My New Year Start’s Today

Today is February 13 and it is my birthday! I am excited! I never really get excited on my birthday but this year I am grateful for so many things, including all the new and wonderful people who have become a part of my world. I can thank my greatest friend in life (he knows who he is) for introducing me to so many new ideas, people, and feelings… we have a chemistry only true friendship can understand.

SMOOTH IS LIFE TRAVELS WITH YOU BESIDE ME… Thanks for being real and being so kind and tough and respectful and thoughtful and supportive. You have helped me evolve as an artist more than anyone. Peace and love to you always.

So… I love being an Aquarius. The sign defines me and I define it. Now it is time to write.

This is my first blog entry of the year. I wanted to write many times, but for some reason I could not! I think I had to get into the groove of the year. I was discouraged from making observations about the year and making resolutions until I made some major decisions about my life. My new year starts NOW- February 13. My birthday always feels more like a new year for me. In the past I have not been a big birthday person, but it means a great deal to me this year because I feel like I have more wisdom than I ever had. I have grown tremendously and I do not mind getting older. I welcome age. I can already see myself loving my gray hair when that time comes!


I’ve noticed changes in my body. It looks like I will have to get more active this year because my skin feels different and my face looks a bit different.

I’ve noticed changes in the way that I think. Things do not affect me the same. I want more now and I have this constant desire to find freedom.

I’ve started to face reality. I used to struggle with the here and now. I wanted people to be how I wanted them to be and I wanted them to change on the spot. I am not too concerned with these types of things anymore. My biggest concern is connecting myself with nature and seeing the world.

I used to have time to waste, but as I get older I realize that I need to keep pressing on. I do not want to play as much anymore (well, maybe just a bit). I love to have fun and smile every moment that I can… smell the flowers, if I may. I just realize that work and play have to match. THE KEY IS: USE MODERATION IN EVERYTHING THAT YOU DO. Overuse and abuse make you grow old faster. Bad habits make you grow older as well. Only take what you need. Only buy what you need. Only use what you need. I accept enough to get by. Do not be greedy. Have you ever been at a cook out and watched that one person load their plate up until it is spilling over? Then they laugh and make meaningless comments trying to come up with an excuse as to why they are being greedy? DO NOT BE THAT PERSON. Take a little and leave some for others, move on. Do not accept anything for free. Work for the things you desire in life.


I ushered in January with history and poetry and art. I celebrated Kwanzaa with a group I perform poetry with: The Griot Project. We celebrated our 2nd Annual Kwanzaa this year. We had all observed Kwanzaa in the past, but we decided to celebrate it together and invite people to our celebrations. For 7 whole days we did this. Each evening we had a brief ceremony, ate, had discussions, took pictures, gave gifts, and glowed in the midst of our ancestors knowing they were proud that we took pride in our African American Identity- no watering it down.


I made Kwanzaa gifts. Since I paint and create, I love to give people art. I used old vinyl records to create Africa-inspired designs. 


I enjoyed making these gifts and spending time with friends. I invited my friend Robert over ON my day which was Nia: Purpose (we all take a day and do research and share our findings with everyone who comes). He brought his friend Jennifer who I had never met. She later connected me with another poetry group in Columbus,Ohio. I was very grateful. This is why I enjoy meeting new people because it seems we all touched each other and were there at that particular time for a reason.  THAT WAS MY NEW YEAR!

I also spent time with my friends from Umojah Nation Reggae Band. We went to Oil City, PA. They had a 4 hour gig welcoming in the New Year! Yes, 4 hours! It was fun. I do not have a picture from that day because I think everyone was too cold to pose!

Well. this year I hope to do some extensive traveling and see my family more.

More to come…

Check out my birthday playlist:

1. Jill Scott: Spring Summer Feeling

2. Telepopmusik: Don’t Look Back

3. Esthero: Thank Heaven for You

4. Janet Jackson: When We Oooo

5. Madonna: Secret

6. Maxwell: Bad Habits

7. Corinne Bailey Rae: Closer

8. Portishead: All Mine

9. LiAnn La Havas: Don’t Wake Me Up

10. Erykah Badu: Out My Mind, Just in Time

Peace & love and thanks for reading,

Queen Duafe of African Essence