The Loveliest Things: Chinny Ekwulugo
1. The Sky
I consider myself quite earthy, thrilled by sunshine, breezy trees, bodies of water and walking barefoot on carpetlike grass. But I’ve always been awestruck by the sky since my elementary years. I’ve recently realized this is how God and I meet. The space above stirs my affections for the Lord. It’s like I’m viewing His beauty, and for a moment present in His presence. Whether I’m driving on the interstate or running in the park, there’s no such thing as too much gazing at the sky. I’ve even swerved off the road a few times because I’m so entralled. Because I’m a night owl, sunsets are my personal favorites. As much as I don’t like mornings, those sunrises are pretty impressive as well. And no sunrise or sunset is ever the same! The clouds, purple, pink, blue, and the other calm hues never cease to amaze me. It’s like God is the artist and the sky is His canvas to express Himself, display His creativity and communicate with us. It’s never too much. And I can never get enough of it.
My childhood pasttime and close ally. Since the womb, my eyes rest on words on the page. Through books, magazines and now blogs and online magazines, I gain most of my knowledge and advice about life primarily through reading. As much as I know it’s important to have conversations with people, the introvert in me finds comfort and assurance through reading. Even to parties and shopping trips, I always have a book in my purse just in case of an awkward social situation or boredom. Books are reliable companions, ready at beck and call. It’s another way God and I connect. Along with the Good Book, God speaks His wisdom, truth and affirmation to me through books and blogs. There’s just something about words and the power they can emit into people. The complexities of tone, context and sentence structures can alter the slightest meaning and what people interpret. I admire writers who have the courage to write their stories that lessen the loneliness, making reading both enjoyable and therapeutic.
3. Naturally Coily Hair
Since childhood, I’ve constantly (and still do) struggle with my hair. Fighting with curling irons, weaves, relaxers, I’ve never accepted or appreciated my dark brown coily hair. I prayed, wished and dreamed for Beyonce or Gabrielle Union hair, but God wanted my hair as is. I measured my self-worth by how others compliment my braid extensions or questioned/insulted my no-longer hidden afro-like hair. It has taken my early 20s and even now to start liking my naturally coily hair. Seeing fellow naturals such as Janelle Monae, Erykah Badu and Solange Knowles with their curls and coils have been extremely encouraging. Most importantly, God has been expressing to me that His creation of gravity-defying, coily hair is just fabulous as straight, silky hair. I’m slowly gaining confidence from God’s truth on that despite the American beauty standards that fight for dominion over my self- perception.
Oh man! My favorite season of the year! Working in elementary education, summer break is guaranteed praise God! And living in Texas, Lord knows too much sunshine is no problem for me! Surprisingly, it does rain sometimes which is refreshing from the heat. Then again, I have more appreciation for those golden rays and sunset runs in the park. Summer is the time to relax and find purpose in being bored. It stirs my affections for the Lord without the stress of work. It’s also the time to enjoy the outdoors, sip on Coca-Cola floats and gaze amazed at fabulous fireworks for America’s bday. Summer is my time to feel youthful and carefree with daydreaming and reflecting. And since my birthday happens during these sunny months, it’s necessary to review short and long-term goals I’ve achieved or procrastinated on and set new ones as a way to direct and assess my life.
My time to energize. As an introvert, solitude is my way of taking a break from an abundance of social encounters and processing the world around me. Like any human being, I enjoy hanging out with family and friends. Companionship and connections are necessary for my well-being. However, too much can be overwhelming and anxiety-causing. Solitude helps me to refresh, relax, and gain positive perspectives on myself, people and life issues. It’s also when I do my dreaming and getting motivated to get out in the world and be productive. Reading (is there such a thing as too much of it?), Pinterest/Tumblr, watching television, listening to music and working out are my go-to solitary activities. Let me not forget hanging out with God. In order to be at peace and stay grounded, solitude is an essential aspect of my life.
Chinny is a twentysomething wordnerd dreamer with a wanderlust attitude. Although her residence is in the Lone Star State, she’s a Brooklyn-born New Yorker at heart and hopes to live at least one year outside the U.S., preferably in Europe or South America. Or maybe in Brooklyn again. While she loves working with rascally munchkins in elementary education as her day job, the ultimate professional goal is to be a successful writer. She wants to write stories from personal experiences, connect, relate and help others through her storytelling, and who knows? Maybe they will be made into an indie film and win at the Sundance Film Festival. Cheers to dreams becoming reality. Follow her writing and musings at http://coilybrownbygrace.wordpress.com/ and http://thinkingofagoodtitleishard.tumblr.com/