Star Candelaria

The essence of feeling and imagination

I was in the first grade when I decided that I wanted to be a lawyer or a writer. My fascination with systems and societal rules was considered weird. I often spoke up for the bullied and played defense attorney when a teacher would attempt to punish one of my peers. I took notes in my many journals about any classroom occurrence that I deemed unfair. I had the ability to communicate with my peers and adults fluidly.

The day I recognized my own power, it was too late.

My peers were out of control and Mrs. Gravante (gruh-von-tay) lost her voice from having to yell so often. Although I had only spoken up for the wronged, the entire classroom took the freedom as an opportunity to act a fool.

The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly.

Oscar Wilde

I recall crying in the girls room because I felt guilty for the loss of her voice. During teacher-student counsel she assured me that she had surgery on her ‘voice box’. She then advised me to use my own voice for the greater good instead of jumping to everyone’s defense. Not every person can be excused.

That was my defining moment. That is who I am. This is who I have grown to become.

My Name Is Star Candelaria And My Background Is All Over The Place. Literally.

I’m from a small-ish township in New Jersey called Willingboro, and I lived at 24 Triangle Lane. I learned who I was and what I wanted to do with my life while attending Twin Hills Elementary. I transferred to Joseph A. McGinley for two years and then to Mildred McGowan for my final year in New Jersey.

In my early years, I lived and attended Pre-K in Philadelphia. My cousin will tell you that I got him in trouble by the red brick wall, often, and he isn’t lying. Love you Taiv! #HeavilyHumbled  You should also know that I firmly believed that spinach made you stronger and I topped it off with ketchup. Because,  #KetchupOnEverything!

In 2003, my mother and I moved to Cincinnati, Ohio.

No matter how many times I’d sung the states and the capitols song, I couldn’t remember where Ohio was on the map. When I woke up in the Uhaul the sight of Ohio made me nauseous. There were no sidewalks, no schools inside of the neighborhoods, no Arabs, no Turkish folks, no Puertorriquenos and no Brown people. Where were all of my brothers and sisters? Was I ever going to find a playmate? How was I supposed to walk to school if there are no sidewalks?

I attended J.F. Burns Elementary and was welcomed by the students and staff. It was like they got a new barbie doll. A student from another state and I was black, I might as well have had five arms and spoke seven languages. In school I was looking for color everywhere! There was not a single one to connect with. I did find two good friends from two different cliques, Kristin Balzer and Taylor Hosey. I am still the type of person who avoids cliques and group think.

Finding Myself Through Others 

Having the handy-dandy knowledge of my power, I became friends with everyone in some way. I pretty much flirted my way into male friendships and played match-maker with my friends. There were many instances that I had to mediate the arguments between Kristin and her boyfriend Nicholas Hayden. On the other hand, I’d play tag and tether-ball with Taylor and her gang.

It wasn’t until fifth grade, when all of the fourth graders from the three elementary schools merged, that I saw another black student. It was during this time that I was exposed to racism. 

I was called a n* by one of the parents after our D.A.R.E. program graduation ceremony. It happened again in the hallway when one of the South Lebanon trailer bugs or as my school referred to them, the poor-poor whites, brushed past me with her smelly posse. I laughed. 

I knew who I was. A strong, intelligent, witty, comical, flirtatious, bootylicious, mature fifth grader. A black girl (not yet a woman). The total opposite of what she was.

developing awareness

It was rare that I encountered overt racism because I can be intimidating. However, there were plenty of instances where I had to address racist micro-aggressions and covert racism. Thankfully I had a powerful voice and a well trained/educated mind to back it up. Although sometimes I got a little stereotypical…

I subconsciously smacked my best friend before our lacrosse practice when she jokingly stated ‘what’s up my nigga’. (yes we are still best friends)

When I’d act out of character my mom would remind me that I was either going to college or going to get pregnant. So I pushed myself through high school and made it to the University of Toledo. In an introductory law & social thought classroom, I smiled because I made it.

I was finally on my way to becoming a public defense attorney!

Just as quickly as I signed Pre-Law as my concentration, I deleted it from my agenda. I passed the class, but there was no personal thought involved. How was I supposed to make changes if I had to abide by the book? Precedent. Precedent. Precedent? I was saddened that my life long plan of becoming a lawyer was not going to happen.

I cried and then got back to work. 

I kept English as my major but I wanted to be active in some way. So, I chose political science as a minor and quenched my thirst for understanding systems. What better system to study than that of our own Government and its relations with other nations, how it treats its women and people of color? It was awful, but extremely engaging. I didn’t feel challenged and I was getting lazy. So I transferred to the University of Cincinnati.

There, I seldom missed a class.

There was always a debate. I was always the black voice. I was also the only female voice in some courses. In addition, there were no black students in ANY of my core English courses. The isolation had me crying often but I never quit. 

I obtained my English degree after five long years (one semester doesn’t count because I was a pothead and another semester I had a meltdown) and minor certificate in Political Science. I had officially beat all odds and become a positive statistic. FREEDOM! J/K there’s barely any freedom in your early to late 20’s but, I was grown-grown. 


Music: GROWN WOMAN by Beyonce

LexLeshay 

People are inherently good. I believe everyone is born good. Unfortunately we all face challenges and obstacles that develop and shape our attitudes and outlook on the world. To protect my good-natured self, I created an alternative personality.

Writers aren’t people exactly. Or, if they’re any good, they’re a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person

F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Essence Of Feeling And Imagination

Otherwise known as my good-natured self is used as a tagline. But, it isn’t a tag line exactly.

It is the description of my date and time of birth. As you read my writing you will walk into different realms, you will feel like you are a part of the story whether you are the antagonist or the protagonist. You will desire to read more and you will want to attempt at expressing your own emotions and thoughts in a healthier way.

My words may make you cry, they may make you laugh, they may provoke your thoughts and they may reintroduce you to your imagination.

Whatever my words do for you, don’t be too shy to share your feedback with me! I’m Star Candelaria and it is a pleasure to have you here

Connect With Me On Social Media

That’s Black Face, And You’re Weird For Doing It.

Pop culture has re-centralized its focus on black women and this time, it has gone too far.

What the hell is this and why aren’t we charging for it??

Screenshot from IG

IT’S IMITATION!

White women are literally imitating black women in every way.

From the lips, to the eyes, to hair, to the hips, to the thighs, to the butt, to the breasts, to the style and even our dialect.

Now only if they could imitate how to season food…

ms-3GCjaR.gif

These frauds have deleted certain photos from their social media accounts to avoid further criticism, i’m sure, but why do it in the first place? I honestly want to know what made them wake up in the morning offer their skin to the tanning bed, purchase weaves or texturizes, and even go as far as to get injections.

Could it be that black women are the prototype for all women?

ms-SJizrq.gif

I say let’s give them a pass (ya’ll did let Kim K pass). It is said that the best form of flattery is imitation. While this is uber creepy, I can’t blame plain jane and boring betty for craving some of the attention that beautiful melanin enriched women have received. We make waves. Accomplish goals. Raise the bar. Fall and stand up tall:

Black women own about 2.4million of the businesses and are THE ONLY racial OR ethnic group with more business ownerships than male counterparts.

ms-KhqBf1.gif

Black women are the most educated group in the United States.

Black women created hairstyling and hair products.

Black women fight (figuratively- with those votes and literally- with these hands)

Black women aren’t afraid to break molds and bust down doors because,

Black women created life (periodT)

So in essence, black women created these frauds. Rather than bash them into oblivion, we should create an account. Every creator knows it costs more to model after the prototype. Let’s add to the amount of black female owned businesses with this wave.

ms-ygI70o.gif

>>>>>>>Calling all frauds!<<<<<<<

For just FOUR* monthly payments of $99.99 YOU CAN PASS AS BLACK!!!

You still can’t say the n word. Ever. All you have to do is pay your fees to your local black owned business. If you are not located near one, simply hop in your car and drive to one. If you are SO far out that you cannot drive to a black owned business you are automatically ineligible for this program.

ACT NOW! YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS THIS SALE!!

Prices will double on Black Friday.

 

*There are five payments in March.

Prices are subject to change. Prices may vary depending on how problematic you are. Prices may vary depending on how problematic you may become. Prices may vary, just because. 

 

 

245(a)(1)- Fallon Diego

The last thing I can remember is my boyfriend nodding his head yes. I couldn’t admit this to the detective though. My lawyer told me not to say anything until she arrived.

~      ~

      “Babe stop, I have to go to work.”

 

“But do you see him right now? This is all for you. All you have to do is lay right there.” Jeremiah urged as he thrusted towards me.

 

I jumped up,  ran to the bathroom and locked the door so I could get dressed in peace.

 

“Remember that you started this Fallon and it’s going to get settled today.” he yelled from the other side.

 

Once I was ready, I made my way into the kitchen.

 

“So this is what she looks like four years later?”

 

“I didn’t take that long, sheesh.”

 

“Oh, okay. That’s how you feel?”

 

I bent down to hug him, “I’m just kidding, Happy Anniversary msn of the year.”

 

“You mean man of your life.”

 

Before he could get me in a headlock, I ducked. “I’ll see you later my love!”

 

I grabbed a bagel on the way out the door. Downstairs the driver helped me into the car. I slid into the back seat to the other side. The ten minute drive to my boss’s apartment building wasn’t enough for me to finish my bagel so I tossed it out the window when the car stopped.

 

“Good morning Fallon.” she greeted as she slid in beside me smelling like a freshly shampooed dog.

 

“Good morning Rebecca. I have your schedule here.” I said as I handed her the folder from my purse. “Today is a busy day for you but I made space for lunch with Todd.”

 

“Perfect. It has been awhile since I had an uninterrupted lunch hour.” she said as she reviewed the documents. “I won’t need you until the on o’clock conference meeting. Be sure to take better notes this time too, I had a tough time understanding your shorthand.”

 

The car stopped and she hopped out for her first meeting of the day as the driver took me straight to the office. Inside I was greeted by the security guard as I made my way toward the elevator. Our office was on the ninth floor, which was serviced by only one of the five elevator currently in use. I waited. My phone buzzed.

 

Hey babe, did you forget something?

Jeremiah I didn’t have time this morning remember…

Not that. You forgot your lunch!

Dammit. I guess I’ll have to– another text came  through before I could finish

Miss forgetful I’ll be by to drop it off. What time is your break?

Around noon, so 11:45?

See you then.

Thank you my love, you’re the best!

Man of the year. Man of your life. I title I wear proudly, but it doesn’t pay. I’ll add this to your tab of favors

Wow, petty.

🙂

 

The elevator smelled like fresh ass. A fart lingered as I held my breath praying that I’d make it to my floor without passing out.

 

I entered the office gasping for air. Shirley didn’t even speak, too busy reviewing the voice after-hours voice messages. Likewise, I went into my office and began sorting through the endless e-mails.

 

Time flew by and surprisingly no calls from Rebecca. On the rare occurrence that I finished work before lunch, I would walk a few blocks over to my favorite restaurant for a well-made Caesar salad and herb salmon.

 

I called Jeremiah.

 

“Hello my love, how about we go to lunch today?”

 

“Too late.” he said through the receiver as he barged into my office.

 

“Wow you don’t play around with time do you?”

 

“It is our anniversary.” he planted a juicy kiss on my forehead.

 

“This isn’t my meal prep ha ha.” he surprised me with my favorites. We sat on the floor as I cut into the salmon and sprinkled it on my salad.

 

“Your secretary didn’t even see me come in. She needs to get on her p’s and q’s.”

 

“Yea she seems to be distracted today, I’m going to check on her later. Hopefully it’s nothing serious.”

 

“Where’s Becky?”

 

“L O L you know if she heard you say that she’d probably fire me.” I giggled. “She is out until our next meeting. I’m hoping they cancel it and she just doesn’t come into the office at all. You know she threw shade this morning, talking about she can’t understand my shorthand.”

 

“What’d you write?”

 

“I’m assuming she’s referring to my usage of Nat’l instead of national and i.e. instead of example. She knows what it mean, she is just being a biah. She needs to get laid. Hopefully today’s lunch datewith Todd will set her right.” I spoke in between bites.

 

“Hm. Speaking of, it’s time I cash in this favor.”

 

“What?” I said through the fork hanging from my mouth. He stood and pulled me too. “Where are we going?”

 

He led me into the door with the male silhouette hanging from it.

 

“Ohmygah. Jeremiah, I–” he kissed my spot and my legs flew open. I dropped the fork on the floor. As I unraveled, he stripped me from my pantsuit. Naked we danced around the bathroom trying to be as quiet as we possibly could. We pressed up against the light switch and it clicked off.

 

We found our way into the only stall, he sat down and I sat on him. He was so deep I almost peed.

 

The door opened and the light came on. I shrieked.

 

The sound of heels clicking on the floor quickly approaching the stall made my heart beat quick.

 

“This is what you do when I’m out of the office Fallon?”

 

“Rebecca, no. I’m. Oh my gosh.” I said as I hid our naked bodies behind the door. I felt like a teenager all over again, except this time I wouldn’t be grounded. I’d be fired.

 

“No. Don’t hide.” She said calmly.

 

“What?” I was confused.

 

“Don’t hide him, I mean.” Rebecca said as she took her blazer off and threw it over the door.

 

“I’m not, he’s going to leave. Can we talk about this? Am I going to lose my job here?”

 

“We don’t have to talk about it.” She responded coyly. “You have two options. One– you get dressed and pack your office up. Two– you come from out of that stall and let me in so he can sip on this fine wine.”

 

“So that he can do what?” I cocked my head to the side.

 

“She wants me to eat her–” Jeremiah looked up at me.

 

“What’s it going to be Fallon?”

 

“Jeremiah, please get dressed. We are leaving.” I said as I grabbed my clothes. She had me fucked up.

 

Rebecca slid to the side, still looking into the stall. I peeked my head back in to see Jeremiah still sitting there.

 

“Babe, do you really want to lose your job? We can’t afford our apartment and lifestyle with just one income.” He questioned me, still sitting there.

 

“Jeremiah, get up. I’m not playing with you and I won’t repeat myself again.”

 

“He made a great point and it’s just head.” Rebecca said as I reached down for my blouse.

 

“Is the offer still on the table?” Jeremiah questioned.

 

“It’s actually under this skirt.” Rebecca replied. “Are you saying yes?”

 

Jeremiah nodded his head in the affirmative.

 

The world went black and when I came to I was in handcuffs.

 

There was blood on the floor and in between my toes. I had to wait until the stretchers were in the ambulance before they moved me. Shirley was speaking with one of the officers and shaking her head in disbelief as the other officer read me my rights and escorted me out.

~      ~

 

“Okay Miss Diego, you’re the only one that isn’t in the hospital. This doesn’t look good for you. You still have time to decide whether or not you will work with us, we just want to understand what happened in that office.” the detective said as I concentrated my attention on the wall behind his head. “It’s your choice and your freedom on the line not mine.” He said as he gathered his files and left the interrogation room.

 

 

This short was written in response to a suggestion made by IG: autyfrancisco The main character Fallon Diego, is my dedication to you for the submission. ❤ Check out her work on autumnfrancisco.com

IMG_8637

 

Defend Yourself From Discouragement

BE confident that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.

 

You have to ask yourself this, Am I discouraged or Am I trying to please others?

 

I am a firm believer that whatever talent or hobby you found as a child and stuck with overtime is your thing. No matter if you took extended breaks from it, molded it, crafted it into something applicable in the corporate world etc. it is YOUR thing.

Mine
Mine

 

Yet, at a point in your life when you find that the thing you’re doing is not cool to others or deemed impossible by others you let it go. The trade-off is detrimental to the development of that talent. That thing. Your character.

For example, there are many talented singers that were discouraged from taking the step further into getting paid for it. I’m not talking about being the next Aretha Franklin either. I am referring to the possibilities of joining traveling theater groups, singing in the Church or even coaching others.

Were they discouraged? Verbally, yes. But, that is the moment where you have to make the conscious decision to say, fuck what they talking about.

Screen Shot 2018-10-11 at 9.55.55 PM.png

Instead, some of what they say is internalized. For those of you who don’t have a solid support system, you start second guessing yourself and might even go searching for approval from the next person. That person ends up asking you a series of questions about a plan you haven’t fully developed yet and dismisses the whole idea. Dismisses your talent. They give you their two cents and you take it as gold. You end up choosing to follow that person’s plan or idea for your life.

Then there you are, not working on what you believe in.

Screen Shot 2018-10-11 at 9.59.39 PM.png

You abandoned your thing! You probably went and forced yourself into something else and became good at it, but have no passion for it. A sense of encouragement for that decision probably came from those who discouraged you from where you were headed. This new thing now detouring you from what was made to challenge and develop your character.

Screen Shot 2018-10-11 at 10.01.12 PM.png

For me, I began reciting poetry at the age of seven and my first recitation was of My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson. I skipped a grade because I wrote and read well. It wasn’t cool to be smart, so I started failing. I didn’t have that support and I wasn’t allowed to cuss. So language arts became a challenge. I went on to take every English course in my high school—quickly learned the levels of writing—and thoroughly enjoyed working on our high school’s online newspaper The Knight Times. Post grad, I chose the Creative Writing track instead of the poetry track and obtained a degree in English.

 

IMG_8632.jpeg

 

With all the effort I put into learning and practicing, I ended up working in public health (loved it by the way, hey mentees!) because was time to adult and pay bills, I didn’t have time to figure out what I wanted to write and how to make a living from it. Then I lost my job. That moment, I decided this was the time to figure out my path. I expanded my portfolio by reaching out to companies and marketing myself the old fashioned way. Money was slow but it was money for my passion. I lyft drove in addition and took on contracts that didn’t work out business wise while I submitted 100’s of applications. The backlash was too real. My dad told me to move back. My mom told me to apply for McDonald’s. My aunt told me to find a husband.

1539313551533.JPEG

LexLeshay spoke clear as day, “fuck what they talking about.” Months later, I landed my dream job. My talent, hard work, prayer, more prayer, lots of tears, pity me rants and more prayer landed me my dream job as a content writer.

My roots in writing and creating are strong. No matter what I was told, I was going to make it work.

Likewise,

Your roots in _____ are strong. No matter what you are told, you are going to make it work.

Stick to your talent, believe in your passion, nurture its growth as it will develop yours. Remember that overcoming discouragement comes from within. So, knowing what you have and multiplying that by what you will do with it, is a strong defense against discouragement.

Lastly, don’t try to please others, fuck what they talking about!

Screen Shot 2018-10-11 at 9.55.55 PM.png

%d bloggers like this: