On hypebeasts…

A few days ago I read this book that was getting hella buzz all up and down my timeline on Twitter. There were people talking about how it changed their lives, how masterfully it was written and countless other monuments of praise built in its honor. I can be a bit hipster-y sometimes and avoid things simply because everyone else hypes them up. But I’d given this book like 8 months to simmer and folks were still singing its praises at least once a week. So I said OK, lemme get into it. The book wasn’t horrible. But it also wasn’t worth the genuflection I saw on my darn social media so very often.

Which made me wonder…how much of the hype is genuine interest and how much of it is just being swayed by the hypebeasts. Now, typically, the term hypebeast is used to describe fashion fanboys/girls. In the fashion world, the hypebeast wears whatever is the trend being talked about the most at any given period in time, never cultivating their own style. Their swag is derivative. Their opinions about trends and cutting edge items are null and void.

This same kind of hypebeasting happens in other industries of entertainment. I’ve noticed an uptick in it particularly in the world of literature online because that’s the island on which I reside. I’m consistently seeing books, essays, thinkpieces and hell tweets, hyped beyond belief only to consume them and being left feeling as if I must be missing something because seemingly everyone else is so damn amazed.

But I honestly don’t think I’m missing anything. Today, in fact, I saw a tweet that spoke to the credence given to a project, piece of art, movement, whatever simply because of our connection to the creator of said thing. I see this happen a lot on social media. It’s an odd phenomenon, but I’m sure is old as time. I just wish people weren’t so hyperbolic about the most mediocre shit.

And that’s not to say that you can’t big up your friends who are creators and doing dope shit because that’s the antithesis of how I live my life. I mean, I have that I’m the president of one of my friends’ fan club in my friggin’ Twitter bio for Pete’s sake. You will find me heaping praise upon any of my friends when they’re doing some dope shit at any juncture, but I also won’t hype some shit up just because of the person associated with the project.

I don’t do false praise and hollow adulation. I have to really be invested in something before you see me talking about it non stop. I wish more people took this road, tbh. Because it is super easy to see when someone is genuinely excited about a (dope) thing versus when they’re excited about the creator of the (subpar) thing. And that breeds more mediocrity being release into the universe & like that Great American™ Sweet Brown said, “ain’t nobody got time for that!”

On vulnerability…

Lately I’ve been feeling mad alone. Not lonely because I’m never want for company thanks to an ever-expanding social circle, but just plain alone. I come from a huge family, first cousins out the wazoo. I received the save the date for one’s wedding last week and I’ve just been in a little funk about it.

I’m super excited for my cousin and her fiancé because they had to postpone the wedding because her fiancé was in a terrible accident that required extensive physical therapy to get him back walking. I know that they’re truly meant for one another and their union will live forever. And I love being witness to that.

I’m a hopeless romantic. My gruff exterior may read differently to you, but I am. I love love. Revel in it. Am super excited to witness the falling. A few of my friends have recently found their ones and I’m just a grinning ass loon because I love it. The glow in their eyes, the ease in their smile. It’s just really fucking cool to me.

But…

I am also super tired of not having fallen myself. Or I should say not have fallen in an everlasting, impenetrable love. I’ve been smitten. I’ve been in lust. But am 100% percent certain that I’ve not been in love for real. And that kinda frightens me. Like is it ever gonna happen?

I’ve had baby fever for the past few weeks. Like a serious yearning to procreate. Y’all know I’ve been staunchly no room in the womb for the past 8-10 years. I feel like I don’t even know who I am right now. But I think it’s a byproduct of this feeling of being alone in the world. And being discontent with it. And not having a suitable substitute (i.e. work) to fill the void.

This shit is the pits, yo.

On epiphanies…

Warning: Below is very stream of consciousness and unedited.

“You are more talented than you give yourself credit for.”

So I’m writing a book. I have to keep saying it aloud and in print so that people can begin to ask me about my progress on said book. When I am shamed enough to stop doing dumb, procrastinatory shit and continue writing my book, I work at a higher level. Throughout the course of this book writing process, I am incessantly chatting with a couple author friends about my writing woes. They are prolly sick of me as I keep complaining about what I’ve written, but haven’t actually let them read any of it.
This morning one of them said the above quote to me (*waves to Dom*) . It hit me in the gut and I had to sit with it a minute. Normally I’d fire off a quick response, but I had nothing. Because goddammit if it isn’t true. I play small a lot. It’s a thing I’ve noticed that’s on the rise in the past two (or so) years and I’ll be damned if I can pinpoint when exactly it became a crutch.

I’ve never been able to take a compliment. Just today, as the same person who’s quoted above complimented me, I replied, “Please stop saying nice things.” Not a humble “Thank you.” Not a hubris filled “I know.” But a brush off that allows me to not take complete ownership of a part of myself that’s pretty fucking awesome.

I’ve been struggling a lot lately with the spotlight. I’m noticing a trend of drawing inward and being increasingly uncomfortable when I am singled out. It’s trash and I wanna break the habit, but I’ve settled into it so snugly that sometimes I’m afraid I can’t battle my way out of it.

But something’s gotta give. I can’t keep walking through life timidly approaching the things I desire most in life. I can’t keep downplaying the things I do daily–big and small–that effect change. I say jokingly to my friends often that I enrich their lives, but it’s honestly not a thing I truly in my heart of hearts believe all of the time.

I think of my existence as expendable. Not truly anchoring or necessary to anyone. That’s some crazy shit, I know. And it’s not on some “oh the world would be better off without me” type math coz nah. I just think that sometimes people could function without me just fine and not give it a second thought.

OH MY GOD. I just realized the catalyst. Not telling y’all coz that ain’t your business, but that’s the thing. The feeling of expendability (this is probably not a word) lends itself to the playing small. They’re besties. Not feeling like you matter melds perfectly with not thinking that anything you do will make an indelible mark.

Ah shit. Welp, this was more transparent than I initially planned. So I’m taking the rest to my journal, LMAO.

On friends…

Last night I was scrolling through IG & came across a post from one of my baby cousins. It was a photo of her and her three closest friends. In the caption she called out how long she had known each girl and why she was thankful that they were in her life. This particular baby cousin has had some issues with friends and bullying in the past, so it warmed my heart to see that she had finally found her tribe. It is so very important to have people surrounding you who not only get you, but also make you want to be better.

My friends and our relationships mean a lot to me. They say friends are the family you choose, right? I’ve made some pretty damn good decision because my friends are everything. They’re here when I’m flailing about dramatically to tell me to sit my ass down. They’re here to prop me up when I’m feeling low. We’ve shared laughter, tears, shade, wit, food, bevvies, and good times.

Some of these people I’ve known a ridiculously short time, but we immediately recognized a kindred energy in each other. In them I find solace; peace. It’s like connecting with  complementary part of your soul that you didn’t even realize was missing. All of my friends are vastly different from one another, but all are the same at the core. Kind, fervently loyal, protective, encouraging folks who are not afraid to speak their minds.

My friends are my biggest cheerleaders and also will snatch a knot in me when I’m being foolish. I am constantly learning and evolving through our interactions. I have some friends with whom I have diametrically opposing viewpoints about certain sectors of life, but we are still able to have reasonable discourse.

I’m thankful that someone on high has saw fit to bless my life with every single one of these individuals. For without them, I would certainly be lost. I often joke with my best friend that I enrich her life daily, but it is all of them who enrich mine beyond a shadow of a doubt. They make me want to do, be, see, love more.

And for that? I’ll be eternally grateful.