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These are my thoughts, yo.

Filtering by Tag: listen to your mother

My Listen To Your Mother Performance:: Ann Imig is My Homegirl.

jasmine banks

ListenToYourMotherShow.jpg

So awhile back I ranted and raved about this super important awesome epic show that I was a a cast member of. People in NWA were all "meh... whatevs", until we pulled off a damn amazing show, got rave reviews, and suddenly all were despontant with grief that they were not able to be involved with our super important awesome epic show. Well people... the Listen To Your Mother Videos are out! Go watch them! My performance is below for your viewing pleasure.

 

 

Thank you Ann Imig for being awesome, for creating this show, and for dancing with me at Sparklecorn.  You are the Yiddish Ivory to my Ebony. You not only are a creative genius, but you can also shake that ass. Both of which are top qualifications I look for in my homegirls.

I hope you are as proud of this as I am.

Lela Davidson & Backlisted from the PTA: Straight Hustlin'

jasmine banks

I only met Lela Davidson in real life recently. Before we met for the first time, I was introduced to her through Peekaboo, a parent's magazine in Northwest Arkansas. What I knew of Lela was that she annoyed the hell out of me. Every time I had an idea to do something I would turn around and BAM! there she was! She was doing what I wanted to do! She is an accomplished editor, funny as hell, independent, and (NOW) an author of a loved book! At every turn, there she was. There she was with her adorable heels, her snappy commentary, and strangely shiny hair. I am thankful it turns out that she is short. I've seen her legs y'all... they are nice. We can't have people running around with long legs that are THAT nice. No ma'am! If I had to add LONG nice legs to that package, well,  I would have lost my shit. I would have torn my clothes with clenched fists and screamed out to God, "Why God! Why does she have EVERYTHING!" SO I am thinking that God made her short so the rest of us, that He knew would be jealous of her awesome, would not rip our clothes in angst. He had to keep the universe balanced. No one likes a ripped clearance Target shirt after all, not even God. When I finally did meet Lela it was in the Listen To Your Mother Show. The illusion of "Lela Davidson Magical Superstar" melted away as I saw Lela nervous about one of the most important shows of our life. Lela directed our show with kindness, understanding, and her well documented humor. She was no longer "that annoying lady who keeps being more successful than me", she became "that brave lady who has worked her ass off for success."

All jokes aside.

Lela Davidson is a hard working woman. She is clever, funny, and willing to go the distance for what she wants.  She has broken stereotypes and statistics and is straight up makin' her momma proud. Her character is the kind of character that all women can look up to. She makes the example that we don't have to accept definitions. We can make our own. In such a spirit, I'd like to make my definition. Let me introduce you to a new vocabulary word. I'll use it in a sentence:

Did you hear that Jasmine totally did a Lela Davidson?

 

Lela Davidson

Verb: To build a career and create a legacy from sheer  hard work, determination, and impeccable character.

Adjective: an expression to describe one of the hardest working women you know.

see also: inspiration, role model, hustler, badass, amazing mom, and loyal friend.

In celebration of Blacklisted from the PTA's birthday you can enter to win a copy! Just head on over to After The Bubbly Facebook page and "like" it or leave a comment below saying "Happy Birthday to Blacklisted from the PTA" in the comment section. Winner will be chosen at random. The winner will receive, at their preference, the paperback or kindle version of "Blacklisted from the PTA"

Find "Blacklisted from the PTA at Amazon.com 

HERE for paperback and HERE for Kindle. Also check out Lela on Twitter or follow the hashtag #BlacklistedFromThePTA

 

Happy Birthday to Blacklisted from the PTA! Congrats to you, Lela! Your name is awesome, your body of work is amazing and somethign to be envied, and you have rockin' legs... but don't get too cocky, they are still shorter than mine ;) I am proud to know you and proud to support you!

 

Update! The winner of Blacklisted From the PTA Giveway is Sarah White! Congrats Sarah! You'll be contacted soon about your prize!

 

Listen To Your Mother

jasmine banks

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I performed in Listen To Your Mother. Lela Davidson was able to bring Listen To Your Mother to NWA after paying off begging Ann Imig to give Northwest Arkansas a chance. She did give us a chance. Ann's payoff was a group of women wholeheartedly invested  in being exactly who they are. Although, NOW, I don't think I am who I was.

Because of the LTYM show, I have been transformed.

How can you not be transformed when you hear a woman reflect on burying her mom at 19 years of age, about another mother who fought to adopt a son and then falter in her self confidence, and yet another tell her biological mother's request for "friendship" on Facebook "NO!".  One cannot be the same after hearing those stories, just as one cannot be the same after telling those stories. Each time we speak the words and reflect on these truths we change the landscape. We break free from the "what to expect when you are expecting" persuasion and we proclaim, "NOTHING can be expected!" Each story belongs to itself. It morphs and transforms and is as unique as each snowflake that falls.

There is power there. Power in that place.

You know the one...

The moment in time where you are no longer bound by parameters.

I remember turning to a page in one of my pregnancy books. I thought, "where is MY story?" I couldn't find myself there. I couldn't find that chapter that was titled "What To Do When You've Had the Baby and Don't Want It Anymore."

Isolation and shame gives way to an audience full of people.

You feel the plastic sheet under your finger tips as you inhale to read.

You look out at the audience but see no faces, the light blinds your sight.

You speak the first words and very soon after that the last sentence.

You've told your story. You've shared a part of yourself. The show is over.

And just before you have time to reoccupy the world of self doubt and fear a woman walks up to you and grabs you underneath your arm and gently squeezes. "Me too", she says knowingly. You hold each other's glance. Through the humor and posturing she got it- Your story was her story.

That is it.

The point of telling your story is that not everyone can. Not everyone can stand on stage and say those words aloud. Not everyone can admit the fear they anticipate about their children growing up, being a "good enough mother", or wrestling with breastfeeding.

But today you read your story, you laughed and cried at the podium. You represented all the other little girls clicking decline to their biological mother's Facebook friendship request and struggling with unexpected pregnancies.

I don't know if Ann Imig knew what a gift she was creating when she penned the plans for Listen To Your Mother. She drew a line in the sand and simply said, "stand over here if you want to say it out loud. There are no rules, save talking about Motherhood."

No prescription for good mother or bad mother.

No list of how it is "supposed " to be done.

Just a blank canvass  BYOP: bring your own paint.

Listen To Your Mother is an invitation to artistic expression. It marks a cultural shift toward realism in motherhood. Surrealism be damned!

The Listen To Your Mother show is one of the most beautifully orchestrated ways to say, "me too." Thanks for that gift Ann, motherhood officially owes you one! We've brought our own paint and we are creating a masterpiece. We'll call it "Motherhood."

[Photo courtesy of Megan Clemence Photography]