Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Let yourself…

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Let yourself hurt someone.

Let yourself be hurt. Feel hurt. Express it.

Let someone think the worst of you. Feel let down by you. Feel as if you’ve thrown them away.

Let your heart break as you walk away.

Let them feel that you’re the one that broke them.

Let someone think that you’re damaged. That you’re selfish. That you’re the problem.

Fear missing them.

Fear making a mistake.

Second-guess your motives.

Pray.

Cry.

Sleep.

Think.

Move forward. One day at a time.

Love yourself. Hug yourself.

Think of them. Pray for them. Bless them.

Wish them all the love you had and more.

 

You can do hard things.

20/30: Life Choices In Your 20s vs Life Choices In Your 30s

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“I would love to hang out, but I can’t. I’m getting my carpet cleaned.”

Money

20s: Every concert, every festival, every road trip is worth spending every dollar you have… even if that means you MAY end up being a month behind on rent.

30s: $150 To see Beyonce in the nosebleed section?
I got you Bey.
On Spotify.
And I can listen to that ish while eating cold pizza on my kitchen floor.
It doesn’t get more legit than that.

Music

20s: I need  bass. I need ALL the bass.

30s: Why does every song have to have so much bass??!! I can’t understand a word they’re saying! How can I sing along if I can’t understand a word they are saying?!

Food

*While grocery shopping*

20s:
Lays. Check.
Hot Cheetos. Check.
Taquitos. Check.
Hot Pockets. Check.
Bud Light. Check.
Coke. Well… I really should try to be healthier. Diet Coke. Check.

30s:
Wine. Check.
Pepcid. Check.
Those yummy FiberOne brownie bars. Check.
Pork roast for the crockpot recipe I saw on Pinterest. Check.
Proudly admire the contents of your shopping  cart, and how they confirm that you are in fact an adult. Check.

Love

20s: You’re hot. I’m hot. Let’s be hot together. DONE AND DONE.

30s: You’re hot. I’m hot. When was the last time you got tested? Also, I won’t be able to spend the night because I plan to get my car in for an oil change in the morning…. And the earlier I get it in the better, because after 10am it’s madhouse over there, ya know?

Partying

20s: Ugh, I feel awful. I drank too much. Last night was so fun though! I can’t believe I [insert crazy drunk story here]. SUCH a crazy night! I love how fun and exciting I am!! Let me just nurse my hangover all day and not worry about if I have any obligations I won’t be able to fulfill because I’m too sick to function!!

30s: I’m dying. I’m dying a slow horrible death. Kill me. Kill me know. I’m never drinking again. And why did Katie schedule her baby shower for 10am on a Saturday?? Damn you Katie. Damn you.

Life Became Music the Moment I Started Living

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I’ve finally become the music writer that I never thought I’d be.

My passion for music goes far beyond loving one specific genre or favorite band. It goes beyond listening to “Black music” simply because I’m black. It isn’t defined by what’s popular, who’s “Hot” right now, or if it’s age appropriate. I love music because it is a soundtrack to life. Like living your own movie everyday, and having that one song come on that makes that certain scene come to life.

I’ve sang my whole life. In church, in choirs, weddings, funerals, in collaboration with other up-and-coming artists, etc. It was so frustrating to me that I could bring life to other people’s lyrics and yet I couldn’t write my own. I just couldn’t! I tried for years… and I mean YEARS. I’d sit for hours trying to come up with one verse… one chorus… one verse that sounded good with the one chorus. I’d get myself so worked up that I’d end up sobbing, feeling frustrating, defeated and lacking in talent. I’d give up for months… a year… and then I’d try it again without success. I journal constantly and was failing miserably at forming words already written into a melody. I tried to write about life, love, things I saw other people going through. I tried it all. Every effort ended in tears, a pen, paper, and maybe a couple sentences if I was lucky.

Today however is quite another story. In the last couple weeks I have written 2 songs. That’s right… 2 songs in 2 weeks! Pretty much a record breaker for me! Prior to that I’d written maybe 3 songs since the beginning of the year. Something clicked. Something changed. It had nothing to do with method, because I tried ALL the methods in previous years. It had nothing to do with not having enough material, because my life was full of material. It had nothing to do with needing to develope a way with words, because that has always come pretty easily to me. So what was it then?

There was this build-up of suspense and excitement that kept growing within me as I neared my 30th birthday last January. It was this feeling of “My 30s are going to be the best years of my life!” I had no idea what that even meant. All I knew was that I could feel a shift happening inside me. I was growing restless and it felt as if my skin no long fit the person I was becoming. I knew that if I was going to enjoy the many years ahead of me, I was going to have to expand myself. Spread my wings. More accurately, I was going to have to develop my wings.

And I did…

I am…

Feather by feather.

And that’s when I found my song. I found it not just in life, but in living. Sure, I had a life full of stuff and things but I wasn’t living. I didn’t take any risks… calculated or otherwise. I feared feeling regret and tried to avoid it at all cost, which meant I only went after things that I knew I wouldn’t fail at. I stuck to the things I was good at and didn’t try to find out if there was anything more to me… fearing that looking too deep into myself would reveal things I wouldn’t be able to fix myself and would feel too ashamed to ask help for from anyone else.

I found my song when I finally started to live.

I learned that song writing is about transparency. That’s the essence of music. People connecting to the humanity expressed in your lyrics. That’s what gives a song meaning… not just words on a page or the act of singing to an instrument. That’s why I wasn’t able to write. I was guarded. I was an actress portraying an open book. You don’t have to be an open book, but pretending to be one is worse than simply saying to the world “I don’t want to let you in because I just like to keep some of me to myself.” There’s nothing wrong with keeping a secret garden, but mine wasn’t filled with delight and intrigue. It was filled with pain, rejection, and self-sabotage. I couldn’t write because deep down I wasn’t living an authentic life. Not in secret and not in public… and your words will always expose you one way or another… and I think on some level I knew that. I think I knew that people wouldn’t hear my words through the wall they were written behind.

So then I started to develop my wings… and I started living… authentically. The good,  the bad, the ugly, and the “I don’t even know what that was”.

Funny. The “I don’t even know what that was” makes for some great songs.

Why Catcalling Should Be the Death of the Music Industry.

And every other industry for that matter… including the fashion and beauty industry.

If you haven’t seen it already (which most of you have), there’s a video that’s gone viral that shows a woman being videotaped while she walks all around New York City for a day. In the video she walks around silently as she’s being catcalled, approached, or addressed in one way or another by men on the street as she walks by. You hear everything from the obviously sexual remark, to “Hello” or a “Good morning”. The point of the video is to showcase the harassment of women and what we can be subjected to. It is raising awareness, raising eyebrows, and  flaring some interesting debates.

The thing that gets me are all the comments on Facebook or YouTube attached to this video. Most of which are some variation of disgust with men, and how women are so sick of being treated like this, or that the men that say these things are perverts or something. Here’s the thing: The men in this video… the men some of us women encounter who make comments that make us feel uncomfortable… they are all just one piece of a very big puzzle. A puzzle that is made up of music, social media, culture, and dare I say… Women.

Oh Lordt… I can feel the hater rays from some people already! Do me a favor… put on some shades and hear me out before you rule me out.

Music is full of lyrics that make the female body seem as if it is something to be made a spectacle of, not necessarily appreciated in the more respectable sense of the word. You have Nicki Minaj who has turned butts into something like an episode of Animaniacs! You’re like “Okay… This is hilarious, and weird, and awkward, yet way too entertaining to stop watching!” You have Meghan Trainor who, with good intentions, may be sending the message that women with “Bass” are better because they got that “Boom boom that all the boys chase.” Then you’ve got hip-hop and R&B, of which 90% refers to women’s ASSests in numerous NSFW ways. Well… I hate to break it to you but these artists didn’t make themselves popular… We made them popular! You may say that you don’t approve of women’s bodies being objectified, but yet when some of you hear “Wiggle” by Jason Derulo, you ask your friend to hold your drink because THIS IS YOUR JAM! Curse those tricky beats with their seductive bass! Gets even respectable people every time!

Social media would all but almost shut down if girls would stop posting videos of themselves twerking, and if we’d stop sharing them… Even if just for the shock value. Again, we are reinforcing that bodies aren’t interesting in and of themselves… Not unless we wiggle, jiggle, and gyrate! This only contributes to what some men see when they look at us. Projections of music videos and YouTube videos that were made by men AND women, and then shared by men AND women, are being played out in their minds toward us. If we are not part of the solution, then we’re part of the problem.

Lastly there’s culture. You’ve got pop culture all over magazine covers, billboards, and ideas are being shared through commercials that say that a woman IS her body or the way she looks. There are products that touch a woman’s insecurities, and are advertised as something that will make her more visually appealing. So we buy into it because we feel unattractive, or we’re trying to snag a man, or because we need our ego boosted. Then we go out into the world looking and smelling good, and then we feel uncomfortable if we are noticed for all the OUTWARD things we just paid a lot to have in order to look attractive. ATTRACTIVE. As in to attract others by appealing to their senses. I’ll just give you a minute to let that sink in.

This world is full of extremes and everything in between. It may not be fair and it may not be right, but it’s a fact. It always has been and it will be long after we’re gone. Catcalling is not a new concept. There have been women long before us that it made to feel uncomfortable as well. The differences between then and now is the extreme frequency and broad types of platforms in which women can be made to feel harassed or objectified. The other difference is in the way in which women view themselves. If a woman was called a “Bitch” then, it was viewed as offensive and disrespectful. Today many women say a “Bitch” is just a term for an independent woman who knows what they want, so they don’t shy away from that word anymore. We are also owning our sexuality more. We are allowing ourselves to be more sexually assertive and not letting ourselves be defined by “Male” or “Female” sexual roles. Women are even making pregnancy sexy! The red carpet is full of pregnant women in down-to-there v-neck dresses while flaunting their baby bumps. So many women view their bodies less gingerly then before, which changes the way others view their body too.

There are so many messages about the female body, and many of them are telling us that a woman’s body is a spectacle. That it’s something with visual impact… like art… Which it really is! Yet what we forget is that what we the artist intended in creation, the observer takes by way of interpretation.

Men need to be reprogrammed on how to be appreciative, but respectful of a woman’s body… And to be respectful of even the women who don’t respect themselves. Ladies, we need to be respectful of our bodies, as well as the bodies of other women… even if they don’t respect it themselves. People, we need to stop participating in the very thing that we hate. Catcalling is catcalling. PERIOD. I’ve seen women do it to men. I’ve seen men do it to men, and women do it to women. I’ve seen a “hot” person catcall to someone and get a MUCH LESS disgusted reaction then “Other” types of people that catcall within the same stretch of sidewalk. Let’s call it like we see it: Most times there are conditions and exceptions based on… based on whatever! Who really knows except the person that’s being approached by men. Or women.

So can we really say we hate it? ALL catcalling across the board? Do we only hate it when it’s the wrong person, or when we aren’t entertained by it, or if we’re not in the right mood for it? Does it depend on if it serves us in the moment, or if WE are the aggressor?

I guess these are questions only you can really answer for yourself.

Yours Truly, Andrea

Okay… That Happened.

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It’s okay to get caught up in an emotional moment and throw your phone across the room.

“Okay… that happened.”

Some moments are like a rubber band being snapped against your skin. Quickening you. Awakening your senses. Sparking an out-of-body experience where you are watching yourself and you are possibly… probably… cringing.

Your partner simply asks if you loaded the dishwasher after dinner…before you know it you verbally vomit every annoyance or offense you’ve had concerning them from all the way back to their conception. Or… your Mother makes an innocent comment about a photo of you and your ex by saying “You look so happy”… your response is to get up, head for the door and say something to the effects of how you’re glad you are nothing like her, that you didn’t choose to smile through a disastrous marriage, and settle for moments in photos to remind you of what happiness feels like.

“Okay… that happened.”

Or… you throw your phone across the room because you are feeling super stressed, and crazy overwhelmed, and you’re trying to type a post on your blog, and your stupid phone keyboard went janky, and you just wanted to backspace A WORD, but instead your stupid phone keyboard backspace button won’t stop backspacing, and it deletes everything you typed, and you don’t know if the blog app auto saves like it would if you were on a laptop, and so you yell a few choice words and CHUCK your phone as hard as you can across the room. Then you want to cry because you can’t understand why you are SUCH A SPAZZ. WHY AM I SUCH A SPAZZ?! THIS IS WHY I DON’T HAVE A BOYFRIEND! I’M SUCH A MESS! GOD, I HOPE I DIDN’T BREAK MY PHONE!

[Picks up phone]

Okay, cool. It’s in tact. My Precious.

[Goes back to watching dvr’d American Horror Story]

“Okay… that happened.”

Forgive yourself.
Ask forgiveness.
Mend.
Move on.

There are too many tomorrows filled with the possibility for snags. Don’t let today be your undoing.

Yours Truly, Andrea

Ode To Bloggers

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To write from the heart… from your life… in such transparency and honesty… without any award or reward (in most cases)… without having any motivation to do so other than believing that your words carry weight in this world… to possibly have no other experience or expertise except that which living has afforded you, and yet perfect strangers still drink in your words as if they were being served from a golden chalice. This is life of a blogger… and this is why I feel that bloggers deserve more respect and notice than most journalists the world over. They use the letter to coerce the world. We use the letter to shed light upon it… and ourselves.

Blogging is simply an online journal that is shaped into something more presentable that any journal I have completed in my lifetime. When I look through all of the journals I have kept over the years, they are filled with all the ugliest and most beautiful thoughts, moments, and feelings I’ve had. They are also barely legible! You would have thought I had a doctor write all of my pages for me! I don’t judge myself for it though. As I read line by line I begin to feel the buildup of emotions I felt while writing every word… every page. My writing wasn’t being led by the need for proper grammar, spelling, or any kind of etiquette. I would write something and then I’d scratch it out and write the HONEST version of it. I had many scratched out sentences in my journals… even as early as last year… because even then I was struggling to trust that even words on a page would not betray me. Yet a year later here I am… blogging online… for an unimaginable amount of strangers who may be holding my words with razor gloves.

I pour myself into other people’s online journals. The wealth of wisdom, insight, and inspiration is enough to last you a lifetime. Most are not experts. Most haven’t written a single book. They miss an “And” or “The” here and there. They are living their words. Every word is a verb no matter what it is and that is wonderous to me. They are living their life just as I am. They are the journalists for the People. By the People.

Support bloggers with the same fervor you would while supporting local farmers or local businesses. Investing in them… in us… is investing in You.