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Many of my post may be filled with typos, ignorant statements, untruths, bad English, & anything else that may make me appear to be uneducated. Please note: all of these things combined make my Blog the perfect one, because you know I have issues & I am not ashamed. With this said; enjoy, fuck mistakes & read between the lines!

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Archive for the 'Ah Ha Moment' Category

So…It’s Been A Long Time Since

Author: Tafari, Tuesday, April 10th, 2018 at 9:20 PM
Not sure if this is a comeback but here I am. Who’s still here? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone??? It's been YEARS since I last posted here and I miss it. WAIT... It’s been 3 years… So many reasons why I stopped writing and all centered around depression, drama still circling from my divorce/child custody battle and a general unhappiness with life, which led to the erosion of my creative spirit. Today, I am well both mentally & emotionally. All the divorce and child custody drama is OVER! AND… There are so many new things in my life that give me joy, happiness, & satisfaction. THE SKINNY:
My Ex: She died 2 years ago.. I found out on Facebook through a friend that I hadn’t talked to in ages. Although she was dead to me years before she actually left her body in a very tragic death, my daughters Olivia and Amelia are still hurting over their loss but WE ARE HEALING together and that has been beautiful. After $75K spent fighting my ex... fighting to love and support my children... there are so many layers to this story and over the course of a few posts, I will be sharing my experience to hopefully help any man who is out there struggling through a divorce, child custody issues, and just needs a map to well-rounded mental and emotional help. My Kids: Although unfortunate for my children, the death of my ex was a turnaround moment for me and my kids as a barrier to love was removed. I HATE looking it like this but I know things would be much different if this life event would not have occurred. I take no joy in her death but I certainly LOVE where me and the kids are. Olivia 2017 Olivia is approaching 20 this year, in her 2nd year of college, just purchased her 1st car, ready for a successful summer of internships and music festivals. She’s doing so much and I love it! Amelai 2017 Amelia is approaching 13 and is such a little self-determined spitfire. She’s doing great in school, has a true sense of humor that can light up any room, and is a creative entrepreneurial thinker full of hustle. Also... Sade is ALMOST 21!!! OMG! Really? Yes! She’s attending the University of Alabama, working really hard & is super focused! She’s survived some crazy odds and situations and continues to be a fighter. She makes me proud. My Job-Job: Most people know, many don’t… but I usually have a day job. Actually, my last day job was with Michigan Medicine/University of Michigan Health System. I was employed there for the last 15 years and decided to call it quits back in December 2017. I had a few roles in my time there but the last role was that I shaped and shifted in for 12 years. Why did I leave??? Bad management. Stress. Hostile work environment. All things that I am not having in my life anymore. The decision came after I suffered a tremendous breakdown at work and was carted off in an ambulance. Days later, I found myself on the couch of a therapist. A woman that helped me pull my life back together over a period of several months; six months to be exact. She helped me search for happiness within myself, helped me with strategies to control my anxiety, coached me through my fight with depression. She essentially helped me to evolve & focus on the things in this world that truly matter and while employment matters, my Black life, mind, & body cannot be governed by a pay check, especially when faced with a dangerous manager/director/boss…. On December 18th, I was so damn happy to submit my resignation. Handing that woman my letter was so freeing… so sobering, it gave me life as they say. watch her read it with her quivering lips warmed my cold heart. “December 18, 2017 Dear Laurel Barnes, After just over fifteen years of employment with Michigan Medicine, with twelve of those years in Learning Management, I enthusiastically tender my resignation effective 12/29/2017. Over the past several months, I have had time to reflect, and determined that it is in my best interest to no longer work in this damaging environment. After submitting complaints to the compliance office and getting no follow up from human resources, specifically Sarah Diebold after multiple attempts, it is clear that Learning Management under your leadership is not a safe nor positive space. It appeared that your intent was to tear apart rather than team build based on several incidents: 1) You told me that I lacked analytical skills without even knowing what I did within the department specifically, 2) You accused me of instigating workplace turmoil between XXXX & XXXX , 3) You suggested that XXXX and I had deep seated issues that interfere with work. After sharing untruths in regards to my behavior with XXXX & XXXX , who were shocked and confused by your statements and accounting, your bullyish behavior was further exposed. Under your leadership, the office is a very dangerous toxic environment ran on fear, bullying, intimidation, & deceit. The emotional intelligence and technical aptitude to effectively manage a diverse team positively was clearly absent and I suffered tremendously as a result. I will not be taking your three offers of a reference letter as you can’t effectively speak to my work, skills, abilities, work ethic or anything related. Reclaiming my time, Tafari K. Stevenson-Howard” Since I reclaimed my life and time, my purpose is clear. My satisfaction with my actions is clear. My zest for life is renewed and sustainable… The crazy thing is, before I quit, one of my good friends quit. Just quit! No job, no nothing because the environment was so ridiculously bad. After I left, four more of my team members left for the same reasons. We all worked together for 12 years or so. The cool thing is, we are all in better places but unfortunately, I had to suffer a mental breakdown… Life continues! With that said, I am now in a new job-job situation and it’s great! A positive work space doing something that feels meaningful. Working with a team that’s agile, fun, and diverse. My Passion: My photography is still a thing & has been really fun, especially since I have a renewed energy pushing my creatively, which was missing for so long.

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So that I don’t bombard this post with too much, you can read about my latest work & project at these links below. City of Detroit: How a Detroit native's 'total fluke' couch purchase turned into a legendary photo series Michigan Chronicle: Couch: Beautiful – An Exploration of Beautiful Black Women To Debut Feb. 10th The Root: How Detroit Photographer Tafari Stevenson-Howard’s Couch Became a Work of Art Shondaland: Stunning Photo Series Showcases the Beauty of Detroit's Black Women
I’m committing to getting my thoughts out of my head. All the things that I have been wanting to release here in my journal are coming. This is part of my healing and I now feel ready. And damn, it’s time to refresh my blog look… I’m ready for the new new!

A Real Bridey Wedding

Author: Tafari, Thursday, August 29th, 2013 at 11:30 AM

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"Imitation of Life" (1959) is one of my all time favorite movies! If you’ve seen the move then you know how emotional the ending is & I love it. My favorite scene is actually the scene where Annie is on her deathbed where she says to Ms. Laura
“My pearl necklace... I want you to give it to Susie…for her weddin’. Give her a real bridey wedding… with all the fixins. Our weddin’ day… and the day we die… are the great events… of life.”
Any wedding that I’ve attend since seeing this movie more than 20 years ago, I hear Annie in my head saying these words. And who doesn’t love a good bridey wedding?

Do California Dreams Die

Author: Tafari, Monday, June 4th, 2012 at 6:35 PM

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I've been back from Los Angeles for 7 days now, yet the city remains on my mind. I can't shake it. I guess I'm infected with the idea of living in a progressive city where there are palm trees, hacienda style homes and plenty of opportunity for creative minds such as mine. I'm dreaming. The lonely dreamer, dreaming.

Cinco de Mayo for the Detroit Negro

Author: Tafari, Sunday, May 6th, 2012 at 2:58 PM

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Yesterday, I was pretty hype to hang with friends in Southwest Detroit to enjoy Cinco de Mayo. I planned on smashing Mexican fare all day and of course, margaritas. Well, none of this really happened the way that I planned or hoped. The area where the celebration took place was PACKED with people and there really wasn’t anything Mexican about it. Quite frankly, it was a bore. I did have an OK meal with friends but I could have stayed home for that… By the time I was ready to leave, I got a text that changed the course of the day. Another group of friends were having a small Cinco de Mayo tailgate style jump off nearby. I made my way over and the rest is the stuff of what a good Saturday is made of: music, conversational bravado, ghetto controversy & people watching etc. I think you can say that we were parking lot pimping but I’m still not really sure on the definition of that as of yet.

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The night ended with me being at some artsy event in a hipster loft on the east side of Detroit eating a Shawarma from Bucharest grill. Art Credit: Dirty Sanchez by Verlisa / Bear Boy by Otis

Apple Gadget Overload

Author: Tafari, Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 at 3:54 PM

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So I got ahold of a 2nd generation iPad last week after waiting nearly a month for it to be delivered. Not sure if I mentioned it here, but I was not feeling the idea of buying an iPad since it was 1st introduced in  spring of 2010 because it seemed like a big ass iPhone without the capability of making voice calls. Some of my iPad evangelist friends have beat me up saying that the iPad is all that and a bag of chips, but I was not hearing it. Well, with my official hands on experience, I can confidently say that the iPad is just a big ass PRETTY iPhone without the capability of making voice calls. Everything that ‘I’ need to do can be accomplished on my super portable iPhone. Honestly! I found holding iPad awkward at times, especially when lying down. Also, if your in the sun or a bright location, the glare can be an issues. Who wants to read an ebook or blog while being blinded? I do like the layout and usability of some of the native apps like mail & iCal.  I also like how the official Twitter & Netflix apps function! I won't talk about Angry Birds on the iPad because I'm still in addiction recovery. On another note; I let Amelia (5 year old) check out the iPad & she thinks that it's the best thing since non-singing Justin Bieber. So yeah, I would not invest the base 500 bucks for an iPad although it’s a pretty little thing. For my 9-5 purposes, it will be good for on the go communication (email, Skype, Facetime), note taking and for presentations. For my everyday life, the iPhone & my trusty Macbook Pro when I need a serious computer power will serve my purposes. I'm just saying. Freebie: Like the wallpaer? You can download the iPhone version here.

Walk Through The Music

Author: Tafari, Wednesday, April 20th, 2011 at 1:36 AM

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Typically, a hour before the doors open for the audience of a runway show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, you can catch the models doing a practice walk somewhere between their hair and make up styling. About this time, photographers lucky enough to get early admittance will have the opportunity to get a good standing space & test the lighting to ensure that their cameras capture natural looking colors. Last season as I waited for the Vivienne Tam show to start, I watched the models being led by fashion show producer Lynne O'Neill do a walk through. It was very standard but I enjoyed seeing and hearing her interact in a very casual way. One thing that Lynne said to the models that stuck with me was “don’t walk to the music, walk through the music.” Sounds simple but right? Thinking about walking through the music reminded me of when Nikki Givonni said “people try to speak English instead of trying to speak through it” in her poem “My House.” Astral traveling though music, language, life seems so much better than just being mindlessly there navigating to someone else’s beat.

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Author: Tafari, Thursday, February 24th, 2011 at 4:32 PM

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Author: Tafari, Wednesday, February 10th, 2010 at 8:10 PM

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