Tag Archives: change

The Day My Life Changed

March 17th, 2012 – St. Patricks Day of my senior year of high school. It was an unusually relaxing Sunday. My mother, sister and I had all gone for massages earlier on in the day. It was actually my first massage, and definitely not my last. My body and mind were feeling great. My two best friends and I drove into downtown Saratoga, got some coffee and chatted. You could say I was thoroughly enjoying myself.

It was one of those oddly warm March days, where you start to believe its already spring. You break out the light jackets, forgo the socks, and proudly don your favorite sunglasses. The drive home with my friends from downtown consisted of all windows down and blasting our favorite music. Ugh, it was a wonderful afternoon.

As we pulled into my driveway, I said my goodbyes to my best friends. We each complained about the amount of homework “we would be doing” later on that evening. We were seniors in high school with full blown senioritis, to be honest, that homework was probably never completed.

I walked into my kitchen and my mom was standing at the counter. She asked how my afternoon was, we talked, and then she went silent. I looked at her and she was holding an envelope out to me. It looked like junk mail, in one of those business letter envelopes. It wasn’t super big, it wasn’t too small. When I grabbed the letter and read where it was from, I stopped breathing. “Fashion Institute of Technology.”

This was THE letter. The letter that would make or break me. The letter telling me if I was going to college. The letter that determined if I was going to be leaving home in the fall or going to community college, seeing as I was too lazy to apply anywhere else. I wanted to go to FIT so bad I didn’t have my sights set on anywhere else.

But who get’s their college acceptance letter in a small business sized envelope?! I was picturing some big package, with the famous “Welcome to the Fashion Institute of Technology” red and black folder I had so often seen in my research on Facebook. If this small envelope had a big folder in it, I would be pleasantly surprised…but I wasn’t about to get my hopes up.

I began to laugh nervously, spouting out a hundred “Oh my Gods.” My mom and I stood in my kitchen, as I ran my thumb under the seal of the envelope. My heart rate was unhealthily high at this point as I unfolded the single sheet of paper in this business size envelope. My mom read the letter next to me, our eyes scanning immediately to the first sentence.

“Dear Brendan, ………Congratulations! You’ve been”

I’m pretty sure we each let out a big scream…and then immediately we both began crying and went in for a hug. I cry when I’m happy, I cry when I’m sad – something I definitely got from my mother.

I was beyond happy. My dreams were coming true! I would be moving to New York City. I would be studying at one of the most prestigious fashion schools in the WORLD. I would be taking the first steps in achieving my goals! I couldn’t believe it. Now I could take a deep breath, I knew I was going to college. The rest of my senior year would just be about having fun and enjoying life. No stress.

The reason my acceptance letter was so small was because I was accepted early, into a group of “exceptional students.” It was such a privilege to receive my acceptance letter so early. And don’t worry, a few weeks later I received that famous black and red folder I had been dreaming about…in a much bigger envelope!

My life changed that day. Its hard for me to remember life before NYC and FIT. But here I am, living in New York, working hard, having fun and still making my dreams come true.

I don’t think any other St. Patrick’s Day will ever be as special as that one. Maybe it was the luck of the irish that brought me that acceptance letter that day. Whatever it was, I am so thankful that it happened.

Be looking out for some exciting pieces of mail within the next few weeks! Your life could be changing too 🙂

xx, Brendan



Notes From The 6 Train: My Favorite Time of the Year!

Black History Month! ( Hooray, Hooray)! This month is full of so many interesting colloquiums & presentations. I have already attended several events and will continue throughout the month. Over the beak I was fortunate enough be informed about this group amazing group of women who go by Black Women’s Blueprint. “Black Women’s Blueprint, Inc. is a civil and human rights organization of women and men. Our purpose is to take action to secure social, political and economic equality in American society now.” Currently, they are working on two projects that will premier this weekend in Brooklyn. Last week I went to the Museum of Women’s Resistance (the museum the organization created and are housed in) to help with the Dwelling exhibition. the term Dwelling conveys both physical meaning, a place or residence, and emotional meaning, to linger or emphasize. In addition in aiding with the physical actual structure, two pieces I wrote are going to be included in the exhibition. I’m excited for the debut of Dwelling this Sunday.

“Mother Tongue: Monologues for Truth Bearing Women, Emerging Sons and Other Keepers of the Flame, ” also goes up this weekend. This event will employ the use of ” dance and vocals used in a brazen and spellbinding exploration of Black men and women’s complex histories of struggle and triumphs and pull the audience into deeper conversation about one of the most contentious subjects in Black sexual politics—the violence of Black men against Black women.” Unfortunately, America is a highly violent country and the amount of violence (physically, sexually, etc.) taken out against is frighteningly high. The fact that this cultural has been so normalized is what’s even more scary. Events that open up conversation about these happen are quite special (see Sadie’s post about Take Back The Night.) I often attend events, forums, panels, that talk about this particular societal illness. As a result, I know it’s not often that the main speakers are men. Because the topic is so emotionally charged, it’s understandable, (however, not acceptable) how many men feel alienated and turn away from having such an important conversion. When an occasion rises that men are vulnerable openly set the stage to have this conversation, you can bet I will be in attendance.
That is exactly what The Mother Tongue Monologue will be, an open conversation. As someone who has participated in clubs/ been a peer educator about against sexual violence,especially on college campuses, this is supremely exciting. Seeing strides toward societal reconciliation always is, especially when it’s in your own community. (Being able to go for free because I volunteered is also pretty great.) I know that this event will be soul stirring, enlightening and healing. I am thankful eternally grateful that the women of Black Women’s Blueprint who are organizing this event. If you aren’t busy this Saturday, check out this event! Tickets are only $10. Being apart of a healing movement such as just for just $10 sounds like quite a steal. I have attached a link to the flyer below.

BWB Mother Tongue Monologues Press Kit (1)

Ps. You know I had to bring fashion into this. Did I mention how all of the women are wearing red to demonstrate… If that’s not color symbolism, I don’t know what is!

All things Color, Love & Fashion,

Ayanna L.