Tying up the loose endsPosted: April 13, 2011
Recently I have been thinking a lot about my birthday and reflecting on my twenties. Ill be twenty six next month and It feels weird, because I am officially in my twenties now. It seems like I got here so fast. I wonder how much I have grown or changed, because in many ways I feel like I have been this person since I can remember having consciousness (around the age of 5). I guess I would call it my soul or essence. But, as a species we are also shaped by our conditions and the people we interact or have close and/or intimate relations with. We do not develop ourselves in isolation from the rest of society. Our essence is influenced by culture and the people around us. How we reflect and learn from our actions in this world and our relationships with others is constantly molding us as people.
I have thought much about this as I have reflected on the numerous bouts of heartache I experienced throughout my twenties. Conscious reflection over my failed relationships and understanding over the ways I have behaved with my partners and vice versa has allowed me to understand myself better. This process has taken me back to the traumatic memories of my childhood and my experiences dealing with those conditions and the relationships around me that shaped me as a person in my strengths and faults. This has influenced the way I have interacted with people in my adult years. And it has drove me to take time to just be in my solitude and ground myself with who I am and who I should be. That has been a painful but beautiful experience. I feel very grounded internally, which makes me feel more secure about opening myself up to the universe again and to the painful lessons that come with love and heartache.
My close friend Mai, whose birthday is 2 days after mine, recently shared our horoscope for our birthday month with me, and it filled me with lots of excitement and anticipation. Now, I am not dogmatically into astrology, and I am a scientific marxist. But, I also believe in the moon and my sign and often find that it is correct in analyzing aspects of my emotional state therefore it is significant to me. Our horoscope for our sign correctly identified some of the challenges I have been facing, while reaffirming my own thoughts about what work I should be engaging in right now for myself, and how I should be relating to people. It urged me to reflect over my relationships around me and tie up loose ends; it also said for me to close doors that need to be closed and open the ones that need to be open. This resonated in me a lot as I reflect on my past interactions with others that have been painful and unhealthy; as well as to think about the recent experiences I have been having and the new relationships I have been developing. My twenties have been hard; this particular year has been both materially and emotionally difficult, and that has been a test of my own strength and determination. But im feeling good…feeling ready…grateful for the recent experiences I have been having and the new friends made. Feeling the anticipation for change on multiple levels and that excites me and makes me feel more secure for this new year…a little older and a little wiser.
To celebrate these premature birthday thoughts and lessons learned from past relationships I wanted to do a little beat of the week that relates to some of these themes on love. This week is a banger: Eddie Kendricks, Erykah Badu and J Dilla. On Erykah’s most recent album, New Amerykah Part 2 (Return of the Ankh), she has an excellent song titled ‘Fall in Love (your funeral)’. The lyrics deal with the more negative aspects of love and relationships. The repetitive beat is also hittin in typical Dilla fashion. It is a sped up sample from Eddie Kendricks beautiful and soulful ballad ‘Intimate Friends’ that demonstrates the beauty of partnership. Kendricks wonderful falsetto brought him much fame as one of the founding members of The Temptations. He went on to write and perform songs with a solo career. Dilla also samples his song ‘My People’ on his album Donuts; and it is also featured on Erykah’s New Amerykah Part one (4th World War) track ‘My People’. These songs demonstrate the depth and creativity of Black music, and the connection between soul and hip hop as well as illustrate the pain, beauty and growth that come with relationships. They are providing a nice soundtrack to my own thoughts and experiences. Enjoy!