Janet Jackson, ‘93.
I used to write these little poems about him. They were for him, but for me, really, to express what I couldn’t tell him. I didn’t have a car then. We had a silent arrangement. A sometimey type of relationship. He’d pick me up in his whip, he’d run some corner errands, and we’d go back to his mom’s place. Where his mom never was. There were times when I’d be waiting at home in my room for him to come, maybe zoning to some music, maybe pacing, maybe screaming. I’d call him nonstop and get air. He had me worrying, and he probably didn’t mean to. We were young. Some nights he never came. Others, when he finally did, my anger never tumbled out. I’d just hop in the whip and sit there, slowly bop to the music, feeling back then that there was nothing worth saying.
Deepak Chopra (via fuglyhottie)
I’m cursed with tight shoulders. This means something, physically and metaphorically. It’s mostly self-inflicted. It could be the stress of a heavy life load, the feeling of trying to crawl to a destination other people seemingly teleport to. I learned (through yoga) that the only way to make those muscles less like rocks and more like putty is to “open your heart,” something my yoga teacher often, thankfully, screams to me (so more like “OPEN YOUR HEART!!!”). It’s a physical act (stretch the shoulders outward, away from the ears, and drop them. don’t bunch up) with emotional parallels: don’t be closed off to contact, with a goalie on call to block that essential organ. Over time, these muscles have started to loosen, and, frankly, it’s amazing… but they’re still tight… probably out of a necessity… that eventually won’t be necessary.
It’s hard finding pockets of time to breathe anymore. Write, think, Work, play, Social, family, Love, stuffed into hours that often feel wasted and like hardly enough. And as a person who’s most creative after midnight, completely resistant to mornings. And this, with no kids.
"Just drink coffee."
Ego makes us hold a death grip on simple phrases. Fear makes us do this, too. We hold back acknowledgement, approval, a compliment, even when it comes to family. As if the receiving person doesn’t need it or knows it anyway. “You did good.” Say it.
It seems as if we’re less stingy than ever about the simple act of approval. We Like and Favorite things everyday. But often it’s a game of friendly politics, replacing vocal acceptance and even digital conversations with superficial gestures. Liking is effortless, appreciated, and hey, I’ll keep doing it. Trust me, I like this reciprocation.
But for the ones who matter, in real life, we have to put some words behind it. And just as much as we welcome it, we have to give it back.
There’s a slow reggae groove called “Say It” on Rihanna’s Good Girl Gone Bad that’s one of my favorite slept-on gems of hers. Not to end on a cheesy note, but the song is her gently pushing some guy to admit that he thinks she’s special:
I won’t shoot you down/Make you feel some kinda way/If you’ll be honest with me/Put away your pride…Say it, that’ll make it more clear.
Basically. Because really, the potential hurt isn’t worth the pride of silence.
Because you’re not the first person to realize that Iggy Azalea sounds like a pop Charli Baltimore with Barbie proportions. Not saying the Philly rapper was a lyrical wizard, but I did like her aggression and her single, “Money,” and her verse on Ja Rule’s “Down Ass Bitch” (I could be alone in this). And I found this excerpt from AllMusic’s review of her 1999 album, Cold as Ice, eerily familiar:
"It seems like a lot of the rappers even had to step down their game so as not to embarrass Charli lyrically. Still, there are a lot of people who don’t listen to hip-hop just for groundbreaking lyrics, and the musical side of the album is pretty good, with some good producers creating the beats. Overall, you really need to like Charli Baltimore to appreciate this album and put it in your rotation."