Friday, January 28, 2011

The Game is Over- Toya
You know how Tia and I feel about boy bands. "The Game is Over" is a song by Nsync. JC did some of his best sangin' on this one.

I really didn’t want to write about this at first but it may help someone so here it goes. I have so many back stories to write about. This is the first of what may be 5 things that happened months ago. Hope you enjoy them.

I was at Tia’s one day when Tia decided to let me in on something (Side note: can I just say I am glad that we don’t live together anymore? I know that sounds terrible because she truly is my favorite person. I just feel I’d be unproductive. She really is that much fun. Sometimes we don’t even have to say anything. We can just look at each other .Crazy.) :

Tia: “I just want to warn you. He’s back in town.”
Me: “Oh. Ok.”
Tia: “Just in case you run into him.”
Me: “That’s fine. I mean, it’s not an issue really. Truth be told, I’d be perfectly fine not ever talking to him again until we both go on to glory.”
Tia: *blank stare* “Wow.”

I’m not going to go into who “he” is because there would be a whole back story I’d have to go into The Vault to remember. The Vault is what I call anything that happened before August 20, 2010 which marked my 10 year anniversary in Nashville. I am a much different person. There is no condemnation for anything that is now in The Vault. Anything that’s in The Vault can’t come back to haunt me because I’m stronger, I’m wiser, I’m better, and all that other stuff Marvin Sapp sings about. It just doesn’t matter anymore…so I thought. I say that because for the next few days whenever I would wake up and pray, the thought of possibly running into him would come up. Anyone with a Charismatic Christian background knows that these kind of thoughts sometimes have us binding the devil and claiming "no weapon formed against me shall prosper" and all that stuff. Yet to no avail the fear of running into him would not go away.

The fact of the matter is I have been over him for years. Feelings weren’t the issue; embarrassment was. I was embarrassed because I truly felt (unbeknownst to him) that I acted my absolute worst with this guy. I embarrassed myself in front of him and other people. I became “That Girl”. I felt that seeing him would remind me of who I was. Couple that with his superb talent of saying the absolute worst thing at the worst time and hurting my feelings to the core and you have what could potentially be a disastrous situation. I never did well standing up to him. Just knowing that there was someone out there that “I Laugh In the Face of Confrontation” Toya would cower to was the ultimate embarrassment to me. Also in the back corner of my mind (FAR back) was the fear that if I ever talked to him again, even for a little bit, I could be persuaded to allow him back into my life and suck it dry again. Dramatic? Probably. Possible? We’ll never know.

We’ll never know because not too long after this conversation, I was driving around town looking to eat somewhere for dinner. The first two places I went to were having credit card problems and led me to the last place I saw him a few years ago. I remember after telling him that I never wanted to talk to him again, I was minding my business one day and he just showed up and sat in front of me like I never made that request. I remember staring at him much like Kate Winslet’s character in The Holiday when Jasper shows up and surprises her during her much needed vacation away from him. And much like Jasper, he sat there and talked about himself for about fifteen minutes. The only time he asked about me is when he did his regular “So you seeing anybody?” check up. Not too long after that another version of him who I was meeting there (I still hadn’t learned yet) met me at my table. As he got up he told me he loved me, said goodbye and walked out the door.

So when I pulled up to this place anxiety and condemnation started to set in. “God why is this still coming up? “ I thought. I walked in to find a place to sit down to eat and as I walked all the way to the back, there he was.

Me: “Hey!!!!”
Him: “Hey!!!”

Nope, that wasn’t feigned excitement on my part. That was relief. When I saw him and felt no fear, in less than a second it finally clicked. It wasn’t my past or the devil that was haunting me. It was God showing me I had nothing to be afraid of and that I could trust myself again. There was one final layer in The Parfait of The Great Embarrassment that had yet to be uncovered. When the statute of limitations on your heartbreak have long expired then that means that there is a much deeper issue that needs to be dealt with. Mine was fear and shame. God was not pleased that I feared anyone. It was silly. If He could forgive and forget my mistakes and hold me under no shame, how dare I allow anyone to have that kind of power? To borrow from The Matrix, there was no spoon.

We chopped it up for a bit and that was that. No “we’ll talk later”. No “give me a call sometime”. We’re not going to be friends and that's ok. I walked out of there feeling fearless like I beat the big alien spaceship at the end of Space Invaders.

So what did I learn from all this? To most people I should have BEEN over this (I don't care about that either) but these are the consequences of making very bad decisions. That’s why when you get warning after warning about something that seems harmless in the beginning, it’s most likely because only God can see how damaging and long lasting the consequences are going to be. I also learned that these small things are important to God. He knows what keeps us from going to the next level better than we do. Under no circumstances should I ever be comfortable being afraid of anyone. No one should ever have that kind of power in my life. I had no idea how crippling fear could be because I had been under it unknowingly for so long. But now? *T-Pain voice* “I’m good."
Fearless- Toya

"Fearless" is a song by dcTalk that jacks me up every single time. Kevin Max is a beast at the end.

Nashville is small. Too small. I often joke that it only has about 300 people in it. So when last night’s American Idol came on I expected to see at least three people I knew on it (congratulations and best wishes to Jackie Wilson, Ashthon Jones and Kendra Chantelle). You have people that are talented that would understandably never try out for American Idol because most people don’t want to deal with all the nail biting and possible rejection. By the same token you have people that aren’t necessarily talented that come hell or high water are going to jump at every opportunity to stand in line for hours for their time to shine…like this child right here:

*Faints* at :47

Now, I have seen Younique perform in person a few times at an open mic downtown and she has always been dead serious. DEAD serious….like the expression I try to keep on my face whenever I have made the mistake of sitting in the front row at an open mic (always a bad idea). But the thing that fascinates me about her is her confidence. Can she sing? I don’t think I need to answer that. But think about it. She’s pretty bold to go an American Idol and expect to go to Hollywood. Heck if you’re good that’s still a pretty bold assumption come to think of it.

And that’s the thing I am stuck on. Why is it that so many of us are actually good at things and don’t follow through with them? It may be that we think we aren’t good enough or smart enough. It may be that what we are good at doesn’t seem practical and we can’t immediately see the payoff. I’m not saying that just because you are good at something that you should pursue it. I am good at creating Microsoft spreadsheets. No way in the world do I want to make a living out of doing that. But if faith without works is dead and works without faith is lifeless then no works and no faith has got to be___________________________(*flatline*).

I think that no matter what reasons or excuses we have boil down to fear. I hate not knowing what direction I am supposed to be going in. I'm afraid of failure and often times afraid of success.  There are plenty things that I am good at and I don’t say that vainly. I say that with frustration. It reminds me of that Cosby episode where Cliff is mentoring young men in an after school program. One guy says he’s not sure what he wants to do and Cliff plainly tells him to pick. I say plainly because what if you are not passionate about what you are picking? Is passion overrated? Perhaps. As someone who can get really excited to start something and then despise the responsibility of it the next (I tend to be really sensational like that), it just may be.

A few scriptures I have been reflecting on when it comes to this is from Ecclesiastes 11:1,6:

1. Cast your bread on the surface of the waters, for you will find it after many days.
6. Sow your seed in the morning and do not be idle in the evening, for you do not know whether morning or evening sowing will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good.

Tia says I am always on my hustle. Man I am just casting my bread upon the waters! Can I be honest though?  I don’t know what’s going to come back so I'm afraid of the unknown even if the unknown could be great. All I know is that sowing and reaping is a universal law whether you believe in Jesus, Allah, or a park bench. I believe that some way some how if at I least try a little bit of everything I am even remotely interested in, something has got to open up.

It’s been how many weeks since I posted something? Consistency is not a natural strong point for me as you can see. I have to fight my natural state of being everyday to stay on track. Regardless, I enjoy blogging and will continue to do it. More frequently I promise. If it turns into something that actually pays my bills then woo hoo! But if it’s just a creative outlet, since I am made in the image of the Creator I still win.

I want to hear from you guys. What have you been sitting on and not pursuing out of fear? Don’t let Younique out hustle you!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

So I Think I’m Ready to Blog Again- Toya

Is it too late to say “Happy New Year!”? Probably but at any rate Happy New Year! Neither of us have blogged much lately and as I have said before if posts are few then that means there is a lot going on. With that being said, I’ve forgotten how great of a cathartic release that writing is for me. I’ve also forgotten about how often we get emails from women saying that we often write about what they are going through at the exact moment they are reading our posts. In light of this, I am really going to attempt to be better at posting more frequently; and not just pop culture stuff either. I want to get back to the real life stuff.

So with my John Mayer soundtrack of my life playing in the background today (I’m sorry but he’d have to do much more than a crass drunken interview for me to delete “Wheel” “Vultures” and “Quiet” from my life), I’m going to do some posting today. As always, please comment and share. We love when you all do that. It let’s us know that you are still out there and that we are all in this together.

Monday, January 17, 2011

If you don't like this you don't like music - Tia

I think the title says it all. 

Boombox Series // Jessie J from on Vimeo.

Monday, January 10, 2011

My current joint - Tia

Happy New Year BGLUers. I'm currently fighting the winter blues like a champ. I don't trust anyone who likes winter...I really don't. How can you like a season that causes the sun to go down at 2:47, causes dumb animals to be dumber (I'm looking at you deer that ran into my car and caused $2100 worth of damages) and generates weather that holds you captive in your own home? (I'm currently trapped in my house due to a winter storm that pushed through last night and dumped snow and ice on my "incapable of handling it" town.) If you're one of those folks who prefers winter over other seasons you are on my list of people who I will never fully trust along with....nevermind...I'm only here to entertain and enlighten, not to offend. And I'm sure if I list the categories of people I'll never fully trust I'll just piss someone off. Let's keep it civil in 2011.

Anyway, I'm currently battling the blahs along with some real family issues sprinkled with some 2011 soul searching, so I'm not really feeling all that inspired to write. One would think since I decided to learn more about myself this year I would have more to share...not so much. But as I get to know me better I'm sure there will be some deep, soul-wrenching, "this is probably too personal to share but I'm sharing it anyway" posts. Until them, musical frivolity.

Drake's "Fall For Your Type" is my current favorite song. Notice I said Drake not Jamie Foxx. Don't get me wrong, I like Jamie's take on the song. And for some reason the girl in his video is so funny to me. I know she's only acting but she is so good at being pissed and crazy. It delights me. Moving on...I first heard the song on a Drake mixtape my brother had. I loved it and hoped it would be on his album that was released last year. (I will not go into the slight disappoint that Drake's full studio album was to me. I liked it but he could have done SO much more with it.) So imagine my surprise several months later to hear Jaime not Drake singing it. But hey, I can't fault Drizzy for making that money. Besides, everyone knows songwriters and producers, not the artist, make all of the money. And I'm hoping that this latest foray into songwriting is a sign that Drake is not letting Weezy F. Baby (F is for FAIL) ruin his career but rather he's taking the reins and making the smart moves on his own.

I'll let you decide on your own which you prefer. Like I said, I'm a Drake fan so I'm sure I'm a little biased. But in my humble opinion, Drake simply does the song better. 

There is some mild language, so if you're at work, put on your headphones.