Spare Change for a Free Love

I have a lot on my mind, which I guess would make up for this lengthy absence…

I want to be inspired every day. I want to wake up and have poetic prose flowing through my veins as I get my day started. Any blank surface at my work station should be filled with my mind’s musings by the time I clock out. Is that too much to ask? Sometimes…

My mood is a big factor. I made sure to bring my mini-notebook with me during yesterday’s shift, but nothing came of that initiative. In my world, there is no such thing as getting enough sleep. I never sleep enough or I sleep too much, with both circumstances leading to endless yawning and fake smiles at work. If I could write one influential line every day, I think I could really get somewhere. Writing usually does take some struggle, whether it being the act itself or stemming from a struggle.

I was talking to a coworker yesterday and we were going back and forth about school. She and many of my other coworkers are in school. For the most part, I’m sure most of them will be ready to leave this job as soon as that degree is placed in their hands. When I told her that I had already graduated from college, she incredulously asked why I’m here, as if I was doing nothing with my life and/or choosing to spend the rest of my young life in retail (perhaps I’m exaggerating). I responded with the universal knowledge of how hard it’s been to get a job with my degree. The way she lamented on how “horrible” my situation is sort of rubbed me the wrong way. I was thinking about it long after I had gotten home and settled. She can feel sorry for me all she wants. I’m happy that I have a steady job after spending about 1.5 years without any of my own income. I’m glad that my job allows me the free time I need to make moves for where I would like to be in the future.

Today I stand here, beautifully inspired by this moving interview between two journalists:

I respect anyone who isn’t afraid of staying true to his or her identity. I’ve been a fan of Janet Mock for a while now, and it’s always comforting to find and read about other successful writers. If I can do more research and stay true to myself and my writing style, I should have no problem making a name for myself. There’s actually an internship available at the nonprofit organization I volunteered for last year. It’s technically focused on marketing and social media, but there’s quite a bit of writing involved, so I’d love to go for that. I’m going to send in my resume later today and hope for the best.

I’m ready for so much more to happen in my life. All I need is patience and a starving mind/pen.

 

I can feel the soreness in just about every muscle in my body. I endured one of the hardest workouts today, and I’m probably going to attend the class again next week. I’ve never done the Insanity workouts, but I feel like it was its equivalent when it came to not giving up.

This pain is allowing me to feel…to be conscious in the moment. I take steps and feel. I lift my arms and feel. I arch my back and I feel…

I need to do that more in a mental sense. I need to stretch my limits and not let my subconscious get to me.

I’ve found that I’ll do or say things that have nothing to do with what I want in life. These things are detrimental and I can’t stand it.

I have a voice inside of me. Maybe it’s like a spirit or just a more calm (perhaps better) version of myself. I go outside and write about my trials. Once I do that, the tone seems to shift as I keep writing, as if someone else is speaking to me. The voice reassures me. The voice teaches me. The voice motivates me.

I consulted the blank pages of my notebook yesterday, expressing my worries about current situations. Here’s an example of the voice:

“Love will prevail, in one way or another. Have faith…in fate. You’ll always have love…in me. So much love is going to come from this. There’s so much more you’ll see. Think of it as you let go through these stages of emotion. You may be angry, or hurt, or sad and lonely. There is so much love…Love is in you. Love is in your family. Love is in your friends. Love is in whoever will end up loving you for life. You have so much love to look forward to. Remind yourself of it all the time. You deserve the love you dream of.”

I read that passage several times after writing it. It felt unreal to have that come from such a different place. Even as I typed it, I still felt the intensity of those words. I feel like I can endure anything as I read them. It’s like a mantra of sorts.

Am I the only one who feels this way? I want to know your thoughts.

How conscious are you?

What’s the difference between planning an album release concert and planning a wedding? According to local talent Myra Smith, they are one in the same. The 31-year-old powerhouse vocalist has done both, and is currently reaping the seeds of love sown in both occasions.

Over 400 people came out to support the Undying Love Album Release Concert on February 18 at the Attucks Theatre in Norfolk. Equipped with her band, the Myra Smith Experience, they took the audience through an enjoyable and heartfelt performance.

“Singing is like breathing. It’s a part of me.” Smith said.

Smith was born in Germany and moved to the Hampton Roads area when she was a teenager. Raised by churchgoing parents, Smith was only exposed to gospel music until she became an adult. Her current musical influences include Mary Mary, Ledisi, and Beyoncé. She currently works full-time as an independent living counselor for youth who were formerly in the foster care system.

Smith is a multi-faceted artist with an album that ranges from r&b/soul to jazz to gospel. “Dream” is a song about overcoming adversity that is encouraging and relatable. The current single, “Make Me Feel Good,” is an infectious r&b groove that demands her lover to pay attention to her like old times. Smith describes “Sing to Me” as a jazzy lullaby. It was also one of the first songs she recorded for the album.

“When I went in the studio, I turned off all the lights and did the vocal arrangement myself. It was simple and beautiful.” Smith said.

Smith met her wife, Tiffany Wright, in 2008 at the long-standing open mic night called Fuzzy Wednesdays. They shared an instant attraction as she sang on stage.

“She was everything I had been praying about.” Smith said. “Before then, I never felt safe. Since Tiffany came into my life, I felt protected.”

Two years and an engagement later, they exchanged vows in Washington D.C. one month after gay marriage was legalized in the nation’s capital.

“We set up an appointment for April 16, which was also Emancipation Day. The courthouse was supposed to be closed, but they allowed us to come. We were the only ones in the building. We were so thrilled.” Smith said.

Although her family did not support her marriage at first, she was not alone in the slightest. “I had a strong LGBT following. When I felt like I had no one, I saw a family in them.” Smith said.

Smith is the first African-American woman to have an album release concert at the historical theatre. She is currently promoting Undying Love across the Hampton Roads area, and also went to Atlanta last month, gaining more fans. She also plans to go to New York, Richmond, and Washington, D.C. later this year.

You can purchase Undying Love on iTunes, experiencemyrasmith.com, and also at event venues where she will be performing, which are also located on her website.

Fate is a hauntingly beautiful aspect of life. People and events come into your life and stir things up (good or bad). And in the end, that particular situation makes you strive to do better.

It all started with a simple Facebook post. At the end of March, I had the opportunity to review the independent film Pariah for the local LGBT newspaper. A local culture group, COLLAGE, actually put the viewing together so perfectly. After informing them via their Facebook group page of the future review, I received a message from a local music celebrity by the name of Myra Smith. Now I had just become a huge fan of her music after going to her album release concert the month before. She asked me if I could do a write-up on her in the newspaper. Any of my friends will tell you that I about fainted when she asked me. A couple of weeks later, I conducted a phone interview and had so much fun writing the article.

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May 1st marked the release of the article and I grabbed plenty of copies from the LGBT Center. I actually received an email from her by accident that same day about being part of her promotion team. I told her that I could help her out with my writing skills. Two days later, I’m sitting face-to-face with Myra and her wife to discuss what contributions I could make to her brand. Not only am I going to help her with the likes of music blogging and reviewing, I am going to be helping out with the creation of a nonprofit organization called the Woman Like Me Campaign, which focuses on woman empowerment in all aspects. I’m basically going to be the social media maven for the program. I really believe in the cause, so I’m going to help in any way I can.

You’ll hear more about that later. For those itching to see the article, look for it in my next post.

This weekend hasn’t been the most favorable for one reason or another, but I’m going to try my best to rid my mind of those thoughts.

I actually picked up The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success a couple of weeks ago, and it’s given me some perspective. The 5th law, my most current read, focused on intention and desire. I’m looking forward to finishing. I wanted to focus on one law per reading session so I wouldn’t be too overwhelmed. It’s a fairly easy read though. I’ll probably review it once I’m done.

My best friend is in town, and she couldn’t have come at a better time.

I feel like I need another therapy session with her.

In other news, I am the proud owner of an HTC Inspire phone and I am loving it so far. It’s my first smartphone, so it’s taking some getting used to. It was time for a change anyway.

This post was a bit random, but I’ll be back to my usual musings soon. Until then….

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-insert excuse of absence here- I promise to be better. I say that to myself more so than to the committed readers (but I love you all the same).

I came across this video a few days ago to tackle my boredom. I suggest you watch it as well, but I know some of you would rather not watch a 31-minute video. Luckily for you, I’m going to discuss what moved me the most about it. Click here: Life Talk

Taking inventory of emotions – What you feel is what you are. Our emotions can rule how we go through the day. For example, starting the day off unfavorably may cause one to deem the day to be…well, unfavorable. We have the power to choose how we feel. Attitude really is everything. I’ve always labeled myself as an optimist, yet when I have my bad days/moments, my mind feels so heavy as a result. It feels good when the weight is lifted, whether immediately or gradually.

Metaphor of thought – In the video, Taren mentions the book Seven Spiritual Laws of Success and introduces a metaphor that defines the contrast between a clear mind and a cluttered mind. A still pond represents a clear mind. If you throw a single stone, you see the ripples caused by the stone. A turbulent ocean is a cluttered mind that can become unaffected by that same stone or thought. I feel that several distractions from my daily routine have kept me from what I’m meant to do.

Consciousness – I feel like my mind is so much clearer when I write outside. I need to do it more often. I tend to write the most inspiring journals when the wind sways against my arms while the sun tickles my skin on a beautiful Spring day. I’m more aware of what I need to do in order to achieve my goals. I need to also find more ways to stay conscious instead of being on autopilot with my same routine. I’ve vowed to do something different this weekend, whether it be going to be the beach to write/read (if the weather permits) or something else that I may have never done before or haven’t done in a long time. Because I am striving for so much more in my life, I need to place whatever I’m looking for into my thoughts as much as I can. If I can do that, maybe it’ll appear sooner rather than later.

This video gave me a lot of “aha!” moments and I hope this enlightened you a bit as well. Share your thoughts below!

Any avid or sometimes watchers of Divorce Court know that recently, there have been more same-sex couples on the show discussing the problems in their relationships. It makes me wonder if some of them are actually married, but maybe they can’t specify that or maybe those parts are edited out (I wouldn’t know. I can barely get through an episode.). At the moment, my mother is currently watching one with a gay black male couple and one of them mostly dresses and identifies as a woman. Their relationship is of course their business until they’re on national television. Either way, that show has been showcasing the craziest couples (gay or straight) since it started years ago. The incorporation of same-sex couples may be a turn for the better in some twisted cosmic sort of way. It shows that all couples have their problems.

Anyway, that’s not what has motivated this post. My mom was talking to my sister on the phone while she was watching the show. It reminded her of the lesbian couple in the wedding section of the latest Jet magazine, where my dad literally had the reaction of “What kind of shit is that?” I’m sure she shrugged or laughed it off like she always does with him. I don’t believe they’ve ever had a lesbian couple in their magazine, so kudos to them.

To answer my dad’s question: it’s love. You may be too deep in your traditional values to see it, but that’s what it is. Two people love each other and they decide to get married. Hell, I will be one of those people one day. I’m unsure if there will be any way for him to accept that once he knows the truth about me. Maybe my parents will decide that they won’t support me at my future wedding. I guess I’ll have to live with it if that’s the case.

At least I know that the possibility of marriage only lies a few hours away. Maryland just became the newest state to pass a same-sex marriage bill. That’s definitely reassuring, even though there was always the option of Washington D.C. I’ve always wanted to move to that area. Guess that gives me one more reason to do so.

I wrote this in my journal yesterday:

“I want to be seen as an equal person. I want to be able to marry my wife and be treated as a first class citizen. I can’t do that here (Virginia)…not yet. Maybe not ever or for a very long time..

The winds of change are upon us. I am not less than, naive, lost,  or whatever anyone wants to call me for loving who I love. God loves me. God loves us. We aren’t corrupting the world. We’re not destroying anyone’s right to believe in whatever they want to believe. We are not destroying family. If you want to be traditional, that’s your business. What I do is none of yours. 

I am happy. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t “born this way,” but I don’t regret the path that I chose. Finding her has proven to be a milestone in my life. I am supported and loved by her. I know my family will love me no matter what I’ve chosen for my life. They may not understand when that time comes, but love will prevail.”

Oh, and for those thinking I’m planning to elope to Maryland this weekend, calm down. Marriage will come when the time is right. We’re not rushing that at all. This is just one more reason why I need to make moves and get out of the house for good. Gotta love motivation.

 

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