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In collaboration with Sevynth brand

Urban streetwear with substance is what I live for. Nothing beats a dope graphic tee that doesn't do too much but still screams with a rebellious and edgy attitude. These tees by Sevynth brand read "Those who stay hungry get fed." and that resonates with me so much! As long as you have the hunger to succeed or achieve more, you will continue to bask in the fruits of your labor.

What's even better than dope graphic tees? Reconstructed pieces that provoke emotion. These reconstructed patchwork denim jeans were hand crafted by the owner of the brand himself and convey so much character and bring attention to social issues through dramatic imagery from old school horror films and artwork. I love supporting local and upcoming brands and businesses. Why spend $50 on the new Off White tee that everyone around the world has and fund a huge company when you can spend the same amount and support a young person with a big dream who's working day and night to make their dream a reality?

Gods Never Age tee by Sevynth
Gold Air Max 97s from Get Em Kicks
Male Model/Photographer: Stephon 


We all know the harsh realities young black men and women face in America historically and present day. But what’s it like for these individuals in other parts of the world? Do they only face injustices in the States or is racism a globally spread disease? Are they idolized in other countries? Let’s take an inside look at the personal experiences of two young men who have experienced this first hand in one of the world’s most popular destinations for music, culture, food, and fashion, Japan. 

Kyoto, Japan 2018

Just to give you guys a little background information on the Japanese culture before we jump into the interviews. Japanese people admire American culture immensely. In fact, they admire it so much that they have learned to adopt it so well that they sometimes do it better than we do. From fashion to music and even food, Japan is filled with American influence from top to bottom. However, no matter how long you may live in Japan, how well you know the language, or how close you may get to a Japanese local, Japan is one of the most exclusive cultures in the world. Meaning, if you're not Japanese, you will never be looked at or treated as such. You will always be a gaijin or outsider. [ Although, knowing the language does increase the likelihood for you to "fit in" with the Japanese or Nihonjin exponentially.]

Japan is one of the safest countries in the world, with an extremely low and constantly decreasing crime rate [I'll explain why in my next blog post.] The Japanese are generally very calm, patient, and kind people. Even if they do not fancy you or even feel prejudice towards you, the worst you will probably get is an awkward stare. They are not into conflict at all, in fact they are very keen on biting their tongues. As a white/latina female, I can't give the perspective of what it's like to be black in Japan so I asked two friends of mine to explain their experiences. Hopefully this sheds some light on the topic for you guys!

Interviewee #1:

Q: What’s your name, age, IG username and where are you from?

A: My name is Daryl White and I’m 23 years old. I turn 24 on October 26th (Scorpio), you can follow me on Instagram @LosaTV and I’m from Wilmington, Delaware. 

Q: What do you do for a living and what brought you to Japan?

A: How has being in Japan impacted how you identify yourself or your self image as a young black man?
I am an F-15 maintainer (Aircraft mechanic) by trade in the United States Air Force, I have since been tasked to get familiar with some Administrative work to help expand my skill set and assist in my career progression in the military. I was blessed with assignment orders to Kadena AB in Okinawa, Japan back in February 2016 and I will be here until February 2020. 

Q: Do you speak the language?

A: I am not as fluent in Japanese as I would like to be; my skill set is very elementary. I can get around, order food, ask where the restroom is etc. However, I am famliliar with the Hirigana characters, which is one of the writing styles of the Japanese language. There is Hirigana, Katakana, and Kanji. Kanji, being the most intricate of the 3 styles. 

Q: What is the biggest challenge you face being a black man in Japan?

A: The biggest challenge I face being an African-American male in Okinawa Japan is definitely not being well versed in the language and the culture. Secondly, another challenge would have to be falling victim to the negative stigma around how young black males conduct themselves in relationships with the local females. I do not fit that stereotype by any means and that has been a little bit difficult for me. For me, there has always been a preconceived notion that I want to be sexually involved with every woman that I have come in contact with, when I simply want to be submerged in the culture and become more acclimated with the language. 

Q: What is the biggest advantage of being a black man in Japan?

A: On the flip side, the biggest advantage of being black in Japan, is that when you do show interest in the culture and the language, the locals do a great job of embracing you and are more than happy and very supportive in that process. As an individual, depending on what it is that you are trying to accomplish, having that experience and relationship with the community can give you extreme leverage. 

Q: Have you ever felt discriminated against for the color of your skin while living in Japan? Give examples if possible.

A: Stereotyping, just like any other place in the world, is the only form of discrimination that I have experienced. To me I don’t take it personal and it’s not a huge deal. I actually find it comical. As humans I understand that it’s just our nature to judge people, knowingly and subcontiously. I find it interesting to say the least. 

Q: Can you compare the difference between being black in America vs being black in Japan from your own experience?

A: I will say that being black in Japan is way better than being black in America just for the simple fact that I don’t feel targeted and I don’t fear for my life being taken away as I would if I were back stateside. Being a uniformed member of the military you would think that it is more dangerous than a civilian but I have learned that is not the case. From 2000-2018, approximately 1500 service members have lost their lives in war combat. In 2018 alone, 1400 people have lost their lives to gun violence in just Chicago. That was astonishing information that I learned via the Joe Rogan experience podcast. In Okinawa they have extremely strict gun laws, which leads to a below 4% annual crime rate in general and 0% gun related annual crime. I believe that the states could learn a few things from Japan. 

Q: How does it make you feel that Japanese people refer to hip hop, trap, rap, etc as “black music”? How would it make you feel if Americans did the same and why?

A: I haven’t heard that hip-hop is referred to as “black music” by the local community, but if that is true it doesn’t make me feel any way at all. Hip hop is primarily associated with African-Americans and that’s the beauty of our culture. If Americans did the same, I wouldn’t mind either. I’d be a hypocrite if I felt a way about it. I call heavy-metal and country white music so I don’t see a problem. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. 

Q: Do you ever feel targeted by the JPs (Japanese Police) because of your skin color?

A: I do feel targeted by the Japanese police because of 1. Being in the military and 2. Being African-American in the military. We don’t really have a great reputation when it comes to our behavior, in regards to military members in general. And when it comes to being black, because hip hop is associated with the black community, one could say that the Japanese police are informed about how we like to party. With parties usually comes chaos and confrontation. Also with parties comes alcohol and some drink and drive, so I do believe that we are a bit targeted. I don’t think it’s right, however I do understand why that is. History does tend to repeat itself.

Q: How has being in Japan impacted how you identify yourself or your self image?

A: It hasn’t changed how I identify myself at all. I can only be myself and I try embrace everything that comes with having this skin color. I’m seeking more to understand than to be understood and that’s all I can do. Some people will love it and some people will hate it and that’s just the game of life we play.

Interviewee #2

Yerrrr my name is Noah, my IG is @Guapular . I am a photographer from Bay Area, California,  living in Tokyo, Japan. I first started coming to Japan 4 years ago when i was 18 for work (buying clothes to resell) and i fell in love. 

I met this black dude from Georgia while i was buying clothes one day and bro spoke like full Japanese and my mind was blown. I asked him how he learned and he sent me the school program info n all that, and as soon as I got back to the states I signed up. So I speak a little Japanese, enough to get around and have conversations. 

Being a black man in Japan definitely has it's ups and downs. Since there aren't many black men in the scene in Tokyo it makes it easier for me to stand out. Since I’m not the average Japanese person, people are more willing to work with me just because i'm black or "look cool" lol. So that's a good thing, but there are some negatives fasho. Like I work with a big entertainment company here in Tokyo, and since i'm not Japanese i'm always being looked at, people are always watching to see when i'm going to mess up. A lot of the older people I work with don't like me and they don’t hesitate to show it. I be getting yelled at for every little thing I do, but they do it Japanese style. So they tell someone to tell me that I’m doing something wrong instead of just coming to me to tell me to my face, shit is really annoying actually. I'm treated different, almost like a burden, but some of the people really like me. But one thing I gotta talk about is the fact that a lot of the music here steals from black culture, but they don't want to pay us the respect or give us the credit when it's due.

Here's an interesting documentary made by Nigerian-American artist Amarachi Nwosu last year following the lives of a few young black mean and women living in Tokyo. Enjoy!

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Dear "Daddy,"

[Age 4] Scared & Confused

Why are you so angry? Why do you always yell at Mommy and make her cry? She's so much smaller than you. When you push and hit her it makes me so mad. I feel really hot and I want to scream and kick and punch. Anything to help her. Seeing her scared makes me so scared. Seeing her cry makes me so sad and I want to save her. But I can't. I'm too little. I'm not strong enough. So I go in my room, play with my dolls and imagine a world where all mommies and daddies got along and always had fun together. I like to imagine things and other places. It helps me block out the loud yelling and I forget how bad you make me feel.

My brother, too. Why don't you like him like I do? He's funny and caring, andddd he always plays games with me and lets me play his PlayStation which makes being in this house not-so-bad. He's helping me learn to read and write too. I know he's not really your son, but is this how fathers treat their sons? I'm so confused and frustrated. I do this weird thing with my shoes. My shoelaces have to be super tight or I can't wear them. They cut off my circulation most of the time, but I like the way it feels. It feels secure.

I'm going to counseling now. She asks me about you a lot. I don't know what's the point of all this but I don't like talking to a stranger about my family. I wish I could take you, my mom and my brother to the places I make up in my head and we could all be happy together.

[Age 10] Broken

I'm in the 5th grade now. I love school. I think you would be proud of me. I get all A's on my report cards. Ok maybe not ALL A's - I really hate history, I was never good at it. It's probably because I don't like to remember things from the past. Who says the things that are written in the textbooks are true anyway? Math is my favorite subject because it can be proven and it makes so much sense to me.  I'm in my 3rd elementary school now. Mommy had to transfer me because we moved (again) with our cousins and its easier for me to go to the same school as them. This school is really different from my last; everyone is a lot meaner. The boys are starting to notice me and make comments about how big my butt is. Sometimes they even try to grab it. It makes me feel uncomfortable but I'm scared to stand up for myself or they might retaliate liek you used to do to my mom. A lot of the girls at my school don't like me and constantly try to start fights with me. They call me all types of names, especially 'slut'. I don't even know what that means. My mom tells me the girls are just jealous and to not pay any mind to them. I like the attention from the boys, it feels good. It's nice to feel wanted.

My mom says I'm really mature for my age. My body is 'mature', my attitude is mature, and my mindset is mature. I stay focused on my schoolwork because it's like my escape from reality. I feel powerful when I learn new things. Even though my teacher doesn't like me - because I wear earrings and lip gloss, she said im 'too fast' - I still look forward to going to school every day to be around people who actually notice me, even if it's not all good attention. I don't understand why people assume things about me because of the way I look. Because of this, I vow to never judge another person because you really don't know what theyre going through or what makes them a certain way.

It's so cool seeing my friends at school, who play sports and stuff, have their parents there rooting them on all the time. It must be really nice to have both parents in your life. I wonder what its like. Do they get to run to their dad when their mom says no? Do they play catch with their dad in their front lawns like in the movies? Do they eat dinner at a table with nice plates and stuff? They must have so much money with two parents. They go on so many vacations to cool places like the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas. I get a little jealous. I want to do fun things like that with my family but we dont have enough money. It's hard for my mom to pay rent and bills. She works so hard. It doesn't make sense to me.

I stopped wearing my shoelaces so tight. But, now I have to wear my hair pulled back so tight or else I feel really uncomfortable. Sometimes I wear it so tight it breaks some strands of hair. It gives me a headache but it gives me that secure feeling I like.

I accept my reality - that you're not in my life. I don't understand why you don't want to be in my life. I thought parents loved their kids unconditionaly but I guess that's not always the case. People at school always have this sound in their voice like they're sorry for me when I tell them you're not in my life and that I barely know you. It's weird but I reassure them that it doesn't phase me. My mom is amazing and she and my brother are all I need.

[Age 16] Resentful

Forget everything I said before. I don't accept my reality. I hate it. I'm miserable. I could never understand how a person can have a child and NOT want to be in their life. I've had 12 birthdays since you left and I can only remember you calling me for one. You never even tried to help my mom with money for me. You have no idea how hard it's been for us. We've moved into a new apartment damn near every year for the past 8 years. I had to skip out on so many school trips, getting new clothes, playing sports, and pretty much any luxury because we barely had money to pay our rent, let alone keep food in the fridge. I had to grow up quick because you weren't there. I missed out on a lot of the innocent pleasures in life and now it's hard for me to make friends because I just don't connect with people around my age. Especially if they're too nice. I don't trust people who are too nice, they make me feel uncomfortable. I attract damaged people, and that's ok because I'm damaged too and those are the only types of people I can really relate to.

When my grandmother died, my mom lost it for a while. She started drinking too much and making a scene every time she was drunk. It usually ended in a violent situation somehow. She brought around strange men; she doesn't really have the best taste in men [clearly.] I know she just wants to feel loved but it bothers me how much she settles. I know she's worth so much more. You really traumatized her and I hate you for that. Her actions really infuriate me but I try not to take it out on her because I know she's just hurt from all the pain she's gone through. She's such a beautiful, strong, hard-working woman. If she can't find a great guy who will love and respect her, is there any hope for me? I dont have any faith in love or marriage. I don't want to have kids because no matter how much you may love them, every single action you make affects them in some way and I never want another person to feel the way I feel because of you being abesnt in my life and my mom being an emotional mess.

My older brother has stepped in a lot in lieu of you. At my Sweet 16, he shared my first dance with me and he changed my shoes from slippers to heels to signify my transition into womanhood; all things that are typically done by one's father. If and when I get married one day, he'll be the one to walk me down the aisle. He always tells me that he's not going to allow me to become one of those girls who act wild because of their 'daddy issues.' He sits me down for hours and lectures me on all things from boys, and friendships, to the importance of school/education, and mainly succeeding in life and being the one to make it out of the constant cycle of misery we were used to growing up. He definitely put me on to game at a young age which helped me make a lot of smart decisions that I probably wouldn't have done otherwise. He stressed to me how valuable I am and to never forget my worth. Is this what fathers do for their daughters?

I'm getting older now and experiencing a lot more life. I think I'm in love. It's my first real relationship. I'm not sure what to base it off of though, because I've never seen real love between a man and a woman. I'm so scared he'll eventually just leave me, after all if my own father can leave me then someone who's only been in my life for a year or so can surely leave without warning. I think my fear comes out in unhealthy ways like a little bit of clinginess and this end-of-the-world feeling whenever we fight. I wish I just knew how to love in a pure way. I don't feel whole if I'm not with him.

I really do love him, but I had to leave before he left me. If i'm not enough for you how can I ever be enough for another man?

[Age 22] Sorry

I'm not bitter anymore. Now, I'm just sorry for you. I'm sorry you missed seeing me grow up and that you didn't want to be a part of my successes. I'm sorry you didn't get to teach me how to ride a bike or see how fast I could run and how competitive I was as a child. I'm sorry you missed all my band concerts from fourth grade to senior year in high school. I'm sorry you weren't able to cheer me on when I was cheerleading and being thrown 30ft in the air. I'm sorry you didn't get to help me learn to read and write or congratulate me when I came home with honors roll time and time again. I'm sorry you didn't get to see me graduate elementary school, middle school, high school, and especially college. I'm sorry you weren't in the audience at any of the fashion shows I coordinated and modeled in.

I'm sorry you didn't get to be my shoulder to cry on when I got my heart broken or that you didn't get to deliver the infamous fatherly speech to my prom date. I'm sorry you weren't there to share the father-daughter dance with me at my Sweet 16. I'm sorry you broke my heart before any other male could.

I'm sorry that I have accomplished so much in the past few years and you have heard nothing about it. I'm sorry that you think because you have me on Facebook, we suddenly have a relationship and you can take credit for anything that I am.

I'm sorry you chose a life without me in it.

I used to really feel sorry for myself. I felt sorry for being without my dad my whole life and trying to fill that never-ending void with temporary pleasures. Whether it be back-to-back relationships, constant partying, smoking weed, or even more healthy habits like obsessing over school work or new hobbies. Nothing could ever seem to fill that hole that you left in my heart.

I look back on all of the times that we never shared together and I don't get sad or mad anymore. Rather, I get a sense of pride in myself. I know how strong I've become just because of your lack of existence. I know that there were people in my life who took your spot and excelled in raising me. I know that you will never see the damage you've done to me, and I promise you that I will make sure you will never see my successes as your own.

[Age 24] At Peace

The last relationship I was in reminded me of you way too much. He constantly disrespected me and mentally abused me. He brought out the best but most importantly the worst in me. We were so toxic for eachother but I stayed for much longer than I should have because it felt normal to me. After all, that's all I've really ever known.

I took the time to do some deep introspection and finally heal all my emotional wounds because I was getting sick of the constant feeling of void in my life. I started praying a lot more and getting in tune with my spirituality. I can honestly say prayer is the only thing that kept me sane - and I mean that in the most literal way possible. I learned to fill all voids with God's love and never expect that from another person. I learned to forgive everyone who's ever hurt me, especially you - even if I never get an apology. I learned to enjoy my own company and moving to another country by myself helped me face my fears of being alone. I no longer feel incomplete without a partner. I am content with myself and my life. I'm sorry you don't get to be a part of it.

I am the master of my fate.

I am at peace.


Your little girl.


We all talk a good game when it comes to setting goals, but what really matters is execution. You have to hold yourself accountable. Constantly remind yourself of your short term and long term goals and make sure you’re actively taking the steps to achieve them. Reassess your goals and see how many you’ve accomplished, cross out any that no longer align with your values, and if there are any you didn’t achieve, figure out why and then get right back on track. 

If you checked out my blog post in January on creating vision boards, TUNNEL VISION // VISION BOARD 101, I spoke about setting goals and how making a vision board can help you achieve them. It was such a fun activity making my vision board and seeing it every day when I woke up definitely helped remind myself of who I am and where I want to be. Unfortunately, when I moved to Japan I wasn’t able to take it with me, but maybe I’ll take this as an opportunity to make another one for the remainder of the year. 

Since it’s now June, I figured it’s the perfect time to revisit some of the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year and see how much I’ve accomplished in the past few months. I’ll be addressing each of them and stating whether I achieved them, dismissed them or am still working on them. It’s important to be honest with yourself when doing this, don’t drag the truth to make yourself feel better for slacking. 

Goals for 2018:

1. Go Vegetarian (again): [dismissed] This is unfortunately one of the goals I haven’t been able to stick to. When I came to Japan, I wanted to be open to trying new things (especially new food,) so I forgot the vegetarian diet and I’m honestly glad I did. I was pescatarian for 3 years when I was in college and when I moved home with my mom for a few months it was really difficult and expensive to stick to so I slowly weened my way back into a carnivorous diet. I rarely eat beef or pork, mainly just chicken and a good steak once in a blue moon. Being in a foreign country and constantly being on-the go and living in someone else’s house doesn’t allow for much choosiness and I’ve had to eat a lot more fast food than I would have liked since I’ve been here [although the fast food in Japan puts America to shame.] I can feel the changes in my body when I switch my diet back and forth  from eating meet to not eating it so I’m currently trying to find a healthy balance between eating enough veggies, fruits and some meat here and there. According to the theory of eating right for your blood type, [im type O] I'm naturally and historically a meat eater and my body needs meat to function at its best. 

2. Self employed: [somewhat achieved] As you all may know from my previous post,  UPROOTED: I QUIT MY JOB & MOVED TO JAPAN  , I quit my day job and moved to Japan with no intentions of finding a new one. For the first three months in Japan, I enjoyed waking up when I wanted and being my own boss. Lord knows it was not an easy adjustment. It is extremely difficult to give yourself that structure that a 9-5 provides and really stick to it because you don't have anyone to answer to but yourself. That's where self control and accountability comes into play. Honestly, Im not happy with my performance the past few months. I found it really difficult to find a schedule and stick to it because, well, I hate routine. I also made the mistake of taking on too many projects and clients which in turn only lead to me stressing out and not meeting deadlines like I should have. I'm learning now to say no to more and more opportunities that are not directly in line with my end goal. Time management is everything!

With that being said, because I was on a tourist visa, which only allows you to stay in a country for 3 months, I had to pick up a part-time gig to give me legal status to live in the country. I'm not happy about it at all, but I'm big on "Doing what I gotta do" if it will help me get to where I wanna be in the short-term. I don't feel that 'locked down' feeling I used to feel when working [as much] since I made the drastic decision to quit my last job and move to the other side of the world and I know this is only temporary because my goals are way bigger than this. Baby steps. 

3. Move to Japan: [achieved] Again, if you read my previous post then you know about my move to Japan. Truthfully I was 100% excited up until the day of my flight. It wasn't until a few hours before I left for the airport that the nerves started to kick in. I felt a sudden rush of emotions all at once and had a little mental berakdown in my empty bedroom while finishing packing my suitcase. It was such a bittersweet moment. I love change and the blessings it brings but my natural instinct is to fight it and get emotional about it. It was a really scary feeling to leave everything I know behind and travel across the world to a foreign place with absolutely no idea what it would be like. "Will my nieces and nephews forget who I am?" "Will my friends check in on me?" "What if the food is too weird for me and I'm constantly hungry and unsatisfied?" "Will the language barrier make me feel alienated?" "What if I get homesick and want to come back home?...I don't even have a home anymore..or a job." "What if I have a panic attack on the plane?" "Will I be judged because I have a lot of tattoos [tattoos are taboo in Japan.]" "What if I just change my mind right now, call the whole thing off and just move to Florida with my mom?" These were just a few of the thoughts that were racing through my mind before I left for Japan, and I was seriously contemplating not going because my anxiety was at an all-time high. 

I still have a lot of concerns but I'll never let that stop me from making moves. I never want to look back and think "what if" about a huge opportunity I could have taken so I had to talk myself out of the doubts, wipe my tears, and convince myself that I needed to do this. I tried telling myself anything to make me feel more comfortable; I tried acting like it was the same thing as when I went away to college for the first time or that I could just think of it as a vacation and come back in a few weeks if I really didn't like it - and I'd figure out what to do next when the time came. These thoughts helped me get through the flight and first two weeks or so without feeling too homesick. I knew that I was just feeling this way out of fear and I didn't want to make any rash decisions based off that, so I did my best to push past those feelings until I could really experience my new home. And I'm so glad I did. 

4. Travel: [achieved/ongoing] Truthfully, when I bought my one-way ticket I had no idea how long I planned to stay in Japan for - and I'm still not sure. This wasn't my last-stop, it was just meant to be a stepping stone for the next chapter of my life - takin control of my destiny and going at my dreams full force. At the moment, I don't see myself in Japan long-term. I honestly can't see myself anywhere long term right now. I want to see as much of the world as possible before I "settle down" somewhere. I'm just taking it day-by-day and making the most of my time here. It's all in an effort to secure my future while simultaneously embracing the present moment. With that being said, traveling around Asia is very affordable so I have some fun trips planned in the next few months that I can't wait to share with you all!

5. Be more aware of how I am perceived by others: [achieved/ongoing] It goes without saying that when you're in an unfamiliar place you are forced to learn more about yourself and other people inw ays that you would never be able to if you were somewhere you're used to. Meeting people from all different backgrounds, whether it be Japanese locals, active military, military vets, expats like myself, or just tourists - I've encountered a great deal of different personalities while being in Japan thus far. I've met a lot of talented and successful people along with some not-so-pleasant people. I've had to break out of my shell and really put myself out there in order to meet new people and make new relationships - whether it be business or personal. I've learned the importance of getting to know people and their "why" as well as doing a lot of introspection and checking my own attitude, thoughts, and actions. There is nothing more humbling than being in a foreign country, living under someone's roof who is from a vastly different culture than you, and not having any type of comfort from home like your own bed, your own room, a car, not knowing where anything in the city is (and most of it being written in a different language,) all the way down to small things like finding your favorite foods and makeup products. 

Coming from New York really puts me at a disadvantage when it comes to interpersonal skills, in my opinion. We naturally have a good filter and can spot out the real from the fake, however we have this sharp edged personality that can be received really badly from people who are not used to us. I've had to check myself daily when I realize I'm being too harsh, cold, or even judgemental of someone or something. It's not easy and I do wish I was naturally more open but hey at least I can be grateful for that New York hustler's mentality.

Over all, I'm proud of how much I've accomplished since the start of the year. How have you been doing with the goals you've set for this year? Now is a great time to check in with your goals and congratulate yourself for those you have accomplished. What helps me is writing a list and checking off the things that have been done. It helps me get things in order when I can visually see them and organize them.

This has been the most pivotal year of my life by far. The next half of this year will be devoted to effective execution to meet the remainder of my goals - I would share them with you all but I'm really big on working in silence until things are set in stone. I'm very protective over anything that means a lot to me, including goals that can make or break me so I'll check back in with you guys at the end of the year for another 6-month recap. 

Thank you so much for your unwavering support lately. I shared previously that I feel my calling in life is to share my thoughts, experiences, and personal style with others in order to inspire and make other people's lives easier in some way. This move has not been an easy adjustment for me and I can't thank you all enough for all your supportive and inspiring words. I really hope you can all continue to follow me along my journey, I have some really dope changes coming to the blog soon!

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Yes, the rumors are true. I quit my job, left my entire life behind and moved to Japan to begin living the life I've only ever dreamed of. It's been over a month since I last posted on here [ my apologies for the delay.] I needed some time away from the public eye to process and absorb my new environment and lifestyle. I'm looking forward to bringing you guys along the ride with me. Let's get right into some of the questions I've been asked.

Why Japan?

Truth is, I didn't really choose Japan, it chose me. I knew I wanted [pretty much HAD to] move by March 2018, and I was really sick of New York. I was conisdering Atlanta or Los Angeles but I felt like I'd pretty much just be taking the life I was living in NY and moving it to a different state, just with warmer weather. I'd still have to get a job to pay my rent and monthly expenses and put my real passion on the backburner. I knew that's not what I wanted to do [more on that later.] At the same time I realized I had to make this move in March, my cousin from Japan was visiting the family in NY/NJ and her dad [my uncle] insisted I would be welcome to stay with them in Japan at any time. Then, my mind started running wild about all the possibilities and opportunities. I've always dreamt of traveling far and wide and living overseas although, where I come from that's pretty far fetched. I never doubted that it would happen, I just had to realize at that moment that this was God placing the opportunity right in front of my face and I'd be a fool to let it pass me by.

Prior to the decision, I didn't know much about Japan. I was never really into anime [besides Pokemon of course], Japanese food, or culture. Not consciously at least. Sure I love sushi and BAPE but once the idea of moving to Japan was presented to me, I took it upon myself to learn more about the culture so it wouldn't be such a shock when I arrived [stay tuned for an upcoming blog post with more on the Japanese culture.] I then realized I was already more in tune with Japanese culture than I thought. Especially fashion wise. I could never pin-point my personal sense of style and inspiration, it always just came naturally to me but when I came to Japan it truly felt like my style was a perfect fit for this place. Not to mention Japan is a very advanced yet systematic society with great food, beautiful views, and the culture has so much to offer and learn from.

 Was I scared to quit my job and leave my entire life behind?

Yes and no, but mostly no. I was lucky enough to land an amazing position 6 months after graduating college as a Product Developer in the sunglass department of an international wholesale company; this was directly related to my B.S. in Fashion Merchandising/Marketing degree so it made me feel good that I'm not in thousands of dollars in debt for no reason. I had a decent starting salary with benefits and I worked in a truly amazing company with coworkers who I built strong bonds with. Not to mention we were located right in the heart of the fashion district of Manhattan on 5th Ave. My job was the perfect mixture of creativity +  business and the company was laid back and very accomodating to your personal life if necessary. However, at the end of the day it was still just a job. As much as I loved what I did,  the people I worked with, and the knowledge and experience I gained, I still had to wake up at the same time every day and be there for 8.5 hours. I still had to answer to someone else. I still had to live paycheck to paycheck because after taxes, medical insurance and travel expenses were taken out from my paychecks I barely had enough left to save, pay rent, bills and feed myself (let alone pay off my student loans). And that is exactly the way I DON'T want to live my life.

 Moral of the story is as much as I loved my job, that wasn't reason enough for me to give up the opportunity to fulfill my purpose and go to Japan. I want to devote my life to my own dream, not somebody else's. I gave my boss a month's notice and they all took it much better than I expected. Everyone was SO happy for me to make such a big move and I think it made us all realize how much we appreciated eachother as people - inside and outside of work. I interviewed a bunch of people to fill my position and then trained the new hire, which was a learning experience as well. I still keep in contact with many people from the company, even my boss follows me on Instagram, haha.

Aside from my job, I really didn't have anything else holding me back from making such a drastic change. My mom was planning to move from NY to Florida the same time I was planning on leaving. My friends are back home trying to build their own future. I was not in a relationship [rare], nor did I have kids [which is also really rare where I come from.] So I thought, "Why the hell not?!"

How did I manage financially?

I came to Japan with only a small amount of savings and a lot of hunger to succeed. I bought a one way ticket which wasn't that expensive and I created a financial plan to help minimize my monthly expenses and bring in some extra income.

I gave up my room in my apartment so my brother and his family could live comfortably there [ cross rent off the list. ] I drove my car down to Florida with most of my belongings to stay with my mom and best friend if I ever decide to go back. I fully own my car - I didn't lease or finance for this exact reason. I am actually trying to sell my car now so that will be even more money in my pocket and I won't have to pay my monthly insurance. I paid my cell phone off in full so that my monthly bill will only be the cost of the plan. I canceled any unnecessary subscriptions. I sold a lot of my unwanted belongings such as my bed. my T.V., a bunch of clothes and shoes and I split the money into my savings and checking accounts.

Money rules the world, this is not news. However, if you aren't super careful it can rule you, too. Most people I talk to about my situation always use their bills or money as an excuses as to why they "could never" make the move I made. Pardon my language, but that is pure BULL SHIT. That's the catch, money was made to keep us imprisoned. To keep us stuck. To keep us working. Most people are too lazy to think outside the box and rather stick to the beaten path and work a 9-5, enjoy their life on the weekends and retire after 65. I'd honestly rather die than live a life like that, therefore I'm not letting a few bills or even debt keep me from living the life I want. There's plenty of money out there for all of us, you just gotta claim it.

If you make excuses, you'll never find a way but if you make a way, everything else can be figured out along the way. I'm not saying it's smart to just break your rental lease and run from your loan payments and phone bill. All I'm saying is that you can formulate an effective plan that will allow you to live below your means financially and still make a huge move to living a more meaningful life.   After all, I value experiences more than I value material things so it wasn't a big deal for me to give up so much to be able to move to another country.

How am I making a life for myself in Japan?

The main reason I made the decision to come here was to pursue a life of freedom and wealth, to not ever have to work for someone else's dream again. With that being said, the day after I arrived in Okinawa, Japan my uncle put me in contact with one of his friends in the area who is an entrepreneur himself and has many great connections in the nightlife, music and arts scene here. We immediately clicked and began working together. He has been managing me and helping me polish my services as a creative entrepreneur. He constantly brings me new clients and we work with a team that functions as a small scale corporation. We are all teaching and learning from eachother. I have been focusing on building my business as a creative; offering services in graphic design, photography, personal styling, marketing/social media management. I am making more than enough money from my gigs and clients to live a comfortable life here and I expect to have my own apartment and car soon.

I didn't come here with the expectations to start making money this soon, but I am so blessed to be given the opportunities I have been given. It's almost as if all I had to do was step outside my comfrt zone and as soon as I did, God was like "Great job, you passed the test. Now here is everything you've been praying for." Don't get me wrong, it's not all sweet and dandy all the time. Entrepreneurship has been the most stressful and challenging journeys I've embarked on thus far, but its a good stress. The feeling is so fulfilling, so I don't doubt my decision even for a split second. I know this is what I'm menat to do.

What made me make the final decision to embark on this big move?

It's simple really. I needed a change and I was presented with the opportunity. I've always said I wanted to travel the world and live in different countries for some time. It used to seem like a vague dream in the distance, so I had to realize that this was the perfect time to make it happen. I pretty much come from nothing, man. I've lived in the projects several times, in roach infested apartments, constantly hopping from one family member's couch to another my whole life. My mom busted her ass to keep me and my brother fed and cared for. I've been workig since I was 14 years old to help ease the load off my mom and take care of myself. I had to grow up at an extremely young age, and coming from NY I was taught to hustle at a young age as well. Gratefully, being a female I didn't have to hustle and do the dirty work that most boys were exposed to. But I did learn from everything I saw and I used the same techniques and mentality they have in the streets and applied it to education and business. I made sure I did well in school and got a college degree with Honors. I made sure I was always learning new things outside of school, doing my own research, teaching myself new skills, and now it was time for me to find a way to make a living off of everything I learned. A change of environment was necessary because being in a place of comfort, with people I've known my whole life was not providing me with the motivation or energy I need to go at this full force.

As someone who values human relationships more than anything else in life and always prioritizes them, I really wanted to take this time to go down a different route. An unfamiliar one. Devote all my time, money, and effort into myself for once. Stay away from commitment for a while [which has helped me gain SO much clarity - wow this post is giving me so many ideas for future topics haha] and just follow my truest passions - to travel, to create, to inspire.

In conclusion, quitting my job and mvoing to Japan has been the best decision I've ever made. I will never hesitate on any of my goals or dreams again after seeing how rewarding it is to just take the leap and I really hope you guys can learn to do the same. 

Stay tuned for more upcoming posts on my experiences in Japan so far!

Photography by Nona

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Orange and General Traits

Orange is optimistic, uplifting and rejuvenating. It brings spontaneity and a positive outlook on life.

The color orange radiates warmth and happiness, combining the physical stimulation of red with the cheerfulness of yellow. Orange is more of an instinctive color rather thab a mental reactor liek yellow or a physical reactor, like red.

Orange offers emotional strength in difficult times. It helps us bounce back from disappointments and despair, assisting in recovery from grief.

The color orange relates to social communication, stimulating two way conversations. A warm and inviting color, it is both physically and mentally stimulating, so it gets people thinking and talking!

Personality Color Orange

People with a personality color as orange are generally adventurous and risk takers. They tend to be very independent individuals with a high confidence in themselves and are competitive by nature. They are always on the go! They are always looking for new challenges - and this can lead to restlessness and impatience with others who do not have this need.
With orange as your personality color, you are warm, optimistic, extroverted and often flamboyant.You are friendly, good-natured and a generally agreeable person.
You are assertive and determined rather than aggressive - having a personality color orange means you are more light-hearted and less intense than those who love red.
You thrive on human social contact and social gatherings, bringing all types together. As a personality color orange you enjoy partying and socializing and planning all types of social events - orange people are the life of the party, the uninhibited performer! You are often the loud talker in a group. While you are charming and sociable you do tend to be a show-off.
You get great satisfaction from helping others and they find you inspiring with your vitality and positive energy. 

The deepest need for a personality color orange is to be with people, to socialize with them, and be accepted and respected as part of a group. You also have a need for regular challenges in your life, whether it is physical or social challenges.

Orange and Fashion

Orange takes on many cultural meanings throughout the world. In the Western world it is seen as a representation of affordability and adventure. In the East it signifies happiness and spirituality. In Ireland it is the religious color for Protestants. In Hinduism, Saffrom, a soft orange color, is consdered an auspicious and sacred color.
Be careful when using orange in business; apply it sparingly as it tends to be the most disliked color in the western world. 
Use it to suggest adventure, fun, optimism. It imparts a message that it is  affordable yet reasonable quality, sociable and easy-going.
Its stimulation to social communication and the senses makes it a beneficial color for hotels and resorts.
Travel websites should consider it as one of their color choices for its association with journeys, adventure and exciting fun activities.
Sports teams can use this vibrant color in their team colors to suggest energy, flamboyance and adventure.

Orange is an appealing color for the youth market as children and teens tend to like its sense of fun and adventure and its suggestion of affordability. It is also a great color to use on toys for young children, along with other bright primary and secondary colors. 
Orange is an invaluable color in encouraging sales in restaurants, cafĂ©'s, bistros and diners as it stimulates appetite and conversation, contributing to patrons eating and talking longer and spending more money. If you love having people around the kitchen table, orange will keep them talking and eating for a long time. 

A softer version of orange, such as peach is favorable in beauty salons, spas and treatment centers' and upper class restaurants.

In fashion, orange tends to act as the exception, rather than the rule. During his time at Jil Sander, Raf Simons developed a new palette of minimalism for women where joyful orange would often be the only bright colour in a sea of black and white and grey. Memorably the Autumn/Winter 2009 collection brought forward flashes of sculptural orange, deep and vivid, in amongst a powerful, and mostly monochrome, collection.

What I'm Wearing: 
All Eyez On Me Cropped Jacket (Dolls Kill) // Orange Bikini Set (Amazon)
Black Drawstring Sweats (Zara) // Orange SeatBELT (F21)
Yeezy Boost 350v2 Beluga (Adidas)

Photography by Elizabeth Malave
Photos Retouched by me.

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