First and foremost, I hope you spent your Valentine's day on your terms, whether it was with those you love, or with those you think you love. As for myself, I do not celebrate because I have no heart. Just kidding, I have plenty of love to go around, and what better person to express your unconditional love than to your Mom, right?
I decided to call up Mother Bonoan and wish her a wonderful Valentine's, and the exchange was that of your typical mama's boy. She wondered why I haven't talked to her in a while, but I reminded her that we hung out last week at Bonoan HQ. That's the norm though, Mom and Dad are probably my most frequent callers, but more importantly, my biggest supporters.
So as Mom and I continued our conversation, we talked about how things have been professionally, and how I've been trying to grow The HADJI Chronicles. Listen to this.
From wishing Mom a happy Valentine's Day, it quickly escalated to - "You need to stop using the f-word."
Everyone seeks emotional transformation in themselves, and I think this was one of those times.
You see, our convo led to discussions on my professional work and how I've been trying to incorporate growing The HADJI Chronicles, as well as doors that have opened up since focusing more time and energy on it.
Mom loves what I do, but she's definitely one of my toughest critics, and when she speaks, I listen - INTENTLY. She recommended being more authentic in my portrayal of self on my videos. She told me, and I quote, "I do not know you like that, with that language." Obviously, there are sides that I shelter from my folks with the intent of protecting them from any embarrassment or shame they would feel if others, especially in their social circle, saw my videos.
NOW, that being said - I love how my videos turn out. I like the content and topics of discussion using that in-your-face style with raw, uncensored language and polarity. Cursing is a part of me, it helps me unleash that energy I so often ball up when I am in the corporate realm. To many, cursing can be seen as a way of expressing self with limited vocabulary, but I disagree. I curse because it adds emphasis to the emotion I wish to convey. Yes, the f-word tops all the swear words I use in my repertoire, and I'm sure I come across those who cringe at the sound of it. To my defense, we live in an age where you hear or say it as often as you breathe oxygen. Whether you say it on your tongue, or say it in your head - that word is here to stay. HOW BOW DAH?
To give you some context, see the video on Identity Theft. I have a feeling this was the video Mom had based her criticism on, and yes, it was a more emotionally-charged video, fueled by months of frustration, anger, and testicular fortitude. Could I have toned it down a bit? Sure. Could it have been just as effective without all the F-bombs? Possibly.
Quite simply, I was angry. Everything in that video was unscripted and authentic.
But I am so thankful for Mom's feedback, because after letting it marinate for 24 hours, things began to make sense. If I continue to portray myself as a potty-mouth-driven persona I would only be limiting my market to a certain demographic.
If I want The HADJI Chronicles to grow, I need to take that critical feedback and apply it, especially from Mother Dear. She always has my back, and always looks out for my best interest. Not going to lie, I was somewhat offended at first and reluctant to listen because, ya know, I'm stubborn and my ego is large.
But here is the lesson Mom taught me - if you do not adapt, you become flat, and you limit your opportunities.
So with that, thank you Mom for dropping that knowledge. It continues to amaze me that education never ceases, even well into your 30s.
We should start a Cursaholics Anonymous program.