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the price we pay for living is loss
Welcome to love over fear, my weekly newsletter about living life and choosing love even if you’re scared. It’s a Friday morning, which is different for this newsletter, but we all are adjusting to new normals. I have Fridays off at my new job, so I figured it would be a better day for me to publish. Also, it’s been one hell of a week. So here we are on Friday, looking back at the week that was. Thanks for being here.
Last night I made English scones and recruited my boyfriend to get some strawberry jam and clotted cream. While I was kneading the dough, I was thinking about Jasper, my cat. He is lost in Johannesburg, South Africa at the moment. He might be lost there forever. Hot tears rolled down my face as I wrestled with the fact that I might never see him again because someone had left a window open.
Last night I made English scones and once they came out of the oven, I turned to my boyfriend and said, “Grief bake”. I love to bake, and the process isn’t usually shrouded by grief. Usually, it’s a birthday, or a graduation, or a Tuesday. No such luck this time, though. I spread the strawberry jam on the warm scone and tried my damndest to get the clotted cream to sit on it nicely, instead of doing it the right way round. In my head, it felt like a spy mission: complicated. In reality, it was the simplest thing I’ve had to think about in a while.
Last night I made English scones, ate one, and immediately got into bed. I feel so heavy recently. It’s a special kind of piercing pain to have gotten so close to having him back with me, all for him to now be missing and lost, maybe forever. I know it sounds dramatic, but you must understand where I’m coming from: I got Jasper in May 2022, after thinking about getting a cat for thirty full days. I am (or was) allergic to cats, but I was also going crazy living in a basement apartment and spending too much time by myself. Enter Jasper: a Scorpio tabby cat who loves to give his belly to anyone. His birthday is November 4th — the same day as my first girlfriend. I had plans to throw a “Jasper is 3” party for him.
This year has been immensely difficult for me and having Jasper in my life made it bearable. In January, when I was beyond broke and being denied money I was owed from a record label, I cried into my cat. In March, when my best friend surprise broke up with me, I stared into space and petted Jasper for hours. In April, when I found out I had to move back to South Africa, I cried for hours while Jasper sat in ridiculously cute poses. I moved hell and high water and spent over $2,000 to get him to come with me. You get the point — this cat has gotten me through a lot. And I’m devastated to be without him. Grief bake.
In other news, I am officially an independent artist. As I mentioned earlier, my experience with record labels hasn’t been good. Having never done music before, I was signed with promises of support to help me grow as an artist. I am grateful that the album got put out and pressed. I am grateful that I learned a lot. I will never be grateful that they fired the person who signed me, never replaced her, and then treated me like shit the rest of my time there.
All that to say, I gave an ultimatum: I asked for an apology. And if I couldn’t get an apology, I told them I don’t think we should work together because our value systems don’t align. Well, dear reader, I am no longer a signed artist. A week ago, after my texts and emails went ignored for weeks if not months, I asked my lawyer what was up. Lo and behold, they moved to terminate my contract because they would not apologize. And to that I say: good riddance.
I just need to get this out because I would never, ever have thought that this is how my experience would go. For a label that prides itself on being artist-friendly, the optics are horrendous. How are you going to have one dark-skinned black woman on your roster and then go out of your way to treat her like shit? How do you think that’s going to work out? In any case, I have been released from my deal with no strings attached. I have slithered out. I am on the hunt for a manager that they didn’t help me find, and a new home for the second album. And I won’t be taken advantage of again. Goodbye, record deal. Grief bake.
Gaza is under siege and you can help. This week I started being more vocal about my position on the crisis in Gaza, and whew. I didn’t expect anyone to take me for a zionist, but I’ve been disappointing a bunch of people, apparently. Given that I’m from the place where they invented apartheid, I’m not sure why I’d ever side with an apartheid state. In any case, the Palestinian people are at risk of being completely eradicated by the Israeli apartheid state. Call your representatives. Demand a ceasefire. Hell, follow this link and it’ll write and send a letter for you! The world is a scary place. Grief bake.
Outside smells weird. It’s been two weeks exactly since I moved to VA and my biggest remark is that the trees here smell fucking weird. Allergies are kicking my transplant ass to hell, and the outside smells weird while it happens.
Guess who’s back? Music man Shalom! I’m playing music again! Last week I had my first rehearsal with my cello player for a show in Washington DC with Rosie Tucker & Adult Mom on November 11. Back to bass-ics playing bass and singing songs. I’m also playing this show in Washington DC on November 4th. Come to either! Say hello!
This week’s card is the Six of Pentacles. In tarot, sixes represent harmony and cooperation, while pentacles are the suit of resources, finances, and material wealth. This is a card that encourages us to give — because at any point, we too may be in need. We must give with generosity and receive with gratitude. In light of the situation happening in occupied Palestine, I encourage you to give where you can. The world is not so big that you should detach from the suffering of others. Donate to Save the Children’s relief efforts in Gaza and the West Bank here.
All in all, I am tired. Right now, I am eating reheated scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream. Today, when this post goes live, I will be in a driving lesson, behind the wheel for the first time since 2021. I will be missing my cat and the world will keep turning, even as it stands still. Then, I’ll come home and make something else to fill my time, my mind, and my belly. Happy Friday. Grief bake.
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