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Fall 2019 Playlist: Free Write

So I decided this summer, to create a playlist for the season.  Put some songs together that reminded me of specific people, places or things.  It all started at The Read Live in DC.  They were playing so MANY good songs before the show started, I had to find them and at them to my Spotify Rotation.

That Playlist is the perfect way for me to get all up IN my feelings, cuz this past summer was life changingly awesome and horrible, ALL AT THE SAME TIME.  It’s always good to repeat an excellent Idea, so I made a Fall 2019 one as well.  I present, some thoughts about life thanx to Spotify.

Issa Photoshoot

Aye, I’m CUTE.

I don’t know if you knew.  You should know . . . I’m getting cuter by the day.  Shouts to My Personal Trainer.  I’ve lost about 30 more pounds this summer . . . I’m wearing clothes I never thought I would.  I set goals that would have been outrageous 6 months ago, and now, completing them by the end of the year seems very possible.

Unfortunately, with the Glow Up comes the stragglers.  Folks that wouldn’t give me the time of day 50 or 100 pounds ago.  Now it’s, “Heeeeeeeeeey MJ, you are doing so good.  I’m proud of you. You should call me.”

Why? I’m the same MJ . . . just smaller. If you wasn’t tryna drink out the 2 Liter, you can’t get the 20oz, ya dig?!?!  Also, I can’t call you. . . . My Personal Trainer doesn’t allow me to train with other people 😉

Can’t Be Broken

So many times in the last year, I’ve felt like . . .It can’t get any worse.  Nothing else could come into my life what is harder to understand than this thing I’m trying to heal from right now.

Then . . . Here comes Harder.  Some kind of way, I keep fighting my way out.  I keep clawing my way out of the low places I’ve found myself in.  That’s the lesson – You can Always Get Out.

Even though it feels like there is no hope.  You will get out of it. I know it seems impossible.  I know the weight feels like it’s trying to break your chest ON PURPOSE.  But you getting out of it, will let you know just how Strong you are.

You Don’t Know

Jill Scott made this album before I grew up.  When it first came out, I wasn’t really feeling it.  I listened, then went back to the albums I already loved. The vibe of the album didn’t appeal to where I was in my life.

A year ago, I listened to it again, and realized why Jill Scott had changed in the last few year.  She grew the fuck up.  She realized the type of love she was looking for required Preparation . . . Sacrifice . . . . SelfLessNess. Things I’m STILL trying to learn about.

I can’t believe how hard it is to try to build a LIFE with someone. To have to get out of your own head . . .let go of your own shit . . . make them let go of theirs . . . and try not to fuck it up by assuming the worst about EVERYTHING.

It Ain’t Yours to Throw Away

Look, Nashville had some GOOD ass Music.

I’ve had some days y’all. I’ve had some days where it seemed like being around wasn’t helpful to anyone else.  One of those days, I put my phone on shuffle, and this song came on 1st.

What if you’re just a vessel,
And God gave you something special,
It ain’t yours to throw away
It ain’t yours to throw away
Every time you open up your mouth,
Diamonds come rolling out
It ain’t yours to throw away
How can you hear those words . . . and not feel like God was sending you a gentle reminder?  It ain’t over yet.  Its the life I gave you . . . so only I can take it from you.  Check on your Strong Friends.

Wonder

Being a teacher is HARD.  It’s not hard cuz you have to teach kids how to read.  It’s hard because you have to Heal Children, AND teach them how to read.  Every day, some child is looking at me, hoping I can help them with whatever ails them.
Then, we all have a moment.  A Silly Moment in Class. The 1st time one of my students had Pop Rocks . . . Extreme Wonder on his face.  The Wonder in small kids, learning new things.  Finally making sense of a word, or a math problem.  The Pride on their face.
That’s why I’m still a teacher.  Giving something like that to a child.  Being blessed enough to be able to do that.  When things get bad . . . I can always remember, that I can bring wonder into a child’s eye.
That Blessing . . . Is not Mine to Throw Away. 

The Love We Had Stays On My Mind

I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this blog. The 1st blog after I lost my WHOLE Heart. My whole world is different, because my Mother died.

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I had a plan for this summer. It didn’t include this. I made the dopest playlist ever {See Below} . . and made my plans to travel all over. Then . . .

Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer.

The foundation I’ve rested on . . . started to crumble. I reached out to my people . . . because we had decided we were going to just . . . Live the Best Summer Ever.

Together. Me and My Mommy.

  • Life got in the way.
  • Other peoples issues got in the way.
  • 600ML of Fluid on her Lungs got in the way.

She started saying her goodbyes. She left messages for me with her friends. Directions on how to function without her.

She was tired.

I gave her permission . . .to stop fighting. To Stop being a Warrior for me. I told her everything. My plans, the back-up plans, and the people who were going to help me meet those goals.

Now She’s Gone.

  • Moving on feels like the Worst Thing Ever.
  • Being Happy feels like the Worst Thing Ever.
  • Because she’s Gone . . . and That’s the Worst Thing Ever.

thank you

To My Brothers: Thank You. Thank you the calls, for coming, for sitting right next to me as I said Goodbye to My Mother. Thank you for the Hangouts conversations, the cards, the everything you’ve done.
To Stacey: I’m so Grateful for the way you Loved My Mother. Thank you for being ME, when I couldn’t be there. I’ll never be able to repay you for the last 2 years.
To Emmanuel: Thank you for picking me up off the ground. Thank you for helping me pick up the pieces. Thank you for being You.
To Kaitlyn, Raji, Diamond, Aaliyah, Chavi, Jo, Nisha, Dom, and Michelle: Thank you for being my Sister Circle. For answering every text and call . . .for letting me cry, and vent, and breathe . . .for the Spanish Inquisitions, Disney Adventures, and Gourmet Meals.
To The Cousins: Thank you for surrounding me with Love. Thank you for the arguments, and chicken wings, and bottles of liquor, and stop overs, and UFC Fight Nights. For loving my goofy ass dog, and checking on me daily. I promise to be around more, because If i don’t, Joyce will haunt me.

Thank you to anyone who sent a prayer, positive thought, text, message, smoke signal, edible, hug, emmisary on their behalf. I don’t have enough words to say it. So Just . . .

Thank You.

03/06/2019: Free Write

*Today’s soundtrack is my saved song library on Spotify*

Wonder – Emili Sande

I’ve been afraid to write this year.  Not because I don’t have anything to say, it’s just that what I feel like writing is hella personal.  Remember when everything I posted was relevant to everyone, had a kind of global feel?   When it was social commentary and satire blogs?  The past 3 years have just been . . . me.

I told myself I’m going to publish whatever comes out tonight.  So here we go . . . 

Might Not Be Ok – Kenneth Wallum

Depression is a thing.  The latest wave . . . took me ALL the way under.  Crawling inside myself  and still trying to function on 0%. The good news, I’m coming out of it.  I called a therapist yesterday, set up an appointment for ASAP. I’ve been faking the funk for quite some time, and last week just slapped me dead in my face.  Thank God for music, and friends you can be 100% honest with.

My circle sho’nuff saved me this week. 

I Gotta Find Peace of Mind – Lauryn Hill

First of all, FUCK YOU SPOTIFY. Here we go.  So I met a guy.  He was amazing.  It was amazing . . . then it was over.  {*SeePreviousSection} This song reminds me of him.  I miss hanging out with him.  Conversing with him filled a hole I forgot even existed.  I got used to it too soon.  Losing it was NOT awesome. There are more Words . . . Thoughts . . . and Feelings. . . but those will go in the blog I don’t post. 

Big Green Tractor – Jason Alden

Hilarious!!! I love this song.  It reminds me of a student I had at the Tucson JCC. I asked what he wanted to sing in circle time, and he said, “Big Green Tractor!” I was like, that’s a kid song I don’t know, which is rare.  Then he sang it . . . I was like DAMN he’s white as HELL!

I know all the words to this song.  Because I like it.  Because I listen to country music.  Because some of my friends do.  Because some of my friends are white as HELL. I grew up with them.  So I have learned to not feel uncomfortable in white as HELL situations. . . . [however If I see bikers or too many trucks, I’m Out!]

Spar (feat 6Lack & Kodak Black)

This is definitely in the Summer 2018 playlist.  Whew, I miss Malachi! I do better when I have a running buddy.  Someone who is always ready to go out, and get into something new.  I had Bono for that in AZ, and Malachi here.  I gotta figure out who that’s gotta be, ‘cuz I want to explore Detroit: The Gentrified Version. I’ll look at all the white people with derision, but I want to go throw a Got Damn Ax!

This summer, I’mma be running around in booty shorts and crop tops.  If I can CONSISTENTLY take my ass back to the gym, it’s gonna go DOWN. At least 10,000 steps a day and water workouts, ya’ll not READY. I’m going Fowling, and indoor skydiving, and ropes courses.

I’m looking forward to it.

 

*editor’s note*

Creep – sung by VINCINT 

As I was packing up, this song came on. VINCINT’s version of this song, is the 1st time I ever actually listened to the damn lyrics . . . because sad white boys do this song at Karaoke all the damn time. I tune them out, it’s usually the bathroom break.

VINCINT’S interpretation of this song . . . is me walking through the world. 

Every. Single. Day.  

 

Pigment . . . or Nigga What?!?!

To whom it may concern:

You broke my heart.  Not on some “We in love” type shit, I wasn’t dreaming about forever. But we had SUCH a good thing going.  And yet . . . at the end of the day, it wasn’t what I thought.  My brothers tried to tell me, but like a dummy I didn’t listen.  Because I knew better . . . I was doing this the right way, and my feelings weren’t involved. Or so I thought . . . because after all this time, I’m still hurt.

Maybe I’m the one to blame
That’s just how the game goes
Just want someone to hold
Everybody needs somebody to be there when they’re alone
I just want you to save me (yea)
Just want you to save me . . .

I’d made my mind up, we were going to make this whole thing work for years. Maybe I got arrogant, I thought we were on the same level. Underneath it all, I thought we respected each other enough to be honest, at all time.  I never lied to you. Not once, I was always upfront.  When I was wrong, I told you. When you were wrong, I checked you. I thought that made us friends.

I’ve known most of my life that I’m a loyal person.  If I consider you a friend, then that’s just it.  We are Ride or Die.  I have your back, and you have mine. I would never do something to harm you, and I thought it was vice versa. Maybe that’s why I’m so hurt. Because you accused me to something I would NEVER have done.

He said you’re my everything
I love you through everything, I done did everything to him
He forgave me for everything, this a forever thing
Hate that I treat it like it’s a whatever thing
Trust me, boy, this shit is everything to me

Okay, so maybe I lied once.  I told you it was just . . . fun.  It meant something. On multiple levels.  The right people knew what it meant, except you.  Either way, you mattered . . . and always have.  You know THAT, I Know you know that. But at the end of it all . . . the ugly ass way it ended . . . I wasn’t prepared. I didn’t have time to get myself ready.  Because it didn’t end the way I wanted to end. I just wasn’t ready for it.

The things that I would do to you with just a couple seconds
I would color every moment, make you feel like it’s forever
I’m comin’ over, so you can start undressin’
I’m givin’ you a chance to finally make a good impression

When I first heard the version of this song on Volume 1, I was PISSED it was only 90 secs.  I thought it held so much potential.  I wanted to send this song to you.  It was the perfect statement was what I wanted us to be. “Get Ready . . . a Bitch has plans.” That’s what the text would have said.  I needed you to know my mindset.  But alas . . . . The Road to Hell is Paved with “Good Intentions.”  This was supposed to be the next level shit we had talked about. But it all fell apart.

You only show me love
When it comes to the music
It’s like when I feel lonely
That’s when you start actin’ choosey
I don’t wanna keep playin’ them games
‘Cause I feel like I’m losin’

So I’m done. I needed to be anyway. But I’m done. Because it’s probably the better decision, at least for me.  But I miss the security that existed because you were in my life. I miss having the knowledge that there was someone out there that thought of me and smiled.  Or maybe you didn’t, and I’m making that up. It makes it easier to lie to myself.

He has you lost in your emotions
And you hate feeling so alone
And now your simpin’ because you know
You shouldn’t have stayed until the morning
It wasn’t worth all the heartache
It wasn’t worth all of the pleasure
Because you were once a diamond
He made you feel like buried treasure

You broke my heart. And I’m judging myself because of that.  Because I KNEW better. I’ve been down that road, and knew how it ended.  But I still . . . quite stupidly . . . had hope that we could be friends at the end of it all. But, friends don’t do that to each other. Friends don’t say shit like, “I mean I hear what you are saying . . . but I don’t believe you.” I’m sitting here, dealing with it.  Because I have to, even if I don’t want to.  But it hurts. Alot.

I’m still lost holding in all of the anger
At the bottom of the ocean and I thought you’d be my savior.
I was distracted, unaware of his behavior
But when I started drowning, I didn’t know he was the anchor.

2016: A Year In Review

Usually when I do my end of the year blog, I have a set list of things I want to talk about.  This year it’s going to be kind of a free write.  Spotify did this great thing, where they put together a list of the Top 100 Songs you listened to this year.  For me, it’s been a true portrait of what this year has done to me.  Yes, done to me.  So I’m going to let the music guide me in what I write about.

Be Alright – Ariana Grande

Baby, don’t you know
All them tears gon’ come and go
Baby, you just gotta make up your mind
That every little thing is gonna be alright

This part of my “I Will Survive” Playlist.  I needed songs this year that took me to the After place.  After all the bullshit, After all the tears, After all the pain.  This song is the perfect vibe for that.  You are going to be alright.  It’s not gonna be like this forever.  Sometimes, when you’re stuck in the middle of a storm that seems to be pulling you down, musical lyrics can be the life preserver that pulls you up to the surface.  I still think Ariana is wasting her voice . . . but that’s a whole ‘nother blog.

Rise – Solange Knowles

Fall in your ways so you can crumble
Fall in your ways so you can sleep at night
Fall in your ways so you can wake up and rise

A good reminder that you can rise above.  Even when you don’t want to, or you feel like you can’t.  You have to rise above.  Even if the only satisfaction or acknowledgement you will ever get is from yourself. That’s what it has felt like this year.  I’ve been patting my own damn self on the back. Cuz the hater’s been hatin’ like a muthafucka in 2016. It’s hard, to not just fight everyone in the face. {Maybe that’s just me…} This song is a great way to calm myself down when I’m ready to fight, which has been frequently this year surprisingly.

Needed Me – Rihanna

Don’t get it twisted
You was just another nigga on the hit list
Tryna fix your inner issues with a bad bitch
Didn’t they tell you that I was a savage
Fuck your white horse and a carriage
Bet you never could imagine, Never told you you could have it

When you have to explain on countless occasions that you are NOT like these other females.  I can be attracted to you, even see a future with you, and not be trying to tie you down.  I can understand that we want different things right now, and either I can take what you wanna/can give, or I can move the fuck on. A Bitch has Options.

If I tell you I’m trying to engage in some Hump & Go type action, why do you THEN feel some kind of way? Especially if you told me that’s all you have the possibility to give me.    It’s just a matter of us being HONEST. Why must people lie and placate?  Or tell people what they THINK the other person wants to hear.  9 times out of 10, we are thinking the same thing, or want the same thing.  But you are too scared to be honest.  Weak People Suck. Like SO MUCH.

Better ThanGretchen Parlato

This precious heart, broken apart
just leave it there and let it go
cuz all i know’s there’s nothing better than

how it keeps beating
it keeps repeating
a blessing in disguise
dry my eyes and realize there’s something better than

So like, I know a guy who told me a story about his friend trying an edible for the first time. Supposedly, this album was the music in the background while this friend of a friend was trippin’ balls. Which lead to some major life revelations.  My friend told me that his friend heard the lyrics to this album for the 1st time, and realized why it was her favorite album to fall asleep to.

This friend of a friend felt like she was having a private conversation with God while this album was playing.  And after she got done trippin’, she was seeing her whole life in a completely different way. At least, that’s what my friend told me happened.  I wasn’t there, so I can’t say what’s the truth.  That’s only what I heard when someone told me the story.

F**kin’ Wit Me – Tank

Every time I lick it, you be losin it
These young boys didn’t know what to do with it
You got it all on my face, I love the way that it taste
When you put it all on my plate
It won’t go to waste

It’s rare that I don’t know about songs like this.  My sexytime playlist is quite extensive. But this song . . . This song reminds me of a promise made, but never kept. Folks be talking so TOUGH, beforehand.  Then, in the heat of the moment, they lose their nerve. Cuz once again, I’m not like these other females.  I bring my A game all the time, and people don’t know how to hang.  Let me stop . . . I’m supposed to be working on being subtle, and not blaming or shaming people . . . 

Perm – Bruno Mars

You need activate your sexy (activate your sexy)
Silky, smooth and snap (silky, smooth and snap)
Now lean with it (lean), throw a lil sheen in it (sheen)
Then pat, pat, pat ’til it’s flat

Yall know this song goes.  This whole album – minus Versace on the Floor & Callin’ All My LoveliesGOES. This is the new getting ready to hit the club and be fly album.  It’s so much 90’s fun.  My chair dancing routine to this song is intricate, and makes people so jealous when they see me doing it . .. in my car . . . on the way to work. Bruno put his FOOT in this album. Also, you know your girl loves any song with a good Diva Finger Snap {no seriously, I have a whole playlist of songs which inspire the Diva Finger Snap} in it. I almost made this my ringtone . . . then I remembered my phone is always on vibrate because I work so much.

Alright – Kendrick Lamar

When you know, we been hurt, been down before, nigga
When our pride was low, lookin’ at the world like, “where do we go, nigga?”
And we hate Popo, wanna kill us dead in the street for sure, nigga
I’m at the preacher’s door
My knees gettin’ weak and my gun might blow but we gon’ be alright

Aye look . . . . this is my current morning alarm.  I gotta wake up every morning, remembering my people have survived some shit in the past.  The current political climate of the US might be leading to the worst shit since Slavery.  That’s not even hyperbole on my part.  I really believe that shit.  When it becomes a bit much, when I can’t seem to get out of the bed in the morning, so I can’t face another person telling me to give that asshole a chance, this song can get me through.

Ultralight Beam – Kanye West feat. Chance the Rapper, The Dream, Kelly Price, & Kirk Franklin

I’m tryna keep my faith
But I’m looking for more
Somewhere I can feel safe
And end my holy war
I’m tryna keep my faith

This is the only song on his new album I listened to.  Legit, I didn’t go past this song.  There was no need.  This is Kanye West’s best song {maybe ever} . . . not because his verse was great (cuz it wasn’t) . . . but because of everyone ELSE’S verses.  This song is such a beautiful way of expressing what I think we all go through with our faith.  Sometimes it’s so hard to keep the faith, and trust that God really has your back.  Especially when you see people who are supposed to have  your back {read: family} don’t.

I was raised in the church, and taught I should have unwavering faith in God. In all honesty, it took me awhile to get there.  My issue, I don’t have faith in people AT ALL. There are lots of people in the world who don’t have faith at all.  These people are hurting and for whatever reason, the way they cope is hurting other people. This song got me through the first part of 2016. It was played on repeat at loud volumes every morning. Because having faith isn’t hard, keeping it is. 

Father, this prayer is for everyone that feels they’re not good enough.
This prayer’s for everybody that feels like they’re too messed up.
For everyone that feels they’ve said “I’m sorry” too many times.
You can never go too far when you can’t come back home again.

So that’s my year in review.  Hope you enjoyed it 🙂