Lyrically Speaking: I Know Places…

“I know places…”*

My dear friend Inbal Sansani recently posted about an interaction she had with a young woman who suggested she “travel places”.

Reading those two words immediately made me think of Taylor Swift’s “I Know Places”, which has been a running theme song for me for quite some time.

This song always gets me emotional; sometimes, I even cry. Why? I have no freakin’ idea.

Well, I had no freakin’ idea.

Reading Inbal’s post made me reflect on this song and the deeper meaning it had for me.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

“Baby… I know places we won’t be found…
And they’ll be… chasing their tails trying to track us down…”

How many times in life have I needed peace? Have I felt like everyone wanted something from me and I had nothing left to give? How many times have I neglected self-care to cater to the needs of others?

As much as I would like to point the finger and yell, “Bad, human! Bad, selfish human!” at all those who should recognize my exhaustion, ultimately, I am responsible for setting boundaries. I am responsible for myself(care).

It is up to me to make that time for myself. To turn off the phone and go alone (or take a friend) without feeling guilty. To let others figure shit out on their own or wait. To rejuvenate and release and come back anew.

“‘Cause I know places we can hide…”

I do! I know the importance of self-care. I know how to relax in a nice shower. How to enjoy a cup of ginger tea. How to paint my nails a pretty color. How to blast music in a traffic jam. How to reach out to a friend for support (or to laugh at stupid things that only we get). I know where to seek refuge. Where to turn when I need solitude.

And, let’s not forget:

“Loose lips sink ships all the damn time…”

How many times, sweet, naive child, have I shared things with people who shouldn’t be trusted? How many times have I relied on “hope” instead of “reality” and been disappointed?

Not everyone deserves every piece of me. Not everyone deserves my time or my priority. Not everyone deserves to share my peace and my bliss. And not everyone needs to know intimate details about my life.

Yes, connecting with others is a beautiful, magical thing. But, in the wrong hands, those intimate details can be sharp as a blade. I refuse to be cut with my own heart.

“Not this time…”

So, this… This is why this song gets me so worked up. It really has become an anthem for me and I never understood why.

It is a song of strength. Of perseverance. Of courage. Of self-care.

Or, maybe it’s a song about person who doesn’t want everyone all up in their business.

That works, too.

________
|*All lyrics from Taylor Swift’s “I Know Places”

A Message To My Community…

​Last summer, one of my friends got into an altercation. To keep him from fighting, I physically held him back. Yes, all 125 pounds of me. Why? All I could think was that if cops were called, he might not make it home to his mother.

There has been some talk about us doing more than being social media activists and actually stepping out into the streets. And we’ve also been talking about the small steps we take that make huge impacts.

No one knows what triggers us, so no one can tell us how to grieve or take action. Some of us will write. Some of us will march. Some of us will protest. Some of us will speak. We will do what we know the best way we know how.

No one knows all the work we are doing. In our homes, our communities, our jobs, our relationships, or internally. To keep people informed. To keep people safe. To keep people alive.

This is part of the reason why I preach self-care.

We never know when we will be called to deescalate a situation. Or help someone. Or facilitate counseling. Or offer kindness. And we must be ready. We must.

So #selfcareselfcareselfcare.

However you must grieve… However you must heal… However you must open up your heart to a greater kindness… However you are capable of making an impact… Do that shit. Do that shit right now, so when you are called, you are ready.

We must stick together as a community.

Our survival depends on it.

Because I’m Tired Of Crying Every Week…

​Be kind to yourselves today.

Be kind to others today.


I mean… EVERY day.
Today especially.
They want us to be afraid.

They want us to stop growing.

They want us to stop having children.

They want us to be silent.
Don’t you dare.
Don’t you dare hold your voice hostage.

Don’t you dare stop writing.

Don’t you dare confine yourself to a corner.

Don’t you dare wilt and refuse to bloom again.
Grieve. It is necessary.
Then, keep moving.

Keep fighting.

Keep fighting.
Keep making them uncomfortable with your brilliance.

Your power.

Your swag.

Your smile.

Your hustle.

Your skin.

Your hair.
You.
You are so beautiful.

So amazing.

So much light they wish to extinguish.
Continue to shine.

Burn.

Burn everything foolish enough to play with you.