Everyday Struggle: Manifestos for When No One Is Listening

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A true G, that’s me, blowing like a bubble in the everyday struggle.

The Notorious B.I.G. – Everyday Struggle.

Words had an easier time flowing out of me when my only responsibilities were freelancing whenever I can, boosting my profile as a musician/entertainer, dancing until my body started aching, and taking care of myself. Now as new struggles arise into 2019, the only word that keeps repeating in my mind ad nauseum is struggle.

Struggle to get out of bed weekday mornings to go to my new job. Struggle to wake up Saturday mornings to perform at open mics. Struggle to balance my time and money with fears of wasting both. Struggle to live a life of knowing what I want but not knowing the right steps I need to take to get there.

Nothing exactly new under the sun. I know I’m not the only one.



2018 in many ways might just be my best year since…2014. I was able to travel to places I never even considered stepping foot in, I accomplished several life goals (can any other New Yorker say they have their driver’s license?), I’m making a fair amount of headway in my music and photography, and of course I’m becoming a better dancer.

At the same time, a lot of my successes have been offset by newfound money issues. One month into my new job has me wishing for a better experience but it could be much worse. And even if the job was worse, I’m in a position that I have to make the best of; or else, I can’t pay rent, phone bills, or those dastardly student loans.

And even in my successes I’ve found a fair share of shortcomings. Putting my life on hold may in the name of grieving and creating art doesn’t excuse the fact that I shirked a lot of my responsibilities with BDNY. Self pity sure doesn’t excuse the fact that I let down some of the people I look up to most. And being perpetually hard on myself doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to grow from my mistakes.

I don’t know how many times I’ve had to say these words to myself…but what’s one more time!



Anyway, I live an interesting duality between how I think I’m representing myself on Black & Blues versus how I live my life. In my day to day, I sense that I’m a lot less inclined to express the importance of Black culture. On the blog? Naturally I have to heighten my senses of Black pride, power, love, and acceptance for my readers. I have to champion the people and the topics I cover. I want to champion the people and the topics I cover. I just…have a hard time championing me. Add another struggle to the never ending list.

Yet throughout all of this processing/growing up/whatever else you wanna call it, it never slips my mind that I have my culture and heritage to inspire me even during my loneliest moments. Even during moments where I look down at where I come from, it gets easier to regain pride when I look towards others who work through their struggles. I’ve covered a few people who’ve done so on this very blog, including myself! That’s been one of the many reasons why I’ve enjoyed running Black & Blues.

I always have the fear that my words will fall on deaf ears though. I run the risk of Black & Blues falling of deaf ears every time I write a post. I also run the risk of worrying that I’m not running this to best of my abilities, among other things. And yet; when one person tells me that they admire me for a multitude of reasons, it makes this whole process worth it. For that, I am eternally grateful.

I’ve seen dark days and bright nights throughout 2018 with a smile on my face. Of course, I don’t know what the new year holds, but I am looking forward to it. Before I bless all of you into the new year, I want to give a few updates on where I want to take Black & Blues into 2019:

  • Interview series featuring prominent dancers in the New York Blues Dance scene
  • At least two posts a month
  • More posts about the dance we all know and love!
  • More frequent updates on Social Media

If you have other suggestions, please feel free to contact me. Until then, thank you for reading, as always.