I appreciate the luxuries afforded to me that contribute to my desire and ability to create. Things like time, space, love, and even pain. It all reminds me that I’m feeling, which means I’m living. 

Wandering through life numb will eventually turn you into a negative person. And no matter how much or often you try to mask your negativity as something it’s not, it will never be anything more than negativity. No matter how pretty you dress it up, how religiously you aim to justify, or how confidently it comes across, it will still be negativity. So yes, you are keeping it real BUT from the perspective that you’ve been given based on your interactive or dormant dance with life. 

No one in the entire existence of time has ever been made in your likeness, so how egotistical yet sad of you to think that the World should be whatever it is you are?!?! In case people don’t tell you…or maybe they tell you but don’t show you, you’re special. Be your kind of special and let others have the freedom to be theirs. Don’t diminish your special by wanting to be like others or desiring them to aim to be of your likeness. Who told you that you were God? Commonalities are very different than being the same. We should have things in common yet still be able to retain our own identities.  

There wasn’t a day that went by in which my mother didn’t write a message on my mirror, miss an opportunity to verbally affirm me, or show me that I was indeed unique and special. No matter my desire, she supported me. I was pushed to expand my comfort zones frequently. In hindsight, I could say that I fucked up trying to be like everyone else. Or at least that’s the easiest thing to tell myself. But really it wasn’t that, I was still the young girl exploring. I was meeting new people, dabbling in new worlds, and just simply seeking more and different. The difference in my explorations at this point was simply that I didn’t have my anchor to reel me in. My balance was missing. I stumbled but without the voice of reason in which I was used to leaning, I completely fell. 

Not only did I fall, I had to drag myself out of the trenches for what seemed to be a lifetime. Having experienced that extreme and fighting through it for so long, I then found myself setting camp at the opposite end of the spectrum. I was trying to will myself out of my pit with positivity and I heavily projected that onto others. To the point where the essence of the message could have very well been lost. 

As I started to build my business; I got lost in, “what’s the proper way to…” What are the bloggers doing? How are the streetwear kids vibing? How are the perceived successful people moving? The only problem is I’m not those people. And even attempting to move in an opposite direction than them, my focus was displaced. I was doing myself an injustice by not just solely focusing on myself and my vision. 

Everyone wants a term or a category to put my business in and I’ve just come to the conclusion that there isn’t one. What do I do? I make shit happen, I create, I connect, I build, and I have vision. Who am I? I am a woman, I am human, I am flawed. The same things that make me weird are the same things that make me great. This world in which I dwell has its conventional ways too. There are traditional artists and there are unconventional artists. There are those who create and there are those who run the business behind the art. In some rare cases you have those that are able to embody both sides of the spectrum. I like to think the experiences I’ve been afforded no matter how dreadful they may have seemed at the time. The space that I’ve taken for myself; even when hiding to shield myself from pain, have all poured into me enough that I will forever be able to maintain this balance. That it will pour into me so much that I have no choice but to overflow with creation. 

There will come a day soon when people won’t have to ask what it is that I do. There will be a time when my quirky ways are justified merely by my creations and the places that they take me. My successes defined not by the heights that I’ve climbed but by the people that I have brought along with me. Sometimes you have to retreat in order to get the perspective needed to continue moving forward.

I have not written a post since August 2015, five months ago. I have not produced any merchandise since around the same time. People ask if I’m worried about missing my wave due to inactivity. What they fail to realize is that although I may not be moving in the obvious ways does not negate the fact that I’m moving. I will continue to tap into markets and expand my horizons and if you have any questions about what’s next for Unconventional Ambition and The LAME Way, my answer is simple. This year will be a culmination of the places that I’ve been, the things that I’ve been blessed to create, the people that I’ve been inspired by, and a few new endeavors. But the MAIN point is this, HOW CAN I MISS MY WAVE, WHEN IT’S MINE?!?!”

I’ve been in pursuit of my dream for some time, but my dream is now realized. This is the phase of my journey in which I work to be great. The essence of everything I do is organic, so when I feel like creating, I will create. When I feel like posting, I will post. I just feel that where I stand, posting daily just to say I posted is inauthentic. I will speak when I have something to say but most importantly, I will not “do” just for the sake of “doing”. That isn’t creation…that isn’t art. At least not for me.

Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it. Your art is the act of challenging status quo and changing people. -Soledad Francis

 (Featured image: Nails By Mimi for Cosmopolitan)