I know you all are jonesin’ for Part 2 about my house, but I gotta keep this blog real and how to do that is to share where and what I’ve been up to this week.
Right now, I’m flying over the Rocky Mountains and listening to Ice Cube’s Death Certificate…No Vaseline. Not sure if you are all down with this CD or Ice Cube (before he was a big movie making dude). But back in the day, he was a real rapper with beats that I used to love to bump – loud. The real hook for me is his irreverence, you see Ice Cube says what he wants to say, there is a freedom to this, so incorrect in a social way – totally un-princess-like and rough and edgy.
I dig this, because fo’sho there is a part of me that is the truth-teller, always has been ALWAYS will be. I’ve got a big old mouth and when I see things, I gotta call it. I used to think that coming from “The Other Side of The Track” was a bad thing, however now I KNOW the tough side is the RIGHT side. Hunger, humility and loss all fed my dreams and when you have NOTHING your desire is greater than your fear. In fact the only part of my life that made it the “wrong” side was that we didn’t have material items, now I KNOW that even thinking this way is an insult to my family. They gave us so much love and taught us value. How is that the bad side? I listen to rap like Ice Cube when I need to be reminded to say what I feel, express and remain in my raw, authentic place. This is where my inspiration comes from.
I first moved to Los Angeles when I was in my early 20′s, I had one duffel bag of belongings and $900 bucks. I handed all the cash over to my BFF Gretchen and we rented an apartment on Venice Beach, not a stitch of furniture or a car to make my way around the city. What I did have was $5 bucks left over to buy myself a proper journal, up until then I’d only scribbled my thoughts in notebooks and scraps of paper.
I climbed the rickety steps of our new building and found an old broke down lawn chair to sit in, looking out over the sea I wrote “I’ve Made It”, and I had. You see I’d done something big, I’d chosen to live life and not from a frightened point of view – I’d taken the NOT safe route, the world was mine to create a life in. Life in Los Angeles was like being inside the lens, everywhere I turned, I was struck by images that had been placed in my mind via television – the landscape was my favorite: mountains and the beach.
WE DIE, LIFE IS IMPERMANENT.
Sitting up on that roof, I was reminded of what I’d learned, life IS impermanent and meant to be lived, therefore I was determined to give it a shot and see where it took me. Granted, lots of those places weren’t always so glamorous, but never were they wrong and always they were “Good Enough”, that’s my thing: our lives are good enough when we see them as being so.
Flying into LA I was reminded of the girl that I had been on Venice beach and the movie played in my mind everywhere I turned. I immediately jumped in a cab and found myself delivered into the arms of my best friend Fab Gab. I love how folks live in LA, in their own movies. Los Angeles is scenic, hip, progressive, forward moving, creative, crowded and alive. LA is flawed to the bone and totally perfect, maybe that’s why I adore it. LA took me in and never asked me who I was or what my parents did! Los Angeles whispered in my ear “You Can Do It”, if it’s meant to happen, it CAN happen here. Guess what? It did happen for me there, I grew into MEE, I discovered my spiritual relationship with life, I acquired languages, friendships and met my husband. I learned tough lessons too – I made life long friendships and lost people I adored due to my own self judgments that flew out at them.
The best Los Angeles ever gave me was that I could try things I had NO clue how to do. This is really how I became a writer, after working as a commercial actress and not really digging it as much as one might think, I asked my agent at the time if I could give writing a try. He was cool and said “sure”. I then called my dearest friend Denise Roberts. You see, Denise has a foundation fighting breast Cancer and she herself is a survivor – Cancer has also touched just about everyone in her immediate family – Denise’s foundation is the real deal – she is helping folks in the minority community to get well, no matter what the situation. She goes into folks’ houses when they are sick and makes sure there is food for their kids, shoes on their feet and laundry tended too. This pulls my heart ’cause when I was a kid, we were left alone often as my mother spent weeks at a time in the hospital, my sister was left in charge at 9 years old, we were hungry, lights cut off leaving us cold in the dark. We would have LOVED Denise’s foundation to come through and help us.
Well for my first project I knew what I had to do, I’d just finished a long run of womens’ workshops and trips to the Pyramids in Mexico, where for the first time ever, I really looked at myself and my life. Granted, I was physically healthy, but I’d seen a direct relationship with ill health and our emotional selves. I called Denise and ran the plan by her, I was going to write a play about my journey to the desert, since the majority of the women Denise helped couldn’t come to an actual woman’s journey in the Santa Fe Desert or fly to the Mexican Pyramids, I was gonna take ‘em via my writing.
Denise, loving my enthusiasm said “Right on little momma, I only have two questions fo’ya 1.) Do you know how to write a play? 2.) How are you going to pay for the production?”
This was the moment I will NEVER forget “No I don’t know how to write it but I’m fixin’ to learn and I might as well learn how to produce while I’m at it.”
Guess what? I learned how to write a play and the money was a gift ” I organized a fundraiser, brought folks together and then went to the bank where I opened a business account that was used to produce my play. We sold tickets for $50 bucks a person and $100 dollars if you wanted an “Angel” seat – we SOLD OUT! This play was meant to run for one night and stayed up for 6 weeks, Princess Know It All was born.
This weekend I returned to LA once again to go through the writer process of pitches and meetings, this is a VERY exciting process. Don’t get me wrong, it can be totally nervy, but now I know my level of capability and I’ve ALREADY got a platform where I can express – so there is NOTHING for me to loose. With this said, the meetings were AMAZING, I had to totally control my “inner Chihuahua” from not totally spazzin’ out and pissing on the rug!
I controlled my tiny bladder but some dog let his stool splatter and just as I walked into my final meeting, I felt that oh too familiar squishy feeling underfoot….Back to Ice Cube and my version of irreverence, I gotta remember to be truthful to my vision, what I want to convey & share without fear of rejection, gotta be “True to the game.” This weekend I hooked back up with Denise Roberts and once again confirmed my connection to her foundation and just maybe this time around we will bring some noise to her projects.
I’d heard a LONG time ago that LUCK is when preparation meets opportunity. Well, a few months ago, I went to LA for direction, got it – headed home and returned this time with my homework – I got an A! Now I’m heading back to the lab with a new list of work…what I now KNOW is that when I don’t know how to do something, I step to the table and figure it out.
This week I said Yes!
Today is the anniversary of my mothers death and she would for sure be so proud that I have said yes, all she wanted was for all of us to be people that said yes to life and then showed up to make it happen.
My sister rolled into to town last week to drop her love on my house and tend to my girls, her nieces. You see, this is how we see it, these are “our” kids and we each have a role to play with a different direction to lend to their childhoods. Thanks Nicole for showing up so I could once again give it my best.
The plane is landing soon and once I hit the ground, I’m fixn’ to take off running between work and moving to our new house, this winter is gettin’ ready to heat up!