2013 IN NUMBERS — CHECK OUT MY STATS!

Thanks to everyone who supported “Tula Talks” in 2013. Yes I will be writing more here this  year, but I wanted to give you some numbers to show how supportive (nosy) you all have been!

For example…

This blog was viewed about 5,500 times in 2013. A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

May I continue to be as brave and open in my writing in 2014, and may all of you, and even more of you, continue to be supportive (nosy) in 2014!

–Tula

TULA TALKS IN 2013 — Stats from Word Press!

Click here to see the complete report.

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2013 In Review — I’m BBBAAADDDDDD!!!

In spite of the way some people pooh-pooh New Year’s resolutions, I’m not a person who does that. I’m down for anyone seeking self-improvement, and if you need the calendar to motivate your self-improvement, cool. It doesn’t even bother me that a lot of people who start out seeking self-improvement in the New Year don’t get very far, because there are one or two who will get far, and it is important those people do what they do. Like many people, I tend to reflect on the past year and look at how I want to move forward, if for no other reason to seek the lessons the previous 365 days sought to teach me. And after careful thought and consideration to the hand 2013 dealt me, the lesson that was meant for me was that I can have unshakable faith in myself in every aspect of my life. 2013 showed me that I am truly a self-sufficient, highly resourceful person. I really can handle anything life throws at me successfully, without losing my mind, my soul, or my peace of mind. 2013 even showed me that I am more capable that many people I think very highly of and who I am aligned with at times, and that it is okay for me to step around less capable individuals to take a leadership role and move forward if that is the only way forward movement and positive growth can take place. 2013 showed me that the next step in my evolution means fully stepping into the foreground of every part of my existence and fully demonstrating just how capable I am – even if doing that makes others uncomfortable. And it will make others uncomfortable, which is part of the challenge I face.

am i making you uncomfortableI’m not a confrontational person. I don’t run from confrontations like I once did, but I don’t seek them out either. I’m not a person who spends a lot of time trying to convince others that I’m right. Typically I’m a person who holds their tongue and carefully considers every aspect of something before I speak on it, and once I do, I am very careful, direct and precise on what I have to say. As a result, there are oftentimes I take way too long dealing with something because I am spending so much time carefully considering every single thing. This is not to say I need to make snap judgments in the coming year, but I must admit oftentimes my “careful consideration” of things was just me avoiding conflict with someone who I knew full well was going down a path that wasn’t going to be a good one for me. I knew it was gonna be bad, and I just didn’t say shit because I called myself not rushing to make judgments. As a person who is going to have full faith in my self-sufficiency in 2014, including my own judgment, I will not be dragging my feet when it comes to those types of situations. People so often say “don’t judge me” these days, but judgment is a necessary component of effective decision making. You have to look at things, and decide things, and choose things based on judgments you make. So in 2014 I will be more decisive and clear and swift in my decision making when it is appropriate to do so.

Decisions sign in the sky

Another aspect of my life where I am going to step into my faith in myself is my performing and writing. I have not always had the most confidence in my writing voice and my performing style for various reasons – the primary reason being that I didn’t see myself in many of the other artists I admire or that I think are good. And because I wasn’t like them, I thought I wasn’t as good as them, or that I could be as good as them. But 2013 has shown me why my voice is different, and that difference doesn’t mean less skill or talent. I get why I’m different than them, and that difference is my greatest strength. My lack of ability to be ashamed of much of anything I’ve said or done is what makes me a force to be reckoned with when I step fully into my power onstage. Women are supposed to be ashamed of this or that, and that’s just not where I am in my life, and because of that lack of shame, there is a lack of fear. That lack of shame or fear in my writing is what people respond to, and what I need to put out there even more in 2014. The funny thing about this is that every time I think I’m comfortable with what I do as a performance poet, something happens to show me I’m really not as comfortable as I think. In the case of performing, though I am good at it, I still find an arrogance about it that seems weird to me and has makes me uncomfortable. A performer basically they’re so good at something, so talented, so amazing that they have every right to gather people together, oftentimes for money, to see them do whatever it is they do, and that those they gather will love it, enjoy it, and pay to see them do it again. I’ve often thought takes a really arrogant person to feel that way about themselves, and I just didn’t feel I had that kind of arrogance. But truth be told, I do. I do possess that kind of conceit, but I’ve just been ashamed of it. But in 2014 I am learning to embrace arrogance and reject humility when it comes to what I do. And I have every right to reject false humility, because I really am skilled and talented. So what good am I doing myself, or the world by going around acting as if I am not as good as I know I am? It’s dishonest actually, and I am rejecting false humility and embracing honesty in 2014, including honesty about how amazing I am.

WHAT WEEKLY PIC OF PETULA EDITEDFinally, 2013 taught me that I’m tough. I went though a pretty bad breakup earlier this year, and though we have since reconciled and now we’re trying to see where this thing goes, at the time the breakup occurred, I was a wreck. Worst of all, I’d had a really awful breakup the previous year, so the added weight of my latest relationship failure was really pulling me down. I was in a very sad place. I felt awful, looked awful, and was just in an awful place. I cried and screamed and wrote blog entries, feeling sick inside and looking sick outside. But in spite of all the hurt, at no point did I feel like I was never going to be okay. I never felt like I was going to be sad forever. I knew I was going through a season of sadness, but even at my lowest points I told myself, “this is just how it is right now; it isn’t always going to be this way.” Even in my despair I knew I was strong enough to pull myself out of it eventually. I never felt like my low point was permanent. I wasn’t sure how long I was going to be in the low place, and I definitely didn’t know how I was going to get out, but I just instinctively knew I would pull myself together and be okay in time as long as I xpectwas honest with myself about my feelings. I instinctively knew as long as I didn’t try to hide my pain, or conceal it, or use destructive behaviors to numb it I would eventually move past it. So I allowed myself to freely and openly be hurt and wounded. I hid nothing. I cried while walking down the street if I felt like it, and I leaned on my friends as hard as they would let me. I wrote angrily in my blog about the breakup, the breakup from the previous year, and how their combined impact was really giving me the blues. But I knew I was going to make it. And when he came back to me, saying he was sorry and willing to try again, I was able to be open to receiving what he had to say, and I was willing to believe and trust him, and more importantly, trust in my ability to make sound decisions about him, and about us. His willingness to admit he preferred his life with me as a big part of it was something I was able to accept. I appreciated his ability to put his pride aside when it came to me, and so we are now attempting to see if the highly unconventional coupling we’ve created together has any staying power. We’ll see what happens.

So, in 2014, expect to see more of me. Expect to hear more of me. Expect to re-discover me. Expect to read my work, see my shows, and wonder why I kept so quiet for so long. Expect to see me at my sharpest, my most clear, and my most certain.  Most importantly, expect me to be the most confident I’ve been since I got to this planet, and expect to either reap the benefits, or suffer the consequences.

Happy New Year!