. It was my way of focusing on something that wasn’t my thoughts and problems.

Urban Word’s Brooklyn Open Mic Night @ Brooklyn Public Library.

In an attempt to cure my depression, I took on a new hobby, which was spoken poetry. I became apart of an organization called Urban Word NYC, a place where teens were allowed to go to workshops and express themselves through writing and sharing poetry. For the most part, my craft in poetry was improving a lot and I finally felt like I belonged. To this day, I feel like some of my greatest poetry came out of this era, and sadly it’s one of the reasons why I don’t write poetry anymore. It reminds me of the dark times in my life.

But like everything else, my depression and my need for someone to heal me took over. I made mistakes that hurt the very few people who still cared about me after all that happened, and I decided to leave. I haven’t been back since… I want to say October 2012.

Prom 2012. (PC: DSP)
Graduation 2012.

High-school finally ended, which meant I was finally going to part ways with old and toxic friendships and head into college with a fresh start.

Boy was I wrong.

My first semester in college was horrific. This new stress piled on top of lingering old stress and issues made it hard for me to focus in school. Although I passed my classes at the end, it didn’t mean it felt good barely passing. By the end of 2012, I wanted to drop out. By the end of 2012, I let go of the little hope I had for myself and simply began to just be there in dead space. I wasn’t me anymore and by this time, I was still holding on to toxic and abusive friendships, and all the help people try providing for me began to vanish.

Central Park. (PC: Leona Lee)

The majority of my 2012 was me trying to simply fit into groups and places that I normally wouldn’t fit into and fake a smile along the way. 2012 was simply the start of my depression, and the start of one of the hardest process to live through. You see a smile on my face here, but this is what depression disguises itself to be.  I look back at this and remember what I was going through this time of my life. I was on the verge of academic probation, the person who I was still infatuated with began to treat me like shit, my friendship with Obie was on its last legs, and I was still living in someone else’s shadow for my own protection.

I sometimes miss this girl because of how thinner, creative, and talented she was. But I know I don’t really miss her. I don’t miss spending my senior year of high-school crying on the bathroom floor when everyone else was out celebrating. I don’t miss seeing Obie, the person I was always secretly in love with, being with another woman and slow-dancing with her at Prom. I don’t miss the constant paranoia for my life. I don’t miss seeing myself as this awful person. I don’t miss the suicidal thoughts and self-harming sessions.

2012 was the absolute worst year I’ve experienced, but it’s the year that made me who I am today. Because of that, I am forever grateful to had experienced it that year.

-Liz (: