I miss you baby… I’m sad I haven’t received my correspondence I was promised.. I’m a cheerleader of your gift and blessing to paint pictures through words. I’m perplexed by your continued disdain for your most loving ex you’ll ever meet…. I know that is hilarious to you…. I follow you and your compositions when I’m able and I’m a fan of your growth… I speak in this fashion because I don’t particularly agree with the word proud of someone.. I believe that is reserved for parents and elders when expressing there positive feelings for there offspring or younger family… I always knew you’d provide positive feedback for youth as I do also from the belly of the beast… I miss you though real spit… I root for you in all your endeavors know that! I am upset that I have been cut off from every other outlet in order to converse with you… I love you Kendria and I don’t practice this relentless pursuit of anyone I’m content with who I am and not whom I used to be. What I need from you is a consensus as a adult that you no longer want to hear from me and I will respect your wishes love. Peace and love.
Can someone identify this lying MF because I need to know where to ship my Fuck You to.
Word to the unwise: I don’t care about what you talmbout.
Back TF off of me for good. My heart and my love is no longer a game piece for niggaopoly.
That’s not personal, that’s a whole blanket statement.
Remember those metallic vertical blinds that came out back in the late 90s? You know the ones that looked really snooty and cost a lot of money; there used to be a store that specializes in those blinds in Lafayette Commons (a former popping area of the Westside of Indianapolis). Yesterday I drove past a house that still had those types of blinds up. It caught my attention in the same way they used to when I was a teenager….well unless you count the fact that upon seeing them, my initial thoughts were ‘they STILL have those??!!!!” Nonetheless, it instantly took me to a nostalgic place. My aunt had some – hers were metallic gold and faced just enough sunlight to create a blinding glare when the rays hit them. I loved them. I remember when she first got them installed. I was quite mesmerized and had promised myself that when I finally got out on my own, I would have some of the same blinds. I hadn’t decided on silver or gold, but I did love the way the gold accented her dining room both in and outside.
She had plans on getting more. I remember her pointing to the living room windows and talking about how she had planned on getting more. She wanted some that had a design going through the middle in a different accenting color. That never happened. I would guess myself to be about 14 or 15 when her blinds were installed and I was excited to see her house get outfitted in these expensive looking blinds, but again, it never happened. To this day, those gold blinds still cover her sliding glass doors as the only metallic in the house. When I drove past that house yesterday and had that quick run down memory lane of metallic blinds and my aunt’s house, it hit me: that’s part of aging.
Having all these grand plans for the home you live in that never pan out seems to be part of growing up as an adult. I’ve done it hundreds of times for each place I stayed at. The last house was supposed to have an office/prayer room that even got as far as having the room blessed only for it to sit idle with nothing in it until I stored someone’s new bed for them (that was ultimately left for me to keep). But sometimes, life happens. So with that, welcome to part III: Bullies & Bullshit.
Wait. Lots of times…..
MOST times, I have hair on my legs. Lots. The good thing is I don’t grow excessive amounts of hair in places I don’t want it (or even places I do), but that does not equate to me not growing hair in places I don’t want it. Lol. Starting with my legs…somewhere after age 30, my silky smooth legs became a hot spot for hair growth. By about age 34, I started to take conscious notice that I had enough hair on my legs for it to be visible and unattractive (to me…this is not coming from a societal standards place. I simply don’t want to rock unnecessary excessive hair and that’s ok with me). The problem with this is I didn’t always grow hair on my legs. I never shaved my legs growing up or in my 20s and the few times I did, it was just to see what it was like. So I have this ‘my legs don’t need shaving’ mentality and I rarely remember to take a razor to them. So again, most times, I have hair on my legs. Lots.
And I still wear skirts, dresses and rock high heels with a model walk, unapologetically.
In my late 20s, two lonely but belligerent pieces of hair started to grow beneath my chin in a place dark and quiet enough not to be easily noticed by most folks but I knew they were there. I would yank them until they were gone. Pluck them out. Snap them off with fingernail clippers and at times, play with the longest one because it confused me how it grew so long, thick and fast when the top of my head seemed to struggle bus it’s way through my life. But I digress. I also have two chin hairs.
Lastly, in the last year, I noticed a new tenant on my body. Another hair. On my face. This one more visible than the chin and my legs put together in an army. It is right above my lip. Like a lone mustache hair. It hardly lays flat and it is visible. My guy has seen it and laughed at me. I was embarrassed of course, but not for long (he don’t care). But it’s there. And the same treatment I give to the chin hairs, I dish to this one. I snatch it out with an attitude while thoughts of ‘how dare you grow on my face’ circle my head.
Hair growth is a part of aging that I had long seen in my family but never understood it as part of the process. I believe I thought the women in my family who had faint mustaches and chin hairs was due to a flub in their DNA; not something to do with how many birthdays they celebrated. Turns out, I was wrong. While I know it’s quite normal for women to grow hair anywhere (seeing as though we are humans and that’s what human bodies do), that doesn’t make it any less irritating to wake up from your 20s and notice some random, permanently growing hair in a shiny suit, dancing and waving a checkerboard mark towards it’s friends from the cliff of your chin.
This is bullshit.
Aging, while fun at times, eye-opening and full of epiphanies, laughter, tears and cheers, is bullshit.
Reasons why aging is bullshit sometimes:
I’ll be 38 in about two months. That’s a hard pill for me to swallow emotionally because I don’t ‘feel’ 38 but then to again, what does 38 feel like? I remember turning 25 and not feeling this great big difference although I knew there were some subtle changes that would take place. At age 25, you are officially of the age where people can’t turn you down for alcohol, clubbing or cigarettes. You’re grown. But what is hardly said about 25 is that is the age where life kicks up a notch and goes into high gear. I am now an age I consciously remember my mom turning. When you are a kid, your mom feels old. You know she’s older than you and because of her authority and wisdom, 30s, 40s and 50s all seem like one big, old age. But as a nearly 40-year-old woman, I understand that not to be true. I feel young in many ways and like the things that happened in my 20s just happened a handful of years ago. I mean, nothing seems like I should be about damn near 40 !!!
! Except this hair. All this unnecessary hair…..
But that’s just part of it.
Some of my aging issues:
Black DOES crack!!! Just ask my black ass back and my black ass legs which crack randomly throughout the day for no reason. Why is stretching so important now when I used to get out of the bed and go all day and all night with no stretching and no problems. I’m heavy!!! How come I haven’t been able to do a push up in forever or pull myself up on the ariel silks? Once upon a time I could!!!! Why does my left leg randomly hurt like it needs to pop but won’t and so it stays in this suspended state of OUCH all fucking day!!!!???? Why does my stomach hurt for no reason sometimes? I hurt my toe on a trampoline and it stayed hurt for THREE MONTHS!!! Was it broken? Shit. WTF? Why have I started loving flats more than heels (but still buy heels just the same)? Why does the new music sound like TRASH and the old music is what I bob my head to? I’m still shouting No Limit from Master P while yaw bumping and grinding to Usher’s attempt at staying relevant.
Aging does something to you when you really stop to see how fast time has gone, where you are in your life and your goals and what concerns you have today that you didn’t have last year or five or ten years prior. 2016 has been one of the biggest years of death that I can recall in my life. Some of THE greatest celebrities that I always thought to be immortal passed on this year, but it didn’t end there. Animals that were family staples at my mom’s house went over to the rainbow bridge this year – one cat, one german shepherd who was still young for his death. Growing up, my mom and stepdad kept a house full of people playing cards, listening to funk music and hanging out. I used to want to be able to hang with them but of course, I was sent to my bedroom. I would fall asleep on the weekends to the sounds of laughter and cards smacking the tables. In addition to that, my grandmother hosted card games at her house. I used to ‘work’ those card games, bringing the players plates of food, coffee and pop so they never missed a beat or lost their seat. They’d pay me in dollars and quarters. I couldn’t hang out in the basement with them because I was too young for the cussing, the gambling, and the excessive cigarette smoke, but man do I have hella memories from that time period and used to love going to my grandmother’s house. I would fall asleep to the sounds of 5 Card Stud arguments coming through the bedroom vents. My uncle owned race horses and I spent countless days hitting the road with him and my aunt so they could sneak me into the track. My life has always had a sense of G-ism in it. LOL.
Those were the days.
I’m 38 now ….well, I will be in two months. The card games at my grandmother’s house stopped a long time ago. The people whose faces I can see right now in this flashback are gone. About 95% of them have passed over. My grandmother doesn’t remember most of their deaths. She’s alive but suffering from Alzheimer’s and living with my mom. The most self-sufficient woman I know can hardly recognize me when she’s talking to me most days and looks to be in a world that doesn’t include the current us in it. When she laughs and smiles, I can feel warmth take over my heart. I just want to see her do as much of that as possible. My uncle is in a rehab facility where he now lives and I haven’t seen him for at least two years. My aunt stays w/my mom as well and doesn’t get around well physically. I often wonder does she consciously realize my grandmother has Alzheimers because sometimes, it seems like she just doesn’t get it. The horses are all dead and gone, the sound of the gunshot signaling the horses to run is a distant memory. My grandmother’s basement is silent. And my mom’s living room……
This year saw Ramon, Cobb, Duff, Tony (stepdad’s last living brother), Uncle Willie and several other people who were staples in our front room, go be present with the Lord as they say. Ramon and Cobb really hit me. They were two of my stepdad’s closest friends and helped him build the house that he and my mom live in today. It’s hard to believe either of them are gone for good. I’ve attended very few funerals – but I’ve experienced a lot of death hitting my family this year and truthfully, the years preceding it. All of my stepfather’s brothers are gone. Some of my good friends have lost their parents. My mom is battling her own fight again and my stepfather has started to slowly break down as well. It’s hard to watch. Hard to believe and crushing to think about. This is aging. This is bullshit. You can’t get older without getting closer to your own death and that of others, but how often do we think about that?
My period is a bully. A big 3Oclock High (a movie) bully in a long flowing dress with strappy sandals that are too damn high to be walking in. My period is an asshole. It has no loyalty. No set date. Just a time frame that it’s expected and it usually drops the week before. I have read several times from women online shaming each other about asking for tampons, having period accidents or anything related to coming on your period and needing to clean up on aisle ten. I wonder what type of bodies do they have and how can I purchase me one? My period lack of loyalty almost always leads to a surprise because it’s not supposed to be here until next week. My period’s extreme heavy flow has lead to me running out of tampons but because of the judgment I’ve seen other people receive when asking another woman for a tampon, I will leave work and go buy one before I ask for help. And that’s a shame. That’s bullshit. That’s some bully shit too. Ugh….My mood, which used to be unaffected by PMS, has now seemingly turned into PMDD or whatever the initials are for CRAZY MF WHILST BLEEDING !!!
I abhor my period and love it at the same time. It reminds me of my strength and abilities as a woman but it’s so bothersome and irritating. How about it show up for one day, serve me the inconvenience and then leave? No? Ok. What used to be about three to four days is now closer to a week, full of attitude and always a problem.
SN: I have no issues talking openly about being a woman and having a period because at damn near 40 years old, if you have issue w/the fact that I’m discussing this, then not only are you on the wrong blog, but that is not my problem. That’s part of aging too – no longer giving a fuck about sparing EVERYONE’S feelings. If you don’t piss off someone, you probably need to work harder anyway. * shrug *
The aging process really teaches you a thing or two about bullies. Well, maybe not so much about bullies, as much as it teaches you about how you will deal with them. In your 20s, you might be quick to jump bad or fight someone but as I inch my way closer and closer to 40, I have no patience for that. I have no space in my head for the stress of bullies. I pray for them and mostly, I pray for myself to handle the shit gloriously. So far, so good. I cut people off, move on with my life, apologize when I’m wrong and take my responsibilities as necessary, but I will be damned if I get bullied around. Folks will try you. The older you get, the easier it is to spot when someone wants you on their plate. But at this point in my life and aging process, if someone wants to eat me alive, they better be prepared to get poisoned as they chew. I have venom that is only activated when I am in between the jaws of someone else’s life and once that happens, I can’t be responsible for what is said or done.
Which is a great segway to my patience at this age: I’m not sure I ever had the gift of great patience, but I know it wasn’t always this thin. I’m actually working on bettering it. Currently my patience is like the movie thinner.
Does anyone else find themselves losing patience with people (or maybe it’s just with bullies and bullshit) the older they get? I will snap on you. I will pop off on you and I will say some things that hurt your feelings but you know why?
Let’s think about stats real quick:
1 in 5 women has experienced rape (full or attempted)
The reason I bring up these statistics is because by the time a woman is nearing 40, it is highly likely that she has been a victim of SOMETHING, whether it be domestic violence, sexual assault as a child or assault as an adult or one of the many other crimes that people are eager to commit against women. While no one wants to walk around and play or feel like ‘the victim’, there are effects that come along with having been treated to a particular type of behavior or assault. Trust and patience are two traits that get hit the hardest. For me, I’ve had my share of shit happen to me. As a result, my patience is thinner at 38 than it was at 30 and much less than it was at 21. My trust in others is a lot more skewed and my expectation of being disappointed or hurt is the highest it’s ever been. It comes out in my actions, my words and especially my arguments. If I have lost patience with you at any point, my responses to you might stem from some of these areas, but not in a ‘carrying baggage’ type of way. Everything a woman has with her isn’t baggage. We are constantly being shaped by our experiences and surroundings and our personalities take the biggest hit when it comes to transgressions done to us. The older a woman is and the more she’s experienced, the less likely (unless she is heavily grounded in the Lord Mon-Mon) she is to play the nice role for an undetermined amount of time. I have learned that I have triggers. And when they are pulled, shots ring.
It probably shouldn’t have taken me this long to realize that, but it’s true. That realization led to me obtaining a therapist. Aging allows you to be honest with yourself in a way that begs the question: do you need someone else to talk to? Someone unbiased?
My answer was yes.
I’ve noticed the people I know tend to have one too or at least not be against it. Aging gives you the keep experience to know what you can handle and what you can’t and the closer you get to 40, the more you should know. Matter a fact, I think most women need a therapist by age 40.
Mentally, I feel good about turning 38. I’ve never really had any beef with aging. I’ve always thought it to be an honor and not a guarantee so I’ve embraced every age I’ve ever turned. This one will be no different although when I speak the three and eight as one, it feels ….odd.
I still feel like I’m a young woman. I’m an old head to some. A ‘G’ to others. But to my grandmother, I’m still young Kendria. She calls me a baby. My aunt calls me a baby. My mom calls me chicken. To my family, I’m still the same little Ken. If it’s weird for me to be aging, what must it be like for THEM!!!!???? I’m the kid they raised. I’m no longer working poker games, listening to living room get-togethers are whispering that the horses are going “buggity boo” with their hoofs.
Now, I’m working. Living. Trying my best.
Learning my passions daily and the reasons my gift was gifted to me.
40 will be beautiful, but I must master 38 & 39 to make it there. What are you doing to master your age right now? What are you doing to make yourself better this year than you were last? I always view birthdays as a new year. WOMAN’ing has always been about not telling anyone your age. I’ve always broken the rules as a woman. Always.
I’m Kendria ‘JY’ York and I will be 38 on January 23, 2018.
This day seemed so far away 20 years ago. But it seems like yesterday that I thought that. My ovaries are almost dried up and my period will be on her way out soon enough. My infertile issues are permanent but I never let it take me off my square. I’ve found blessings in other people’s children. Mentally, I could be better with a lot. My patience and my tongue can become razors when I feel fucked with. I am a highly sensitive person (HSP) with a teaspoon of undiagnosed bipolar traits and mild depression. I suffer anxiety, introversion and panic attacks sometimes. Most times, I’m together. I take no medicine, lean heavily on prayer and trust God to send me to the right therapist. I am scared of cancer with every passing day. I have always been high risk and I’m now of the age of mammograms.
There are words and things that never mattered before that matter now. I look in the mirror sometimes and wonder where the time went while plucking asshole hairs from my face. Recently I gained ten pounds and have not been able to see myself the same. I’ve been low on my reflection and in between feeling dangerously close to going back to 200 lbs, which is not good on me, I’ve also been feeling less than ….beautiful. BUT-
On the flip side, I have found more beauty in my face and my struggle than ever before. I accept that everyday is not a flawless feat and sometimes, I have down moments. But I know my truth. I have learned how many qualities I possess and I allow myself to feel DOPE AF, no matter what anyone else has to say. I try every single day to be a better woman today than the days before. Sometimes, I win. Sometimes, I lose. All the time, I keep going.
This is aging.
Or at least,
my experience with doing so. My aunt never got the rest of her metallic blinds, but I got my office. Some things aren’t meant to be and some things are. Aging will show you which is what. As a matter a fact, aging will show you what is important to your overall happiness, and how far you will go to obtain it.
“I look in the mirror and I see this old lady looking back at me, but I have no idea how she got there”
The first track on WOMAN is a poem spoken by Jill Scott over a kickback melody about the Wild Cookie AKA the vagina.
Cheetah Surprise (I just made that up).
It’s got a lot of names but rarely do we ever hear a song (or poem) talking directly to and about that horny little creature of nature that will control your relationships if you don’t control it first. When I started listening to Wild Cookie after returning from Ohio, that’s where the embarrassement came in. Imagine if I heard (or LISTENED to) it before I arrived in Cincinnati to end a great beginning. I mean, if everything happens for a reason, then technically I needed to see him and subsequently fuck up in order to appreciate Wild Cookie for the lyrics it possesses.
Smh. …..It’s not like I’ve been out here passing out the wild cookie because I haven’t. But this time, this pass, this End Deal really did me in. The dick was good. It was. I won’t act like I ain’t want it because I totally 100% DID. But I wanted my cake and eat it too. I wanted the man and the dick. The start and not the finisher. And all I ended up with was a fist full of broken rocks. I can’t ever do that again.
I don’t have it in me.
I don’t have anything left to dish out except the woman I am. I don’t have anything left in ME to hurt myself with, yet I know that if given a chance to, I will hurt myself again through another person. It’s like being a cutter.
My Wild Cookie is the cutter and I keep slicing lines across my skin, trying to break it open and relieve the fear of all things with a temporary feel good fix that won’t last long enough for me to remember I was pain free. Wild Cookie.
This is what the song Wild Cookie is about. Not letting your pussy get the best of you and control your life. Not being strung out on dick. Or thinking that a dick is the key to the heart. I admit, I don’t know the quickest way to a man’s heart (it’s not his stomach), but I do know the easiest way to take it off the table is letting him get that Wild Cookie before it’s time.
to the thoughts of Wild Cookie, I write my newest poem. I hardly write poetry as often as I used to and definitely not as effortlessly. But yesterday, in the new sitting area of my bedroom, I penned my version of Wild Cookie, as seen by my eyes but felt by Jill Scott’s words first:
Fucking you would be a disservice to us both
And we both know better
Or at least, we SHOULD know better
Would lead to unexpected expectations
Waiting to call
To see what’s next, what’s left after the smoke of moan signals and soul mixing disintegrates into the air,
I would lose control
I admit to that
Fucking you ain’t gonna be no kick back, I might start to over think some shit and come up with sudden questions,
See I’m safe guarded and fucking you is gonna rattle my alarm system
I need to know where your head’s at and I don’t mean the flick of you tongue, I need to get head sprung off the genuine in you like an LL Cool J for januarie song
I need to know about what us, what is us, what are we doing, these shouldn’t even be questions because I need a man old enough to know how to act in his confessions to the truth about everything,
Fucking you is just going to confuse these,
End these things
Chase is over our flames like water pouring rain on our campfire … dammit I learned from the last time,
I said, dammit I learned from the last time,
Fucked up some good shit for the last time by fucking a nigga the last time, turning a man into a dick, bruised his scorpion ego a lil bit,
A miles apart Richard
And now I keep picturing how a beautiful start turned into a Jekyll and Hyde ending
Because he’s still jekyling around in me, hiding
He deposited petty cash of his memory on my stomach
Hashtag Soul ties
It will be another six months before I’ve finished excreting our physical compensation for the work we put in
And I’ve already been forgotten by him, brushed off by him and flushed off by him…
I’ve started praying anytime my mind can’t refrain from replaying the top ten mistakes I made,
I can’t lay in another bed like this, because I made this shit and now I must cuddle up with this King and love it…
A solo mattress affair
Party of one, a mere three weeks ago I was laid up in arms I thought tasted like protection
The irony of his black out curtains and the fact that all I remember is his orgasm and not mine
Damn you Ciroc and bad decisions … .BFDs. Bad Fucking Decisions.
Fucking you would be a BFD to us both,
An insult to our potential and an assault on our time clocks,
We are dying with each breath we take and I’d rather not take big heaping ones from the entry of your penis before your penetrated my life
In general…no more wasted time….make me know I’m not an option on a cross contaminated plate,
Rather I am the muse of every slow song on the radio during our car rides, it is my face, riding the tip of your erected anticipations,
I am the liaison, the reason you take selfies in the mirror at the gym,
I’m the like, the love, the one, the right, the up, the guide, the blind in your sight and the sight in your blind,
Fucking you would be a disservice to every place our minds could go to complete each other’s unstructured sentences,
I can be your subject
And you can be my predicate
And we can plant kisses on paper as if we the ink in words
Like we the definition in words
Like we words….the creation of words, the calling out of random words,
Do rae me fa so la ti do jahraymecofasola, jill scott,
When we can make love like we complimentary words of each other, neo soul song loving, love jones ending – new beginning, learning and loving each other like we sinning with perfect strikes
Adverbs and actions and shit,
Matter a fact, you don’t even have to want that shit,
Just step out of the way of the man who does ….
Cause that’s the one I want to keep close
I don’t want your ignored calls
Or my confused feelings
And that’s why fucking you would be a disservice to us both.
I started listening to this album in lyric form (meaning no longer just ‘jamming to the groove of the infectious JS and anything she sings) while cleaning up over the weekend. The irony of this album is how little I played it, but played it nonetheless, on the way to Cincinnati to meet a special someone. The songs and lyrics resonate unexpectedly well. As I took in different lyrics, I found myself wondering about the wonderfilled world of Ms. Jill Scott. She is only a handful of years older than me; is it possible that these feelings she is singing about were recent emotions? I haven’t read the full liner notes, so I am not currently aware of which songs she wrote, but I think I will research this information. Could Jill Scott REALLY have found herself experiencing some of the same shit that spawns from foolish actions while in pursuit of love…just like me? The lyrics stacked on top of each other and began telling her story in my eyes and my life. I started listening more intently.
From the beginning of the album until the end of the second bonus track, I have let this CD repeat and play and strum my pain with the delicate fingers of the soulful JS. I had a thought. Maybe I shouldn’t just let this be a good cd! Light of the Sun (Scott’s last release in 2011) was a good CD. There were several songs I LOVED from that release, but the album didn’t ‘resonate’ with me in nearly the same manner as the predecessor ‘The Real Thing: Words & Sounds’. For me, it was one of those ‘it’s got some good stuff but I love it more because I am a fan’ albums. This new body of work, WOMAN, is not that. WOMAN eats me alive and spits me back out in the mirror to look at my digested self. In listening to and learning the words that I am singing along with, I can’t help but face these lyrics on myself. It’s too close to home. It lessened the sting I’ve been feeling; like along came a bumble bee and stung me in my eyes. I’ve been embarrassed with myself. My most recent blog almost became a ‘draft’ and disappeared. The oldest readers know I will deactivate any blog at any moment that I feel like I’ve gone too far and too vulnerable. But I left it up because it was my truth. It was a PMS-laced emotional rant but it was MY rant and MY truth in that moment. So I left it to be. But I’ve been embarrassed at many aspects of this last scary-go-clown ride.
I mean….i’m too old. I should know better. I DO know better and this blog is proof of what I know…..but i looooooove me some La Douleur Exquise to the fullest extent I guess…….
Actually, embarrassed is a simple word for a multitude of conflicting emotions from ‘dammit kendria’ to ‘fuck that nigga’ to ‘I can’t trust myself’. Of course I’ve thought of a 101 different things to have done differently and even more things to have said. But hindsight is for after thoughts. I’m so much better when I have time to think.
It’s the same with music…..
I take in lyrics differently when I have time to absorb them. As I listened and cleaned and danced around, I felt Jill’s voice take me into orbit with the ghost of love’s past plus the woman of the present. I started reflecting and evaluating myself with some of the songs and noticed my parallels and missteps; not with just the last encounter, but in general.
INCOMING EPIPHANY: I dumb myself down when in an affect mood. I am a confident woman when I am single; when I am being pursued (or when I have foolishly pursued), that confidence goes out the window. Some of the songs on this album brought that to light for me. I”m sure I’ve said this in so many words in previous blogs, but it never presented itself to me as lack of confidence. I don’t know what I’ve ever thought it to be other than lack of confidence. I mean, I always feel confident. I AM confident….until I become involved in ‘like’.
Something happens then. Idk why but suddenly, I don’t feel as confident (but this is a subconscious thought). I don’t trust my questions (I will think they are stupid), I don’t carry the conversations well (I don’t like my voice), I put my passions in the mouse hole and quiet them because why would he need to know anything beyond the facts. Yes, I write. The end. Yes, I model sometimes. The End. Yes, I am a blogger for the oldest running black newspaper in the country. So what. I accept that men aren’t interested in that part of me when in reality, if a man is NOT interested in these amazing accomplishments, then he isn’t interested in ME. This IS me. I AM a writer, an artist, a model, a blogger, an events planner. I literally call my life into existence and so it becomes….I have an amazing amount of power in my hands yet when I start dating around, I subconsciously think and behave as if none of this is my truth. As if I can’t read and am strung out on meth, therefore I should be GLAD to get anyone’s attention. I can honestly say, I’ve met no one interested in my artistic side unless I was kicking it with another artist, who if I recall right, the artist(s) that I have spent time with were still uninterested in ME as an artist or writer; they love talking about themselves. #YeahISaidIt But for what I can recall, no one I have met, dated, fucked, kicked it with, talked to or otherwise communicated with was interested in januarie York. And so, I pretend that this is ok. A great deal of my confidence comes from januarie tho. SHE knows. SHE is the smart one. The QUEEN. The Royal. The empress. I’m still trying to catch up with her or so it seems. Idk how this could be when we are one in the same body and mind. o.O But it’s her that gives me such life and reminders of all the great possibilities of me, my goals and my hopes for the future. But when she fails to generate an interest, I seemingly ask her to step aside and let the insecure me take over. And then, nothing happens except a bomb blowing up in my face like a Tom and Jerry cartoon.
I can’t believe that I’ve never really paid attention to how my confidence in myself as an interesting woman capable of holding a King’s attention makes a mad dash towards the Get Behind Me Satan line. It virtually disappears. This disappearance creates a rift within me that communicates to my brain that I NEED to do something ‘impressive’. I need to say something impressive or dance a jig. Something about me says “I AM NOT enough” once I get involved with someone.
So I’ve decided to use this album to elevate me. Recently, I’ve been trying to think of ways to help elevate me as a black woman overall. I’ve tried to think of powerful black women with relatable testimonies to research and read. I’ve wondered how could I get closer to God, FOR REAL. Who could I listen to? What am I doing actively that is preventing my elevation? How can I get to the next step? With as few mistakes as possible?
As I was listening to WOMAN, some of these questions were answered. At least as ONE option. One of my instant favorite songs on the album is this track called ‘Say Thank You’. The beat is SICK. Just SICK!!!!! When I started taking in the lyrics, I realized it’s actually a spiritual song. I was sweeping the floors when the thought of ‘secular’ music came to mind and whether or not I can hear, see or find God in places that it is suggested I stay away from. How dare I spiritually jam and connect with God on a song by Jill Scott? But I did. The lyrics opened up some type of awareness in me. Am I on my knees? Are my hands together? Is my head to the clouds? Do I say thank you more than I say help me? So many questions from sweeping the hardwood floors and listening to Jill Scott. But this helped solidify this blog series. This reaction happened every time I listened to it after I started taking in the lyrics.
I want to go listen now.
So I will wrap this introduction up. I would like to welcome you to a series within #AMuseD….WOMAN is an album about being a woman (duh), growth, love, self respect, God and faith. In order to meet this alleged person that is somewhere out there in the world waiting to meet me I need these things in abundance and this last experience proves that point. I still have growing to do. And realizing that I become a complete opposite of myself security-wise when I date is a big fucking deal. It has to stop. Stopping that means opening myself up to exactly what I want vs. accepting what is given. So using this album, I am going to challenge the importance of music. By now you have noticed that most blogs are accompanied by a ‘Blogtrack’ with lyrics that go with it. For the next couple of weeks, I will be blogging using each one of the songs on Jill Scott’s WOMAN album. It will be one part song-interpretation, one part life growth and interpretation. If I happen to meet someone, it should be interesting to see if this album can help to remind me of who I am through the process. Isn’t that what we love about music? It’s ability to create a story or tell our lives and current situations with a head bobbing melody?
Welp….this is where I am with it. I don’t even know if it makes sense, but just tag along. I’m gonna keep a low profile otherwise. I need to hear. I need to listen. I think that was a question Jill Scott even asked on one of the songs. It’s like she was a neo-soul preacher for my artistic in-need-of-God heart. I’ve been talking too much. I’ve been talking over my own voice. I have the expertise and the experience yet I get out here in the wild and become a novice in the belly of the beast. It’s no wonder I get eaten alive. The loneliness subsided. The disappointment about Afropunk will fade. I’ve got a new show coming up and a possibility of something else on October 3rd (tba).
And love. I will always want love. But God. I need more God. And more listening ears. I am committed to no longer making the same mistakes with men again. I will probably never forget TheGuy for the simple fact that …..that I just won’t. He was what I wanted and I ran so fast that I tripped all over both of us. Like vomit. I hurt myself in the process of trying to keep from getting hurt by someone who wasn’t necessarily out for that. I changed us as quickly as I connected us. My lack of confidence changed our direction. I definitely bruised his Scorpio ego by suggesting he was full of shit. He couldn’t handle that and his interest in me wasn’t enough to recover. He tried. But I had already pushed our ball in a new direction and that was the end. I don’t want to do that again. I still feel like it’s his loss…..but it’s mine too. Sometimes you lose to win, right Fantasia?
Or better yet, sometimes you Muse to Win.
And I never want to see myself as my own #muse again.
Since this blog is long, I will start a song tomorrow. There is no blog track today.
Unless you count the one playing in my head.
“I just want to be prepared”
~Jill Scott, Prepared #WOMAN
I am stuck. Not a permanent thing, but have gotten my feet caught in the quicksand in a time when I thought I was ice skating through these mean streets.
I’m not ice skating at all. In fact, I might be just getting by some times. * shrug*
This morning, I woke up with Cruising in my head. I really can’t wait to see what blog happens against the beat of that song. It was one of the other main motivating forces for me doing this series. I caught myself engulfed in the lyrics and realized that it was so similar to my last experience, word wise. Hearing the lyrics made me think that I wasn’t necessarily in the wrong for how I felt (maybe the way I played it out). Once again I caught up in the thought that my way of thinking and feeling is abnormal when in reality it’s not. Cruising’s lyrical content seemed ‘refreshing’ in the sense of bringing me back to the Light of truth. But that’s not the song for today.
The song is Say Thank You.
It’s one of the other main motivators.
“You keep ignoring the signs
Listening to it happened to me again songs
And putting your alarm on
Inviting new dumb shit”
Let’s back up a few lines and then add to it:
“I used to be stuck, how about you
Inside a lie
That you know ain’t near the absolute truth
Feel it all in your membranes and deep in your tissue
But you keep ignoring the signs
Listening to it happened me again songs
And putting your alarm on
Inviting new dumb shit
And more loss of peacefulness
Everybody, everybody can use a little help sometimes
Come on, you know things ain’t moving right
Ask for correction
Ask for direction
Ask for protection
Since you want to feel like you’re you inside-
Say thank you.
There that is.
This is what it looks like to be called out in a song with a ridiculously drunken melody that begs your attention before the lyrics do. I was driving, on my way home from work when the lyrics caught me at my neck and strangled me until my eyes bulged into my telephone, searching Google for the lyrics to fact check what I thought I heard. Did she really just sing those damned lyrics or nah? I know sometimes you will think you’ve heard one set of lyrics and it turns out they are saying something completely different.
“You keep ignoring the signs/
Listening to it happened to me again songs/And putting your alarm on/SLEEP/Inviting new dumb shit”
I heard correctly….the more I listened the more I saw every photoshoot I’ve done creep past my eyes like I’m the woman before the mask. How the same person in the pictures is the woman who either allows to much, jumps too soon or runs too fast is fascinating to me.This part of the song jolted me straight forward in my truckie seat!! It was me. I poured out of my speakers in a liquefied melody that filled up my ears in an absolute refusal to be ignored. I rewound the song and matched the lyrics with it as soon as I found a red light to stop at. I admitted to myself in a blank stare at a red light that Jill Scott was indeed very vividly and directly talking to me. In this solo excursion to my home, I think my face turned red.
Oh vey, this embarrassment. I’m so fucking tired of typing that word. Or am I? Why do I keep embarrassing myself? Who am I embarrassed to? For? Why? Did I think Jill Scott saw me naked, standing in a pool of poetry breaks and blog tracks? It surely felt like she did. It felt like a passive aggressive close friend that sang my life in a show and tell performance. “You keep ignoring the signs/
Listening to it happened to me again songs/And putting your alarm on/SLEEP/Inviting new dumb shit/and more loss of peacefulness”: I don’t know how long I can do this. This collection of lines strung me up like wet laundry because it’s so me. It’s so exactly what I’ve been ‘embarrassed’ about. It is the sorcery I have continuously allowed to control my actions in relation to men. In one of the previous blogs, I talked about losing my confidence when I start talking to a new person. I’d like to liken that to “putting your alarm on’. That’s when I go to sleep and all the ‘new dumb shit’ enters the room. If only it were ‘new’ most of the time. It’s the same dumb shit that I’ve pointed out in the past. It’s the same dumb shit that I promise myself in poems, blogs and pep talks in front of private mirrors will never happen again. It’s the same dumb shit that I feel safe from when I’m in the company of friends and family, dogs and selfie sticks. It’s the same dumb shit….just a new name. To the spoils go the non-victor.
They say love is blind but desire is a darkroom where pictures get developed without sight. When the lights come back on and you see what you’ve created, the double exposure is the stuff ‘loss of peacefulness’ is cut from. Oh how I have lost all sense of peace after wrongfully canoodling with someone too soon. Gun jumping too close to the start line. The first thing I do is change my music. Run either to the arms of hardcore rap that doesn’t make me think too hard or the total opposite; melancholy ‘shit is fucked up’ type songs that make me exorcise the tears away. “Listening to it happened to me again songs”. I do that shit well!!! And I will sit there and let the lyrics take me to the face I am trying to block out of my memory and in his face, I will cry because….songs. Because…..it happened to me again. ….because, I AM MY OWN MUSE.
This is why there really haven’t been any new blog entries of past relationships. Currently, I am my own muse. I am my own park, my own ride. I am the controller and the player and right now, I’m playing to lose. I play to win in every other aspect of my life. I compete with myself with every poetry show I participate in. I try to make the next as good as the last. I continue to confront the blistering fear that comes over me when I know folks are intently watching me walk in heels to show off a dress and serve face at the same time. I strive to keep my home afloat and full of two happy, spoiled dogs. I am selective on my friendship energy and who gets it, why and how. I mean, everywhere else I am a beast master of my own destiny. But men…..when men enter the game, I become the muse of these lyrics falling out of Jill Scott’s singing voice. I am the guitar solo in the song. I checked and it turns out she wrote this song with only one other person and although his name is credited on the liner notes, I can’t help but wonder am I the mental doppelganger that helped write such a brutally honest, self-awareness checking song. Its crazy how close this song is to my current state of things and how I’ve operated in the past, as seen in this blog.
“I used to be stuck”
And apparently, still am. In a ravine, rafting around on a boat that doesn’t fit me AND my luggage, plus two dogs and a bunch of shoes. I stopped buying shoes so I can move. I digress tho as that was unrelated information.
“Inviting new dumb shit”…… actually it wasn’t unrelated…I started to see how dumb it was for me to keep buying shoes….some of which fit perfect, others not so much, some too tall for everyday and others just too artistic. I want to leave. MOVE. Get out of the Midwest. Every pair of shoes is another day in Indianapolis beyond the deadline I set. Not to say I won’t buy another pair at some point…I’m sure I will. But I will also be conscious as to what I am sacrificing to put something on my feet for a short amount of time. I love heels a lot, but I’m in flats most times these days. I need to be closer to the ground that I’m trying to get off of. It seemed as though continuing to buy shoes would be me ‘inviting new dumb shit’ into my life. So how come this concept doesn’t leap over into my love life or what’s left of it ? Why can’t I identify ‘dumb shit’ when it comes into my presence? Or better yet, why don’t I?
“Everybody could use a little help sometimes
You know things ain’t moving right
Ask for correction
Ask for direction
Ask for protection”
I need to write that down somewhere. “because you know your request is filled/you will see/so act accordingly/live like you believe/and say thank you” <<<along with that too….I need to remember that in my prayers, I want to ask God to correct, direct and protect me. I NEED those things and I need them from no one but God. I want to be ok. It’s to the point of tears because other than not enough God, I can’t understand why I am NOT ok yet. And as long as I am NOT ok, I can’t date anyone because I will do the same shit. Again. “Stuck/inside a lie/that you know ain’t nearly absolute truth/”. I can’t understand this part of my life and as much as I don’t want to try anymore, I have to do something. I have to make it right with myself. I have to not neglect myself and treat these low budget ass niggas like they are some suicide door Bentley that’s coming to take me to California. (Cali …could you imagine me in Cali?). They some suicide doors alright, but definitely not a Bentley. I want this period of being ‘stuck’ to be a thing of the past. I want out of the ‘lie that ain’t nearly absolute truth’. I want to stop ignoring myself, the signs and I want to cut out the song switches. I want my alarm to not be what keeps me sleep; I’d rather be sleep from sleeping with a King. Instead, I’m napping on a king and suffering random bouts of insomnia. I know right from wrong. Good from bad. Poor choices from rich ones.
Hell….I know energy. But what I know VS. what I crave gets misconstrued when I hit the AMuseMENtPaRk. I don’t want it no more. I refuse it.
I love this song. I didn’t mean for this blog to be that long and maybe folks won’t read it but maybe I don’t even care. All I know is this song is gonna take me away from these lyrics by the time I finish listening to it. And it all starts with God. This is a deeply spiritual song and I hope others catch God in it the way I have. I’m done losing my peace. I’m done with my invitations. My fool’s gold mining. All I want is the me that I am ALL other times to be the me I am when in the presence of a man. That ME knows what she should do, how she should do it and why. She knows about the pursuit of man to woman. She knows way better than her recent actions have shown. She can’t be embarrassed again. Or anymore. It’s not fair. It’s definitely not fair.
But its life I guess. Here’s another chance to get it right. There’s this part of the song that is my favorite. The guitar has a solo that crushes the competition! But Jill’s voice comes out of nowhere with the answer. This part of the song makes me very aware of praying and the power of God and whether or not I have humbled myself to Him, despite how often I pray. I have humbled myself to the arms of many men.
But hardly God.
Here’s another chance to get it right.
Hands ….in the air. Head down.
Knees on the ground.
In a silent whisper.
Somebody say thank you.”