“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. -Brené Brown

“Adulting is the persistent act of taking responsibility for one’s life.” My imagination uncovered this definition while procrastinating on my couch, preparing to enter a water-slide like parade of dark descending thoughts about how unproductive I’ve become. I was fascinated with adulthood and how my peers and I varied in the way we approached life. I am silly, goofy but on paper I am a responsible adult. I own adult-like things, I have an adult-like career, I travel and so on. So why didn’t I feel entirely like one?

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Revivals

Adulting

Adulting. It is not an age notifying the world when we can vote, drink, drive, have sex, rent a car or destroy our bodies with nicotine.

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Revivals

April lesson: Get Your Weight Up

Early April

Recently I found myself at an impasse. Yes, an impasse, also known as a mother-f’ing breaking point!  I received an email from a coworker detailing their frustration at recent changes that were made for an upcoming event.  This cohort of mine was livid.  This person could not understand how the plan, I guess… their plan not mine could not go on as scheduled. I suppose the fact that I create and direct the event has no meaning. Whatever right? I digress. Anyways…

I looked at the email and immediately gave a “what bih?” eye roll followed by a few other savory cuss words that make my heart smile. Mmhmm, so there’s no confusion, cuss words are savory, rich tasting verbal treats that excite all my active senses.  The heart-smile quickly transitioned into questions. Several questions: Who do you think you are? Why didn’t you speak to me in person instead of cc’ing the world and all the gods? What made you feel as if you had the right to address me with a domineering tone? Who gave you the green-light to be my boss? What made you confidently speak with confidence?

Not hurt. Shocked. Blinded. I couldn’t believe this person whose ineptitude I had covered for years had the gumption (gumption tickles my soul) to be upset. After rereading the turd-mail I let out a good:imgres-1

“Haaan!” in my French Montana voice. Not really but I try to imitate it; in my mind it sounds like him. Back to the email sender. Person, your assisting skills for ALL of these events have been first class bull-kaka for ALL the years and I cleaned it up.  I shined your shit/then added armor oil on it/Haaan (I secretly want to be a rapper, don’t judge me). Had your work sparkling like Cinderella’s slipper and Paul Wall grillz. And, AND, ANDDD, I allowed you to take credit for the clean-up in aisle 3!

snowhiteclean

Over here singing and scrubbing dirt with birds…

Who gave Snow White credit?

Mid-April

Ok, all right, what was I really mad at? An email? Weren’t my actions routine? Wasn’t I accustomed to allowing others to take credit? And consequently making space for the same credit-snatchers to believe I could be controlled or manipulated?  Yes I was. But why did it bother me now?

All the times I covered for folks are all the times I was not growing in my own craft but consistently making someone else look good.  Really, truly and seriously, the email was a gem dropped on my complacent lap. The gem said: Girl, get your weight up.*

Late April

So, so, so I learned: Protecting another’s ineptitudes only makes way for you to cover-up/hide your own.  Yes, I’m good at what I do. But according to my personal standards, I am not great, yet.  The theory I have:  I covered for my coworker not out of humility but necessity, survival.  I think, my subconscious decided on my ego’s behalf, if I don’t highlight the cohorts lack of efficiency no one would highlight mine.  It’s deeper than rap people.

While I see nothing wrong with upgrading my coworker’s efforts, that same passion was not placed into my own ambitions.  I was not refining my decisions, my work ethic, myself.  I was submitting the first draft as if it were absolutely the final. I was behaving subpar. Not below outsiders. Below the sites I envisioned.

April lesson: Get your weight up girl and get on the level you desire. And maybe those around me will be inspired to do the same.

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Howard Washington Thurman

Alive

 

I am alive and full.

TWD

 

*Weight up: increase your worth*

 

 

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Revivals

Formation: How Beyonce Revived the Deceased

I was dead.  Flatlined. No line. Believe it. Dead. Check the date of my first and last entry before this one. It was two years ago.  I wrote an introduction, a “Hello all, this is me” letter entitled: Third World Diva Part 1″. “The Haitian girl born in Canada and raised in Brooklyn” letter. The , “Im labeling this part 1 because there will most certainly be a part deux next month” letter. See, in my mind I had this all planned out: I’d submit a new topic each month to keep the verbose- witty-silly bitch in me satisfied. But then I died. I was creating in other ways but the talkative- I got a lot to say about a lot- chick died.  I gave up before putting in any effort past the first submission.  Not a quitter but didn’t finish the race.  Feel me?

Then, it happened.  On a random Saturday afternoon (random for me not for Bey) some spectacle entitled “Formation” (Dirty) by Beyonce appeared on my timeline and like any Black woman of my generation you obediently watched the video.  Then you watched again to process what you just witnessed.

Watch it here, again.

 

Mine Blown

The video rocked my brain.  My world shook, earthquake, seismic shifts took place in my toes.

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My toes twitched bitch.  I contacted my sister immediately.  She would do the same for me. We, the collective we, do not keep good information to ourselves people, we share, we must spread the gospel. How could you not call up a friend then another, then another and type endlessly on Twitter or FB about Formation?  I mean even Melissa Harris-Perry had a panel ready to discuss the Bey-Formation impact a day after the video dropped. Stop.  She was ready to discuss dissect reframe and be revived.  See people, even if you weren’t dead like me something in Formation woke you up, pushed you, motivated you, touched you made you FEEL.

The Slay Revival

Beyonce revived Messy Mya, New Orleans 11 years after HK, Trayvon and his hoodie a day after his would be 21st birthday, hot sauce in your bag, the Jackson family’s original noses,  a mini-documentary about Bounce music, Red Lobster, the magic found in the South, me and other closeted dead folks masquerading as woke. Spirits. She conjured the spirits.  Not only with the images of beautifully embedded New Orleans Voodoo deities but with the spirits in all of us to be bad asses, to be magnanimous to SLAY. She evoked something in me with the line, “I dream it, I work hard, I grind til I own it.”  I’m here writing this entry all owning my ish.  Catch me next month. I’m in formation.

Beyonce-Formation-Ride

TWD

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