In xoNecole's Our First Year series, we take a more in-depth look at love and relationships between real-life couples, married and unmarried with an emphasis on what their first year in love was like. These couples allow us to journey through their love stories with them – the ups, the downs, the triumphs, and the tribulations of what it takes to make their love work.
One look at Rog and Bee Walker will have you thinking the couple were absolutely made for each other.
When you speak with them, you understand the full breadth in the validity of that belief. He is the yin to her yang, she is the rhyme to his reason. And equipped with her bushy crown of hair, his signature fedora, and their mutually impeccable sense of style – the two New York-based creatives are truly one another's match.
Rog and Bee are lovers first and collaborators second, having met in work-related circumstances nearly eight years ago when Tumblr led Bee to an event Rog would be at. She had admired his work from afar.
They started dating soon after and were married shortly after that. Rog even popped the question to Bee on bended knee through a Tumblr ask. And now the Walkers, in addition to a fruitful marriage are putting their love into their work with the collaborative effort Paper Monday. "Since the beginning, we've always to make the work a part of what we're doing," Rog said in regard to the ongoing visual project. "It's the evolution of like our desire to tell stories and to make a space for those stories to live. It's also a space for us to continue to collaborate and continue to tell those stories and to work together and to put our heart, passion, and work into something. It's storytelling and collaborating and working together."
The couple delved deeper into the journey of their love story, how they met, how work comes into play, and ultimately what makes their love revolutionary.
Bee Walker: We spent so much time together in the beginning because we wanted to, and we liked each other, and we just were enjoying each other and enjoying getting to know each other. It was so easy to spend time together. It was just easy to talk. It was easy… easy to be myself. And I felt that he was really being himself. We were just having a lot of fun together, but we were also talking and baring our souls to each other and getting to know how the other person is. At some point, I could just feel it.
Rog Walker: I was going through a period in life where I was just transitioning in culture, transitioning from my parents' culture. And I was going out meeting different types of people – people I've never met before like the most stylish black men – and all these different types of things. So, I think Bee was something – the balance [was] right – like in her personality. Like, I felt like she understood me and understood that that makes a culture because she was also from a somewhat conservative liberal immigrant family, but she's also interested in creative things.
I think we overlook the importance of those cultural connections and that understanding.
With Bee, we were able to connect on both those things and understand like the foundational elements of who we are, but also had like the progressive thought process of how we see the world and how we envision our future and how things are done. For me, when we understand that meeting someone like you that had the mix of culture who can relate, and we could see eye to eye, that's rare. So, I knew this was something that was important and special.
The Best Part
Bee: What I love most about Rog is he has such a consistent and enduring positive personality. Like, he's just on that side of the fence. He's not even aware of the fence. You know there's another way to be and I think that's so wonderful. Like he literally wakes up happy, ready to go dancing, song on his heart. He's like, let's go! Let's do this life thing, which is really good for me. It's just good to be around.
Rog: And I think Bee kind of opened me up to a whole 'nother world. I was born in Jamaica, my parents are very Jamaican as well, so there's like this stern, hard way of loving. And I think Bee is just so soft, so sweet, so compassionate. And she's very, very intelligent. I remember I was kind of intimidated by what she can bring to the table, just from an intelligence standpoint. And she's sweet. I feel like what's underrated is how supportive she is, and I don't think that's a lesser trait because I think I'm better because of her, something I don't take for granted.
Rog: I think a lot of times, people desire love as a concept or as something that's defined by culture or whatever, but when it comes to our love, or like, our relationship, I really see it as revolutionary that it has impact beyond that general concept of Netflix and chill or whatever the case may be. But we do things [where we ask], can we impact life together as a unit and within our partnership? And that's something that I always wanted. We're really taking on our purpose in life and the things that we want to do together. And strengthening one another and strengthening the impact of our individual ties. So, our love being revolutionary is really more so about us being a true partnership that impact the world and like really takes on and tackles our purpose in the world together.
Bee: Marriage in the world is a convention and it's something that people read into and they kind of have a tendency to emulate things that they've seen done in other relationships they've been around relationships in media for example. What I've noticed and what's revolutionary and will feed into that goal is that a partnership between two people is something that [has] never existed before so that's the revolutionary part of our relationship.
I realize it's not a place to imitate things I've seen, but a place where new things grow out of.
No two people just like us have been together before, so the things that come out of our union are new and so, in that sense, the goal for me once I realized that is hand in hand with what Rog said. You know, cultivate a place where we can give out of what's coming from us.
Mentors In Marriage
Bee: Before we got married, we sat down with all of the people that we love and trust to talk about marriage. We did like, sort of an informal marriage counseling with his parents, with my parents, with a couple of other couples that we knew at that time who were really solid and had great families and everything. That was probably one of the best things that we did early on, because we spoke to a good set of people who were like our parents and also people like us, who we aspired to live our lives like. After the fact, I think we both learned that it was wise to talk to each other.
It's prayer. It's talking to God. It's reading.
Those are the things that have really helped us when we need advice and we need guidance.
Lessons In Love
Rog: The most important lesson I've learned is that there's more than one way to be right. I was raised very specific like, this is right, this is how you do it, you do it at this pace, you do it like this. And it's easy to go into the world and judge other people's processes, but it's respecting the intelligence or ability to solve a problem in her own way makes you realize that there's more than one way to be right and to respect the process about other people's processes as well. Allowing other people to have their space and allow my convictions to be my own.
Bee: The most important thing I've learned is that there are so many different ways to have a good life. I've learned that there are so many ways to have a fulfilling and joy and love-filled life. And it can look a lot of different ways and maybe don't have one of those things and your life is still beautiful and full of love and that's the most important thing. That's changed my worldview entirely.
One & The Same
Rog: I'm really big on working with intention, but without expectation. I think together – I know for me and for Bee – it is really an operational purpose. The goal for us is theoretical in a sense. I know we want to be excellent and I know we want to impact people, we want to give love to our craft. Our goal isn't to get anything per se but to be someone or to be the type of person, the type of creative that showcases love and humanity. We really want to tell stories and impact life and culture in an authentic way.
Bee: For me and for us, the goal, like Rog said, is to give to give. Out of that, and to give out of our abundance and get out of our love. Just cultivating those places where we can do that and [have] the ability to do that.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
The Fall Equinox begins on September 23, 2023, and it’s time to embrace abundance, gain clarity, and know that you are worthy of your desires. The Fall Equinox marks the beginning of fall and the end of summer and is a turning point of the year, where things settle in and come to fruition. The energy that fall brings is one of harvest, but it is also one of release, letting go, and finding your ground. Coming from a summer of intensity, drama in love, and overall moving through a space of deep spiritual growth- now that fall is here, we are ready to decompress, dream, and enjoy that which we have created for ourselves.
What Is the Energy of the Fall Equinox 2023?
The energy this fall is opening up new doors of abundance and is a time of reaping your rewards in life. Fall begins at the same time as Libra Season, and a lot of these blessings have to do with love and the relationship developments that will be taking place over the next few months. With a New Moon Solar Eclipse in Libra occurring a few weeks after fall begins on October 14th, something enchanting is happening in romance right now. The scales are coming into balance, new beginnings are occurring, and clarity prevails.
Relationships over the next few months are about focusing on the gifts and gratitude you find in them and accepting where things need to change as well.
By the time winter begins, most of the planets that are currently in retrograde will be direct, and this signifies the change of pace that fall is bringing. This fall highlights Eclipse Season overall, and the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on October 28th will be a time of creating boundaries, honoring your values and energy, and closing a chapter in your life that doesn’t align. Financial worlds are growing and finding new ground, but with Jupiter still in retrograde in Taurus until December 30th, patience is needed here.
Over the next few months, give yourself the space to gain some new perspectives, make room for love, and grow in abundance.
Your guidance this fall is to take those first steps toward the goals you have been pondering over this year. There is a Full Moon in your sign a week after fall begins, and you get the opportunity to enter this season with less baggage and more closure. You will possibly be starting a new position or working in a new field, and you need all the good energy to back you right now. Know that you can count on your skills and talents to move you further in life and that help will be there when you least expect it. This is a fall of abundance for you, Aries, claim it.
Your lucky days this fall are: Sep. 29, Oct. 13, Nov. 13, Nov. 21
Patience, patience, patience, Taurus. You are creating something beautiful in the world right now, and the time it’s taken to get you here will all be worthwhile. Your guidance this fall is to nurture your world and your dreams and to bring more love and compassion to your life. You are preparing for a new reality but need some more time to dream it up and define that which you want for yourself and your future. The Full Lunar Eclipse happening this fall is occurring in your sign, and you are moving through some major closures in your life right now. This is a creative time for you, Taurus.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 28, Oct. 29, Nov. 6, Nov. 20
This fall is all about taking care of yourself and valuing your time and energy, Gemini. The way you see yourself and your life are coming up for review right now, and you are being urged to look at yourself in a better light. Your ruling planet, Mercury, goes retrograde for the last time this year on December 13th, just before fall ends, and this time is all about taking what you have learned and choosing better for yourself. You may be tested to be more confident or true to yourself right now and over the next few months, and it’s about owning your part in this life and standing up for what you want.
Your lucky days this fall are: Sep. 25, Oct. 21, Nov. 20, Dec. 12
This is an abundant fall for you, Cancer. You have worked diligently on claiming the opportunities and new doors that have been opening for you, and you are feeling free to be your successful self. You are encouraged in your independence right now, and you have proven to yourself just how talented you are and how much you have grown. No major aspects are happening in your sign this fall, giving you the space to breathe, create, and receive your rewards. Happiness fills your world, and even though you still feel like you are just getting started in a sense, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the gifts that are presenting themselves today.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 13, Oct. 15, Nov. 12, Nov. 13
This fall is a turning point for you in love, Leo. New developments are taking place in your relationships, and you are being received especially favorably. This is the time to open your heart to growth and new possibilities and to get creative with what you are looking for right now. The Last Quarter Moon happening in your sign on November 5th will be a turning point for you this fall. Your unique charm and charisma are enough, and you attract many to you through your natural energy and love for life. Your ship is coming in this fall, and your heart is fulfilled.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 1, Oct. 31, Nov. 5, Nov. 14
Virgo, this fall is a blessing for the heart space. You are feeling in tune emotionally, and there is positive energy coming your way and into your love life. You have spent a lot of this year healing, forgiving, and finding your voice, and over the next few months, you will be creating the spaces you have been looking to enter in your life. Venus enters your sign for a month on October 8th, and there are some pleasant surprises in store for you during this time. Fresh starts are coming in for you, and spiritually, you are awakening to the gifts within you and in your heart. Your beauty is showing, and love is coming in for you this fall.
Your lucky days this fall are: Sep. 25, Oct. 22, Nov. 5, Nov. 20
This fall is a new beginning for your financial world, Libra. Autumn begins the same day Libra Season does, and you have some extra motivation and energy within you right now. You are ready to put the action behind the intentions you have been setting for yourself financially, and this is a time of plans coming together and falling through to success. The more you stay focused and diligent, the more opportunities that can come for you right now. The first month of fall, the Sun is in your sign, and this is really the time to get things moving in your life, especially with a New Moon Eclipse in Libra on October 14th happening as well.
Your lucky days this fall are: Sep. 27, Oct. 14, Oct. 30, Nov. 20
It’s all about the vision for you right now, Scorpio. You are focused on the future, your path ahead, and manifesting your dreams, and there is something passionate about the next few months for you. You may be taking some risks this fall as you test the boundaries on how far you want to go with something and what worlds are opening up to you now. Mars is in your sign from October 12th until November 24th, and life is exciting for you right now. You have your eyes on the prize and are ready to move forward toward the things that are lighting you up right now.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 12, Oct. 13, Nov. 6, Nov. 13,
This fall is about taking a leap of faith, Sagittarius. Your guidance over the next few months is to do the things that you would do if you knew you would be supported in doing them. Less self-doubt is needed now, as you are walking on new ground. You are moving towards personal healing you have been wary of from the beginning, and you are ready to let go of some energy that has been holding you back. Trust that once you decide on something, the universe instantly begins to make it happen for you. Your season begins on November 22nd, and it’s time to put yourself first more. Have courage in yourself this fall.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 8, Nov. 22, Nov. 24, Dec. 12
This fall is all about clarity for you, Capricorn. You are a wise soul, and you are owning this energy about yourself right now. Over the next few months, you will be developing spiritually, helping those who need your sound advice, and evolving in life. You have found a new sense of enlightenment and are enjoying the clear perspective that has been gained. Mercury goes retrograde in your sign on December 13th, right before fall ends, and this is when you will be feeling more tested to take the lead in your life and use your voice. Overall, fall 2023 is your time to surrender to the good within you and in your life, Capricorn.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 10, Oct. 23, Nov. 4, Dec. 1
Things are moving fast for you this fall, Aquarius. This is a successful, harmonious, and passionate time for you, as many opportunities come your way at once. It will be hard to settle down with all the energy flowing through your life over the next few months, as you have so much to do and so many people to see. Overall, however, this is positive energy that you have been looking forward to in your life, and everything is coming together and moving forward where it was once stagnant. Fall is giving you the closure and the opportunity to reinvent yourself and start on new, solid ground in your life.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 30, Oct. 31, Nov. 20, Nov. 28
Your guidance for fall is to have balance in your life. There is a lot of new coming in for you, but you are also working on letting go of what has fallen. You have grown in many ways this year, and financially, you have seen growth as well but may be feeling the weight of responsibilities this has come with now. To move through this season with the most grace, give yourself more time to rest, to be, and allow things to fall into place on their own. Saturn has been retrograde in your sign since June and goes direct this fall on November 4th, Pisces. This is your opportunity to see things more clearly, protect your energy, and feel more in tune with your internal guidance system.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 22, Nov. 4, Nov. 6, Dec. 12
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