cater 2 u

cater 2 u

2004 was a damn good year. So many great teen films were released and there was also a lot of influential music created as well. From Kanye’s debut album to Usher’s Confessions to Ciara’s Goodies, 2004 was a great year for Black music. In addition to those greats, my personal favorite album of all time was released that November. Destiny Fulfilled, Destiny’s Child’s final studio album, is something that I’m constantly playing, no skips! This album, which is considered a “comeback release,” is what I’ll be focusing on for this installment of my blog’s Series Sunday, where I take my favorite songs from an album I love and relate them to my personal life. To kick off my 3rd part of this fun thing I do, we’ll be discussing “Cater 2 U” but in a new light. This song has been referred to as the “ultimate pick me anthem” but we won’t be focusing on men at all in this post (unless you identify as a man).

“Baby, I see you working hard
I wanna let you know I’m proud
Let you know that I admire what you do
Don’t know if I need to reassure you
My life would be purposeless without you
If I want it (you got it)
When I ask you (you provide it)
You inspire me to be better
You challenge me for the better
Baby, sit back and let me pour out my love letter”

Now the plan for this Series Sunday is to focus specifically on relationships and what better relationship to start with than the relationship you have with yourself? When you redirect the energy and lyrics of “Cater 2 U” to an ode to yourself, the words become even more powerful. Like, fuck these niggas because once you flip it, it’s honestly the perfect self-care anthem. Life takes a toll on us sometimes (especially with the pandemic and so many other things that are currently factoring into that) and sometimes we just need to sit back and show ourselves the love we wish to receive from others. Nobody has your back like you do so it is absolutely okay to put yourself first and give yourself some much-needed love and attention. With the first verse by Beyoncé, imagine you’re just released from a long day of working (whether that’s actual or schoolwork or anything else that you consider work and/or draining) and you take a moment to say (or sing like me) these words to yourself in the mirror while getting ready for a little self-care soiree. It’s so important to remember to be there for yourself even in moments that seem mundane and routine. A little affirmation or reminder of how hard you are working can boost your mood and help you get through the day a little easier.

“I’m gonna fulfill your mind, body, and spirit
I promise ya
I’ll keep myself up
Remain the same chick
You fell in love with
I’ll keep it tight, I’ll keep my figure right
I’ll keep my hair fixed, keep rockin’ the hottest outfits”

While I originally saw Kelly’s verse a little high on the pick me meter, my opinion on it changed entirely when I repurposed the lyrics. I wholeheartedly believe in the phrase “look good, feel good” so the end of her really speaks to me. Things like keeping up my fitness, regularly getting my hair done, and dressing up always make me feel really good about myself and are things that I consider self-care. Taking care of my health is a big thing for me because it not only makes me feel amazing (runner’s high is a real thing y’all!), but it also sets me up for success as a healthy adult and keeps me happy when I’m checking myself out in the mirror. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been taking entire days to dedicate to my hair. Taking down protective styles; washing, conditioning, and styling my natural hair; installing protective styles. Those are all moments of self-care for me that have honestly transformed my day. There were a few moments throughout college where I just felt extra stressed or worn out and decided that the next moment I have should be dedicated to doing something with my hair to make myself feel better and it worked. So now when I’m feeling down, I know there’s always one thing that can absolutely cheer me up, even if it is just scheduling my next hair appointment for a month or two away. Lastly, I love shopping. It is one of my favorite hobbies of all time and it always puts me in a good mood. I don’t care what anyone says, retail therapy is real! Although I don’t always have the ability to go shopping, I always have the ability to go to my closet and create a new look for the next time I go out. Or even just dressing up for the hell of it! It’s important to find what self-care strategies work best for you so that you have a go-to pick-me-up to put your feelings at ease until you can really dig deep into them and figure what is truly best for your mental health.

“I wanna give you my breath, my strength, my will to you
That’s the least I can do
Let me cater to you
Through the good, the bad
The ups and the downs
I’ll still be here for you
Let me cater to you
Cause you’re beautiful
I love the way you are
Fulfill your every desire
Your wish is my command
I wanna cater to my man myself
Your heart (your heart)
So pure your love shines through
The darkness we’ll get through”

Finally, Michelle’s verse is another reminder that your biggest supporter is, and always should be yourself. Throughout everything that happens in your life, you should always be there for yourself and have the tools to put the pieces back together when you feel yourself beginning to fall apart. If you haven’t figured what exactly to do to make that happen, it’s okay and there is no rush. Self-love is a never-ending journey that revises itself with each moment of growth that you have. There is no reason to be upset with yourself for not knowing the proper techniques that work for your mental health. Every person on this planet enjoys and reacts to different things. No two people have the exact same operating system. One of the joys of living your life is learning the ins and outs of yourself and learning what works for you. As you journey through life and embark on your trek to self-love, remember that your main goal is to make sure that you are satisfied with your options and life.

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