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”

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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.

Dress the Part?

I’m reading Nice Girls Don’t Get The Corner Office by Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D. and it’s filled with useful tips and things to think about as it pertains to being a woman in a man-dominated industry (and world). I just got to Chapter 7 “How You Look” and I was struck by this sentence:

“Research shows that about 55 percent of your credibility comes from how you look.”

By the end of the page, I picked up my pen and immediately began to write the following.

Travis Barker says, “I will never not be myself just to gain something, and I will break every stereotype.” He does dress the part: he dresses like a self-confident rocker. So, who am I? What part should I dress?

I would say my style is gender fluid. I mix and match “masculine” and “feminine” styles together. Floral leggings with a Wolverine t-shirt. Boots with a sexy dress instead of heels.

I’m a creative.
An artist.
I dress as such.

I suppose, if I wanted to conquer Wall Street or sell real estate or teach I would dress accordingly. Then again, I’ve been in corporate settings and still let my inner artist shine through my hair and accessories.

I’m glad I connect to my innet artist and present myself as such. I suppose you never have to guess if I’m a creative.

Basically “Straight”?

Today, I was asked if I’m “basically straight”, and I thought that wording choice was so interesting. I’m in a heterosexual relationship and have been in heterosexual relationships for much of my life. I’ve never really identified as “straight”, though. “Straight” never felt right. (I dislike that word, by the way. What are opposites of “straight”? Curved? Diagonal? Curved actually sounds pretty cool, but I digress…) Continue reading “Basically “Straight”?”

Switchblade

my sister is a switchblade
is a pretty, glistening thing
will seperate you from yourself
if you hold her like a freshman

my sister is a rattle shake warning
is a peacock plume
is hyena laugh
is cute as a bunny
with teeth like a lion

my sister is a carpenter
built an ark in seven days
and sailed away all by herself

my sister nomadic
no use trying to get close
she don’t stay nowhere too long

my sister got shit to do
got people to see
got children to feed
and she stay hungry
so work stay coming

my sister work
my sister work hard
my sister ain’t got time to talk to you
’cause time is money
and she ain’t got time
if you ain’t got money, honey

my sister say where the cash at?
say swedish fish and cotton candy
say squeeze lemons into chocolate cake
say we bulls will trample you
if you think you brave

oh, you think you brave?
you think you strong, huh?

my sister say strength is mental
say you ain’t got nothin’ up there
but false memories
ain’t got nothin’ in chest
but air, homie
say you ain’t bad
you just believe yo lies

my sister say truth
say this truth mine
say fuck yo opinion
say fuck what you heard
if I ain’t said it

my sister say what she feel
say get the fuck out my face
say mind yo business
say why you all up in the kool-aid
ain’t brought enough sugar to the table

my sister say drink up
say soak it all in
say viva la vida
say yolo
say fuck it, then
for real for real

my sister boughetto
be vera wang and nikes
be diamonds are a girl’s best friend be my best friend

my sister be a woman
be a fighter
be a mother
be a text away
whenever I need her

my big sister be the reason
I be a switchblade