a lot in a short time.
What better day to blog again than the release of Beyonce’s new album, Renaissance?
I guess you could say I am going through one of those myself, but that feels corny. A rebirth? A hyper-focus on the things that make me happy?
It’s all of that and more.
Dear reader, this week a million things happened and all of them were good.
I spent Monday attending a Canje. A sort of group, community-focused critique of my art. To say that I was nervous would be an understatement. To be in a room of people, of peers, of people who actually studied art and have more time for it in a day than I do, was daunting. Luckily, what I lack in real-world experience, I make up for with a god complex the size of Houston.
I am humble but I am also a fire.
I love my art and I want others to feel something when they look at it. Even if it’s just confusion. You’re looking at something that I thought up and you want to try to figure it out. It’s like the world is reaching right back to me.
I am always reaching.
In this incredible studio space, one that I had to access through a utility elevator of my dreams, (Do other people have favorite types of elevators? I like the ones without walls so you can see the walls move like animated wallpaper), was a group of people I had mostly never met. And Reader, they were excited. About me! And MY WORK. Up with the opening of my debut installation, this was one of the best evenings of my existence. I felt held in a way I never have before. I don’t always feel smart although I know I’m smart as hell. I like when people want my ideas, and get annoyed when I feel unheard.
I wish I could bottle that feeling up with me. I think that’s what phone cameras are for.
Another word for excited is curious.
I was curious about Beyonce’s new album. Being a somewhat devoted Beyonce fan, (I love most of her work but not all), I was excited to see what she had come up with and wondered if I would like it all. I was even more curious about spending more intentional time with my Black, queer friends.
I have always felt not Black enough. And I don’t even know what that means. I think it stems from not knowing how to move and speak with enough freedom. The phrases and speech patterns I use when talking among other Black women go so often unused that I worry about sounding inauthentic.
What a thing to worry about.
But last night, I didn’t. I simply let myself be.
Beyonce poured out of the speaker, washing over us as we sat in a semicircle facing the tv. Someone had turned on some calming visuals to accompany the music and I felt myself loosen. It was Black, it was Sexy and it was Unapologetic. It was all the things I want to be. A friend told me once to just keep saying out loud, “I’m really hot.” Sooner or later you’ll believe it and get more comfortable saying it. I’m slowly getting there.
But it wasn’t just about how inhumanely hot I felt listening to her music, it was the gestures we all made. The moments we all squealed or scrunched up our faces with how good a lyric hit. The ones I have always done and felt we had always done as Black people. It just felt very right. Church girl is my favorite for obvious reasons.
I am curious and excited about my new job. I am hopeful that I can succeed because I HAVE to. There will be no going back to unemployment and bill collectors ringing my phone off the hook.
I am excited about me that is slowly no longer prioritizing romance in my life. Although romance and connection and intimacy are things that I will always want in my life, I am finding the parts of me that are longing for…me, honestly.
The parts of me that long for the me outside of a serious relationship. That me reaches for her friends and her art a little more often.
Of course, I want to be held. Of course, I am kiss-starved. But that doesn't make platonic intimacy any less valid and wonderful. I am curious about myself in a way I have never felt before.