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ZORA
Unapologetic. Ours. A publication from Medium for Black women.

Self Improvement

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RELATIONSHIPS

It’s not his gorgeous penis, his looks, attitude, or success that attracts me most. It’s the idea that it’s not too late for me.

This guy just sent me a picture of his penis — two to be exact — and holy shit, you guys, it’s beautiful. However, as a general rule, I think all penises are ugly unless I’m in love with the man wielding said phallus. Under those circumstances, his dick might as well be made of gold and capable of granting wishes. When with the man I love, I adore his schlong, praising it, and seemingly pray at its alter when on my knees. …


Black woman relaxing at home on her sofa.
Black woman relaxing at home on her sofa.

Many of us are either caught up in multitasking a day’s worth of work (for both for the job and home) or frozen on our couches, trying to make sense of the stunning events of the last year. Our bodies are fatigued; our minds are fogged. And while we may already have an intimate (and unfortunate) relationship with exhaustion due to oppressive societal demands, the indefatigable enervation that we are experiencing is on a whole new level.

We need rest. But we’re always telling ourselves, even subconsciously, that we don’t have the time for it.

We must make time.

If…


A flawless life should never have been the goal.

Seeking perfection is rather inherent to being a Black woman in America. Like many others, my parents told me I had to be twice as good as White people from an early age. They programmed me to be the best at what I did to have any hope of being successful in life. Still, I didn’t realize I was a bit of a perfectionist until the dawn of Covid-19. One day deep into the pandemic, my husband stopped me and sternly said, “Everything doesn’t have to be perfect.” I don’t remember…


Even journalists sometimes have to ditch the 24–7 news cycle

Smiling Black woman with headphones on looking at her computer with a cup of coffee in her hand.
Smiling Black woman with headphones on looking at her computer with a cup of coffee in her hand.

From Covid-19 and a high-stakes presidential election to domestic terrorism and reckoning with racial injustice, it seems harder than ever to stay informed while also staying emotionally intact. These uncertainties have made the world more on edge and less hopeful. It’s easy to get sucked into the news cycle for extended periods because there is so much happening and so much we need to know.

News overload is taking a toll on us. Studies show that negative news can impact our emotional state, causing anxiety, stress, fear, irritability, and general unhappiness. Personal relevance impacts how deeply we become engaged with…


ZORA Check-In

Black and white photo of Oprah Winfrey against a violet background.
Black and white photo of Oprah Winfrey against a violet background.

“There’s no yellow brick road. You lead life, it doesn’t lead you.”—Oprah Winfrey, mogul and master of her own life.

ZORA Fam, I’ve been “trying” to lose the 10 pounds I’ve put on since the start of quarantine. I put “trying” in quotation marks because it would be a lie to say I’m putting in my best effort. Sure, I go for daily walks around my neighborhood but my pace is pretty leisurely. I eat healthy! …except when I’m having a self-care day and I order lemon pepper wings from my favorite bar.

I am learning that you get back…


ZORA Check-In

“I am learning all the time. My tombstone will be my diploma.” — Eartha Kitt, actress, singer, goddess.

One of the things I love the most about being an editor is that I’m able to become an expert on people and experiences and cultures that I’m not a part of. The best part about doing an interview is asking questions about what’s most important in their lives and getting to share that information with the world. My chosen career path is being a professional learner.

You don’t have to be an editor or reporter to make learning a part of…


ZORA Check-In

A black-and-white photo of Julia Alvarez against a violet background.
A black-and-white photo of Julia Alvarez against a violet background.

“The point is not to pay back kindness, but to pass it on.” — Julia Alvarez, Dominican American poet and visionary.

One of my favorite things to do when I’m back in my hometown is to stop by the elementary school where my mother is a teacher. Helping the kids with their reading or joining them on the playground and giving the teachers a helping hand always puts a smile on my face.

My mother has always advised me that the best way to help yourself is to help others and today’s quote from author Julia Alvarez reminds me of…


ZORA Check-In

Photo illustration of a black-and-white photo of Assata Shakur against a violet background.
Photo illustration of a black-and-white photo of Assata Shakur against a violet background.

“Dreams and reality are opposites. Action synthesizes them.” Assata Shakur, author and activist

Hi ZORA fam, and happy Monday! It’s the last week of July; we’re more than halfway through the year. How are those resolutions turning out?

I know we’ve learned life can take some unpredictable turns, and some of our best-made plans have fallen apart. But that doesn’t mean we have to stop planning or dreaming about the future. Today’s quote from Assata Shakur reminds us that turning our dreams into a reality simply requires some action on our part. We’re seeing great changes in the world…


ZORA Check-In

“If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.” Aaliyah, actress, artist, angel

Does anyone else in the ZORA fam have those days (or weeks, or months) when nothing seems to go right no matter what you do? I’ve had really terrible days like that when I might oversleep, burn my breakfast, be unable to do a thing with my hair, stumble over my words in a meeting, and even get my credit card declined at the grocery store. Yikes.

A series of unfortunate events like that can be really frustrating and make you want to…


Your weekly horoscope for May 18–24 is astrology that centers women of color

Last week’s retrograde reset brings us to a place where we have to re-___ everything. To help us do this, the stars have provided a week full of Gemini transits. Despite several planets being retrograde, Mercury is direct, and we are not as lost as we think we are. This is a week to explore and begin to unravel our collective confusion.

Thanks to Venus retrograde, the Taurus moon on Tuesday has an introspective feel to it. As Taurus season comes to a close, we’re having more discussions about our values and how they transform into tangible results or resources…

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