Monday, August 4, 2014

what we're made of

I am a product of my grandmother's prayers
I am the 31 years of my father's work
I am my mother's smile
I am my daughter's blueprint

I was built for this long before I walked this Earth
before anybody knew my name
before I ever uttered a word
My destiny was fulfilled with my birth
And the journey is simply for the fuck of it
Take a picture
This is one of a kind

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Love is in the Details

Is what you value more important than who you value?


We all want to have successful relationships but it seems many of us haven’t realized that we define success drastically different.  Have you ever seen a relationship where you ask yourself, “how does she put up with that?” or “why is he with her? she’s wack.”  I know I have said those things once upon a time and I also know that those things have been said about me.  Now that I’m a little wiser than my ignorant, younger self, I’m begging all of you to shut the f.ck up.  


I would apologize for being so blunt if I thought there was another way to say it but there isn’t.  What YOU want in your relationship doesn’t dictate anyone else’s.  You may think his girlfriend is lame because she doesn’t wear the latest MAC products or does her hair but he’s looking for an ambitious woman, a loyal woman, a woman of God - none of the things that can be bought on a gift card.  What he sees in her was never meant for you to see.  And how does she put up with his flaky monogamy?  I don’t know, maybe monogamy wasn’t a requirement for her.  Maybe the security and support he offers her is so sustaining that him stepping out isn’t her breaking point.  Maybe her goal is to make it work, not to make you think it works perfectly.


The thing is that our priorities are completely at our discretion.  Do you want someone who is monogamous but doesn’t support your dreams?  Do you want someone who supports your dreams but doesn’t agree to monogamy?  And what about having it all? Is it even possible?  Yes, it is possible to have it all but keep in mind - that takes time.  It takes work - it takes two people making a conscious decision every morning to face these challenges together 24 hours at a time.  Because dating is ultimately practice for marriage and if you’ve ever had to practice anything you know that practice is where mistakes are supposed to happen.  It’s uncomfortable, it’s doing something over and over again until it’s embedded so deep into your brain that it comes naturally.  Practice hurts.


But whatever your priorities are or whatever your goal is - it’s yours, not theirs.  It’s unfair to impose your beliefs or ideas on a relationship that you’re not in.  It’s not your work and it’s not your reward. And though it may be hard to watch your friends get hurt through the process of loving another person - love is about endless forgiveness. Some love is unconditional and you don’t know what they’re willing to sacrifice to achieve their goal.  Love is in the details.  It can be catered to our quirks, our dreams, and even our fears.  Decide what your values are honestly and live and LOVE accordingly.  Don’t be fake and expect something real to take over your life. It just doesn’t happen like that.  It never happens like that.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

take your time

changing yourself is hard work
you will slip into your old self sometimes 
be slow to anger when that happens
just take it easy
you've been through a lot
and the success is that you're willing to change
the award is the actual change
championships don't have overnight
fairytales don't either

mind what you consume

you will ultimately become what you tolerate the most
therefore if failure is more familiar to you than love
if disrespect is more frequent than unconditional love
you will end up looking like what you've been through
and that kind of darkness wears your beauty down

you are what you eat
what nourishes you, destroys you 
you are what you consume
you are who you love
you are the culmination of everything you've ever been through and everyone you've been through it with
choose your lovers wisely because some of them are teaching everything but love

good thing

I had a dream I was mugged outside your house
I had a dream in a panic you came running out
For a moment you were sure I'd die on you
For a moment I believed you loved me too
But life is never like this, and you're never strong
Too much of a good thing won't be good for long
Although you made my heart sing, to stay with you would be wrong
Too much of a good thing won't be good anymore
Watch where I tread before I fall
We'd talk maybe 20 times a day
And still I never say what I want to say
I thought I wouldn't need to
I guess I read you wrong
Too much of a good thing won't be good for long
Although you made my heart sing, to stay with you would be wrong
Too much of a good thing won't be good anymore
Watch where I tread before I fall
You refuse to see this, don't see it anymore
I have made the decision not to answer your calls
Cause I put everything out there and I got nothing at all
Too much of a good thing isn't good and you know
I watch where I walk before I fall
Before I fall

by sam smith

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Sand is Safe

It's like walking on water, I don't know if I'm drowning or in the midst of a miracle
It takes some kind of faith to remain sturdy in his steps
I close my eyes and feel him 
I can feel the goosebumps on skin so sensitive I forget there's skin there
I walk in his whispers, his voice guiding my steps, creeping into my subconscious
He is with me even when he is not 
And I am able to walk on water 
Never once reaching back for the shore
Not for its security 
Not to mimic the way it forgives the water for crashing into it time and time again
I never look back to the shore, shaking and trembling I still walk 
Not knowing if I'm going to drown or if I'm in the midst of a miracle

And when I feel like I'm just about to crumble from the weakness in my knees, it hits me
He has given me wings
I was never walking on water
I was taking flight

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou

I like comics but my superheroes didn't wear capes.  They were women in brown skin and Auntie Maya was one of them.  As a writer, I struggled to find my space; a space where I could comfortably exist in my own truth.  Lies and atrocities gain so much fame while the truth cowers itself in dark shadows.  Auntie Maya taught me differently.  She taught me that even in a cage, locked away from human touch, I could still sing and make my presence known.  She taught me that every ex-boyfriend is a lesson, not a punishment.  And she also taught me to do whatever you have to do to survive - even if you are crucified for it.  If you should die for anything, shouldn't it be for your right to live?

When I heard of her passing, it was because I have made it quite known that Maya Angelou is one of my idols.  I don't speak about writing if I don't mention Auntie Maya and I've even been humbled enough to occupy some space with her in a sentence.

'You are the Maya Angelou of our time Tass.'  When I first heard that, I was floored because Auntie Maya has spread herself across all generations.  I am blessed to be on Earth while air was in her lungs but let's face it, Auntie Maya has transcended what we understand time to be.  Her story is by far one of the greatest tales on Earth riddled with triumphs and failures, sadness and resilience, peace and war.  When I think back to the things she's written, I wonder how she made torture sound so beautiful.  Her command of the English language is something that cannot be taught, merely observed.  To be a pioneer of that magnitude and still seemingly humble and grateful to be here at all, Auntie Maya has shown me that there is a beautiful story only brown women know.  I want to thank her every day for making the girl who read the dictionary twice feel like I fit somewhere.  I want to thank her for teaching me how to survive in health, in words and in grace.  And I really want to thank her for the tough love - for reminding women that one man doesn't make you a whore and one unplanned pregnancy doesn't make you stupid and most importantly - that a lifetime of pain doesn't make you less valuable.

Auntie Maya makes my scars seem like stripes and it is a flag I wear proudly as a fellow Black woman, mother and writer.  May we all find some peace in a woman who went to war with life and came out on the other side just as pure as the day she was born.

Decide that you are phenomenal.  Decide that no cage can keep you.  Decide that when the wind knocks you down, it won't keep you there.  Decide that you are a descendent of Auntie Maya, who was a queen amongst ruins.  The only way to see your light is through the darkness.  Embrace that.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

You can say hi, I promise I won't bite

Dear A,

It's crazy how the world works.  It creates these platforms that give regular people like myself (Regular meaning, I wasn't born with a red carpet in front of me or a silver spoon in my mouth.  The world did not throw a party for me or my mother when I was born) expansive reach in getting our messages out and then tells the people who support us to only do so from a distance because face-to-face contact makes you more groupie and less human.  (sarcasm font)


I'm here to tell you and everyone else, that artists desperately need those connections.  We sit behind computers, blank pages and canvases, in the shadows of smokey studios or in the corner of quiet parks and we are alone for much of the time.  We are alone so much that feeling lonely starts to feel the same.  No one is a groupie because they approach me and comment on my work.  Meeting you reminds me that I am not alone and I am not lonely.  I am a woman who welcomes other people into my space, my heart and my arms if they have good intentions and a pure gratitude for the fact that I exist on Earth.  I wish more people were like you; willing to extend a hand and remind us artists that our work isn't just a job, it's a conversation that we sometimes forget we're having.  I speak to all of you and though I may not hear your thoughts or responses, the day you reveal yourself to me, is the day that the story completes itself.  It's more powerful than a meet and greet. It has more depth than a handshake in a crowded bar.  We remember you and not in the crevices of our millions of neurons.  But we remember you in the front of our minds right before we begin a new project and dream a new dream.  We go home and talk to our loved ones about you.  We tell them how all we could keep saying is "Thank You" and how it still doesn't seem like enough.

You should never "feel" like a groupie.  In fact, I'm your groupie. I adore y'all.  I love y'all.  I write for y'all.  I'm indebted to y'all.  If anybody wants to meet you, it's me.  Artists are only as successful as you make us.  And if you feel awkward about talking to me, you're not alone. I feel awkward too because I won't be able to thank you enough.

I'm human, I'm grateful and I'm always listening to you.  I'm yours.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Cinderella

left my glass slipper behind
more like a pair of air max 95s
but I can't go back there
I can buy another pair
can't buy courage though - can't really afford it this pay period
I ain't no quitter but I'm not suicidal either
not this week, not for you man
not for any man this time
we didn't break up
I broke
in half
and then into smaller pieces
pieces small enough to squeeze myself in between the lines of our text messages
and when I re-read them I noticed something
you responded
you reacted
but you never reached for me
even when I ran out and left my shoes behind
you didn't reach for me
and now I can thank you for that
the wrong grip feels like a noose anyway


Monday, February 3, 2014

What a Challenge...


Let's catch up.

February 1: About me, creatively
Made with Love - that's all about me.

February 2: Past/current relationship
The most important relationship is the one I've had and have with God.  That's a love I can count on, it's the only one that hasn't hurt.  For that, it has been the only mutually monogamous one I've ever been in.