So, here we are at Part 2 of the Review of Solange’s Album. I’d like to first thank you for returning to celebrate this experience with me. Part 1 was the introduction to a very important weekend in more ways than one and I have been grateful to be able to express this journey of growth, I’d never imagined before then. My creative spark had been reignited in the most perfect way for me. Waves of clarity came rushing in with each listen of this album. As coarse as the waves were, the thought of drowning, surprisingly, never presented itself like it had many times before, whenever I thought I had caught a glimpse of my potential. Only this time, a glimpse was an understatement. This was my story of purpose unfolding before my eyes, expeditiously and everything in me knew to hold on to this moment.
Saturday March 2nd–
It’s been almost two full days since the first listen of “When I Get Home” and my mind had not hesitated to wander back to it many times. So many questions about myself were raised as I had felt something shift but could not see everything that the moments were for me until later. For the time being, the birthday festivities had started so I could only let my thoughts go off in the clouds in small increments of time. With Da’chele arriving the previous day and Cierra arriving on this one, our fun filled weekend was underway with a quick lunch to Pappadeaux’s Seafood restaurant. We may be a bunch of midwestern women but we all LOVE seafood, so this was an easy food choice to make especially since a few of us had never been. I remember having small quiet moments of observation, looking around the table/room and thinking just how blessed I was to have made such friends in my lifetime. This also brought on excitement for the budding friendships I was making and knowing for certain that I would be blessed with many more friends of the like.
I found a connection between my appreciation for my friends and the personal understanding that I was receiving from Solange’s album. As the Saturday continued, we made our usual rounds of necessary shopping for any girl’s weekend; Walmart, liquor store and the hair store. You know how it goes. We decided to have another listen to the album with there being more of us at my house than just me and Sonia. My excitement grew, knowing that I’d get another chance to feel more of this awakening that was happening to me but to share and enjoy this project once more with my friends was gratifying. We moved our laughter and dancing from room to room throughout my small 2-bedroom apartment. Air filled with mini catch-up conversations and a sweet highness, lifting our spirits and our lungs as we began to prep for the night out.
If you’ve been lucky enough to witness or be a part of a group of women getting ready for a night out, then you understand the significance it holds for the night. That pre-game turn up sets the tone for the rest of the evening so it is equally as important. You casually fling around requests like, “Don’t let me get too fucked up tonight guys”, to your girlfriends as they all turn to each other with their evil grins, nodding in suspicious agreement. Who was I kidding? It’s my 30th birthday for goodness sake and these were my wild pack of girls. Although most of them were meeting one another for the first time, it was as if they had all met beforehand, setting a pact that my butt would not touch a seat and my hand(s) would remain with a fresh drink in them the entire night. And I LIVED.
Half of our group, including myself, arrives to the venue first. Although we had checked into our VIP area, we slowly expanded it to what I’m sure was the entire dance floor as each new friend made their way over. Through all the excitement, my mind still snuck back to Solange…
Stay Flo came drifting back to my ears as I allowed my eyes to scan the room whenever I got a moment between twerk-worthy songs (which wasn’t very many moments, shout out to the DJ that night). Stay Flo feels like a soft lulling as the instrumental pops from one ear to the other. The transitions feel like slow curves around a Colorado mountain road, feeling the rush while cutting the wheel slightly. I was being driven in this moment, giving the push I needed to finally focus on myself. To finally enjoy who I am, without reservations. My mind reluctantly came back to the loud, vibrant night in front of me. My feet re-entering the club floor calmly as I joined the group once more. Solange states, “Girls getting down every day, working out of town on the floor” and WE felt that. Let’s just say there weren’t any wall flowers in my girlfriend group. We claimed that night and that dance floor.
This track was the perfect mood for the Sunday after all the festivities from the night before. On this day, we had in-home massages scheduled from Courtney, one of my best friends here in San Antonio. My living room full of beautiful people, mimosas all around, the blunt taste of freedom filled the air. As I lay on the table for my massage, of course I requested this album to play during. I was entranced. This song is the epitome of “living your best life” and I couldn’t see past it. Not so much that I wanted it but for once in this winding life, I felt it immensely. With my head face down on the head rest, I manage to get out a muffled sentence to rest of the group, “I-FEEL-RICH”. We all chuckled a bit about it but as the laughter settled in the room, we all contemplated that sentence. Here Solange was singing about waking up to the sun and a presidential suite. There was no way you could tell me that at this moment, I wasn’t living my life with the same richness and fullness she sang about.
Initially, this track takes me back to my reaction of her opening track, “Things, I Imagined”. Listening to the repetition of the word ‘dreams’ as it tugs back and forth between the tempo for the first 30 seconds. The beat drops and a soft crashing comes from the explosive imagery, the guitar crackling, the expanding echoing surrounding you as you manifest what you’ve dreamt about. The very last sentence of the track states, “Got my dreams and my eyes wide”, eluding to the fact that the direction that I have chosen is no longer just something spoken about. It’s becoming something tangible, aware of its new beginning as it is being mapped out before me.
I’ve never been so connected and thankful for an album before listening to this one. The impact of this project had finally unlocked my creative potential in the most beautiful way but even through all this self-discovery, I knew I still had work to do to fully understand this process. The door was opened however, there was still the decision to walk through it that I had to conjure the courage for. Unsure of what manifestations were to come exactly, so I decided to do something that I had often struggled with: Wait. Waiting further instructions from my inner self on my next steps of this unique journey. I trusted myself, knowing that this would not be the last of this feeling as I was only budding and the flower I was becoming would bloom regardless, and with its own purpose.
Written by Michelle Hill
Join us next week to read about the next featured artist who impacted this journey: Beyoncé