An ode to @ledisi & @leelajames

Lately I’ve been in a funk. A grey cloud had settled over my life and decided to rain down some raggedy ass feelings of apathy, self-doubt, worthlessness, and general discontent. I think…and don’t laugh at me, guys…it’s a side effect of me seeing some people call 33 a Jesus year. I’ll be turning 33 later this year and I’m like man the Savior did SO much in his 33 short years and I can barely eat lunch without dropping something into my boob. Like God wasn’t his daddy or somethin’. LOL.

Let’s rewind to Wednesday, March 11. Actually, let’s go a little further than that to some random January day when I saw a flyer advertising Ledisi’s Intimate Truth tour with special guests Leela James and Raheem DeVaughn. I bought tickets immediately because I’m a mega fan of both of the ladies on the bill. I wasn’t super familiar with Raheem, but figured he should be able to hold his own if he was chosen to tour with these two powerhouse vocalists.

In the weeks leading up to the show, the aforementioned apathy lead to me waffling about my decision of whether or not I’d actually end up going . In fact, until a mere two hours before doors were set to open, I wasn’t completely sure I was going to make the trip into the City for the show. Standing outside waiting for doors, I grew increasingly impatient and debating leaving at least 3 more times. But something inside kept telling me to just take my ass on in the venue and enjoy this show.

And mannnnnnnnnn did I enjoy it. Listen, you wanna experience Black Girl Magic? Just go to a Leela James show. From the moment she stepped on stage, I was captivated. If you’re unfamiliar, allow me to direct you to this lil youtube clip ri’chea –> Leela James – Don’t Speak Her vocals are fucking ridiculous. I don’t know all of the technical terms for the magic she weaves with the notes and runs and such, but I do know that her voice has a way of traveling down into your soul and wrapping itself around you like a warm blanket. As far as her stage presence? Girlfriend exudes power and confidence all the way through. She performs with such a fearlessness that is invigorating. It was my first time witnessing it live and I didn’t want it to end. The close of her set came too soon and I felt winded as if I’d just run a 200m dash.

Later in the night, Ledisi hit the stage. I should say stormed the stage really. Emerging in a glittering silver gown with a slit up to *here*, sauntering forward as she sang with a confidence that made everyone in the room sit up and pay attention. She ministered through her music, literally taking us to church with a rendition of “Take My Hand Precious Lord” that nearly brought me to tears and had the entire room buzzing. The point though, for me, where the tears did flow was when she sang “Alright”. I’d heard the song hundreds of times prior to the show. Hell, had even heard her sing it a time or two before, but on that night those lyrics resonated. I needed to hear all of the words of that song and absorb the spirit running through it. By the time, she closed out with “Bravo”? Chile…I needed the ursher board to help me up off the ground.

I’ve seen a fair amount of shows. And I’ve been awed in the presence of my faves many a time. But on March 11 in the 2015th year of our Lord, Leela James and Ledisi changed my life for the better. And for that? I am eternally grateful.

…and so the moral is

(free write)

Last night I had conversation with a friend where I vented about all sorts of shit for exactly eleven minutes. I asked for four initially, but she gratefully accepted spill over. She listened intently, with interjections at pertinent times and I was wholly grateful for the experience. It is a rare thing these days, me being able to freely express myself without fear of reproach or even worse…having the person to whom I’m speaking turn it all around and make it about them.

My star sign is Leo. I’m supposed to be the arrogant, self-centered one. I’m supposed to have a devil may care attitude when it comes to the feelings and emotions of others. I don’t ascribe much to astrology. It’s interesting, but I don’t put so much thought into it. But I know these things because people tell them to me.

People tell me a lot of things. It’s always just been this way. I like to think it is because I am usually pretty levelheaded, offering sound advice if asked or simply an ear and shoulder of comfort when necessary.

Lately though, there’s been an influx of people using me as an emotional dumping ground. Expressing discontent about petty shit to serious life issues. And I take it in. I offer advice, if sought. I respond with coos and murmurs of agreement when necessary.

But now I feel like I’m drowning in the sorrows of others. Their misery is a riptide tryna knock me off my surfbort of life.

And I truly have no one else to blame, but me. I get into this Captain Save a Ho mode where I think I can be all things to all people. I can be your mama, counselor, friend, cosigner, getaway driver, and whatever else you need me to be. I can do this for you so that I am necessary to you.

It’s a detriment, the desire to be necessary to someone. The constant feeling that someday or somehow you will outgrow your usefulness and be discarded by someone. Lotta eggshell walking and teetering on the brink of insanity.

Apathy levels are at an all-time high. Fatigue is bae. Shit is wack. But I’m working through it. Piece by piece.