Category Archives: Uncategorized

When celebs break up…

Good day-o!

I was reading an article about the apparent break-up of Diddy and his on again/off again girlfriend Cassie. I like a little light celeb gossip every now and again so I Google-searched for the deets. As is typical- there were several articles that knew nothing but pretended they did (Hiiiii People – Killmonger voice). Of more interest to me were the couple of articles focused on a recent photo Cassie posted on her Instagram. They stated things like- Cassie shows Diddy what he’s missing, Cassie shows off her revenge body, etc. Ummmm. Have you writers ever met Cassie? By met, I mean did you know about her before you found out they were no longer an item? Had you actually ever seen her? Heard one of her songs even? Saw a video? I’m guessing the answer is no. If you had- I guarantee you would not be writing such nonsense because you would know she has been had all the physical attributes that she has. Diddy has already met them. He probably knows them well. If the rumors are true- he’s already not missing any part of her.

Who knows besides the two of them if Sean misses her? Hint- NOT YOU gossip rags. If there is any revenge, it’s probably After 10 years, I’m sure he misses more than her body and I’m sure a picture on IG won’t be the catalyst. To be honest- to suggest that Cassie is posting a picture (of what he’s already seen, duh) with interest in gaining his attention is also very misleading and off base. She seems stronger than that to me. We really must stop pushing forth such shallow agendas that make zero sense when people break up. Further, I’m sure that bodies/looks are the least of what is important when people part from one another. The rumors of Diddy’s new pursuits show us that he has a type and so far, they all look like Cassie. I hate to break it to everyone but bodies are just bodies – look around and you can find a look alike so posting a pic to show what one is missing is pretty stupid. From my seat, I wish the same for Cassie that I’d wish for any woman- that she finds the one that wants to be or is the one (IF- that is what she chooses). She is just as valuable without him as she was with him. She doesn’t need to show him anything.

As a society- we really must get back to a place of understanding that physical attributes are not really what holds couples together. Nor are those traits what makes one miss a person enough to actually care that they posted a picture. Consider- I LOVE cake, it’s the most delectable delicacy on the planet. But cake is everything except good for my fitness goals. Posting a pic of a plate of it might make me smile but knowing the end result prevents me from running back for a slice. That could be the reality of Cassie and/or Diddy and every other couple that breaks up. Maybe we can talk about that sometime.

That is that and that is all. ~Peace

Disconnecting to Connect

sky2

Hi, my name is Lynne, I manage a blog and I’ve been disconnected. I have missed talking music over here! Truly there are always great tunes to discuss (have you heard the recent offerings of Esperanza Spalding? If you want to hear a project that is just beautiful to the senses – check out the work she has released from 12 Little Spells. Touch in Mine made me want to cry over its beauty). I started a private, music group on Facebook many months ago. You can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/157552298230119/

So back to the point of this post- why and how have I been disconnected? Lately I have felt compelled to discuss adoption and the true, often undisclosed implications of growing up adopted, and eventually becoming an adult adoptee. It’s the heaviest burden I’ve carried my entire life (cue Bag Lady by Erykah Badu). Many of the associated feelings I’ve experienced aren’t good and I haven’t wanted to write about them. It’s complicated, ya know? Along with shame, I’ve always carried with me the concern of hurting people who love me and would feel a certain way about me discussing my life circumstances. So, I’ve kept quiet. But- I’ve finally begun to realize that it does not serve me to keep it bottled up. I’m also aware of the importance of changing the dialogue around familial pain, particularly as it relates to adoption. To be clear, I have a great immediate family and a small circle of friends who are fantastic and amazing. They allow me space to purposely disconnect so that I can focus on my “stuff” (my introversion requires it). They also reel me back in when that time has drawn out a little too long. When it comes to writing, there is no one to hold me accountable, or keep me connected beyond the guilt in my head. But recently one of my adoptee peers named my blog and noted aloud during a meeting that I hadn’t posted in a while (thanks Pamela!). My mind was a little blown and I felt guilty, so here we are.

Disconnecting purposely from things and activities that no longer served me was my goal this summer. This included limiting my time on social media and television, choosing to enjoy the outdoors and submerge myself in activities and projects. I removed the voices of others when it came to my situations. In doing this, every decision I made, was mine alone. During this sabbatical of sorts, I woke up one morning feeling a disconnect from certain persons. These are people whom I’d long accepted as a primary source of my sustenance on the planet, no matter how often that sustenance felt like poison. In this group is my biological mother. It’s been 14 years since I found her. With zero progress, I didn’t feel a notice was necessary but I did provide some context in a brief explanation. It landed I suspect, like a tree in an empty forest, to little or no fanfare. She offered no response and I’m ok with that. My decision was about freeing up head space and moving forward. I simply decided using an internal version of the popular catchphrase- “times up” and began the process of cutting mental ties. After all of this time, I just don’t have the mental capacity to continue saving space for those who have none for me. Adoptees would call this part of- coming out of the fog.

I’ve been participating in Weight Watchers for the last 3 months. We recently discussed body image and how some families have thin and not so thin members upon whom to measure oneself. I listened and then shared my perspective as follows. I grew up in a family of people who were mostly tall, thin and either light or dark in complexion. As the oldest girl, and second oldest child- I was the shortest in my family from about fourth grade on and always had caramel brown skin with red undertones. I used to look at my family members and wonder if I’d ever blend. This only continued with age as our bodies developed, mine developed toward a more short and athletic build. People used to ask me all the time if I ran track. While I played flag football and participated in intramural sports through middle school (believe it or not), I never ran. I also never stayed at a school long enough to find out if I was fast when compared to my peers. I participated for fun and because I loved being outside. The important part of this is that I received no influence from “genetic mirroring”. This means biologically, I’ve never had much in common or looked like my adoptive family beyond race (which is important also imo).  As a result, I had the minimum in terms of a guiding familial footprint/mentoring. I was never pushed in any direction nor provided reason to think I’d be good at running or anything else. I feel like it was a sort of- throw it against the wall and see what sticks kind of upbringing. I’ll share more on this subject in another post but hopefully you get the gist. It would be decades before I would see familial bodies that mirrored my own, let alone ideologies and interests. Years passed before I understood I’d been looking at the wrong people/bodies all along and sometimes I had to be reminded I’d never look like them. It’s quite awkward and sometimes disheartening to be unable to identify your tribe visually. At the end of the WW meeting, the leader turned to me and said- “I just want to tell you that you are a beautiful woman”. I smiled and thanked her. I understood that my words, the deeper meaning of them, did reach at least one person in the room who complained her body did or did not genetically match that of her mother or others in the family. You can see though- that the makings of disconnection happen for adoptees very early in life. At an early age, we just don’t/didn’t know what to call it. That is a brief lesson on Genetic Mirroring.

Fast forward to today- I am finally starting to talk more openly about the fact that I’m adopted and that I found my birth mother almost 14 years ago. My choice to disconnect is evidence that our reunion has not gone swimmingly. I discovered my birth father too, but I’ll save that conversation for another day. When I first found my birth mom, we got off to what I thought was a great start. That start however has been muddied by her inconsistencies and inability to move forward. It perhaps hurts her to see me, looking so much like her, after years of thinking she’d never see me again. Genetic mirroring is clearly not a positive for everyone. I became protective over the years, making excuses for her and I’ve finally disconnected from that activity also. But- it has probably been difficult to be transported by my existence back to a time she’d chosen to forget. During our last communication, I told her the same. That last part was done in a moment of frustration and sometimes I wish I could take it back. I sometimes feels like I’m reliving a goodbye scene in a movie, over and again; standing on the other side of the door hoping she’ll open it and swear her undying love for me. I leave it be though, knowing that no matter how hard you try to change a river- without something mountainous happening to reverse its course- it just keeps on flowing in the same direction.

It’s taken me a long time to be ok with all of these disconnects. Some of them have become permanent. In some way, all of them have cleared my mind and helped me uncover my parts unknown. Every day I continue to arrive at a place of unapologetic comfort with my voice, my abilities, myself. I am choosing my connections carefully, noting where each one takes me. Each landing, while at times a little bumpy, has been everything I ever imagined and more. I only wish I’d begun to jump sooner.

We’ll talk music soon! Peace!

 

Happy New Year?

I’ve been contemplating this whole New Years thing, reading the resolves (cheering for those who make them) and I’ve come to accept that for ME it is simply another day to move forward, beyond that which I’ve already accomplished, in the amount of time I have left on the planet. That’s what keeps me moving–>The idea that there is much to do

Going into the New Year like... Happy
Going into the New Year like… Happy

and the unknowing of how much time I have left

to do it. I have not a moment to waste. I never want to be the one looking back… wishing I had focused more on LIVING. The older I get, the more I contemplate this.

While some are just considering- I am learning, loving, giving and pressing toward what makes me happy hoping THAT inspires others. After all THINGS will always be there… THINGS can eventually become someone else’s… But LIFE, the experiences that come with and what you do with them.. they will always be Yours alone… Just as MINE will remain mine. That’s plenty to take into the next day. An entire year will be icing on the cake.

Happy Tuesday y’all!

Change is in the Air

This will be a quick post! I’ve been MIA and with good reason. Life is changing for me and I’ve been in the lab (in my brain) planning for transition. I haven’t talked much about it but this will be my last year at my current gig and as a result- it’s time to release myself into MY next big thing. I plan to start job hunting soon but in the meantime I’ve decided to dedicate myself to doing what I love- CREATING! It’s no secret that I love to write, but I also love photography, scrap booking, hand lettering, cooking and making all natural body products. As it relates to the latter, I’ve been mixing up hair and skin products for the last couple of years… mostly as a hobby. Yet, I have friends and family who have asked me to make items for them which have resulted in minor sales. I enjoy doing this so much that I’ve decided to SLOWLY turn my hobby into more of a part-time gig and I’m excitedly researching and adding items to my recently opened Etsy shop. All to say, transition can be good. I’m having a good time learning and teaching myself how to better care for my body. We often think about the inside (via diet, etc) but not always the actual skin we are in. With that- below is a better look at one of my pretties… If you’re up to it- come visit my shop (and order of course!)! 😀  —–> https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheFabulousFennyl

IMG_4912
Apple Sage Salt Scrub

The Unknowing

It was the unknowing

That ruined us

Ruined us like ancient villages

Bulldozed by forces that would not

Find our presence, precious

Did not find the echo

Of our giggles amusing

nor of interest, worth saving

Pillaged our memories

Incinerating them one by one

Sunday dresses, jump rope

Red light, green light

Barefoot on concrete

Races, the rubble

Caused our feet to bleed

Rusted shells and shrapnel

mixed with brown and white

Barbie heads, staring grotesque

Killed our insides

What happened to them?

Where are their clothes?

What became of their bodies?

Where is the harvest of the seeds

Once planted here?

What is this gaping hole?

What energy generated

This grand canyon of loss?

One bystander asks

No one can answer in confidence

Except me and I dare not say

Leery of giving it a name

It is juju, best left uncalled

Much safer that way

I have learned silence

Silence is it’s lullaby

The others are held hostage

In a cold, dark room

Images flashing brightly

Through brain wash

Trying to remember

They never do.

Adoptee Access Update: I Exist

I was asked by an agency that aided in the fight for Adoptees to gain access to original birth certificates in Ohio, to compose an update on my experience after getting my own this year.  I thought I’d share my post with a few additions here:

Lynne_VitalStats_n
March 30, 2015

As it is my birthday and the first day of spring, March 20 has always been a symbolic date for me. It speaks of new beginnings, warmer temperatures, the return of sunshine and the subsequent melting of ice and snow from the streets of Columbus, Ohio. In 2015, I received yet another layer of newness- the release of original birth certificates for all adoptees born in this great state. I am adopted. I used to have trouble saying it out loud. The shame, the secrecy and the  jokes about being adopted made it nearly impossible for me to share that side of my life with but a few close ones. I am still healing from the suppressed hurt of being relinquished. But I AM healing and that is the good part. The changes to unseal records in Ohio were a huge part of that healing and a long time coming. I wasn’t sure it would ever happen in my life time.

The excitement had been building since the announcement the year before. A year-long waiting period was created to allow birth mothers time and opportunity to block the release of their information. Having been in reunion since November, 2004 I had no idea if my birth mother Jo would be one of those mothers. I visited her in California in early March. The subject did not come up even once as we overlooked the gray skies of Manhattan Beach nor when we conversed poolside at my hotel. Once again, she made promises that she could not keep. I recorded them so that I would remember they were not a figment of my imagination. I needed that too as part of my healing.

I went to Vital Statistics with great anticipation to begin the process when I returned from LA. The media was there interviewing others. I wished they could interview us all. All of our stories are unique and interesting. We had all waited for the day; some of us for decades. It was interesting to see so many “regular” people of multiple ethnicities, men, women, young and old. When I walked back out into the warmth of the sunlight after submitting my request- I felt at peace knowing another part of my journey as an adoptee was coming to a close.

My birth certificate arrived about 30 days later. My heart skipped a beat when it arrived in the mail. I waited til evening to open it at my dining room table to finally read it. The sun once again shone on my back, comforting me. I opened it, and was relieved to find she hadn’t blocked it as I had read happened to others (a total of 16 in Ohio). I felt a little numb as I read the documentation that showed my true origins and my given name (Gloria Marie). I told my close friends and they celebrated with me via text… wished me closure. I noted some parts were wrong. My birth father’s name was not listed but he was stated to be white. That made me laugh. I know him and he is far from. Some of my adoption paperwork was included- items I’m sure my adoptive mother no longer has. I plan to send a copy to her and to my biological mother.

Jo and I have had a rocky reunion. It has been hot and cold but mostly cold. Perhaps stagnant is a better word. Together we are a still body of water with potential to move should the wind ever blow this way or that. I have come to a place of peace with our status. She sometimes sends me texts from sunny California saying “your life matters”. The good news is that I already know this. I live my life on purpose with each day and year I remain on the planet. The better news is that on paper- I am real just like every one else I know. I am not made up. I exist and I have the paperwork to prove it.

About that dream… how The Roots, a rapper I don’t know and a Facebook friend sent me a message

I typically avoid eating late because they always bring about bad or crazy dreams. Last week I didn’t heed my own rules of eating and went to sleep on a full stomach. For once, the dream wasn’t a nightmare. I want to share with you that prior to eating, I had conversed with my Facebook and high school friend India (about Zumba), watched Jimpire (a parody of tv show Empire featuring Jimmy Fallon and members of The Roots) and listened to a song by Tink (more on this latJimpire_photocred_CDANEWSer).

It surprised me when they ALL showed up in my dream that night (well, Jimmy didn’t come).

Here’s what happened:
Somehow I ended up landing a poetry/rap gig opening for The Roots. We were on tour and it was going to be my first time out. India was there and while I was not sure of her role- it appeared she was the show host and/or show runner.

On opening night, India was getting everyone in place and she asked me was I ready. The last thing I was feeling was… ready. Quite the contrary I was felt stage fright (I always do when I’m about to do anything!). India had no time for my insecurities and told me I needed to put all that aside be ready when I was called. I kept asking her about rehearsals. People who work with, perform alongside me know that I’m a stickler for rehearsals. I find them incredibly necessary and moving forward on the fly makes my nerves bad. Like I said, India wasn’t having it. She told me I’d better rehearse in my head, my own time, whatever I needed to do and to do it quickly because the show was starting soon. The only problem was she kept calling me Tink. The only Tink I know is an upcoming singer and rapper produced by Timbaland. She has a song out now which samples One In A Million by Aaliyah.

tink_zps57fa3caf
Chicago rapper Tink (photo cred CDANEWS)

In the dream, I have the sense to know that I’m not Tink. Yet, the headlines and promotions for the show stated it was The Roots featuring Tink. I never tell India that I’m not Tink but I DO tell her I don’t know what songs I’m supposed to do. She tells me (I have no recollection). I tell her I’m not prepared. She still doesn’t care. She tells me to get the words written, put them somewhere and be ready to GO when it’s my turn. I somehow get a typed copy of the words and review them but I have ZERO sense of the melody. Zero. I continue to panic and decide that based on the music I’ll just go with the flow. However, I then worry that the audience (I can see them waiting; there are hundreds) will see and know that I’m a fraud. They call my name… Tink’s name. India asks me if I’m ready. I’m not but I go anyway. Thank God I woke up!

Perhaps you pray, perhaps you don’t but I do. In my prayers, I asked God to tell me the meaning of this dream. There had to be more to this than the fact that I had eaten Bibibop too late. I got two answers. Let me back up. First, a couple weeks ago I heard God’s voice tell me that I need to write. That I should write every single day. I said, “yeah, okay” and went on with my life. So when I asked, I received two answers:

  1. The first answer was a gentle reminder that I was supposed to write EVERY day. It didn’t matter if no one read it. It mattered that I did it. It was further explained that I keep saying I want to be a writer and yet I’m not exercising my pen or keyboard in the way that I should, practicing the way that I should… And I was asked- how, without preparation, would I ever be ready when my turn came? Whoa.
  2. If you are always ready, you never have to prepare! Ummm, ok. I knew that but I gotta figure out how this works with my creativity style of “go-with-the-flow”
  3. The final response was that no matter how often people try to push me to be like others, I can only be myself. I don’t have to follow the styles of others, the format of others or anything else “of others” in order to have success. I’ll never be Tink. I don’t need to emulate her or anyone else. The best person I can ever be and the one I know most personally is myself.  I need to stay in my lane and it’s always better if I let folks know- that ain’t me, bro!

These answers were so incredibly timely as I’m always on a path of self discovery. Sometimes though, I forget to just be me. Some can’t really handle me (and that’s ok). This was just the reminder that I needed- that I’m in the right place but there are things I need to do to stay in the right place. It’s taken me a long time to figure out who I am and this is just one more lesson on the journey. I’m just going to go with it. So practice, practice, practice it is! You guys may get tired of my posts. But if you don’t and you actually enjoy them- please SUBSCRIBE! 😀