Figuring it out

Lately, I have been trying to figure out what drives me, what I’m passionate about, what I love and do as easily as breathing. I know I am a creative 1. Because I believe everyone is. Creativity is energy. And anyone and everyone can tap into it. And 2. Because I’ve created before I know I can again. I’ve kinda hit a rut, I guess. Ever since I’ve had my daughter creating seems like a struggle. It gives me anxiety. I procrastinate in doing it. It stresses me out I tell myself I don’t feel inspired and without that feeling whatever I do create won’t be that great. I think too much and then end up not creating at all. But sometimes there’s this fire in me that flickers a little and I know it’s still alive.

So, when I talked to one of my closest friends a couple weeks about what it is I wanna do with my life and what kinda impact I want to have. I started getting serious asking myself well what do I want to create and what do I want it to stand for and what do I want it to do for others and for myself. Cause creating really is a service.

And other than poetry and writing what is it that moves me. And it occurred to me that music moves me in ways that nothing else can. From a young age it’s been my thing. From singing in church choirs to singing in school chorus. Taking piano lessons and quitting it all. Music has always been the thing that moves my emotions and gets me feeling.

I remember being in high school feeling down about my looks not being secure in myself yet. I was so anti. I’d sit in my room after school everyday and listen to my radio. And I’d play Prince or Tupac my eyes closed and daydreaming. I’d fall asleep every night with my radio turned to v103s quit storm to keep the nightmares I’d have at bay (I’ve always had crazy vivid dreams that scared me that I’ve now learned to live with).

I guess what I’m trying to say is I think music is that thing for me I don’t know how or what to do with music. I know I don’t want to be a singer or rapper or performer. I take pride in these playlists I make every month. So, maybe something in that direction maybe making mixes. Maybe djing who knows honestly what I wanna do with my life changes so frequently (guess that’s the Gemini in me) something new always seems so exciting to me. But honestly music has always been with me.

I’m not sure what I mean to say here maybe nothing. But like if you know you’re destined for something and you’re unsure of what that something is this stage is okay too. Try a lot of shit out whatever interests you just try it and see what happens.

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First time in Los Angeles

I went to LA for the first time last Wednesday. Stayed for 3 days. Ate lots of vegan food and went to the museum to see my best friends painting “Family Sized” in the California African American Museum. The museum party was a highlight of the trip and seeing so many black artists succeeding in their craft and celebrating blackness was inspiring to see, feel and be apart of. Seeing my friend flourish and be in her element talking to and engaging with people and other artists was both motivating and

The abundance of options there are for vegans in LA is almost unreal. I could have stayed in Lassens for hours looking at all the different offerings that they have that I cannot find in Atlanta. Being in California almost felt like a different world or country. The vibe was different the people were different (even though I’m not sure if I loved the attitudes from people out there) it was just really different from any other city I’ve visited.

I loved that there are so many thrift stores in LA even if they were a little on the pricey side. Everyone I saw in LA was fashionable but it’s was effortless fashion everyone was stylish and it looked like they weren’t even trying. We went and got tattoos on our 1 full day there. We had drinks we walked around a little – LA is not a very walkable city which made it tough to explore outside of Echo park where we stayed. We went to a club called the association. We ate at Sage, Montys, and a falafel place in Grand Central Market.

Already planning to go back in August for my best friends birthday to see her painting in the museum one more time before the show ends, to eat wayyy more food and to thrift more.

I am really grateful that I was able to go to LA and go with my best friend.

Here are photos from the museum and from thrifting. I made a separate blog post of just photos of food that went up yesterday.

all the art we saw at the CAAM.

Fun things. Los Angeles was so fun.

March Playlist

Hey y’all,

Back with another playlist and I really like this one. I know I like them all since I make them but this one is really bomb. It’s like relaxed chill music with a few turnt songs sprinkled in. And it’s March so in Atl that means the weather it’s about to improve and get real sunny and warm by the end of the month. I’m so ready. Enjoy this playlist see everyone soon!

β˜˜οΈπŸ€ March Madness πŸ€πŸ€

photo is from @geraldlovell on Instagram who is an artist based in Atlanta.

Update

Hey everyone as you might have seen from the lack of post I’m taking a little hiatus from my blog right now but I’ll be back mid March. I will be posting a March playlist on the 4th but that’ll be my only post for awhile as I’m having a bit of writers block and not really sure what direction I really want to take this blog – so I’m going to use this mini break to figure it all out.

In the mean time check out my recent blog posts and I’ll see everyone soon!

Also in the mean time if you can donate to my friends gofundme page I’ll post the link. She’s an African American artist and at just 27 has gotten a painting in a museum. However, the museum her painting is being shown in is in Los Angeles (and we love in Atlanta) she wants to be able to go see her painting in person and so the gofundme is for that purpose. The museum her work is in is the California African American Museum. The image on this post is the painting that got into the museum. https://www.gofundme.com/help-ariel-get-to-cali-for-her-1st-museum-exhibit?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=fb_dn_cpgnstaticxlarge_r

Highlight: Harmony Holiday

Starting a series of posts where I highlight my favorite artists cause why not. Art is a big part of my life from poets, writers, music video producers, photographers, painters, music artists and more. I really want to just highlight some of the ones I think are pushing boundaries and make me feel and think.

First up is this amazing poet I found on poetry foundation.com (one of my favorite sites tbh) named Harmony Holiday. I’m going to link my favorite poems of hers in this post and also talk about some of my favorite lines and word mashups that she effortlessly delivers.

I know myself. Or so I chant in the mirror right around discovering that trap music is all the new negro spiritual / righteous delirium try to defund the clown in the en in negro say it a little less enter the New Yorker in Desdemona’s scarf and be this generative productive whistle blower for radicals/

This is an excerpt from Holiday’s Dear Babylon, that first line is really what stands out to me. Holiday writes these poems that themselves seem like rap lyrics the way they run on – the paragraphed structure of the poem the spaces the use of words that normally don’t fit together. Jumping from one subject to the next never knowing the next move or where she is going and being in awe of the truth and the hardness the strength in the words.

The mention of Desdemona from Othello. It’s just so effortless but calculated the movement from line to line.

From her poem Do you find it hard to live?

Thank yourself for making it for being present for the cold ache you sit with and rock into situations for the way you exploded in nuclear winter and thought you had dreamed it and made a new world bent as your denial reached forth to caress it all and it shocked your fingertips this is the bravest numbness.

This spoke to me in volumes it’s almost like everything I’ve been feeling put into words. It’s hard out here being soft around people who could careless about you- about black bodies about black women. The bravest numbness is living.

What I get from holiday is she’s cultured. She knows her stuff. She’s lived through some stuff too. She’s able to use pop culture and sport references and book references and tv references and it all works well together. She knows the struggle artists fight between feeling too much of everything but she’s able to put it into words and weave them through subjects.

Poems that I loved by Holiday are here:

Coin Coin, Run

Eurydice, Run

She has a book of poems coming out this year tilted M a a f A so if you like any of her poems check this book out and her other books she’s published.

Diary #1

I had a planned blog post for today. It was going to be recipe for cabbage stir fry with all the veggies. But for reasons that post has been postponed. But because I want to hold myself accountable and stick to my schedule of posting every Monday I thought let me tackle some questions and thoughts that I have here to create dialogue in diary/journal posts. So, here’s my question for today.

Are we really defined by our things and not who we are? Or do our things that we own (clothes, where we live, our cars, our phones) do they measure success? Is there value greater than our own?

I think about this a lot. Mainly cause I’m in no position (yet) to afford a lot of things that people measure as forms of oh that persons successful or cool or worthy. Last year for the whole year basically I had an iPhone 4 yes an iPhone 4 I had a iPhone 5 but had broken it and didn’t want to pay for a new that would’ve been $500 because I wasn’t eligible for an upgrade. So, I opted not spend a whole lot of money on a phone because it wasn’t important to me. Instead I bought a refurbished iPhone 4 off amazon and that was that.

Having an iPhone 4 didn’t bother me but it seemed to bother other people. I went out a couple of times with friends and of course would pull out my phone to take pics to show them something whatever and on occasion this one friend would say things like you need a new phone. It’s not that my phone didn’t work it was cause it wasn’t the latest model.

So, this of course would make me feel some type of way like maybe I did need a new phone maybe I wasn’t cool enough cause I didn’t have an iPhone 6. (Or whatever this is just an example) But then I realized none of the things we have should really mean anything.

What is value? What is success?

Is it only measure by how much money I have in my bank account and if I have the latest and greatest thing. Is it the model and make of my car? Or a fancy apartment with a $1500 rent bill. Is it being able to afford things you want?

Of course I’m not saying that things are bad. I know we’re human and wants and desires are natural. But why is it so important?

Social media has turned value and success into showing off. And there’s a difference.

I don’t think owning things and having things is wrong. I just think it’s become a sense of status to have certain things and I’m not sure if I want to give value to things that much over people and relationships.

I don’t know. What are your thoughts on what success looks like to you? Does having certain things help you feel good about yourself/life? And why.

I think success will look different to everyone but I think it’s mainly a feeling not so much a surplus of things. Not a nice house not a fancy car. But being able to take car of yourself really take care of yourself. Your mental health your emotional health. To be able to pay your bills. Not struggle not be stressed about money.

It’s more of abundance of the spirit and not an abundance of things.

It’s the libra new moon today and I’ve just been thinking about my relationship to things and to “status” social media and what it means to me.

I hate that social media has become a popularity contest a numbers game. Aesthetics. For myself I just want it to simply be about connection. Connecting to others and sharing parts of myself and that’s it.

My Capricorn moon the past couple of months had me feeling upset. Sad, ungrateful, anxious for all the things I want. New clothes, jewelry, shoes. And not being able to afford these things. Overlooking that I have so much to be thankful for. I can pay my bills. I have an apartment. I have a healthy daughter. And if I continue there will be a break where I can really start to save money and afford some of the things I want. But if I can’t afford them now there’s no reason to feel negative feelings about that.

I’ve had to be really patient with myself and my feelings and figuring out why I felt so upset about not having the latest fashion or being able to buy those really cute boots I want. But looking at all I do have and saying I’m good where I’m at and being satisfied. Life is not about always chasing the next thing. I know with social media and instant gratification seeing how celebrities live that it can be daunting seeing all these things people show off but they are just things. I’m abundant. Maybe not by society standards (or even my own financial dreams) but I’m abundant in love and understanding and those things matter too.

And I’m ok. I’m more than okay.