Aug 3, 2017

If You're Reading this I Just Listened to @SZA (A Letter to My Younger Self)

Dear 22 year old Jonathan,

I listened to SZA's Ctrl today. Like really listened to her for more than just a review or for sonic pleasure. I got a tip that the themes and messages were worth ingesting. With that being said, I learned something and decided I was going to write you in a failed attempt in teaching you something that only experience can. I want to say I have no regrets except that I hadn't gotten this letter to you sooner. Let me explain. I swear, SZA has got to be pissed that her entire album didn't get the respect it deserved for such clarity, concise thoughts and concepts put into audible form. Ctrl takes us on the emotional roller-coaster that is a twenty something. You my friend are about to embark on that as we speak. The project got an unfair stigma and side chick vibe just because of one song. The song is a bop though and who knows one day maybe you'll get lucky here or there because of it hehe. It's called The Weekend. It explores some Jezebel tendencies that most of us have experienced on either end whether we want to speak on it aloud or hide in the facades that are our social lives. In other songs she explains being under appreciated in a misogynistic and patriarchal world. Doves In The Wind with Kendrick Lamar touches base on how entitled men feel. I mean really think about it, some of us really think we deserve some action just off strength of being a "Real N*gga." Really dude?

You're probably sitting here now wondering how in just under four years time you grew up to be such a pussy. I'm not I promise. I guess this project hit close and I wasn't prepared to get knowledge from a different woman from Maplewood than the one I planned for. SZA isn't just the girl you'd be proud to take home to your mom. She is a woman who'll make you question yourself. No matter if you treat them with respect or like a trophy, women like this make you think "Am I really willing to risk losing her forever over my nonsense? Do I really want to see what happens when you hurt someone so transparent and understanding?" Jonathan you'll ruin her if you do and yes I will give you that much credit you manipulative punk. You're capable if she loves you enough. Not only could you bring her to moms but she's not ever going to be someone you need to brag about. Spend five minutes with her and her magic and allure is infectious. She will demand the room's attention the moment she opens her mouth. As much as I'd like to say it though, SZA isn't one in a million. There are plenty of wonderful transparent women like her. We as a society have just become so accustomed to replacing each other at any sign of conflict. If we continue that thought and keep hurting each other there will be less and less SZA's out there thus continuing a endless cycle of pain we all bring each other and pass to the next generation. Okay maybe you did grow up to be a little fake deep so what? You'll watch this show called Insecure by Issa Rae and completely get it in a few years.

Like my letter to you, SZA's Ctrl is a letter to the young ladies like her. She's saying don't give it all up because someone has things going for them however don't be afraid to give altogether. Just be cautious that it's not only to one deserving but appreciates you in addition to that impressive resume. SZA ends the project with a song, Twenty Something. She with all the advice in the world doesn't claim to be an authority and have all the answers. She just gives you a piece of her and a few stories and experiences. Like her, I unfortunately do not know anything either. It's okay I've seen some things in this little bit of time and you can look forward to not being an idiot forever. As much as you'll beat yourself up for how things ended with AJ, it's okay. I can tell you that you've learned at least enough that you guys won't be damaged goods forever. It was just a rainy season. Learn grow and don't compare her to any other woman you may meet. You'll live longer and they will too if you just continue to do the right thing as difficult as that is. Besides you're autobiography would have been bland if you didn't have any conflict on your way to the top. This story does end with a happily ever after. Be sure to be the catalyst and not the product of your environment. This story will end with a happily ever after, I promise.

One twenty something to another,
25 y/o Jonathan C. Ramsey

P.S. Just have fun writing this story. We'll all be watching.

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