Communication is…

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    A few weeks ago my friend and I decided we would work to coordinate an event together. The event is an Open Mic. It’s called Positive Vibrations (A Creative Revolution), and it takes place in about two weeks (contact me if you’re interested in attending)! We decided that we would get together on Sunday evenings to work out minor details for the event. We also wanted to use the time to talk ideas for future projects. Well Sunday came. My friend was nowhere to be found. I called her to the tune of “you have reached the sprint voice mail box of… you’ll know the message; then I text her to ask if she would be available. She did not respond. She did not respond for two days.  When she finally did reach out to me, she said that she was so sorry she had been asleep (for two days). She said she was available to come that day to work on the project. I acquiesced, but that night she stood me up again.

   I was frustrated. I felt like a wounded animal with no aid. My pride was hurt and my ego started to get loud. “She tried it,” said my ego. What followed was the thought that I needed to “put her in her place.” Then it occurred to me: what does it mean to “put” someone in their place? My second thought was to communicate my feelings. So I called her (of course she did not answer). Yet instead of being critical, demanding, or impolite, I was vulnerable. I expressed my frustration around her not showing up for our commitment. I communicated that her actions were causing me to feel overwhelmed. I worried that I could not depend on her. Finally, I requested that we talk about the situation when she resurfaced. At which point we could decide if there was need to discontinue moving forward.  I am happy to say that we did connect around the situation. We decided to move forward. My friend has also been working to show up for our commitments. Even if showing up is a simple as communicating that she isn’t available for our Sunday planning. It makes a huge difference.

  The thing is, at least for me, sometimes my ego can get so loud around how I “deserve” to be treated. Yet it doesn’t suggest that I communicate my needs. It tells me to do crazy things like hurt people because they hurt me, or shut down, or worst of all isolate so that I will never be hurt. What I’m learning is that those methods of protecting myself are not healthy for me. That’s why I’m practicing communication. It’s not easy. It involves being vulnerable. It involves connecting to how I feel. Most importantly it requires that I tell people what I need. Again, it’s not easy, but what I’m learning is that it makes my life more full. Communication keeps me connected to the people that I love. Hopefully with practice my ability to communicate will grow and grow. Thanks for stopping by and let’s talk again soon. 

 

Judging a Cover. Reading a Book

I met four of the most amazing women the other day.  I was volunteering for a LGBTQ event that got canceled. We were the only people to show up. As we were leaving I suggested we all get coffee. So we did. The amazing thing about New York City for me is that I can walk the streets of this city everyday and not be in tune to the fact that there are millions of people swirling around me. Still, we all have stories. Had I seen any of these women on the street I would not have known that they were Lesbian, or most important, that they were interesting. It would have been my loss. 

I won’t say names, but what I will say is that we reminded me of a modern day “Breakfast Club.” You know the movie! The difference is that we consisted of a NYU student, a Journalist, A Professor of English Studies, An Accountant, and a Part time Teacher’s assistant (looking for a full time job). I sat in amazement because the truth was that we were more alike than we were different. Thank goodness New York is magical and has a way of forcing people to stop and connect to one another.  

The thing is, at least for me. I walk around most days assuming I know people’s stories. I judge them by the way they walk their style of dress. I look to see whether or not their head is bent down or not, but the truth is, (at least the truth of what these women taught me) the best way to know a person’s story is to hear that person tell it. Ladies if you’re reading, it was a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I don’t know if I will ever see any of you again, but what I do know is that you don’t have to know a person for a lifetime to have them change you life. You all changed my life and gave me a new perspective. Thanks for stopping by and let’s talk again soon. 

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  Sincerely yours,

  the Breakfast Club.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Revolution

I was talking on the phone with my friend Kimbria the other day. She recently started a business with her partner. They sale clothing that has become so popular people are purchasing in both the US and the UK. I am very proud of her. After speaking for awhile she suggested that I write my poetry out and sale it for a price on the street. I told her that I had been getting recent complaints about the way in which I share my work (I usually just tag people on Facebook). Then she said something to me that changed my life… “Girl your immediate acquaintances, friends, and family are usually the last to jump on board. I can’t get my cousin to by a stitch of clothing from my clothing line, but I have people from the UK reaching out to get my merchandise everyday. Keep sharing.”  

She made me realize that I’ve had it all backwards. I assumed that in order to be relevant I first needed the approval of those closest to me and then I could feel compelled to move to steeper networks. What Kimbria made me realize is that in order for my work to reach the person who needs it the most I have to keep sharing. I can’t, nor do I want to stop, but sometimes I do when I feel that people just don’t get me. I’m sure that some of you can relate. You put your all into a project. There is already a censor in your head telling you that you are not good enough and that your idea is stupid. Then you take it to the person that you love the most and they say something like: “Oh is this your new hobby?” Or worst of all they don’t acknowledge your talents at all. Well I’ve got news. THERE ARE BILLIONS OF PEOPLE ON THE PLANET. Someone will appreciate your craft, but you must keep sharing. 

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The thing is, at least for me. Most people who are successful at what they do aren’t successful because they’re the most talented people in the world. They’re successful because they keep showing up to the task of being better at what they do. They’re consistent. I also believe that they recognize that if they continue to put it out there eventually someone will support their dream. Sometimes those people aren’t mom, or dad, or best friend, or partner. And if those people don’t recognize our talents it doesn’t mean they love us less. They underestimate what we’re capable of achieving because they think they fully know us. Still, the lesson that I’ve been reminded of for the moment is to keep sharing no matter what; even if it feels stupid, or unoriginal, or frightening. Nine times out of ten someone can identify, but you never know unless you share it. Thanks for stopping by and let’s talk again soon.

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The Ex Factor

I broke up with my ex the other night. I’m actually shocked! Lesbian relationships usually have nine lives like cats. In our case we only had six. I recall her saying in one of our previous breakups that people have problems, but they stay and they fix it! She also suggested couples therapy. I declined the offer because I thought she was cheating on me.  I figured a therapist couldn’t explain to me why I was finding hickeys on her breasts before we had sex. In retrospect that only happened once. Still we broke things off and up until a few nights ago we were trying to be friends. I know that we both hoped it was possible. Then the other night happened. I called her up. I asked if she had plans for the night. I was all like: “If not let’s “hang out!” She didn’t have plans so we decided to get together and have Mexican food. What is it about Mexican food that makes an ex more appealing?

 

So we ate had small talk and started walking back towards her apartment which was a couple of blocks away from the restaurant. She half invited me up I half encouraged the invite, and for a millisecond the thought occurred to me that maybe we’d have sex. When we got into her apartment she turned on the most romantic music ever!  The artist, Teedra Moses, also happened to be playing the first time we kissed. She actually sings about breakups but if you’d asked me that night everything she crooned sounded like let’s have sex. She wants to get naked. I decided I would make my move. So I rubbed my ex’s knee and said “you look really attractive tonight.” Then she did something that I wasn’t’ expecting. She jumped up and said: “You can do so much better than me! You deserve someone who you first of all trust! And who second of all finds you fully attractive!” Ouch.  Apparently the majority of the time we were together she had not found me physically attractive! Just to reiterate, ouch. Needless to say I didn’t storm out of the room. We talked about it. We discovered that we couldn’t be friends and that it would be a disservice to both of us to think otherwise. Just like that my ex became extinct.

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The thing is, at least for me, sometimes epiphanies occur in retrospect. I don’t doubt that my ex loved me. If she had not she wouldn’t have suggested that we work it out! I know that I loved her too, but the truth is we broke up for a reason. Rejection is God’s protection. Had she been intimate with me that night it would have been a catastrophe. We both deserve more. She was right after all. I don’t have to hate her to move forward. I just have to move forward. That night I learned that letting go absolutely is the only way to receive something more abundant in my life. I don’t know what the future holds for me and the ex I’ve heard of things being recycled in the universe. Who knows, she may even reappear into my life. Still we are not in communication. I find that today that is alright with me. So here’s to letting go. Thanks for stopping by and let’s talk again soon.  

 

Meeting Maya

I met Maya Angelou last night. Well by meeting I mean that we sat together in the same room. I had the opportunity to see her at work as she diligently signed copies of her newest memoir Mom Me & Mom. It was a defining moment, because I learned a lesson. Being in the same room with Maya Angelou has been a dream of mine since being introduced to her work. So it is important to say that my friend and I snuck into this event. Not necessarily morally correct, but necessary to the story.  When we were sneaking in we had no idea that we were standing behind one Dr. Angelou’s close friends.

 When he approached the security guard and passed through, I was like “We’re with him.”  Just like that we had access. Timing is everything. The defining moment for me happened when I sat across from Maya Angelou and I for the first time could see that she was real. She was real just like me. She gracefully signed one after one, each copy of her memoir. She offered her smile. She paced herself. Most importantly she allowed people to appreciate her. It was inspiring to watch because she didn’t allow factors such as her age or her condition stand in the way of her service or love towards other people. I found myself thinking there are no excuses… 

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The thing is, at least for me, when I let go of “my life” and how I think it should be, and really invest more in what I can add to life through it, life expands. If the lesson is correct, then last night I learned that my ultimate goal should be to be of service. Maya taught me that. What I learned was that being of service to others is by far one of the greatest acts of human kindness that one can give. I have no doubts that she will be of service to her very last breath. She demonstrated, for me at least that the best lessons are taught by action. She made me want to be a better person. I may not have spoken a word to her, but I met Maya Angelou last night, now I understand what she meant when she said: “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Thanks for stopping by, and let’s talk again soon.