If you’re a Black artist, you could paint a wall of smiley faces, and someone will still ask you, ‘Why are you so angry?’
You work so hard, just to end up at home crying yourself to sleep; remember you’re trying, you are moving mountains that have plagued you since you were young, and you’re trying so hard.
Keep fighting, fight until you have won. Fight until you have found your way home, until the sun comes back and your heart learns to love the mornings again.
A week ago, I left Los Angeles and returned to my hometown. With each day that passes, I still do not understand why I am here. I thought making this move would provide clarity. I thought it would give me space to concentrate on myself and my needs after being engulfed in a long relationship. I thought this would provide downtime to rediscover my passions and what I want next for myself. I’ve cried everyday since returning home. I’ve slept an abundant amount, I have yet to unpack and have left my house 3 times for social activities.
This doesn’t feel right. I left home 10 years ago and being here with all of my belongings make me feel like a failure more than anything. Maybe I gave up too soon instead of pushing myself.
I don’t know what to expect but I know that this is hard. This is harder than leaving was. I felt unhappy and lost in Los Angeles only to return home and have those feelings magnified. I will give it time and see how it unfolds but right now, I don’t want this. This doesn’t feel good at all.
I’m learning to accept it. I need to do a bit better at controlling it though.
April 12/20th was the 2 year anniversary of my father’s death. What I learned during this year’s observance is that i’m still incredibly distraught and all over the place. I think i am still in shock, still in awe, and tired of pretending to be fine. I’ve written a few times about how I felt initially but I I need to write more. Sometimes, it gets bad enough to the point that I don’t want to be alone for TOO long because I know my thoughts will revert into thinking about what happened and trying to make sense of things I don’t understand.
As I sat in the park with my boyfriend on April 12th, he mentioned something about his friend’s father dying and it triggered one of the biggest cry sessions I’ve had in a while. I was finally able to name the fact that:
I am angry.
I am confused.
I am frustrated.
I am hurt.
I feel neglected.
I have been taking all of those feelings out on myself because there’s no one else to take them out on. It’s pretty unfortunate.
I don’t know the next step in this process. Now that I’ve named those feelings, what comes next? I want to write. I wrote another poem to him a couple weeks ago. Maybe I’ll write him a letter. And explain exactly why I feel all of these things and how i don’t know if it’s his fault or mine. But once I write it, where do I send it?
zimisslibra said: Are you depressed? If so, I'm a black girl that's depressed too. What do we do?
I wrote this letter to you on the train .. There’s something oddly singular about the way we as human beings deal with pain . We find comfort in making ourselves sole spokes persons, we feel stinging disrespect in the normalizing of it . We nip at those who dare to publicly share similar distress out of frustration and embarrassment. I receive hundreds of messages and stories on here from amazing kids like you literally re-living my adolescent years (something I would never recommend to anyone) . or my peers feeling unworthy barely inching through the day . most recently I received a brief suicide letter on my tumblr that simply ended in “maybe I’ll finally get to meet you and see you perform in the after life ” ..something hit me ..I realized I was irresponsible . I realized that there were tons of people believing they were living alone . Suffering alone telling their dark stories to someone that “had it all figured out ” looking for answers because they believed I had them all …. allowing this without offering up my truth is something I cannot do any longer . Depression seems to be the word of the day for more than a few , for some privately ,some publicly , for some unbeknownst or in denial. I’ve personally been climbing this tree for over a decade falling off starting back again .This was something much easier to hide when the only person I had to be honest to was myself …There’s something different about doing it in front of thousands of people . I usually hide behind my wit or in my lyrics or perhaps a self directed video quietly painting my reality or even occasionally giving a slip of the truth in an interview ..but I see now that is doing us all a genuine disservice . By “us all” I mean my little sister bravely battling depression at 13 to my older sister a survivor tunneling through it at 34 I owe you solidarity .. To the lost and hurting listening to my music ashamed of what it means to you, be ashamed no longer…we are kindred for certain . I apologize for waiting so long to comfort you. I’m not perfect or cured but I am your friend , your family .. Hang in there with me don’t quit yet . We’re all waiting for better ..if you EVER feel like you just can’t wait any longer please tell someone .. Tell ME . I’m up till 4am every night scrolling through the interweb waiting on ya .
With love and respect
After my solo show in January, I went into a severe hermit stage in which I did not make art (aside from gigs), didn’t really go out to art events, retreated from my Beats, Frames and Life baby and pretty much secluded myself from the larger community. I used that time for a lot of reflection and unfortunately, a lot of negative thinking. Though my show was a success (if you consider the turn out and the fact that I was able to have my mission understood) I still felt as though I needed to do MORE. I needed to take more risks with my work and really push myself beyond any of my limitations.
The thought of that petrified me. I didn’t know where to begin or how to even do that. Honestly, I still have thank you notes/gifts to mail from my gofundme campaign. I literally scared myself into a shell.
But I refuse to be here any longer. I’ve been slowly coming out of it. Emerging back into my community, writing a lot more about project ideas, even writing a few poems!
I’ve also taken a deep interest into the concept of art therapy. I believe that I was so frightened by my art because of the secrets it was bringing up about myself. It’s therapeutic powers. I want to explore that more, as difficult as it may be, and I want to assist others with it. I’ve been attended a few workshops at UCLA to get a good taste of it and am thinking about enrolling in their certificate program. It feels nice to have some kind of direction.
Also in this “dormant” stage, I applied for a visual artist grant and I’m completing an application for a poetry fellowship as well. I’m working on a new website that will showcase me and my work better and we’re revamping key elements of Beats, Frames and Life.
I’m excited to get back on the horse. 3 months is far too long to be in this silent phase but I’m grateful to have had so many supportive people surrounding me, uplifting me the entire time.
I've got things to share.