Have you ever met someone for the first time in person that you’ve been following on Instagram, and when you meet face to face, you feel like you’ve known them for your entire life? Well, that’s what happened one afternoon, when I met the mastermind poetress who goes by the name April May B., at our favorite juice bar, Brooklyn Greenery on Flatbush Avenue. On my way there I was nervous as hell! For starters, I didn’t know this woman from a hole in the wall, other than from seeing her poem snippets on IG, or the occasional photos she would post of her and her son, I didn’t know who the hell April was. All I knew (from IG) was that she rocks the hell out of a TWA, she pays attention to the news and issues that affect us, she loves her family, and she has a sense of humor. It was kind of like a blind date almost, I got dressed for the occasion, had my hair coiffed and everything. Lol. I should’ve known I didn’t have anything to worry about when she initially agreed to meet up with me.
As I walked to meet her in my metallic lace ups, I was greeted warmly by this woman and her handsome son, Julian. We hugged, introduced ourselves and naturally began to politic. In a conversation that lasted for about three hours, we spoke about everything under the sun from family, to relationships, to personal goals, as well as endeavors. We spoke about what it means to be a black woman here in America, we touched on the difficulties as well as the joys of being an entrepreneur, our connection was that of two girlfriends catching up. After that conversation, April May B from Instagram became April, my sister friend. We shared a lot of ah-ha moments, and a gang load of laughs and giggles, and although we were from different walks of life, we had an awful lot of similarities. She’s a writer, as am I, we come from a Caribbean background, both naturalistas, but most importantly we recognize and see the urge for change in our communities.
Cheers to being inspired by someone I’ve never met. I say all this to say don’t be afraid to reach out to people. The worse they could say is “No”, and even that shouldn’t deter you.
Myleik Teele, owner of CurlBox always says, “Surround yourself with the kind of people you wish to become, or that you are inspired by.” And that is what made reaching out to her, that much easier. April’s writing moved me, she writes from her heart and soul, you feel her words as if they were created just for you. Her book, “Love Is Like Breathing” couldn’t have a more perfect title, because when you really think about it, we need love just as much as we need to breathe. She speaks unapologetically, and to some degree, has no filter. Y’all remember that part of Lauryn Hill’s rant from her “Unplugged” set, where she was like “Fantasy is what they want but reality is what they need.” April gives you that in book form. Straight brilliance!
Here are a few of my favorite pieces from “Love Is Like Breathing”:
“Love is like believing treasure is buried in your breathing, so you dig deep and bring up more of you”
“Me loving you, you loving me does not mean we have to be anything other than love birds… note that they get through this life flying freer than most.”
“If we really mean it, we’d never have to remind each other. Or perform in order to prove it. Or take it back or let it go, give it up, or pay a toll. Love is love whether we speak it or don’t; it’s our pleasure to be involved, able to profess it but the proof of love needs little of our help.”
“My mouth gets brave for you. Your love built a stage whereupon I might stand and say to you these things that make me human. And I’ve gotten used to being brave — all thanks to you — Opening my mind and emptying it out into my mouth, eternal courage; speaking up is all I’ve been doing.”
Do yourself a favor and cop her book here, it makes a great gift as well! Btw, this is not a paid advertisement, I solemnly swear!
D. Wil xoxo