"Did you listen to it yet?” It was a couple days after SZA (She/Her) released the album and my best friend was ready to blast it on our road trip but I still hadn't listened to it. I told them I wasn’t ready yet and they completely understood.
I still remember where I was when CTRL dropped. I had just gotten out of a mess of a relationship and jumped right into another one. I was texting my ex with The Weekend blasting in the back. SZA has an amazing way of putting pain, experience and confidence in her music.
When SOS dropped, I watched Tik Tok after Tik Tok about it and everyone seemed to be “sliding down the wall” and crying. I got divorced last June and really hadn’t processed it head on yet. I knew SZA would take me where I didn’t believe I was really ready to go yet.
Music is “a tool for arousing emotions and feelings, music is far more powerful than language.” More than any other stimulus, music has the ability to conjure up images and feelings that need not necessarily be directly reflected in memory. Our brains, while wildly magical, know how to bring up things that we have decided to bury.
Around January, I finally started listening to some songs but I was sure to skip over Kill Bill, Special and Nobody Gets Me. Those were the songs that people said were “toxic”. It wasn’t until I came across the obsessing over healing. episode of the for healthy hoes. podcast that I decided it was time to see where I was in my journey and be honest about what I was keeping myself from.
Y’all, they actually talk about the album in this podcast episode and the projections that many, myself included, had about the messages.Our journeys are truly our own. While we are so allowed to keep ourselves safe, it is so very important to acknowledge when we are actually just trying to prevent ourselves from moving forward into the inevitable messy healing.
I’ve finally listened to the whole album and it honestly didn’t “break” me like I thought it would. Conceited was definitely a must hear after Blind but overall I was able to take what I needed from it and acknowledge spaces I wasn’t available to anymore (throwing up, sliding down the wall, etc.) While there may be a time where I might have to skip around, it’s really cool to see how much I and SZA have grown. I also want to acknowledge my growth in knowing how susceptible I am to music and my ability to seek help in this growth.
Take all the time you need
Know why you’re taking the steps you’re taking
Remember your journey is your own journey
Ask for help
Peace and love on your journey. 💜
Thank you for reading through! I try to write here weekly but I write on my Ko-Fi page daily. For more stories like this and insightful conversations, join one of the membership tiers. Learn more about me and my work at the link below.