Gather Them!!!

Navigating My Identity

May 03, 2024
Navigating My Identity
Gather Them!!!
More Info
Gather Them!!!
Navigating My Identity
May 03, 2024

Send us a Text Message.

Manifesting works when you put the work into it.

What would my life had been like if I had a gay father? What if I had been more tapped into my queerness much soon? What if I had just felt comfortable enough to just be myself much sooner?

Also, don't play with me. I am a force ☝🏾

Twitter: @GatherThemPod
IG: @GatherThemPod
Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/weallgatherhere

Email: Gatherthempod@gmail.com

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Manifesting works when you put the work into it.

What would my life had been like if I had a gay father? What if I had been more tapped into my queerness much soon? What if I had just felt comfortable enough to just be myself much sooner?

Also, don't play with me. I am a force ☝🏾

Twitter: @GatherThemPod
IG: @GatherThemPod
Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/weallgatherhere

Email: Gatherthempod@gmail.com

Speaker 1:

what's up y'all? Welcome back to another episode of gather them podcast. I'm your host, jerome. We're back for another week, another episode, another experience. Um, so to speak, I can just tell y'all right now this has been a good, funny ass week for me. Um, I I feel like I have a lot to talk about, like I feel like there's a lot to talk about. Um, there's not much of. I'm just going to put it out there right now. This episode is probably going to be shorter as well. Next week, though. Next week, that's going to be the episode. This episode is going to be an episode, but it's also next week's going to be the episode to tune into. I'm actually really excited as I think about that and how I kind of want to preference or like talk about or promote that episode. So, yeah, more to come, more to come, but yeah, this week I just had like a lot going on on.

Speaker 1:

It was, I think it's been a funny ass week and and a stressful ass week on top of an exhausting ass week like this is the first week all summer or all year where it has felt like really really ridiculously hot, like today, as in yesterday, on Thursday, recording high of like 90 degrees in Philadelphia in May, like literally barely just began May, coming right off of April. Like 90 degrees, like that's insane. Of April, like 90 degrees, like that's insane. And I was so uncomfortable I just was like I just need to be inside, I need to be indoors. The buses like I feel like the buses are breaking down more um constructions like really bad in the city. Like everywhere you turn they're working on a project. Every bus, everything's getting detoured. One of my co-workers told me about how she got stuck underground waiting well trying to get to work on one of the trains. And it's just like at what point? Like what are we doing? Like why is everybody? Like why are we all outside? Like I thought we all said safer at home, thought we like philly is not the new york girl, like it's not that. So I I just want to preference that. Like we are not that. Um, yeah, like when shit gets crowded, it's like crowded, crowded, um, and the designs of our trains, for example, are not as open as new york, so it's like the seats are turned in more, there's less. Like they're gonna have to redesign, they're gonna have to do a redesign. Um, yeah, they're gonna have to do a redesign, um, but yeah, long story short, it's been a lot going on. Um, I guess I'll talk, let me see I'll about. I'll start to last week.

Speaker 1:

So last week I mentioned on the episode there was something I couldn't really talk about, but I was really excited to talk about it and you guys will hear what that thing is now because I'm going to tell you. But I accepted a new job and I am like so excited about it, I cannot wait. I wrote my resignation letter like this is important to hear, and like also understanding the way in which my, like spiritual practice has been functioning up until now. So I listened to Friend of the Show, d'andra's podcast, just Let it Glow, and it just so happened that she did this like practice where she and she's like very Christian based, which is like not, you know, that part's not really for me or whatever, but she did this practice of lighting a candle, setting an intention and writing it and working towards that goal. And so what I did? I just kind of tweaked it a little bit. I was like, all right, well, let me like I know what I want, I know what I want out of a job, I know what I want out of a career, and let me go ahead and just kind of tweak it a little bit. Let me like get it get it together. So what ended up happening was, um, I've went to new orleans. A couple years ago, I went to new orleans. I got this candle. It was a, uh, black and white candle.

Speaker 1:

Um, now I'm gonna talk about this in the space of, um, yes, I do like witchcraft or you know, pretty much light workings, um, nothing that's like too super serious or um, not what I say super serious, but like nothing that's like dangerous, you know, and I'm trying, like I do all the stuff, I make circle and, um, all of that stuff, like you know, protection, blah, blah, blah. So, um, I do all the stuff, I make circle and all of that stuff, like you know, protection, blah, blah, blah. So I do all the things. But so I held on to it for a little bit and, like I said, I went to New Orleans in like 2022, held on to it not really knowing, like, knowing what the significance of it was or what it could be used for, and I was like I'll hold onto it. I know what I want, but I need to like manifest a little bit more so, or like, at least like, think about it more so.

Speaker 1:

Um, I had this experience, um, that happened last year at my current job that I'm leaving, year at my current job that I'm leaving about six months ago-ish. And the experience, long story short. The experience was I wanted a new job within the company because it would give me a pay raise. I already knew how to do the work. I had done the work before, when I worked at Mazzoni Center.

Speaker 1:

I just didn't have the title of social worker, even though I was doing literally all of the things that the social workers do. Like I don't understand why that never really made sense to people or how I can never really convey that to people or get that across, but literally, like, when I saw my co-worker doing the job and like doing the things that she was doing, I like, when I saw my coworker doing the job, um, and like doing the things that she was doing, I was like I could do this job because I've done this work, um, but anyway, so when I like tried to get the position, there was this whole thing that happened, um, and I won't go too much into the details, but, um, I didn't get the job Like that's the long, that's the long and the short of it. So I was pretty upset. I was tired of working at the inpatient psych hospital because I was just draining. I think I could probably have done it if it was more, like twice a week, but not added on to a five-day work week. I can't do seven days of working straight, and I realized that in this predicament. So I think again when I had the candle I was like all right, let me just set my intention, let me figure out what I'm looking for, what I'm doing, where I want to go, where I see myself and really build that up. And I also was like I need to work on my confidence too. I have to build myself up and work on. Because I was like that's the only way this is going to work out. Like the only way this is going to work out is if I start to build my confidence and I start to really just put myself out there and really just and really just put myself out there and really just figure out like what, like trial and error, like you know, figuring out what I'm doing wrong and fixing it.

Speaker 1:

And so when I started to, when I had that experience last year of the loss of that employment opportunity. I was very like I qualified for it whatever, and not, you know, getting it. I essentially started to think more about it and think about my career and I was just like I know, I don't want to do this for the rest of my life. I feel kind of stuck in this. I started to kind of think like, well, maybe I could just tough it out. And I started to kind of think like, well, maybe I could just tough it out because you know, I was so close I'm so close to getting my LCSW, like all these different things. So I'm thinking like, ok, I can tough this out, I can do this.

Speaker 1:

And then I had the review happen, or the thing that happened earlier this year that really like made me mad and it made me upset. And so six months ago I remember doing that I had to open up the jar, like for the candle, because the green was on top and the black was on bottom and I had to reverse it so that the burnt, that the black burnt first. So I had to carve a wick in it or out of the bottom, flip it upside down and then, like you know, anointed channel, like put your intention into it, really like meditate while doing it, like just writing down, like with the things you want, like writing those writing things like success and you know, I guess, like abundance, like all of those things, you start like writing those things down, stability, and and you also write down on the black side, like the you know the negative things that you want to get rid of, like debt, you know, I don't know, like like, not abundance, like whatever, like you put like the stuff that you like you want to banish or reject, you know non-success or you know for the thing to not work out. And so I went through with the whole, you know practice and everything, and I let the candle burn and things like that. And then I think after it I was like OK, like it's burnt, like I feel like now I can really like I had that bad experience where I did not get that um position, but I was like you know what? I know one thing that needs to happen right now and I need to quit this job, and that's when I it popped into my brain I can tough out my full time job. Maybe I could do it. You know, I don't have that much time left.

Speaker 1:

And then I had to, like the thing happened this year, earlier this year, and then that made me think about it and I was just like I just feel like I deserve better, like I feel like I, you know, put my intention into wanting, you know, a better for myself and I need to really start to do that. And so it's been. I think the idea was cooking for a couple months and I just started feeling and getting lazy. And then that, you know, review happened and then I was just like it almost like dawned on me and that that moment where I'm like talking to my manager and I'm just like I don't need to, like I don't need this, like I'm better than this, like I know that I can do better than this, like I'm overwhelmed. I come home, I'm burnt out.

Speaker 1:

I was like, even if I took a second job, like and you know I was looking for another job, I was looking to get back into therapy I'm like, even if, like I found a second job, like I was still going to be so fucking drained, found a second job, like I was still going to be so fucking drained. And as I'm thinking about that like, as it's popping up in my brain of like I need to get out of this job because I don't like the fact that my manager did this like switch up on me, where, like I'm like going into my review thinking, okay, this is gonna be great and it's gonna be whatever, and then I just you know, something comes up that wasn't really my fault or something that's not even really my job, and I relayed the message and it just like fell off and I got, you know, scolded for that. I was just like I don't deserve this, I deserve better. Like I do so much working here, like I'm.

Speaker 1:

One of my coworkers has said I'm like a wealth, like a black book of. Like wealth, like of resources, like I have so many like experiences and like different things that I've done where I know that I'm a valuable asset to anywhere I go, because there's just so much. I just know stuff. Like I don't know how to really explain it, but I literally feel like that's the one thing, if I don't know anything else. I'm going to know something Like I'm going to know how to push something like an application through. I'm going to know how to fill something out. I'm going to know what the back door is Because that's my thing, is like I like to find shortcuts to get what I want, because that's the thing.

Speaker 1:

It's like you don't want to spend too long doing the task or whatever, thinking about it, wasting mental energy. Um, you know, finding shortcut ways to get things done, um, being efficient, and that's like what I really pride myself on. And so when I heard my coworker say that, I was just like, oh, okay, like you know, I'm being seen, I'm being recognized, you know, I love that. Um, that's what the astrological girlie said was in store for me in May. Um, and yeah, so I just it was in that moment I was like I can't do this, and so I started it.

Speaker 1:

And it's so funny because the job that I got, or have, am starting, is a job that I apply for maybe a week after that evaluation, a week or two after that evaluation, because I was like starting to feel super burnt out. Like I was like okay, like I didn't realize my review was going to be like this. I didn't think that I was going to have this experience in this way because I do so much work, like I do so much, I feel so tired by the end of the day between, like talking to all my coworkers and, you know, helping them figure out problems, trying to figure out my own problems, like I feel so drained and it's like you come home and you know you just don't feel like doing anything, you feel like a bump on the log and I just don't like feeling like that after work. So I was like I got to get out of here, so I applied, found out like the interview process was a little slow, but they got back to me and I'm starting at the end of the month and I'm really excited about that, like that's and it's a macro job, like that's.

Speaker 1:

The other part to this is the fact that this is how I know it's part of my manifestation, because I have been wanting for the longest to break out of direct practice work and this doesn't say I won't still be talking to families and things like that, but this is way more like program oversight, like being a program analyst will be my title and I I don't know I can just like I know it's so funny because I think about this in contrast to the episode I did, you know, a few months ago, where I or like a month or two ago, where I was talking about like feeling like I needed a win and this is it, and I'm like it's the hard work, it's the dedication, it like all paid off, um, and it's like everything just starts like started falling into place like where I needed it to fall, and I'm like it's a little scary because it's like, okay, I needed it to fall. And I'm like it's a little scary because it's like, okay, I know I work for this, but damn, like I took I spent $500 on a course and I'm definitely plugged this guy's course before I still have to tell him I got this job. But, like I have to like give some of the credit to him. Because what happened was I um he his name again versatile social worker. Um, he helps, um social workers stretch their master's degrees and find other ways to break into macro fields or fields that um, social workers might normally not look at, to getting into.

Speaker 1:

And so I was like, okay, well, this happened around February, where I was just like it was come, I was coming off my birthday, I found out the one therapy job I was looking for, looking trying to get into, or had gotten into I was really excited about, had gotten into, I was really excited about, you know, that they had to put me on pause and then I just was like damn, like I can't get myself to keep working this job and not have this other, not have other income coming in or, you know, not be working more towards like finding because my clinical supervision has been, you know so. So I feel like, as of late, and it's only because of the fact that a lot of my work is like it's very mezzo, in the sense of like I work within a health system that works within the city and it our specific clinic, our specific clinic targets, uh, you know a demographic, and then my program targets pretty much the whole city and um actually surrounding County, uh or tri-state area, I should say um and counties, um of Philadelphia, um and Pennsylvania. So I just, I don't know like it just feels like it's a job that's run its course for me. I feel like I'm getting very bored, I'm getting very exhausted, like just the thought of going to work just makes me want to like, literally, just like throw myself out a window. It is an only thing that's really gotten me through no-transcript knowledge, those sets of skills in this job, by, you know, basically doing prep for the health system. So I am just so grateful and thankful to God, the universe, like ancestors, like spirit beings, like whoever is looking out, because the fact that that happened I was like what the hell, because I did not expect it. So that was my good news and I just can't wait Now the resignation part, and I'm saying it like I'm telling y'all this now because this will be on the air, but like my literal resignation is in my email address and I'm sending it Friday afternoon and I just can't wait it's gonna be really interesting, I think to see what happens next.

Speaker 1:

I yeah, I mean, it's sad and it's unfortunate and it's not like one of those things where I feel like I'm happy that I have this new job. It just sucks because I know that whoever takes my job next is going to be in for a doozy if the you know job doesn't get you know restructured or something, because it gets busy as crap, like there's literally days, like you know. I just feel like I need 12 hours to do everything and no lunch break, just because I have to keep looking at the computer, I have to keep checking charts, I have to go in and out of programs, excel, Word, teams, like Outlook's going off left and right, like literally, notifications all day long, day long, and then they kept notifying us about the protest that was happening. I'm like, okay, like I get it, like you know we have a protest right now and you know it's for something that we honestly can stop doing, like we can stop killing people. Just stop like distracting me from my work. And so it's just like going in and out of different things and putting data.

Speaker 1:

Like there's not a lot of automation, like stuff doesn't really get automated in my job and there's no systems for that. You know. Like that's just it. Like I feel like that's kind of the case with HIV work period but nothing really gets automated.

Speaker 1:

Or like just and maybe in healthcare period, but like specifically in our work, because of how different, like you know, there's different software, the government's more involved in terms of like disease, infectious disease interventions and like the CDC, like there's all of these different like elements where it is a lot more um, it's less automated. Like you can't, there's not. I mean, there's stuff for patients are becoming like way more advanced, but on the backend it's like you still have to do a you know assessment, you still have to find the resources. You got to. You know provide the counseling you have to. You know call, schedule. Like it's just a lot easier for patients or people that are just like trying to access healthcare, but it's a lot and it's a lot of.

Speaker 1:

You know, we don't have enough money, it's a lot of. We don't know where the next funders like like when the next funding sources like you know, one of our positions is not all the way funded Like it's just a lot of shit, like it's a lot, a lot of shit. And and the need is just the fact that the need is still there. Like the need is still there, but the resources get less and less over time, and like I thought they might have hired another me by now, but that never happened. And I was like I don't think that's ever going to happen and I think I just need to get out. And that's what I did. So, excuse me, I'm proud of myself. So, excuse me, I'm proud of myself. Excuse me, I had to take that sip. I was getting. My voice was starting to go, yeah, so that was my.

Speaker 1:

That was the beginning of my last week, and then the end of last week I went to. Where the fuck did I go. I went to, oh uh, black Philly Pride. Um, they did some events. Um, I wanted to go to the thing on Friday. It was like an opening and it's so crazy because, like I know, I'm going to be recognized at some point by, um, some people that uh, some clients that I used to see, um, in this like as, as I'm trying, as I've been trying to like break more into or like be more present at, uh, gay events, I'm like, damn, I know I'm going to run into some people at some point and it's going to be uh kind of interesting. It's interesting because I don't really go outside that like that, that much like I I do stuff and I go places and things like that, but I'm not outside every, every, every day, because one thing about me is I move with intention when it it's time to go outside, like I don't just go outside to just go outside. So, yeah, I know I'm gonna see some people, but anyway I went, I wanted to go to that. They were there and I was like, all right, well, glad I didn't go.

Speaker 1:

And then I went to Saturday Because I knew I wasn't going there. I was exhausted, I was tired last week Because I knew I wasn't going there on Friday. I was like let me see what's going. On Saturday I went to an R&B day party. It's a monthly party that's hosted by Jay Latte. He's a DJ here in Philly.

Speaker 1:

The first time I heard of him was at Sweat, which is one of the Sway parties. At Sweat, which is one of the Sway parties, it's like a. I think I talked about this last year, but Sweat is just this like it is this day party that happens at the pier on Penn's Landing here in Philadelphia and it's like an outside. I guess it gives very much like one step away from White Party, if that makes sense, because I don't, yeah, because you can kind of wear whatever, but like it's a fun. It's a fun party, I like it.

Speaker 1:

That was my first year going, but I liked it. I might go back this year, but anyway, that was the first time I heard of him and I was like I've never been to his R&B parties and like let me just go because I'm getting back into r&b. I'm listening to a lot of r&b lately, like I was listening to anita baker yesterday, like that's not r&b really, but like the quiet storm is is teetering on r&b for me, um, and so I went. It was. It was pretty fun. Um, I went early. Uh, my friend, me and Alexis, went out to um where do we go? We went to this ballet, um called Ballet X. Afterwards, and then Sunday I went out to the Black Philly Pride block party that was happening outside of Woody's um, which was good.

Speaker 1:

Um, it was weird because people kept complaining about this homeless man that smelled like pee. At one point I was just kind of like I mean, it's not his fault, like not too much on him, you know he's homeless, like there's nothing he can do about that. So it just was awkward because I kept. I was just standing there and people I think were noticing that I was just standing there. But I don't know like it's hard for me to break into queer spaces or spaces in general, like not just gay spaces, but it's hard for me to just jump into spaces where people are already friends, like if I am a like person on the outside and I am coming into a circle of I don't know, of friends or of groups of people that know each other. It's like weird.

Speaker 1:

Like the thing is is I feel like I almost feel like at some point you have to like, if you are noticing that like stepping aside, because I'm like, how do you meet people? If you are noticing that like stepping aside, because I'm like, how do you meet people? And that's the thing about Philly to me is it's very and I'll talk about this with my final thought but like it's very clicky, like everybody knows each other and you have to kind of be with the in crowd and the bars are dominated, like like the gay bars are dominated by people that by like the same kinds of people. Like there's not really like and that's the crazy part about it, because you would think that you know, like that was just the one facet of the gay identity but there's guys that don't even go to the bars and it's like, well, how do y'all meet people? Like, how do y'all talk to people? I was like, if you don't go, you're not on Grindr, you don't go to bars, like what are you doing? Because I need to find you guys and so I don't know. But I still just went because I was like I, it's a, you know, an event. It was free to get in, it was something to do to get me out the house.

Speaker 1:

I wasn't just laying around and then I had dinner with my sister and that was it for the weekend, and then the beginning of this week has mainly been me winding down at my main job. I can't believe I'm still telling you this. It's because I'm smacked a little bit, um, and if y'all can't tell like I'm literally smacked a little bit as I talk about this, but um it's. Yeah, it's just been like a very busy week, um, to say the least, just winding down, trying to get everything like situated, situated Like I'm starting processes for, um, how to do things, like what things need to be done, um, in the role, um, just different shit like that. Like I'm just doing little things like that. Um, and the our report, like our monthly report, is due and I'm like, oh my god, like it's, of course, due on, like right around the time when, like I'm putting my resignation in and you know everything's like going the way it's going, but it'll be fine.

Speaker 1:

Um, you know, once that's done, I can focus more on like what offloading my job will look like and trying to provide somewhat of a smooth transition, because it's going to be a bad joint, like I'm not going to lie, like it's going to be a bad joint, because the thing is is that I do a lot of stuff at my job. Like I do. I catch a lot of stuff. I you know, that's just, and that's why I feel like I'd be a perfect analyst, because I can identify mistakes, I can identify what processes are not working out, I can identify and evaluate workflows and whether or not something is successful is successful. So I just feel like doing that on a smaller scale of looking into, like, patient charts and just trying to figure out, like, of all their labs you know, medication visits were up to date, making sure they came in for their injections, doing all that stuff, that a lot of stuff that happens. That's me like I literally do that Because there's so many people in the health system, like there are so many people and me alone I do that.

Speaker 1:

And so when that does not get done, when people fall, when it falls to the wayside or you know they don't try enough to get someone in, then the program starts to lag and I don't know, it's just gonna be one of those things where I feel like it's funny to me, because it's like oh, you know, this is what happens when you play around and I don't. I don't fuck around like that's like point blank periods, I don't. I don't fuck around when it comes to work and when I feel like someone's starting to fuck with me or like I'm feeling gaslit or manipulated or anything like that, where I feel like is this real? Like, is this real life? Because y'all were going to throw this one job at me, like earlier last, for a dollar more, and I said no, and.

Speaker 1:

And then a job that I know I could do because I'm like really qualified and I have a lot of experience and I know a lot of the resources in Philadelphia, um, and y'all were saying no for that. So I was like, okay, all right, I got you, um. And then for that. So I was like, okay, all right, I got you, um. And then that evaluation, that was like the cherry on top and I was just like, girl, I gotta get out of here because this is like not real life, um, so, yeah, uh. So it's like funny in that regard, but then it's like bittersweet, because the bitter part is that I do like my co-workers and I do feel like, even though my job is stressful it's not, it's a lot of work, but it's not a bad job to have in the sense of if you were like just starting out, like, or if you were like in my stage of like transitioning, um, because I'm like I'll be like this month.

Speaker 1:

I'm five years, um, having graduated from social work school, um, having like gotten to this point of direct care for over five years, I feel like I know a lot. I know a lot of stuff. I know, um, I've been in, you know, both the mental health and the healthcare system, so there's a lot of things that I know and know how to do. And I just feel like, in my experience being a kidney transplant patient, I'm like I literally know so much and you know what to do and how to do things and how things get done, and you know, and I was just like you know what? I just gotta, I gotta get out of this, though, because this is too much.

Speaker 1:

So I think my job is it was a good stepping stone for me and I think all my jobs were that for me, like whether or not, you know, we ended up on good terms or whatever. I think all my jobs are that for me, like I never want to hate my employer, I mean, and when I do hate my employer, I just up and leave, because I've done that before. But I really do try to stick it out and I really try to like give the benefit of the doubt. But when it starts to get to a point where I'm just like I'm not dealing with this shit, like I'm just not dealing with it like anymore and I'm gonna find a way out, taking that grant writing class, like thank god I was able to find that because that helped out a lot too with some of this like arguing or not arguing, but like painting this picture and my interviews of like who I am and like what I do, you know, because I was gonna pay for this class, regardless if they gave me my money back or not. They're supposed to, but you know, we'll see after this resignation goes in, but any, you know. Needless to say, either way, I'm like it was an investment. I was like, even if I don't get this money back, it's an investment, like if I get a job before this class ends. I was like it's just an investment on my, you know, my education, my learning, um, and it's like everything just kind of happened in the same day. It was like boom, here's your certificate, here's this job offer. Here's the offer letter. Here's your contract for your new therapy job. Like, all of these things happened, and I was just like it's been overwhelming, um, in a good way, um, so I'm really excited, um, about that Um, and glad I got a podcast to talk about that, for, like I don't know if that was like how long that was, um.

Speaker 1:

Moving on, um, I just wanted to talk, briefly though, uh, about Drake. I don't know where my phone is. I should pull up my notes, but I don't really know what's going on in regards to the Drake hate. I don't know what the core. I don't know where this all kind of stemmed from, like I don't know, I don't know, and I don't know where this all kind of stemmed from, like I don't know, I don't know, and I don't really care.

Speaker 1:

I think the thing that has been interesting to me, though, is the discussion around Drake's identity, of being biracial and whether or not he's Black enough, the racism. I think that's more interesting to talk about, because I think that people, the way I'm kind of interpreting it has been that Drake, that Drake, like it's interesting because he's not someone that has this history of being in the trenches, but he raps a lot about. He's able to really capitalize off of the genre of rap and hip hop. Because of that's what it is. You know what I mean. Like that's what you know people talk about, especially people you know from the hood. They talk about the same things you drink, talk about like, but Drake didn't have that growth, that experience growing up, and so that's why people are like okay, white boy, because you were raised, you know, by your white mom and you it's like what do you really know about? I think that's what it is. It's like you don't really like.

Speaker 1:

I think drake is a good rapper, like someone said this before but they think you know about drake being a good rapper overall, um, but he's a good mainstream rapper. He's like someone, I think, that is more of like him and nikki like are not even nikki, because nikki's a good rapper. I feel like I don't know. Drake is a good rapper, but he's just a commercial and I feel like nikki's commercial now. So I'm just going to say it.

Speaker 1:

Um, I mean she's been commercial for a while, but I just feel like they're both very. They're going to do what they're not going to be innovative. They're just going to say it. I mean, she's been commercial for a while, but I just feel like they're both very they're going to do what they're not going to be innovative. They're not going to do anything that is like innovative, new. They're going to pretty much play it safe. You know, drake does try to experiment, like here and there a little bit, maybe more than Nikki, but I feel like early in Nikki's career she did a lot more experimenting than she's doing now.

Speaker 1:

That's just how I feel, and I just feel like Drake is, like I said, they're both good rappers, but I think they're like very comfortable with just doing what makes the money, you know, and not cole's in this too, and people are like you know, he's more of a lyricist, like j cole, um, but kendrick's more of like the artist, like he's more of the one that is like mixing it up and not just sticking to, like he he's actually, and he's actually from like the hood, you know, um, or growing up, like you know the hood, as in, like I say the hood as like an umbrella for like growing up, you know, in the trenches, um, he just didn't come from money. I'm just gonna say it that way, that's the way I'll say it, and so, yeah, I think that it's just interesting how there is this classism or this economic thing. That's also this indicator. It's almost like a scale, like when you think of, like you know how you rate blackness, like you know, were you raised poor or were you raised, you know, or you know with more money, like is that an indicator for how black you are? Or um, skin tone, like that's another one. Um, hair textures, um, like, how close to you know, c4 is your hair texture. You know C4 is your hair texture. Uh, like, if you look like lighter in some photos, you know that that's what they did with um Beyonce with the uh, when she had the um more platinum hair, it was like, oh my gosh, she's bleaching and it's like girl, she's just like it's gonna stop. Um, but yeah, they do.

Speaker 1:

Like it's like another thing that you are balancing or trying to gauge someone's uh, like their street cred, so to speak, and um, it's just interesting how that's the thing that people have been targeting about drake is because of his upbringing, um, and I think that's just like. I think that's the point. I think that's just like. I think that's the point. I think that's kind of like the point of what, like, the argument is that's going on.

Speaker 1:

But it's interesting to me that, on the one hand, I do agree that, like if you do have black and you're black, that like if you do have black in you, you're black, but I also do understand and recognize that, like, not all black folk are kinfolk and I feel like drake is maybe one of them. People like he likes to play in it and he likes to use it as an aesthetic um, because he didn't come from it, like he didn't come out of it or whatever. You know, he was never at the bottom, um, so I don't know, I don't know. There's something just interesting to think about in terms of this idea of blackness and what it means to be black. Because it's interesting, because even if a white person were to, like go through the same things as a black person, it's like you still wouldn't, you know, discount their, um, their, or you wouldn't just say, oh well, they're not black, like they didn't, they never grew up black. Well, you know, you wouldn't say all that.

Speaker 1:

So it's like interesting how um we talk about, like black identity and what it means and how, like deep and, you know, meaningful or enriching it. I guess it is as we like learn about ourselves. I don't know. I don't know what the message is, honestly, I don't know what it's supposed to be, but I think that, um, but what I do know I will say't know what the message is, honestly, I don't know what it's supposed to be, but I think that. But what I do know I will say this, like what I do know is that I think that I mean, I still see Drake as a Black person because he's you know, he has black.

Speaker 1:

He's black, but I do, or he's half black. You know, I feel like mixed people are just black, like I just feel like if you're like one half, you're black. If you're one one fourth, uh, then I'd start to be like, okay, like we're getting it's getting a little too um, too not black, but I just feel like with him. It's one of those things where it is like, yeah, you just have to kind of look and see like authenticity and like what? Like if you were in that, like if you really are this person or are you just this image are, are you cosplaying, are you pretending to be this person? And I think that's the thing that is about a lot of artists Like, a lot of artists love the money and attention and the fame and all of that, and it can be hard to be your authentic self. Eventually, like I mean, you just don't get to be that person that you maybe really are, or you create your this new persona for yourself of like being this person that you are fully in, and it's like I don't know, it's just interesting, to say the least. Um, and it's sad because I feel like with drink, I'm like I can't even defend him because it's like you talked. I feel like with Drake, I'm like I can't even defend him because it's like you talked about Megan Thee Stallion and I just feel like that was you never really apologized, so I don't know it's bad for him. This also kind of leads me into like Degrassi you know, just briefly talking about his character, because I'm like going to talk about Degrassi, you know, just briefly talking about his character, because I'm like going to talk about Degrassi next like this is where we're. It's like a transition, like we're going to transition into the next thing.

Speaker 1:

Um, I don't know why him and Hazel were paired together. Like I honestly don't. I still don't understand. Like I just watched that episode and I still don't really understand what they have really that's in common. That's interesting. Also, like, just want to know, like I mean I'm around season four of Degrassi right now, around season four, degrassi, right now.

Speaker 1:

So I just want to know why that lawyer was going so hard to prove that Paige wanted Dean to have sex with her, when she clearly said it was rape. That was weird as a woman to argue and this is why I can't be a lawyer, because I can't lie, because it's like I'm not going to do some. That seems really foul to be like. So you wanted him to like why would you suggest going upstairs with him if you didn't want to? Like I wouldn't say that to somebody like that's fucked up. Um, because that's like when and when you think back to the episode, the circumstance or the only reason she asked him to go upstairs was because her and Spinner were going through a fight and she didn't want to be around him. So she went upstairs to be away from him and that was it. That was kind of the thing, and I feel like she I mean she didn't say that, but because they kept asking her, she didn't say that.

Speaker 1:

But it's hard to remember that like stuff in the moment where you're on trial and you're like going through it, you know, and then you have some woman that is a lawyer, you know where you have to assume like you've never experienced a sexual assault in your life Like this woman you know, maybe hasn't, because it's like how could you ask this poor girl, like this teenage girl, um, why she went upstairs with an 18 year old or 17 I forgot how old he was, but he was a senior, um, and so that was wild. But the thing that really I got to the episodes with marco and dylan, I started like being like damn, like this is triggering something in me, and I feel like it's triggering something in me because I'm, I think I'm back on my I kind of want a relationship, but I don't want to like wish for it too much, if that makes sense, like I want it to happen, but I don't, like I'm scared of like when it happens, like damn, like what's going to happen, like you know what I mean, like I don't even have one yet and I'm like like damn, like what's gonna happen, like you know what I like they were together for years. And then the fact that, uh, dylan even like pushed Marco to do certain things, like come out to his family, even though he wasn't ready and like, um, I don't know like, he ended up getting gay bashed and all this and that, like it kept like pressuring marco about, like all of these, like about his um, about him not wanting to come out, when in retrospect I'm like they're, he did kind of sort of rush him a little bit. Um, you know, by the beginning of season three, when, like they had their date or whatever, I think in season three, by the beginning of season three, when, like they had their date or whatever, I think in season three. At the end of season three, um, or towards the end of season three, I'll say, and uh, you know, went to the party and all of this and that.

Speaker 1:

And then the beginning of season four, um, they, that's, that's when Marco ran for president at his school and he came out to his mom and that's basically because Dylan forced him to come out to his mom. And then I'm not there yet, but then eventually, you know, dylan cheats on Marco. Like what the fuck? Like how could you cheat on him? Because marco loves you? Like he's like in your fucking corner, like stupid, excuse me, stupid, dumb shit. Um, tired as fuck. I can't wait to go to bed. Um, but stupid dumb shit, like it's just stupid dumb shit. And cheats on him, tries to earn like get marco back eventually. You know, he keeps trying, keeps trying, keeps trying, and then marco, he, marco, well, he pushes marco too far, marco snaps on him.

Speaker 1:

But it is hard, like it is hard to re-watch because I didn't watch many like I didn't have like gay friends, like I didn't have gay friends growing up. Really. Um, I had like lesbian friends um, here and there, but we weren't close, uh. And then I, you know, always kind of had a more girl centric or femme centric circle, um, most of my life. So I just never really got to experience what it was like to be in a relationship or like have friendships with other gays.

Speaker 1:

So I don't really know what that's like too much, um, and that'll transition us eventually again to our final thought, but like it's just like really interesting, you know, having this first experience watching the show and now watching it again as an adult and seeing the ways in which marco was essentially manipulated by dylan, um, and how, dylan? Because he like essentially, he's like all right. Well, I'm breaking up with you if you're not going to come out to your mom or your dad. And then you know Marco's like I'm not ready to come out to my dad. He's like, okay, I guess, but you know you're working on it, but I'll take you back and then I'll cheat on you and then get mad at him and try to make him jealous. It just was a lot, it was.

Speaker 1:

He was a very manipulative character. Um, he could be loving, of course, but I just felt like he was just manipulative and, um, I'm like, damn, like it sucks, because like he's, he's the pretty boy. Like he's a pretty boy, he's older, he seems more mature, he's more you know sure about himself. Like he's all of the things that you want and like or at least I want and like a partner. Not, I mean, you know that's age, appropriate, of course, but and that should kind of go without saying but just someone that is like more mature, more like has a good head on their shoulders. That's okay with who they are, that is, you know, that feels like they love you no matter what, like they love you no matter what. Um, but the those other parts of Dylan are just really like, looking at the show now and like stepping back. I'm like, yeah, he wasn't really that great of a character because he basically forced his boyfriend to come out to his fam, this family which I mean, thank god worked out, because usually that doesn't work out and then cheated on him Like that's, it's too much. It's too much. It's too much, like it's too much, I can't yeah, but yeah, it just I don't know it.

Speaker 1:

Also, I think that revigorated my fear of getting cheated on. That's what I think it was. That's why I don't I get nervous about relationships because I'd be like I don't know. I know you're supposed to trust people, but like people be just playing you like it's crazy and I just I like have to watch people, like I literally have to observe, I have to think about it, I have to put the pieces together and if the pieces make sense, I'm like, okay, I trust you, but if the pieces don't make sense after a while, or if I'm watching you and you're doing one thing and saying that, I'm like, nope, I can't do this, so yeah, it just reinvigorated that fear. And I also was watching Noah's Ark, which was very, which has been very interesting, and maybe I'll talk about that at a different time, but this is my first time watching Noah's Ark and I'm like hon.

Speaker 1:

There's a lot of stuff that I feel like I learned like, not by watching the show, of course, but I had to learn it on my own. When, you know, had I watched the show earlier, I'd have been like oh yeah, okay, like this is what this means and oh, they've been saying oh girl, this is tea for like years and you know just all the vernacular and the things like the fact that this show was like, I think 2002, 2005,. I keep forgetting the dates, um, but because this show was like so like this show was basically yikes, retro, a little bit, um, especially because of the, they use the t slur. We don't do that anymore. Uh, we're not supposed to do that anymore. Um, even if it was acceptable I don't know if it ever was, but we're not, definitely not supposed to do it because they was definitely doing it on daytime, mari, but they're not supposed to do it. No one's supposed to do it. But it's just been an interesting watch.

Speaker 1:

And also getting the black gay perspective, because this is why I also don't watch a lot of gay content, because a lot of it is very white and I just don't see myself in it. So I think I feel connected to Marco's story because as a teenager, I identified as him, like I did go through similar things that he went through, or had to have similar concerns and worries and fears. Like that's a shared experience, but the overall experience of you know, whatever, like it's a TV show, you know, and we don't have the same exact experiences. So, yeah, what else, what else? What else, what else? Um, yeah, um, what else, what else, what else, what else? Yeah, I think I'm gonna talk about, um, that noah's ark more at a later time because I am tired of shit.

Speaker 1:

So my final thought, essentially long story short. I'm gonna wrap it up for y'all. I'm like tired and I am smacked. Um, I just want to go to bed. Um, it's been a long fucking day. I'm so sorry.

Speaker 1:

Um, it's just that, like I guess like kind of reflecting on, like my experience with um, black gay pride and going out and I don't know, just my like people, like knowing people and the not knowing people. How can I say this? Like there's people that I know from, like the apps, and then there's people that I know from like the apps, and then there's people that I know from just the like Instagram, like the apps when I say the apps, I mean like Grindr, scruff, all them and then like the apps from Instagram, from interacting with them on their material, their pages, like things like that. But it feels like I'm not and I don't know if this will ever happen or if it'll ever be my place or whatever. It's just that I don't know if I'll ever really understand or really be a part of gay culture, because I wasn't as introduced to it or as engrossed in it as I am now.

Speaker 1:

Because when I think about myself, like 14 years ago, like 18 year old me, I was still like very much heteronormative, watching, uh, some of these shows and seeing, like, for example, with noah's ark um, and how wade he's like deep he was like deep in the closet. Like he was like willing to admit that he likes noah, but not open enough to just kiss him like he, he needed to get jealous of someone else, of a woman kissing him for him to be like nah, like this is my man, let me. Let me scoop in Um, and it was never like that. It just was always the. It was more of the internalized homophobia, um, the feeling of like, oh, I don't want to be too feminine, like I don't want to do too much, like that's not for me, um, like all of that stuff.

Speaker 1:

And I think that because of that, like rejecting that um and also rejecting, I think, the looking for acceptance from white people for so long, um and white and like those type of spaces I'll say it like that Um, and in spaces that like were more like hipster, you know, grungy, like whatever, like I feel like in those spaces I really didn't get a chance to really feel like myself or really feel like included and I feel like, as I'm going in now, I almost feel like did I miss the boat? I must have missed the boat because I'm like damn Okay. So I know people would be like this is my uncle, this is my nephew, this is my son. You know no blood, my son. You know no blood relation, you know in the community and that's what we do, um, but I'm like, yeah, I don't.

Speaker 1:

Really I never had like a gay mentor, like I never had um like a gay uncle, gay father, um, I imagine, had I told my parents now I think about that sometimes, I think about the had I told my parents I was gay, like I maybe would have been thrown into it a lot sooner because I would have been forced into that space. But I think about it and it's like 18 year old me couldn't even fathom the idea of staying in the city of Philadelphia, you know, going to the gay bars here, getting into the gay scene, because I was so square. I was so square, I was like I don't know, like I had friends that were 18, getting into clubs and bars and stuff and I was like I'm not even going to chance it because I know I'm not going to get in, it's going to be a thing. No, I'm not going to get in, it's going to be a thing. And I don't, I don't like situations that are overly stressful like that, like where it's unnecessary stress, um, because it's not fun for me, like it's not fun for me to try to sneak in to a place that is that I'm told I'm not allowed into, like that's not me, um, it feels like a waste of time and I just I can't do it.

Speaker 1:

And so I think that, again, going back to the not you know, being at Penn State, like not really, you know, I didn't really start going to the gay bars really until my mom passed and I was like 23. And I was going with like my straight friends and I wasn't really going during these times when there were like this is my first black gay pride like ever. You know what I mean and that's what I mean when I'm like everyone just already seems like everyone's clicked up, everyone's already there, like the people my age are already, you know they've already found their clicks and dating's hard now, like you don't really get to talk to people you know face to face as much anymore because of like social media and like how people don't really initiate as much in public and different things like that. And I feel like I'm having to learn how to do that stuff on my own and that's been challenging to navigate from a wanting more friends standpoint and wanting a partner standpoint and I'm wanting more friends is more of like wanting. I had to, just like I did, like revelation, I think, with myself where I was, just like I can't. I had to, just like I did, like revelation, I think, with myself where I was, just like I can't, like I don't have a partner right now.

Speaker 1:

I need to kind of build new friendships because some of my friends are moving, some of my friends are in different spaces in life, some of my friends have moved on. Like there's friends that I'm like mourning honestly, grieving over, still, like honestly, I think about it and I'm like I don't even know how we're not friends anymore Because, like you know, I felt like we might have been closer to maybe what we were or you know, something like that. And then again people just fall out, and that happens too, and I'm like I spent a lot of time by myself, but I try to go outside, I try to touch grass, you know, here and there, and I'm like maybe I need to start getting new friends. But I'm like, am I a little traumatized from losing my last friends? I don't know. Or like losing friendships, I don't know, but it just feels hard. It feels hard to even break into that like and get into the into that.

Speaker 1:

And then also I feel conflicted sometimes because of my position as a therapist, again as a social worker, um, with having have definitely seen clients of mine and I would have been like yikes, and like how do I balance this? But it's hard. It's hard when you are in the community that you're serving, the community that you also are part of, and it's not that everyone you know is going to ever be my patient. You know what I mean. Like everyone's not going to be my patient, Like that's not the point. But I think the point is just like how do I find that balance between, like the looking or being in these spaces and then also navigating that other piece of serving? You know it feels different, like I. It's interesting because I think I've had this conversation before with a previous supervisor about how it feels different having these, this level of a dual relationship, like this isn't something that really straight people have to deal with um too much.

Speaker 1:

And it's the what if I see my part, like what if I see my patient at a um gay club or um at this, you might see them at the store or something that's different. But like, in this intimate like situation, you know where you're mingling with people, you're socializing and what does that look like? And I don't know. It almost feels like I'm trying to balance one foot in and one foot out and that's hard to do. And I think it's hard to do because I haven't already been in it, you know, and I'm just getting to it. So, yeah, I think that's kind of it as I think about that. That is think is my last thoughts.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, that's it for the show for today. Letters gather them pod at gmailcom. And also, if you have want to follow me on socials is gather them pod on x and formerly known as twitter and ig, and that wraps up this episode. I hope everyone has a good rest of the week. Happy Cinco de Mayo. I forget why we drink on that day. I don't even know if that's like a thing, but I hope everyone has a good, safe weekend and I will talk to everyone later. Bye, bye.

Workplace Manifestation and Career Growth
Manifestation Success
Busy Transition Out of Intense Job
Career Transition and Drake Hatred
Discussion on Drake's Identity and Commercialism
Exploring Identity and Authenticity
Exploring Themes of Manipulation and Betrayal
Navigating Black Gay Culture and Therapy
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