Monday, December 5, 2011

Birthdays, Bathrooms & Brows...

So here I sit in the lovely Disney’s Beach Club Villas Resort…no, I’m not a guest…just passing through, as it would be, to meet an old friend from acting, Jenn, who’s now a cast member at Disney. It’s a beautiful night…maybe in the high 60’s or 70’s and the only commotion is the pitter patter of little feet walking by and excited voices of children as they embark on their next Disney adventure.

I smiled as I drove in earlier, coming under the gates that read: “Welcome to Disney World: Where Dreams Come True.” It felt like a gentle nudge, as I drove underneath, to continue on my path. It’s amazing the signs of wonder that you get to be witness to if only your ears, eyes, and heart are open to receiving them.
I parked my car and got my bags together to go on a little adventure before I met Jen out for dinner. I walked out to the boardwalk and recognized it as I thought I might. Back during my time living in Florida, I had sang at a friend’s wedding over here. I sang “When I Fall in Love” as Amanda walked down the aisle at the happiest place on earth. That was the second wedding I ever sang, second only to my own sister’s wedding, and I didn’t realize the next time I came back here that I would be on the path of pursuing my dreams on a full-time basis. But I’m so thankful to be back here filled to the brim with dreams in my heart.

When I first made my way to the boardwalk, I made a pit stop in the restroom. In the stall next to me, a mother and a young daughter were going back and forth about something or another. I didn’t catch exactly what they were talking about until I heard the mother say something about the fact that she was really irritated with Disney. I listened closer to hear more about what her complaints were. She said that her daughter had never heard the word “hate” until she watched the movie, “Finding Nemo.” She went on and on about how she would have to watch every Disney movie three times forwards and backwards to ensure that didn’t happen again. I couldn’t help but sigh and realize the truth of the matter. That’s not realistic…no matter how you look at it. The mother can’t spend her whole life censoring every Disney movie to ensure they say everything right all the time. She’ll miss most of her daughter’s childhood obsessing over one word here or another there. And even if she spent the time to do that, her daughter would eventually leave the house at some point and here all the words she wants to shield her from…and then what?

While Disney presents a utopian-like atmosphere with all the things your heart and mind can imagine, once you go back under that Disney gate and enter Orlando, there’s no escaping the reality of our world. And though no one ever ensured that I didn’t hear the word “hate” growing up, I thank God that I was able to discern the fact that hate was a bad word. I’m fairly sure that woman’s daughter will be able to distinguish the same without missing out on any Disney movies.

It reminds me of a conversation that I had earlier today. I was actually just going to blog about that conversation originally, but after a short time here, I realized I had more to talk about than I had initially thought. I went to go get my eyebrows waxed by a woman who used to do them when I lived here. She’s currently working out of a different salon and is now self-employed. She’s unhappy as a business woman as she considers herself, rightfully so (especially if you saw what she did with my eyebrows…shameless plug: Helena Morton: Primp Salon, 1411 Trovillion Ave., Winter Park, FL), an artist. We discussed the pros and cons, mainly cons in her case, of being a business owner and all the responsibilities that one takes on when you go from being an employee to an employer. For me, I’m too much of a free spirit to have a boss anymore. I used to think I just had a problem with authority, but I realized it was much deeper than that, and far less angry. I’m simply too creative and have too many ideas to be constrained to the confines set forth by a manager or anyone who may have some kind of control over my work obligations. I have a relentless work ethic and I find it exhausting to try and place a value on that work ethic. Accordingly, it makes more sense to me to work for myself and, for the most part, by myself. I’ve seen the latest fruits of that labor at my EP Release Party, which was responsible for hosting about fifteen local artists and ten sponsors, all of whom I single-handedly coordinated.

Helena, on the other hand, has no problem being an employee. She wants to do what she does and not have to deal with all the extra obligations that come along with running the business (i.e. ordering supplies and keeping track of the numbers). While I am a free spirit and I like doing things myself, I can totally relate to this aspect of the dilemma, as well. While I was proud of all the work that I put into getting everything organized and prepared for 11.11.11, it left me little to no time to be an actual artist….no time for writing new material, barely any time to rehearse, and definitely no social time to relax and be inspired by life, which is where so much of my inspiration comes from. Yes, I can certainly empathize with Helena and I understand fully that it would just be easier to be an artist. Fortunately, Helena’s moving in that very direction now and should be back to doing strictly what she loves, alongside her adorable and loveable puppy, Lucky. As for me, I’m still doing it all. I’ve officially set the wheels in motion to complete a full-length album by my birthday this June.

What does any of that have to do with where we began? Well, we all have our own dreams and aspirations. For that mother, her dream is to provide her daughter with a life as perfect as she can create despite the world’s reality. For me, my dream is to become a global recording artist so that all the world may hear what it would be my honor and blessing to share. And for Helena, her dream is to help others feel and look even more beautiful by doing what she loves. 

Today, December 5th, would have been Walt Disney’s birthday. I no longer believe in coincidences. I thank God to be fortunate enough to have made a stop at the happiest place on earth where dreams come true on the very day that the man who believed in dreams so much was born. I’ll leave you with this quote in honor and memory of this special man. “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Home...errrr....Starbucks is Where the Heart Is

Another day, another Starbucks! If you know me at all, you'll know I've become accustomed to turning any given Starbucks into my very own home office of sorts. Today, I've set up shop at an Ormond Beach Starbucks in Florida. I used to frequent this particular location when I lived in the area. but I usual.

I'm here in Florida for a number of reasons. The first of which was to celebrate Thanksgiving with my extended family in Flagler Beach. Many of you met Kathy, my second mother, when you came to the EP Release Party. Thanks again to EVERYONE who came out and/ or signed in online to to watch! It was such an inspiring and gratifying night to see everyone join together to celebrate local artists, local businesses, and MUSIC! It was truly the best day of my far!

So now what?! Well, some of you who know me or who have been following my story know that I've been living out of my car for a little over 2 months now...hence, the reason Starbucks has become such a God send in serving as a home office! Now that I've released the EP, I'm working on getting all the legal paperwork completed to release the songs on iTunes and release the music video for "Screaming to be Free," produced by GI Joe. I need to start making money on my music soon since I can't live out of my car forever! ;)

Today, I challenged my Facebook friends to help me get 1,000 "likes" for KFHox ( Once I reach the thousand fan mark, I'll release the video for "Screaming to be Free" directed by Rodolfo Duran of online. I'm also working on some other new music that's been in the works for quite some time now. Living out of my car has made it challenging to work as quickly as I'd like to, but I'm grateful for all the support and love I've received throughout this journey!

While in Florida, I'll be visiting my old stomping grounds, Full Sail University, where I used to work as a regional admissions representative. I'm going to put the wheels in motion to get an intern to work for KFHox, which is a small business I started this year. I need to get some help with promoting my music on all the social networks I'm on and it's become increasingly challenging to wear all hats: manager, booker, promoter, writer, AND artist. I need to start sleeping more than 4-5 hours a night at some point so this may be the relief I need until I find appropriate management. It's hard to get any sleep when you're living your dream.

Why don't I already have a manager? It's not for lack of being in demand, but more for lack of finding the right "glass slipper", so to speak. I've worked tirelessly to make the progress I've made thus far and I've been approached by some good people with good intentions. However, God knows how much work I've truly put into this and to pass the torch to anyone asking would be doing an injustice to myself and everything I've sacrificed to get this far. I have faith that my "prince charming" manager is out there, but just like Cinderella, I must wait patiently for the day when my foot comfortably slides into that slipper.

Until then, I'm working hard to get my music heard by as many people as possible. I'll have more copies of the EP available when I return to New York in December for my 2 shows: Dec. 15th at Bruckner Bar & Grill, BX: Bruckner Sessions Vol. IV & Dec. 16th at Post Road Ale House, New Rochelle with John James Piteo & friends!

I'm also planning on getting some music recorded here in Florida with "Cioni Brasco," an artist you'll be hearing more about very soon! On my travels back up north, I'll be making a stop in South Carolina to work on a remix to a song by Sunni G called, "Her or The Music" and get some face time with Kelly of KellyKel Promotions, who's been working hard to promote my music regionally.

Thank you, as always, for ALL your continuous love and support. Whether you realize it or not, YOU are my survival. There are days when I feel like I might fall apart, but my faith in God and knowing that you are behind me gives me the strength, energy, and momentum I need to keep going! I hope that I can be that for you, as well! You have my word that I won't stop until I get all the way to the top! THANK YOU!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Living, loving, & leaving legacies

Panaramic View from the Jerome Hoxie Scenic Ov...Image via Wikipedia
Legacies. It's a topic of conversation that I find myself having more frequently these days. I've always found the importance of others' legacies, but never truly considered the impact on my own. I've been stuck in Rhode Island for a few extra days waiting for a replacement light for my truck. I guess we'll start with how that happened since I've got some time to write...for the first time in a long time.

A couple weeks ago, I was parking my car and backed into a tree, which broke the entire light off my truck.  My depth perception's been way off lately due to pure exhaustion. Living in a neighborhood where I came home to gun shots ringing through the air on a regular basis led me to putting all of my belongings in a storage unit lent to me by a friend from church. I've been crashing on friends' couches and trying to figure out my next step for a couple weeks. Having just taken a new job, I'm not in a financial position to move anywhere and the man who rented me the room will not give me my deposit back. This trip to Rhode Island couldn't have come at a better time. I was at my breaking point and I needed to get some perspective...and rest.

This trip was pre-destined as I had a family reunion to attend here. I had pushed really hard for us to re-unite this year. My Aunt Peggy used to do a lot of the organization for it, but since she and my uncle passed, we hadn't been as organized at putting it together. This past Easter, I talked to one of my cousins about planning our reunion and offered whatever help I could in getting it back as an annual event. I got a text from her shortly after and I guess my response, as brief as it was, was enough to inspire an email and getting the wheels in motion to reserve a spot at Goddard Park, where we always had them in the past. I followed her lead and created a Facebook invitation to reach out to other members of the family that may not have received the email. We were on our way to continue the legacy, which began with her mother.

Just as I felt like I might go insane from worrying about where I was going to sleep and how  I was going to make my life work in New York, it was time to come home to my family reunion...which I was late for. My cousin and I joked when I arrived about me being late since I was the one who had pushed so hard for it to happen. Man, it felt good to laugh. It also felt amazing to be surrounded by my family, who have been watching my journey on Facebook and I realized how tremendously supportive they are and how much they believe in me. I couldn't bare to tell them the truth about what was going on back with my living situation.

I told one of my cousins, the one whom I've confided in before. And the only reason I really told her was so that I could ask for her to pray for me. I'm not holding my hand out to anyone to beg for help or look for an easy way out. Nothing worth having or doing is ever easy. I accept that truth and I embrace the challenges I have faced and continue to face. They have built me to be the strong young woman I am proud to be today. It's part of my legacy.

While I was home, I stayed with my brother (though not a brother by blood, he's as much my family as any one of my blood relatives). My first night there, I played music with him in his jam room. It felt good to get on the drums and bang out some of my confusion, frustration, and good that I passed out in his jam room. I woke up at 6 a.m. alone in the jam room and walked to my car so I could get a decent kind of rest in a bed at his house. As I walked out, I realized my car had been hit. I was too tired to really react to it. Reacting to it changed nothing anyway.

I went to his house and got some rest. When I woke up, I told him what happened. Without a second thought, he responded with, "Oh, that was me." I had to laugh. I was so grateful that he was the one who had done it because I wouldn't be mad at him and at least I had someone to blame if I really wanted to. he offered to put it through his insurance, but I shrugged it off and told him I had more important things to deal with than my bumper. If nothing else, my life's trials and tribulations have taught me perspective...something I'm grateful to add to my legacy.

I went to my parents' house and showed my father my light. Upon inspection, it was decided I needed to replace the entire light encasement. I had been pulled over 2 days in a row prior to arriving in RI and I couldn't return with the light the way it was. I had already gotten a ticket for the tint on my front windows the first time I was pulled over. My father and I peeled the tint off my window and he ordered me a new light through a local salvage yard. And he told me he would pay for the light. If you know anything about my father, he's not one to volunteer to pay for anything. One of his most common sayings growing up was, "If you girls didn't have your mother, you'd get NOTHING from me." Sounds harsh, but if you knew my dad, you'd just laugh when you heard him say it.

My dad's a good man with a heart of gold, a cancer survivor, who gave most of his life to the telephone company. He worked tirelessly as we were growing up, taking any overtime he could. Having three daughters wasn't cheap and my mother's mental illness took a toll on family's finances for the better part of my life. He was always trying to catch up and/ or stay afloat. That is part of his legacy.

My mother got involved with ordering the light, too. She made sure I wrote down my VIN number and all the info about my truck so they'd have it ready when they ordered it. My mother is a remarkable woman, so quiet now and slow with her motions. She's endured more than most 10 people off the street. She's suffered from manic-depression my entire life, in and out of mental hospitals for most of my childhood. She's survived breast cancer after a misdiagnosis and been diagnosed with diverticulitis and colitis. Last year she had a hip replacement, whose surgery spiraled a manic episode  and then got re-admitted after finally making her way to rehab because her wound opened. My mother seems to be a walking study of Murphy's Law....but she has survived it all. She may not be the loud and boisterous woman she was once known for, but I thank God she's alive.

This morning I went to visit my Gram, my grandmother on my father's side and my only living grandparent.  I do my best to pay her a visit every time I'm home. At 90 years old, she looks and sounds amazing. I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to play her my music. She may never see the day (if) I walk down an aisle or have any children, but I'm so grateful to God that she's alive to hear the music I've given birth to and to watch my boldly follow my dreams. We sat and talked about my grandfather, an amazing artist, my  great uncle, whom I've never had the pleasure of meeting, and the Hoxie's, my uncle's family, in California. My Pa, as I affectionately called my grandfather, was left an orphan, but spent much of his life tracing his lineage despite being abandoned by his father. My grandfather understood the importance of legacy and certainly left an impressionable one as a loving husband, a caring grandfather, a cheerful neighbor, a talented artist, and so much more.

I left the nursing home once I walked my grandmother down to lunch. She's always so proud to introduce her granddaughter from NEW YORK! I love the pride she has as she introduces me to her friends and I'm glad I didn't mention not having a place to live during our visit. Before I left, I told her I'd have a music video to show her the next time I came to visit, kissed her goodbye, and choked back tears until I reached the front door.

From there, I drove to the memorial plot of my friend, Tim Lyons. If you're not familiar with who Tim is, you can read more about his life and legacy in one of my past blogs (Forever Young). Tim's life was tragically cut short by a drunk driver when were in 8th grade. During this trip home, I also visited our junior high to talk to the principal about replacing the tree that had been planted in his memory the year it happened. The junior high went under major renovations last year and Tim's tree was ripped up as a result. I'm working hard to ensure that Tim's legacy lives on and I have a few friends working to ensure this happens.

Just as I got in my car from visiting Tim's memorial, I got on my Blackberry and posted a picture of the plaque that still stands in the place where he was struck. As I scrolled down my news feed, I saw a post from my college roommate, one of my very best friends. Her grandmother had just passed away, only 1 year from when her father, a firefighter and first responder for 9/11 had passed away(See Sun Showers, another past blog, to learn more about her father's legacy). Tears streamed down my face as I realized the year she had faced. I was glad that her grandmother was alive to see her get engaged, but saddened at the notion that both her father and grandmother would be absent from the wedding. And again, I was reminded to put my life into perspective.

As the clock ticks, I'm trying to patiently wait for the phone call saying that my light is ready to pick up so that I can get on the road and back to New York. I have to get back to make it to band rehearsal and face my reality...a reality that is so daunting sometimes that I barely know where to begin. But I'm strong and I will persevere through all of it. I can't wait to overcome all of these challenges and continue to pursue my dream. I will keep on keepin' on. And I will write to tell you of my triumph over all of this. And that is my legacy.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Day The Music Died

Today I write with a heavy heart. On this day, Saturday, July 23, 2001, one of my musical heroes died. Amy Winehouse, at the young age of 27, has left us tragically...leaving only a portion of the body of work that she would have inevitably created. Her life, riddled with abuse and addiction, has come to an end...and with it, so has her music.

Many people judged Ms. Winehouse on her alcohol and drug induced behavior. Personally, I do my best to not judge anyone. You never know the battles people are facing behind closed doors. As the daughter of a recovering alcoholic father and a mentally ill mother, I certainly can relate to the challenges one can face. For that reason, I'll speak no further on this great talent's personal problems since I, myself, am not privy to what her reality was and because I can certainly empathize with the complications of addiction and depression.

I will, however, honor her memory and legacy by continuing to listen to her music and remembering the mark she made on my musical heart. Musically, Amy Winehouse, touched my heart in a way that no other artist ever has...she sang songs I wanted to sing. I remember the first time I heard her and thinking THAT'S IT! That's the sound I've been looking for. Like many legends in the past, Amy Winehouse has opened a door, one that I would be blessed and honored to walk through. I pray for an opportunity to live out her legacy with my own music and pay homage to an old soul with a short life. May you rest in peace, Amy. My tears will dry on their own.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Cuz I Gotta Have Faith

Painting by Edwin Long, 1878. Location of pain...Image via Wikipedia
Well, well,'s been much too long, but I'm back! It's been a blessing to be as busy as I've been, but I need to make more time to dedicate to my writing...since it's my connection with YOU...besides my music. I attended a mixer for Bronx Small Business & Entrepreneurs last night and the discussion of bloggers reminded me that I couldn't remember the last time I blogged! Shame on me! Not that I haven't been writing...I've just been writing lyrics for the last couple months. The fruits of that labor are sure to unfold very soon and I can't wait to share them with you, too!

If you know even a smidge about me, you'll know that the reason I haven't had time to write lately is because I've been working tirelessly on my project, the first EP I've ever recorded. As time goes on, the EP continues to take on new a life...birthed by additional musicians joining me on the first track, "Back With You," and as a result of me stepping further into the role of producer with the 3 tracks that I'm working on.

In addition to the music that I'm currently working on, I've decided I need to do more. I have so much to share and it's virtually impossible to share everything I want to within 3-5 songs. Accordingly, I've started a new project through Kickstarter, whose aim is to secure the funding for a full-length album as well as the music video for "Back With You."

Aside from all of this, I'm in a very transitional place. Having sold all of my furniture and subletting an apartment, I'm surrounding myself with only the basics (and shoes, lot of shoes!). I have until August 15th to figure out the next step. By the grace of God, my rent is paid up until then and I'm just trying to figure out the next step.

Throughout all of this, I've not spent more than a moment worrying about what the next step is...well, maybe a moment or two. On Wednesday, June 22, 2011, I stopped by to speak to Pastor Mcdonald, someone who has undeniably been placed in my life at this moment for a very real reason. He had requested that I stop by, but hadn't given me a particular reason or anything to reflect upon before I got there. However, when I stopped by that day, my heart was heavy.

I went to meet him with these things in my heart and he began to speak. Before I had an opportunity to really share what was in my heart, God had found a way for him to speak the words I needed to hear. Not only did he reassure me that everything would work itself out (which it did and continues to do), but he proclaimed that I would be a household name and that I would serve a role to the children and women I'm so moved to inspire. Pastor Mcdonald likened me to Esther, a Jewish orphan who later became queen of Persia and the heroine of Purim. He told me to mark this day as he prophesied what my future would hold...and that's what this blog will serve to do.

A chance encounter with a homeless woman named Mary Beth the day before weighed so heavily on my heart prior to walking in to speak with him. I realized I could only give her love and compassion if she let me. But she would only allow me to do that for a limited amount of time. I encouraged her to love herself as much as I did and as much as God did. I could see in her eyes, she wanted to feel that way. She had lost her daughter and her boyfriend and she was truly lost. But somehow, a glimmer in her eye showed me that she's on the path to finding herself once again. Though she may not be ready yet, she is on her way. I gave her my business card and I pray that, when the time is right, she'll reach back out to me. She'll stay in my thoughts and prayers until that day. I know that I can be a voice and give a voice to the poor and oppressed. I cried as we hugged one another and May Beth asked why I was crying. I explained that I cried because I understand. I truly know the pain that she feels....aside from compassion, I have empathy. But even if you don't know what it's like to be in someone's shoes...try. You'll never know the difference you can make in someone's life just by taking the time to try to understand.

We've recently added "Faith" by George Michael to our latest set and it couldn't come at a more appropriate time. I've reached a place in my life that every step I take is focused on my faith. And with that faith, I have overcome getting my apartment broken into, my phone stolen, my finances falling short, and all the other bumps in the road that, at one point in my life, would've devastated me and knocked me down completely. Today, I stand by faith. Everyday I am reaffirmed in the fact that I have nothing to fear as long as I am faithful. I pray that you can find the same solace and serenity in your heart and mind....with faith.
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Thursday, May 5, 2011

If You Never Ask, the Answer's Always No

Recording in the studioImage by Moisturizing Tranquilizers via Flickr
5:41 a.m. That's what time my phone rang yesterday. But I was already up. Excitement wouldn't let me sleep the night before. I guess Brey, my producer, must've felt the same...since he was the one on the other end of the phone yelling. "You up, HoxieCotton?!" "We're not going to Cali...leaving Kennedy onto LAX....but I'm up." That was the beginning of my very busy, very AMAZING day yesterday.

Just checking in with everyone to say hello and share some of the excitement that's been going on lately. I barely know where to begin. I guess the best way to explain why things have been so busy lately is to SHOW you. Head over to to get all the latest updates from my very first EP!

My first order of business yesterday started in the studio with Brey King (Sound Check Live) and T-ron Lewis (Invaderz). We're finishing up the vocals and final revisions on the first track of my first EP, "Back with You." It has been an absolute labor of love and I'm so excited to be able to share it very, very soon! Track 2 has already started and is almost completely written. Looking forward to sharing what I've been working on!

Once we finished up in the city, Brey and I headed into the city for a meeting with an amazing producer. Since the details are still being worked out, I'll save that story for the future. Just be ready for greatness! I am so incredibly overwhelmed and humbled by all of the people that have opened up their hearts to me!

Our meeting ran late and I had to be in New Rochelle by 5 p.m....with cheesecake...that I was supposed to have made! Yikes! After an hour in rush hour traffic, I was already 45 minutes late for a musical/ spiritual dinner and discussion with Vlada ( So a stop to Mobil-on-the-Run would have to suffice...Entemann's anyone? Although my visit was brief, it was just what I needed to rejuvenate and refresh before heading off to the next part of my night. I hadn't even eaten yet so this was my reminder to slow down! The ever amazing, talented, blessed, and highly favored Vlada gathered everyone to pray for me before I got back on the road. The power of prayer has been something that has nourished and sustained me through this busy and tumultuous journey!

The final part of my night was spent with some of the most talented and amazing people I've had the privilege of meeting at Hip Hop Saves Lives 1 Year Anniversary (, run by CEO Chad Harper and co-hosted by Brey King. The night showcased great musicians, singers, and poets. It was a beautiful night with great people for a great cause!

I was excited to discuss my project with the other artists, promoters, and others that were in attendance. It's so incredible to be a part of everything that's going on! This has been such a beautiful journey and I'm so glad that I finally took the time to ask for help to make this dream a reality! I am living proof that if you want help, all you need to do is ASK for it! If you never ask, the answer's always no. What will you ask of others today? Challenge yourself and others to do something you didn't think was'll be pleasantly surprised at the responses you get...and you just might realize that the impossible is possible!

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

The File on J. Edgar Hoover: A Review

J. Edgar Hoover, director of the F.B.I, photog...Image via Wikipedia
Last night, I had the pleasure of going to see The File on J. Edgar Hoover, an off-Broadway play by Steve Gold, directed by Mark Stone. The play was part of Winterfest 2011 at Manhattan Repertory Theatre in Times Square and was recently re-scheduled to this week.

It's a 2 act play that covers most of Hoover's adult life, from 1927 until his death in 1972. The play touches on Hoover's role as the first director of the FBI and his relationship with his "associate," Clyde Dodson, as well as John & Robert Kennedy, and Richard Nixon. The cast includes some seasoned vets and some fresh rookies, which gives it a great perspective and interpretation of the key players.

If you have some time this weekend, I highly suggest making a reservation to check out the show. There are two shows left:
April 15th @ 9 p.m. & April 17th @  8 p.m.
Manhattan Rep, 303 W. 42nd Street, 3rd floor
$20 ticket, For reservations call: 646-329-6588

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Grass is Always Greener...

?uestloveCover of ?uestlove
Well, hello there! I know, I's been a while...too long. I've had a lot going on since the new year and I simply haven't had the time to dedicate to writing as much as I used to. Busy is good though, right?

I just got back from a short trip to first time back since I got relocated for work back in January 2009 and boy, was it needed. Winter in NY seems to have no end this year. It's been brutal...borderline depressing! A little dose of the sunshine state was definitely just what the doctor ordered. I never would've scheduled the trip, but my old boss (and someone who I consider to be one of my many mothers) was getting married and I simply couldn't miss the occasion!

I booked the flight and tried not to think too much about it until it got closer to the time to go. I've been so wrapped up in my NY life that I didn't have time to really think about what this trip to Florida would mean. But the day finally came and I was never so happy to get on a plane out of New York! I got off the plane and had a chance encounter with ?uestlove (pronounced Questlove) of The Roots while picking up my checked baggage. To this day, I have no idea how to properly pack so I brought way too much stuff for my little 5-day vacation. But the worrier in me would never allow me to pack lightly. As usual, I digress.....

I got off the place and was greeted by one of my very favorite people in FL...the world is actually a more accurate description! Already off to a good start, we decided it would be a good idea to squeeze in a little time in downtown Orlando. But since all the bars close at 2 and I came in late, it didn't offer much time. I found myself wishing we were in NY just so we could stay out a little longer. We made the best of it and had a lot of fun in a short time.

I woke up in the morning feeling like my sinuses had exploded. Though I've never suffered from allergies, Florida seemed to have fooled my sinuses into thinking that I do. I could barely breathe through my nose. I realized I never really felt like that in NY...perhaps because that would require the season of spring to actually arrive!

I won't get into too much of what I did while I was in Florida...I'll just say that I did my best to eat all the food I can only get in FL and see all the people that time would allow while I was there. By the end of my trip, there was a lot of food that I hadn't gotten to eat (probably for the best) and a lot of people that I didn't have the privilege of seeing. Overall, it just made me wanting more...more palm trees, more days on the beach, more time with people I consider true friends, and so on. It made me miss living in Florida.

Though on any given day in the 5 1/2 years I lived in FL, you could hear me babbling on and on about how much I wanted to move back to NY. I wasted a lot of time in FL wishing I was in NY. In the last 2 years that I've been back in NY, you wouldn't have caught me saying the same thing about FL. Perhaps it was an out-of-sight-out-of-mind thing, but I bet you'll hear me wishing FL back into my life now...especially if it snows even ONE MORE TIME! But alas, the moral of the story is that the grass...errr....the sand? always greener. Make the best of what you have, where you have it....everything else will work itself out.

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Rainy Days & Mondays

Silver LiningImage by eflon via Flickr
It's Sunday...and the end of one of the hardest weeks I've had in a long time. If you know me...or you've read my blog, you know that I do my best to keep things on a positive note. I always try to find the silver lining...even during the worst of times. And though nothing's changed in terms of my attempt to find the silver lining, I've just been absolutely unsuccessful in finding it lately. Try and try as I might, it's been to no avail and I find myself trying to re-trace my steps back to the time before I felt this way. The problem is...I don't know when it started.

As I sit and write this, I'm reflecting on when I first started this blog. I don't remember the precise moment or circumstance that prompted the blog, but I remember why I wanted to start the blog. I wanted to share things in my life because I felt like I had something to say to people...something to say about things that affect all of us at some point...whether directly or indirectly. So today, as I wipe tears away after each sentence that I write...just trying to figure out why I'm crying in the first place...I'd like to share with you a little bit of history, specifically.

Despite the fact that I try to always stay positive, the journey to get to that attitude has been tumultuous. Back in sophomore year of high school, I remember the feeling that I'm feeling now. It was new then and unfamiliar. I couldn't understand why I felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. What could be so hard as a teenager...homework, sports, extra-curricular activities? Granted, both of my parents had been dealing with cancer for the last couple years prior to that, but they were both better...or at least getting better. There was a lot to be hopeful for and I had my whole life ahead of me...why was I so sad?

My mother sent me to various kinds of doctors trying to figure out if something physical was making me feel this way emotionally. After a series of doctors appointments and tests, I was diagnosed with clinical depression and ended up in the chair of a psychiatrist....the kind of doctor I had dreaded my whole life. I had always attached psychiatrists and psychologists to my mother...who had been diagnosed with manic depressive disorder shortly after I was born. I thought that if I was in this office that it meant I was turning into my mother...I must be mentally ill, too. I was horrified. And if I thought I was sad before, being in that office made me a million times more sad. But what could I do? I was sad and I couldn't seem to get un-sad...this had to be the answer, right? So I got on medications and went to my appointments to talk about being sad.

I continued to go to counseling throughout high school and ended up back in therapy after I got to college. I was always trying to get off whatever medication they were trying to keep me on. I couldn't shake the thought that these doctors and this medicine were leading me closer and closer to turning into my mother. After a brief hospitalization for a suicide attempt during college, I guess I was finally convinced that maybe...just maybe...there was a reason that I needed to be on this medication and that maybe talking to these doctors was better than not talking at all. Despite that realization, I convinced the doctors at the hospital that I was just fine and that I simply needed to get back to my regular routine. And that's pretty much exactly what happened...until senior year of college. And just like that, that old familiar feeling crept back up and I was back in another hospital...trying to convince doctors that all I needed was to get out.

The last ten years of my life have echoed a lot of what happened during that time in my life....a cycle that I've done my best to stop...or at best, slow down. I'm a firm believer in a mind-over-matter way of dealing with problems....physically, emotionally, or mentally. And for the most part, this philosophy has served me well. Don't get me wrong, I know that modern medicine and practices are justified under certain circumstances. And I certainly have no opinion on how other people cope with their problems. The only person that my opinion serves in this capacity is me. I'm not trying to convince anyone else to think on my level....just want to share my experience in the event that maybe you can relate...or maybe you can finally have a better understanding of someone else that you know that might think similarly. But I I said, much of the last ten years has been filled with these ups and downs of trying to get control over my depression and my insistence on healing myself versus doctors and medicine doing all the work....which leads me to today.

To be honest, when I began writing this, it was merely a means of avoiding the sadness...a distraction. As I started writing, it transitioned into something else...confrontation of my feelings and coping. I'm feeling 10 times better writing this sentence than the sentence paragraphs before. Maybe it's only fleeting, but I honestly think it's me taking a turn for the first time in a few weeks. I feel the weight of the world a little less and the silver lining is starting to make itself known to me. It's definitely not over, but it's a step in the right direction.

I hope that in some small way by sharing who I am and what I've been through, it will help you, too. Just know that you're not alone. Don't be afraid to feel what you're feeling...that's usually the only way to really get through it. Just don't allow yourself to get so wrapped up in what you're feeling that you forget that it's only temporary. That is, after all, the beauty of time. Nothing lasts forever....good or bad. It's incredibly important to be mindful of that fact that during good times, it's not savor every moment. And during those times when the silver lining can't be found, remember that it's only a matter of time before it reappears. Rainy days and Mondays might always get you down, but even if they do, just keep in mind the sunny days and the rest of the week.
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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Assumptions vs. Psychic Powers

The Psychic's Spies?Image by designwallah via Flickr
Hello again. I've been busy with a lot of things lately so I apologize for the lack of posts. I recently worked on an episode of Boardwalk Empire and I've been diligently working on writing new music. In the midst of all of this, I started dating someone that I met on new year's eve (that's a story for another time). Anyway, we've been slowly working our way through the pros and cons of getting to know someone new. Of course the beginning of dating someone can be exciting, but it's also loaded with so many unknown twists and turns and can be a bit of a rollercoaster ride.

In a recent conversation, sometimes known as an argument, we verbally sparred with our own personal interpretations of what should be expected of one another a month and a half into dating...keep in mind, it's the day before Valentine's day...perhaps part of the reason the conversation came up at all. He stated his case and I honestly heard him out., but I don't know if it's just because I'm a female...or if it's just because I'm me...try as I might, I just couldn't bring myself to 100% agree with his perspective. I also think that part of my disagreement with him stemmed from the fact that I really think sometimes guys mistake women's intuition with women's psychic powers....the latter, I certainly don't claim to have.

If a woman assumes something, she's automatically wrong for drawing conclusions without all the facts. On the other hand, men assume that women completely understand the logic behind certain decisions that men make. But if we're not supposed to assume, then why would THEY assume that we understand all their decisions without all the facts. The only explanation I can think of is that men believe we have a set of psychic friends to rely on when we really need to understand things that men do. Maybe I should call Cleo or something.Ugh. Happy Valentine's Day. ; )
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Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Definition of Insanity

2 Stoopid Guys: StraitjacketedImage by IslesPunkFan via Flickr
Typically, doing the same thing over and over again never yields different results. Yet in life, I believe we've all been guilty of such an offense at least once...or I guess in this instance, it would have to be at least twice. For me personally, I've been guilty of this in different aspects of my life.

Based on some recent events, I've been brought to the realization that I have returned once again to this bad habit. It's prompted me to wonder what it is that makes a perfectly intelligent person continue on this path of continuously hitting one's head against the wall. Whatever the reason, I guess the first any recognizing it. So today I find myself recognizing it...the question is what will I do differently...or will I simply continue to merely recognize it and not proactively change my actions? At the end of the day, just because I know what the definition of insanity is does not automatically mean that I'll do anything to change it. And hey, who knows....maybe something different will happen this time. : /
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 18: A phone dangles off t...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Well, happy new year to you! I hope that 2011 has proven to be your best year yet! With only 25 days into the month...and year, perhaps it may be too soon to tell. For me personally, I'm finding it to be my favorite year, with 2010 falling closely behind in 2nd place. I'm a firm believer in everything having its time and season. With all the changes in my life taking place in the last year or two, I rarely sat back and questioned why things were changing so much, but simply embraced those changes and did my best to make the best of whatever came to be.

I come into this blog post with my brain all over the place...part of me wants to recount some of the events of NYE that led me into such a new perspective on the new year...another part of me wants to talk about new year's resolutions and how the decisions I made over the last year make figuring out new resolutions a bit harder than ever....and another part of me wants to talk about my upcoming plans. As I write this, I have 4 windows open on my computer, a book open on my lap, and my phone at arm's reach. If I felt like I needed to clone myself before, things have seriously reached a whole new level of multi-tasking...but I digress. Shocking, I know.

I guess I'm going to make my first blog post of January...and 2011...short and sweet. This is the first time I'm writing because I had to disconnect in order to connect. A lot less facebook, no blogging...just living. It's good for the soul. I highly recommend it as a new year's resolution if you're still trying to make one.
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