When I sit down to write, I’m not afraid anymore. This is my story and if I can’t be honest with myself, who can I trust? I just hope other people are called to action and inspired. This summer has been a pool of full circle experiences and I am finding more and more connecting dots. I have grown up, literally, in front of my peers, my family, and myself. Unlike a child, there is no wall to mark my height with pencil tracing lines beneath a book held over my head. I’m a full grown adult. I write my movements in songs and stories. I’ve evolved alongside my partner, and so much has changed. I’m reflecting on the past 3 years, primarily, my evolution into the 2013 version of QueenEarth.
3 years ago, I left my apartment at my old job and with my last pay check and a months supply of saved vacation pay. I walked out into the real world with a handful of goals and big dreams. I was going to California. I was going to make my music. I wanted to find real love. Call it cliché or hyper-romantic if you want. Up until that point, I had only gotten small tastes of those things. I wanted more and was torn between choosing a safe, traditional career route or going for broke and finding my own way.
I was walking away from so many things that I enjoyed. My family was afraid. I had FREE housing! I also loved the social justice work, judicial affairs and student accountability, major college event planning, leadership, mentoring. I could go on. I love working on college campuses. I also learned what I didn’t want. Free housing also meant more responsibility. That would’ve been fine most weekends, but there was always a chance that something could go wrong, a student would need help, an evening meeting would be on my calendar. When did I have time for myself? What did I like to do? At first, I liked being so busy, but I quickly learned that I needed help and support just like my students. In my unhappiness, I found myself at music venues, open mics, and thankfully, I was writing again. I started recording. I had finally made time for music. I went to my producer and finished my favorite songs from my recordings. After 3 years in that clutch apartment on a college campus, I left. I knew I was no longer happy. Of all the things that I wanted, my happiness mattered the most. As I was packing up my stuff in my apartment, I finished my album. I released an EP. In layman’s terms, that is a short album.
I moved into an apartment in Canton with my best friend. She was also soul and job searching that summer. It was a tough time for us both and when I moved out of that house, I thought I was losing a friend forever. Far from gangsta, I cried when I pulled away from the dwelling. I was making plans to get to California. I didn’t know if I’d be back or when I would leave.
I began teaching guitar that would soon evolve into guitar, creativity, and songwriting. My grad school friend, also a writer, shared my resume with her boss. I was going to be working as a Professor, teaching English, part-time, with a schedule that would allow me to continue making music! In Baltimore, we have a saying, “Where they do that at?” The job sounded perfect. Perfect it was. 3 years later, I am a confident writing professor. I’ve been attending conferences to discuss accelerated learning, reading-writing programs, and teaching our students to overcome societal and personal barriers to student success. Most of all, I get to take all of the great work from my student affairs background and turn it into writing lesson plans, helping my students discover the organization and semantics of real life through short essay writing. These lessons are also self tested and my story is my “proof of concept.”
This is a dream. I leave class. I go to my coffeehouse. I grade my papers. The sun is still high in the sky and I can go home to garden, workout, or make time for my partner and a nice dinner. I also regularly attend live music events, some that I organize. I play in bands with and run into students from my old job. They have taken their places on stages and behind drums kits and djembes. I have discovered an arts/writing community that expands through realms of education, music, and creativity. My family is supportive and I get to play, every summer, at my family reunion. When I was younger, I was too afraid to sing in public. This is my dream.
And my best friend from the Canton apartment? 3 years later, she has the job of her dreams. I am beyond excited for and inspired by her. Not once, in the past three years have I ever been jealous. That summer, three long years ago, I believe happiness is all that we wanted, for each other and for ourselves. We found our way back to a meaningful friendship, and she has offered some of the greatest support during our evolution. She is my social justice buddy and we go to talks, marches, and seminars, still continuing with the social justice work that I mentioned earlier. She is a catalyst for QueerCore. Now, I do this work because I want to be there, not because it fills in a bullet on a job description. She and I have shared, the best jobs don’t feel like work, especially when you are doing what you love 🙂 She knows who she is. She paved the way for me. Many of you have. Thank you world, for growing with me. Everything just got a lot bigger.
At the end of this road is the album Adult Contemporary. This is my first full volume of stories. My opus. For now. Somewhere in all of this pondering, a book will emerge. I want to show you the way to your dreams. That is scary. But, would you still be afraid if you obtained the dreams? If you walked in them? Opened your eyes to them, every morning? Would you run if they were handed to you? If you knew you were ready, would you go? I started this journey 3 years ago. This road hasn’t ended. August 1, 2013 is a benchmark and a milestone. I will commemorate these years with an album. California, here I come. Baby, I’ll be right there with you. World, I am QueenEarth. Welcome to Adult Contemporary!
My catalogue is available on itunes, Amazon, Spotify, Google Play, Rhapsody, Sony Music, Xbox Music, and most major international retailers and online streaming and distribution sites.