Expectaitons are made to be broken. Hopeful dreams fly high, only to be stripped of their wings. Stained by dark thoughts, laid waste by cutting remarks. Imprisoned by our thoughts, cell doors locked with keys hidden in bloodstained hands. Gazing into a mirror darkly, each anxious breath a ripple that shifts the image ever so slightly. Heavy is the head wearing the mask, clutching strips of truth, anxiously swallowing hollow words. “Hello. How are you?” “I’m doing good.”
Symbolism is the bridge between fantasy and reality. Personifying the abstract in the physical, such is the essence of analogy. Like smoke, it appears formless, but has both a cause and an effect. Kitti B seems to understand this, as the MV for Doin’ Good weave its’ dark tale amidst the choking haze of an abusive relationship.
I was exaggerated in your head
But it was all useless
I’m doin’ good, doin’ doin’ good
I’m doin’ good, doin’ doin’ good
Abrupt yet smooth, the first hit of Doin’ Good establishes the experience. Melancholy, bittersweet, sharp. Tendrils of truth intermingled with the stale lies of the past, this low note starts on a high note, growing into a pulsating mellow backbeat as the song continues.
It’s the first for me too
After I met you, I got some sick time off
But things just got dull and soft
My growth did not become better
Even when you changed things however you wanted
I was so busy adjusting to that
I didn’t want to acknowledge this
But my heart is bigger, even if I became the weaker person
Like a burn, the focus of the story shifts from the outer, dead shell into the raw center of the relationship. Emotional highs lead to devastating lows, and Kitti’s realization is what drives her soulful flow. Heart on full display while her face is hidden in the smoke, she paints a haunting picture.
I remember back then, you said, “not you”
but I told you that
I got this someday
I hated myself for being next to you
I hated myself but I still believed in myself
Grey words painted by painful memories, we see Kitti’s relationship in full color. Pure, gentle, delicate white, juxtaposed with the blackness of action, reaction, and tone. Innocence wiped away, slap by painful slap. Pain and truth mingle, yet she doesn’t shrink from the poison.
I’ve opened my once blind eyes
I’ll put away the question mark that I had on myself
No one can knock me down
I’m turning the light off between us
I’m not a firefighter but now I’m extinguishing
So I won’t find myself in anyone else
Focus, look in the mirror
Believe in what you see, I’ll win it all
I’ll give time to myself instead of guys
I need nothing
Inner darkness becomes the catalyst for change, as Kitti’s tone and attire change. Gone is the innocent white lace, replaced by a vengeful dark leather. Absent as well is the smoke: here we see Kitti in her full glory. An ebony goddess, eyes alight with the rejection of her reality. No longer a tool, but using tools to overcome those who once held her captive. Both figuratively and physically above her former lover, one still blinded by the promise of her innocence.
Kitti’s journey through uncertainty and self-image is something we all experience. Maybe we aren’t all in abusive relationships, but this warping of our view of self still happens. Maybe your boss seems to favor the annoying co-worker over you. Maybe your family seems to criticize you, no matter what you do. Perhaps your past decisions have led you to a place of pain, loss, or abandonment. It’s so easy to look at the situation around us, fold our hands, and just let it happen…
Like a fun-house mirror, life tends to change the way we see ourselves. The negatives look so big, and the positives look so small. Yet, those warped, twisted reflections aren’t who we are. They’re merely the product of what’s around us. Our circumstances and the events in our lives that cast a shadow on who we believe we are. We are who we desire to be. We want meaning and acceptance, love and freedom. Interestingly enough, the entire message of the Bible to introduce us into a family where we can truly be ourselves. We are “His workmanship” (Eph 2:10), His “people, called by [His] name” (2 Cor 7:14), given a “future and a hope” (Jer 29:11).
Seeing God work isn’t like watching a chess game, where we have all the pieces in front of us. Our perspective is too small for that. Seeing God work is like watching our parents wrap Christmas gifts through the door’s keyhole. We might not know what is in store for us, or what tomorrow might bring. What we do know is this: our parents love us, and want only the best for us. Unlike people, who let us down as Kitti discovered, God’s relationship with us isn’t dependent on what we do for Him. His relationship with us is based on what He did for us, and His love for us that transcends our expectations. He doesn’t demand we find satisfaction in Him, He gives us satisfaction in Him as much as we desire. Rather than losing ourselves, we find ourselves in relationship with Him. Struggling into who we are, wrestling with trust and love…it’s hard. It’s satisfying. It’s good.