All of it.
Everything that it has to offer me.
Is that fame? Probably not.
Is that money? Only enough so that I can continue to live
Is that travel? Maybe…but travel could be internal or external.
Is that intensely felt emotion?
Is that love?
Is that learning + growing? Yes.
[note to self: learn x grow x love x repeat = maximize the shit out of your days.]
…the thought “man, If I could eat anything I want and not gain any weight my life would be perfect,” ran through my mind…
Then the little voice in my head fully processed the first thought and said, “wow, you’re really letting your happiness depend on something as trivial as your weight? How sad is that!”
And then I realized while thinking all of this, I was reading a fashion blog and that it was most likely influencing these thoughts… so I decided to stop looking at fashion blogs altogether… but then I realized I love fashion… and even if I stopped looking at fashion blogs, the thin ideal would still be inescapable…
I pretty much can’t exist in Los Angeles (or anywhere for that matter) without being bombarded with messages that tell me I’m not thin enough to be attractive, successful, entertaining, or “not-ghetto” (lol all you want at the last one, but you know it’s true for black girls… don’t blame me, blame Mammy, Jezebel, and Sapphire - none of them are waifs).
ugh, why must this world torture me so?!
*takes deep breath* …woosah, Avriel… woosah….
…Yes, it’s similar to being black. I’m still a minority. I’m still a woman. And, yes, I do consider myself part of the black community. But the experience is so, so different. When you’re a hybrid of more than one cultural and historical background, a sense of identity is much harder to grapple with. It’s more than just having a mom who doesn’t know how to do your hair, or sounding too “white” when you talk, or getting unwanted attention from men because we more closely represent society’s standard of beauty. It often feels like you have no culture or history. Black culture and history is not my culture and history; White culture and history is not my culture and history; Jewish culture and history is not my culture and history. They are what I cling to because I really have nothing of my own other than mere sentences in history books about children, born out of the raping of slaves, that had a 50/50 shot of being accepted into white society - & clearly if I was one of those mulattos back then, my carmel ass would’ve been a house slave.
I really think people underestimate what it’s like to often not have anyone, not even in your own family, who can be a role model and who understands what you go through during your life (especially during the formative years). I’ve had two real role models who I can identify with - my older sister and a recent, former boss at Walton Isaacson (whom I loved, but she came later in my life and I haven’t had the chance to have an extended relationship with her). No teachers or mentors to help guide me through a constant internal negotiation of culture and identity - that wasn’t even something my own parents could really provide for me.
I’m not trying to sound down on myself or “woe is me”… It was just a realization I came to today and wanted to express it… clearly this was word vomit and not very well written and thought out. Take it for what it is.
2012 is definitely about remembering to count my blessings and fulfill my purpose.
Ok, I’ve been getting this question a lot lately, so I’m going to take this opportunity to really explain my goals and aspirations and how this plays into my music career…
In short, no. I have not given up on a career in music.
I have however decided to explore some of my other interests and go to college in order to become a more well-rounded individual. Being just a musician has never been my ultimate goal. I’ve always seen my own potential to have influence beyond art and pop culture and my interests lie far beyond those two areas (if you couldn’t already guess that from my blog). I want to be a thought leader in the world of mass media communication- not just a contributor. I’m passionate about social justice and politics, business and advertising, fashion and art… the list goes on. But what I’m most interested in doing in my life time is making a difference.
Yes - musicians make an impact through their art all the time; a lot of artists choose to use their art as a medium for raising awareness and change. I could very well just continue on making music while trying to have a deeper message. But, the more I’ve educated myself, the more I’ve learned that the things that trouble me about our society are vastly complicated and deeply rooted - issues that art alone can not solve. I feel in order to make the most of the fame and power I plan to gain over the next few years of my life, I need to make sure I’m fully prepared to take action when the time comes.
This preparation of course, as I see it, comes through education, research, and (rigorous) thought. So, that’s why I decided to go to school - a research institution with roots in the entertainment industry in particular (UCLA) so that I could conduct my own research and contribute to the world through academia, art, and business (maybe even politics one day).
As it stands, I’m on a full academic scholarship at UCLA (and I don’t want to go into debt for my education, so I’m very grateful for this), which requires me to keep a very high GPA, fulfill volunteer requirements, take a demanding course load, and conduct undergraduate research. As you can imagine, it’s really hard to fit studio sessions, photo shoots and industry parties into a schedule like this, so music has taken a back seat for the next two years.
I’m very confident however in the fact that everything happens for a reason and there is a higher power that has lead me on this path that I’m on. The time for me to focus solely on a career in entertainment will come, and when it does I’ll be a powerhouse ready to build a brand, influence thought in the industry, and truly make a difference.
For now, you can assume I’m still in development - which is something that every artist has to go through.