~*2Deep*~

B. Talented ~ Ending is just the Beginning

In Uncategorized on 16 August 2011 at 11:29 am

Days 1&2: So You Think You Can Spit

Day 3: Dodging a Bullet

Day 4: Mic Check Group 1 

Day 5: The Midst of the Storm

Day 6: Mic Check Group 2 aka I WON!

Day 7: Round 1 Semi-Finals

Day 8: I’m Head to Finals

Day 9: Ending is just the Beginning 

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Wanna know what it feels like to sell a million and not go platinum? Well….. become a part of a 7 week poetry competition, get standing ovations, rave/all positive reviews from the judges and then stand on stage as they are about to announce the winner and your name is not called. SUCKS!!!! This is the first time in the slam arena where I actually lost! Yeh, there were other times where people came out victorious, but those times, I had already made up my mind that I didn’t want to win or go any further so I purposefully didn’t do my best. But this time I went all in and lost! Who knew that this is what it felt like. OUCH!

And I know there is some politically correct post that I am supposed to post here but I can’t do it. I must be 100 percent honest about how I feel in the wake of last night. I pray that my opinions in no way offend anyone else, but I am entitled to my own opinion.Where should I begin?

Well, we were told that they were not going to give us a topic for the finale. Every week leading up to the finale they had given us a topic on which we had to write. I actually liked getting a topic, it made me step out of my comfort zone and challenged me as a writer. I stretched during that process and thought outside of the box. That was a part of the journey that I will take with me as I walk away from the experience and move on to destined activities.

When we began the process I thought that we were going to be forced/asked to write all new material and our musicians would be asked to perform original music, but that was not the case. It came out that poets could perform poems that they already had ( if it matched the topic) and musicians could create original works or present a cover song. *Sigh* I think this made the playing field uneven. Of COURSE I can rock with a poem that I have been performing for 4 years, I am more comfortable with that. And of COURSE my musician will rock if it is a song that they are familiar with once they hear it….the judges/audience can immediately connect with that. It is also the safest route and the easy route…. that wasnt what I signed up for this competition for. I made up in my mind early on that I wanted to write all new material throughout this journey. I believe I wrote that in my first or second post. I wanted to present that I was a REAL writer, not just a poet, but a writer. Give me your best shot! I knocked out the topic of “racism” with my eyes closed, looked at the topic of “Taxation without Representation”, said WTH, and slung a rock at that giant, and I opened myself up for my topic for the finale.

Faced with the choice of performing a throwback or challenging myself, yet again, to get real and write something new….. I wrote something new. I sat for two weeks trying to figure out what I was going to write about. Why two weeks? Because, when given a topic I write immediately…the hard part was already given. I already know how I feel about the topic so I can write about it. But when I write from my heart, I let the poem tell me that it is ready to be heard; I must be inspired in order to write a poem. The process of inspiration usually takes a little longer. So, I sat and I listened to the universe tell me what I should write. And I came up with a poem that I titled ” The Art of Listening”.

~*Art of Listening*~

Signed (ASL/Sign Language) in Silence:

[I heard success call my name

Or dreamed it

Hard to hear through my fears

Yelling

Screaming

That I’m good enough

But not great enough

And I listened

Crumbled under the pressure

And turned deaf to the possibility

Of “what if”] *Clap*

TJ: I HEAR YOU!

Me (Spoken): Who knew silence spoke so loudly?

Challenged my level of perseverance

Fear

Screams at you

Success

Whispers

Asks you to believe

Have a little faith

In yourself

For once

I think I hear it

Calling my name

They say courage skips a generation

Fear uses that to bully me

‘Cause my mother was the bravest person I knew

The president of my fan club

The gun at the starting line

And now I can’t see success

‘Cause I listened to fear punk me

20 feet from the finish line.

But I’m tired

Of pretending I don’t hear my calling

Asked God for His assistance

Said I’m not asking for the cheat sheet

To the lessons you have for my life

But could I at least see the syllabus

Get a tutor to get me to listen a little better.

Me:  I SAID I HEARD YOU!!!

Signed & Spoken: [I heard success call my name

Or dreamed it

Hard to hear through my fears

Yelling

Screaming

That I’m good enough

But not great enough

And I listened

Crumbled under the pressure

And turned deaf to the possibility

Of “what if”]

And I lived there

Stayed there

Saw the chance to rise

And got scared to death

So I ran

Smack dab into regret

And no one tells you

That fear, regret, and death

Are the three things that no matter

How fast or far you run

They’ll always catch you

‘Cause you’ll slow down

Since

You’ll always carry the weight

The burden on what if

What if I had listened to my soul

Believed just a little more

Tried to do my best

And if I failed

So what

At least I was able to listen

To the better side of myself

And follow instructions

Both: WE SAID WE HEAR YOU!

Signed & Spoken [I heard success call my name

Or dreamed it

Hard to hear through my fears

Yelling

Screaming

That I’m good enough

But not great enough

But this time I finally listened to success tell me

That I am WORTHY enough

Fear I do not hear you

I am deaf to your lies]

For over time I have learned

There is an Art to Listening

And thanks God

You get to choose what you listen to

I heard Success call my name

Hey TJ

TJ: Hey 2Deep

Me: And I said

TJ: And I said

Both: It’s a pleasure to meet you.

Dont ask me why I chose this topic, because I couldn’t tell you. I think, in all honesty, it chose me. I wrote it, and while I wrote it, I broke down into tears at one point and stopped and prayed over the piece with my hand flat on the computer screen. THIS was what I needed to say. If for no one else, I needed to hear myself say it, admit it to myself. As I previously mentioned, I have gotten to the finish line and then purposefully taken myself out of the game for one reason or another and validated my reasoning. I was tired of doing that. I could only imagine where I would be now if I had told fear to shut the hell up and go play in traffic.

And I can’t help but feel the sting, the pain, the confusion, and the flat-out urge to yell “COME ON” in the wake of it all. My biggest pet peeve, after a loss, is when the people around you wont allow you to feel what you feel. I FRIGGIN’ HATE THAT! Let me feel the pain, let me feel the hurt….don’t feed into it, but dont force me out of it either. Just let me be in my thoughts for a while. We have been programmed as a society to not feel pain, to pose and smile for pictures and to keep it moving. In reality, some of the most beautiful things come from pain, like motivation, inspiration, and the opportunity to rise. Let me feel! I have a right to feel hurt, pain, disgust, confusion, and any other word I choose to feel.

My first instinct was to yell something very politically incorrect, point the finger, notice the glitch in the matrix and say, “keep your pills I want to remember”. But it has nothing to do with anyone else. What is meant for me is meant for me. Over the past month my dad has told me that God is keeping me from something and I keep trying to run towards it and then get upset once I can’t find it. I think that is what happened last night. I don’t know what it is, still haven’t seen the syllabus, but I know that there is a reason why he kept it from me. I just have to figure out what that reason was…. or better yet, use that energy to find out what I am supposed to head towards.

All comfort talking aside, the hardest thing to do in this moment is to not become fear’s bitch. Yes, it does suck. Yes, it does feel like all of the work TJ and I did was for naught. Yes, it does feel that the judges NEVER giving us a bad remark felt like a set up and a lie and made for a larger fall when we didn’t win. Yes, not having a SINGLE poet on the judging panel full of musicians during  the finals of a POETRY COMPETITION sucked butt! Yes, not having the one judge (the poet) who was there every week and saw the progression of us all ( of no fault of her own) not be  there takes the wind out of our sails! YES!!!!, it does feel like I was good but not great enough. And yes, it feels like a million other things that people will tell you not to feel. And that is okay…. chuck them 50% of the duece & feel it anyway. Give yourself no more than 24 hours to feel it, then I demand you find the lesson and move on.

While reading Iyanla Vanzant’s book In The Meantime, she mentioned that you will “always relive the event for as long as you refuse to live the emotion of how you truly feel.” She uses the example of how you tell your friend the same story of what happened and how this person wronged you so much that your friends get tired of hearing it. I don’t want to be that person. I wanted to express how genuinely hurt I felt. She also mentioned in the book about how you feel has nothing to do with other people. SO yes, I feel all of those things I mentioned above…..but in the end…my not winning had nothing to do with that. Of course we would like to play victim and believe that it did… but it didn’t. Then why did I write that paragraph? Because that is how I felt, duh! I get to yell it once and then let it go.

The person who was supposed to win, won. End of story. And i know there is no comfort in knowing that, but there is truth running all through it. And at some point you’ve just got to laugh and know that you did your best, not your best in comparison to anyone else….. but YOUR best. Dont harbor on it once you are real with yourself about that.

My God, and I don’t know about who you serve, but my God has a sense of humor. I think He let me write this poem as a source of comfort for myself in foresight to use in hindsight. “And if I failed….. so what! At least I got to listen to the better part of myself.” Its time for me to take my own advice. So what if I didn’t win. It wasnt about who showed up to every meeting, arrived on time, networked their butt off, wrote a brand new poem every time, or who showed up even when it wasnt their time to perform. Hell, it wasnt even about who was better than another person. It all boiled down to who was meant to walk down that path. Even last night, the winner…before the competition even began…told me, ” I believe that it is already destined. Who is going to win has already won.” Well I be John Brown if she wasnt right.

There is an art to listening. And yesterday, a Smart Chick told me that I needed to put in the work to keep the message of my poem alive. Its about high time I listened. Something is telling me that this ending is just the beginning.

In the end, the point of this ridiculously long blog post that i used to work through my emotions, is that I must stay open to the experience, emotions, and lessons. I mustn’t close myself up just because I don’t want to feel the hurt; I have hermit tendencies. Keep doing you. Be real, be honest, and be up front with how you feel & don’t let anyone make you feel bad for feeling. I’m no longer afraid of Success. And that was the prize that I worked my butt off for the past 7 weeks to discover. I am victorious……and I honestly mean that. I had a WONDERFUL AND AMAZING muscian as a partner, Mr. TJ Turqman. I met some wonderful people that I will keep in touch with after this: Angelique, Lauren, Pete, Jared, & My Hispanic Romeo…lol. So it wasn’t in vain.

The Sunday before I performed, my Co-Pastor did a sermon on Joshua 1:1-8. God didnt give that message by accident. Be strong and very courageous. Your time will come.

Special THANKS to my friends who came out to support me: TJ, Rachel, Isha, Nicole, Kanikki, 13 of Nazareth, Curtis,Jeremiah, Monique….and the sea of people who wanted to come but couldnt and sent me love and prayers via text, phone, email, or twitter.

Sincerely,

~*My Mother’s Daughter*~

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  1. […] know I am late in posting this…. but dont kill me. I was too busy losing the B. Smith’s competition last Monday to find the time to write this. But I am back on track with this moving forward. […]

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