Monthly Archives: September 2011

25 for 25…

Just under 24 hours from now, the clock will strike midnight, and it will be October 1, 2011. Which means, I’ll be 25! It honestly feels like I just turned 21, but…that’s neither here nor there, now is it? Needless to say, I’m more excited about this birthday than I have been for any other birthday in recent memory. Could that be because I have friends coming from California, Chicago, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Hampton, North Carolina, Ohio, and from around the Washington, DC metropolitan area to help me celebrate? Possibly. Could it be because I can finally rent a car without paying that stupid underage fee? Maybe. I think a lot more of it has to do with the fact that I actually feel a shift happening as I approach this birthday. It’s been an interesting journey through the first half of my 20s, and I’m actually eager to see what the last half brings. I’ve learned a hell of a lot about myself, about people, and about life over the last 5 years. What better way to look forward to the next 5 years than to share 25 things I’ve learned before I hit 25…these are in no particular order, but they’re all important to me, so bear with me. Maybe you’ll see something you can relate to in this list…

25. Good food and good music always go hand in hand with each other.

24. Having shoulders to cry on is just as important as having shoulders to stand on.

23. Emotions are powerful tools when controlled and expressed constructively.

22. True beauty radiates from within.

21. Not everyone deserves more than one chance to get it right with you.

20. Heartbreak is but a stepping stone in the journey to happiness – better to experience it now than to deal with it forever.

19. Having good counsel around you proves to be more important the older that you get.

18. The music you listen to is indicative of the way you view life.

17. Laughter is one of the best experiences one can partake in.

16. A cute, short black dress really does make you feel sexy.

15. Perspective is limited by one’s life experiences, morals, and intentions.

14. The company of strong women is more edifying than is given credit for in the mainstream.

13. Your network really is your net worth.

12. Talking about ideas doesn’t really do much – the implementation of ideas is where the true success lies.

11. Dreams really do come true.

10. No matter how small the biological family is, it should never be taken for granted.

9. Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health are all connected, and should all be taken care of with the same diligence and urgency.

8. The smallest moments with people you love will turn out to be the moments you remember the clearest.

7. Refusing to let your circumstances consume you may be the key to keeping a smile on your face.

6. Taking the time to let the people that you love know that you love them may benefit you more than it does them.

5. When people choose to walk out of your life, the best thing to do may be to actually let them walk. Fighting will only prolong the inevitable.

4. Aim to never be the smartest person in your circle.

3. Taking risks may blow up in your face, but it’s better to know than to walk around with the cloud of “what if” over your head.

2. Even when it doesn’t seem like it, your mother really does always have your best interest at heart and truly loves you more than she may know how to express.

1. God really does have it all under control.

I thank God that He is allowing me to get to 25…I hope that the end of my 20s proves to be as interesting, as fun-filled, as pleasantly dramatic, and as educational as the first half of my 20s have been. There were times where I literally thought that some situations would be the end of me, but it has turned out that they have only made me better. To those of you here to celebrate this with me, I appreciate you and love you from the bottom of my heart. Without you, there literally would be no me. You each mean something so special to me, and I’m extremely lucky and grateful to have you in my life.

I’ve come a long way from when I turned 20, and I hope that when I turn 30, I can look back at 25 and say the same.

 

Until next time, folks…

 

Feature Fridays – Round and Round Again

Hey ya’ll. It’s been a hectic last couple of weeks for me…between my responsibilities at work ramping up, school starting and it quite possibly being the hardest class of my graduate career, having a lot of extraneous responsibilities pop up seemingly out of nowhere, and being a harsh critic of myself, it’s been a LONG fourteen days. Apparently I have ESP or something, and subconsciously knew that especially this last past seven days was going to be trying, because last weekend I took a seemingly impromptu trip to Charlotte to see The Foreign Exchange in concert. In reality, it wasn’t impromptu at all, I just didn’t feel like broadcasting it all over the internet for people to know where I was going. Needed some time off the grid, if you will.

I have this thing after live shows where I listen to all of the music I have by a particular artist. With FE, it’s no different, because I can’t really remember a day in the last 2 years where I haven’t listened to something by them or someone on their label. It dawned on me yesterday, however, that I have absolutely no music on my iPod by Jeanne Jolly. NONE! Ok, that’s not totally true, because she is featured on Zo’s “Just Visiting Three” and on FE’s latest release “Dear Friends: An Evening With The Foreign Exchange,” but it’s not the same! So, after seeing her live for now the third time, I knew I had to do something about that…

While I was at work yesterday, I decided to do a YouTube search for Jeanne Jolly to see what I could find. And let me just say that I felt like I struck gold when I came across this video:

Jeanne Jolly – Round and Round Again

Now…I’ve never been a country music fan, but damn if she’s not going to force me to be one. First of all, she can SANG. Not just sing, but SANG. My God. Do ya’ll hear her voice? I imagine this is what angels in Heaven sound like, for real. I felt like I should have been sitting on the porch of somebody’s grandmother’s house with a glass of lemonade watching the rain fall on the front yard. Seriously. Her voice is so powerful that I felt every single note of every single word that she sang. I have a special affinity for acoustic music, so this was right up my alley, and I have seriously listened to this at least 20 times since I first came across it yesterday. If you go listen to her features on the projects I’ve linked above, you can hear the distinct versatility in her voice, and the sheer talent that she possesses. I’m kicking myself right now for not discovering her sooner.

Since today was payday for me, I went on over to iTunes and got her latest EP, “Falling in Carolina,” which I am sure is going to knock my socks and shoes off when I take it for a spin during my lunchtime walk. She seriously has a talent, so please do yourself a favor and support good music. I know for certain that I will.

Until next time, folks…

Take It From Here…

I got inspired to sit and to write as I was sitting on my bed listening to Justin Timberlake’s “Take It From Here” off of his Justified album. I’ve loved this song since I was in high school, but I’ve been inclined to revisit it a lot as of late. I’m at a juncture in my life where a lot of important things are about to hit the ground running for me, and it can get to be a little overwhelming. 25 is very rapidly approaching, and it seems that it will be the year that I have the most growth — professionally, creatively, interpersonally, and any other aspect you can think of, I’ll probably be progressing as I enter into my mid-20′s. Here recently, I’ve been privileged enough to have a vast array of conversations with various people in my life. In these conversations, it’s been revealed that people think I’m a great person who deserves all of the love in the world, and who is full of talent and promise. Yes, I realize that that last sentence made it sound like I am tooting my own horn, but it is in fact not meant like that at all. I truly struggle with the idea that I’m great and capable of all of this progress that I see happening right before my eyes. It’s a constant battle to remind myself that I am a great person and that I am capable of great things, and it’s even more difficult when I don’t really hear it the way that I crave to hear it…

So where does the song come in?

Glad you asked! If you take the time to listen to the song, it’s basically Justin telling his woman that he’ll be there to pick up where she leaves off. He’s telling her that he’ll be her strength when she can’t do it anymore. That he’ll be the positive to her negative, the yin to her yang, “When all the love feels gone/and you can’t carry on/don’t worry girl/I’mma take it from here/Just as sure as the sun will shine/every morning every time/don’t worry girl/I’mma take it from here.” Powerful stuff, right? He’s basically telling her to lighten her load, take a breather, and just to lean on him, and he’s got it from there. There are some days I wake up tired, and don’t want to get out of the bed to do anything. I don’t want to write, I don’t want to use other creative ways to express myself, I don’t want to talk to people, and I definitely don’t want to go to work for 9 hours. It would mean something so special to me to get to have the kind of support that he’s talking about in this song. That unconditional, unwavering, and consistent support from a man who cares about and loves me.

Ah, one day.

 

Until next time, folks…