My first three days being back in Monterey County after not returning for 7 months and placing boundaries has been some of the best times I had in a long while.
My good friend Angelica, who has been an great friend and supporter literally drove up just to see me perform and get away from Los Angeles for a day. I took her around the county, introduced her to a couple photographers I model for, good friends, old colleges friends and other supporters of my work. Angie became part of this hilarious video I did with the homie Benji. We went around downtown Monterey and asked people their opinion on love. I was wearing a curly hair wig with sunglasses on haha. Since I lost about 65-70 pounds since my last trip to Monterey people won’t recognize me with props on.
Anyways, during this interview I asked folks how they felt about love, and their experiences etc. Two young women on their lunch break from trader joes agreed to be part of the video. The stories they shared were super inspirational. One of the women is engaged to her very first boyfriend, after several years of hurtful experiences with men. The other young woman found someone that makes her extremely happy shortly after exiting an abusive relationship. Off camera (from the interview) they given me some advice on moving forward with my relationships. Personally being hurt so many times I’m fearful of taking a risk. The pain stems from times I was sexually assaulted and falsely accused of sexual assault. She said, “you gotta give yourself grace and the person you giving a chance grace. Take the standards you had for someone else who is not a good person and apply it to someone new.”
Last month in March I lamented over the fact I felt so alone going to these venues and sharing my stories to strangers in hopes someone would resonate what I have to say. While it definitely connects most of the time, the sense of comfort and understanding isn’t there for me. So it was great to have her here, and a few Monterey friend still down to support me.
Its crazy after spazzing out last year, part of me felt I may have lost 90 percent of the community. Over half of my new books for Culture Shock is gone. Sold a few copies of my rap single, Lately. I was only scheduled to perform one night of the festival, ended up doing two. A few people came up to me personally and said they only came out to see me, and wanted a autograph. During the Pearl Hour performance, at the very start not many showed up at all. Then it became a full house.
Being on stage performing I was a little thrown off by the acoustics of the room. My throat closed up mid-performance. Getting words out clearly got harder. Honestly, I think i was just extremely exhausted. On the ride to Pearl Hour, i damn near fell asleep twice. Knowing that performance wasn’t my best I cower in fear. A good friend, Brian Sheffield, told me its beautiful to make mistakes. It’s makes you human. Reflecting on what he expressed, the entire reason why I do what I do nowadays is to give people the opportunity to humanize self through my stories of anger, happiness, depression etc.
In addition to acknowledging this, at the same time, i’m having trouble or feeling weird about two individuals walking out mid-performance during my last piece, “Pink, White, Blue.” I talked about the violence and war crimes involving the US military. At the end of the show, I was told they are ex-military veterans.
In the midst of feeling mixed regarding my performance people came up to me saying I’m a star and not to be humble about it. To boast that shit. Another good friend, Josie, told me even though the area has been rough there’s still love here.
That love birth new connections. After the show, I started to bonded with a wonderful human being and literally sat in the middle of Denny’s for hours from 9:30-3:30am talking about life, art, emotional intelligence, sharing stories & more. We both acknowledged that it’s refreshing and great just to talk being complete strangers. Only met them at Day 2 of the Monterey Poetry Festival.
Even afterwards they took me to the place I’m crashing at and we just sat in the car sharing & playing music that strikes a cord emotionally for another hour through our cell phones because no one had an aux cord. I played Kendrick Lamar’s “Sing About Me, I’m Dying Of Thirst” & Big K.R.I.T’s “Drinking Sessions.” They played “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver, “Pure Gold” by Earth, Wind & Fire, & “To Build A Home” by The Cinematic Light Orchestra.
We also talked about songs that are forever ruined by unfortunate circumstances surrounding romantic interests.
I eventually went inside at 4:35am.
Situations like these. Just make being present more bearable. There’s no judgement. I can finally just be with no pressure. It adds to the thought that people aren’t always out to hurt you or want something from you. The best of times. I can’t let my past hinder myself from progressing forward.
A common theme I’m slowly realizing when it comes to life currently is that love will be there no matter what position you’re in. I can’t lie and say that someone/something out here doesn’t have their eye on me. At random times it’s times it feels like i’m still running. I’m just not going to give it attention or energy. Typically I give things like that more attention than usual and that cause me to spiral a little.
I am learning to live and laugh in the moment.
I think I needed to escape from Los Angeles for a bit.