I Wrote This Because I Moved

I don’t think I realized how big of a step me moving out of the home I grew up in was… I see it as a move forward in life and an upgrade in my possibilities but the little things are what I think I may have overlooked. I do miss home, but that’s not what prompted me to write this.

I moved out of, not only the house I grew up in, but also the state I grew up in and went to school in. It’s the city I grew up and learned to love on drunken Sundays at 7AM, and hate on Friday nights. The fucking BLOCK I met my best friends. The people I fought and the people I loved and played basketball with. That’s A LOT OF SHIT TO MOVE AWAY FROM! That’s a lot, man.

I didn’t realize it. I didn’t foresee it. I was too busy looking forward.

And don’t get me wrong, that’s a great place to look when you want to make moves in life, but you can’t forget where you came from and what made you. I love everything that made me in New York. I love the shit that I hated in New York. I love who I am today because of where I grew up. I love who I am today because of who I grew up with. I love who I am because of who raised me, and the city that raised me.

But it’s hard to think back about it, at this particular moment in time. So I’m sorry if I’ve moved and seem to have abandoned you, but I think deep down I knew that’s what would make me want to stay, that constant connection with all of you. I needed to go cold turkey, in a way.

The part that hit me like a ton of bricks was when I gave my Mom and Mema that last hug and kiss… that wasn’t too hard. But it was that walk from my back door to my packed and running car that was hard. That last goddamn walk was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done in my life because I knew it was going to be , for a good while, the last time I’d walk that block, and see that white fence and that stop sign that me, Thomas and Lay used to throw rocks at as kids. And that goddamn 99th ave.

That was gonna be the last of what I had called home for twenty-seven years.

But I’m here now, in New Orleans, crying and writing this in kitchen of the place I can currently call home. I know I haven’t written anything publicly in a really long while but I needed to write this. I needed to speak to everyone. I’m doing really well. I have a way to make money. I have a place to sleep. I have nice neighbors. I have my Mustang. I have the woman I love with everything I have and don’t have. And I have my sanity.

I’m ok. I’m doing hella good. Never great, cuz God is great. I had to throw a Lupe line so you know I’m good.

Peace. And much love to you.


Writing in a journal by hand and writing how I am writing this post are two viscerally different things.

When it comes to writing for myself with a pen, my thoughts don’t have to be long or drawn out, they just have to be put down. That makes it just that bit easier as a writer. It’s not terribly creative. I’m not crafting posts for the public, so I don’t have any metaphors to unpack, nor any analogous bridges to gap for my readers.

I do love doing that, don’t get me wrong, but I have to secure my mask first before to I tend to yours, my dear children.

The downside that I’ve noticed, however, is that my brain becomes a bit sluggish in accessing those warm and fuzzy words that construct and decorate those metaphoric bridges I build. There’s a bit of a disconnect that develops. Even in verbal communication I’m slower than I remember at grasping for words to use. But now that I know the root of the problem, I’m utilizing the solution, just by writing this. Tapping that bit of rust off the joints. Bear with me. Help me out, even.

Forgive. Release.

I wrote this a long time ago, but I felt it was time to publicly share it. For those who may feel that their feelings towards a parent may not be legitimate. I promise you they are. Feelings are not trivial things. They are real and important. But it is also important to recognize and let go of things that are preventing you from growing as a person and a human capable of giving and receiving love. This is me, forgiving and releasing.

Dear E. M. aka my Father,

Today is Father’s Day and I’ve been thinking a lot of things about the person you are and what I may have wanted you to be. There’s a blur as to what that definition is, “father”. Or rather what your definition of it is. I’m honestly not sure.

But whatever it is, I just wanted to tell you that I forgive you. I forgive you for all the times you’ve promised that young bright-skinned, big headed kid you called your son that you’d do something, but never did it. I forgive you for the times you’d pick me up and we drive around all day with you showboating me to people I didn’t know or cared about as your son who scored in the 90-whatever percentile in some state test when I just wanted to spend some time with you that day. I forgive you for all the nights I just wanted to go home but couldn’t because you forgot to pick me up or stayed out longer than you expected. I forgive for you all the times you made a promise to my mother, but never came through with it, I forgive you. I forgive you.

I forgive you for how you treat(ed) my sister. I forgive you for not letting her be the woman she is and wanted to be. I forgive you for not letting her live her life. I forgive you for just not really knowing how to be a parent. I forgive you. I don’t know much, but I know being a parent is more about love and acceptance than anything. Loving your children for all that they are, and not trying to control them or conform them to the way that you “know” how to live. It’s just about letting them be people. Of course as children, you want them to be safe and healthy, but there comes a point where you’ve gotta just… let them be and live how they’ve developed how to live. And respect their values, even if they didn’t get those values from you.

I heard the way you judged my decision to leave my job today. I know that tone. But I knew that’s how you’d react. I’m not stupid. Fortunately for me, and probably you too, I’ve learned to not need approval for things that I do. Especially from you. But I harbor no ill feeling towards you, well I don’t now that I’m writing this, but I just want to release any that I have. I know you always intended to be a good man. It was expressed in some weird ways to me, but I know you just wanted to be a good father. Some people try harder than others, and some people are more successful with less effort. I don’t know really. I do know that I never wanted to be like you. I want to be worlds better.

But you should know that I forgive you. I love you, and I do forgive you. I forgive you. I forgive you, dad. I forgive you. I release and forgive you.

I forgive you,

Day 4 – Witty Wasalu – #JuneWritingChallenge #BlackMusicMonth

Lupe Fiasco is that one internet troll who’s smarter than you, and it just so happens he can rap better than you.

He’s literally my favorite rapper, and it seems weird that I’m not stanning with caps lock on and exclamation marks, (not that I’ve EVER done that, like ever) but this really isn’t the time for that. His skills aren’t up for debate anyway, so keep your fucking mouth shut. 

Lupe deserves to be mentioned this month because he’s an interesting guy on top of being a sharp-tongued, top-notch rapper. He holds a few actual black belts, he’s a Ferrari collector, he’s called the president a terrorist at least twice, he’s always been for the betterment of people, and his freestyles are off the top. I don’t need much more than that in a world-class rapper, but for you achievement-hounds, he’s recently been inducted into the Aspen Institute’s Henry Crown Fellowship. Bong bong.

His music ranges from dealing with suicide, death of loved ones, societal constructs, and most recently cancer, and the wordplay (“is work, but pimping is easy”) is out of this world. He’s definitely one artist to check out this month, and I suggest you start from his Fahrenheit 1/15 mixtapes. Go ahead and get to deciphering those lyrics and see how clever he really is.

Just don’t tweet him.

Witty Wasalu.

Day 3 – Jubilant Janelle – #JuneWritingChallenge #BlackMusicMonth

The booty don’t lie, y’all. The booty does not lie.

That’s what was exclaimed on a song my beloved Janelle Monae made with the Bae-In-Chief Erykah Badu. The song is inherently amazing.

But what’s even more fire is how much Janelle has evolved from her early days, back when she was toying with being more neo-soul than Archandroid. For those who do not know, Janelle comes from humble beginnings in Kansas but started the career we recognize today down in Atlanta.

My favorite part about Ms. Monae is the deliberate and unwavering attitude she’s had in growing from her first label-backed album to the current one. From her debut, this Electric Lady has been accused of not being girly enough and being too straight-laced and androgynous to being a James Brown copycat and lacking style, mostly because of her tuxedo-influenced getups and capes she wore during her energetic performances.

But she slyly held steady to the values and visions she saw for herself and has come out on the other side as a beautiful, high-energy, free-spirited artist with enough pull to get both Erykah and Prince on the same album. How dope is that? She also recently tore Governor’s Ball to pieces and looked immaculate doing it. Her energy and passion when she is onstage is really a sight to behold, and impossible to mimic.

Also, I love her.

Jubilant Janelle.