When I Think of Home

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series College: What the F@#k Even Was That?

I’m going to grad school in NYC, we’ve talked about this.

Typical of a new college grad, people keep asking me what my plans are for the future. When I tell them grad school, they almost always ask, “Back up at Ole Miss?” If I say or The New School in Manhattan not too many people know what I’m talking about unless they’re in academia so I usually just respond, “No, New York.”

When I say New York, they’re eyes immediately widen and the first thing out their mouth is usually something like, “Oh, so far away!” or “Wow, isn’t it dangerous up there?” In my head, I’m like Well shit, no more dangerous than Jackson. That ain’t but an hour up the highway and they are literally killing the game in homicides right now so… your point? No, deadass, I’m pretty sure Jackson is ranked #1 for homicides in Mississippi – if not #1, somewhere close. 

People are afraid of things they don’t know – I get it but I feel like when I say New York people automatically think New Jack City or The Warriors. And gentrification is a motherfucker and it’s completely own issue that warrants its own seperate conversation but it is also to my benefit that I can pay rent (albeit astronomical) to live in certain areas and be guaranteed relative security. AGAIN, NOT SAYING THAT GENTRIFICATION IS A GOOD THING, but this is just basic sociology at play. But I digress…

Of course, everyone is happy that I appear to be doing something with my life but I still catch the shade veiled in feigned excitement and concern. Perhaps this is all in my head but… whatever, we here now.

So what do I hate so much? Why am I so antsy to leave?

See, it’s not just shade, it’s the principle, I suppose. I know it’s concern but it feels like negativity and I’m just not trying to entertain that.

Most obviously…

M I S S I S S I P P I

The cradle of the confederacy and conservative politics where I’ve personally had to deal with all the microaggressive, ignorant ass, bullshit preconceived notions people have about well… everything. The fundamentalism, the bigotry, the white supremacy, the heteroracistpatriarchy… I mean, that shit’s everywhere, true – but Mississippi just has its own special brand of this shit.

Of course home will always be home and it’s always going to have a special place in my heart and yada yada, but dis tew much. It’s simply too much.

I cannot. I’m tired.

I need some real hurdles to jump.

That feeling in your stomach when you’re riding a roller coaster up the track to a huge drop and you hear that ticking noise and you know with every tick you get closer to the drop and you’re trying to brace yourself and take deep breaths and shit but you’re lowkey freaking out. That’s a metaphor for my life rn.

If the nigga next to me is freaking out, THAT’S PROBABLY GOING TO MAKE ME FREAK THE FUCK OUT!

 

But whatever… Moral of the story is: “My life is like light up sneakers. Long as I keep walkin’ I know I’m gone shine…”

I am very aware of the history of Mississippi and the history of the South and the sacrifices and gains that were made as far as Civil Rights and I honor those who were active in that struggle. I’ve seen the work being done first hand to improve the sociopolitical atmosphere in the state and I’m proud to have witnessed and been apart of some of that but, compared to the rest of the world, shit is still moving at a snail’s pace. And the frustrating thing is that it really doesn’t have to but people are just too stubborn to change.

I really just need to bounce for my own peace of mind and that’s really it.

 

 

 

Welp, Glad That’s Over

So I finally graduated undergrad  and that was just what the doctor ordered. Really, once I finished my last exam, I felt relieved but when I crossed that stage, it felt like the weight of the world had been lifted.

I know I haven’t been updating the blog as much as I’d like and School has been a large reason for that. Of course, I post when I can, but lately it’s been feeling like the content is a bit stagnant. But I like blogging and want to continue. So bear with me as I reconfigure. But I digress…

Whoever said college would be the best years of your life, while not an outright lie, is incredibly misgiving.

I had some of my greatest moments in college, yes, but they were not a constant thing. They were more like the sprinkles on a shit sundae. Still tastes like shit but the presentation makes it look like it could have been something.

Looking back, I was actually wildly depressed for most of my college career. I’m not a drinker at all but sophomore and junior year, I drank my damn life away and my weed habit went through the roof. I still smoke on a regular basis because I do have anxiety and it does help to calm my mind down a bit but I can really go the rest of my life without taking another sip of alcohol and be just fine.

Going out was a thing that I had to accept that people did for fun. Why? I still don’t know. I have never woken up the next morning after a night of bar hopping and felt that my quality of life had improved in any significant way. But you look like an antisocial hermit if you don’t and plus, considering the line of work I want to go into, its helpful to at least look the part and play the game.

Moral of the story: College is a means to an end, not the other way around. I did not put myself through four years of depression, fatigue, and anxiety for a fucking piece of paper. I did it so that I could put myself in a position to do more and I feel like I’ve done that. These four years have given me room to think, explore, and ponder. Yes, a lot of resources, you will actually have to look for but they are there… if you have an idea of what you’re looking for.

To those coming up, college is not for the faint of heart. A lot of folks go to college (including myself) because it’s what you’re “supposed” to do but if you don’t find your own path along the way. Without cultivating some kind of sense of self, the bullshit that comes with college life will swallow you whole.

 

 

 

 

This College Life Ain’t Been No Crystal Stair

I’ve had body issues my entire life really. Dare I even say: dysphoria. I’ve always been a thickum and I’ve always had to be conscious of the things I eat so as not to gain any unnecessary weight. Not to mention, much of your social stock as a teenager is determined by how you look. So all through middle and high school, I worked hard to maintain a size 10/12. It wasn’t where I wanted to be but I had no choice but to work with what I had. It didn’t help that I wore uniforms all k-12, the epitome of unflattering.

Most of the girls found ways to dress it up. That colorful, plastic hair store jewelry was really popular in middle school and bitches used to come to school with those annoying ass bangles all the way up their arms. That was also around the time where the other girls started playing in make up and doing their own hair. Of course, as time went on, clothes got tighter and hair and makeup got more competitive. I still couldn’t keep up.

So, when I got to college I decided I would attempt to reinvent myself.

  1. By cutting all my hair off and going natural
  2. Dressing how I wanted

It was a new chapter in my life and I was trying to cast off the insecurities of middle and high school.

But college proved to be nothing but a recurring nightmare of broke-ness and anxiety. I had always been very much an introvert and being in places with a lot of people was not my cup of tea. I hated going to the campus gym because it was always packed and smelled like feet. And that cafeteria food is not the most nutritious. And of course, you can’t eat healthy when you’re broke.

In all my years, I feel like I’m finally getting to a place where I can start working towards being the person I wanted to be back in middle school. I’ve had a gym membership of my own for a few months now because I’m willing to pay money in order to avoid the risk of social interaction while I’m working out. I pay rent for a home that has an amazing kitchen where I actually have room to prepare health(ier) meals for myself.

Long story short: I feel like this is the most control I’ve had over my life and destiny in my entire life.

Personally, I’ve always thought new year’s resolutions were a bit disingenuous. But I’ve set some new goals for myself to achieve as we move in to month two of 2018. I’m tightening up on you hoes. My hair is flourishing, my wardrobe, my health. In hindsight, these college years, I was really scraping the bottom of the barrel so the way I see it, there’s nowhere to go but up.

Brain on Drugs #6

I can’t remember the exact day I stopped coming my hair but it’s definitely coming up on a year.

I big-chopped the summer after graduating high school and didn’t look back. Quiet as it’s kept, I thought the shit was cute but upon recent observations at some old photos, I looked a bit awkward with no hair. I didn’t plan on cutting it again though. I just opted to suffer that awkward ass TWA phase in silence and with minimal selfies.

I watched so many YouTube tutorials trying to figure out how to take care of my newly natural and I got really invested for like six months. But my hair is hella thick. In fact, that’s why my momma had it relaxed in the first place.

I always thought locs were beautiful but I was born to the faction of black folks who associate them with niggatry and negativity. I knew the weight that locs carried in society but I really didn’t give a fuck.

So, around this time last year, I just stopped combing my shit.

Let me be clear: I stopped combing my hair. I didn’t stop washing it. I didn’t stop taking care of it. I didn’t stop conditioning it. I let my hair do its thing while still giving it everything it needed to thrive.

And this is the result:

img_4745img_4747img_4746

I decided to free form my locs because I always liked the look of them. Jean-Michel Basquiat is one of my favorite artists of all time and I loved his aesthetic. It’s honestly one of the most freeing things I’ve ever done. As my locs grow longer and stronger, my hair is a constant reminder of the beauty of the natural form.

My hair has also really affected my lifestyle. I’ve been trying to transition into a more health conscious diet for the past year and a half and though it’s hard, I really love what it’s doing for my whole body.

A bitch been hitting the gym, watching her carbs, allat.

I feel a glow coming. I really do. I’m welcoming 2018 with opening arms.

Issa New Year: Get Into It

Let’s be real: 2017 came with its own special steaming pile of bullshit. I don’t need to go into detail. Y’all can just look back at the Shade Room’s feed for the past year. This one was really one for the books.

But so is every other year. If there’s one thing I’ve come to realize is that the bullshit don’t stop. It can’t stop and it won’t stop. It’s here to stay and as long as niggas are alive, the bullshit will persist.

So let’s talk about things that really matter. It’s a new year and although its a lot of shit that can just stay in 2017, it’s also a lot of things that I’m excited to see pop off in 2018. This is my theory and I’m sticking to it: chaos feeds the engine of creativity. As the world slides deeper and deeper into fuckery and chaos, there’s always a few individuals that rise above and attempt to bring everyone who’ll listen with them. And when you pay attention to them instead of the asshats of the world, it’s almost seems like a good idea to be optimistic about the future.

My last few posts are going to be my personal picks for who I’m looking out for in 2018. I’m looking at musicians/artists, film, television, internet influencers, activists, allem. It’s also awards season which I kind of live for. The grammy noms are out and I’m pretty much here for the line up. I hope this is setting a precedent for what we’ll see with the rest of awards season.

Regardless, I’ll be here, behind my computer. Watching. Listening. Judging.

 

Songs in the Key of My Life

This time of year always gets me in my feels. Tis the season for reflection on all the fuck shit that went down and lots of celebrating with weed and alcohol for just how in the hell you managed to make it through.

My last few posts of the year are probably going to be tinged with a touch of nostalgia cuz bitch, I can finally see the light at the end of this tunnel and to that I raise my hand and say hallelujah.

I was poking around on SoundCloud and found some old jams that I used to listen to in my dark days. When I think about it, music is a big factor in how manage to make it on the day to day. I generally don’t keep much company so music, the occasional sex-capade, and a decent amount of weed are what keep me going.

I’m one of Chance the Rapper’s biggest fans. Not even on some bandwagon shit, I found Chance’s music at a difficult transitional moment in my life. I was leaving high school, starting college and more or less trying to figure myself out. In his early days, he released a project with Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment, something like a mixtape and on this particular mixtape was this song “Wonderful Everyday.” It was Chano’s own remix of the Arthur theme song and it always just touched me.

Gives me the feels every time.

Kid Cudi’s Man on the Moon was my saving grace. I had been a fan of Cudi since middle school. His music just spoke to me. The shit he talked about going through were things that I could identify with and I always felt like if we ever met irl, we’d probably vibe.

Last but certainly not least, J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive.

I mean, do I really have to explain myself?

The third anniversary of the release of this project is coming up which is crazy because I distinctly remember sitting in the dark, alone listening to this album, crying during my freshman year because a bitch was especially in her feelings. Freshman year was… whew.

Honorable mention goes to, Big Krit’s King Remembered in Time was like my bible in high school.

I’ve grown more appreciative of my southern roots over the years. This place irks me but it also produced Krit which has to show for something. He’s refreshing… Not to mention, his new shit, Forever is a Mighty Long Time, is some fye.

I’ll probably be doing a post on my faves of 2017, but until I️ get around to it, kids.

Gotta blast.

You Could Cut the Tension with a Butter Knife

In the wake of the disaster in Las Vegas, I just…

At this point, it’s obvious that gun control needs to be high on the list of policy priorities. The only reason shit hasn’t been done is because those ass hats we call congressmen would rather line their own pockets than look out for other people’s interests.

Point blank period. This is common fucking sense.

Anyone who says otherwise could really

go snack on a bag of dicks for all I care.

But that’s not why I’m here today.

Every time something like this happens, I’m just a little more cynical and a little more apathetic to what goes on in this world.

At the same time, I grow in my resolve that this pressure cooker can’t take too much more heat before the top gets blown off this bitch.

And I’m hopeful.

Existential observation:

Nobody knows what banged or why it did, but the Big Bang, a moment of immense pressure and volatility, gave rise to the universe we know today. Nature, art, music, allat arose out of chaos.

Now I could just be talking out the side of my neck but I’m thinking the same idea applies here. Except the next Big Bang has the potential to be a controlled blast rather than an all consuming fire ball that destroys everything in its wake.

When it bangs – and most assuredly it will bang if we keep this bullshit up – enough people will know why and what for.

And if there’s enough people around in the aftermath to say, “I fucking told you so,” maybe we can build something better.

I hope we can salvage some of the good things that we’ve learned over time and, as a new world rises from these imminent ashes, people think twice before they act.

Brain on Drugs #5

Every new year, I say to myself, “Vic, this shit’s gonna be lit. You’re going to do X, Y, and Z. It’s gonna be dope.” And then the following year proceeds to bite me in the ass. Like literally the last four years of my life. Recurring theme.

That span equates to the entire time I’ve been in college… and most of my senior year of high school too. Coincidence? I think the fuck not.

I don’t know how much I can stress how utterly fed up I am with college. If I hadn’t already spent so much money getting here, I probably would’ve dropped out.

But it’s almost over. I have two full months of undergrad remaining and honestly, I’m pretty excited.

Excited to (hopefully) get out of Mississippi, to be my own person, to not have to do group projects anymore… the list could go on.

But I see the light at the end of the tunnel. A bitch is almost done paying on these probation fees. A bitch is getting consistent-ish with her blogging. She’s finally putting some plans into action. I feel good.

I don’t want to jinx my 2018 but lately I’ve been feeling pretty good about the future. The bad energy is clearing out.

I’m satisfied with leaving it at that.

Brain on Drugs #4

I lied about not smoking weed.

Sorry not sorry.

2017 is out this bitch. Not officially, but honestly, the last four months of every year generally fly by in a gust of classes, stress, bills, and credit card debt. So in my mind, this shit is basically over.

That’s not to say shit still can’t go down in the next four months, but I’m not holding my breath.

One of my biggest goals at this juncture is to have at least three pairs of matching socks… Among getting my shit together to apply to grad school and slowly trying to pry myself from the jaws of debt.

Not to downplay all that but the socks thing would just be really personally satisfying.

I’m really thinking NYC is the move.

The application opens any day now and a bitch is ready.

My life finally feels like it’s moving, like it might actually be worth staying alive just so I can see what’s about to happen.

That was dark but I’m a dark bitch so…

Reclaiming My Time

I think I’m going to stop smoking weed.

Not indefinitely, but for the foreseeable future. Classes have started, business is picking up at work, and I have one semester of college left. It’s crunch time and  since I’ve been on probation, I’ve seen how productive I can actually be when I’m not taking weed naps. 

This growing up shit is a trip.

*trick

I advise you steer clear of it if you can help it. 

It hasn’t been easy hitting the ground running as far as adulthood. I’ve taken more than my share of L’s since I’ve been out in these streets. 

And y’know, all things considered, I’m alright. 

Life isn’t about getting it right all the time. Sometimes it’s about lessons and I’m happy I’m learning them now rather than later.

A bitch has priorities and plans. 

Im really making Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance my personal mantra. 

Every new year for the past few years, I always tell myself “This year will be better than the last.” Well, 2017’s almost over. And though this year has been somewhat of a shit show,  I suppose it wasn’t as much of a shit show as 2016. 

To be victorious, we must find glory in the little things. And my little victories thus far are enough to keep me going.