Do you hold the Frank Ocean courage?

I log onto my computer to glance at my list of things to do. From a series of emails that require replies to the abundance of in-person meetings I am obligated to attend, my schedule is pretty busy. I do a short stint of battling with my emotions as I feel a rush of anxiety. But after that short moment I brush it off. After all I am living my dream. Living your dream is almost unheard of in the world that I’m from. Where I come from, you simply work the job that pays the bills every month. But I didn’t go that route.

I wasn’t six months over twenty-one when I started my own publishing company. And from the very first day I became CEO, I have been judged. Judged for being young,for being a woman, and for simply being misunderstood. So imagine my pride after finding out that R&B artist Frank Ocean decided to come out publicly, professing to all that he lived an alternative life. A life that didn’t involve the traditional love shared between a man and woman. One in which he chose to live life openly gray; in that confusing and cloudy space between straight and gay.

I instantly wondered if he was afraid at some point. Afraid of revealing this truth about himself. I know the feeling all too well. I didn’t choose an alternative lifestyle, however I did choose the life of becoming a teen mother. This is a fact that I kept a secret for so long. I did not want to reveal to anyone that I was having a child at 16 so much that my child did not grow within me for very long. I gave birth to a premature child due to being fearful of what other people would think. Now looking back, I wish I would have had enough courage like Frank Ocean did. I wish I would have faced my fear and told the world of my growing child and just faced whatever judgment came with it. But I didn’t, and I almost cost myself a child in the process.

No one wants to trust someone they feel is different from them. Not many are willing to root others on if their peers aren’t. But Frank Ocean decided to live openly in spite of what was to come.

Perhaps it was the potential feedback that he would get from society that would end up being his motivation? I am not normally one to root for this alternative life but I will absolutely root for freedom. Being a mother of two children, one who is about to be a teenager, I am very pro “live your life to the fullest.” I am very pro “life on the edge”. I’m on team “take chances.”

I have to be an advocate for living your life in freedom,seeing as though I walked out on faith and followed my heart. My heart was writing. It was about creating my own brand and, in spite of my young age and the fact that I was a young mother working more hours away than at home, I went ahead and pressed forward.

Frank Ocean performed a heroic thing. If I had a son like him who was living out his dream but desired to live an alternative life as well, I wouldn’t advise him to live in fear. Regardless of what my views were and what I believed was right, I know that living in fear is wrong.

A man with so much courage given a budding career like his, is a rare find. We all have a Frank Ocean within us. Are you willing to live out your choices without fear? I mean we only live once right? So try living for once without worrying about what others will say, or who will judge you along the way. Like Frank Ocean’s album sales at the moment, you might just come out on top.

About the writer:

tamika-newhouseTamika Newhouse, a four-time African American Literary Award winner, is CEO of Delphine Publications and the author of six urban fiction titles. The company has sold over 80,000 titles worldwide.



  1. Book Schnook says:

    Wow! Just seeing this. I can certainly relate to the idea about who would root for anyone if their own peers didn’t. I have over 250 friends and releatives on Facebok and I can count on one hand how many of them supported me by buying my book. No one has to like what we do, but support goes a long way. I think people believe artists are looking for a hand out. That is not the case. All I hoped for was a push towards my dreams. But I’m finding out that I can reach the next level on my own. And yes, I live in the real world. But as we all know life gets stranger than Fiction. Just had to throw that in there. *smile.* I’m even open to criticism as long as it’s constructive and helps me grow.

    Anyway…”Great job Tamika!” Sometimes even that’s just enough to keep one inspired 😉

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