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Words and Sounds of My Life: The College Years

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So thanks to Spotify, I had the best flashback to my college years today. Some of the best memories I have in life have been associated to college, and the music that was popular at the time.  Since I can’t just comment on all the songs that were in thei playlist, I’m going to talk about 5 of my favorite. Let’s get it started.

 

If you can listen to this song, and not HAVE to move your body, you are not only dead inside, but you might actually be dead.  This album came out my Sophomore year, and I can tell you right now, my suitemates probably hate Limp Bizkit to this day! Cuz this was my wake-up music . . . For my 8:00am classes.  Every day. For an entire semester.  I was an asshole, I’m able to admit that now.  I was also going through a DEEP depression at the time.  Limp Bizkit was all about the angry white girl who lived inside me – Meeghan – needing to yell and scream and be angry about her life.  Plus, this song GOES. Every single verse on this song is A+ . . . And the BEAT!!! I mean really!

 

Remember the first time you heard this song? For me, it was the summer before Junior year, riding in Jigga’s car on the way back to campus.  I was working in the UD Bakery, and HAD to have this song on the next Mix CD he was going to make for me.  The fact that she was so young, and so talented, we all knew she was going to blow up.  I went to Napster (DAMN YOU METALLICA YOU RUIN EVERYTHING!) and searched for any and everything she had out.  When the album finally dropped, we played it non-stop.  I knew every song on that album by heart – the vocalizations, the harmonies, the ad-libs – and tried to sing every song perfectly.  This was before the cyst on my vocal chords cock-blocked my quest to audition for American Idol. This was also the summer I was dumb enough to fall back in love with TBTLINY . . . Ahhh youth.

 

Again, Sophomore Year.  When we watched TRL relentlessly, just to see if *NSYNC or BSB was going to be in the top spot. This album was when I realized a) there were 5 people in the group  b) but I only knew what 2 of them sounded like and c) That Justin had to date Black Girls on the Low-Low.  He had WAAAAAAAAY too much soul on Just Got Paid.  That Just Got Paid was even on the album in the first place…. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention the Holy War my suitemates and I had with the Girls down the hall, who were HUGE BSB fans. Like, they had posters on their front door counting down until Black & Blue came out, then when it came out they made a Birth Announcement.  Those girls were crazy,and we messed with them the whole year.  Walking down the hall singing *NSYNC songs at the top of our lungs, or moving stuff on their door.  I don’t think we did actual damage . . . I don’t THINK we did.

 

Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan.  I STILL love this song.  My favorite memory of this song is actually tied to a kid I used to babysit that went to the child care center on campus.  One day, while I was changing his diaper in the room, the radio was on.  Of course I was singing, and when I got to the chorus, he thought the Whoooooo was like the best thing to ever happen in his life! He laughed and laughed, and any time I saw him for the rest of the year he would look up to me, waiting for me to say “I’m sorry Ms. Jackson. . .” Just so he could do the Whoooooooooo.  That kid was awesome!

This goes out to Santos Santiago Manuel Pabon.  This was HIS Favorite Song, like of ever of life.  At every Greek party, Meringue Night, BATU House Party, Santos was going to request this song.  I’m not quite sure WHY it was his favorite song, but the smile on his face every single time it played was EVERYTHING. This beautiful kid from Puerto Rico, with more hair products than most girls I knew, was one of my BEST friends while he was at UD.  I sometimes wonder where he is, and what he’s doing with his life.  I picture him as a Doctor, working with his dad, changing lives.  Every time I hear this song, I say out loud, “Awwwww Santos!”

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Thank you for joining my on this trip down UD Memory Lane.  I’m sure I’ll be doing this again some time in the near future.

30 Day Writing Challenge: My Favorite Color and Why

Anyone who knows me, knows that my favorite color is purple. It’s been purple all my life.  I’ve had secondary colors {Blue, Teal, and Pink} that I liked to mix and accent my purple with.  But Purple has always been my main squeeze!

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I think the reason it’s my favorite is probably because my birth stone is an Amethyst. When I was little I had amethyst everything – earrings, bracelets, necklaces.  It was always somewhere around me.  As I got older, I just thought it was pretty lol.  I currently have purple hair, and my hair has been purple (or some variations of it) the most.  I dind’t start adding color to my hair until I was about 25 or so, so I fee like I have lots of making up to do. 

So yeah, that’s my Purple Story.

30 Day Writing Challenge: A book I liked, and a Book I didn’t like.

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Everything I knew about Love, until like 3years ago, I got from Nora Roberts.  That’s not an exaggeration.  Everything I thought I knew about what love felt like, and what love should look like, I got from books written by Nora Roberts.  The first book I read by her was Montana Sky.  It’s this epic sweeping novel based in Montana and the descriptions she used to talk about the land made me feel like I had been there myself. 

Nora is really good at descriptions, like really good.  Almost too good.  She usually has pages and pages of thougths and feelings, and analyzations about the whys and the how’s of every situation.  In Montana Sky, I was emotionally invested in the characters just from their descriptions. 

Before I read Montana Sky, the most risque books i’d read were by Danielle Steele, that’s actually how I found her.  I was at Borders – remember when they existed – and I noticed her section was bigger than Danielle Steel’s.  I was like, well who is THIS heffa.  So i picked a book that started with my name – becasue selfish – and I was lost in it almost immediately. There was Action, and Lust, and Drama, and Fight Scenes.  It was like watching a movie on paper.  It might have been the first time I read a 500+ page novel in one sitting.  

I will always love Nora Roberts, she taught me so much.  About writing, and character development, and creating a back story that made you care about these ficticious people. I’ve taken some of these tools in my own fiction writing, I see it all the time when i re-read books that I have started and never finished.

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More like the dumbest book ever.  I don’t get the hype.  All i heard freshman year of college was how amazing Sista Soulja was, and how her book – The Coldest Winter Ever – had helped to guide them in figuring out themselves as people.  They also talked about how it made them look at being a black woman. Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up in the inner-city and have a crackhead for a mother, or that my “black woman” experience wasn’tlike most peoples.  I’m not quite sure why I hated this book, but I hated it. 

Also, how are you a character in your ownbook.  Like, WHAT?!?!?!? It was Sista Soulja propaganda.  The whole book she was talking about how awesome she was.  I can’t remember if I was going through something at the time, or what.  I just know I felt dumber after readingt the book.  I was not invested at all in the storyline, it might have taken me over a week to finish it, which is unheard of for me.  It’s a stupid book. I also havnen’t re-read it since like 1999.  Maybe I should read it again, see if I get anything out of it this time.  I probabaly won’t though, cuz I have 40+ books in my Kindle right now that haven’t been read yet. 

Anybody Want to Buy a Heart?

*The following post was inspired by this Album*

I used to write all the time.  I’m kind of ashamed I don’t anymore.  Maybe it’s a good thing, because the reason I don’t write anymore is that I just don’t have the time.  Between having two jobs, one boyfriend, and trying my best to have an actual social life, it’s just been A LOT.

I’m not complaining, because that would make me an asshole.  Because there are people who wish they had my life.  So for those 3 people, I’m grateful everyday.  I think I’m searching for a creative outlet though.  Every minute of every day is focused on something, and It’s exhausting.  My time doesn’t belong to me any more. It belongs to the kids I tutor, or the kids on my case load.  Or it belongs to my boyfriend, or it belongs to my friend who needs a support system.

I think my only child is angry with me.  I haven’t had a day when I turned off my phone and movie hopped since . . . maybe July of last year? The minute summer camp ended, I was on the run.  I had to find two jobs, because I need variety.  My need for autonomy and flexibility also leads to multiple responsibilities.  If i take a day off of work, I could really actually impact someones life.

I’m wondering if I’m making myself feel important?  If i’m picking jobs/tasks because I know people are actually counting on me.  I feel like there is some psychological explanation for having that kind of complex . . . and it’s not a good/positive one.  So because I fear I’m secretly crazy, I’m stressed out.  That leads to getting sick, and staying home but still working from home because $$$. Either way, I judge myself for not working, and I’m judging myself FOR working so much because I don’t know if my heart is all the way in it.

My goal for this year, has been to take one weekend a month, and have it be about me.  I’m slowly but surely trying to change my schedule so that I actually adhere to my off days.  I haven’t been so far. But next month is a new month, so i guess we will try that again.  The other good thing is that I get to start working out again.  I remember how clear my mind used to be when I was working out 5 days a week.  Gotta get back to that.

Maybe my middle of the week off days will be for writing.  Maybe that will be the time I carve out for myself to sit, find a topic, and write at least 1000 words.  I doubt I’ll post all of them, but still to have them there.  My last blog was written in September! Almost 6 months ago.  Half a Year without writing?!?!? I just like . . . what?

So here’s the last thing . . . I think like a social worker now.  It’s HORRIBLE for a relationship.  Because when conflicts arise, I’m looking at it as, how can I solve this problem.  I’m stepping out of it, and analyzing the situation . . . instead of being in it at the time.  I think my Trauma Stewardship Skills have reached an all time high.  I don’t take anything personal, I don’t assume anything about people’s actions.  I’m quite sure in the last few weeks someone has tried to sabotage me . . . but I’m not worried about THAT. I actually said to a co-worker, “I can’t judge her because she feels a way about me.  That’s her journey, and it has nothing to do with me.”

WHAT . . . . IS . . . . LIFE?!?!?!?!  I’m actually starting to live by the motto, “We Don’t Judge.”

I think I’m at a personal crossroads.  Not one that’s going to lead me to moving again or anything like that.  But one that makes me reorganize my life, my priorities, and such.  My calmness scares me, which shouldn’t be a thing right? But as someone who used to be the emotional equivalent of a Kardashian-West Twitter Rant, this is just weird.

Thanks for Reading . .. hopefully there’s more coming.

Free Write: Souled Out – Jhene Aiko

*This album just appeared in my dropbox.  We don’t ask questions.*

 

48 Minutes of Goodness

Track #1 – Limbo

I got off work early, and felt the need to write. I got home, packed up all my stuff and made my way to my local Starbucks.  The minute I say down, all my motivation left me. I’ve never had that happen to me.  Starbucks in my safe place, my writer’s Haven as it were.  Suddenly the smell of coffee did nothing to entice me.  The creative juices refused to flow.  I tried so hard to get in the groove, looked at blogs I had left in my drafts, and NOTHING. Immediately I was unsettled.  Does this mean my writing talent is gone? Do I hate Starbucks now? WHAT IS LIFE?

Track #2 – W.A.Y.S

Clearly, as I’m currently sitting here {in my Living room} writing, it’s not gone. But I think the need to escape to Starbucks to write had more to do with escaping the clutter I lived in at the time.  A place where I could stretch out and just create.  NowI have that, at home. Crazy! Sitting on the couch in my living room is just as peaceful to me as sitting at the table at Maple and Orchard Lake used to be. I can finally write at home.  That hasn’t happened in . . . 5 years. The last time I wrote at a place I was living was my first Apartment in Arizona.

Track #3 – To Love & Die ft. Cocaine 80’s

I’m currently on a Celibacy Quest until January of 2016.  It’s a Quest because penis’ seem to throw themselves at me.  I’ll be minding my own business, and one will just pop up in my face. I had to fight them off in Michigan! The two years I spent in Michigan – was like Bad Decision Amusement Park.  I tried out all the rides, had entirely too many ups and downs before I landed on my own two feet.  I opened new doors, closed one or two, and tried my best to put my past behind me.  Admitting that you ruined a friendship with sexual tension sucks.

Track #4 – Spotless Mind

I regret some of the choices I’ve made in the past 2 years.  Maybe regret isn’t the right word.  I wish I would have been as mature then as I am now.  I was hurting, and male attention is – and always has been – my coping mechanism. {Read: Daddy Issues} What was supposed to be a one time escapade, became something that somehow cheapened our friendship. Sex really does ruin everything.  He was the first person I’ve ever had sex with, that I felt an actual emotional connection with. It meant something to me. It shouldn’t have, I told him it didn’t. We swore it wouldn’t change our friendship, one that we’d had for 10+ year.  It did tho.  Suddenly, I felt like he wasn’t paying me enough attention.  I wanted to see him all the time, I wanted him to comfort me when I had a bad day at work. Sex is stupid. It ruins everything . . . and I really really really miss my friend.

Track #5 – It’s Cool

Admitting all of that felt good.  So let’s just keep admitting things.  I’m attracted to at least 2 people I shouldn’t be.  Not JUST because they are in relationships, but because liking them violates my personal – although twisted – moral code.  We don’t like our friend’s ex’s.  Ex HumpBuddy, Ex Boyfriend, Ex Fiance, Ex Husband. You don’t do it. But every time I see these two people, I try to justify stepping outside of the boundaries I set for myself in 1997. {Yes, I know the year, it was a very traumatic one for me}

Track #6 – Lyin King

Back when I was a Jezebel . . . I used to call guys I liked, and tell them I had a dream about them in order to peak their interest.  Then say, “Hey, why don’t you come over for dinner, I can tell you all about it.” This usually lead to Bow Chikka Wow Wow.  Best trick ever! In the last 4 days, I’ve had 6 . . . six . . . seis . . . dreams about men in my life. Some very graphic, some super awkward, some very comforting . . . but all of them made me want to reach out to these men, and just talk to them.  However, my current Sabattical restrictions mean I can’t.

Track #7 – Wading (Played this Twice.  It goes)

This whole learning restraint, and practicing it thing . . . I’m kind of proud of myself to be honest.  Most of my friends don’t think I will or can last until 2016. But it’ve done it before . . . of course that was because I didn’t know anyone in AZ and I wasn’t actively trying to meet anyone.  The goal is to focus on self.  To accomplish my goals – the reasons for moving back here – on my own.  Without being able to attribute any failures or successes to anyone but myself. “I was sad because so and so didn’t come over; I missed that deadline because I was hanging out with so and so; etc.” I used to do that all the time . . . blame events/feelings/emotions on other people.  Now that I have acknowledged it, I have to stop doing it, right? That’s the plan anyway. I’ve been here about 100 days, and stayed focused.

Track #8 – The Pressure

That’s not to say shit hasn’t come out of the woodwork since I’ve been back.  People have showed up out of the blue, people I thought I would never talk to again.  Funny the things you choose to deal with, and what you won’t.  When I decided to be celibate, I lost male friends. Because they tried to test me . . . CRAZY to me. When I was 12, my best friend at the time told me, “Boys and Girls can’t be friends for real.  Someone always likes the other one, even if they know it’s just a friendship.” My best friend was a Boy. AWKWARD. I mean, sure I had a crush on him but it’s not like I acted on it.

Track #9 – Brave

Consciousness has ruined my life.  Most of the behaviors I used to put up with/act on/ allow others to justify currently annoy the SHIT out of me. This is another reason I’ve kept to myself.  It’s unfair to assume everyone should think like me. It’s not their fault they don’t see the world the same way I do.  Ferguson brought that to the forefront for me once again.  I had already lost interest in certain movies and music and people when I became conscious of how prevalent Misogyny and Sexism is in the world around me.  Now, once again, I can see all the Systematic Racism in America.

Track #10 – Eternal Sunshine

I’m annoyed easily now.  I want to do more to change the world.  I judge myself that I’m not doing more to help those less fortunate than me.  It’s difficult to put into intelligent words this feeling of . . . Do Better, Be Better. Someone asked on twitter tonight what kind of volunteer work people were doing, and I couldn’t chime in.  At least when I was working full time, I had an excuse.  But now . . . what is my excuse? I can justify my lack of involvement  . . . but it’s a lazy and self righteous justification.  My life isn’t hard right now, so why aren’t I don’t something?

Track #11 – Promises

I refuse to commit to or admit to – on paper or on screen – my true goals.  I’ve become very paranoid about letting people know my wishes and dreams.  I once spoke them freely, and not only did “friends” try to tear them down and destroy them . . . I really think they wished/prayed for me to fail. This lack of trust that lives inside of me is new. It’s unfortunate as well, at least to me. But it’s needed.  Another layer of protection from hurt.  But I need to start working on my plans I made when I first got here.  I’m afraid to fail, because I’ve finally figured out what I want to do.

Track #12 – Pretty Bird

If you had asked me at the beginning of this Free Write the goal . . . I would have said a poem of sorts.  That’s what is so awesome to me about doing a Free Write to music.  I’ve always said you don’t pick the music, the music picks you. This album was a great one to listen to while I tried to sort out my thoughts/feelings.  When I couldn’t write at Starbucks, I felt a way. I had on the wrong type of music. I also wasn’t in my safe space.

But I’m Home Now, and my mind/soul is clear. If you got this far, thanks for reading.  Cop the Album too.  It’s pretty good 🙂