Ayana smiling at camera

TueNight 10: Ayana Byrd

(Back when I lived in Brooklyn, sitting on rocks I don’t think you’re supposed to sit on.)

Age: 46

Basic bio: Ayana is a writer and new mom who just moved back to her hometown, Philly. She’s gearing up for a lot of celebrating in 2021 because her first book, Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America, turns 20 in February.

Beyond the bio: I never had ideas about what life would be like when I reached certain ages, so I entered my 40s with zero expectations. Maybe that’s why it has been my best decade by far. Richer friendships, a deeper belief in myself and it’s not like I’m any less afraid to do some things, but I’m much more willing to dive into the fear and try anyway.

What makes you a grown-ass lady? In the middle of the craziest set of circumstances outside of my control (global pandemic with a 9-day-old), I took stock of our lives, made some tough choices and now my son is happy, healthy and thriving (as am I).

1. On the nightstand: A pacifier, homeopathic remedy for teething babies and crystals (rose quartz, lapis and carnelian).

2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: Snacking (I went from no sweet tooth to wanting all the cookies during Covid).

3. Jam of the minute: “California” by Joni Mitchell (I wouldn’t call it a jam, but it’s about home and homecoming and displacement and has been in rotation since lockdown).

4. Thing I miss: Outside.

5. ’80s crush: Prince. “Crush” is too light a word for the emotion I felt the first time I saw Purple Rain.

6. Current crush: Michael B. Jordan.

7. Latest fave find: I May Destroy You. I didn’t know a show could be so perfectly written and performed.

8. Last thing I lost: Hair (postpartum hormones are a beast).

9. Best thing that happened recently: My son was born!! 

10. Looking forward to: Outside opening fully and safely.

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