(Hometown) Delayed Friday Blog :/ – 3/31/23

This took a lot out of me to write, so I honestly didn’t want to put it out but I felt like I should share it anyway.

On the train ride to my hometown.

Is it cliché to point out the obvious, that life moves incredibly fast? I can remember when I used to ride the train to Chicago from Detroit when I was 18, now I am 21 and I’m riding the same train from Chicago to Detroit. Everything changes except for the ride. I write these blogs partially so I can look back on them in another 3 years. I keep extensive personal journals at home, I have an entire bin full of my writing dating back to elementary school.

This time around on the Amtrak, I am thinking about how badly I want to buy a house. Of course, I’d need a full-time job or a reliable revenue stream. I graduate school next semester in the fall. I am deciding what I want to do next. I think I’d like to start applying for jobs to see if I could complete a Master’s degree while I work.

I always think to myself, how does music come into play with all of this? I feel like that answer will always change. Music has always been at my side since I can remember, I hope to never lose that passion. It feels nice to hire a professional to mix my newest project, I defiantly will be hiring professionals to mix my music for now on. I can mix my own music, but it would not sound nearly as good as if someone with years of experience were to mix it for me. I do produce my own tracks, but I am giving my mix engineer a lot of leeway in producing a couple of tracks off the album. I am very excited for this.

I never would have guessed what a lengthy process this all is to finalize an album. All the legal stuff takes a while, so I don’t anticipate releasing anything until late summer/ early fall. I am not used to not dropping anything for extended periods of time, so I might release a DJ mix before I drop the first single.

I want this album to capture the foundation I have established for Proxoxie. Throughout the years, I’ve grown as an artist as well as a person. I cannot believe it’s been 3 years using this alias. I put my all into my work, as I’d like to make this first album as venerable as possible.

I have been speaking with my mix engineer Zachary, and he is very talented as well. He hasn’t released a whole lot of stuff, but when he shows me my unreleased, I am always blown away. He has so much talent and potential building up, once he releases the music he has in the vault, I know he will do well.

I think about how blessed I am to experience this sort of life. To be surrounded by artisans every day and create stories with them over time is more than I can ask for. I think back to high school and growing up in a community where it was rare to find people who pursued art, let alone took it seriously. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned while attending an art school is that it is possible to make money from art if you hustle it like a business. 3 years ago, my attitudes towards art were not the same. I feel as if this is the gift which God has given me; my outlet to express myself and to connect with the world. If I do not peruse art after a while, I get nervous and nauseous. The feeling of FOMO is too much for me to handle.

I’ve tried to forsake my art and I’ve tried out different things, but everything in my life points to my music. My path in life has led me to this point with art being the main pursuit. All my friendships and most of my network is comprised of passionate artists. So, when I do not release music for months, I think back to the facts and remind myself that my art is still here and it’s here to stay.

I am coming back from visiting my family in my hometown and I can say that I have learned a lot of things about myself. I believe that I’ve found the answers to some questions I’ve had throughout my life. For example, what does my dad do for a living? He tells me he’s an engineer and that he “solves problems” by “using data” but I’ve always wondered about what types of problems he solves. Well, he solves a lot of different problems…

It’s so funny because I went out to eat with my grandfather and he said that going to college was good because it helps you figure out “problem solving skills”. It seems like we all grow up, go to school or to work and then solve problems throughout our life apparently.

My dad got a chance to take me into the Ford Rouge Complex where he retired from and got to show me around. I wore my high visibility vest and safety goggles, then he proceeded to tell his old coworkers that I was his summer intern. They all believed him until they noticed how strikingly similar, we looked to each other because we have the same nose. I got to see how the Ford F150 Raptor engines were made and tested, how the doors to the F150s were glued and developed, and a bunch of other nerdy stuff. My dad told me the story of this one bridge that goes over Eagle Pass by the plant; they call it the Battle of the Overpass. Back before Ford was unionized in 1937, a member from the UAW clashed with Ford Motor’s security guards and beat the guys representing the UAW in front of a journalist for the Detroit Free Press. Every time we passed that bridge, he told me that story. That’s what these boomers do, they tell a story multiple times so that you’ll remember it every time you place by the place of interest.

After going to the plant, we went out to lunch with some Canadians. We went to a place called the New Yasmeen Bakery and it was so good. I took for granted the food in my hometown, I ended up taking bags full of leftovers back with me on the train to Chicago. I used to have a terrible appetite back when I was vegan and when I first moved out to Chicago. The cost of food made me sick, and the lack of options made me sad, so I had to start eating meat again. I ended up losing a lot of weight before deciding to eat meat again, but I was able to gain some of it back again. It is cool to have a vegan diet, I defiantly enjoyed myself, I just couldn’t take care of myself and worried about my appetite. I am reminded of this every time I bring back bags full of leftovers to Chicago, I am reminded how thankful I am to be able to eat this much food. It sounds silly, but I figured I’d share it with the world so that if y’all were going through this, you’d have someone to relate to. I had a lot of anxiety back then, which made my appetite nonexistent. I used to reject food and skip meals every day. Mental health is a real thing, its 2023 and I’d hope everyone reading this agrees with that. I grew up in a community where mental health wasn’t acknowledged in the high schools and it was discouraged to seek out therapy. I developed this mentality to bottle everything up and it took me years to find a healthy release. It’s so important to have these conversations and to check up with your family and friends.

In the older generations, mental health was not acknowledged completely, and I feel like we have this epidemic of older people refusing to seek out help because they have lived so much of their lives without it. For a while, I didn’t believe that mental health was real because of the community in which I was raised. I’m thankful that my family had the resources to help me and were so giving to me.

When you move out of the place you were raised and live somewhere else for a while, you forget a lot of things about your home. You forget old routines, acquaintances, places you used to go, and you forget about the person you used to be. When I think back about who I was, of course I cringe. I was angry throughout my childhood, I was reckless in high school, I didn’t care about my family as much as I do now. It hurts to say that, but I must remember who I was and forgive myself. When I go back home, I am reminded of the things I used to feel. I wanted to leave my hometown so badly to see the world, I was so curious as to what was out there. I felt like I didn’t belong, but maybe it was because I didn’t try to belong.

When I think back to high school, I could remember the people who accepted me, which was most of the people I talked to. Surprisingly, that included all different types of personalities; band kids, orchestra kids, stoners, athletes, smart kids, stupid kids, janitors, some teachers… ect. We were all connected by the time and place of which we lived. My community is one of the most interesting communities in the world and I am more than blessed to grow up where I did. When you come back home, you unlearn a lot of things. You learn that the truth has multiple sides, and you cannot choose any side. You must accept the truth and know that it is what makes you who you are.

The colors of my hometown are apparent in how I chose to dress myself. In March, the sky is covered in a blanket of grey clouds, all snow has melted off the grass revealing muted green and straw yellow, my black boots trek through puddles of swampy brown puddles in the woods and I still wear my favorite shade of hot pink that I picked out from the mall: #FF007e.

I had a lot of thoughts while going back home, I am eager for the next thing. I took a lot of pictures and will upload those on Tuesday. I haven’t got a chance to do my photo blog for a while so I’m going to start that back up again. I still need to show y’all all the pictures from Louisiana… Anyway… please have a good week! Feel free to leave a comment. <3


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