Warning: This post is not for the religiously or spiritually closed minded. Any attempt to debate me on the validity of the content of this blog will be promptly met with a Kanye Shrug ( ) and utter indifference.
I have struggled with the concept of God for most if not all of my life. Most people do. Even the “faithful”. No judgement though. Like pimpin’, faith ain’t easy. It’s reliance on the fact that no matter what, everything is as it should be and will be done in some type of divine order of which no one quite knows the essence of. Scary shit no matter how you slice it. It’s no wonder that people who claim to “have it” right down to the whos and whats, and how comes will fight you to the death over whether their version of the divine truth as the right one. Because if there is anything that loosens a string on the cardigan of their faith, then the whole damn thing unravels. That’s no way to believe in my opinion. It’s risky to put all your eggs of hope in one basket.
Why can’t faith be dynamic? The answer: It can. It is. It always was. We’re just the ones that try to capture it in a bottle, store it away as our own until the light dies out like summer time fire flies. If we are really honest with ourselves we know the things we believe in, the things we have faith in, change dramatically over the course of our lives. From the tooth fairy, to Santa Claus, to our parents. Yes, even our parents. It’s been devastating for me to find out that so many of my mother’s parenting techniques were deeply flawed. I was quite a mess when that cardigan unraveled, let me tell you.
The things that get us through, per what I believe, are sent to us when we need them. My belief in God/Higher Power whatever you choose to call He, She or It is this: It is a collective force made up of people, places, things, experiences, art, and just about whatever else you can name, that are placed before you to guide, protect, or motivate you forward in your life’s journey. (Process that anyway you need to. The shrug awaits your judgmental gaze … ) I’ve come to this conclusion over time and an ass load of experience.
Today my HP appears in so many random manifestations I just choose to call it life. My life lately has been inundated with grad school apps and fear of rejection to said grad schools. My stomach knotted. My mind froze for words when attempting to write letters of intent with 750 max words. A writer, applying to a writing program, couldn’t conjure 750 words to explain why I wanted in to said program. I once again (as I often do) began to doubt if writing is for me. I stopped blogging (obviously). I obsessed. I compulsed. Both of which I’m highly skilled at. Then Life sent me an answer. In a word…well two: Kanye West.
I’d always shied away from Kanye because frankly, he got on my damn nerves. All that ego. All that mouth. All that audacity. All that over the top…shit, that I really needed a piece of, just a tiny piece of, to grow the balls I needed to just get the damn apps done and move on. I had not prior to November of this year owned any Kanye West music due to reasons listed above. A dear friend of mine would debate me on the necessity of Kanye in my life every time he had to sit through another of my sensitive artist bitch and whine sessions. “What if they don’t like me?” “What if I’m not good enough? It is Brown University?” What a sad sack I’d been.
This friend suggested that I get on a “Kanye Self-Esteem Work Out Plan”. He gave me every Kanye CD in his car and sent me off to listen, to mainly Kanye for the duration of my grad school app process. The results? Well the long term effects remain to be seen, but I tell you what; because I stayed open minded, because I followed simple directions even while skeptical … the app process got easier. In fact, the College Dropout album allowed me to take the power I was giving to these institutions to dictate my validity as an artist, back.
Was it all Kanye? Nah. Of course not. As I’ve said faith is complicated, uncertain, and dynamic. However, in that window of time Kanye’s ego, human frailty, and unapologetic hypocrisy was a higher power’s way of letting me know that it is okay to be exactly who I am with or without the validation of anyone or anything. He’s still working for me (Kanye that is.) I’m sure the day will come when he doesn’t, and I’m fully accepting of that. I will simply stay open to what life has next for me. In the meantime I will finish my apps (last one due 1/15!), and “throw my hands up high”, knowing that “ghetto people” of which I am one. “got this.” Life … got this. We just need to keep the faith.
Now go work it out…
…and remember “most of all, we’re at war with ourselves”