Dirty Computer – Janelle Monae

Defy expectation. Transcend categorization. Bleed, bleed, bleed. Then dream. Then bleed some more: you have an endless supply. Reclaim what you unwittingly gave away. Let it topple you. Let it rewrite you. Let it rip you apart. Break your own heart. Then break it again. Break and break until your heart shards are so fine they are like the soft sands of some distant beach. Then heat it all up. Melt it all together again. Craft some new vessel with the remains. Craft something that looks nothing like the old heart you started with. Fill it with life. Carve a bigger space in your chest to hold it. 

Now you are a new thing. 

Funny thing: that was the easy part. Now you get to keep this new thing you’ve created alive. Now you get to walk through the same old world you have always known newly aware of the mines you’d previously been blind to and tormented by. Now you get to feel the torment of the dead hearts around you that cannot feel it for themselves. 

Be careful, this may harden you. Be mindful, this may kill you. Be wise, this may make you sour and judgmental and a terror to be around. Do not fall into the booby-trap of self-righteousness. Do not forget humility here. Do not forget your time as one of the walking dead. Do not forget that all of this is circular. Do not forget that to go on growing you will need to break your own heart again. 

Learn to fight. Learn to stand for something. Learn to mean what you say and say what you mean. Learn to fall in love. Learn to use this heart you’ve crafted. Feel something. Start with fear: it is the hardest thing to access. It is meant to be a force that propels us onward, but we are taught to reject it, deny it, fight it. In this way we give it all our power until we are so sapped of feeling by our own feelings that we become immobilized. Just let it free. 

A warning about fear: it never goes away. Express it and your life gets bigger and brighter; and that goes on happening the rest of your life. Every next battle demands you overcoming and using the power of some new fear. You will never escape fear. That is okay. That is normal. It is part of the process. It is embedded into experience. It keeps things fun. It keeps them fresh. It keeps this life worth living. Feel the fear. Feel that heartbeat tick up, sweat the sweat, cry the tears, vent the frustration: and then let all that swirling energy propel you into action. Let it set you free. Let it shatter your whole world. 

It will break you. And in the breaking you will become stronger. In the breaking you will find purpose. In the breaking you will clarify your whole life. Who you are will become clear. Feeling your fear will bring out the best and boldest bits of you. Let it rise: the insecurity, the not good enough, the unlovable. Let it all rise up and right out. Release them and you will find the rich truth that always hid beneath them. The truth of your worth. The truth of your courage. The truth of your brilliance. The truth of your value. The truth of you cannot help but be expressed without all the muck of unexpressed feeling in the way. 


That’s the sweet spot. That’s the happy place. That is ecstasy. It is that feeling of “I don’t care what you call me, what you think I look like, what you have to say”. It is that feeling of “I will be myself regardless of what you say”. It is that feeling of “who I am is everything I love about living this life”. It is the joy of knowing that whatever may come is welcome because it cannot shake you so much that you become anything other than yourself. 

That is power. Fuck your presidency and your currency and your white or straight or male privilege. Fuck your identity politics and your distractions and limitations. Fuck your doctrine; fuck the fucking police. 

Complete control over the flow of your own vibrancy: that is power. Complete knowledge of just how amazing you are: that is power. Love is power. Looking the enemy within and the enemy without in the eye and seeing all the good in the world, is power. It cannot be killed. It cannot be taken away. It is infectious and archaic. It has always existed and yet still it is unique in each of us. It is reborn in every experience. The thing we all have in common is how uncommon we all are. Imagine if we all shared what we knew? What it we built bridges of our experiences rather than walls? We all delude ourselves into thinking we are alone and the only one like us and that others would be horrified by the things that keep us up at night. But simplify. Simplify. We are all plagued by the same thing: fear of vulnerability. 

To be vulnerable requires strength and yet we call it weakness. When you have been ingrained with the lie that your deepest feelings are insignificant, to share them becomes crazy-making. Fear of abandonment and embarrassment kicks in and you become a fragile thing triggered by the slightest shift of a breeze. Just fucking say it. Just fucking show your face. Your faces. All of them. The demonic, the praise-worthy, the dark and the light. Drop the farce. Nobody is buying it and deep down: neither are you. Melt. Bleed. Feel it. Heal it. 

We have been playing this game since the beginning of time and also before it. We will play this game long after time and space have left us. We give it new names, we tell different stories; it always looks new on the surface: it never is. You and I look different on the surface but stab us both in our vital organs and we will both bleed out and die. Punch us both and we will feel pain. What I name my pain and what you name yours is important though it does not change the fact that it is felt, all the same. It can all be simplified. It can all be boiled down. We make it complicated with theories and call it genius but it is all distraction that keeps us away from the only truth: that we are all, really, the same.

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