What's up Hip Hop & Hookah Heads?! It's your girl EnerJi. I'm new here to the HH&H crew, so I figured I'd break the ice with a Listicle to help you get to know me better (or at all, let's be real..)
I've been writing forever.
For as long as I can remember I've been journaling and documenting my life and observations. I remember one of the first diaries I owned (maybe THE first) was a little plastic one that looked like a piano on the cover. It had a little cheap lock and rainbow colored pages. It smelled great to me (like candy and fresh paper... mmmm lol). I cherished that thing and took it everywhere. I dunno what I had to write so much about at age five or six, but I was there for it. And that was just the beginning. I wrote a novel in high school about a pair of star crossed lovers from two different mafia families. Once I started letting my friends read it, they started passing it around (sharing actual typed pages. Pre-social media. Imagine that!) and demanding new chapters once they got caught up in the story (think Crazy Eyes style á la Orange Is The New Black). I've had some of my poetry published as well. Writing is something that I've always done and has been a huge part of my life that not many people know about or know the depth and breadth of. It's often helped me work though my issues and sort things out in my head. This isn't my first time blogging, but it is my first time blogging on a public platform like this, so I'm hoping it'll be a fun and transformative experience. And I hope you enjoy my ramblings. ^_^
I have a few different online personas/brands.
The three most active being ChocolatGyrl, DigitalMiss (of DigitalMissDesigns), and most recently BoheMetro.
ChocolatGyrl is more of a personal alias. A nickname from real life that came to encompass my personal online presence. For a while I had a project going called #ChocolatGyrlUncensored where I'd express and engage my friends and readers with thoughts, ideas and questions to spark a deeper dialogue in the interest of gaining understanding, or just for a laugh.
DigitalMiss is my professional handle for all things art/business related. My company DigitalMissDesigns has been in operation for over 10 years and specializes in digital image consultation, graphic design, and photography.
BoheMetro is my latest passion project borne out of my accidental discovery and love for jewelry making. Life circumstances brought me to a place where I had a chance to work at a local beading and jewelry shop where I got to learn how to make, design and repair custom jewelry, working mostly with natural gemstones. I. Fell. In. LOVE. And now I create and sell my own custom jewelry designs under the brand name BoheMetro. It’s still new and I’m still learning, but my creativity has had a chance to flourish in this new arena and I’m happy for it.
I have an extensive and eclectic musical collection.
This is something I hope to be able to share and really delve into with you. I love a wide range of music and love to discover and share new music from the popular to the more obscure. My favorite genres of music are Hip Hop, LoFi Chill, ChillHop, Jazz, AfroCuban, Latin, Roots Reggae… The list goes on. I’ve even begun to compose and produce my own music. I haven’t shared much of it publicly as yet, but I think this might be a good platform for that as well.
I love, love, love to dance.
I went from being way too shy to dance in public at a young age to becoming an avid and active Dance Fitness Instructor in the last 8 years, and it was one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. Dance helped me to get over my shyness in a big way; it helped me build the confidence to get out of an unhealthy, abusive relationship; and it helped me to develop a love for fitness, health and wellness. It’s been a while since I’ve taught on a regular basis, but it is something I’d like to get into again. However, until then, if you catch me anywhere the music is lit, you will most likely find me on the dance floor. (Especially if Latin music is playing!)
I Art, Therefore I Am.
I think I must have been in the midst of some over-intellectual, teenage angst rant when I said this phrase aloud, channeling my inner Descartes. But I truly identify with being an artist in many ways and I think I always have. Much like writing, Art has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. Drawing, painting, photography, sculpture.. I've experimented with it all.
When it came time to choose an institution of higher education, I chose what was once known as IFAC (International Fine Arts College) in Miami, Florida (Now the Art Institute: Miami International University of Art and Design) and decided that Computer Animation was going to be my field of study. It seemed like the perfect marriage of classical art to the burgeoning realm of digital art. I loved every bloody minute of it. From my very first day in my very first class (Cinematic Techniques with Professor Ahmed Shehata - what's up Ahmed?!), to long nights in the computer lab rendering thousands of frames of animation that resulted in just minutes of a final project, I was - for the first time - living completely in my own truth.
Going away to Art school was one of the best decisions I've ever made for myself. Staying true to my most authentic proclivities has always served me best and I find that when I've tried to oppose my natural inclinations, I usually end up unhappy or feeling stuck. While my dreams of making it big as a well known artist may have yet to be realized and I find myself more often representing the "starving artist" stereotype, I am happiest when I'm doing what comes most naturally and doing I love most - Creating. In whatever form or medium.
I'm a certified Yoga Instructor with 500 hours of training under my belt.
In the Winter of 2016 I found myself lost in translation and at an energetic crossroads. I’d been practicing yoga off an on for several years and became very consistent with my practice during a very difficult time in my life. It made the struggle so much easier to bear. Yoga helped open my mind to a way of Being that I was only subtly aware of and didn’t fully comprehend until I started spending time on the mat. It wasn’t until that Winter, however, that I began a journey that would fully immerse me in a Yogic mindset for a solid year of study. It changed my life. Now that my year of study is complete, I’m not completely sure how this training will manifest in my daily life beyond a personal practice, but I am open to wherever the road is taking me in that arena.
I'm a Brooklyn Girl - I Might Take Some Getting Used To
I’ve lived in Duval for the better part of my 30 something years, but I’m a Big Apple Girl to the core (see what I did there? You know you liked it...) and my Jamaican bloodline runs deep through my veins. I'm first generation born stateside in my family, but the Yardie pride is strong with us. The Brooklyn of my birth is just an echoing whisper of the hipster mecca it is now, but I love my hometown all the same. I carry that New York sensibility with me at all times, so if I don’t look like I’m from here or like I don’t belong - that's probably why! (Lol)
So there it is, HH&H Heads. Just a little introduction from me to you. ^_^ I look forward to sharing more with you here. And in case you're wondering, this was supposed to be a list of 10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Me, but I got stumped on what I should say for the last three. So I cut it. I figure you'll have plenty of time to get to know me, so why try to stuff it all in one blog post?
· Om Shanti · xx · EnerJi
Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @iAmEnerJi!