the look in his eyes. the smirk. the melodies. the rhythms. the lyrics.
there is always something or someone that sticks out in childhood memories. this gentleman, his royal badness, is mine. he's the first one to capture my heart & mind. there is an imprint from him on all of my loves. his music, art, appearance, performance, sexuality, humor, ideals & existence began the threads that flow through those who inspire me now.
one of my earliest memories is my dad dancing to controversy. i had no idea what he was singing about but the melody is like a heartbeat, forever present. just like the guitar riffs and imagery of his performance of lets go crazy & purple rain. he is one of those people that i cannot imagine not being there, even though i grew up during the 1990s when he had fallen from media grace.
i am having fun rediscovering him. its like getting to know an uncle you haven't seen in a long time. a really productive creative uncle who has work ranging from the perfectly groovy make you wish you were in the clubs in the 1980s just so you could dance to it track irresistible bitch to the melancholic tear inducing longing of sometimes it snows in april.
his fierce sometimes off putting quintessentially punk obsession with freedom & inability to do what people expect or want or demand is inspiring. before i became an artist, i never understood that whole slave thing. its all about perspective. like all of my loves he is perfectly imperfect. wholly human, wholly eccentric, wholly committed to excellence & being more than what is expected.
in a word, fearless. there is no better starting off point for an artist.
thank you, your majesty.
i will be at nc state university this fall! this program has had my heart since the beginning with its unparalleled focus on education. it is amazing to think i will be mingling with the right people, quite soon. its always gratifying to know that i went for the best and they wanted me! it gives me hope that i am not crazy for choosing this path and that others feel the same way i do about design. and it makes me feel that ever so missed feeling of anxiety, curiosity, anticipation, fear, and excitement.
imma a wolf now, kid!
everyone has something to say. the majority of us have been raised to believe that not only do we have voices, but we have and are often expected to scream. to believe we will have an audience. to keep going until we get what we want.
the temper tantrum.
we want what we want and we want it now. our drive thru culture of entitlement becomes part of life. its how things are supposed to be. it feels right when you feel like you are fighting for something that is righteous but isn't that subjective?
it feels oh so "american" to me as well. not only a superiority complex but the idea of fighting to get what you want to the point of death or completion. we don't like to hear no. we don't like to hear can't. a country of rebels steadfast on fighting, even ourselves.
we get frustrated when we don't do what we want ourselves to do. we set expectation of ourselves that is sometimes unreasonable. now is this completely wrong, no because this leads to excellence for those that can manage. so is there a line or a select few of people that can achieve excellence while others fail? we call it natural selection. but what happens when everyone feels entitled but can not make it?
where does that sense of entitlement go?
it becomes self doubt or self hate. it becomes hatred and jealousy of those who do make it. it becomes active pursuit of their fall. it becomes feeble attempts to own things. it becomes attempts to place your stamp on something to call your own because you have nothing to show for your existence otherwise. you need something to claim. and if there is nothing left to claim you can always claim your opinions. you can always have something to say and then you must share it with the world. it may seem frivolous or futile but it serves a purpose to someone.
speaking from the perspective of a young black woman, i think of people i grew up with that were so quick to claim a zip code, a street, a color. i never understood it. but i think of it now as a claim of identity, a claim of pride because they do not have much else or feel as if they don't. we as a people don't seem to own much. we can't even trace back our lineage more than a couple of generations if we are lucky. we attach ourselves to our creativity and ability to create new things to call "ours". no matter how many times it gets hijacked [remember when bling wasn't in the dictionary & on the lips of ostentatious brides on television?]
as much as i understand it, and definitely feel a part of the culture [i have a blog & i tweet], i find myself seeking an identity that is set in something solid. i am lucky. i have my family. i have my talents. i have great jumping off points and i am realizing more and more what defines me. what speaks to me and what feels true to me and why. i feel like i owe it to myself to figure myself out instead of letting extracurricular things define me. they can allude to me, they can feel like me, they can look like me, they can decorate me, but they cannot be me. i feel entitled to be honest with myself so that when i do speak or even scream, i know where and why that voice is coming out. im too tied up in me to be hating on someone else. i am too tied up in my own striving for excellence that tearing someone else down seems juvenile and futile.
all my rambling lead to this idea: no one is more worthy than anyone else but in our current culture, that seems to be believed and accepted. and this leaves the have-nots struggling to define themselves and claim something for their own. to me, being honest with yourself is the best place to start. being self obsessed and truly figuring out who you are better positions you to having an identity that is not given to you but made by you. which to me makes achieving excellence that much greater or not achieving it that much easier to bear. you will know what you are here to do and not be caught up in things that you are not. you will be entitled to you and not worry so much about screaming things out into the world because the audience does not dictate. your worth will come from within, not from them.