Tag Archive | Music

Adele…..you Wily Bitch.

I thought I’d escaped it. The rush of emo that comes from hearing a new song by Adele. I had done well all day. I listened to 21 and no tears came. I listened to 19…still nothing. So of course I felt safe.

It wasn’t my reaction to the song that caused the problems this time. It was someone ELSES reaction. It took them to a place and I got dragged along for the ride. Honestly, I was a willing participant. It was a conversation that needed to be had, and I got some confirmation I probably needed.

What I didn’t need was the by product of that confirmation. The self doubt. The what-ifs that sprang up.

What if I stop by and try to have a conversation with him?

What if we tried to be friends?

What if I hadn’t walked away?

I’ve been doing so good about MM. Exceptionally well actually.

Consider this: We live ten minutes away from each other, and I’ve only done a drive-by once. Ive only called once, and that was from my office phone, and I didn’t even leave a message.

I’ve left him alone, because My Pride is finally stronger than my need for closure.

I had a relationship, a good relationship whose end had nothing to do with MM, and everything to do with me deciding I needed and deserved more. I can honestly say, I didn’t hold my ex to any standards, that was probably the problem.

With TBTLNY, the same level of intimacy we had was something I thought I’d found with MM. TBTLNY was the Prototype. MM was the 1st Edition.

Adele almost had me driving to his house, or making a phone call to see if just maybe……

But I didn’t. I put my phone in Airplane Mode, took some Nyquil and took my melancholy ass to sleep.

Because no good will ever come of rejection for closures sake. No good EVER came from that. And I’m blessed to say, I value my sanity and myself more than I value his presence in my life.

I miss the FUCK out of MM. I still think about him on an almost regular basis. But I also smile now, and can face the world without fear, and can listen to music without crying. It’s a constant battle trying to figure out where my feelings are going to take me when I think about him. Adele didn’t help yesterday.

But just like the temperature in Arizona after the sun comes out, Still I Rise!

So as I sit in this spa chair, getting the best pedicure $25 can buy, I know I’ll be ok. I won’t call. I won’t drive by. I’ll continue to let it be my past. And that’s okay.

*Editor’s Note*

I called. Adele got me. And I’m woman enough to admit it.

The Possibility of Us . . .

In my 20’s, I used to make playlists for everything.  Even before the Great Spotify, I needed a soundtrack for whatever my life was at that moment.  They all had super emo names, like “The Living Struggle,”  or “Why do I still Love Him?” etc. It was my way of singing out my problems.  It was a good catharsis for me.  I could instantly go to the song I needed to hear, sing and cry on my porch or balcony, write 7 blogs, send 3 or 4 passive-aggressive emails or texts, and I could move on with life.

In my 30’s, the loss of music has let me know I’m going through something.  When I would rather listen to NPR in car, or Old Podcasts I’ve listened to 1000 times, I know I’m due to have some sort of emotional breakdown.  Living with Depression has taught me everything isn’t sadness.  It isn’t “OMG my life falling apart,” it’s instead I have something I need to.  I have to find the music again.  Find the song, or the playlist, or the lyric that is going to express EXACTLY where I am.  I’ve gotten to the point where I am too busy with everyday life to wallow in my emotions.

That’s probably a good thing, especially for my friends who have been with me through my adult life so far. Because I KNOW they were tired of all the emo ass texts, and phone calls crying over the same person, or the same situation, or some conversation over and over again.  I’m trying to be a better friend.  My last relationship ended just as it began, with little to no fanfare.  No one knew it was over, it just was. That’s the adult way to do it, right? However, tonight, while driving home from my last tutoring session, a random Spotify Playlist lead me all up in my feelings.

I Present to you: Selections from The Possibility of Us.

Poision & Wine – The Civil Wars

I miss MM.  I’ve accepted the fact I miss the intimacy we had.  I can acknowledge that it was unhealthy to a great extent, but also wish I was that naive again.  I trusted every word that came out of his mouth.  I gave every single part of me, gladly, and without Fear.  I’m so cynical and untrusting these days.  I cut people off when I feel they are about to hit me with a bullshit excuse.  I don’t have faith in anyone except my inner circle.  I expect people to lie, and be unfaithful, and bad.  I long for the girl I was when I fell in love with MM.

Stay – Sugarland

I’ll never be a Side Chick again. It’s not because of something stupid, like morals or whatever. It’s because I’m over the bullshit.  The conversations that used to woo me into that position no longer hold the same weight.  I don’t need you to tell me, “I can’t talk to my wife/girlfriend/lover the way I can talk to you,” in order to feel special.  I don’t need the ego stroke anymore.  Maybe i’ve grown up, or maybe it’s that cynicism.  I’ve come to realize, every Man/Woman has a choice.  You can control yourself.  You can get a divorce. You can break up with your partner. Just like you choose to not be honest with your significant other, I can choose to tell you that you are full of shit, and need to put on your big boy boxers and handle your business.  You aren’t staying for the kids, you are staying for you.  Until you are important enough to you, get the fcuk outta here.

One Day You Will – Deborah Cox

I’m still looking for the connection I had with TBTLNY.  No one has ever given me that same feeling, which means everyone eventually disappoints me.  {This is probably means I’m continually setting myself up for failure, but you know, whatevs} Which is kind of stupid, since clearly I’m not with him right now. It was a teenage love, but it was STRONG. I would have climbed mountains, and swam oceans, and ran marathons to keep that love in my life.  That feeling, it’s a high I’ve been seeking out since I got the first taste. My life’s addiction is that high.  I can admit that to myself, and even understand how unhealthy that is.  Craving an emotional connection with someone is just as harmful as a drug addiction, because it could lead to putting yourself in dangerous situations.

I Won’t Give Up (Demo Version) – Jason Mraz

I wish I believed in Love like this again.  Even if I go out searching for it, I don’t believe I will actually find it.  Which is kind of sad right? But it’s the truth.  To be able to say to someone, “I’m not going to quit.  I’m going to love you enough, to work on this.  To grow with you, no away from you.” It requires a certain level of vulnerability and openness, and a trust that I don’t have. And I WISH I had it.  I wish I was that Girl who sat on the phone talking to TBTLYN for 12 hours.  I wish was the Girl who made a mixtape for MM because I couldn’t find an easy way to say I loved him.  I wish I was the Girl who smiled at text messages from my current crush.

I’m Not Anymore.

And I really don’t even know what that makes me? Who am I now? My Love of Love kind of defined me for a while.  I hate romantic comedies, because they are so unrealistic. I used to swear that Carrie Bradshaw was my Love Guru, she was an Idiot.  Big was an asshole! I used to read Trashy Romance Novels in one sitting, I don’t even buy them anymore. Maybe my heart’s been broken too many times, maybe I just need a break from love.  Fuck if I know.

I bask in other people’s relationships.  I’m happy for their love.  I’m not like a Love Hater. I see beautiful relationships all around me, and I’m so pleased for my friends.  I’m equally content with my current busy life/schedule. I’m just . . . . trying to figure myself out now.

Straight Outta Think Pieces . . . . aka My Thoughts on the Movie

So, this isn’t a think piece . . . per se.  It’s more about how the movie affected me as a fan of Rap, a Woman, a Child of the 80’s, and an avid movie goer.  Thankfully, since I don’t have a huge following, I don’t really have to worry about any blow back from what I say. Hurray Anonymity!

The Movie As a Whole

I actually liked it.  I wish I had been able to see it opening weekend, so I hadn’t spent the last week reading all the articles about the movie, and listening to people discuss it on most of the podcasts that I follow.  I was supposed to see it last Sunday, but I was laying in bed dying from a stupid ass summer cold.  I live in Tucson, so clearly I was the only black person in the theatre, and that was expected.

On August 8, 1988, I was 6. Clearly I wasn’t at concerts singing Fuck the Police.  I had no clue who they were.  I really didn’t start listening to rap until 2Pac. When he hooked up with Death Row, that’s when I knew who Dre was. Ice Cube was Dough Boy, when I snuck and saw Boyz in the Hood. I’ve never professed to be a Gansta Rap aficionado, I just know what I liked.  Eazy E was the dude Dre clowned in the Dre Day Video, and the person who introduced me to Bone Thugs N’ Harmony.  I remember when they announced Eazy had HIV, then AIDS, and like 3 days later he was died.  I wasn’t attached to NWA as a group, so this movie didn’t hold that kind of sentiment for me.  I just wanted to see it.

What I Loved


O’Shea Jackson Jr. was EVERYTHING.  First of all, that man is FOINE.  2ND OF ALL, THAT MAN IS FOOOOOINE. Also, he did an amazing job playing his father.  I actually believed him in the role.  When he walked in that office, in that black hoodie with that bat . . . WHEW. I mighta been a tad bit hot and bothered.

I also liked the actor who played Shug Knight.  Because THAT nigga was crazy.  I don’t know if he was just that good of an actor, but I TRULY believed he would have beat somebody down like that for parking in his spot.  He just seemed . . . not quite right.  Any time I saw him on the screen, I was a little concerned for the safety of everyone in the room.

I absolutely loved the end, and how you got to see how far reaching the group was.  The best part to me, was watching them together as a group.  Seeing that camaraderie while they were making Boyz in the Hood, and how they clowned Eazy when he first tried to rap, was beautiful.  The actors did a great job playing off each other.  You could tell they had genuine relationships with each other.  The movie as a whole was good . . . .not as amazing as everyone has said . . . but it was good.

What I Hated

Why were there so many titties in that damn movie?!?! Like for real, we get it.  Ya’ll had bitches.  I don’t need to see topless women at every damn party.  So many damn naked women, most of them lightskinned.  I remember when the casting requirements got leaked for the female “talent,” I knew then it was gone be some bullshit.  Also, why did Eazy, Dre, and Cube marry the same woman.  Like, they looked exactly the same. Their wives could have been played by the same person, in various wigs.  NO ONE WOULD HAVE NOTICED.

Serious Question: Did DJ Yella and Mc Ren just do nothing else with their lives? Like, they just did that NWA thing, and had nothing else happened?  They were bit characters in the movie, and I feel like they should have had more screen time.  Maybe they didn’t get their dollars up, and weren’t able to pay for that Executive Producer type screen time. The actor who played Mc Ren, Aldis Hodge needed more screen time.  Because . . . . FOINE.

So much misogyny, so little time, Dr. Dre is an abusive asshole.  Yet, no mention of that.  I vaguely knew about his abusive history with Miche’le, and after hearing about the whole Dee Barnes episode . . . I felt a way about supporting the movie.  Because this was a VERY watered down version of them.  No mention of their personal lives, or parents, or children.  It was like, all of that wasn’t important, because Famous. In my continuous effort to #StayWoke, I’m constantly conflicted when supporting people who have done horrible things.  But I’m a hypocrite in this instance, because I saw the movie.

What Could Have Been Done Better

They had a chance to make a better movie.  Like their music did, they could have told the truth.  They could have talked about all the violence that ran rampant in their homes, not just their neighborhood.  They could have talked more about the emotional impact of dealing with the LAPD.  They could have talked about how 1992 isn’t that different from 2015 when it comes to institutional racism.  They could have talked about how they learned to get to the level Dre and Cube are at now.  This movie had the potential to be as impactful as the album it was named for.  But Alas . . . it was turned into a “Look how great we were and still are,” type movie.

Why didn’t they talk more about Bone Thugs N Harmony?!?!?! {That was stated as a hardcare Bone Fan, I just had to get that out}  Why no mention of the East Coast/West Coast Beef?!? Like, all we got was Pac recording one song?!?! I needed the Scorsese Version of this movie.  Like, the 3 hour long version, done by a director who wasn’t best friends with the people the movie was about.  Sometimes, you gotta open your circle. But you know, I don’t know shit.  I just watch a lot of movies.

In Conclusion . . .

The one thing this movie did, was help me realize the impact that NWA had on Hip Hop Culture as a whole.  From movie soundtracks, to actual movies, to inspiring and finding some of my own favorite rappers, NWA was important.  A picture of what NOT to do, but also how the truth can change your life.

Screenshot_2015-08-22-15-57-00

  • If not for Dre, there would be no Eminem.  And he’s my favorite rapper, even though he’s abusive as hell as well.
  • If not for Dre, there would be no Kendrick, and he’s very quickly becoming a permanent member of my Top 10.
  • If not for Cube, there would be no Friday, one of the most quotable movies in the last 20 years.
  • If not for Cube, there would be no Boyz in the Hood, one of the first movies to take “the hood” mainstream
  • If not for Cube, there would be no O’Shea Jackson, Jr. and again . . . FOINE.
  • If not for Eazy, there would be no Bone Thugs N’ Harmony, and my freshman year of high school would have been severely lacking
  • If not for Eazy, there would be no Mc Ren, and Aldis Hodge wouldn’t be on his way to being a household name

So, those are my thoughts.  Thanx for reading, and feel free to comment. 

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 🙂

 

 

 

 

Free Write: This is My Temporary Home/Fix You

So, I’ve been in Arizona for about 6 weeks.  The move was frantic, but the energy it required to move back was enough to keep me distracted.  Getting settled and job hunting has taken a while.  I’ve kept myself busy.  Purposefully, it seems.  The first time I saw this house, I knew it was for me.  It had everything I’d ever wanted for myself.  I prayed for this house every day, until I put in my offer. This was MY house, I wanted it for me.  I was only thinking about me when I saw it.  People say all the time, make plans . . . then listen to God laugh at them.

Somewhere along the way, this House lost it’s luster.  I’d be stupid to say, I don’t know the exact moment that happened.  But even acknowledging that an ‘entity’ had the power . . . nay, I gave an ‘entity’ the power to take that away from me . . . is disgusting.  I ran away from home, that’s what moving back to Michigan was.  I told me truth to very few people, because it was embarrassing to me.  But, God and Ernestine helped heal me.  I stopped judging myself, and blaming myself for everything that had happened in the past 3 years.

I was able to forgive myself for the part I played, and the choices I made that lead me to where I was – cowering like an abused puppy in Michigan.  But along the way, I lost one of my Best Friends.  Forgiving myself meant I had to place the rest of the blame on all parties, and them not acknowledging their part was a deal breaker for me.

This new me, that Haven built, holds people accountable.  Its a huge disappointment to me that I lost the one person who I could share my secret hidden thoughts.  There was no {to my knowledge} hidden agenda, jealousy, or lies.  My most outrageous thoughts were heard without me being told they were wrong.  There is something freeing about that.  I don’t have that many female friends who don’t judge me, or preach to/at me, or want to lead me down a different path.

I miss that freedom.  I miss the days when I didn’t think my words were going to be used against me.  The betrayal I feel, isn’t because she ‘chose’ him over me, it comes from the feeling that everything else in our friendship might have been a lie.  Every thought I shared with her about him, things I couldn’t say to his face {and there wasn’t much} he ended up knowing.  He used that knowledge, those secrets to break me.  She helped him.  And for what? Feeling that a man is more important than a friendship . . . it’s alot.

I thought I was ready to be back here, in this house that had begun to feel like an Island I had been exiled to as punishment.  The majority of my friends live at least 200 miles from me.  The one person I want/need is too far away.  Maybe that’s whats wrong.  I’d gotten entirely too used to having access to people who made me happy.  I can’t call TIITC and say lets go to dinner, and I can’t text The Boy and ask What’s the Haps.  I can’t go stalk Astacia at Jimmy Johns . . . It’s lonely starting all over again.

The worst part is, I haven’t been idle.  I’ve been reading, and discovering new truths about myself.  It hasn’t been all bad.  In fact, it’s been kind of awesome.  But on a night like tonight, I wish I could dial her number, and give her all my secrets. And I can’t . . . and that makes me hate her all over again.  It’s been worse though, this feeling.  So I know it’s going to get better.

Tears Stream . . . down your face
When you Lose something you can not replace.
Tears Stream . . . down your face

Lights with Guide You Home,
And Ignite your bones,
And I will Try . . . To Fix you.

Tomorrow is another day, a day to look into the sun, and feel the warmth that is Arizona. Because this is MY HOUSE, and if it takes a few for weeks, and a few more thousand dollars to make it feel as such, so be it.

Free Write 4/14/14: Spotify Starred List

I haven’t done this is in a while.  I’ve been feeling some kind of way {No Rich HOmie Quan} for the last couple of days, and my emotions have been all over the place.  It wasn’t until I listened to The Globe Sessions by Sheryl Crow that I realized I had a myriad of things on my mind.  I’m going to let Spotify guide me today . . . and lets see what happens.

Arianna Grande – Almost is Never Enough

She is not a Mariah Clone . . . I think she actually has the option of being better.  Lots of it will depend on her song choices.  But her voice is amazing.  bout the Song: Almost is NEVER Enough.  I’ve held on to almost multiple times, and it never ended up the way i felt it should have.  This song evokes the pain that can come from letting go/giving up.  It’s the conversation you have when you are walking away.

Try to deny it as much as you want, but in time our feelings will show . . .

When you are trying to make it work, and begging the other person to try with you, and it just seems like they won’t. You are on the outside looking in at something falling apart.  A very deep song sung by someone who probably hasn’t experienced this yet. Shouts to Nathan Sykes from The Wanted.

Bad Meets Evil – I’m on Everything ft. Mike Epps

Eminem and Royce da 5’9 are everything.  Them rapping together is also everything.  They play off each other so well lyrically.  I remember when I heard they had fallen out, I was actually sad for Detroit Hip-Hop. When I heard about this album, via Twitter of course, I was SO EXCITED. The clip from the Mike Epps special is hilarious, and the beat is just . .. you guessed it everything.  It’s actually my favorite song on this album.  The fact that it’s about the kinds of Drugs they were both doing during their careers . . .and they are now both sober makes it even better.  They aren’t glorifying drug use at all . . . but it’s a catchy ass song.  It wasn’t until I listened to the lyrics . . . Durgs are bad guys.  BAD.  This album is a my favorite “I have lots of shit to get done and I need to be motivated” album. Also, Royce and I had a conversation on Twitter one night.  Clearly he loves me.

John Legend – Made to Love

The drums on this song ALONE . . . . I love this album because it tells a story.  As with Get Lifted, when it’s over I feel like I watched a movie about a relationship.  I saw all the ups and downs, and at the end they lived happily ever after.  One reason John Legend has remained a favorite of mine, his messages/songs/lyrics are real.  He doesn’t paint pretty pictures.  He talks about what it’s really like to be in a relationship.  The cheating, the love, the fights, the wanting to make it work, the end of it all.  Especially in this song, you can just picture him talking to this woman, like “This is it Girl. We are here for each other.  Let’s bask in this shit, and make it work.” Definitely a favorite on Love In the Future.

Diddy-Dirty Money – Your Love

#Fact Diddy-Dirty Money was an awesome Group . . . yet another one that Sean Combs ruined.  This album goes so damn hard! When he ended Danity Kane, I was worried that I was never going to hear Dawn’s voice again.  When he introduced this group, I was a tad bit concerned.  Even after I watched the Making of the Album on MTV . . . still had reservations.  But this song right here .  . .

Just vulgar and catchy at the same time.  Trey Songz was whinin’ his lil heart out . . .and making it sound good.  Kaleena (is that her name?) and Dawn really compliment each other, to the point that I can’t really tell their voices apart. I didn’t know whose P***y was walking on who’s tongue.  even the video was sexy.  Damn You Diddy. You Ruin EVERYTHING!

Sam Smith – Nirvana

So the blog I wrote before this one is all about my love for Mr. Smith. But there is always more that can be said about him!

I’m done with running so I give in to you
This moment has caused a reaction
Resulting in our reattachment
Oh you take me to nirvana
I don’t think this will last
But you’re here in my arms

This song is all about that moment you wake up in the morning and regret.  Maybe you smoked too much, maybe you drank too much.  But you fell right back into the bad haidt you were trying to avoid.  But once you fell, you decided to just let that feeling last for whatever time you have with each other.  “I know it’s wrong . . . but it feels so damn good.” This song is the truth.

Young Money, Drake – Trophies

Love the “Horns” at the beginning of this song.  It’s a great way to start the song.  We all know I love me some Drake.  Even moreso after the SNL appearance.  I love that he doesn’t really take himself seriously.  Technically this is supposed to be a Young Money song . .. but it’s Drake. This is just a remember to those who think he’s walked away from Young Money, and isn’t down for them (I think.) Honestly, I just like the beat.

What’s the move? Can I tell truth?
If I was doing this for you
Then I have nothing left to prove, nah
This for me, though
I’m just tryna stay alive and take care of my people
And they don’t have no award for that

Idle Warship – Beautifully Bad

Found this song on a Spotify Radio Station, I think the Talib Kweli station.  This entire album is the truth.  I love collaboration albums, especially when it’s something I came across on accident.  The entire album evokes an emotion for me.  Res and Talib are the perfect blend of soul and hip-hop.  This song is one of those, if only I had heard this while I was IN the relationship.  I might have known how to express myself to him/her.

And I closed my heart for you, Couldn’t love if I wanted to
When you gave up on us . . . I became bitter
And never wanted to believe, That you’re killing all my energy
You’re beautifully bad to me

Yup. All of that.  ALL OF IT!

Justin Beiber – Heartbreaker

Yes.  I still listen to Justin Bieber.  I think he’s become an asshole, but his music is still great.  I understand why this album was a mixtape.  His core demographic probably heard this album and was like, “Who Bitch What?!?!” It’s all R & B, and actually soulful.  I mean as soulful as Justin Bieber could be. The entire album is great actually, except for that song with R. Kelly . . . because R. Kelly is singing to the WRONG age group. This is Justin’s sexy album.  And I’m here for you Justin, I am.

Trillville – Some Cut ft Cutty

First of all, the explicit version of this song . . . SO MUCH. This song is attached to The One that Got Away. This was our favorite song to dance to at college parties.  Like, the INSTANT the bed squeaks started, we found each other.  Don’t judge my life, because you don’t know my life!

Anyway, my favorite parts of the song are the funniest. What guy tells a girl, “I’ll follow that ass in the mall…” Really, is that what we do? Also, how did the start of the song get explained in the studio. “Aight dude, listen.  Just record the mattress squeaking.  Not voices, yes for 16 measures. Trust me, it’s going to work. But don’t drop the beat until 8 measures in.  TRUST ME DAWG, It’s gonna work.” Also, they talk A LOT about their balls in this song.  Like at least twice in every single verse.  And in the chorus . . .*le sigh*

The fact that I actually answer my phone with the 1st line in the chorus when my close friends call me tho . . . Also: I listen to this song at LEAST twice a week.  I feel like that MIGHT say something about me as a person. I don’t CARE what it says, but I think it says something.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~**~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

See, I thought this was going to be an expulsion of emotions.  Instead it was a fun little trip down memory lane (at least for me).  It feels good to write about music, and not be working on my book, or submitting resumes, or goal planning, or updating business plans.  I clearly needed to heed Dominique’s advice and just start living in the moment.

Anyway . . . thanks for reading and listening. I hope you enjoyed this very random musical journey as much as I enjoyed writing about it.

Dreaming With a Broken Heart . . .

So I decided to let John Mayer be my guide while I write this blog. It’s probably not going to be coherent, but I can promise that it will be nothing but the truth.

Dreaming with a Broken Heart

“I never want to love someone that much again.” It’s something we all say after a break-up.  After you have cried all the tears you need to cry, you decide to hide your heart, and never again be taken in by the words of another man.  It’s not even so much out of hate or anger, it’s out of self-preservation. It bothers me when people close to me have told me I’ve changed recently.

They say I have become distant, and not like the person I was BEFORE.  What I can’t seem to relate to anyone is that I was UnHappy BEFORE. I might have been miserable at times DURING, but it beat the hell out of BEFORE.  I’d gotten so good at lying to myself that clearly the lie had been spread all over the place. AFTER, I’m still trying to figure out how to put all the pieces back together.

When you’re dreaming with a broken heart 
The waking up is the hardest part 
You roll outta bed and down on your knees 
And for the moment you can hardly breathe 
Wondering was she really here? 
Is she standing in my room? 
No she’s not, ’cause she’s gone, gone, gone, gone, gone…. 

Gravity

This is actually my favorite John Mayer Song.  But only the live versions.  When I saw John Mayer, this is the song that made me cry.

Gravity, Is working against me. And Gravity, wants to bring me down.

That’s how you feel, when everything you had started to build crumbles around you.  Every hope, dream, and Fairy tale just disappeared, and you have to cope with that realization and move on.  Right now in my life, is when poverty really bothers me.  Not because I’m starving, but because I didn’t get a chance to fall apart this time.  I couldn’t retreat in a corner, and deal with my heart changing.  LIFE got in the way.  Other people’s problems mattered more, other people’s health mattered more, than me crying over losing my heart.

All I’ve wanted to do, for the last 3 months, is disappear.  Just stay in my house, and be sad.  Not talk to anyone, or see anyone, and just be still.  To stop the world around me from spinning out of control for just a minute.  So that I can process and learn from this experience and get rid of some of the hate, anger, and bitterness that it left inside me.

Friends, Lovers or Nothing

I should have played this song every morning.  To remind myself of the fact, that Question was never answered.  What were we? Who was I to you, really? It was never a secret what he was to me, but I’m starting to believe that everything he said was a half-truth.  Just enough to tide me over until the next time that I questioned what we were doing.  I needed constant confirmation that I wasn’t wasting my time.  That I wasn’t giving my heart to someone who could never love me the way that I needed to be loved.  In the end, it doesn’t really matter does it, what we were.  I think it matters more what I felt we were.

Anything other than Yes is No, anything other than Stay is Go, anything less than I Love You is Lying . . .

Edge of Desire (Blog I wrote about this Song)

Don’t say a word, just come over and lie here with me

Cause I’m just about to set fire to everything I see

I want you so bad, I’ll go back on the things I believe

There I just said it, I’m scared you’ll forget about me

Love Is a Verb

This song meant so much to me, I got it tattooed on my foot.  It’s so simple when you think about it.  Love is indeed a Verb.  It requires action to show its presence.  If those actions aren’t there, how do you know for sure?  Words are beautiful, but they can damage you much more than actions at times.  I know now, not to be wowed by the words, but instead to demand action.  This doesn’t mean flowers and candy. This means, to me: Attention, Devotion, Dedication, Understanding, and Honesty.  As every person is different, they are going to demonstrate this differently. But, I’m going to be much more cautious next time.  Much less invested, until I know that some of this has taken place.

When you show me love
I don’t need your words
Yeah love ain’t a thing
Love is a verb

So this is where I am today.  Good or Bad, It’s where I am.  Coping, and dealing every day.  Trying to rebuild, and move on without fear taking over.

Bad Religion

I sincerely hope this is the last time I ever write about this.  But it seems that it’s best I make this public so people can understand my current state of mind.

I allowed the same person to break my heart 3 times, in less than a year.  The first time, it came out of nowhere.  The Second Time, I actually expected it, so that wasn’t so bad.  But the Third Time, that is what broke me again.

It wasn’t that he was no longer there, it wasn’t that I didn’t get to see his face everyday, it wasn’t that I wasn’t happy anymore.  It was that he seemed to take such pleasure in slowly ruining the relationships around me.  The people I knew I was going to need to keep me sane, to help me fall apart in a healthy way.  That’s what he took from me.  And he did it so absolutely, I couldn’t do anything but watch from the sidelines. In awe and Horror, as people I had trusted with every secret thought and feeling became seemingly more loyal to him than they were to me.

I don’t use the term friend freely.  I definitely don’t call people family easily.  Hell, I don’t claim 1/3 of my biological family.  I have created the family I wanted, under the false pretense that these people I had chosen, had welcomed into my life, would never hurt me.  Call me naive, but as my intentions have always been to better people’s lives I felt that is how those people I choose to bring into my inner circle felt as well.

When I was 17, I lost my best friend because I introduced her to a boy I liked.  He liked her more than he liked me, and it ruined our friendship for at least 3 years.  Because of that, I never introduced anyone to each other.  I was quite adamant about not mixing friends/family/potential significant others.  At 29 (12 years later) I did the exact same thing, and expected a different result.  I don’t know why. I’m clearly insane.

I can accept the blame for watching things fall apart, and caring more about hurting other people’s feelings than my own.  But The Word that seems to be sticking in my head these days is Loyalty.  There will always come a point in your life, when you have to choose who you are going to be loyal to.  Even though I know most people don’t think like me, I’ve still been ridiculously hurt by people who told me one thing, and did another.

You would think at 30 years old, I wouldn’t be so extremely broken by what has happened in the last 3 months.  That’s not the case.  Someone told me yesterday that I’ve changed too much because of how things ended with MM. To that I say this: You don’t know how much I’ve changed.  You will never in your life understand how badly he hurt me, for months.  Why? Because I am too loyal to you to tell you.  Because I have always wanted to make sure that people had a good view of who he was.  I hurt myself trying not to hurt him.  That’s my fault.  So is putting my faith in anyone who needs me more than they are willing to admit.

In my life, there have been about 3 times when I have felt like this.  The first time, I almost didn’t make it. But I know I will make it this time.  Because I have finally decided to be loyal to myself. I’m going to put myself, and my dreams, first. My life is going to change next year. For the better.  Not because some magical potion is going to make it so, but because I am just fucking TIRED of the same things/people hurting me.

So I’m going to go on about my life, licking my wounds along the way.  Trying to forget the simple shit that always seems to remind me of the Happiest/Saddest time of my life.  From Harry Potter, to Genghis Grill, to late night phone calls, to car choreography, to late night epiphanies, to O Faces.

I’m Letting it go, just as the people who helped create those memories seem to have let me go.

Taxi driver, Be my shrink for the hour
Leave the meter running
It’s rush hour, So take the streets if you wanna
Just outrun the demons, could you

He said “Allah hu akbar”, I told him don’t curse me
“Bo Bo you need prayer”, I guess it couldn’t hurt me
If it brings me to my knees, It’s a bad religion

This unrequited love
To me it’s nothing but a one-man cult
And cyanide in my styrofoam cup
I could never make him love me
Never make him love me

It’s a bad religion

To be in love with someone, Who could never love you

I know, Only bad religion
Could have me feeling the way I do

Frank Ocean – Bad Religion

Woke Up In the Morning, You Were Not There . . .

*The Blog preceding this also pertains to this subject matter*

*press play*

I’ve only been in love twice in my life.  

The first time I fell in love, I was 18.  It was the kind of all consuming love that I had read about in Nora Robert’s books.  When it ended, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to have a normal life.  It’s the time I learned that Depression is a real thing.  I swore to myself, after I pulled myself out of that hole, I would never open up that much again in my life.

And I didn’t. For more than 10 years, every relationship that I became invovled in was either someone I knew wasn’t good for me, or had no chance of working out.  This worked for me, because I could always, in the back of mind, justify why it didn’t work out. Yes, I have gotten my cake on on numerous occasions, but I never baked it.  It was store bought.  I didn’t invest any Blood, Sweat, or Tears in it.

About a year ago, while walking out of my apartment on a rare night out, my downstairs neighbor said hi. He was so damn cute.  How excited was I! We talked for quite some time, and then I went on about my business.  Imagine my surprise when I saw him the next day, and then the next, and the next.  We talked about any and everything.  There was no awkwardness, we just kinda fell into each other.  We spent weekends together, he slept over it was just . . . Nice.

One day, I asked him what we were doing:

We’re Just Friends right? (Yes)

You know I cherish our relationship, right? (Yes)

Are things going to be weird? (No)

The one time I had decided to define something, it had backfired.  He then got married (a whole ‘nother blog) and evenually moved away.  Part of me was sad, that he had been able to move on so quickly.  He mattered.  At the time, i didn’t know exactly how much.  I moved on to a purely sexual relationship with a complete idiot, and all was well again.

Two months ago, he showed up again.  The marriage was over, he was stationed out of town, but could we hang out when he got back?  Sure, I said.  Again, thinking nothing of it, I mentioned that if he needed a place to stay when he got back into town, I had a room.  The offer was purely based on my monetary situation, and not anything else.

Call me when you get back into town? (Yes).

Can I call you tomorrow? (Yes)

Sure.  That part of me that missed him fluttered a little bit. . . .

Late night phone calls, 5 and 6 hours at a time.  Calls on each other’s lunch breaks.  Thanking God that he had Verizon, because my minutes would have been shot. Text messages during the day, just wanted to talk to each other.  We kinda fell into each other again……

As the days got closer to his return, every conversation took a slight turn.  I wrote verbose emails about my feelings to my friends, hoping that finally, Finally, FINALLY, this was going to work.  I opened my heart all the way, being the person that he had loved (yes loved) from the beginning.  Never stepping to the side, never pushing my feelings to the background.  Because. He. Asked. Me. Too.

I gave parts of me that I had forgotten I had.

If I get stationed somewhere else, would you wait for me? (Yes)

When I get back, can we start looking at houses? (Yes)

If I fall in love with you again, would that bother you? (No)

Anyone who knows me knows that I am so selfish I live in a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment. I opened up enough to let him LIVE in my home.  I loved him enough to open my personal space.  I don’t think he will ever understand how much of a sacrifice that was for me.  To have fully let him in my house.  To make changes to my life, to accomodate him.

For 6 days, I was the happiest that I had been since I was 18.  

Late nights, and Early Mornings.

One night, while cuddling on the couch,  he said, This will be the last night we do this. . . .

Are you leaving? (Yes)

Was it something I did? (No)

You’re just not comfortable? (Yes)

Does this mean I’m never going to hear from you again? (No)

We stayed on the couch . . . I woke up, with music in my head. And a heaviness in my heart.  I made a CD, that I asked him to listen to, and walked out of my apartment, knowing that when I got back, he wouldn’t be there.

I cried so hard, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to look my students in the face.  My heart hurt so bad, because I knew that was the end of us.  I was right.  In the end, he was probably lying.  He was probably using me. He was probably a jerk. But I know he loved me.  He Told Me He Loved Me.

But sometimes, Love Just Isn’t Enough . . . .  (Please read this for the Musical Interpretation of our relationship)

I lived in a fog for about a month.  Michelle came to get me.  If it hadn’t been for her, I don’t know what I would have done.  The half of my apartment that had been touched by him, stayed that way.  I couldn’t look at my couch, or walk in the room that he left.  I couldn’t walk in my second bathroom, and see the lint roller he left on the counter, or the cleaning supplies he left under the sink.  I couldn’t walk in my kitchen, and see the skillet he left on the stove.  Or the mugs he left in the sink.

They were all a reminder that he had been here.  Had touched my life, and left me without an explanation.  Every time I walk into my apartment, it doesn’t feel like mine anymore.  It’s just the place that he ruined.  Judge me if you want, but that’s how it feels to me.

My new roommate moved in today . . . It’s more her place than it is mine at this point.  The part of me that cherished this place, that thought it was a safe place, where no one could hurt me, is gone anyway.

But I Love(d) Him . . . . . 

*Press Play*

Black Girl Pain – My Lifelong Struggle with Depression

*The underlined words are companion pieces to this blog. They are Blogs I’ve written in the past dealing with Depression. Please check those out as well*

The first thing that must be said, Depression is real.  It’s an actual disease, that is affecting more and more young people.  The first time Depression entered my life, was just after my first break-up. I had lived my life, knowing that A Piece of Me was Missing, but not being sure if it was ever going to exist.  Suddenly, I met this person that made that all go away.  Then, after one argument, it was all over.  That happy place was shattered into a billion pieces.  I couldn’t explain that feeling to anyone, I just had to wake up everyday and face the fact that the thing that made me happier than I ever thought I could be was gone, and I didn’t ever see it coming back.

Honestly, I thought I was tired. It just made no sense to me to wake up and face classes, friends, life. My bed was just so much more comfortable.  I stopped going to classes, because when I was there, I wasn’t paying attention to what the teachers were saying anyway.  So why go to sleep in class, when my bed was right there?  I left my dorm every night at 6:oo pm for dinner with the Crew, then went right back to my room to sleep some more.  I honestly don’t know how no one noticed.  I did the bare minimum, for at least 6 months. At the end of that semester, my GPA was a 1.1427. Do you know how many classes you have to fail to get that GPA? 3, and get 2 D’s, and an A in choir.

My 3.7 GPA freshman year is the ONLY thing that kept me enrolled in the University of Dayton. I went from the 3.7 to a 2.0. Academic Probation was 1.9, I JUST made it.  I knew something had to change.  I was losing roommates, and friends because of my attitude and I really didn’t care.  One day, when I couldn’t stand to be in my room another minute, I went into the study carrols to write in my journal, and as I was writing, I noticed that I couldn’t breathe.  I fell to the floor, crying so loud the people in the dorm next door came to see what was wrong.  I cried for 45 minutes, listening to Celine Dion’s “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now”.

I picked myself up off the floor, walked back to my room and swore to myself I would never let someone hurt me like that again. 2 years later, during a road trip with a Soror of mine, we were talking about relationships and how they can change the course of your life.  I told her the story of my “Celine Dion Breakthrough.” She looked me straight to my face and said to me, “You know that was depression, right?” I actually said to her, “Black People don’t get depressed, We don’t have time.” But once we started talking about everything else that was going on with me at that time, I started to think that maybe she was right.

I went to the Student Center, and talked to someone about what had happened, and they confirmed that yes, I had been suffering from Depression.  So it had a name, that overwhelming feeling of nothingness.  The thought that all my actions are leading me to a place that doesn’t matter.  The need to just be in my bed, under the covers, watching every movie I own.  When you hear about Depression, you never hear about that part.  You see that ladies surrounded by boxes of tissue, with runny noses, eating ice cream. The face of Depression is usually a White one.

Today, I had a conversation with my mother about Depression, and her realization that it might be a family issue.  I’ve only been in the “Celine Dion” Place one other time, and that was when I first moved to AZ. My mother knew, I think she could tell.  Usually, when I get near to that place she’s the first person to see it now.  When I was at school, no one understood what the hell had caused me to change that much, and no one ever said to me, “Maybe you’re Depressed.” It wasn’t a thought.

Because Black women don’t deal with Depression.  We don’t acknowledge it.  We really don’t even know what it is.  It’s the been labeled, “Some other shit that I need to deal with,” or “I was just having an off week,” or “It’s too cold to leave the house,” or “I’ll just go to work tomorrow.” It’s hard to put a name to something you don’t understand, know how to acknowledge, or sometimes want to.

Depression is the festering sore that picks at the psyche of Beautiful Women, until they can’t take it anymore, and you get a phone call asking if you have heard from So & So in a week?  Depression is one traumatic event after another, pulling you into an abyss that you can’t navigate.  Depression is “I’m just not good enough,” & “Why won’t someone love me,” & “Why don’t people see/hear/listen to/understand me?” Depression is sleeping the whole day and finding yourself buried in 18 months worth of bills. Depression is struggling to face everyday at work without bursting into tears.  Depression is hiding in your closet listening to Purple Rain at 5 in the morning.

Depression is a battle that some of my friends are losing.  Because we DON”T talk about it. We don’t want anyone to see that we don’t have a handle on this problem.  We, as Black Women, have so MUCH stuff to deal with, that we don’t have time to take care of our mental health.  But if we don’t talk about it, we are going to continue to lose ourselves.  In bad choices, and bad relationships, and situations that put our health/life at risk.  We will continue to lose ourselves to drugs, and liquor, and sex, and cutting, and suicide attempts, and everything else that comes from holding the pain inside.

I’m not in a bad place.  I’m actually in a great place right now.  But there might be someone who needs to know they aren’t alone.  Who feels like they can’t make it one more day.  This is for you.  To let you know that you can make it, as long as you acknowledge that you are having a problem in the first place. You are not ALONE in your fight.  Find someone to talk to, even if it’s a stranger.  Figure out the ROOT of your issue, and if you don’t know how {because you don’t watch Oprah and Dr. Phil enough} ASK FOR HELP. It’s only a secret if you hide from it. Depression don’t HAVE to be the end, it can be the beginning.

Once you can acknowledge the issues . . . You can start working on Filling the Gap/Closing the Gap.