my main squeeze turns one – happy birthday, misu!

guess who is celebrating their first birthday today?!

my baby is officially a year old! while misu and i found one another in october, i truly cannot imagine my home or life without him. we found one another at just the right time. he has brought me an unreal amount of joy and reinvigorated me amidst a global pandemic. i am eternally grateful for his presence in my life.

who wouldn’t love that little face?!

if you find yourself looking for a cute tag, two tails pet company is the best! between this main squeeze one and a catchy one misu has in white and rose gold, he is covered in the event he gets separated from me. it truly gives me peace of mind.

“i’m lost – somebody call my mama.”

i couldn’t love misu (or these dog tags) more. cheers to his first trip around the sun.

xoxo,

k. tap

guess who turned two today?

admittedly, i have been off the map post christmas. normally, i would apologize. 30 year old me will not. i took some much needed time away from my macbook since i had a couple of weeks off from work which meant being able to avoid the double digit number of google meets/zooms and prolonged blue light exposure that typically fill my weeks. at the beginning of this week, i made a list of topics i wanted to cover within the next two weeks. then it occurred to me that something special was happening on the 7th…

it seems like just yesterday that i sent out a group text to my girls about voting on names for this blog. keep up with k. tap had a nice to ring to it (and coincidentally received the most votes).

like many people, i thought 2020 would pan out differently than it did. i kicked off the year with some amazing moments, including turning 30 and having the most epic birthday celebration in vegas. exactly one month later, the world as we once knew it shut down. being the planner i am, i mapped out all of the topics i wanted to post about month by month. little did i know that i would end up being so burned out on all things screen oriented. even still, there were definitely some memorable posts this year. i took what many of you said into consideration and showed my face more on the blog. those were some of the top posts for 2020.

there was some variety in what spoke to you all but the top three were ones i loved as well. the most liked (and commented on) post was about normalizing apologizing to children. while there were some photos from vegas that i adored that made the top nine, the most liked photo of me was one that was completely carefree from some much needed time away in indio this summer. plus, who doesn’t love a yellow bikini? and the final of the three might be my favorite quote from the last year. it is simple yet significant – choose people that choose you.

more than anything, i appreciated having my blog in 2020 as a way to connect with people i know and love plus people i have had the pleasure of meeting online. this was a year where it was important to know that even if we were physically alone, there are still people here for you. many of my posts felt incredibly raw and vulnerable. some stirred up controversy. i got wild direct messages and even lost followers but i wouldn’t change a thing. i can see my growth and that makes me so excited for 2021.

what would you like to see more of on keep up with k.tap this year?

thank you so much for your continued support. it means the world to me. two down, forever to go.

xoxo,

k. tap

meet mr. misu

growing up, i always had a dog. i truly believe that they make houses homes. i had promised myself that once i moved back to la after grad school, i would get a pup for my first place.

once i moved to south pasadena at the end of 2017, it was clear that i was still working through a ton of unresolved grief after the loss of my grandmother. i used a lot of 2018 to unpack that. in 2019, while i was emotionally read to get a dog, i was traveling somewhere at least two weekends a month. from mexico to coachella to chicago to spain to nyc, it was a whirlwind. 2020 seemed like it could be the year.

while the first half had some bigger events like my 30th birthday in vegas and traveling for work, the second half would be lighter. i had no idea how light until we were in the middle of this pandemic. so in may, i started my search for a dog. i had a few prerequisites. the dog needed to be smaller (since i am in an apartment), hypoallergenic, under the age of five and no major medical conditions.

you have no idea how hard it was to find a dog that checked off all of these boxes. i had told myself that if i couldn’t find what i was looking for via adoption, at the start of the new year, i would go through a breeder. everything changed just over two weeks ago.

my cousin (courtney) posted about her pastor looking to get rid of their dog. when i asked about the breed and age, she said under a year and a maltipoo. i was floored. this already checked off two of my boxes. i figured there had to be a catch. so i reached out to the pastor and within 24 hours, we had arranged for me to pick up my pup on the following tuesday. here is a shot from our first moments together after he officially became mine.

not only was he completely healthy but they wouldn’t even let me pay them because they were just happy to see him go to a home where the owner would have time for him. while his name was originally nino, that didn’t fit him to me. as soon as i saw a photo of him, i thought tiramisu was more fitting. however, that’s a mouthful so i have been calling him misu for short.

we’ve been together for just under two weeks and it is already hard to imagine my life without him. he is gentle, loving, physical touch is definitely his primary love language, he waits to be sure i am awake before making noise and has thoroughly enjoyed meeting my clients both virtually and in person.

i recently got him groomed and he almost looks like a different dog but that sweet disposition didn’t shift a bit.

i am totally in love and can’t wait to create more memories with misu.

xoxo,

k.tap

thought of the week: unapologetically black

it has been a minute – nearly three weeks to be exact.  that is the longest i have gone without writing a blog post since my very first one back in january of 2019.  it is also the most inclined i have felt to truly take a break for the first time in my life without needing to explain or justify it.  acknowledging my own growth and evolvement in this particular department is one that is important to me.  it came on the cusp of something unexpected – my last blog post + instagram live.

 

as with all of my instagram lives, i answered any questions that were submitted on the spot.  for the first time in 18 months, i was asked questions about race.  there was no way i was going to ignore the questions asked and i was going to answer them honestly as i would any other question.  here is what i wasn’t prepared for:

  1. a plethora of dms, text messages and calls from people who felt attacked (this is even with me being sure i did not attack any particular group in my responses)
  2. just as many people reaching out to express guilt over their own lack of awareness about the racial injustices black people face day to day
  3. friends questioning our closeness because some of what i shared on both my blog and my live was new information
  4. losing followers, likely because they think i am getting “too political” or “too liberal”
  5. the utter exhaustion from the aforementioned

 

on the brighter side, here are some revelations i have had in the time i have had away from blogging:

  1. if someone felt attacked when there was no language whatsoever that could be described as such, it is probably due to feeling like they fall into the category of people who are part of the problem.  and guess what?  that is not my problem
  2. it is not my job to hold space for the guilt of others, even my friends and family unless they specifically ask if i have space to do so AND have a plan of action regarding the work they will be putting in to make the shifts necessary to not only be guilt free, but anti-racist
  3. i am close to a variety of people for a variety of reasons – maybe we bonded over grief, childhood trauma, being working grad students, being women in male dominated workplaces, love for music, etc. – just because we have not gone deep about race does not mean our relationship is not deep.  however, if that is something you would like to dive into, ask me if i have the space to do so and let’s get to it
  4. while i lost followers for simply speaking both the truth and my truth, i gained more – if there is one person who learned something, that is a win in my book
  5. i have slept more in the last week than i typically do in nearly a month.  typically, i would apologize for it or at the very least, attempt to justify it.  with where i am in my life, i don’t feel like i owe anyone other than myself an explanation for taking time for me.  i do not think i have ever allowed myself time off to simply process what it means to be black

 

then, it hit me.  i do not think i have ever been unapologetically black.

 

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artwork by a.b. — gifted to me by hillary conlin

 

there are lots of things that i am both bold and unapologetic about in all spaces.  being a woman.  being passionate about my work.  being an advocate for marginalized groups.  being an absolute nerd when it comes to all things psychology and philosophy oriented.  being plus sized.  while all of these things are important to be bold and unapologetic about, some of them come easily to me.

 

that being said, how bold was i really being?  have there been times where i have minimized myself to make others comfortable with my blackness?  the answer (unfortunately) was yes.  it won’t be any longer.

 

so often, i am one of the only (if not, the only) people in any given space that looks like me.  with that often comes this pressure of being “the perfect black” because of my awareness that so many people in that space may have no other context than what they have seen on television as a representation of all black people.  and while there is a piece of me that is happy that i may have changed the minds of some ignorant people, there is a bigger piece of me that is disappointed in myself for ever muting or minimizing myself.  i can think of times i was angry and deserved to be but stayed quiet or calm because heaven forbid coming off as “the angry black woman” or “the ghetto black woman” – in my quest to be my most vulnerable and authentic self, this has to be acknowledged.  it has to be changed.

 

for all of my friends and followers who were surprised by my last post, i would like to reintroduce myself as kristin – the counselor, the daughter, the sister, the friend, the intj, the monopoly lover, the quality time and acts of service fanatic and most importantly, the unapologetically black woman.

 

one thing i will continue to do (when i feel up to it) is share things that i have learned or discovered.  as someone reading this blog, you can do with it what you wish.  one thing i will no longer do is make myself smaller or quieter to make others feel more comfortable.  that is not my responsibility – it never was.

 

xoxo,

k. tap

thought of the week: neutrality is not good enough

it has taken me days to try and fully capture how i have been feeling and i honestly don’t know that i will ever feel totally ready or feel that my thoughts are absolutely cohesive.  even still, this could not wait.

 

unless you literally live under a rock, this month has been filled with stories of the murders of unarmed black people whether it be by the police (like the cases of george floyd and breonna taylor) or by u.s. citizens (like in the case of ahmaud arbery) who have simply taken matters into their own hands.  that doesn’t even include stories like christian cooper (an avid birdwatcher), who simply asked a woman to put a leash on her dog in central park and was threatened by her when she said, “i am going to call the police and tell them you are threatening the lives of both me and my dog!” before proceeding to pretend to be in emotional distress on the phone with the police.  it was evident that she was using her white privilege to punish this black man for simply asking her to comply with the law.  she knew what the ramifications were of calling the police on a black man and she did not give a fuck.  to say that is problematic is a gross understatement.

 

i truly do not know if there is anyone who is not black that will ever fully understand what it is like to be hunted like animals at any given point in time and to know that there likely won’t even be repercussions for the people committing these murders.  i also don’t know if anyone who is not black understands the amount of stress and trauma that we carry day to day that is often unaddressed.  how many other groups of people do you know that read weekly about the death and mistreatment of their people and are then expected to go to work, perform as if nothing happened and oftentimes, wear a mask to be seen as the perfect token in an effort to not make others uncomfortable or to shift the perception of how people like them are received?

 

the only group of people i know that go through this day in and day out are black people – people like me.

 

shortly after starting this blog in january of 2019, i started doing questions with k. tap on instagram live once a month.  people submit questions for about a week leading up to the live and i write them down to pull from a bowl.  the questions can be about anything under the sun – family dynamics, the 5 love languages, grief, favorite recipes and most recently, questions around race relations in the united states.  two questions that were asked earlier this week were:

  • as a white woman (or man), how can i appropriately advocate for the black community?
  • as a black person, do you feel like meeting force with equal force would be a step towards progress?

 

i answered both of these questions at length and you can review that here.

 

what has been more interesting are the conversations that followed – not only questions but debates, sharing of information, people checking in because they have never seen me this emotionally charged about anything i have discussed over the last 18 months.

 

i have spent more hours this week feeling like the walls are closing in on me.  i either don’t sleep enough or i cannot stop sleeping due to the sheer emotional exhaustion of living in skin that looks like mine.  i have had splitting headaches.  i have cried enough tears to create a river to drown in.  and guess what?  the world does not stop spinning amidst all of the chaos.  i am still expected to show up and hold space for those around me, even those who have acknowledged the very trauma i have talked about in this post.

 

the number of people i have seen remain silent or simply say they are unsure of what to say during a time like this is disgusting.  the number of people who are simply posting themselves drinking their fifth hard seltzer on a boomerang on instagram who have yet to utter any of the names that i mentioned above makes my stomach churn.  the number of people who have no issue appropriating black culture but are seemingly okay with the hunting of black people is foul.

 

i am at a point in my life where neutrality is not good enough.

 

 

“if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”  -desmond tutu

 

there have been so many people (since the protesting has started) speaking up more about the buildings that are being destroyed, the fact that all police are not the same and talking about how all lives matter.  let’s get into this:

 

  1. many of the protests were peaceful until the police or random non black people made them violent yet the media is not showing that AT ALL (i know plenty of people on the front lines and their video footage is drastically different than what you are being shown on your television screens).  and for the buildings that were destroyed, is there a price tag you would put on the life of your mother, father, brother, sister, daughter, son, husband, wife or best friend?  if there is a price, is it more than the target store you are concerned about?  none of these questions are rhetorical – i am truly interested in your answer.
  2. while all police are not the same (i can speak on this as the daughter of a retired lapd lieutenant who never shot at anyone in nearly 30 years), the number of police who are racist, prejudiced or biased is too high if the number is more than zero.  the current state of the world has already shown us how high that number could be.  what is scarier to me are the police officers in this category who have not been caught yet.  imagine calling the police as a black person and having to worry that when they show up, you can be gunned down when you are the victim in need of the police to serve and protect.  welcome to amerikkka.
  3. black lives matter does not mean your life as a non black matters less.  in fact, if all lives matter, why aren’t you just as angry when someone who looks like me is killed for no reason?  newsflash: us black people are fully aware of how much the lives of everyone else matter.  we simply want to matter just as much.  if that is asking for too much, feel free to unfollow me.  this is a human rights issue.  it really is not that complicated.

 

as someone who is not black, now is not the time to talk about your views on protesting, the police or what lives matter.  now is the time for you to speak up on the behalf of the black people who are often silenced or simply told we are making everything about race.  now is the time for you to put your money where your mouth is.  now is the time for you to read literature on how to be a better advocate and ally.  now is the time for you to have the uncomfortable conversations with your family, friends, coworkers and associates that your black counterparts have been having.  now is the time for you to listen.

 

have you ever stopped to just listen to what black people in this country are going through daily?  and i mean really listen – not with the intent to respond but with the intent to understand.

 

and to my black people, seeking out a therapist to unpack the decades of trauma you have lived through and the centuries of trauma that came before you is in your best interest.  but guess what?  therapy cannot be impactful if the therapists out there are not acknowledging the injustices of our society.  that being said, choose wisely.

 

i am not looking to have people in my circle who simply are not racist.  i am looking to have people in my circle who are anti-racist.  learn the difference and put it into action.

 

if curious about some organizations where your donations could help, click here.

 

and lastly, check in on your black friends, especially the strong ones.  we break down, too.

 

xoxo,

k. tap