How to find balance in the era of social media addiction

Photo by Erik Lucatero on Unsplash

I decided years ago that I would not follow any of the Kardashians on Instagram.

I’m not anti-celebrity. I follow Rih Rih and Will Smith and Shakira and a whole heap of “influencers,” but the Kardashians are a brand of celebrity that seemed to combine far too many out-of-reach elements for me. They don’t just have some money — there are filthy rich. They aren’t just good-looking — they are plumped, filled, nipped, and tucked by the best. They aren’t just well-dressed — they receive praise even when they are appropriating cultures. …

Read everything from Simone Keelah Brathwaite — and more.

Upgrade to Medium membership to directly support independent writers and get unlimited access to everything on Medium.

Become a member

Already a member?Sign In

What the bumblebee can teach us about success

Photo by Hean Prinsloo on Unsplash

My mom worked as an independent beauty consultant for Mary Kay for several years. As a child, I adored the bumblebee pin each consultant received. (Apparently, I was a member of the Beyhive long before it was cool.) But more than the pin itself, I loved the words written on the place card that came with it.

“Aerodynamically, the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know it, so it goes on flying anyway.”

The place card then went on to say something to the effect of, “sometimes what you don’t know enables you to fly.”


No, I didn’t join an ashram in India

Photo by Rodrigo Borges de Jesus on Unsplash

When I was 17, the thought of postponing college for a gap year never crossed my mind. While it may have sounded nice to spend a year traveling, volunteering, and doing other activities to further “personal growth” — for financial and cultural reasons, it was neither a consideration nor a real option.

And so, I went to college. After college, I started working a full-time job and did so for the next several years.

In that time, I worked many a late-night; was regularly stressed; and had pretty laughable boundaries. I needed a break from work and the 10–15 days…

Maybe Millennials Needed to Stay Grounded

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

In 2019, I took approximately 20 trips. I had moved to the Midwest for a job and didn’t have much of a community outside of work. Thus, I got on a plane for everything from baby showers and weddings to industry conferences and work trips to milestone birthdays and vacations. I knew it was excessive but I loved being in the sky. I was a proud member of the Delta Silver Medallion Club; sworn into the Black and Boujee TSA-Pre-Check Society; and acting President of the Always-Down-For-A-Trip Group Text Thread.

On the rare occasion I’d find myself grounded for more…

Bet those repetitive thoughts won’t shut up

Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

There is something you’ve started to feel. It’s a persistent thought that tries to creep into your mind at the most inconvenient of times. Like right when you’re falling asleep, or during the 15-second countdown between shows on Netflix. You’ve tried to shrug it off; to rationalize your way out of it.

The thing that calls you has different faces that shine in different times and areas of your life.

Something you need to do.

Something you must stop doing.

Something you have on our hearts to say.

Something you need to work on.

Whatever you’re afraid of facing —…

And my life changed

Photo by Ben Blennerhassett on Unsplash

“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep.” — Rumi

For months, I’d rise before the sun in my apartment in Minneapolis. Ushered awake by my weak bladder, I’d use the bathroom and then attempt to return to sleep. That is until I saw a video of Wayne Dyer reciting the quote from Rumi. In it, The Father of Motivation, as Dyer was called, prodded his audience to indulge the secrets found at dawn. …

A 100-degree room can do more than just make you sweat

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Sweat was pouring down my face — my body’s tearful response to being expected to work out in a 105-degree room. To my left and to my right, a room full of other sweat-stained individuals contorted their bodies into one strange pose after another. It was the same 26 poses every class but no matter how much I seemed to “know what was coming” — there were always moments where I questioned my sanity for having returned to the mat.

As I willed my body to keep moving, Chae, my favorite instructor, made a simple provocation to her students.


Morgan Wallen and the N-Word

Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash

I didn’t know who the rising country star, Morgan Wallen, was until three days ago. My best friend sent me a screenshot of a Facebook post from someone we went to high school with. I’ll call her Amber. Amber wrote “2020 has done enough. You WILL NOT TAKE MORGAN WALLEN #myn**a.”

Yes, she used that hashtag. No, she did not use asterisks.

As I googled, I learned Morgan came under fire when TMZ leaked a video of him pulling up to his Tennessee home with a group of friends. He is heard shouting to a friend, “Hey, take care of…

7 Non-financial reasons to keep writing and sharing your work

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Most writers feel a gnaw to write; an impulse to put words to life’s curiosities; ironic happenings; and collective experiences.

But sharing our writing with the world can wage an emotional toll on us. And doing so without the promise of financial gain causes many writers to either keep the best of their work tucked away or the most interesting of their stories unwritten.

This is not because writers write to become rich. Yet, it’s natural to wonder, “why bother?” if you’re not seeing financial inroads or a quickly growing audience.

If you find yourself struggling to keep writing and…

How to avoid getting lost in the sauce of all your interests

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Every time I read or hear “find your niche” I lose another ounce of entrepreneurial verve.

And there is no shortage of when this advice is offered. Whether it’s about which creative endeavor to choose, which business idea to pursue, or how to “win” on social media — going deep in a chosen area is extolled over going wide.

That is not to say I disagree with the advice. After working in Marketing for a decade, I understand there is pressure to sum up who you are and what you offer in a concise way.

My issue is that I…

Simone Keelah Brathwaite

A self-proclaimed freedom chaser who writes about self-development, spirituality, relationships, & black folx thangs. Sign up for updates

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store