Artist Spotlight: THEY. – “Nü Religion: HYENA”

Today, I bring to you one of the best kind of low-radar artists in the game right now.  A duo based out of LA tends to take a different take on Hip Hop.  With a bunch of R&B, Pop, and even some Rock, this album is definitely something you want to hear if you are into different genres.  Each track brings it’s own uniqueness and energy that WILL make you bob your head. It’s inevitable.

You might know these guys from an NFL game pass commercial where their song “U-RITE” is featured, but trust me, I’ve been on these guys WAY before then.

My favorite tracks:
Africa
Deep End
Motley Crew (!!!)
Truth Be Told
What You Want
Bad Habits
Say When
U-RITE

Spotify
Apple Music

Confessions of a Therapist

I work with adolescents in a psychiatric hospital. 

99% of my day I work harder than my clients. 

Sometimes I make appropriate connections. 

I’m an okay therapist. 

Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. 

A lot of the time I don’t know what I’m doing. 

I  am 100% certain  I care too much (if that’s an actual thing) and that this will cause me to leave this field in a fit of emotion and heartbreak one day. 

I cry a lot with my job. For my clients. 

I’ve spent the majority of my day crying. 

At my current job I have felt as if I have failed one kid so far. 

I currently feel like I am failing another. 

It doesn’t get easier. 

Telling me to reframe that is not helpful. 

For this population, I firmly believe that the best way to encourage change is to foster meaningful, healthy connection and just being available when they need you. 

That’s hard to do. 

I was spit on today and called a bitch. 

Of all the things that I am frustrated with today, those two things aren’t even on the list. 

Sometimes caring is not enough. 

Being an Extroverted Introvert

I feel that I’m a textbook extroverted introvert. I do love being around people, but all in all, it is draining.  Earlier in my social life (like around my college years), I was probably very extroverted, but over time things have changed.  I used to get energy from going out and being around people, but now my body just gets drained from doing this; Physically, emotionally, and most importantly mentally.  Since this happens, more often than not, I tend to shut down and shut the world out and not be seen for a good amount of time.  A lot of people don’t understand because they’ve only seen me when I’m out having fun and partying (I.E. only following my Instagram life) and not when I’m home in my comfy clothes doing nothing but watching TV and playing video games.

But when I do go out, I do have fun, indeed.  Most of the time, I have more fun than expected, and that’s normal.  However, I do tend to have anxiety that slightly fuels my introvertism (made up word), so there’s always these thoughts of “do these people really like me?”, “am I being annoying?”, “are they just inviting me because they think I’m sad?” that always plays in my head; and even though I went out and had fun that last time, I might stay in because maybe those thoughts played in my mind a little more and I just decide to stay home in my happy place, instead of just enjoying the moment for what it is.  My anxiety is probably another Blog post for another day, so I won’t get too deep in there.  But yeah, these thoughts tend to drive me to shut down, even after I’m already out having fun, and if I have a way to bow out of a situation gracefully, I usually take advantage and leave early.

I’ve had a lot of success balancing my introverted self, with my extroverted tendencies, but recently it’s been kind of hard. Ever since my birthday, I feel like I’ve constantly been on the run on the weekends when I’m used to just laying around.  I’ve been socially draining myself to no end, and I think I have like one more week where I have to find some energy to make it before I can chill out.  And yes, I will have fun this week, because I’ll be around people I love, but I might not be up for anything spontaneous or lengthy.  That’s kind of how this whole thing works.  I know most people won’t get it, and it sounds like I’m rambling, I’m sure, but I’m trying. lol

This post is not the end all, be all explanation of extroverted introverts.  Every EI person is different, and socializes different but I feel this gives a general understanding on how a good bit of us deal with social life.   So if some of your seemingly extroverted friends decide that they can’t deal with people and don’t want to go out or just want to stay in with no explanation, don’t get mad, but in turn understand that maybe they are drained and can’t hang for that moment.  A lot of times, I get the “but I just saw you out with so and so last night”.  Well then perfect, they should understand that last night my energy was drained and today is a recharge day.

This post is more of a personal response on how people have addressed me when my introverted side has popped up after being extroverted.  Plenty of times I’ve been accused of the general silliness of “Not liking people” just because I’m drained.  Don’t be that person, because you never know how someone who is an EI could be affected by it.

/rant

A Message to the Vocal and Silent “Me Toos” Out There

*trigger warning. This poem is about sexual assault. Please seek out help if needed. Please contact RAINN at 800.656.HOPE (4673) if you’ve been a victim of sexual assault. If you are experiencing a crisis, you may also contact 1-800-273-8255 or chat with them on their website at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/*

Dear “Me Too,”
Whether you said it out loud and proud
To show the world your survivor status and
Validate your suffering,
Like a tattoo carefully selected
As your own personal memorial of hope.
Whether it was with hesitation,
Softly wondering if your perpetrator
May be hiding behind a profile,
Much more likely than hiding behind a bush,
But your soul needed the community,
The space,
To say
To have recognized
Your “Me Too.”

Whether you wrote it angrily,
Fires burning in your fingertips.
Angry for missed opportunities,
Angry for missed connections,
Angry for violations against what was never theirs to take;
“Nos” that were laughed at,
Blood that was shed at someone else’s hands
For you to clean –
Alone.
Things stolen from you,
In the middle of a good time or night out,
In the safety of your home,
Before you wear old enough to even understand,
The value of what was stolen
Was more precious and more far-reaching than
You could ever know.
When you only knew how to trust;
And repetitive breaches of that innocent trust,
Left you full of dirty and confusing shame.

Whether you wrote it softly,
Like a dull pencil,
Lightly tracing past hurts,
Or etching them into a computer screen
A faded memory;
That you choose not to make any bolder
Than a simple “me too.”

Whether you choose not to proclaim it all –
Unsure if your pain is real,
Still trying to find the strength to justify,
That you too were a victim;
That you were innocent
And instead are carrying the weight
Of the heavy shovel,
Digging yourself out of the infinite
Pile of mud and filth
Composed your misplaced and decaying
Self-loathing and shame.
Or that perhaps you kept silent,
Because those who have transgressed against you,
Still hold some shackles
To your existence,
Shackles of
Threats,
Fear
Anxiety
Violence –
And so to boldly, quietly, softly, or for others
Say “me too” could put you further at risk,
But you feel deeply connected
Inter-webbed
Bound
And so profoundly linked
To the women who are able to say “me too,”
That you continue to browse,
To feel the “me too” radiating from others,
That you can silently claim as your own.

To all of you “me too’s”–
I say to you, “me too.”
I say to us, “thank you”
Thank you for existing,
Even when existing feels like 100 small needles
Pricking your skin,
Never ending,
Always there.

Thank you for our courage
Our cracks,
That we sometimes see as brokenness,
That really showcase
Our humanity and ability to withstand pressure,
And still be works of beautiful art
In spite of, or perhaps because of our pain;
Our vulnerability,
For every silent, loud, quiet, introspective, outward cry of
“Me Too”
Is a testament to our ability
To try one more time for
Connection
Love
Trust
Healing.
Our tired, yet persistent
Voyages to contribute to a world,
That was so cruel to us,
But believe in magic,
Even on days
When we aren’t sure “magic” and “healing” are code for anything
More than a false promise to attempt a satiety
For something that was never meant to be a hunger.

Thank you.
Thank you for being in this world.
My hand outstretches to yours,
With no promises of complete restoration,
But with a promise of connection.
“Me Too.”

Wednesday Weekly: Straight Outta the UK

WW7

So I like to pride myself on listening to artists of the R&B, Hip Hop and Pop influence from many different parts of the world.  Some of my favorites come from the UK. So today’s playlist is dedicated to some of my favorite artists who originate from there.

I like to try and introduce new music to the masses so I hope you enjoy this one.  Most of the songs are R&B influenced with a few Pop/Dance tracks and like 1 or two Hip Hop tracks, just to give you an idea.  Just give it a chance and I hope you enjoy!

Spotify

Sorry to my Apple Music peeps, but this is going to be a Spotify exclusive unless I get a lot of feedback from the Apple Music users.

P.S. – I know my UK flag playlist art isn’t technically right, so if it offends anyone, let me know, but I tried my best in Microsoft paint. lol

Happy National Coming Out Day

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To the people who can’t be themselves…

To the people who are judged by who they love…

To the people who are looked down on as a lesser person…

To the ones who are scared…

To the ones who are depressed…

To the people who feel like they can’t smile…

To the people who feel like they don’t belong…

To the ones who cry every night…

The ones who feel like they aren’t enough…

The people who feel out of place…

The people who have suicidal thoughts…

To the people without a support system…

Just know…

We Are Here For You!

I don’t have a coming out story. I never thought I needed to officially announce it, and I kind of still don’t, but I know how important this can be for our people. I mean, when you think about it, I guess I “come out” on a regular basis (Note the irony of this whole thing).  Life as an LGBTQ person can be hard as hell and as you’re reading this, I hope your mind is actually understanding the words, rather than making judgments and assumptions about what I’m currently typing.

LGBTQ people face the challenges listed above on a daily basis just because of who we are and who we love.  Unfortunately, this personal aspect of life gets the negative attention of so many people in the world.  But living life should be all about showing and spreading love to others, not hate. Coming out is an important step in that, where we are finally open to loving ourselves as we are; and even if we don’t make a big announcement, it’s just as important for those times where we share it privately with family and friends.  Some of these challenges listed above can be caused by not loving who we are and this is why Coming Out is such an important moment. It’s a heart wrenching moment though, no matter how old we are because we never really know how people are going to react.

Yes, in 2017, we’re still worried about how people react, even if everyone seems to be “progressive”.  There are still evil people in this world that will wish the worst on us just because of this.  It’s still a real thing.

And as we get older and as we tell more people, that worry goes away, and we tend to not care as much for what people think of us, but that comes with time.  But even though that initial struggle is over, we still face challenges. Discriminatory, hateful, and judgmental behaviors are still no stranger to our community, as well as a slew of other BS that we have to fight through. And even though we feel like giving up, we keep fighting. We fight and fight until we win.  It’s worth it because WE’RE worth it.

It took me too long to realize that.

Coming out is only the beginning, and from there things may get harder, but they will definitely get better. I know that’s contradictory, but you’ll understand. When you can live life with no regard of what others think about you, and you finally feel that weight being lifted off of your shoulders.  It’s magical. I felt as if I have finally gained control of my own life.

It’s a beautiful moment.

So I’m standing here (or sitting, because I’m typing), as a member of this wonderful community. The one with happy smiling faces, that also tends to frown sometimes because of idiots who comment on news articles, to say that you are not alone and we are here for you!

Happy Coming Out Day!

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Wednesday Weekly: Crunk Anthems

WW6

So this weeks Wednesday Weekly is coming at you a little earlier than normal, because I know you all need a little CRUNK JUICE in your life this week and I DO WHAT I WANT (lol).  These songs bring back memories of High School and College that I will never forget.  I have NO IDEA how more people didn’t die after listening to these songs; Some are so angry, lol.   I was listening to this soundtrack at work yesterday and wanted to curse out EVERYBODY who looked at me sideways. So if you just need some “eff it” music for the day, a reason to “walk it out” or “2 step”, or you just feel like twerking in your office chair, this is the playlist for you!

Spotify
Apple Music