Friday, December 25, 2015

For Those of You Alone on Christmas Pt. II

For those of you alone on Christmas who cannot find comfort in the blanket or the lights you hung that warmed your spirit for the first few days or the whisky whose burn felt good on the way down or from the dog who snuggles by your feet or from the family who eagerly await you, I see you.

I see you with your computer on your lap rushing to plan for the goals that you must commit to before New Year’s Eve because you have convinced yourself that you cannot go into this year without a plan. You are considering swapping your free spirit for Type-A, for a set of goals and objectives and trajectories. You have considered that your interest in everything is too much so you decide you have to choose something, but a voice in your head begs that you remember to choose yourself.

For those of you alone on Christmas, until the sun rises when you’ll join your family for holiday festivities, watching the clock deciding when it’s socially acceptable to return to your alone, I see you. I see you each time you change your frown quickly to a smile as you scroll through holiday pictures, because your reflexive thought is “...but don’t they want more?” while you ask yourself, “do you?”.

Friday, March 7, 2014

I statements, fears, affirmations & truths

For three years I've been trying to build my business - for fours years I have been doing is very very hard.

I went to a business planning workshop last night. Most people would say "I stepped out on faith" when actually, I stepped out in fear. I was very afraid to go this workshop. I was embarrassed to go this workshop. I was almost too proud to go this workshop ("you have the beginning of a business plan Latiaynna, why review the beginning steps when you're beyond the beginning?")

It is hard to ask for help, when every one thinks you have the answer.  

There is always this sense of fear and vulnerability in me when I speak about my business (look I can't even type "Tabb Management"). But lately I've been pushing myself to have the conversations I am afraid of having. 

My natural inclination to connect people to resources cripples me. There is so much safety in a room full of people you know. My friends keep asking where I've been, I should start saying: growing. 

There was so much fear in giving my friend the update, that it would be an intimate session & they should still try to attend. It was last little attempt at a lifesaver. 

I want to be vulnerable so I can learn. 

I am good at allowing other people to talk about my business, feigning embarrassment. But the more I let them talk about it, the more I allow the universe to shape what I am doing by other people's words and perceptions. 

I am working on my business identity and developing operations. I am working on ensuring that this business is successful, sustainable, and has legacy-potential - I want to leave something behind that my descendants can be proud of. 

I want to do things alone. I want to build my confidence by being in spaces where I'm vulnerable, challenged and forced to share what I'm actually thinking. 

I talk so much. All day long I have to communicate and I'm not really saying much. I want to be in solitude so I can grow. 

I will continue to talk to people who are not my peers, not my friends, not my mentors, but who have a vested interest in my success...because they have empathy, not because they know me. I will continue to seek out those who can help me and encourage me to learn without mincing words. 

I need reinforcement. I need someone to tell me that what I have been doing in isolation is the right direction and I want to believe it. Although I don't want to tell them. 

I don't want to tell them that every book I read and lecture I hear and informal conversation that I engage in that reinforces that what I am doing is correct makes the little me in my mind jump up and down and say "I know! I've done or tried that already" 

I want to be uncomfortable in a safe space. I want to be afraid I am providing the wrong answer to the right person who already has committed to helping me. 

I want to move beyond the space of being afraid that I am being perceived as incompetent. 

I want my actions to show that I am not afraid that I am powerful beyond measure. 

Monday, December 31, 2012


In late 2011 respect was a major issue in my life. I had had multiple conversations with my clients  (friends) about respect as a verb, respect as a display of honor, as a marker of their loyalty to me (at that point we were barely Tabb MGT, I was just 'La working on stuff' to me). This was feminism is practice - I had to teach my friends (clients), sometimes through tears, that they had command respect for me from all whom we'd work with.

I'm sure that they are hyper-aware that I am a woman, one of the few YOUNG women who do what I do, I behave like a woman - although they sometimes forget and display frustration: La stop acting like a girl! - but  they know. They actually know more when we are not in our own space in our comfort zone, because that's when other people notice. I had to remind them that other people "noticing" I am a woman, in a leading, non-romantic, position in their lives can raise eyebrows, cause confusion, lead to invisibility, or dismissal OF ME, not them. I had to remind them that we share the responsibility in making people understand that I am at the table - that's my FAVORITE line of 2012, by the way - and I must say that by 2012 it was a dwindling issue  - except from one of my own.

For the first few months of 2012 I did not speak to one of my clients (closest FRIENDS) because I felt like the respect was lacking, it was more so in the tone of being taking for granted, yet through 4 panel discussions, 2 Prom Dress Drives that was planned by my community organization Mic Check 1-Two!, the taping of 9 episodes on many, many winter Sundays for the Evan Polk Show, the writing of my intense literature review for my graduate thesis he waited patiently and let me get over it - you know women do that right?? *insert sarcastic tone* - that was really his response to why he hadn't reached out to me! But honestly, WE got over it. We grew up in our time a part and became better business partners and friends and subsequently he and Wes Manchild put together an AMAZING album (over SEVEN THOUSAND -7,000 - people agree with me) that was released in August - that's the magic of the music industry, an album that may take ONE month to create can be sat on for multiple waiting for the right time.

In preparation for the release of this album I solidified a business relationship with now one of my very close friends, Rashaad Lambert, of, - who officially joined Tabb MGT as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) in about Oct '12.

I jumped ahead.

The Evan Polk Show was released, it was hilarious - we've gonna try this again in 2013 to make sure thousands of people think so.

I don't remember what I (Tabb MGT) was doing before August 2012. Honestly. Let's fast forward again.

August was a big month. We had the ONE-year Anniversary for DJ Ricochet at Mikey's: the turnout was fantastic, Clique Vodka sponsored it, people were walking up to me at the end of the night telling me great job - I had no idea they knew I did anything (I kinda live in fantasy land sometimes); we had begun preparation for Chill Moody, Beano, and Hank McCoy's Who Do You Love LIVE from LOVE Park, we were finalizing all of S.K.'s No Sympathy: planned and catered the listening party, released No Sympathy, and I planned my little sister's surprise 21st birthday party.

*just note that I have made very little mention to the fact that I graduated grad school, got a new job in July and work 40 hours a week in Delaware.

Ok, I'm not going to take you on  play by play of the rest of my year - but this is definitely where it got interesting. Just when I decided I take myself as a business seriously - meaning, I am a business - I knew I did good work was when all of my business preparation got put on hold - to do other stuff:

The 2nd Annual InterCommunal Giveback Feast & Concert

The TriState NYE Countdown for a Cause Red Carpet Affair

It was in my initial meeting for the New Year's Eve party that I realized I had truly, truly earned my seat at the table. I wrote down (almost) everything that I did in the last year and I surprised myself.

And it was the eve of New Year's Eve (yesterday haha) that I realized that I had worked really hard on multiple things, for multiple people and businesses throughout this year and that I had certainly ARRIVED. So if you are coming to the party tonight and you see my logo on the red carpet wall and see my friends and family in the Super-Ultra VIP section and wonder why or how, just know that I (and some chosen supportive people) have worked very, very hard in 2012. It was not because I was cute, I am, but partly because I am cute and competent.

Now, let's figure out where I'm headed...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Please clear my energy...

::inserts disclaimer about the quality of this written work::

I woke with a burdended, discouraged heart.. I have organized a community event that I feel VERY passionately about and I am trying to decipher whether the devil is putting obstacles in our way or if God is giving us signs. Last night I said: I need a sign for the sign Lord!

It's like we have all the parts in order, but no place to claim its home. We met with a group yesterday regarding the location we would like it to be in, but we, well I did not walk away feeling as if

The group leader was patronizing. At times it felt hostile.

I do not want what we have spent lllloooonnnngggg hours toiling over this, for it to call home to a place where people do not see our vision. Maybe I am too idealistic, but I was taught to see the sunshine. It is very frustrating.

The reaction we received last night is EXACTLY why we chose to seek out a location in the hood. We are not afraid to have EVENTS, not parties in the under-served areas. We want to serve, we want to create an opportunity, experiences - we want to show OUR people that we can organize and be present.

The thought of having dozens of police officers milling about makes me ILL. I want to exhibit to people that we believe in their dignity. We believe that they deserve nice things, in places they call home. But we are not stupid. We recognize that things can jump off. I would argue that the presence of a dominating force does not decrease tension, but increases it. I would feel that a strong police presence welcomes hostility from a crowd - especially a group that already has a contentious relationship with law enforcement.

I WILL NOT YOU DAMN MY VISION WITH YOUR PRESENTATION. why is it that I have to always worry about my presentation (which is everything) when others don't. Namely those who are more senior than I?!

Old heads it is you! You are a large part of the problem. Your expectations, the energy you put out in the world begets negativity. We should believe that African Americans can congregate, fellowship, feast and enjoy the musical aspects of our culture without incident. If you have low expectations, if you meet "them" with force, if you do not think they are deserving of a NICE, thoughtful event, then why have it. I do not expect anyone to be foolish, we should be prepared and proactive. But energy is everything.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Decoding the Quarter Life

Disclaimer: if it doesn't make sense. I don't apologize. I will just tell you that I didn't allow myself to re-read or delete my thoughts. So judge/edit at your own discretion.
My best friend sent me a loving  text full of wisdom after we shared one of our many conversations about the QLC. The take-away was that "THESE are our defining moments"

And they are. Every tear I want to cry now, but hold back. Every shout that I muffle. Every plan to run away, but I curb. Are all tell-tale signs that I am becoming an adult. That the sidewalk is ending.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

They Always Come Back

I woke up with a ringing in my ear and fifteen minutes later it won't go away. I will not say I am not afraid, but maybe God is using that as a reminder for me, for what I'm not sure but I'm sure it will reveal itself OR the ringing will simply go away.

But, that's not really why I'm writing.

I was awakened by a text message, five to be exact. And they were from a guy, apologizing for his behavior. No, he didn't do some awful thing to me, nor did he commit the proverbial heartbreak. But what he did was wrong and I accept his apology, he just doesn't know that. I haven't decided if I'll tell him, but I do. I tend to accept most apologies (when I know they're genuine, most times they are because apologies only matter to me from people I care about and we must care about each other if you are apologizing). 

I read the texts a few times and each time going through my head is: "they always come back". I've said this to my friends multiple times for the past few months and I don't know if they understand the truth in that statement and how strongly I believe that. Let me correct that, I've learned that. Let me correct myself again, I taught myself that. "Them" coming back is predicated on how "they" leave, or how you let or force them to leave. 

I learned a huge lesson in love and life during my 23rd year of life. I do not plan to ever replicate those painful feelings I experienced, but I continue to use those lessons. And I wish I could teach my friends, sisters, and cousins those lessons. I was so gentle with myself during that time as I healed myself. It was such a spiritual place for me. I had to forgive myself. I had to be honest, with myself. I invested myself in another human being so deeply, that I had to dig deep within myself to get her back. She came back...and they always come back. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Phreedum: Phind out Phriday: Behind 3 Great Men is 1 Great W...

Phreedum: Phind out Phriday: Behind 3 Great Men is 1 Great W...: There’s the man who makes the music and there is the woman behind the music. There’s the man who plays the music and there’s the woman behi...