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What does it all mean

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The World Is Yours.....Only If You Take It.....

I've been there before....staggering....lost.....trying to find my way through this world where nothing is promised. A place where disappointments can leave you with a broken heart and a crippled brain. A place where dreams are uttered but seldom followed and life is nothing but a cycle of mediocrity. I know this place well and occasionally find myself back at square one....lost trying to find my way through a world where nothing is promised....

I remember my final days at Howard University. My dean Dr. Dawkins called me into his office after my exit exams and said: "You had a great run here in our music department, the world is yours and anything that you want to be, you can be!" He followed that statement with: "Aaron, you should go to business school or even law school. You have the grades and the potential. I think that would be great for you after Howard." I told him I'd take it into consideration knowing that I was done with school. I had just formed a band and my plan was to work this summer camp job at Langdon Park Recreation Center in North East DC and get a job at W.W. Grainger in the fall and that's exactly what I did. My parents wanted me to move back to Cleveland but I knew if I did that, I wouldn't make it in music and that was my one and only goal.....To make a living creating, singing, and playing music.

Fall came and W.W. Grainger became my first place of employment as a post graduate. I hated the job but I loved my co-workers. We all had dreams and supported each other. They're an incredible group of people that were placed in my life at the right time. We went through rough times at Grainger and the only thing that kept me from going insane besides Jesus Christ himself was my choice of keeping my intention for working there in perspective. I would tell myself every day before walking in there, "Aaron, you are here to earn money to fund your dreams of becoming a full time musician. You are here to make Grainger work for you!" And that's exactly what I did. I worked as hard as I could for me and not for my boss that cared less about his employees and treated us like trash. I used my paychecks to pay my bills and purchase the music equipment I needed to build a better studio. To this day, I have ALL of the music equipment I purchased when I was working there and it's still turning a profit for me. I worked at Grainger from 7:30am to 4pm, Mon - Fri and worked for Aaron Abernathy from 5pm - 12pm either rehearsing, playing gigs with my band, or recording. Grainger was nothing but a means to earn capitol to build the frame work around my dreams.

This weekend I met up with two of my co-workers from Grainger that I hadn't seen since I left the job in Dec. 2006. It was great to see how far we have come from that place. We reminisced on how we used to sit in that call center and talk about how this wasn't the final stop for us and how we had bigger and better things to do with our lives and now we're doing just that. It's my co-worker Tiffany that I am most proud of. As we sat at the dinner table in the Nation Harbor celebrating our other co-worker Diane's 40th Birthday, she told me she finally left Grainger this past April. That was the best news I had heard all week!!!

She expressed how hard it was for her to watch all of us leave Grainger and she knew that she had to get out of there. Our boss was stressing her out and still treating employees like slaves and I love how real she was about noticing that the stress on the job was effecting her relationships outside of work and that really convinced her that it was time to go. She said she began to make Grainger work for her and went back to school on their dime to finish up her degree in accounting. Then she contacted our co-worker Jay who had left Grainger in 2007 after getting a much better job at NASA, to see if there were any openings there. Thank God they were hiring in her field! After three years of total focus, non-stop prayer, and working in that hell-hole while finishing up her degree, she was hired by NASA making way more money then she did at Grainger and she loves her job. I love hearing that!! I love that she made Grainger work for her until she didn't need them anymore. She gave our old boss her resignation and he was shocked! He told her "I never saw this coming!" Of course he didn't! It's interesting how some people will never see you as better than the position you're in. It's your job to shock them and I'm ecstatic that Tiffany did and chose to make life better for herself.

I love Tiffany's story because it's much like mines.....

I left Grainger in Dec. of 2006 for a substitute teaching job in Prince George's County, Maryland to give myself more time to work on music. Then I moved to Los Angeles in Sep. of 2008 to pursuit music on the West Coast and while in pursuit I was the operations manager of a funeral home in Watts. Then I returned to DC in Dec. of 2009 and recorded music, performed live, toured the world as a music director, and got a record deal in 2010 just to be told Soul music wasn't in. I lost the deal in 2011....the same year I got a vocal polyp and couldn't sing again until Dec. of 2012.

There have been plenty of times between leaving Grainger in Dec. of 2006 that I have hit rock bottom and had to ask for help and take a 9 to 5 to survive. I remember tucking my pride in and calling Tiffany in 2011 to ask if Grainger was hiring.......and her telling me that our boss said they had no positions open for me. I had to fight through those times of regret when I second guessed my decisions cause my dream seemed so far out of sight that I felt......lost.....as I staggered trying to find my way through this world where nothing is promised. A place where disappointments can leave you with a broken heart and a crippled brain. A place where dreams are uttered but seldom followed and life is nothing but a cycle of mediocrity. In my final days at Howard University, Dr. Dawkins told me the world is mine and anything that I want to be, I can be.....but I'm telling you if you want that world you have to take it! You have to make it work for you cause no one else will and few people, if any, will care about you. I'm just like Tiffany.....

In 2013, after years of struggling....we both discovered that the world is ours only if we decide to take it!

Are you doing what it takes to make the world yours....

Something to think about.....

Signed,

Ab

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Who's In Your Circle?

I had forty minutes to spare before making my way back to E Street Cinema to catch an indie film. In my mind the movie was scheduled to start at 5pm...clearly I misread the 5:40pm start time...

Balance is something I've been working on this year since I have failed to master it in my past. I'm a slave to my world of soul music and work in general....so I left the house in search of serenity and inspiration through film. I was granted the perfect opportunity to sit in the cinema and relax my brain before the movie started but I'm not one to sit and wait anywhere.....it's just hard for me to sit still. So in typical Aaron Abernathy fashion, I left the cinema and made my way to one of my favorite places...Barnes & Noble.

Screen Shot 2013-09-08 at 8.05.57 PM
Screen Shot 2013-09-08 at 8.05.57 PM

I knew exactly what I wanted to do with this free time... 1.) Find the latest issue of the Wax Poetic Magazine. 2.) Find an article I was interested in reading 3.) Read it!

I love Wax Poetic....I'm always interested in the artist they feature. Truth be told...I have high hopes of being a feature in their magazine one day...It's the dreamer in me...

I read the index and discovered an article on hip hop group Slum Village. This group holds a special place in my heart because they're the first band I ever toured with and MD'd (Music Director) for. The article focused on the conception and early days of the trio (J Dilla, T3, Baatin) and how they dared to be different.

Slum+Village
Slum+Village

In the article, Slum Village's close working partner "Phat Kat" speaks about working with the group in those years. His quote struck a major chord with me:

"It was like a small fraternity that you really had to have your shit together to be in. It wasn't easy being in that circle. You really had to have some talent."

I questioned if my circle is similar to the small fraternity he speaks of? Is my circle to easy to be a part of? Is my talent bringing growth to my circle? Who's in my circle and why?

I headed back to the cinema knowing that answering these hard questions will measure the outcome of my future.

Something to think about....

Signed,

Ab

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A Classic Love

I recall spending the first twenty five years of my life in deep conversation with a wise man named Garlen Abernathy Sr. He was my grandfather, and his life was rooted in daily conversations with God. Garlen and his wife Elizabeth (my grandmother) possessed a classic love. They kept the vows of “til death do us part” for 57 years until Elizabeth took her last breath on a cold January night in 1998. It's not the years that made their love classic but the fact that the duration of their marriage was filled with acts of love.

I never saw my grandmother in a healthy state. I remember her wearing an oxygen tank 90% of the time and staying in the house due to her collapsed lung. My father told me that doctors said she wouldn't live past his 7th birthday and that my grandfather spent most of his adult life taking care of his sick wife and never complained about it. HE NEVER COMPLAINED! I never heard him complain a day in my life about anything now that I think about it. I wonder how he felt about her being sick? Was he upset about the hand his wife was dealt? How did she feel about being sick for most of her life? Was she upset? Did she feel some sort of way about not being able to help as much as she possibly wanted to?

At the time of my grandmothers passing I didn’t have the mental capacity to ask these questions as I was 14 years of age, but in retrospect I know that both of their actions showed the love they possessed for each other. They seemed like honeymooners in their elder years. The love was so strong! They never argued and assisted each other with whatever their counterpart needed. They focused on what they could do for each other. My grandmother was a strong woman who fought for her life, raised four children, and did everything she possibly could for her husband. My grandfather was a strong man who catered to his wife's needs, raised four children, help run a church, on top of being a head mechanic at a thriving car shop in the city. I only saw him cry one time and that was at my grandmothers funeral. I remember him telling me he did good by his wife and he loved her and had no regrets. Powerful words from an elderly man that fulfilled his vows and knew it! I hope I can be the man my grandfather was when I get married. Willingly faithful, dedicated, responsible, and accountable for his wife in ALL circumstances. I hope to have a wife that no matter the circumstances, she's willing to fight for the love that we vowed to each other before God.

On top of health issues, I'm sure uprooting a family of four children from Linden, Alabama to Cleveland, Ohio, because of lack of opportunity and safety due to Jim Crow laws and injustice for black people was more than difficult. Being the man and woman that they were defined their love. Their individual decisions to grow and be mature laid the foundation for them becoming one and working together no matter what life brought to their door step. They chose love amongst many other choices. They chose each other even when things looked bad. They fought for each other and that’s what makes it a classic love. Two people enduring with God even when the situation looked unbearable instead of taking it out on each other. Although it wasn’t easy, they were accountable for each other and I admire that.

With divorce rates going up I question are we still fighting for each other? Are we still doing what it takes to create a classic love?

Signed,

Ab

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Behind "Call On Me"

It’s something about the morning……

It was something about that morning….

God woke me up and……

It’s something about waking up to someone…..

Lately I’ve longed for that……..

That longing had me reaching for my notebook a couple of months back as I rose before sunset. I know sometimes I’m afraid to walk through the valley of my fears. Upon entrance I peek around at the tall mountains of doubt and uncertainty. My brain was racing with thoughts of what I wanted……with thoughts of what I am willing to offer to create the right situations….Wondering if I will be granted that opportunity or if the opportunity had come and gone.

After putting the thought of possibly missing out on the opportunity of loving someone out of my mind, the words began to flow freely…..

It’s one thing to express what I’m willing to offer in a relationship…..It’s another thing to know if a woman is willing to accept what I am offering……

If she’s willing to be loved in that way….

If she sees me and reaches back through her actions….

Actions that say I’m willing to receive…..

I see what you’re offering and I want that love….

I want to give you that love as well and I am in a mental, emotional, and spiritual place where I am capable to do so….

Knowing that I am already in that space, I offer with hopes that she’s already there….

And if not, challenge her to get there hoping that upon arrival she would think to……Call On Me

CALL ON ME

written by Aaron Abernathy

VERSE 1                                                                                              

Chocolate kisses when you rise

Laying on my chest looking in my eyes

Yes I’m willing to compromise

Let me feed you before you go to your job

If honesty’s a big concern

Well transparency I dig that

Cause bonds are deeper than beauty

And if you want that love

Call On Me

HOOK                                                                                                              

If you want that love call on me

When you want that love call on me

If you want that love call on me

When you need that love call on me

If you want that love

VERSE 2                                                                                                      

A journey where we both can grow

Never be afraid you can talk to me

The thought of you makes me emotional

Glad we are each others security

With you I am a better man

Glad you feel I make you a better woman

You’re confident that I can lead

So if you need that love

Call on me

HOOK                                                                                                           

If you need that love call on me

If you want that love call me

When you want that love call on me

When you want that love call on me

When you need that love call on me

If you want that love call on me

If you want that love call on me

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