thought of the week: they don’t get a pass

as the end of another school year draws near, the number of students requesting sessions has increased. while typically, the two most discussed topics during this time are stress around final exams and worry paired with sadness around starting somewhere new without their closest friends, the topic that has come up again and again in the last couple of weeks has not been either of those.

there have been countless discussions around family dynamics and what is acceptable treatment from a family member. i often pose the question of what is acceptable treatment in general. it is often met with confusion – almost as if there is a separate rule book for family and one for everyone else. that can be a slippery slope and for many of my students, the end result has not been positive. especially for my seniors, we have been doing a ton of work around setting boundaries that feel good to them. i came across this quote recently and read it aloud this week in multiple sessions. for many, it brought them to tears.

“simply because someone is related to us by blood and may have even been the one to birth or raise us, does NOT give them a pass to be cruel and harmful to us.” -therapy for black girls

who have you given a pass to? what message are you sending by giving that pass? what is the long term impact on you and your spirit?

xoxo,

k. tap

thought of the week: sometimes, only one person is missing…

“grief management is never ending.”

that was part of a text i received from my dear friend melissa at the start of the week. she knows how may tends to weigh on me and something i appreciate is how she doesn’t shy away from the dark and twisty shit life throws our way. and you know what? she is right. grief management is never ending. today marks four years since we lost grammy. on some days, it feels like it’s been a decade (with all that’s transpired since she’s been gone). on other days, it feels like it has been 10 seconds because on the days where i need a voice of reason, i almost feel like i cannot breathe without her.

for the first couple of years, there was a lot of learning to simply exist without her. four years in, i have certainly learned how to exist without her even if i am missing her terribly in the process. in the last year, it seems like my grandfather has aged a dozen years. it is difficult watching someone who is fiercely independent need help and guidance. it is even tougher knowing the person he would love to lean on most is the love is his life when that isn’t an option. lately, i have found myself asking: what would grammy do? she might have only been five foot two, but her presence was that of a giant.

“sometimes, only one person is missing, and the whole world seems depopulated.” -alphonse de lamartine

even without melissa never having met grammy, the quote she sent me above highlights just how well she understands what my grandmother meant to me and grief as a whole. to honor her this year, i want to lean into being my most unapologetic self and remember that life is nothing without the balance of the people and things you love.

for those of you struggling with your own grief, especially around mother’s day, just know you are not alone. sending you so much love.

xoxo,

k. tap

a little leopard never hurt anyone

can you blame me for reminiscing about being on vacation after a 12 hour work day? while i normally love swim separates, this one piece from asos caught my eye in the fall (back when i thought i’d be spending the week before christmas in kauai).

it’s fun, it’s flirty and can easily be paired with a skirt or some shorts to create a little outfit.

i tend to gravitate towards swimsuits with wire/structure. while this one doesn’t have that, it does have this black belt that loops around just under the bust near the natural waistline. definitely adds a little something extra.

because i was more concerned with cocktail time than thinking of photos for my blog, i have included a couple from the actual website so you could see the suit in all its glory.

since this number is sold out, i have included a few of my favorite one pieces from asos.

1. this mixed print black and white number is to die for!

2. an all white ruffled one piece would be perfect for those bachelorette parties this summer

3. a sleek and sexy one piece in black? count me in.

4. florals for spring? groundbreaking.

xoxo,

k. tap

the grief workbook – grief tested, mourner approved!

it is no secret that i typically dread the month of may as i consistently feel overwhelmed with grief between the anniversary of my grandmother’s death paired with mother’s day. sometimes, it can feel all consuming. i am fortunate to have friends that make a conscientious effort to check in during this time. one that has done this consistently is gracelyn. this could be because she suffered a significant loss of her own a year prior (also in may). it could also be because she is one of the most empathetic humans i know. nonetheless, today, i am thrilled to share something with all of you that has already made my may a bit better – the grief workbook!

the grief workbook is something i know i will be filling out for the entire month, especially when i want to carve out space to reminisce about my grandmother. oftentimes, people are unsure about how they are feeling or don’t have a safe space to discuss their grief. this workbook is helpful with feeling exploration and is something that is as sacred as you want it to be.

i laughed. i cried. i smiled. i hugged a pillow. it is not lost on me that i am filling out this workbook from my late grandmother’s home (where papa still lives) while seated in her spot on the couch. may is typically an emotional rollercoaster. the page about a mixed bag of emotions helps to identify what those emotions are.

with me being such a music buff and grammy being someone who directed the church choir, i especially loved the page about creating a grief playlist. i am actually going to add this exact lineup to a spotify playlist this evening. it will be the theme of may.

sometimes, it is crazy to think of all that has happened since she transitioned. the page below really made me pause and give myself a pat on the back. the last four years haven’t been easy but they have certainly been filled with plenty of accomplishments i know she would be incredibly proud of.

have you thought about what your grief gold stars would be? do you carve out space to grieve at all?

with mother’s day being just around the corner, i know it can be a triggering time for many. rather than dodging the topic, i’d highly recommend getting this book for fellow grievers. you can find the book here.

xoxo,

k. tap

p.s. you may already be familiar with luna peak foundation from my blog post about their book for cancer thrivers, beyond remission – talk about inspirational!

thought of the week: discovering what you don’t want

when i was in both undergrad and grad school, there was an incredible focus on what did we want to do with all of this knowledge we had acquired. what were the next steps? how would we have an impact on society? what would be our lasting contribution? what do we want out of life? and yes, each of those are important things to think about. it certainly has helped steer me in the right direction. but still, there is something missing from that equation and elaine welteroth, author of “more than enough” (and total badass) hit the nail on the head.

“discovering what you don’t want is just as important as finding out what you do.” -elaine welteroth

as i prepare to take the next step in my career, i have come to realize that while i knew so much about what i wanted, i didn’t realize what i didn’t want until i did a true analysis of my current position alongside my future position. while i will do a deeper dive about this next step on my instagram live this sunday, just know that you are worth the investment it takes to discover both what you want and don’t want. and if you haven’t done so already, order a copy of “more than enough” here.

xoxo,

k. tap