Conquering Valentine’s Day

That day is hovering around like a dog hovers around the dinner table for scraps. That day filled with hearts and Hallmark commercials. That day filled with flowers and fancy restaurants dates. That day is Valentine’s Day.  Usually, I hate that day.  I’ve been annoyed when folks blew up Facebook with their lovey-dovey statuses.  I’ve allowed self-pity to overpower me.

This year, I have decided not to be annoyed, nauseated, or even envious. At least, it is my hope to not allow my emotions to become ugly. It is not worth it to feel all of these extra emotions over one day. One day should not make me feel insignificant. Being single or afrotastically single as I call is not a curse. it’s a beautiful, wondrous thing! So, I can hold onto this beautiful thing on Valentine’s Day.

A friend of mine introduced me to the song “Dear No One” by Tori Kelly.  As you have probably observed, I love music! I really love praise and worship as it comforts me. “Dear No One” is not a worship song, but it is an anthem for the single gals. I relate to the song, because it talks about some of my quirks and celebrates them. Through her lyrics, Tori Kelly tells us that it is okay to be single and to wait for whomever God has for you!

I know that everyone does not hold this belief, but I believe in the concept of “The One” or soul mates. I also believe that if it is God’s will for me to be married, I will marry that person who tolerates both my sweet and ugly sides. I say “if” because lately, I have thinking about what would happen if I didn’t get married. One of my relatives actually brought up this point to me. He said to me “What if marriage is not God’s will?” At first, I was alarmed and thought “Of course, I will get married.” Then, I pondered his point and thought, “What would happen if marriage does not happen?’ “Would I walk around with tears on my face?” Would I be perpetually unhappy?” I think my answer would be ” I would be okay.”

Now, don’t get me wrong! It would be nice to get married and have kids one day. But I also do not want that desire to become an idol. I feel that God has good intentions for me, and if marriage does not happen, it does not happen. The world will not explode.

Honestly, I have found contentment in being able to concentrate on myself and my dreams. I can focus on grad school and becoming the social worker that I want to be. After I finish school, I would like to work with communities of color.  I am saddened when I hear about the present inequalities that these communities face. Maybe with such interests, I will end up down South or in DC. Who knows…but I can’t end up in such places if someone is holding me back. Although, I know the “right” person will not hold me back.

With Valentine’s Day coming up, I plan to not mourn or complain. One day does not have to crush me, because I have love. I have love from Jesus, my family, and friends. I can claim them all as my Valentines.

BTW, check out Tori Kelly’s song “Dear No One” below:

Poetry and Self

It’s been too long. I haven’t written an entry in a month. I am shaking my head, and you may be shaking your head too. Hopefully, I will do better. Maybe, y’all can keep me accountable. 🙂

First, I must say Happy Black History Month everyone! I celebrate black history and culture daily, but I enjoy spreading awareness about the accomplishments of blacks folks during this month. I believe that black history is everyone’s history. So, please stay tuned for any knowledge that I might drop on this blog.

Second, it’s been awhile since I have written an entry because January was a busy month. I went to a poetry slam, watched Selma in the theaters (plug: go see Selma! It’s so good!), celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King day, took a Statistics class during winter session, and then started my Spring semester classes. Additionally, I still did my duties at church and made time for friends and family. Anyways, I want to talk to you about the poetry slam!

On the first Sunday of January, I went to 7 Hills Slam, a poetry slam that happens once in month in my hometown, Worcester. I attended the slam with one of my close friends. She is also my sister in Christ and a wonderful cheerleader!  I am grateful to God that He allowed us to meet and become friends! I appreciate that we encourage each other to pursue our passions. She encourages me to write and to share my pieces with others. While, I encourage her to minister through song. She is an anointed singer who is passionate about folks being touched by God through song.

I was glad that she was at the slam with me. Now, I didn’t recite any poetry during the actual slam portion of the event. While I enjoy watching folks slam, I don’t think I would ever do one. I think it takes a lot of energy to share a poem with friends and strangers, but I feel it adds more pressure to have it judged. So, I read one of my poems for the open mic portion. I hadn’t read a poem for an open mic in a while, and I was not sure how I was going to do. Was I going to stutter or choke up? Would the crowd even feel the poem or understand the emotions I put into it? I am being dramatic, but writing and sharing a poem is an emotional experience for me.

I was a little nervous before I went up, because I had to do some singing. I am not a singer, but I like music and singing. Lately, I have been experimenting with my poetry through blending songs with it. With this particular poem, I had created a little chorus and plugged it into the piece. Yes, I was scared my voice might crack or I may sound off key. No one wants to hear an off key singer. It’s like watching the auditions of American Idol.

Once, I began to sing and then to read a few lines, I felt okay. Actually, I felt brave. I know that I feel this bravery every time I read one of my poems somewhere. My friend likened it to me being in my element, and I agree with her.  In real life, I don’t always feel so brave. I think part of it has to do with how others perceive me. I get the “You’re so quiet” statement a lot. As much as I love folks, it can get annoying when you feel like you have to explain your personality. i don’t think extroverts have to explain themselves so much.  And what folks don’t understand about introverts is that we are thinkers. I think and process a lot of stuff. Then, I finally write all of my thoughts down. It can get overwhelming to have so many thoughts in your head and have nowhere to place them.

I believe this is why I enjoy creative writing and hearing others share their pieces.  When I am in front of an audience, I don’t hear all of the silly statements about my quietness. I am comfortable and standing in my own place. I am surrounded by folks who understand the art of writing. It’s a good feeling.

And I have been trying to compare the feeling to something. It’s that feeling I feel when I share a poem that God gave me the energy and heart to write. It’s that feeling I have when I leave the stage and sit back in my chair. Then, I think, “Wow, I just read one of my poems.”  And I know it is not cockiness because I don’t think that I am the best writer out there. It surprises me when folks say that they liked a piece of work that I deemed as junk.

Perhaps,  the feeling I have is joy. When my friend sings, I see joy in her face, because she is doing something that she loves. I see this joy when I see folks moving in their gifts. So, I have decided to attend a few more poetry slams. I am super busy, but I have to make time for things that I like to do.

-Blessings y’all