I Did It, But Did I?

This has been the most contrasted few weeks of my goddamned life.

To hit a pinnacle moment career wise, but to also have to finally face my personal insecurities has been some complex shit. I’ve been wondering why I believe I’ll win an Oscar one day – and yet even with that kind of optimism I’ve never really believed I’ll ever achieve true love in my life.

I believe I’ll win an Oscar more than finding love.

And I’ve been entertaining men who fit that narrative. Men who I know have an increased chance of disappointing me. Emotionally unavailable men in their variations. Not because I like challenges and want to break them into liking me. I know these are people I don’t really want, I use them to pass time before the inevitable blowup. But why? I’m finally asking myself these questions.

I’m not someone that’s ever been okay blaming the world. I need to fix what I can control which is myself. Like Beyoncé I do want it all – the career, the credit, the life – but I do want love and a family too. After stepping foot into my dream job yesterday I thought, “What if I CAN have it all?”

What if I put my all into love as much as my career too? 😱 Romantic love yes, but all the loves too. Self love primarily. Although I deadass enjoy being Natsai something ain’t right. I be fuckin UP. Why? Because I feel like I don’t actually deserve to be loved and it is the wildest thing.

I know this flaw is the fuel for why I do what I do – ‘I’m worthy of y’alls love now because I’m a (enter title here) or I know (celeb name here) or I’ve been to (city name here).’ I turn my tragedies into vengeance – great for work! But personally? Not so much.

I’m at this point now where I’m done proving myself to people who lowkey don’t care. External validation fucked me. Professionally that worked in my favor. But when I just showed up with the mentality of I know wtf I’m talking about versus maybe this guy is right, I learned to be on my side. Why can’t I do this in my personal life though?

The funny thing is I thought I was. But when I was faced with what I’ve known I’ve wanted in my heart I sabotaged it. I had a choice but actively went against my own interests and suffered those consequences. It’s time for me to be self aware of this behavior and put a stop to it.

I have to know in my heart that I do deserve all the good things and to continue to be good to everyone around me. I have to listen to my heart even – no especially – when I’m terrified of what it’s telling me.

Because my happiness is on the other side of that fear.

On Finding the Link Back to Love

For a while now, I’ve been meditating on this question, “At which point/moment in my life did I feel the most safety? At which moment did I feel the most loved?”

The memory came back to me last night. For me, it was when I was a child laying on my mother’s chest. Hearing her heartbeat and her lungs inflate. Retiming my breaths so it could match hers. Feeling her laughter form from within while she was on the phone. Knowing that I’ll never feel rejection under her arm and bosom. A lot of resentment between then and now clouded my memories of love but since resolving those issues my child self has been returning. The love that only my spirit knows is becoming more comprehensible and it feels good.

I opened my eyes and said, “That – that is how I want to feel again. That’s what’s been missing.”

Just to close my eyes and know that I’m safe with someone. The world melts away, and it’s just me laying on your universe. But really, I’ve been doing this work not merely to attract love for myself but to pass on that legacy of being a state of peace for my own loved ones. It just feels like I’m accepting my mission more by the day and I’m really thankful.

Rest In Peace, Stan Lee

This quote resonates with me because I’m filled with characters not yet realized. Sometimes I think the exact same thing, especially growing up with so many ppl in medicine whose children chose that or law or engineering.

For so long I thought I was useless because I excelled in nothing mathematic nor scientific. The only thing I did well was wonder. I wondered why people behaved the way they did. How did we end up here? What do other universes and stars and quasars look like?

I imagined alternate realities and wondered what if. There is nothing in our curriculum that overtly tells us that this way of thinking, of being, can sustain you – until I read the worlds Stan Lee created and the worlds of so many more writers. All of the fictional, and once considered benign, universes that shaped our culture for generations. The people who can’t give up on their visions, change the world.

Life depends on science but the arts make it worth living

– #RIPStanLee

The Day after a Life of Depression

I was on twitter this morning and it brought to my attention that today is #WorldMentalHealthDay. I read this tweet from Hadi Kondabolu and it resonated with me.

It felt like this past Sunday, I exited a months-long (lowkey lifelong) relentless depression. Yes I had good days in between and moments of achievement in my career and my physical appearance is improving, but in general I’ve been fighting for my life for months.

They say happiness is a choice and as a person who battles with depression that saying cme off to me as shallow. Like okay Susan good job, you just ended this public health crises with that congratulations. Why didn’t I think of that 🙄

It’s only shallow if you lead with that, but in all honesty I came to the realization of how true that just might be. I had to decide that I deserved to actually experience happiness in my lifetime. In my bones, from within. I’m not talking external gratification. I mean, being the source of my own happiness and love.

I remember I came to this decision in August when my personal life began to fall in shambles. I could either self-destruct and throw in the towel, blame the world for betraying me, and allow my misery to turn me hollow. The suicidal thoughts returned in full force because I truly felt hopeless.

In that moment, I couldn’t see my future or what I was even achieving in my present as I was producing a major show. My brain had convinced me that I was a fraud and that my opportunities would soon run out.

Now I’m no holy-roller, but a girl had to go to church. I needed to hear somebody’s praying grandmomma wailing gospel. After a lifelong battle with this shit, my soul was finally weary. I was tired of being so hard on myself, weary of internally being so vicious to myself.

Miraculously, my friend reached out me because she had a feeling that something was wrong – and I have to say that checking up on your friends is the key to saving a life. I had isolated myself again and it just felt like God had sent me a resource. I was in a puddle on my floor when she called.

I guess I come off as this strong, quirky, funny girl. I don’t like to disarm myself around people, even my closest friends, and realized that too was one of my causes of depression. I rarely let my guard down. As much I create a persona that makes it seem as if I’m an open book, in truth I’m guarded.

I feel like if people knew the real me and the intensity that comes with that, then I’d be unlovable and rejected. It’s better to isolate myself by choice to avoid that altogether. It was a defense mechanism I’ve utilized since adolescence. The more I grew, the more I stayed the same. My spirit had had enough.

My friend introduced me to her friend that told me about free yoga in the park in my neighborhood and that same weekend I attended my first class. It felt like weights were being lifted from my joints to my soul. I didn’t realize how much I don’t BREATHE. I didn’t realize how much I don’t turn off my brain and live in the moment.

I remember that first class looking up into the sky feeling the sun on my face, seeing the clouds and palm trees, hearing the ducks and cranes squak in the distance and realizing “I really moved to California, I live here. I’m living my dream.” Despite going flat broke, despite losing weight, despite being disappointed by heroes, I was living my dream. I’ve been waiting to face these obstacles all of my life because it comes with the territory.

And even upon realizing this – which gave me good days – I still fell back into bouts of sadness because at the end of the day I’m not satisfied until I get what I want. But what is that? I recently had to ask myself.

Because a year ago I wanted this. To live in Los Angeles and establish myself as a producer. Hell a year ago, my dream was to have my own bed. Living in my mother’s home for two years in New York, it was my dream to have my own space. Now I have my own studio, but I forgot how much I wanted this!

My goal now, is to just live for every day. My confidence is only growing because I acknowledge now that I have to choose happiness. I deserve it, I’ve worked pretty hard towards my career and self- development. But it’s about being present. I have to be self-aware of my actions and environment. I’ve had a series of epiphanies that have taught me different things I need to learn about my ways.

I’ve come to terms that I might have this for the rest of my life, but this past Sunday as I looked out my window and played Michael Jackson’s Forever Michael album that saved my adolescent life time and time again, I realized I had come so far from the hot-tempered, angsty, uncertain girl, teen, and young adult that I was.

I feel myself growing more comfortably into my skin, learning patience, staying in touch with friends, and accepting that writing is what will save my life. Acknowledging all of my good, bad, and ugly will save my life.

I told God, the universe, whoever was listening in August that I just want to be free. I just want to create art that will make me feel better. I just want to be surrounded by love and be a source of that. And since that declaration, I’ve paid attention to the new opportunities and people that have appeared in my life.

The source of my depression was that I put too much pressure on myself. If ever I was in a personal crisis, I’d disappear only wanting people to witness me when I’m poppin. It fostered inconsistency and procrastination and that snowballed into a whole nother realm of guilt and the cycle continued.

There’s no cure to this. But at the end of the day, it’s a good life and I’m keeping it. Stay in touch with your people, know when they’re bullshitting. Acknowledge your pain. For me, my pain has been a transition into becoming my best self.

I am truly happy to be me, and for as long as I’ve been sad I can finally appreciate this new era of bad bitchery I’m entering. There may be bad days, but that’s how I know the good ones will be especially lit. On this Mental Health Day, I’m just glad I didn’t give up.

– Carefree Maroon

The Aftermath of Kavanaugh

I, and so many, are currently walking with so much internalized rage due to the direction this country has taken because of the fact that we had a progressive black president. We live and function with so much rage.

I was borne into a world that told me we were Martin Luther King’s dream come true. That finally, after centuries of systemic torture, we lived in a post racial society. I was raised to believe that if you dream you can achieve. I believed in conviction. But this world today mocks my naïveté.

It’s hard living in a world that goes out of its way to negate my existence. It’s a silly world focused on trivial manners. It was all so simple once. Our ancestors were carefree. We don’t know what freedom is.

I have my own goals and dreams that’s hard enough to pull of in a stable society. I want to achieve my purpose and stay focused. But I wonder about the rebels of revolutions past…

They didn’t enter this world with overturning ruling classes as their goal. Their dream lives too were derailed due to conflicts out of their control. Eventually, they were forced to take action in the face of impossible odds.

People don’t fold to oppression, it’s against human nature. The moment comes when tides turn and empires are challenged. Tea ends up in harbors. Slave ships get taken over by its captives. Medieval fortresses get ran up on.

I do believe we are descending upon the horizon of a historic revolution. You can’t double down on centuries of injustice, greed, and unbridled hatred and think things will keep carrying on as is. I look forward to our grandchildren however, because it won’t be us.

We internalized the propaganda that this place is the greatest country on earth and can’t undo it. We think this system is efficient although historically it’s neglected and taken advantage of millions of lives and we don’t want to come to grips with that. We want our dreams and can’t unsee it or abandon it.

I’m no revolutionary. But I can’t deny that it’s coming because hope never folds. Not under any circumstances.

“When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right.” – Victor Hugo

(Still vote though!)

– Carefree Maroon