What’s in a Name?

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

According to the infinitely vast files of information provided by the world’s best and most efficient search engines to date, the name Wanéa‌ does not exist.

In fact, the internet is far more certain that such a word can only be the product of a misspelling – a slip of the finger, if you will – and is courteous enough to offer endless results for hundreds of similar sounding, but much more sensible names. 

No Google. I did not mean Wane, Wanna, or Wanda. But I’m sure you tried your best.

As far as anyone who has ever lived or is living on planet Earth can tell, there has only been one Wanéa‌ in the entire galaxy.

So allow me to introduce myself.

It’s pronounced ‘Wuh-NAY-yuh’, but I’m not strict about it. Five letters derived from the Hawaiian alphabet, and one accent from the French language. 

The name Wanéa‌ is the birth-child of my mother’s pregnancy brain. 

After Dad ‘Lindry’ claimed older sister ‘Liana’, it was only fair for mom’s second-born to have a moniker that matched her ‘Wanda’. 

I’m not sure of all the options that were considered, or even of all the finalists, but I know how the choice was made: a ‘d’ for a fancy ‘é’. Thus Wanéa‌ was born. 

 So, no Google search*. No keychains, magnets, or namesake strangers. No accent in official documents, (almost) no accurate first-time guesses, and no meaning at all.  

Just Wanéa‌ (*and one song in an African language I can’t understand).

But, after years of being the world’s only Wanéa‌, I’ve come to realize that there isn’t a single name that better describes me. 

Like my name, I’m short and sweet. I like to think I leave people wanting more, (sometimes in height), but always in conversation.

Like my name, I’m sure to grab your attention. People aren’t quite sure what to make of me at first, but they’re always (pleasantly) surprised. 

Like my name, I’m undefinable. I’m a million things at once – silly, serious, sarcastic, sensitive- sometimes none at all, but always interesting.

And like my name, I am one of a kind. 

So whether you’re an Emily Smith, or a Qwerty Lmnop, the one and only Wanéa‌ invites you to embrace your name, because there’s nothing on Earth that better suits you.

(Take that Spellcheck!)


A short original poem about waiting for something more.

Frosted powder glistens in May

A forever winter drags on,

Icy sheets blanket verdant fields,

While the bud waits for her sun.

Years have come and gone,

Fellow buds succumb by chill,

Still her roots remain

To dream of neverblooms.

Perhaps she’ll feel its warmth

One especially winter day,

Perhaps God will peak through the ice,

And call her forth from muddy earth.

But until that day

The bud tightens her petals,

Tries to imagine forgotten hues

And waits.

Guest Post: Ana Banana’s “Will the Real Writer Stand Up?”

Today I am featuring a fellow classmate I reblogged earlier, Ana Banana. In her post, Ana talks about the struggles of viewing herself as a writer and how blogging has helped her find her voice. Enjoy!

“Will the Real Writer Stand Up?”

I know this statement would not be appreciated by my teachers, but I really don’t consider myself a writer for many reasons. When I was younger, I wrote a few little books on Wattpad, before it became what it is today. I never could figure out how to put words to the scenes that I imagined, so I gave up on writing and found my happy place as a reader. Now as a young adult and a perfectionist, I struggle with considering myself qualified to be a writer. My memory, lately, has been horrible when recalling a simple word or concept I think of just minutes before. This makes it hard to get words down before I completely forget it. I also have what might be considered “imposter syndrome” where I don’t think what I have to say is what someone would want to hear, at least not in the same words.  

Surprisingly, in contrast with these thoughts, I have always imagined what I would say in interviews or biographies. I want to get my story out, but I really struggle to get it out in a palatable way. Having to create my blog has forced me to work on my writing outside of research papers and thinking of myself as a writer. One of the first books I read was the Laura Ingalls Wilder series and she wrote from her experiences in life, which is a concept I mirror in my writing. I think my story is unique because of my upbringing and now my current mindset and all of the roads that have led me here. I’m a young Black woman, which is a perspective that I think is already pretty interesting. Add on to that my semi strict Christian upbringing, my current semi liberal beliefs, and my weird obsessions and interests.

Beside my struggle to qualify myself, I am learning to be descriptive in my writing. As a reader, most of what makes reading fun is the different descriptions of the world, people, and interactions. I am also learning to find the balance between oversharing and being vulnerable, which I have always struggled with. I don’t like getting personal, but I brings authenticity and builds trust. The other side of this is that once I get started with personal details, I have a hard time stopping, which can make things awkward for the reader. Even though I am learning to consider myself maybe a baby writer, I think I will always be growing as writer, and I won’t truly ever be satisfied with my writing ability. I’ve made peace with this and I am enjoying displaying this growth process on my blog.

Top 10 Disney Movies That Instantly Put Me in a Good Mood

Photo by Leah Kelley on Pexels.com

There’s nothing like a comfort of a Disney movie. Not matter how hard your week was, how down you’ve been feeling, or how adult you think you are, you can always count on a Disney film to bring out your inner child and put a smile on your face. Here’s some of my all-time favorite Disney/Pixar films that never fail to make me laugh, cry, or feel like everything is right in the world.

  1. Finding Nemo

A classic from Pixar’s early days. I don’t need to tell you why Finding Nemo is an amazing, heartwarming, and beautifully animated film because you probably already know. Not to mention, this movie oozes comfort from my early childhood and has me repeating “P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way Sydney” all day.

2. The Princess and The Frog

I love me a good Princess movie, and The Princess and the Frog just might be the most underrated. Even though she was a frog for most of the film (side-eye), the catchy soundtrack, beautiful storyboards, and long- awaited representation of The Princess and the Frog marks it as one of the all-time greats in my book. Also, can we PLEASE give Prince Naveen his flowers for having the best character-development of all Disney Princes? Thank you!

3. Enchanted

A lot of people tend to forget the cinematic masterpiece that was Enchanted, but I am not one of them. I’ve seen this movie about a 1,000 times and each time leaves me smiling. The story was engaging and hilarious, the music was top-notch, and Amy Adam’s surperb acting as a delusional princess deserves no less than 10 Oscars. Enchanted 2 is set to hit Disney+ soon, and you best believe I’ll be amongst the first watching!

4. The Incredibles

Another timeless Pixar classic for adults and children alike. The older you get, the more you can appreciate the wit of Pixar’s Incredibles. Not only is the movie action-packed, well-animated, and impressively scored, its also a great metaphor for the trials and triumphs of the average ‘nuclear’ family. Incredibles 2 was also a great watch, but nothing beats the first in my opinion.

5. Toy Story 3

It was hard to pick which Toy Story film would make it into my top ten, but Toy Story 3 has earned its place. This sequel is the sequel of all Pixar franchises. Toy Story 3 gives viewers all the nostalgia of the first 2 movies while still engaging them into its nail-biting plot that reads like an escape-thriller. By the end of the film, I’m usually a sobbing mess reaching for the rewind button. While Toy Story 4 attempted to further bring closure to the franchise , the 3rd movie more than satisfied all of my needs as a Toy-Story fan.

6. Monster’s University

Its a wonder why Monster’s University doesn’t receive more recognition because this film has certainly proved itself as a sequel, or more accurately, prequel. Monster’s University is a perfect example of story-telling when viewer’s think there’s no story left to tell. In it, fans get to watch the budding friendship of Mike and Sully, a witty anecdote of the college experience, and learn valuable lessons about not always getting what you want. As a college student still learning a few life lessons herself, this movie gives me both the comfort and entertainment I need. (Its OG, Monster’s Inc, is also an honorable mention that puts a few tears in my eye).

7. A Goofy Movie

A Goofy Movie is one of my all-time favorites. This movie drips in nostalgia of high school, the 90s (I may not have been born yet but I can still enjoy the fun), and the mortifiying ordeal of being a teenager with an awkward dad. Plus, who doesn’t love a good road-trip film? What makes A Goofy Movie so heart-warming is its important message of family through a demographic that isn’t always reached by Disney movies: single-parents and teens. And c’mon, “Eye-to-Eye”? That song’s a bop and everyone knows it!

8. Coco

When Coco first came out, I didn’t really know what to expect; when Coco ended, I left the theater with a snot-filled nose and red-shot eyes. The music is beautiful, the animation is beautiful, the culture is beautiful, and the powerful, heart-breaking scene towards the end? I’m crying just thinking about it! I’ve probably single-handedly got Coco millions of stream with the amount of people I recommended it to. These days takes it takes a little bit of courage to put the film on, but I do it anyways.

9. Anatasia

Ok, yes, I know Anatasia is technically not a Disney movie, but with Disney’s recent merger with Fox, it counts! Anatasia is one of those movies that enchants you from childhood and stays with you forever. The film is hauntingly charming with its ( trueish) origins, full of theatrical sing alongs, lively voice acting, and a romance that secretly makes you wish you were a forgetful Princess so a suave conman can whisk you away to your happily ever after. Sadly I wasn’t able to see Anastasia on Broadway before its closing, so playing the soundtrack on repeat will have to suffice.

10. Tangled

I’ve saved the best for last. Out of the hundreds of Disney films I’ve watched and re-watched, Tangled is probably my favorite. This movie instantly transports me to the cozy, romantic, light-hearted world of Disney Magic. Not only is it Alan Menken’s best work (I am willing to defend this), but the characters, animation, storyline, romance, and legendaric voice-talents of Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi make this film timeless in every sense. In case you couldn’t tell, I really love Tangled. And with the live-action currently in the making, I’m MORE than excited to relive the magic all over again.

There’s hundreds of other Disney favorites I could list, but I’ll save those for another day. If you had to choose, what would be your top 10 Disney flicks?

Climbing Out the Hole

The semester’s coming to a close, and if there’s anything me and millions of other students need right now, it’s motivation. Here’s a post by a classmate of mine, anaaab98, with some tips on how to combat that end-of-year burnout. Also, check out her awesome blog, The Banana Hut.

The Banana Hut

Now that I finally feel like I am breaking out of my motivation hole, I feel like I can give some input on what I do when I am feeling burnt out and overwhelmed with my tasks. Some of these things might not be the healthiest, but they aren’t harmful.

  1. Watch a movie. Never a show, or at least not a new show, this way I’m not tempted to binge a series when I have things that require my attention. I like to stick to either old classics that I haven’t seen or nostalgic Disney films.
  2. Shop. While this is usually just me putting items in a shopping cart and then closing the tab, looking at pretty things, and even just imagining the ability to buy them brings me a little bit of happiness. One of my latest stress shopping resulted in the purchase of four new books that I…

View original post 215 more words

“Awkward Black Girl”

If you look at films and TV over the years, the words “awkward black girl” don’t exist. Within the past ten years, almost every channel has exculsively portrayed black women as loud, strong, confident, queens with a whole lot of sass. Now don’t get me wrong, black girl magic shines bright. But what the media continually fails to see is that our magic shines into all realms of personality, not just one . This one is for my quirky black queens who haven’t always seem themselves in the big screen, but thanks to black creators, are slowly starting to.

The video above was posted by Youtuber amandamaryanna and discusses tropes black women have been subjected to in the media for generations, and the emerging roles in films and TV that are starting to paint black girls in a new and more diversifiying light. There are references to offensive stereotypes and caricatures, so please be mindful.


No Man is a Paradise Island (Soul Work)

Photo by Asad Photo Maldives on Pexels.com

I’ve been thinking a lot about isolation. As an introvert, I’d say I’m generally great at being alone. There’s almost no place I’d rather be than in my bed with a facial mask, journaling, binging, or blogging in an empty room that smells like cherry blossoms. But more than that, being alone lets me block out the world, focus on myself, and fill the space with my many, many thoughts.

I wasn’t doing great when the quarantine started, but I can’t say part of me wasn’t relieved. I spent almost every free day with a face mask, journaling, candling, and being alone. I didn’t charge my phone, partly from the stress from the news and partly because socializing no longer felt like a requirement. I held a few text conversations with my friends – “Hey, how you been?” “Oh, you know, good…”-but the ritual grew boring and eventually lost appeal. With no plans to cancel or invitations to decline, I felt increasingly comfortable with my isolation. I could just be by myself in peace, blocking out everything else.

We’re now over a year into the pandemic and I’ve mastered the art of being alone. There’s only a few pages left in my journal, I’m down to 2 face masks, and the cherry blossom candle is almost nothing but a burnt wick. The past year has been my introvert dream, so why was it starting to feel like a nightmare?

I’m no scientist, so I can’t speak on the pandemic’s psychological effects on all introverts. But what I can say is that connection, even for the most isolated of us, is a essential part of being human. This might seem like common sense for the extroverts, but if you’re a lone ranger like me, it can be a hard pill to swallow. Being alone might seem like the the happiest place on earth, and with quarantine, you might’ve felt like almost every day was a trip to Disneyland, but even riding Splash Mountain too many times can make a person sick. When I pushed my introversion to the limits, I found that my room was so full of me, I had no space to give or receive love from the people I really cared about. I thought I was content in my loneliness, but after finally spending some socially distanced time with friends, I realized what a big of a chunk of my soul I’d been missing, and how much my friends and I had robbed ourselves by only focusing on our individual little worlds.

So yes, being by ourselves can feel really good. Sometimes so good, we overload. But don’t let your isolation prevent you from seeing the beauty around you. No man is a island, so make sure to ‘vacation’ from that mind every once in a while, and pay a visit to the soul.

National Poetry Month: Pen and Page

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

April marks the beginning of National Poetry Month. Though I don’t consider myself much of a poet, I’ve decided to honor the month by sharing yet another one of my writing assignments. Here’s an original Shakespearean Sonnet written for my World Literature Class last semester. Entitled “Pen and Page”, the poem is inspired by my own bittersweet relationship with writing. How would you characterize your relationship with writing?

“Pen and Page”

The pen moves not over the milky sheet

The page is blank and glistens white as snow,

A novel thought has yet the page to meet

Or marks of ink to dress its naked glow.

The pen has labored long throughout the night

Yet all its works lay crumpled in the waste,

For words that once were sweet do not seem right,

And bitterness now overpow’rs their taste.

Still pen and page recall those days of bliss,

When jot and tittle easily would flow,

But times of simple joys are long remiss

And pen and page their separate ways did go.

For now, both pen and page dream of amends,

For in the morning all will start again.