east coast v. west coast
the war wages on
my mother doesn't immediately strike you dead as a ringer for puffy, but trust me...she and sean combs are one in the same. he's a badboy, born and bred reppin' the east; got a mind for business, and a heart heavy from loss. she's an east coast ride-or-die chick, loyal to her 'hood until she's six feet under, and her heart riddled with worry. both have an interesting take on fashion, and both wanted nothing more than their boy to succeed (but in my mothers case, "boy" meant "adorably precocious daughter").
her similarities with sean weren't apparent outright, they crept in slowly. her east coast allegiance surfaced first when i mentioned california as a possible location i was looking into for work. as my dreams of the sun of san francisco kissing my face became more vivid, my mothers voice could be heard more resoundingly- 'seriously ashley, what is out west that you can't have right here? you have a good job and life right now- be patient, don't discredit what you have, where you are, and what you know.' i always retorted something to the affect of, 'i'm not taking anything away from this time and place- but isn't it only natural and right to yearn for more? like a sponge, i want to absorb everything that stimulates me- wakens me- and moves me further in life.'
in the rap game, i consider myself a chip of the ol' snoop block. a dash of awkwardly interesting gangly limbs, a sweet melodic soulful toned voice, a character that does great in the east- but heart's rooted in the west. let's be real, snoop dogg and i are practically twins.
what fuels my love for the parks of san francisco and the wonderment of la? is it the luster and glitter of something new and shiny? the possibility of a whole new world? do i yearn for something that isn't what i have currently? or am i just more of a 'red' girl when it comes to bandanna fashions? i suppose all of those thoughts have crossed my mind before- but the overwhelming reason is simply- the west compells me.
i've been to san francisco one time and it was the only time in my life i've felt physically moved by a place. even though my time spent in the palm of san fran was full of activity and movement, i returned home re-energized, refocused, and reborn. everything became incredibly clear- much like the moment you walk out of the eye doctor with a new pair of perfectly tuned glasses. you see the crispness of the leaves for the first time in forever; they've always been there, but now you see their freckles, their ridges. it is in this moment you can absorb all of the beauty that is around you. or if you are a cynic who doesn't appreciate my poetic description, it's rational benefit is that with eyes more clear, one can more effectively do work.
in the few months after i returned from san francisco, i felt more creative than ever. it was the beginning of the flurry of brain activity that begat lesbifriends, in fact. like fievel and those on the orgeon trail before me (the old school computer game, not the actual migration route- "you have died from dysentery"), i knew that my task- as daunting as it may seem- was to be going- going- back- back- to cali- cali- any way possible. i had to get back west, twas my duty!
i've encountered a cast of characters along the path to finding my way back to my utopia. there have been the big, irrational, dreamers who've shouted seductively, "drop your world and baggage, babygirl. then buy a one-way ticket and never look back". what an attractive line of thinking, however i have a fundamental issue with that. that's poetic; that's the syrupy sweet way they do it in movies and in the beginning of 40% of all intervention episodes. but from a more realistic standpoint, i'm seeing zippy planning and forethought going into that- and while it could and probably has worked for people in the past, my semi-neurotic voice shouts internally, "MAYBE GOOGLE SOMETHING ON THE AREA FIRST, otherwise you could end up huffing computer cleaner and being set up on national television for your intervention. i'm just saying- it could happen." i'm a planner and a goal setter. so while i would love to pack up my bags and leave on a jet plane, i shall instead do my homework- be the best worker i can be- and always keep my eyes open for that door.
dr. dre told us years ago that the "wild, wild west" was a "state that's untouchable like eliot ness", and that's still true today. california is like new york in that way; they sparkle brighter than a million suns to those who are just out of reach. i'm not alone in my quest for the west, there are others like me who crave seeing the sun melt away and being the last to kiss it goodnight. others still ache for new york city; a city, a world, a cornucopia of life. to be saturated in it constantly must be a dynamic and colorful existence. my best friend when consulted on the topic wants me to find myself- lest that leave me, naked and penniless, or half naked and loaded. she's always encouraged me to: do nothing but what makes me happy; never settle for less than what you want and deserve; follow your heart and remain true to who you are. an artist through and through, she follows where her soul tells her to go and moves with its rhythms. dr. dre and her both are sultry forces who harmoniously blend with snoop.
the powerful rap battle that was the mid-80's through early-90's might be over, but the lines are drawn in my world. as much as i want to appease those around me and maintain what i have accomplished, i can't help but push for more. your fears are not mine, so please don't be offended when i sidestep them and forge ahead. dreams aren't meant to start out as 'level-headed' and 'mindful', they are meant to be big, ostentatious, and a bit crazy. but as far as building the bridge to get there, while it may take more time, one should make sure to have a sound structure before throwing all their chips in. the gap between dream and reality isn't that far (you can have that one for free, hallmark), as long as you back it up.
so, am i there yet? no. and i might not be tomorrow, or the next day... but i did dial "3-1-0" for the first time last week, baby steps!