“You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do” AKA Healing Despite the Chaos

Side Note: This is a long post. I’m also trying some new formatting.

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April 2nd, 2020 // Status Report // Summary post for Feb. and March

Hi, everyone. It’s been a while.

So much has happened since my last post. I disappeared into my classes, working on my feature film and a pilot episode for the cancelled show Salem. I created a Morse code project for my Design Time class. You can hear the shy audio here – I’ll cover this project more in a future post.

A day before my birthday, my beautiful cousin passed away. She was one of the few to comment on my blog – I think she had been the first one, and she always encouraged me to “do what you gotta do”. This went for everything: hairstyles, career decisions, relationships . . . Every time she said it, she reassured me. Sometimes, you don’t get to do what you want to do. You have to do what you have to do (not “gotta” per say).

I will miss her terribly. She had the most contagious laugh (next to my mom when something cracks her up). She always remembered the mischief me and my brother would get into when we were younger. She was the source of laughter on my mother’s side of the family. She had the prettiest eyes, my first moment of eye color envy. I can’t even really say what color they were, but her mother and sons all have that mesmerizing, pretty shade of hazel. Hazel is the only way to describe them.

It was such a shock to me because I had no idea she was so ill. My mother kept me in the dark so I could remember her healthy. My cousin had been in the hospital for two months, which I hadn’t known. After I realized I hadn’t heard from her in a week, I started calling. I never got an answer, but after a while, I began to suspect something was going wrong. I didn’t want to ask, though. I was scared.

Dana and I grew closer in the last two years, and I’m forever grateful for it. I didn’t get to see her often after I moved in with my father, so having her around more in the last two years will always be a treasure for me.

This post is going to be all over the place. I have so much to update you guys about. I know that this isn’t exactly a “private” place on the internet, but writing on here really helps me feel better and more in tune with my emotions. I used to bottle them up growing up and I did so even more after a privacy violation when I was a teenager. I don’t journal much because of that, and I’m a bit too protective with my phone, but coming on here and releasing these thoughts creates the same effect.

Regarding Career Day (since I never gave an update about that), it was a dud. There wasn’t much for writers. Everyone was looking for graphic designers and other visual artists, which isn’t a problem, because everyone needs to work. There wasn’t much geared to writers and given that this was my first time experiencing Career Day, it did alleviate some of the pressure.

Career Day was set up like a booth. You go up and talk to whoever is standing there. You can present your resume (and I didn’t print any copies of mine because I never gave it enough attention after the workshops so I wasn’t feeling confident about it) and you can ask questions about the company. I did have my business cards printed and I handed a few of those out.

Am I confident about the experience? No. I don’t regret going, but seeing just how many students were standing around in lines, waiting to talk to the companys’ representatives . . . I had no hope. Let’s just say that. I knew that by the time I got there, the representatives were fading out. There were so many students waiting to talk to them. Each line was about twelve people long. Apparently, the line to Disney had wrapped around the corner several times. They had eventually stopped talking to people and only took their resumes.

While I was waiting in line, all I could think was: how could you even be remembered if you were number three hundred and five? It was like watching the job market in action. It was disheartening. I left after an hour. It’s not a goal of mine to work my way up into a corporation and hate my job. This probably wouldn’t have happened, but I’d rather work at Starbucks and write for the next three years and save money, than to end up in a corporate job I despise.

Due to the coronavirus, SCAD made all of our courses online. I will complete my final four classes this quarter and hopefully graduate with all As. I have been wrestling with depression lately and I’m slowly piecing together a daily schedule for me to not fall behind (like I usually do). I noticed that I can do homework in the morning and after five PM, my brain shuts down. It’s a miracle I’m even writing this post this late in the evening.

So, homework in the morning and any films that I need to watch for class, I can watch them in the evening no problem. I’m back to using Habitica, and I created an Excel sheet of the game on my computer. I had to add a zero to all of the rewards to make them harder to achieve, just to give myself an incentive. I became a bit lazy with Forest the week Dana passed away and with everything going on, I’m still reminding myself to be gentle. I never expected Dana to. . . You know.

All in all, I think I’m doing okay. The quarantine has definitely made me more aware of my feelings, even the ones I’m suppressing, and I’m going to start writing in my journal more to connect to myself. They say to move in silence, so I can’t tell you about every little thing I’m working on when it comes to improving myself, but know that I’m out here trying to find out who I am.


My classes this quarter are the ones I’ve been waiting for:

  • Narrative Online Content: for creating vlogs, blogs, all that. Remember that decision regarding Youtube that I thought I decided on? Well, depending on how these assignments go, I might come out of the class with a Youtube channel.

Youtube is scary, though, so I might just post the videos on here. It’s not that I’m scared of Youtube per say, but the mentality of some of the audience members. The cancel culture, as you will. The people that dig up stuff. Not that I have anything to hide in my private life (other than the usual twenty year old stuff – the s***ual activities, who I’m dating or not, etc). You know, just stuff you want to keep to yourself.

  • Film Adaptation: yes, writing film adaptations on books, comics, whatever you want!

Only . . . I don’t know what to base my adaptation on. You better believe it crossed my mind to turn Blood of the Fallen into a film, but I had a moment of self doubt and decided it still needed to sit on a shelf for a bit. The other projects I could work with are in the same boat, since I prioritized editing Blood of the Fallen for years. The rest of my ideas are still ideas, not fully fleshed out, and therefore unable to qualify for the “adaptation” part.

  • Pilot: Creating an original TV show.

I think this is what Blood of the Fallen will be used for. I might use this as an opportunity to re-outline the book. I was always planning to turn it into a TV show anyway, so this works.


My final update is that I shaved my head. Yes. I took out the braids and we shaved my hair underneath. The stress of this past quarter really got to me, on top of losing Dana the week after, and apparently I had a big spot on the back of my head. Bigger than usual. So me and my mom shaved our heads – she shaved hers in solidarity and she was going a bit stir crazy from the quarantine. Dana always said not to shave my head and I always said I had to be going through a lot to shave my head, but here we are.

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I love it, guys. Might be bald for life. šŸ˜‚

I’ve never felt so at peace with my hair before. My hair has always been an insecurity of mine, due to it falling out or seeing other beautiful black women with full afros and knowing that I had bald patches on my head. But I love my shaved head.

These last two years have been so hard for me, but I feel like I’m finally getting closer to who I am supposed to be. I’ve been crying and praying and laughing, and I can’t say it hasn’t been hard. I have had some suicidal thoughts and there have been some nights where I cried myself to sleep, but I still have a moment where I laugh, where I find an old chorus warm up song from sixth grade resurface and I sing it. I’ve been singing more this year than I have since I was eight years old. I’ve been trying to dance and take care of myself more, with everything going on.

I’m fighting my way through the chaos and I don’t know, guys. I think . . . I think I’m healing. Moving on. Staying afloat. I don’t think I’m drowning anymore.

I’m doing what I gotta do.

Please stay safe!

~Taia


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