A few years back I remember there being a flux of best selling books on entrepreneurship and how to become an effective leader. The company I was working for actually bought a few in bulk and made them available to all members of management to read and keep in rotation until we had read them all. I have recently been having conversations with colleagues who stand with an austere tone that they wasted time in college only to collect debt on degrees they have no use for. These discussions have made me reflect on whether or not entrepreneurship was provided as an opportunity during our course work.
One of my friends shared with me that she remembered sitting in the office of one of our professors and confiding in him that she was interested in taking the writing track for her MFA. She told him that ultimately she wanted to write for television in Hollywood. She said he began to laugh so unsparingly that tears fell from his eyes. After his laughing rant, he advised her she was in that program to become a teacher. There was no conversation on “how” her visions could be actualized. I think back to reading those leadership books while I was working to sustain someone elses’ dream and I remembered I had quite a few “a-ha” moments. I learned of life/business strategies I had not learned from my parents or at any level in my schooling. In undergrad and graduate school I had been given the basic tools to seek employment but I had not been given tools, or conversation, on how to be an independent artist or entrepreneur. I had no direction on how to create my own paths. Continue reading A Fault in Schooling
1) When you begin to lose that poker face of “fake it until you make it”.
2) When you find yourself not wanting to go to bed because you will have to get up and go to work.
3) When you begin calculating just how low of a pay cut you can take JUST TO GET OUT OF YOUR CURRENT SITUATION!
4) When you hear the above caption come out of your mouth as you call your job on Monday morning.
it is what it is… and it is clearly time to go!
Those famous words said to a friend during Friday nights’ happy hour or a Sunday night meltdown. Come on, it’s not just me!
I am in a countdown mode on leaving my incredibly well paying management job of six years. Since taking on the parenting of my nephews and nieces, I had to acquire a sense of security for bills, therapy sessions, health insurance, after school activities, etc. And doing this as a single woman would’ve really been a challenge had I not fallen back on my “I know how to build a winning team” face. So, how do I feel?
Today I feel certain. Certain that this is what I must do. Certain that the universe will provide if I follow what fulfills my life. Fulfilling my life is performing, speaking and writing. That’s the end and exclamation point. Of course I have been thinking of this for months now so a financial plan is in place and now it is about how I manage my time so after my 9-5 I can come home and work on my art.
Some days I am filled with fear and anxiety but not today. Today I know for certain I will move forward with my life as an artist and active aunt of four. When will you follow your heart and make it Plan A?
some days I feel like elaine brown. I feel like I have the courage to love what feels right. I feel like I can stand in front of whomever/whatever and move past the criticism of my past with a smile. like elaine brown, some days I feel like I can change the world and by doing that sometimes you have to start over.
elaine brown is particularly known for her involvement in the black panther party in Oakland, Ca. while many haven’t had interest enough to read what her contributions and positions were in the party, they seem satisfied with knowing and saying, “she’s an ex-panther.” I had the privilege of meeting her twice and opening for her during a lecture in los angeles a few years ago. she was very emphatic with her intent to tell her side of the story. to make sure we left her with more to say.
she wanted us to know she believed in the black panther party with her entire being. she helped the panthers set up its first Free Breakfast for Children program in Los Angeles in addition to the panthers Free Busing to Prisons Program and the Free Legal Aid Program. she had a progressive intent for her people and herself as a woman/spiritual being. in her book, A Taste of Power, she made mention that she eventually left the panther party because she could no longer tolerate the patriarchy and sexism.
and I remember her speaking of love. I remember her sharing personal photos of her and Huey P. Newton and talking about how much she was in love with him. as I was holding one of the photos, she pointed to him and said, “he was fine wasn’t he?” her entire face smiled.
some days I feel like elaine brown in wanting to be whole. wanting to be accepted as an intelligent and critical thinker as well as a lover. and for all of who I am to be safe enough to share as part of the human experience.
Somebody had to do it. And somebody had to re-member. I was there. And it’s not that I want to be given some glory or plaque. I just want artists to know that it wasn’t 1961 when the Los Angeles poetry scene displayed this disproportionately approach to female poets. And now it is so natural for females to get features and travel but not too long ago we were blatantly denied this. And Jaha, Bridget, Rachel and I really changed the perception of when female poets should be allowed to eat.
Did we pave the way? Call it whatever feels good to you. But I know I was there when humiliation and doubt was given to us from our male peers. I was there when the men performers would get paid a different amount than us at the very same show. I was there when our male peers thought the best position for any of us would be next to them in a relationship and when he was denied he campaigned a “she’s gay” rally to save his reputation.
I saw Roni take poetry to the Hollywood comedy clubs.
I saw Sandra, Alice the Poet and MstMuze operate the longest running all female poetry venue in Los Angeles to date.
I saw Deana produce/host sold out poetry shows inside restaurants on Sunset Blvd.
And all I’m saying is, this happened after she/we shared stories and almost cried because we thought we were alone in feeling so indigent for expression. Some days I feel like a skyscraper in the Los Angeles poetry scene. Standing bold, cold and razor sharp with the moods of mother nature, not being erased from the series anytime soon. My love for Jaha, Rachel and Bridget is beyond an ordinary means of measurement. We were there, when it felt like 1961.
You are the thief of truth. You pretend to make me strong when in actuality you supply me with debilitating thoughts. You cast my feet in promise with a mixture of rocks and mud and you tell me I am “where I’m suppose to be”. So I wave bye to love and water to remain the intelligence you have attached me to.
You are a thief that has labeled some of the most critical minds I know as “activists” when they are flesh and blood
You are a thief that has labeled some of the most creative minds I know as “poets” when they are artists
You are a thief that has labeled brown skinned women as “strong and fierce” when they are growing silently
Your understanding of me is just an illusion. I cannot stand in an understanding phase when it should be digested and turned into wisdom. I should flow. Attachment, you are a thief that has kept me stagnant and I now rebuke you.