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Inspiring Transformations, Thanks Chrisette Michele

I get inspired by people, music, books, art, fashion, like all the time.

It’s one of the things that reminds me that life is beautiful. Like really, really beautiful. And being different, and weird and smart and funny is awesome. It’s just fantastic.

So, in today’s post, I want to give a shout out to the supremely talented Chrisette Michele. I’ve seen her numerous times live, and there’s a part of me that feels very compelled to be proud of her because she is basically from the next town over from mine in Long Island. So to see someone so close to home make it, similar in age, etc. it’s already encouraging.

Anyway, Chrisette is my muse today. I’m listening to her latest mixtape inspired by Audrey Hepburn. Chrisette, has gone through some changes yall. You can see that she’s moving in a different direction, and you can hear it in her music. It’s pretty refreshing.

I love contemporary artists who have studied music. They bring something else to the table and they are always trying to elevate the craft, and if you love music too, you can pick out certain nuances, or see where they made a nod to something in their work. To me being able to see and hear those things is exciting and a testament to my own growing knowledge.

She’s lost some weight (I believe 30 pounds she said in a video she posted), she spent extensive time traveling, and she’s rocking a range of hair styles and has a number of tats and a nose ring.

A total departure from the sugary sweet girl image from her first, heavily Jazz-influenced, “I Am.”

In a video interview, she said she didn’t want to sing sad songs anymore because she wasn’t in that place any more. She’s opened herself to love, and she’s just generally happy.

She’s clearly a woman on a journey and she’s enjoying the ride.

For some reason, we give celebrities the pass to go and change their hair, or take a break and travel and change up their style.

I’m a firm believer, regular folks can do the same.

I’m tickled that one day I’ll rock a bun, or a curly wig, or my fro, or twists. My co-workers seem to be waiting to see what I’ll do next.

I’m strongly considering some braids in the summer. Why not?

I realized I have a busy weekend. Tonight I’m going to a Wizards basketball game with my homeboy.

Friday, going to see one of my favorite musicians, Bilal. Saturday, I’m going to check out an art exhibit on graffiti art with a new meetup I’m joining. And then one of my dearest friends is popping in on Sunday.

We have to keep striving for new in our very contrived, average days.

That’s why I need to read books and seek out independent movies, or see shows and take in live music.

I need this stuff like air.

I must have intellectual and ridiculous conversations with people who stoke those interests.

I need to meet new people.

These things make you feel alive.

These things inspire me to create. Maybe I’ll finally finish writing my damn book or come up with a new t-shirt concept.

It’s all out there.

The old, the new.

Old movies, movie stars, music, books. Rediscover them. Then marvel at how human nature never changes. Examine how old writers complained of the same things we complain of today.

What struck me most was when Miss Chrisette said plainly in the interview, “I didn’t want to be an angry, black woman anymore.”

It was so simple, and it was a thought I had the other day.

Believe it or not, it’s easy as hell to fall into that dreadful stereotype. But can we be honest, for a moment? There are a lot of angry women of all colors, not just black.

There are a lot of just angry people out there.

But for some reason, black women tend to hold up the banner and wear our anger and our ability to live with and accept anger as a lifestyle so effortlessly, like badges.

And that, I believe is what Miss Chrisette, and myself are trying to escape.

I’m going to work on smiling more. Just smile.

Even when I force myself to smile during a workout, it actually helps me get through it. I think I look stupid, but it doesn’t matter, because it actually helps.

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