A little over two weeks ago when I turned 30, they sky did not open, celestial choirs did not begin singing Beyoncé, nor did the number of nuisances of my life in recent months suddenly decide to do the right thing (exit) and make my world perfect. Sure, I woke up in a good mood all the same, but I didn’t bother pretending to know anything profoundly more at 30 than a did a couple of hours before at 29.
So when I looked in the mirror that morning, I told myself what I felt was most important at the time: “Still look prettttttyyyy.” To Kimbella be the glory. Now and forever.
Time has since passed and while I do still maintain “I don’t know shit, bitch!” stance about turning 30, I do have some reflections.
Since moving to New York nearly a year ago, I’ve done pretty well for myself both professionally and personally. I have a ways to go as far as certain goals, though, but I do think overall I am thriving and leading the life I’ve long wanted to have. Still, in recent months, I’ve been reminded that there remains a certain fragility that will continue to cause frustration until it no longer doesn’t.
As nice as it is to hear people tell me that they love my work or to compliment me on recent achievements – seeing me here, hearing me there, and reading me in places that apparently matter more than where I had written before (in lit, Lindsay > Lupita) – no matter how “prominent” some of my friends and colleagues may perceive me to be, I know that means nothing if I find myself in the predicament where I’m owed thousands of dollars and regret never becoming the sissy 2 Chainz or better compensated Joseline Hernandez, Baby.
It happens less frequently than it used to be, but the reality is if I solely support myself as a writer I will always have to be a bill collector. Granted, I am not homeless. I am eating. I have not stopped living my life. Nonetheless, these are issues that come with being a working writer in 2014. That is partially why I am actively working to being more than just a writer. In fact, if there’s any ironic moment in my life as of late, it’s been the realization that I pretty much had the best career path paved out for myself at 18 and only 12 years later am I remembering I always knew what it was and what it needed to be.
I was a broadcast journalism major in college, not a print or English major. I allowed insecurities to get in the way of the pursuit of that, but I’ve since let that go. There was never a reason for me to deny myself the truth that I am much more than a writer, but we learn these things in our time.
That said, I’ve been working and pitching and talking with people about different things in media, but beyond me writing about things I may not give a solitary fuck about for an unfair amount of money. And some progress has been made on that front, though without getting into specifics, I can attest that petty, insecure, and vile people will fuck your shit up for reasons that only they themselves can explain. I was pissed about that. Very, very pissed. Drag you to the ground by your hair pissed. #FreePorsha
It’s so interesting how you can make other people feel without even trying. Over it? No, but not iron-pressed about it either. Often missed opportunities are blessings in disguise. And even when they’re not, things happen on their own time as they are supposed to. My impatient self has to hug that shit tight and never let it go.
Not to mention, there are more important things going on.
Which leads me to my mother, who I am still unsure of whether or not I will have to let go. I wrote this post a bit prematurely. I don’t regret it as it helped bridge a rift between me and a colleague whose hustle I greatly admire and aspire to duplicate, but I hadn’t really let go of the hurt as purported to. I still haven’t really. I will say that I have since made it plain to my mother that if she chooses to continue being apart of my life, discussions of my sexuality will not be tolerated.
Another talk needs to be had. And oh, it will. I love my mother very much and I find her to be an amazing, strong person despite her faults. Even so, I am not afraid of her the way others are. Moreover, no matter what anyone has done to us, while it gives us an source to root mean spirited and hurtful behavior, it doesn’t make it okay. You don’t have to exercise that option, and even if you do, once it’s brought to your attention, it’s up to you to decide if you want to carry on with it.
It’s not easy and it’s not something you can quickly conquer. But if you want to change your ways, you work for it. I wouldn’t say I was a mean person, but I know I can be when provoked. Pure evil, depending on how much you push me. I know that my temper is not as dormant as I want it to be. I know that I need to talk to someone professionally to help me sort out how I grew up and how that continues to affect the way I live now.
There is so much heavy lifting and sometimes I get lazy like Britney Spears on any stage after 2007. That’s why for a few months before my birthday, I couldn’t open my mouth all the way without feeling an immense pain. I started to grind my teeth the way Rihanna used to grind into Matt Kemp Well, at least how I would like to grind into Matt Kemp anyway.
I waited too long to have it checked out. When I finally did, I instantly thought, “Why in the fuck did it take you so long to see a dentist and then a doctor, you big teeth, lanky sum’bitch?” ‘Cause my ass is crazy sometimes, but again, we live and learn — particularly when it comes to making your life less difficult than it needs to be.
All that said, I could’ve easily checked out of my birthday and allowed myself to be angry or sad or some combination of the two. I refused. One of my friends, the ever so fantastic Mitzi Miller, mentioned last year about choosing happy. Mitzi is not one of those fortune cookie, social media fake deep fucks, which is why I could embrace her philosophy. It doesn’t seem as easy as it sounds, but it can be depending on the severity of whatever all is consuming you.
Nothing that was going on felt worthy of taking away from my moment. All of it is short-term frustrations. There are things on the horizon for me. Besides, if I don’t like my situation, I have to be the one who pushes myself to change it. I have been blessed to have wonderful people in my life on a personal and professional level, but I have played an integral part in much of what I have accomplished so far.
So I keep going and I do whatever I have to do to make sure I don’t stop. If I need a muscle relaxer to stop attacking my own mouth, so be it. Same for whatever cools my anxiety.
And in the meantime, I admit certain truths to myself and to others around me.
It is my own fault for spending a decade of my life chasing the unattainable. And while you’ll always be someone I deeply care about, you will never be what I want you to be. I’m not sure if you ever loved me, but I have known that even if you did, you didn’t want to. Because you felt it was wrong. Because you think who I am is unnatural and sinful. Because you resent me for whatever feelings I seem to bring out of you. It hurts, but I have to let it go. This Frank Ocean, peculiar friendship fuck shit cheated me out of ample ass and super-sized happiness. No more. You forever finer than a motherfucker, though. Ugh.
My parents did not want children nor each other and even though they fulfilled their duties, there’s a bitterness and darkness there that tainted everyone in that house. I became so obsessed with not being anything like them that I was repeating their mistakes. I’m glad I never slit my dad’s throat the way I wanted to, but if I have to pretend both of them are already dead for the sake of living my life with a freer feeling, I’ll do what I gotta do. Hopefully not, but I’m not above. It’s either me or them. That goes for them and anyone else.
I’m never going to be Pharrell-level of happy. That’s fine ’cause he sounds like he’s smoking hash in a blunt made with fortune cookie paper. I’ll settle for Mary J. Blige when she’s singing over Black beats — bopping and killing you hoes with a tight wig and exercise regimen.
I really care about someone. To the point where I’ve engaged in the nastiness that is public displays of affection. Actually, it’s not nasty. I have quite enjoyed simp life despite being initially weirded out the first six or 19 times or so. Granted, Pimp C would slap the dog shit out of me, but that’s fine. Bun B would get it. My brother calls me Bun anyway.
That said, I may have to let that go. As Vivian Green once said on the album y’all didn’t buy, “I like it, but I don’t need it.” My mom once said I’d end up alone. That stuck with me until the homie La explained that she probably only said that given she knew what I was and knew that some man would eventually want to live in sin with me. Maybe it’ll happen. Maybe it won’t. I’m cool either way.
Overall, I don’t deny myself of certain pleasures anymore either. I’ll be exploring that a little more in work elsewhere and maybe in this space, too. We’ll see.
Oh, I’ll get my fucking book deal. These polite, you’re a Black and not famous, so can’t see me selling this project, sis, but I love you, though, rejections tend to make me itch, but it’s also planting seeds. It’ll come.
Bottom line is, things are not perfect, but they are better. I am happy inconsequential people, broke ass media companies, sabotaging sum’bitches that turn out to be blessings in disguise be damned.
To quote one of my favorite prophets, T.I., “Nann nigga don’t stop my show.” And to be honest, the only person who ever truly fucked up my program was me.
For some months now, I’ve described my career, and I suppose my life as, “Kelly Rowland on a good day.” Cute, but I’m a Beyoncé and it’s about damn time my “Crazy In Love” moment happens already. It could be happening very soon or could very well be underway already. Whatever the case, I am going to be more than fine. I always am.
That’s why I spent my birthday being around a bae and then getting drunk and twerking with the people I loved. I’ve done enough worrying for a lifetime. If I have to grit my teeth in the meantime, I’ll do just that. Just not too hard. Can’t give head when you can’t open your mouth.
I’m kidding! Okay, I’m totally not, but whatever, I got it going on, what what or something.