Journey

It’s 2:23 AM and it just so happens that I can’t sleep. I wouldn’t say that my mind is racing or anything but there is a lot going on (as always).

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about the future a lot lately. Not like “present-future,” more like “future-future.”

I would think that the combination of Father’s Day thoughts and my upcoming birthday does not have my mind at ease. No, I’m not a father, nor do I have a baby on the way (dab), but seriously I turn 24 in a few days, but that’s actually not my present concern at all.

I’m more worried about what the future holds as far as investing in myself and accomplishing my set-goals. I guess that’s what happens when you get “old.” I remember ten years ago, couldn’t wait to be older.

Now you just wish time would hold the fuck up for a moment,

“Like chill bro, memories are great and all but let a brother enjoy the moment-sheesh.”

 So here I am. A recent college graduate knee high in school debt (about to ante up and go to grad school sooner than later), in the midst of that-relocating across America for my first career job (no pressure). However, I’m over that part “we here now” (laughs out loud).

I’m more so thinking about my 5-year plan. I’ve always liked having a plan, you have to know what you want to reach your destination. The road will never be as you imagine, but as long as you know where you want to be eventually you’ll get there.

So, I guess ill break down my “5-year plan into 5 bullets” (free trial version) haha.

  • Publish my first poetry book and novel

Even though I haven’t been as consistent as I’d like to be on my literary works, this has been and will always be a huge life goal for myself. Not for the money, or what could be notoriety. I just love to write, and I embrace my story and journey wholeheartedly. I feel like writing is really how you live forever.

  • Travel the World

I am definitely a nomad at heart. I love to travel. Half is the rush and experiences, the other half is that I love food and like to eat foods from different cultures. Those sights that really take your breath away are dope too, you know? The ones you just have to soak in and say, “Damn I really am here right now.” Definitely need more of those, positive vibes.

  • Receive my Masters Degree, and Excel in my Profession

As a first generation college student, and African-American man I’ve always sought to raise the bar. Set the tone, and build that bridge for others after me. Definitely have high goals for myself, that’s why I’m so hard on myself and those that I associate myself with. Iron sharpens iron, and this is definitely a world we have to adapt to. As far as profession, I love the art of communication, telling the story and engaging the audience. As long as I’m doing what I love, I will never mind doing what I’m doing.

  • Get Married, Own a Home, (Travel Some More), Have Kids

Everyone has personal systems that work for them. Hopefully my eventually-to-be wife agrees with my perspective. Basically, I feel like people rush marriage, and having children or vice-versa (whichever comes first). I want to get married, travel with my wife and enjoy being married before we take turns losing sleep because of the baby. Buy our first house together, all that boss shit you know. Then have kids, paint the room together, 90’s love movie stuff. Back when it was cool to be real. I feel like I’m stuck back then, Yall can have this. Excuse my tangent, but that would be dope if it happened like that. 

Last but not least…. (Drumroll please)

  • Be Happy 

Definitely believe that this is the most important goal that we should all have. Enjoying all the things that you do, and loving the things that you do. Embracing family and loved ones. That’s why we are happy to wake up everyday. That pursuit of happiness. Even if the journey is rough, don’t forget to smile.

That’s your story, that’s the best part.

 

Storytime

To a degree I feel as if I understand women. Now, before you start going on a tandem about how men will never understand women and what not, just hear me out.

For the majority of my childhood I grew up an only child with my mother. Might I say who is one HELL of a woman, she’s a scorpion, (I mean Scorpio) so she’s definitely tough.

I’ve heard that they say men who grow up with their mothers without a father in the house develop differently than those with a male figure in the household- not always but its possible.

I believe that I developed an understanding of the tendencies of a woman.

Every woman is different, yes, but from a sociological standpoint we as humans share common nature and tendencies. I believe that in my four (ok maybe 5) years of college that I have encountered every “type” (that’s how we’ll phrase it for conversational purposes) of woman there is.

What the hell do you mean by tendencies?

 It’s simple. Its derived from one’s upbringing, habits, self-confidence, social circle, how you carry yourself, amongst millions of other minor details such as how you make eye contact for example. I’m a writer (so I like to think anyway), so I’ve always been all about the details.

Okay Mr. Know it All, so who are these women?

 I knew you’d be asking yourself that, so I’ve composed a short list of the “types” of women I believe there to be-categorically anyway. Ironically, I believe every woman goes through every type no matter the duration of the stage, it’s similar to relationship phases we all go through.

  • The Dreamer (Optimist)
  • The Butterfly (Love-struck)
  • The Cocoon (Heartbroken)
  • The Caterpillar (Pessimist)

Alright, so I know the stages sound weird but let’s have some fun with this. Just going to group a lot of this together, because we’ll be here all night if not.

(And Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That)*

The Dreamer

 This is the woman who is still “pure” per say. Not speaking from an sexual standpoint, more so untainted emotionally. Is there even such a thing? To a degree there is, or for everyone there was. Also known as the optimist you believe in love and if you do everything “a woman should do” for a man, that you’ll be treated right and he’ll never leave you. Unfortunately for a multitude of reasons we know this not to be true.

 No matter the duration of the dream, eventually we all wake up.

The Butterfly

I titled this in conjunction with the sensational comparison of butterflies in ones’ stomach that is felt when they are attracted to someone. This butterfly stage will have you doing things that you wouldn’t normally do. However, in this digital age we are trapped in we also have the “social butterfly.” Otherwise known as one that lacks confidence and needs social reassertion of their exterior looks, or relationship, or how they live.

 The butterfly flaps their wings for all to see, even if in reality they can’t even fly.

 The Cocoon

 If you’re paying attention, you’ll notice a trend. However, we’re going backwards. Why? (Well, that my friend is the cliffhanger.) This “cocoon“ is the wall we all build when shit hits the fan. Whatever the internal distress that causes the Great Wall of Trauma to be built (see what I did there?) is the unconscious or conscious hardening of oneself to be protected from everything. You’re closed off, and you begin to cleanse yourself. Even though that’s perfectly fine, you’re still avoiding the very thing that caused you to build that wall, or the only person capable of climbing that wall with ease. This fortress of ignored emotions that you barricade yourself with self-inflicts you with pain within its confinement. You’ve trapped yourself in a place that you couldn’t escape if you wanted to.

 Like an old folk tale, you look at the very thing you want, the very thing that you should stay away from, from a tall tower window confined in its stone cold walls.

The Caterpillar

 You’re not who you used to be, and the world is to blame (right?) you’re stuck in-between a fork in the road with your life trying to decide whether or not “It’s them or you” that’s the problem. The constant feeling of self-discernment thinking that you’re the reason why it never works out. Why you may or may not be the one who got away for someone, and why you subject yourself to repetitive disappointment despite the voices from your conscience (and those who like to play conscience). You essentially become an emotional pessimist.

Polar opposite to the dreamer that you used to be. Eventually you neglect apparent positives within others because they’re inevitably associated with some type of negative that you’ve experienced before.

 We’re all storybooks, and everyday is another page written about our lives. We were made to love; that’s why I believe we lose ourselves when we do. The problem is that unfortunately when you lose yourself for someone-they’re not always there to find you.

Skim

It’s June 1st 2017.

Amongst other things I’ve graduated college, traveled to a country across the world, joined a fraternity, and landed my first entry-level career job.

When you add your accolades to your “Life Resume” the bullet points fall short of describing the weight of what it took to achieve those accomplishments.

The constant failures that made the successes so pleasurable.

So, lets go back.

June 1st 2011.

After moving out of my mother’s house because of a not-so-good situation with her husband at the time, I moved in with my Dad in Greensboro, North Carolina during my senior year of high school. I actually wasn’t very social at all during my stay-purposely. I didn’t want to become attached to my new place of residence. When I say residence I mean the school, and people. Since my dad was a traveling construction worker we lived in a trailer, in a trailer park.

Safe to say I didn’t bring many girls home.

I didn’t even walk at my high school graduation. They just mailed my diploma to me. Its kind of weird seeing all the high school kids go all out, because I didn’t experience that at all. (Sarcastically laughs). What was really a bummer are the track scholarship offers that were withdrawn after my ankle injury. Yeah that sucked, anyway I moved back to Georgia after being accepted into Georgia State, but I didn’t move home. I moved in with my uncle, aunt, and cousin whom I really didn’t know.

Let me tell ya, he wasn’t very happy to share his room with me.

I wish I could break it all down, but neither of us would have the time. Long story short we grew out of that room- and we grew together. We both were burdened with life trials and teetered on the brink of insanity. Or what seemed like insanity. From getting our drivers licenses, to starting our journey of “how many jobs we can work at once” I must say the beginning wasn’t easy.

January 1st 2012

 After that wild first fall semester of college which I commuted to every day (what a drag), I found out that since I didn’t yet qualify for hope I couldn’t attend college for the spring semester. What was even better my parents told me that they were not obligated to pay my way for school, and they wouldn’t help-it was more so my stepdad at the time though.

I just looked at my moms like “Damn Son, where’d you find this one.”

I remember that day vividly. I threw a whole grown man ass tantrum (lmao). I punched a hole in the wall, I went in the bathroom and I cried angrily. That was like the first time I just broke down and said fuck it. Fuck this shit. Then my cousin came in the bathroom and embraced me and said, “what the fuck are you doing? You don’t need them, you don’t need anybody,  I’ve seen you grind everyday, nobody can tell you no, you’re going make it happen, I look up to you- so get your ass up.”

I grew up an only child, but at that point I didn’t feel like I had a cousin, I felt like I had a brother.

November 1st 2012

I found my way back in school through a plethora of loans, and credit cards- but dammit I made it. A biology major who wasn’t so good at biology. This was my second breakdown. Between the parties, the girls, the drugs, and  the ups and downs…

I lost sight of who I was.

Now that I finally was back in school on my own I realized I didn’t want to be the doctor that my family wanted me to be. I had to search deep inside myself to figure out what I wanted to do. I asked all my friends why they were majoring in what they chose, and what they wanted to do, but nothing stuck for me.

I loved to write, but I didn’t think I could make a career out of it. Until I came across Journalism. Biology to Journalism, what kind of shit is that, but This shit right here? This shit changed my life.

 I found the one puzzle piece that made everything begin to fit together.

 

January 1st 2014

I finally stayed on Campus, this is when I whole heartedly decided to peruse being in a fraternity. Yeah, that was interesting just being a first generation college student. I used to think that stuff was stupid.

Actually I didn’t know what a fraternity even was before High School. I remember this basketball player told me “frat guys are dudes who can’t get pussy on their own, so they hang together”

Now that I’m the other side, I disagree old friend.

Now I have more brothers, than I can count.

April 1st 2015- December 2016

 I became a member of the greatest fraternity known to man (throws countless shade), and I studied abroad in Dubai. I worked for Apple for two years, and eventually I had some pretty stacked internships too. Moral of the story?

I fell over and over again. At times I crumbled to pieces, but I ended up holding it together.

This is just the watered down version of my path. In reality, I’m just reminding myself of where I’ve been so I know that no matter where I go I can handle it.

I never would have imagined that I would be blessed enough to be in the position I’m in and meet the people I’ve become acquainted with along the way.

They always said I wasn’t going to be shit. Now they’re watching to see how far I’ll go.

Don’t blink.

No Role Models

Growing up I have heard on multiple accounts that I can tend to be “self-absorbed” at times.

To be honest its completely true.

I’d dare say its one of my vices- but if it wasn’t for that I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Troubled child, single parent home, no one to look up to, we’ve all heard this story before. However, I don’t believe my skeletons are bigger or smaller than anyone else’s, even if in reality they may be.

Everyone has a story, and everyone’s story makes them who they are.

Let’s take a few steps back. I used to stare in the mirror a lot as a child. Wishing the future would come faster with all the animosity my eyes could muster without bursting. Strangely, it was a way for me to confide in myself. That anger became my drive- roaring passion even. Telling myself it would all be alright and together we would make it out of my situation.

 I was all I had.

 That’s where the pride came in. No role models to speak of. I looked up to myself, that’s why I’m so hard on myself to this day. I felt as if I had to love myself more than the average person would. Marinate within my own accomplishments, (laughs) I had to “self absorb,” but I did it for self-preservation.

Externally, it may come out as over-confidence, cockiness even-but I don’t believe that’s the case. I believe I developed a character trait to aid in survival. A trait that can help you fly, but at the same time cause you to crash and burn.

In my younger years I tattooed the phrase “Save me from Myself” on my chest, and on my arms I have a portion of the bible verse I heard repeatedly. “Pride goeth before Destruction” Antidotes to my self-injected poison. Reminders to temper the balance internally.

Looking in the mirror today, seeing my younger self I’m sure he’d agree with me.

To do it all again the same damn way, and I must say young boy..

I like the way you think.

Phases

The things I used to do don’t excite me anymore.

I presume that it’s a phase thing, continuously growing up and out of your character traits. It’s not one of those, “I don’t know who I am” situations because I know who I am, do I know what I want would be the more appropriate question.

I want to be successful, I want to travel the world, I want to have a family-eventually. However with this man-made concept of “time” you never really know what chapter you’re on I would say. You just keep going, hoping you didn’t skim where you should indulge and vice versa.

Secondly, I feel like I’m finally creeping on the enlightenment stage of my life. Not that I’ve been ignorant to “the happenings” of the world- because I’m here for it. However, there’s degrees to this shit and it’s all starting to come full circle.

Sometimes seemingly selfish decisions are best for everyone. That’s how I previously let go of all the anger in my heart, because you have to respect ones’ journey.
We all say we never change. We do inevitably, but simultaneously we don’t.

Essentially, we evolve.

“Seemingly closed off to the world, but just coded in a way most are not meant to understand, only understood by those who influence you forever-in a moment.”

Cause & Effect

I actually was inspired to go on a tangent about the drive that I have in life, but as the day went on that kind of subsided (bummer).

Anyway, I kind of just felt like writing, but I’ll try to flow with the subject topic. It’s weird that I can’t really express myself-but it’s not. I’ve been writing for over 13 years and I could write a book about how I feel, but if you ask me to tell you how I feel you’ll get the stale face.

There’s still parts of myself I choose to ignore. Definitely unfair to others but I believe it’s more unfair to myself. We all have our own internal battles, and we all have a story.

A prologue to our masterpiece biography. Everyone’s story matters, and every interaction you have with someone you become a part of someone’s story.

That’s some deep shit.
(Laughs)

I say that a lot, but it’s real.
It’s actually entertaining, but somewhat eerie that I’m so nonchalant. Growing up I had a temper like no other, but eventually it just disappeared- I became cold.
Even though there are still minute things that can set me completely the fuck off, but I left those circumstances behind long ago.

Im an introvert, but only at times, I thought that I talked too much. Guess that’s the Gemini in me (gang-gang).

Okay I’m done lol.

Seriously though, If I broke down my life it’d an oxymoron in short, but I guess that’s the beauty of it. It’s not supposed to make sense. That’s what makes you different.

Hmm. Growing up I had a knack for not finishing things I started, like running away from my problems. Main reason I came back to Georgia in the first place. To finish what I started. I don’t feel like I’m running away this time though.

This time, it’s actually time to go.

Honeymooners

I don’t talk about relationships much, because I don’t feel like I’m qualified to do so.

If I counted the amount of relationships I’ve had I would still be on one hand and I wouldn’t need all of my fingers (tragic).

However, I have had my fair share of Honeymoons.

Honeymoons? Yeah, honeymoons. Not the just married type of honeymoon, more like just hit it off-and for some reason kept going.

They say a lot of things about the millennials.  They say we’re impatient, selfish and entitled to a sense of instant gratification.

Whether the aforementioned traits hold substantial validity is irrelevant, however millennials have combined some of these traits and formed a “hook-up” culture.

Personally, I believe that the bulk of the issue lies in the foundation from which we stem our relationships from. If we filter our focus to the African-American community, most children reach adolescence in a single parent household, witness a divorce or a combination of the two.

The perspective of a healthy relationship is most times construed from the start, and although mirroring the habits of one’s predecessors is not an excuse, you have to admit it is hard to break a such a vicious cycle when you’re surrounded by it.

Picture this.

If you have a home it can only be as strong as the foundation it was built upon. If the foundation is weak then no matter the aesthetics of the home, it will waver from the inside out. We are not always products of our environments, but your roots are tied to you, like inherited genetics-whether you accept the reality of it or not.

Strayed a bit, but back to the honeymoons, the situation has become similar to a disease without an antidote. An epidemic that has come in contact with everyone.

I have theories of why society has become lost in this ‘sunken place’ and has yet to get out (see what I did there?).

The Presence of Social Media

  • Social media has become a third party in our relationships. Its as if the world is always watching our movements. Where we are, what we’re doing, and how we’re feeling. The interference of social media in modern day relationships definitely is a cause for shortcomings.

The Art of Peer Pressure

  • Many times we rush relations and turn them into relationships just to watch the ship sink faster than you’d finish watching Titanic (spoiler alert). Whether it comes internally, from family and friends, or complete strangers-applying pressure to relationships rarely makes diamonds.

A Plethora of Intercourse

  • Fancy title, but sex, sex, sex, sex, sex- And more sex. It wouldn’t be a honeymoon without sex right? We’ve become attached to the heightening of our skin’s sensation that we let it overshadow our spirit energy and misconstrue that temporary feeling for love. Yes. You love how it feels, but what happens when you come down? What a cheap vacation.

Overall, we’re deadlocked in this tug-of-war with love. Stuck in redundant honeymoon stages with one another, and unfortunately some of us can’t even make it that far. Some are lucky. Some have broken the trance that was set upon us by Pandora’s box while others still have some ways to go.

As long as you lose yourself enough to find yourself it’ll all be worth it.

Embrace the journey, embrace the feeling.

Happy honeymooning.