THE BRUISED EGO
Briana and Terrance meet up every week in a small studio in the West Village to record The Bruised Ego. With incense burning and wine flowing they let go of The hustle of the city and start to cleanse their Souls, one story at a time.
INTERVIEW BY: KILE ATWATER
How did you and Terrance get the idea for this podcast, and what does it mean to you?
Terrance. The Bruised Ego was birthed out of a previous podcast that myself and Briana were both a part of. Both projects were conceived around the central idea that sharing and communing are both important and essential to growth. This project is a safe space I've created with my best friend, and our listeners. I've gifted myself an opportunity to learn from my own words and experiences.
Briana. I loved learning how to record, and just the idea that I could just talk to my friend and include others in on the conversations blew my damn mind. We decided, after batting around a ton of names, that The Bruised Ego reflected the message: daily struggles we had with learning how to love & be ourselves in the world. Basically, for me it was us reflecting on ourselves in these very common place experiences, in everyday occurrences in life and deconstructing how we work through and get stuck in moments like requesting things, getting ghosted on, or letting go of things.
"Us in the face of ourselves."
What is the most difficult topic you had to discuss?
Briana. The most difficult topic thus far, which we haven't even dealt with yet to be honest, is financial security. Usually I have a ton of topic ideas I want to contribute and it's just funny to me that the one that seems to have a lot of effect on me is the one I steer the clearest from. Another day maybe...BUT as far as the one's we've been brave enough to approach, maybe the one on having bad thoughts. It was hard to utter the thoughts that sometimes crossed my mind in regards to myself and others. I just kept thinking maybe people would think I was weird or something. Sometimes stuff just gets said in that room and it isn't until later that I realize how loose these lips are willing to get.
Terrance. I feel like most subjects we talk about require at least a little bravery. Not only do we unpack our shit, but we do it to an audience! I feel like the episode that was most difficult for me to delve into was our 12th episode " The act of requesting". My co-host Briana has always been an inspiration to me when it comes to requesting. That word "requesting" to me is first, about feeling grounded and convicted in my own values and opinions. Secondly, acquiring a boldness that brings those values to others, and thirdly letting a sort of trust move in that makes it possible for both parties to see the best of intentions within that request. But maybe I'm over complicating things...I should just start requesting things of people and see what happens!
The bruised ego talks about a lot of issues involving mental and spiritual health, it struck me as important because these issues are usually swept under the rug, especially in African American communities. Why do you think it is important to discuss and share your experiences?
Briana. I think it is very easy to live life in my head. For quite some time I held all my anxiety, pain, trauma, and even joy to myself in my mind. I didn't easily give it or share it with others without a lot of shame and mistrust. I was reactive, uneasy and sometimes just a mean person to myself and others. For a while, everyday began to feel heavy. It wasn't until I actually started seeing a "life coach" I guess that's what I'll call him, that I realized how much freer I could feel when I gave up some of that stuff. I started to just trust my sharing and listening with others and saw that I made up a lot of shit about my own versions of life. I made people mean things and their actions translate to things about me. Most of it negative, leaving me with a sinking feeling of never being good enough to have a better life. A lot clicked for me as far as seeing where I could be a bit more proactive in creating my life. It almost energized me daily to challenge the world I thought I knew. I'm not some anomaly and that was and is enough for me to try this experiment out with everyone in my life. We're here together so why not try to see myself in others and invite others to see themselves in me. Maybe we'll find our way closer to love, or just accepting each other. Imagine what that kind of openness could be for us en masse. If I personally got so much freedom and love in my own by doing this I know it's possible. I think that kind of love starts with sharing ourselves in all of our beauty and ugliness as transparently as possible.
Terrance. My experiences are shaping the person I am becoming. I would be nothing without other people. They are my mirrors and I am theirs. So why not talk about the things we reflect at each other? The importance of language and experience started to reveal themselves to me during and after the death process of my mother. In her I saw so much space and potential in myself. She continues to teach me! Now that's amazing, and I feel compelled to discuss that power and strength. I think once we understand that potential we can begin to shape and mold our lives into something that works not only for ourselves, but for other people as well.
"This project is a safe space I've created with my best friend."
What do you want a listener to feel while listening to your podcast?
Briana. I don't really want them to feel anything in particular. Maybe just that they listen to what they listen to and leave the conversation with whatever they leave with. In that way, I've kind of done what I've wanted to do with this project. I'm satisfied that they were simply there to begin with.
Terrance. I want them to feel whatever is inside of them –passion, grief, joy, anger, love, interest, disagreement, I feel blessed that we have listeners. I'm happy that they feel something from our conversation. that's kind of the whole point.
How has this podcast helped you heal?
Briana. This process has helped me heal relationships, find more easiness by listening to others, expressing more gratitude for the most basic shit and just live on 1000 all while loving my hot mess of a self. It is teaching me patience and how to produce work and be committed to it. By showing up every week for this, I am telling myself that I am capable. I am worthy. I've never quite felt that I was any of those things before now.
Terrance. Clarity. This project has provided a clear space for my introspection. I often can get tangled in the intricate stories I tell myself about who I am, about who other people can be. Going into the studio and talking with Briana has given me a clearer space to see myself.
Shortly after OUR INTERVIEW WE LINKED FOR a discussion on faith. The first HOnest One I've Had in A long time. Listen Below.