“It’s not so much that we’re afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it’s that place in between that we fear … . It’s like being between trapezes. It’s Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There’s nothing to hold on to.”—
Since returning to Jamaica, I have decided that my mind needs to be clear, and also that I need to lose weight for Carnival and go full force on tweaking music for the recording of my album. All this means is that I’ve been practicing the art of ROUTINE. For any of you who know me, I have undiagnosed ‘Flight of Ideas’ and the attention span of a fly. So I just wanted to share some of the things I’ve been doing:
1. Journaling - Apparently not only does it record your thoughts in a moment so that you can review them, it also allows you to express them and clear them. I started yesterday, and I’m on day 2, and as much as I fear someone finding it, it really has helped me to feel better. Buy a pretty journal and start writing your thoughts in it. What’s bugging you, what you are excited about, and all your big dreams.
2. Daily Exercise - Broke and without a gym, I’ve resorted back to my Insanity workout. Let’s just say it’s insane, and I feel better #CarnivalBody mi seh!!
3. Cleaning my space and setting it up to inspire - I basically spent 5 days unpacking, because I was unfocused, but now that the suitcases are cleared and my music equipment is set up, I am ready to go with the songwriting and tweaking, and waking up to see everything set up and ready to go excites me. So i really recommend setting your space up.
4. Reading - I rediscovered reading on the subways of NY, because if you ain’t people-watching, then you listen to music, or READ. I recommend you read a chapter of something everyday, whether it be your Bible, or a good or bad book. Just read. The imagination creates food for the soul…feed it!
5. One thing at a time - So this year I discovered that multi-tasking may very well be a farce. Your mind really can only deal with one task at a time. You can start multiple tasks around the same time, but you never really are doing 2 things simultaneously…well rarely I should say. Ha. So write a list, and focus on one thing at a time. If a task is too hefty to do in one sitting then do some for a focused time frame, then move on to the next. Don’t get bogged down by it. Simply prioritize then divide and conquer.
Do this in whatever sequence you would like, but I say do one thing at a time first, journaling in the morning is really good, then read a chapter, then exercise, and I would say just generally try to keep your space clean at all times.
Hi :) I see your guilty pleasure is playing Sims, I too love that. But um how the fuck do you do tai chi at the park? Lol
Click on the park and call a Sim there at 7pm. Click on the SIM and Tai Chi will be an option. Just don’t start them before 7pm. You can start a little after 7pm and it will still work. This was hard for me to get too.
Thursday, January 26, 2012 I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of high school students at a Career Expo put on by the HEART Trust/NTA. It was one of my first experiences being a motivational speaker, and it was great to share my experiences about chasing my passion, with a group of young, enthusiastic students.
Between sharing my journey and cracking my usual quirky jokes, we had some talented brave candidates come up and sing songs, and it was really cool to see the talent in Jamaica. Granted some unrefined, they were undoubtedly talented, and reminded me of why I need to be here to inspire the Jamaican youth to reach for the stars, and impart whatever knowledge I have to them. All in all it was a great 45 minutes, and I got Ebony Pride products as a gift to prove it. The spicy Cucumber Pickles are dope!
I’ve been back to my home, Jamaica, for a week now, and every time I have returned I’ve been over the moon excited to be back, but for the 1st time ever the transition has been more difficult that I had ever imagined. My smart friends have diagnosed me with ‘Reverse Culture Shock’ - The shock suffered by some people when they return home after a number of years overseas. This can result in unexpected difficulty in readjusting to the culture and values of the home country, now that the previously familiar has become unfamiliar. As much as I don’t want to believe this is true, it is probably exactly what is going on.
Don’t get me wrong, I am really happy to be back and to see my family and friends, and share time with them, but I have to readjust to what should be familiar to me, but in this moment seems so unfamiliar. In my reading on RCS, I saw a statement that I liked. It was “Understand that the familiar will seem different. This might cause new emotional and psychological reactions to being home.” This pretty much summed up one of my many emotions.
They also said allow yourself time to ease into the transition. I have had so many people give me the, “Struuuups, how yu mean yu a adjust. Adjust to what?” This insensitivity also is a little offensive, but again they don’t fully understand exactly what I’m going through and why, so I will remain patient, and embrace being back on my beautiful rock, in my time, because there is no doubt that I love this place. I’m looking forward to getting back into the groove, because there is a lot in store for me in 2012, and for you from M.E. Blessed love to all a unnu, and always optimistically grindin’. Leggo!
No new year should begin without recalling the great and wonderful things that happened in the previous year. As we plan our future, and enjoy living in the moment, we must also cherish the beautiful and monumental memories of the past. In no particular order here are some of my highlights from 2011:
4. Work with amazing artists like Rajdulari Barnes and the wonderful musicians in my personal band (Enrico, Serghio, Jonathan, Shane, Shawna & Simone); My GB band Downtown Fever (Jaclyn, Cara, Wade, Randy, Swift, Jon, Clynt and Trevor); Smax and Mel. I apologize if I accidentally left you out, but I love and appreciate you all.
5. Co-writing and recording my very 1st reggae duet with the wonderful Aisha Davis, 'Love of A Lifetime', and working with producer Trevor Forrest of SecretChunez Productions.
6. Read some inspirational and life-changing books - ‘The Alchemist' (Paolo Coelho), 'The Five People You Meet in Heaven' (Mitch Albom), and 'The Surfer the saint and the CEO' (Robin Sharma).
7. Performed in Texas for NYE 2011 at the Gaylord Texan's $150/person ball. This was my 1st time working as a musician on NYE. Was cray!
8. Made it to the final audition rounds of X Factor 2011 in New Jersey
9. Made it to the final audition rounds of the Essence R&B Star competition 2011.
10. Performed at cool venues/events in NY and established cool new fans and friends :D - The Sugar Bar, The Studio at Webster Hall, the Highline Ballroom, Sullivan Hall, The Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival.
BONUS: Truly learning the purpose of my life, and that is to seek my passion, and then use it to help and inspire others, and to be the best M.E. I can possibly be. Live hard, love harder and respect and be present in the moment, because it is all we have.
I have been so blessed that I’m sure there were many more than 10 amazing things that happened to me in 2011, but 10 is a nice round number to leave you with. I’m looking forward to many more blessings in 2012 and I wish the same you to you all.
Most of you know of my medical background, and I must say I’m no fan of medical shows, but I definitely got locked into ‘House’ (that sounded like locked in the house) on Monday, and the episode was about the lesbian doctor chic conflicted between coming back to work as a doctor, or going off to Greece to live with her lesbian lover. She had a really deep line while speaking to House and it was "Is it ok to have the skills to help people and walk away to have fun?". Flabbergasted by this line, as I myself have left logical, practical commonsensical let’s make lots of money while saving lives land, to devote most of my life to music…I thought to myself, Is it really ok?
This is a question I have been answering on my journey to fulfill passion, and I thought I always knew the answer, and in watching this show I was reminded that I in fact did know the answer. To cut to the chase, in the end, House sees her kissing her girl and calls her over. He says to her "I can work with people with nowhere to go, people who have things to prove, but I can’t work with someone who is, (paraphrase), working to cure guilt, or make themselves feel better".
The truth is LIFE is not about what you are capable of doing, as some people are capable of doing many many things, but really about what you love doing. What are those people really to do? Should they fertilize plants because they are good at agriculture? Or should they save lives because they are good doctors? What they should do is what they love to do. It really is that simple.
In this unpredictable life, if you knew you were going to die tomorrow, I’m sure the last thing on earth you would be doing is what seemed logical to the rest of the world. You would be out there crossing things off your bucket list before you kicked the damn thing. So why not live everyday like that? (within safe limits for your familly, friends and anyone else around you that means anything of course), but why the hell not?
So the answer to 'Is it ok to walk away from something you are very capable of to go to something that brings you way more joy?'…The answer is simply YES!
It still amazes me how people somehow find it ok to use cultural words that they don’t understand fully, with no idea of their context or true meaning. I would happen to fall into one of the most targeted cultures…the Jamaican culture. Language/Dialect/Creole? PATOIS.
Since living in the USA, and also being a performer, I have had one too many times when my Jamaican introduction is greeted with choruses of mouth-made vocal gun shots (important I state they were mouth made). “Brap, Brap” (single shots), “Brapapapapapapap” (the ‘Rapid Fire’ Machine Gun), “Blow Blow” (That is the ‘Shot Gun’), “Pie Pie Pie” (this is the hand pistol); Whatever the weapon of choice, it intrigues me that this is one of the highlights of my culture to the non-native Jamaican.
You also can’t forget the use of the word, B0mboCl@@t, like it’s a party favour. Funny the persons doing this don’t see me cringe every time they attempt to pronounce it (incorrectly mind you), and not understand that the visions I associate with this word are a weave about to be pulled out, a man about to get stabbed, often times just anyone at the peak of their anger, and in all fairness to them, many times as a term of endearment or extreme excitement, for instance to forward a big chune (aka used at peak of excitement when hearing a good song. In this way it kinda functions like a testosterone-driven “Guuuuuuuuuuurrrl daz my sooooooooooong!”). It could also happen when you see a really hot car pass by…then you let out the super loooooong one.
Truthfully the biggest fear for me is that I will be at a formal event with said friend who doesn’t appreciate the context of my culture, and of course it will come up that I’m Jamaican, and my friend will pleasantly launch into a string of their favourite new Jamaican words, and I, well I will be a dark shade of purple and trying to find the nearest exit.
I’m just saying if you aren’t sure about what you are saying, then you probably shouldn’t be saying it. Daz all. And maybe the next time you want to wild out in public using my native dialect, then give me enough forewarning so I can play into it - You know, wear my reggae-coloured tam with the fake locks, my favourite Bob Marley t-shirt, and roll my super-sized blunt, which I shall place behind my ear. Don’t forget I will be saying “Mon” after any sentence, and possible “Irie”, and maybe using my own Jamaican curse words out of context. “Do you know where I could find the bl00dcl@@t pickles?…Irie”. “I was wondering why the r@@s you look so beautiful tonight?” (This one doesn’t count cause I have a few friends who would say this. Hey I probably have already too).
To all of this I say, “Weh yu jus seh?”. As Tessanne Chin said, “Your words are your weapons, so use them wisely”. So before you shoot “down your brothers with your lyrical bullets”, you can buy a patois book. Blessed love.