Guess who is in a good mood? And no it's not just because this is my last full week of work, or because I won that Shearman and Sterling
scholarship I wanted so badly. It's not even that I'm excited about a new school year or because my bestest friend
is finally in the same country as me. It's because of love songs and letters.
Last night, I think I finally got Nic to understand just how important writing is to me. I had to make a big stink about it, but he finally gets it. What's more important, I've started writing him letters. And just that simple act, writing letters to my baby, makes me feel so much happier than I have in a long time.
Maybe that's what has been missing. I've been lamenting the fact that lately, I feel like I'm just going through the motions of life, doing great things and having great experiences, but only being able to enjoy them after the fact in memory. I wanted the moment back. You know the moment-- it's strongest when we are kids-- sitting on our porches eating ice cream from the ice cream man, or on Christmas morning opening presents. It's the unadulterated (what an appropriate word) joy we have, free of worry, insecurity, and uncertainty. It's that carpe diem that we lose right when we start to wonder if we look too fat in those jeans, or if we properly invested in that mutual fund, or if John or Johnetta only wants me for my money.
Don't get me wrong, I don't have that back. I don't know that adults can get that back for good. We can have it in fleetingly (and occasionally drug or sex induced), but to just be able to have it for good? I haven't had that since age 10. 11 was a difficult year for me.
But 22 was even more difficult. Here I was in a job that made me miserable, failing at something for the first time in my life and feeling awful about it. I stopped eating, stopped sleeping, started smoking. My outlook was bleak, and even in moments of happiness I couldn't help but think of whatever awful thing might happen next to ruin it. By thinking of the worst and ruining everything before I had a chance to enjoy it, I never had to experience the let down of sadness, but I never got to feel the happiness. I was in a neutral, boring, stuck and staying that way state. And I have been for quite some time.
But I feel a fog lifting. I don't know why. But it's lifting. I'm writing. I'm homesick, but trying to learn what's to love about the west coast. What's more important, I've started to get addicted to love songs.
That's right, love songs. I have tuned my iPod to the R&B station and I haven't changed it for days. I listen to the songs and feel like they are speaking to me. I'm in love, it's a lovely day, love love love love.
Which brings me to something that distresses me, the death of the black R&B group. It has been discussed several times on blackfolks
, but I have to bring it up here. I miss Jagged Edge, Dru Hill, En Vogue, SWV, and the like. They were my soundtrack through middle and high school. I imagined myself on the campus of an HBCU, listening to Boyz II Men, meeting my own version of Dwayne Wayne
, and falling in love. But the R&B group died, and we got in its wake a bunch of digitally altered pop tarts and tartlets who give new meaning to style over substance. Remember when people in the business didn't have to be gorgeous to be good? Remember when songs were sweet and about love and not just sex sex sex? Remember when R. Kelly wasn't known for molesting little girls?
Am I already this old? Am I already talking about the good old days, remembering how happy and care free I was when I was a kid? Wow, 23 and old. Whoever said this generation is more advanced than any other before it was spot on.