The Renaissance Woman lays it all out on the table in her latest project Accidental Wine. This selection of ten songs is curated to prominent piano chords and laced with heavy, but whimsical lyrics. Each track is like a diary entry, often recounting in vivid detail her questions of purpose, responses to unrequited love, the admittance of self-doubt, and the strive to be defined by more than just her body on the journey of self-empowerment. Accidental Wine is honest and heart-wrenching as The Renaissance Woman brings us to her pain and allows it to filter through us. While we stand to evaluate the aftermath, The Renaissance Woman leaves us on a reminiscent note, asking, “where did all the time go?” in her final track, “Old Houses, Empty Fields”. It’s an examination all too familiar to those in our early twenties. Accidental Wine is not bold. Accidental Wine does not inflict discomfort because it’s not in your face. Instead, the searing ebbs and flows of hope The Renaissance Woman finds herself in as an American woman who will not stand for her womanism to be silenced is the unapologetic statement we all need.
April was a significant month for me:
I turned 23.
I uprooted my life in my small Maryland town, drove across the country, and created a new life in California.
We are officially a month (or longer for some states) into our stay-at-home orders.
While some still insist on lingering in department stores, throwing “quarantine parties”, and posting their lack of consideration for the current state of life’s fragility with determination and confidence that they are immune to COVID-19, there is comfort in seeing how social media is finally bringing us together instead of dividing us based on follower counts, appearances, and the race to become the next viral sensation. Prior to the pandemic, society was dragging us in a toxic direction. From the sudden surge of underaged teen girls wearing the bare minimum choreographing dances to a mother and daughter getting attacked for simply speaking Spanish (CNN), the world was not going well. There were plenty of memes that circulated after the release of Drake and Future’s song “Life is Good” (January 2020) in late February claiming that the rap moguls jinxed us by being too optimistic.
*This has taken me a month to write, due to recent anxiety about COVID-19, and completely giving up on sharing an opinion that may not be necessary in these current times. However, I still want to share how I feel about All The Bright Places, because up until watching the premiere of the Netflix film, I believed this story was for me.
I’m spiraling, and it’s not a fun feeling.
It happens at least once a month, I’m sure, yet it seems to consume me like it’s the first time. In the spiral, I’m speaking to myself as if I’m the filthiest beast to walk the earth. I diminish my accomplishments based on what others are achieving on Instagram. I feel as if I’m behind in the race of life, and there is no way to catch up. Let alone maybe even win this thing. The smallest hiccups in life, like getting a rejection email from a publication I had my heart set on, are catastrophic to the point of weighing me down. I feel like a nobody. There is no way I can recover from this blow. I might as well burn everything that I’ve written. I throw another towel in, adding it to my collection. Then, the suicidal thoughts creep in, because in one swoop, my life’s purpose has been stripped from me. I will never be anything.
Yesterday marked the first day of Black History Month, and this year (more than ever) black voices need to be elevated.
Last week, Google launched their first Black History Month commercial, showcasing the top searches that honored Black excellence. The commercial featured Black icons such Barack Obama, Beyonce, Simone Biles, and Prince. As a Black, female millennial becoming an adult during the Trump administration, I was humbled that Google acknowledged their privilege and used it to educate non-Blacks, which brought awareness to Black accomplishments and portrayed us as achievers. There was no mention of Black Lives Matter. No news footage of violent protests was shown. There was nothing about black struggle.