I feel like I say this a lot more every year, but … 2012 went fast, ya’ll.
My 2012 started off on a rocky note. Some of the bumps in the road became a little bigger along the way, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t thrilled that this year is coming to an end.
On the other hand, the trials and tribulations of this year made me stronger. The realization that balance between my professional and personal lives must come first and foremost before any other obligation in my life. The acknowledgement that a lot within my music career wasn’t working out because I was ignoring the very things that mattered most: FAITH. FAMILY. DISCIPLINE.
I was neglecting the present in order to plan for a future that wasn’t taking shape whatsoever.
Now I sit here in a nearby coffeeshop, two months into a blessed new job working as a job coach with people with barriers to employment, using the Internet and praising God in advance for the beautiful opportunities that await if I take hold of his moment and really formulate it.
Don’t mean to get preachy, but this past year has been crazy. I really don’t know where to start.
I’ve recognized that my frustrations have carried over into other areas of my life, and that in the meantime, I need to stop myself and be reminded that: (1) I’m only 24, (2) Life is relatively beautiful, and (3) I need to focus on what’s going on right now.
In a long absence from my Tumblr, I usually put these entries up as signposts to start moving forward. Putting this out here lets the world know that I need to keep moving forward.
NO MORE EXCUSES.
So in the last month of the year, with a few weeks left until the theoretical “end of time”, I want to reconnect with some of the people that I’ve missed this past year — and continue to make new friendships and relationships.
A recent interaction with a friend from college and hearing how my music has helped him in his own life was a truly refreshing moment to experience in these past few weeks. Though the music is back on it’s feet again, it has been frustrating trying to polish a sound that is still growing within me. So to hear something so motivating was really moving. And just what I needed.
So as I go to the movies and watch exotic getaways and intriguing not-so-faraway lands, I have to remember that I’m the only one getting in my way of getting there. When I listen to other music on the blogs that I think I could make better, I have to shrug off the Minnesota winter and make myself go record.
This summer was difficult as I truly learned what it means to sacrifice what you want to do with what you need to do, but I’m back on the right track. I can do this.
Thanks for letting me take up some space.
To this beautiful incoming year.
Photo by Nina Ham
“A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.” - Steve Martin
I went to bed with a heavy heart. I woke up to an empty fridge and a melancholy gray peering through the blinds.
In short, today has been a fucking bad day.
One thing about myself that many people don’t realize is that although I express myself thoroughly in writing and in music, confronting my own thoughts and feelings (especially sharing them with others) is hard, and I tend to bottle up all of the thoughts and feelings that occupy my mind … until I can’t anymore.
Today was one of those days. After driving around aimlessly after work, I found myself parked outside of the house where I grew up - a FOR SALE sign hanging in the foreground - waiting for my mama to come home so that I could cry on her shoulder.
It has now been two years since I graduated college. This has also meant two years of being a “baby” in the workforce, working with people that are old enough to be my parents - and grandparents. It has also meant trying to balance getting this struggling music “career” off the ground with making ends meet — which has been the ultimate test.
Today, after four weeks of working 8a-11p trying to stack up for the summer and then being asked the question, “Is this music dream only a dream?”, it hit me.
Maybe this whole “K.Raydio” thing isn’t meant to be.
I couldn’t believe that the thought had even come to my mind. It was the first time in two years that I honestly thought “Today might be the day that I put the music aside for good.” It was the worst, most gut-wrenching thought that I’ve had since I started this journey, and when I stopped and thought about it, it’s all because I have lost sense of who I am — and who I want to be. Instead I have allowed the opinions of others to infiltrate my very delicate and (even though I don’t want to admit it) easily influenced mind.
The “real world” is a trip. At the risk of sounding like a disillusioned education brat (which I am, like it or not), I have learned that college is a privileged utopia that allows you to filter your perspective on the world and tweak it to your comfort. My time at UW-Madison was amazing, life-changing, and eye-opening for numerous reasons. Had it not been for attending school in Madison, this music dream would not exist in the sense that it does today. However, “going to college” is a very sheltered reality. Being released into the “real world” has shown me, a biracial, curly-haired chameleon, that I really don’t know shit about life.
And I can finally admit that.
Yet, instead of allowing myself to open my eyes and ears and become a pupil, I resisted, and the past year has been the hardest of my life thus far. My creativity went from an early peak, then plateaued, and then became nonexistent, and I began to drown my misery in cheap wine glasses and ashtrays.
I kept my chin up in public, but secretly have struggled with anxiety attacks. Behind closed doors, I have told my family and my girl KaMia that I want to move, that I don’t think I’m good enough, that I’m sick of working multiple jobs and not seeing any benefit for myself.
Even reading this now, it saddens me to see how stressed and depressed I’ve become. But even in the midst of all the chaos, music has ALWAYS been there. And I can’t give up on it now.
Because it’s not all about me. Last summer, I spoke at a workshop for teens who had been expelled from their home school districts. I was asked to speak about how I decided to follow my own dreams — in the face of adversity. At the end of my speech, I sang “My Outro”, the song that I conclude all of my sets with and has, in turn, become my own personal “keep pushing” anthem.
Afterwards, an 18 year-old single mom of a six-month-old baby boy came up to me with tears in her eyes and said that my song had changed her life. I can’t even type this without batting my eyelids to fight back tears. She said that my song gave her hope to keep going with a schedule that consisted of working overnights just so that she could pay for daycare and get to school at 2pm, seeing her son only for a couple of hours each night.
I gave her hope. My lyrics, that I wrote, gave her hope. My voice gave her hope.
So as I wiped the tears away from my face, grabbed a few Kleenexs, and took a deep breath, I realized that I can do this. I HAVE to do this. Because it’s not all about me. It never has been. I have been blessed with a gift, and although I don’t understand its magnitude, I can’t give up now.
I can’t give up.
So to those of you who continue to tell me to keep pushing, those of you who have told me to ignore the bullshit, I’m going to try. I will. I’m human and I have a hell of a lot of flaws, but I’ve gotta keep going.
“Film chose me and I didn’t choose film.” One of Spike Lee’s most earnest comments, and in a lot of ways, I share his sentiments. Music chose me, and it’s impossible for me to quit this relationship. I just have to figure out how to make it work.