Respect The Time, Honor The Craft.

respect the time

This post is not politically correct.

This post is not rainbows or sunshine or that jolt of encouragement you’ve been waiting for to finally get off your ass.

This post is the byproduct of an over saturated blogosphere, an Internet crammed with bullshit, an epidemic of laziness, a warped version of the American Dream that has substituted the value of hard work with the currency of Instagram likes. This greedy and nasty and entitled way that we’re living is not what our parents moved to America for. It’s not why they got their asses up out of the projects and moved to the burbs to make a better life for their kids. They didn’t do all of that just so that we can do it for the likes. No, they did that shit for our LIVES. And this lazy way we think we’re going to make it through, trying to bargain social media hits for effort and work, is an insult to them.

No, this post is not politically correct.

This post is 11:34 p.m. when I should be crawling into bed, but instead can’t stop thinking about how much I want to start begging people to respect my time and honor my craft.

This post is that post that makes people think that Tyece has a stick up her ass, or thinks her shit doesn’t stink or swears she’s better than everyone else. This post is that post laced with enough audacity and I-dont-give-a-fuck to negate all of those assumptions and perceptions. Because this post is about hard work and demanding respect for hard work, and never accepting anything less than when people choose to honor hard work.

This post is 1 a.m. Google docs and 7 a.m. checks on shipping statuses. This post is 7 p.m. coming home from work to eat, watch a show and settle in for a second round of work. This post is 11 p.m. on Friday nights working on Sunday Kind of Love for that weekend. This post was four nights of writing a week in 2014. This post is a steady output of work, a consistent and excellent product, an overly protective approach to the vision and a relentless pursuit of the dream. This post is feeling lonely and confused and sometimes hurt when it feels like people don’t understand the sacrifices I make and the tolls they take.

And, this post is the tribe of people around me whose talent and work ethic are absolutely undeniable, unquestionable and awe-inspiring.

This post is the creation of the blueprint. This post is every bit of what Nicki said on Truffle Butter when she spits that line: “Your whole style and approach I invented, and I ain’t takin that back cause I meant it.” This post is that. This post is an ode to authenticity, a cry for realness, a plea for people to find their own voices and become themselves.

This post is the last post I want to write asking people to respect my time and honor my craft. Because there won’t be any more asks. I will just be telling. I won’t take any prisoners. I will be asking you to show me each and every last one of the receipts. Because niceties aren’t paying my bills. And niceties aren’t making me any more or less authentic. Niceties aren’t a word I put on the “Brand DNA” page of my Twenties Unscripted overview last year, that one you didn’t know I had on deck for anytime I need to educate someone on the ins and outs of my work. Niceties are assassinating my time and depleting my energy, time and energy that I can’t afford to waste when I am so crazily and ferociously building this precious thing of mine.

This post is not politically correct.

Politically correct is not, nor was it ever, part of my brand. But demanding that people respect my time and honor the painstaking effort I put into honing my craft–yes, that is part of my brand, it’s part of me and it will absolutely not be undermined, fucked with, misunderstood, questioned or doubted. Not now and not ever.

I told you this post was not politically correct.

Xoxo,
Tyece

All Things In Due Time

all things in due time

I don’t know exactly where this story begins. I don’t know if it starts somewhere in 2013 when I grew a pair and decided I wanted to speak at BlogHer 2014. I don’t know if it starts somewhere after that when I grew another pair and decided I wanted to speak at Blogging While Brown 2014. I do not know if this story starts after both of those pitches were rejected and I sulked and shook my fists at the sky. I don’t know if this story starts earlier this year, when unbeknownst to everyone, my friend Erica and I were pitching to speak at Blogging While Brown for a second time. Maybe this story starts a few weeks after we submitted that pitch and got another rejection. I don’t know if this story starts the day after that when my good friend and writing soulmate GG Renee Hill asked me to join her on a panel she was pitching for DC Bloggers Week. Or maybe this story started that same day when I reached out to Erica for us to pitch our personal blogging workshop for a third time to DC Bloggers Week. I don’t know if this story starts where both the panel and workshop got picked up for DC Bloggers Week.

Or, maybe this story starts a really long time ago when I bookmarked a post from Thought Catalog, a site I no longer frequent, entitled, “When You Are Always Waiting.”

“People tell you all the time that you are impatient. And you know you are. You know that you are filled with nothing but desire, and are often incapable of understanding the great privilege that is being you in this very moment. But it is only because you love, because you love so much that your very heart hurts and you don’t know what to do with it. You want everything to go from 0 to 60 immediately because 60 is the only place you feel truly comfortable, and everything else just feels like foreplay. You know that impatience is the mark of immaturity, of ungratefulness, of petulance. And perhaps you really are all of those things. But for now, you only know that you are waiting. You are waiting for the city, the job, the person that will make everything feel at once instantaneous and somehow pleasantly slow. Because when you’re finally able to slow down, that is when you’ll know you are happy.”

This is not a story of persistence. This is a story of impatience. This is a story of a character flaw. This is a story of a ravenous appetite for success and how no steady diet of accomplishment ever seems to satisfy it.

Sometimes I am insatiably, stupidly, selfishly hungry for the next thing. There is this pit in the middle of my stomach that is never quite full enough, so I grasp for what is next, what will follow, what will be my new idea. It’s not a comfortable way to live, but it’s the only way I really know how. I am always at 60, always going, always on overdrive. And it’s exhausting and it’s frightening and it is debilitating in ways that I try not to show. I have to fight to quiet my mind. It doesn’t shut down or relax on its own. It screams and it roars and it’s always shouting at me to work on something else, come up with something else, do something else, focus on something else. Open a new tab. Draft another email. Tell another motherfucker just how you feel. Clawing at what is next does not allow me to live fully in any moment, not even the moments I fight so hard to create. That makes me sad and I sometimes wonder if it’s all worth it, or if I’m missing out on just how good and delicious it feels to be Tyece right here and right now. I keep trying to strike a balance between focusing on the future and enjoying the present, but my Libra scale is the most deceptive sign I have ever seen.

I wanted to speak.

People ask what I want to do and I am careful never to fully display my blueprint. But, I want to write and I want to speak. Those are the modes of expression that feel most familiar to me. Hell, those are the things I do well. Of course I like doing them. I knew for awhile that I wanted my voice at conferences, on panels, in dimly-lit theaters and on stage. I knew that. I believed I had something to say. I believed I had extracted enough from this bizarre blogging journey to finally talk about it and share the bits of this voyage. But it wasn’t the right time. It wasn’t like an open mic night where I could just get up on stage and spew my truth because I had a platform and a few friends to root me on. And I kept shaking my fists at the sky because I did not have the foresight to understand that it wasn’t my time.

I don’t know if it’s my time. I am not going to go all Nicki Minaj and declare that it is my time.  But what I do know is all things happen in due time, all things happen when the Universe is ready. I suck at seeing that. I am as impatient as a motherfucker. I want it all and I want it now and you can’t tell my heart or head any different. But, I have seen the beauty in holding on and standing still. I have seen just how much the Universe can and will do with a little bit of patience and a shit ton of faith. I have seen it because of the places I’ve been, the pits I’ve traversed, the people I have met and the experiences I’ve had. And I do not say that simply for a speaking gig, I say it for all of the things in my life that I have been insatiably, stupidly, selfishly hungry for. I remind myself that for all things in my life–for love, for fulfilled dreams, for breakthroughs, for new friendships, for the ability to let go, for burdens lifted, for forgiveness, for anxiety reduced, for a sold-out show, for a bank account that doesn’t make me wince, for a clearer understanding of my path, for a firmer foundation in my purpose, for a partner who loves me fully and unwaveringly, for the beautiful things, for the small things, for the big things, for the good things–all things in due time. All things when the Universe is ready.

Xoxo,
Tyece

What Is Left When He Is Gone

This post is an excerpt from Twenties Unscripted: A Journey of Womanhood, Writing, and Relativity. The full essay is available in the book, which is currently available for pre-sale here.

 

My writing has surfaced as a topic of conversation with many men who fall somewhere into the love/like/lust division. Sometimes, it’s a directive: “Don’t write about me.” Other times it’s a more indirect reference to my ambition: “Tyece, not everybody can be like you.” One time it was an email after we parted ways referring to me as the “Twenties Unscripted writer.” And, sometimes, it’s just an innocent query: “Are you still writing?” I’ve had these conversations on couches, in cars, sprawled across sheets. But, perhaps what puts me most at ease is that I’ve had these conversations where my writing has bubbled up to the top. My writing and I, the inseparable package. Till death do us part. In the words of Lupe Fiasco, wherever I go, she goes.

 

Do Not Surrender Your Twenties Pt. 3

This post is an excerpt from Twenties Unscripted: A Journey of Womanhood, Writing, and Relativity. The full essay is available in the book, which is currently available for pre-sale here.

Do Not Surrender Your Twenties

Do Not Surrender Your Twenties Pt. 2

 

Do not surrender your twenties to sitting on your dreams. Do the real work. Do it while everyone else is at happy hour. Do it when you’d rather sleep in on the weekends. Do it at 6 a.m. and do it during prime time television. Make the connections and do the work. Dreams do not materialize from fairy dust.

Do not surrender your twenties to a relentless grip on your past. Let it go. Let them go. Reconcile. See a therapist. Kneel at an altar. Heal. Forgive. Stop tallying the wrongs against you. Move on. Your scars are gorgeous and you would be nothing without them.

Do not surrender your twenties to running away from yourself. Quiet your mind. Clear the clutter. Let it be OK because you said so.

 

My Life is Going, Not Just Through Summer

Guest Post by Emily Lin

Undoubtedly as summer ends and I make my way back to school, the question on everyone’s lips is going to be, “How was your summer?” Granted the only answer they expect is something along the lines of “Good!” or “Great!” Much like the “How are you?” question, these are perfunctory, lacking any semblance of actual care from the part of the asker.

Likewise, my answer of “It was great! I went to go see the Grand Canyon (hello-omitted-details-about-the-frustrations-of-traveling-with-family-or-anything-else-I-did-over-the-summer)” will also be routine. Nobody actually wants to know about how I waited tables or worked with an amazing woman on her blog over the summer. Nobody wants to hear the nitty-gritty details of server life and the chances of them tuning me out the second I say the word “feminism” are greater than the chances of this year’s winter being hella wonky again.

Despite that, I could go on about being a server in a futile attempt to try and make people more understanding, higher-tipping customers. And on about Tyece and Twenties Unscripted, about how it’s given me perspective on writing, perspective on life and perspective on the type of person I’d like to be. And on about spending time with my family, even if only for a week, I could probably spend hours talking about how my mother over packs, my dad is a workaholic and my sisters and I are amateur synchronized swimmers (or at least that’s what we tell ourselves), and how extremely grateful I am for all of them. And on about my senior thesis, otherwise known as “the thesis that never started,” and on about going to New York to visit friends and on about moving my boyfriend into his new apartment and on about losing my phone and on about….you get the picture.

However, I think the idea of asking someone about their summer is absurd. Granted this could be my school structure perspective talking; I don’t know how often “real people” get asked about their summers. But asking not only accomplishes nothing because it hides the truth behind an oversimplified easy response, but also because then it sets summer apart as this time of our lives where different things are supposed to happen, maybe even special things. We’ve secluded this three-month period, isolated it from the rest of our lives and then use it to “do those things we don’t usually have time to do.”

I know that it’s called summer break and I understand the necessity of rest and relaxation but does that equate to some sort of life-break too?

This phenomenon of “summer time” and “summer break” construction is like any other. In the same way that we’ve sectioned out the “twenties,” the “thirties” or the “prime” and the “retirement,” we’ve given ourselves a period of three months to fulfill an arbitrary purpose, some ‘other’ purpose, tangential to our ‘real lives’ that can technically be fulfilled at any other point in the year and in our lives.

“The time you have now is the same time you have when you’re thirty and the same time you have when you’re nearing the end of your earthly existence. It is all time. It doesn’t stop and it won’t wait.”

–Tyece Wilkins

Asking about summer carries with it the expectation of difference and with it the expectation of excitement. But my life is going through summer, fall, winter and spring with new things happening all the time. I want people to ask me how my spring is going, how my winter is going and how my fall is going because no matter what time of the year or time in life it is, it’s happening and I don’t want to wait three months after the fact to tell people about it.

My life is made up of not the seasons, not the months nor the weeks and the days but rather the overall passage of time from one to the next. I like to call it the present. It does not come in sections nicely portioned out to accord with an academic calendar or internship duration. Instead it flows, with the past pressing on the future and the future redefining its past.

“Life is most beautiful in its smallest doses, the fragments that we so easily forget.”

–Tyece Wilkins

This all came about when I was confronted this morning with the task of writing a “peace out” post for Twenties Unscripted, more or less wrapping up my summer with Tyece and all you lovely readers. I tried. I tried really hard to ask myself the question “How was my summer?” and then ended up taking a nap because trying to answer was exhausting.

So here’s what you get instead, a mildly whiny, somewhat philosophical piece of my take on time—which in retrospect actually sums up my summer pretty well. It’s been a time to reflect on the choices I’ve made and the choices I will make going forward about how I want my time to be spent because time, I’ve learned, is endlessly valuable but also notoriously perishable. It has also been a time to bitch and moan about those things in life that need to get done despite your unwillingness to do so (I’m looking at you laundry), and to grumble through the not-so-favorite jobs because money is necessary.

But this is life and in living it I want to let the experiences I’ve had with Tyece, with my co-workers at the restaurant and with my frustrating thesis mentor who won’t respond to my emails affect who I am becoming and ultimately will become in the future. Rest assured that means at the very least blog and Twitter updates as well as plenty of love and support for the Twenties Unscripted family.

Thank you and all the best,

Emily, the Intern who likes hats

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