Hello Everyone, and welcome to Key To Fashion! I don’t want to repeat my About me here. But for starters my name is Keyana (Key) Michel, and I was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. I grew up right on Blue Hill Avenue, a very well known street in the heart of Boston. Home to Boston Carnival, home to major city action, but similar to most inner city communities. It’s also home to poverty, crime and drugs.
I’m first generation American, born to a Trinidadian mother, who is a 4th grade Boston Public School Teacher, and a Haitian father who is a Managerial Professional in the Car Business Industry. My parents actually met each other while living on Blue Hill Avenue. I’m the only child for my mother, and the oldest of four daughters for my father. In the past, when talking about their relationship, my mother would often retell the story of how my father pursued her for months, but how she dodged him, until she finally decided to give him a chance.
My parents split shortly after I was born, leaving my mother to raise me as a single parent. The idea of my parents being together is so foreign to me. But whenever I’d hear positive stories about their relationship, it always sounded very expressive. Filled with a bunch of old school reggae basement parties. And a whole lot of dancing fever nights. I guess the apple didn’t fall quite too far from the tree. Because their once expressive bond, just so happened to form a very expressive child.
My first experience on the path to self-expression, started at the age of 2, when I was put into The Hyde Park Dance Academy in Boston, by my Uncle Nolan. There I danced until the age of 18, where I was taught tap, jazz, modern dance, & some ballet technique. I absolutely loved to dance, but for years I grew up being an insecure dancer. It was weird because at home, whenever I would dance, I would get cheered on, and receive a lot of positive energy, but at dance school, I was often criticized for how I performed, especially for not “cheesy smiling” when I danced, in comparison to the other dancers.
For years, I was placed in the back for my dance recitals, not that the back was a bad thing, but at the dance school I attended, the back signified “the reject section. “I knew intuitively, that I wasn’t a bad dancer, I was someone who would actually dance everyday in their room (which I still do now lol), making up dances, to all the hottest Missy Elliott songs back in the day. I remember, I literally had to work my way to the front, to prove to my dance instructors, and to myself, that I belonged up there.
Once I got to the front for a recital, I remember I tapped danced so hard, I almost had a nip slip moment, when my tap costumed started sliding off, almost exposing an entire breast to the audience! My dance instructors were so upset by the incident, and I remember being rather embarrassed myself. At the same time, I also felt accomplished, because I had worked my way up to the front, I had proven myself, but ultimately I had progressed. I continued dancing and performing both in highschool, and in college.
Currently, I have reunited with a team I danced with in college, to start a dance intiative in Boston. It’s exciting, because I’m involving myself in more of the activities and passions, that I love to do, and that’s what life should be about.
Dance was certainly the catalyst for all my expressive and creative ventures. In addition to dancing, I acted and starred in plays as a child, both in and out of school. I played soccer for 6 years, lacrosse for 2 years, and basketball for 4 years growing up (although I wasn’t the best offensive player in basketball, I could shoot, but my dribbling skills needed some work lol). Also, I played the Viola for a while (although I got kicked out the class for talking too much lol).
Growing up as an only child, my creativity, and my wild imagination, kept me company. In my spare time at home, I would write poems, create songs and dances, listen to a lot of music, and sing my heart out. I loved to sing, often singing Whitney Houston songs as a child, or singing and learning hymns with my maternal grandmother.
I called her Gangee, (pronounced Gung-Gee), a name she told me to call her. But as I got older, I was told by family members, it was because she didn’t want to be called Grandma lol. Although I’m unsure of the origin of the name, one thing I do know is that I absolutely loved it. It truly spoke to her individualistic way of being.
Gangee was a woman who played a prominent role, in molding, shaping, and influencing the person that I’m today. She was a powerful woman. Who had an intimidating presence, wrapped around a magnetic aura. That projected nothing but love, strength and harmony. Whether it was her vivid and captivating storytelling. Her calming words of wisdom. The empathy I witnessed her shower others with. Her views on the importance of mental strength. Or her dynamic personality,
I learned a lifetime worth of lessons from Gangee.
Most importantly, I learned simply by being in her presence, the essence of what it meant to be yourself, and to love yourself, and how empowering and liberating it could be.
It was her influence of self- liberation upon me, that pushed me to find my own personal style in high school, and to start finding myself in general. As a young adult, her influence continuously pushes me to learn more about who I’m. What are my gifts and talents. And what is my purpose for being here on this Earth. To be honest, I’m not quite sure what the journey will entail for me. I have several ideas, goals, hopes and dreams. But right now in this current chapter of my life, one thing I know for sure, is that I’m very happy to finally start blogging. I have been wanting to start a blog for a while now. I actually tried to create one last year, but I never posted any content on it.
Want to know a crazy coincidence?
I’m launching my current blog, around the same time last year I tried to launch my old one! If it wasn’t for WordPress sending me emails periodically to remind me to renew the membership. I would have completely forgotten about the anniversary! lol. Last year, I did not have a framework for my blog. Nor was I personally in the right state of mind for it. But I knew I wanted to do it. I’m starting to realize, after many life experiences. That in life, it really is all about the timing, because launching this blog this year, feels so right.
My blog is split into two entities, Key To Fashion, and Key Michel. I wanted readers to get to know, Key “the fashionista”, but also Key “the individual”. I love fashion, I REALLY do. But I’m also a very dynamic person, and there are various ways that I express who I’m. And there are various ways that I aspire to support others. With this blog, I really want to push myself to be vulnerable here. Which is something that can be very hard for me at times, but I know that vulnerability is strength. I know my readers will connect more to the pure me, versus the guarded me. And that’s what I want. I want to gain real connections with you all. And I want you all to learn more about me. But more so about yourselves.
I aspire to be a positive influence to readers, as I push myself to influence you all to find, redefine, and embrace your styles and your individuality. In addition, I strive to inspire readers to learn more about who they are. To realize that they are unique. And to realize that they matter. If I can inspire someone to love themselves a little more. Or to embrace their indivuality a little more. Than I know I’m doing something right.
I have such a love hate relationship with humanity, because as cruel as people can be at times, I constantly find myself feeling senstives towards the hardships that others go through. Similar to both my mom and my grandmother, I’m often the person that many people confide in, and as humbling as it can be, it can be difficult, especially when you realize in reality, that so many people are hurting.
I definitely can be sensitive to the hardships, and the cruelties that life tends to bring. But I also believe that life is a unique experience. About learning who we are, and who we are becoming. I believe everyone has a purpose here on this earth. Everyone is unique. Everyone has their own gifts, and their own talents. Everyone has their own ways to express who they are. And everyone has their strengths, as well as their weaknesses.
But I know there are several factors that contribute to how we ultimately view ourselves. I know that thought might sound very idealistic, but that’s how I feel, and with so much going on in todays society, it’s important to continue to remind myself and my readers, the value of learning about who we are, and to protect who we are.
I believe we all have a mark to make in this world, that we all have a piece to contribute to the puzzle. I remember I saw a quote not to long ago that said, “There will never be another you on this earth, and that’s your power.” and honestly that’s real.
I appreciate everyone taking the time to read this post. I look forward to getting to know you all a lot more, and I also look forward to you all getting to learn more about me. Also, please fill free to email me at Keytofashionn@gmail.com if you wish to chat, or want to introduce yourself! I can’t thank you all enough for stopping by, and until next time!