The year was 2012. The season was late winter.
I was holed up in my tiny but unbearably cozy studio apartment on the Upper East Side.
A gift to myself to celebrate the crazy luck of sustaining a job and being able to infiltrate one of the most expensive zip codes in the county — despite the economic upheaval of 2008.
It felt epic at the time. Even glamorously rebellious as I watched moving trucks evacuate the fallen as I moved up in my own vehicle to take their place.
As a black woman working at a top financial institution — that represented the merciless grunts of over-compensated executives and the high-pitched screeches of their overrun victims — I was blissfully nonchalant about the destructive chaos around me.
Until the blows were aimed my way.
It hurt. It hurt like hell. After six years of selling my soul to the devil during the day while nurturing my editorial needs at night — my ransom finally matured.
The changing of guards aligned me with a money-grubbing and slimy Son of A Bitch who formed his own team of bandits that I was delegated to support like a dutiful slave.
I worked like a pro because I required a roof over my head and I truly needed to believe that my dreams of being a writer would eventually save me from mental extinction.
The hard work went unnoticed and in my sixth year — I was told that my services were no longer needed.
I would’ve taken this news quite well if not for the manner in which it was delivered.
As a black woman tasked with answering to a white man in power who bequeathed me with a team that matched his aesthetic — I had to console myself with visions of a future that would be devoid of my present shame.
Despite the gorgeous apartment on the Upper East Side — I was sinking in a debt of functioning depression.
But, the session that heralded my imminent dismissal was a godsend in theory.
It was also a slap in the face that was formulaically delivered.
An indented final warning that corporate America is a legalized shithole that will forever remain the governing power of the elite.
Hillary supporters beware! Those are her people.
I was happy to be relived of my mind-numbing duties and looked forward to no longer punching in the code that would give me access to my desk and files.
Then shit happened and because of the surprise exit of a disgruntled co-worker — I was offered my job back.
The day I was told that I no longer needed to give up my position was the most humiliating and humbling day of my life.
The over-sized rodent sitting across from me — gnarled the statement that the department’s HR representative unimpressively curated.
It was a mixture of veiled threats and standard fare intertwined to convince me that they were winners and I was the pathetic loser.
I bravely accepted my fate while the spotlight beamed at me but tearfully acknowledged my punishment in the bathroom afterwards.
I had to be the smaller person in this scenario because that’s what happens when you’re a single gal in The City.
Carrie Bradshaw lied to me. New York City isn’t kind to writers.
Later that night, I was bloated and floating on a sea of red wine and reincarnations that featured my inevitable rise above the rubble of my discontent.
As I am sure most can attest — music was the natural tendency to help nourish the starving hole in my heart.
Since I began my gratuitous trek to South Beach in 2008, Drake became the preferred soundtrack to the seductive elements around me.
I could listen to his tracks and instantly be transported to the life I knew belonged to me but for some fucked reason remained out of reach.
Thank Me Later sealed my allegiance forever.
Mostly because of the brilliant brocade of tracks like Over — followed by the biblical swagger of Shut It Down.
Though Miss Me is the only offering in the universe that gets me wet.
But. The reason I am still standing today has to be attributed to 2011's Take Care.
The night my life seemed like a story conceived by a manic puppeteer — I searched for Drake and found my savior.
It came swiftly and melodically in the form of Make Me Proud.
Goddamn. That shit had me spinning. It was like a resurrection. I told God to shut it. And then I begged His forgiveness.
It was the rapture I’d heard about back in the day — during the height of the mandated crusades — that escaped my consciousness because I wasn’t pure enough to be swayed.
Drake is the artist whose genius isn’t genius because it’s the norm.
He does what he does and that’s it. Take it or leave it. Love it or hate it. Pretend to hate it and love it under the sheets.
The truth is — I love it. I even worship it which is downright awesome and sick at the same time.
I don’t care. Make Me Proud positioned me for greatness.
He was dolling out those verses for my benefit and Nicki Minaj followed with her assurances that she had my back.
Yes! I will win. Corporate fucks be damned. I will rise above and stare at the expanse of land and water from my Malibu estate.
Not quite there yet. I am close though.
New York is a distant memory and I am currently in the locked embrace of swaying palm trees and studio worthy sunsets.
And my dreams are slowly evolving into the genetic tidings of what California Dreamin’ truly embodies.
Music is a needy motherfucker. You have to get swept into the direction of adulation and obsession in order to erect the movie of your life.
Drake is my director — now and forever.
And I just can’t wait to take in the Views as they emerge.