I Am Olivia Pope.

First off, I know she’s a made up character. Secondly, I know my obsession with her  can be a little much to some, but then again your opinion doesn’t concern me. But in all seriousness, Kerry Washington is devastatingly beautiful and her portrayal of Olivia Pope on “Scandal” is nothing short of spectacular.

Below are just a few GIFS that I have composed from various episodes that I felt correlated perfectly with who I am. I hope you enjoy and always remember that although Olivia Pope is a TV show character we are not. We can be the “Olivia Pope” of our generation and even in our daily lives.

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The wine. How could one write such a blog and not mention her ungodly consumption of wine. Now, I’m no heavy drinker myself but every now and again I will dabble with a small bottle of wine and listen to a playlist or two. Something about the smell of wine and the invigorating sense of comfort I get from drinking it allows me to understand why Olivia does it so much. In a way, I feel like her when I’ve had a long week and need to crack open a bottle. Just one or two glasses, nothing major.

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Options. It means opportunities and when you are Olivia Pope you have many of those. I remind myself of this little quote because even when I feel as though my back is against the wall and everything around me is not going the way it should go I have to remind myself that even when I seem defeated I am far from it. I am a GLADIATOR by all means and standards and we are never out of options.

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Now this GIF definitely hit close to home for me because for a long time I put Olivia Pope on this pedestal of success and fearlessness that trumped everyone else. But the reality is, he is just like you and me and I think that makes her more human than anything. It shows us that no matter how successful you are fear can affect any of us and that’s okay. It makes us human. It normalizes the idea that we don’t have to pretend to be perfect while living in a world that would rather us pretend to be. So if I have to be the first to admit it, I am scared but that doesn’t mean I will let my fears dictate me.

4.)

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Confidence. Poise. Grace. Elegance. Fearlessness. She embodies the every definition these words describe and that’s exactly how I aim to be. Every time I walk into  a room, I want all eyes to turn and face me not because I am late to the party but because I am the party. I want people to look at me and already know that sheer confidence is enough to move mountains. I am in others words, the HBIC to them.

5.)

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I think a lot of the times, we allow ourselves to be consumed by others and we forget our worth. Pretty simple right? But in actuality its one of the hardest lessons that we try to learn throughout our journey in life. Luckily, Ms. Pope was able to teach all her young and old Gladiators alike that if someone truly values you then they will fight for you rather than you fighting for them all of the time. Definitely something I have been reminiscing on while moving through this season of my life I am in.

6.)

“Don’t forget to dance.” My mom sends me this as a constant reminder to enjoy and the little things that come with it. Too often we allow life to pass us by because we think when everything around us gets tough we need to shut down and the reality is that’s when we need the world most. I refuse to stand idly by and watch as the world and it’s people pass me by, so instead I will do as Olivia and dance it off and be as carefree as I possibly can.

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Olivia has OPA, but I have my tribe, my team, people. I call them this because they are MY group. They get me when I can’t even get myself and I think that’s the beauty in our friendship. We are so intricately different, but at the same time similar that it amazes me how much we click together. We all expect the best from one another and anything less than that is more than disappointing it’s threatening the very existence of your affiliation with our group.

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You know I had to save the best for last. The mother of all scenes. The iconic scene that made Olivia Pope who Olivia Pope was. Anytime she ran into a crisis where most would cower away, she walks boldly in front of danger and utters a mere two words “its handled”. As someone who aspires to be a top crisis manager one day, but who at the time is a college student prepping his craft I utter those two words to myself all the time. They provide me with the encouragement and strength that I so desperately need. The phrase helps me to realize that no matter how big or small the situation is,  ANYTHING can be handled as long as you are willing to work for it.

 

 

 

 

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Let’s face it, Olivia Pope is one badass woman. But even more realistically, I am a badass man.

-Cecil R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I Am A Man Without A Plan.

It’s been a good bit since I last spoke with you (my followers) or those who somehow make their way onto my page without any sole purpose. But I think its time I come clean about something. It’s been weighing very heavily on my conscience and I think it’s time I come forth and let you all know what it is exactly.

Now I don’t expect everyone to relate or even feel some sympathy for my situation, but I ask that you do hear me out. The truth is, I don’t have it al together. No matter how much I would like to think that I do or let people believe I do, the reality is I am a man without a plan.

I guess I should rephrase that. I have a plan, but a lot of the times those same plans alternate between various other life decisions that either seem like I am selling myself too short or too high. At times, it can be a little discouraging because for as long as I can remember I have ALWAYS had a plan A, B and C. To those who know me they can attest to this because I always keep a yearly planner with me throughout each academic year that basically details my every step from sun-up to sun-down.

Now with graduation slowly approaching in May and the comforting idea that I got to return in August for classes no longer an option I find myself panicking. I find myself at the most random times of the day asking myself the questions that I never used to dread:

“What’s next for you?”

“Have you applied to graduate school?”

If so, “What graduate school are you going to and why?

“How’s the job search going?”

Its questions like these that as of lately have been giving me panic attacks that steal my confidence. Its questions like these that steal my idea of if the things I am doing today are actually going to get me where I want to be. It’s questions like these that inadvertently make me question my existence when compared to others.

Now if you’ve gotten this far in my post, you may be asking yourself one of two things. But to be honest, I going to stop you before you can say anything and let you in on a little truth I heard earlier this week from a good friend of mine. I messaged her in regards to my situation and she gave me some of the best advice I could have asked for. It was simple, but still so captivating in the sense that I go back and read her message anytime I feel life trying to get me down.

She wrote me back:

“The level of faith I have is being perfected leading up to graduation. Knowing that God knows we can do this is what keeps me sane.”

Knowing that God has favor over my life is so refreshing and comforting especially in a season of my life where I am preparing for change. Too often I find myself trying to go through a journey I have no direction to when all I needed was to ask God for directions. My pastor talks highly on the favor of God and it took me a little time to truly understand what that means. Even still, I find myself questioning what exactly that means but I can see evidence of his favor throughout my life on a daily basis.

There’s a lot of things he didn’t have to do, but he decided to do it anyways. There’s a lot of people he could have kept in my life, which I thought would’ve been good for that season of life but God was looking for long-term. There’s just so many instances where his favor has come down on me and engulfed me in love and protection and I think it’s high-time he receives his praises for it because His love is forever and his favor is everlasting.

So here’s what I say to the idea of “not having a plan” or feeling as though “I don’t have it all together”, I am doing just fine where I am at and I will be doing just fine after everything is all said and done. The trials and tribulations are part of the journey, which is what I have to remind myself. They make us who we are and add to what we will become, so if I could speak on my trials as of now I would tell the world to watch out because I am only now coming into who I am destined to be and that makes me dangerous.

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-Cecil R.

 

#TakeAKnee- Thank you Mr. Kaepernick.

Hey America,

We need to have a talk. But not just any kind of talk. We need to have an honest to goodness talk where we put all the worlds problems regarding race relations on the table and hash them out. A reason why we seem to keep coming back to this disagreement over racism is that many in our society would rather ignore the issue than confront it firsthand.

Recently, President Donald Trump made comments in regards to the political protest being held by Colin Kaepernick and members of the Golden State Warrior’s basketball team after they refused to visit the White House after winning the NBA Finals. Once seen as a scared invitation sanctioned by the president as a way to congratulate the players for their outstanding season has now become a thing of the past.

Did Trump really think that a team full of predominantly African-American men would make their way to his “home” after much of what he has said and done negatively affects not only them, but the people they love?

Much to my shock, during a rally in Alabama the other night Trump went on to call athletes who decided to protest the national anthem are a “son of a bitch” and should be fired. Now I know that I shouldn’t be shocked by anything this man has to say. But to think that he could call those who whose sole purpose was to create a conversation on the matters of racial inequality and social injustice “SOB’s” is disheartening.

These brave and yes I did say brave because what they are doing is the epitome of what bravery and fearlessness embodies. To think that they could face public ridicule and experience harassment by those from all walks of life and still continue to stand for what’s right is amazing. Colin Kaepernick has paved the way for the rest of his football brothers and members of society to fall in line. It only takes one man to change the world, but he can’t do it all obviously. He will need the like of people like myself, an average college student whose end goal is to not set a trend but to show the world that what Kaepernick is doing is not falling on deaf ears.

I stand with Kaepernick and every other individual who has found themselves protesting against the systematic racism that America has to offer. Change is up to you. Change is up to me. Change is up to all of us.

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-Cecil Robinson

 

 

 

#BlackGirlMagic.

Dear Black Women,

You are worthy. You are beautiful. You are extraordinary. You are hard working. You are vibrant. But most importantly, you are magical. If no one tells you that today, then I pray then at least one person will tell you that tomorrow.

The life of a black woman in America is not that of an easy one. To be quite honest, the life of black woman anywhere is not easy. Through constant trials and tribulations followed by a society that belittles them on a daily basis, being a black woman is far from easy.

In today’s society, black women have to be twice as good as their peers in order to get half of what their counterparts get. Thanks to the contribution by black women like Michelle Obama, Maxine Waters, Kerry Washington, Viola Davis and Shonda Rhimes young black woman of today don’t have to look to anyone else for confirmation of success. They spew #BlackGirlMag.ic everywhere they go. No matter the circumstance, they make it their initiative to go above and beyond the call of man

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Michelle Obama, the first lady to the 44th president.

Michelle Obama. The epitome of grace, poise and elegance. Throughout the presidency of her husband, she fought endlessly at his side against social issues plaguing our society. During he reign, she focused on tackling better education for inner-city school children, healthier lunches, empowering young girls and women and various other issues in which she served as the frontrunner for change. Thank you Mrs. Obama for being the role model that young women of color so desperately need. Your influence will live on throughout the years of your life and then on.

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Shonda Rhimes, creator of “Scandal”, “How to Get Away With Murder” and “Grey’s Anatomy”

As the queen of prime-time television, Shonda Rhimes challenges the norm on a reoccurring basis. Things that were once deemed uncanny are now met with their exact opposite. Back in the day, the idea that an African-American woman could portray a leading character on a hit prime-time television show used to be unheard of. Now on two of her shows, the leading characters are portrayed by women of color. Rhimes advocates for women’s rights, LGBT equality, racial equality and so much more. The contributions by Rhimes provide mass representation to countless people around the world. For many people like myself, the contributions made by Rhimes provides us with something that we can cling to when everything else around us seems to be falling a part or at least not representative of who we are as a person. So thank you Ms. Rhimes for your collaborative efforts at ensuring the forwardness that the United States is taking. The steps are small, but they are mighty.

#BlackGirlMagic started out as a nifty Twitter hashtag, but has developed into something that no one could have expected. The many uses of the hashtag today is to categorize the accomplishments made by women of color. My favorite pastime is to click on the hashtag and follow all of the post attributed to the tag. Those who use the tag are either celebrating graduations, promotions, traveling adventures and so much more.

So again I say this to all black women, you are powerful. You are vigilant. You are loveable, but most importantly you are enough. Your presence is not taken for granted because your existence is the very thing that keeps this world afloat. I challenge all my black sisters to look beyond the confines placed on them by society. You are capable of doing extraordinary things as long as you make the effort to do so.

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-Cecil R.

 

 

Cheers to Year Three.

Approximately three years ago to the day, I created something that a had once been a lifelong dream of mine. The vision that I had created has matriculated into this wonderful masterpiece that I now present to you today.

Growing up I had always dreamed of a way that I could show the world the way my mind and now through the implementation of WordPress I can do just that. My words have allowed me to move people through my depictions of reality. The time I have spent behind my laptop has been a mixture of joy and sadness. There were times where I felt my work could not amount to that of my peers but even through all of the doubt I prevailed.

I don’t know where my blog will take me, but I do know that for the time I spent using this site it has become my outlet from the outside world. When times were tough and I needed to vent to those not physically around me I knew I could turn to my blogging community.

The future of my blog is far and wide. Each story I write is different. I know that I am not the best writer or the most consistent, but I know that I am only who I am becoming. So stay tuned and continue to read as I learn to find my voice in this place that we call society.

Sincerely,

Cecil Robinson

The Price of Dictation.

So for the past few months, I’ve been feeling compelled to write something. I haven’t been sure what it is that I need to write, but as of lately I’ve started to figure what it is that has been pulling me back to my keyboard every other night. Lately, I have been battling with dictation. Now you might look at the word and think “is he confused?”, but I assure you that I am not.

For quite some time (years to be exact), I have allowed my very being to be dictated by the means of others. Whether that be in academics, sports, relationships and even friendships, I’ve never really felt like I was the one pulling the strings, but rather someone else pulling them for me. Majority of life has always been planned out for me. For instance, like what to wear, what to eat, what kind of sports I should I play or even what kind of hobbies should interest me.

Now I’m not saying that I’m not a self-sufficient young man because I am and a damn good one if I do say so myself. But everything has always been in a pristine order for myself that when things go array, I tend to lose myself. I’m at a point in my life where I’m tired of letting others dictate who I am and how I should live my life. At 21-years-old I am journeying into a part of my life that I am equally afraid yet excited to begin.

Since the wee age of five, when I first began playing sports they have dictated my future. I always knew that I needed to be the best not only in the classroom, but also on the field and on the track. For any athlete numbers play a big factor in our ability to win or lose a match or in my case a race. For runners, numbers are something totally different. Yes, they determine who wins the race, but they also can be the difference in the complete and utter destruction of a persons self-esteem.

In my case, numbers have gotten to the point that they dictate everything. My happiness is determined by the number on the scale, the average I get on a test, the number of likes I see on my Instagram pictures and so on. It’s upsetting because I never felt like I could be one of those people who depended on materialistic things to bring them happiness.

I’ve always believed that when something becomes not enjoyable anymore, you should find the tools to fix it. In my instance, I didn’t know where to start. Typically I would grab my laptop and write, but each time I did nothing would come to mind. I found myself in a rut where nothing could be deemed good enough by my eyes. That’s when I had an epiphany,  the things that you once let dictate your life will now be the things you let go.

For a long time and even to this day, I still struggle with this new-found understanding. How can I let go of the things that have controlled me for so long? The answer is simple, pray and hope for the best. You can’t rush this new found information of self-achievement , but you can embrace all that it has to offer along the way.

 

-Cecil R.

Las Vegas–“The City of Endless Wonders.”

Over the past few days, I had the pleasure of venturing to a city that I had only longed for. I got the chance to travel amongst thousands of other tourists who like myself we’re in for a complete culture shock once they arrived in Las Vegas. If you ever find yourself wanting to experience a melting pot, I suggest visiting Las Vegas it is definitely a central hub for various races and ethnicities.

Knowing that I would journeying across the country, I made it my mission to try the world famous eatery known as “IN-AND-OUT”. Unfortunately, the eatery did not live up to all of its hype. The burger was greater, but rather greasy and the fries were too soggy, which completely threw off my mindset while trying to consume them.

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Surprisingly the meal itself was actually pretty cheap, but it was just overall not worth all the hype.

 

While in Vegas, I also got to make a public stance with a rather profound shirt that I had recently purchased upon arrival in Vegas. The concept of the short was to mock Trumps “Make America Great Again” slogan with a “Make America Kind Again” form of propaganda. Despite a lot unwarranted side eyes and obvious side comments from other patrons walking past me, I reframed from reacting in a manor in which they would rather have seen me. Instead I walked with my head high and smiled at each and every person that came across me. Many people commented on my shirt and told me how wonderful it was even if the candidate they had voted for was the one that happened to be in office.

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“That’s such a lovely shirt, now only if that president of yours could follow by your example,” – Random Vegas Resident.

-Cecil R.