“Nothing is for Nothing”
Jill Scott – “Nothing is for Nothing”
There’s purpose in every bit of the journey. You just have to find it. Facing the pain of the past can be quite a challenge, one that I’m handling right now. Yet I face this pain courageously, knowing that once I’m past it, I’m past it. A firm believer in ‘everything happens for a reason’, my days are filled with creating meaning. Why did this happen? What was this person’s thought process? How can I use this experience to help myself or others?
I recently discovered Jill Scott’s poem “Nothing is for Nothing”. What I love about it is the intensity and honesty, the recognition that everything she experienced helped her to become a more fuller person with a greater love for and hold of herself. I’ve posted this under inspiring, which may seem odd to some. What inspired me was the honesty in which Scott faces her past, the courage she uses to claim it, and the strength to recreate herself in spite of it. We can all do the same.
The content can be interpreted a tad bit explicit, so if you’re watching this at work, watch the volume.
I had been turning tricks longer than I actually knew it.
Being whatever they wanted me to be whenever they wanted me to be it.
A freak, inside, outside kitchen counters, laundry mats, two at a time,
hotels, motels, and backseats of leased cars, vans and jeeps.
Made myself like it ’cause they liked it and I liked that they liked it
and so I continued being the perfect image of a wet dream.
Nasty, wild, exotic, erotic.
Freak was they wanted so freak was who I was.
And everybody was walking around talking about me.
Like teenage pregnancy wasn’t becoming synonymous with being black and woman.
Like America wasn’t suffocating our thoughts.
Like there was nothing to talk about what was doing or screwing.
And I thought the whole damn thing was ridiculous, which it was.
‘Cause I was content giving my men a little heaven
between their struggle to breathe and contemplation of suicide.
Wasn’t I good for the cause?
Closed mind, open legs, making niggas forget why they’re so damn angry.
Wasn’t I good?
Then the mood swung as well the tempo and I became an ideal.
They want her pretty and docile, caring and stupid
and there I was on your Mark, Seth, Joe and I was Suzy Homemaker on the hunt for love;
Cooking and cleaning, ironing and faithful and a freak cause that’s what they liked
and I liked being what they liked so what they liked was who I was.
A prostitute, selling my soul for emotional gain,
struggling not to be the third generation of lonely women in my family.
Struggling to gain but gaining nothing but confusion, frustration, illusion, and emptiness ’cause there was no love,
just empty condom wrappers on the floors to be discarded like me.
A prize performer long before I actually knew it too,
’cause I was faking me out of the me I would become.
The me that I see now.
The me that holds onto herself with both hands and all feet.
The me who must have love and give it.
The me who brings more to the table than good looks and a wet hole.
The me that is confident, and intelligent and filled to the brim with respect for me.
And a freak ’cause that’s what I like and I like being what I like and what I like is all a part of what I am.