The Process

The Process

Wow, it’s been a minute since we kicked it. Like, legit I have a whole album out on all streaming platforms. I live in a new city. I don’t have a job but I do have my art. The process has been quite awesome and anxiety driven as well. Depression came and paid me a visit and though she didn’t overstay her welcome, she still came. The process continues and the beauty in it’s pain can’t be described, just felt.

I can talk about a lot of things since January 11th, 2019. Moving to Atlanta, dropping my album a day late, and figuring out what I’m going to do for work. So, this is basically me checking in because I need to write, not that I haven’t been; but because I need to be consistent. That’s one thing about the process, it keeps going. You can either be a part of it or keep seeing a recycled circumstance until you make the change.

Moving in itself is a bitch. Packing, unpacking, switching/starting services, registering your car, finding a doctor, UGH! I was literally doing all of this while trying to make sure the album was getting done. I mean, it was already done but getting the distribution done in a timely manner as far as waiting on approvals to move forward had my anxiety through the roof! MY album was set to release on National Sidechick Day, the day after Valentines Day, February 15. Shit happened with the artwork not matching the credit for the songs. I was so lost and so over it.

If you know me, if you’re on time then that means you’re late. I was so fucking nervous. I shut down. I felt as if I let myself down because of such a simple mistake made my project be pushed back. It was simple because it was fixed and the album is out. While it is getting amazing reviews, I was still upset. I had to check myself, “Mikey, nobody cares. They love the album. Enjoy it. Listen to YOUR ALBUM!” I did just that.

Reflections of 9 hour studio sessions and late nights driving Uber to fund this album replayed in my mind as I played tracks 1-12. The excitement I got when everyone I asked to be on my album agreed to take part came back when I heard their contributions play throughout my bluetooth speaker. This felt good. The process was shown to me. It made me remember how I got here, to Atlanta.

My friends, family, social media followers, ex lovers, and fellow advocates called, text, and posted their love and support for the album. My good sis LeRoy had called me in tears. Nisi said Tyler would be so proud of me. People really, really like this album. I continue to pinch myself. I be listening to music then be like, “Bitch lemme play my own shit.” That feels so fucking good.

I’m in the space of “what’s next”, already planning on doing something else. But I must remember to enjoy the work I put in. I must remember to take time to celebrate such milestones in my life. I also have to remind myself when the celebration is over. All the while the process has some amazing moments, it’s got some dark ones too.

My first time performing in Atlanta since I’ve officially moved here was terrible. Not too bad but it wasn’t my best. I signed up to do an Apollo Style Open Mic and the legendary Apache Cafe. Apollo style so you know muthafuckas was getting boo’d left and right. Not me though. They seemed into it but it wasn’t the right vibe. Plus I messed up AND lost my voice in the middle of my piece. I freestyled til it made sense then dipped.

Again, I didn’t get boo’d but I felt so out of place. I clearly went on the wrong type of night. No worries, I’ll be back but the shit still hurt. This part of the process is where I’m literally building from the ground up. I have to reintroduce myself to a whole new market. Be adaptable yet still authentic. Red Light Cafe, another spot here I heard about. I pulled up, performed, and… well… crickets. NOW THAT SHIT PISSED ME OFF! I felt as if though I did my thing. I got a few snaps but mostly just… silence. I ain’t know if they liked it or not, that’s what drove my anxiety crazy.

I went into a hole and haven’t come out yet. Again, around this time I was stressed about the album then two choked shows back to back. I was done for.

Now, I see the light inside of me that’s leading to the end of the tunnel. My album being done has given me a whole new confidence. My faith was shaken, I gotta admit that. I haven’t prayed in God knows how long. Ain’t no telling why. This part of the process is something that always happens. My faith can be good til the storm gets too bad. I can only weather it for so long until I wanna jump shit. God kept me though. I feel like God be like, “You dumb bitch. We were almost there. Now wait some more.” Faith is needed through the whole process, I will learn that one day. Soon, that is my promise to myself this year.

All in all, everything is everything and everything is love. I’m living, learning, and loving. I plan on performing this week/weekend and networking around to shoot a video. Looking forward to some casting calls and some more advocacy routes. The process continues.

All I’m saying is, trust it. Everything happens for a reason if you give life a purpose. Once you give your life a purpose, your reasoning will align with it because that’s how the world is to move; by the faith inspired actions you take into diving into your full purpose. Find your purpose, find your faith, activate it, and trust the process. You’ll be able to trust the process once you calculated a plan towards your goal. Write that shit down, pray over it, and remind yourself what’s coming.

Also, when life happens, don’t stress no mess you ain’t make. Joan Rivers (RIP) once said, “I like when things are happening, that’s how I know I’m alive. Because things are happening.” Things will happen. You’re gonna cry, go ahead. You’re going to want to quit, don’t. You’re gonna be scared, remember the plan. You’re gonna get tired, rest. The process again is beautiful but can also be painful. Enjoy it for life is a gift sometimes wrapped in sandpaper.

Michael Lamb