Monday, December 25, 2006

Finally growing....

"In the end, you're gonna find that strength that lies within, and in the end, all you need is the comfort of a friend, and in the end, you won't break cuz you're learning how to bend, and the hand of God will guide you always, in the end"- Eric Bene't

Truer words have (as far as I've known) never been spoken. The fact that I'm writing this on this day, the two year anniversary of this journal, is no coincidence. It's apropos of everything. I've essentially reached a place in my life where intentionally habituated hypocrisy has caused me to choose between the theory of who I profess to be and the reality of who I actually am. It's amazing how kindness and self sacrificing can be the ultimate form of selfishness. I've been holding on to something that has been itching to be free, and I (up until this point) couldn't bear to let it go. Inwardly philosophizing and outwardly satisfying to keep this in my life despite the fact that it was slowly killing me inside, I’ve nearly ruined myself. The taste of masochism is sometimes so sweet.

And now, on this day of all days, I have come full circle and am, in the acknowledgement and commitment to set free the mutual bonds/binds, reborn in a renewal of my dedication to the upkeep of my inner man. It is finished, and the life of undermining my own progress is over. “I vow, right now, to never be the same". I will no longer support the procession of continuously self inflicted decadence. I am stronger now.

I realize that I’ve been blocking the potential inherent in my maturity through my repudiation of growth past that stage in life. I was effectively retarding the progression of the manifestation of my destiny by refusing to possess land in my life that lay beyond the baby stage of perpetual self gratification. I had to reach a point in which I could be content with the idea of delayed satisfaction in order for me to grasp the totality of what was in store for me, and, today, I am here.

For all who have helped me on this journey, I thank you. For your months of unacknowledged support, for the endless nights of sleepless suffering, for the weeks of unrequited consideration, for the unspoken love in every sacrifice, I am eternally grateful. I couldn't have remained the person I am without your unacknowledged struggle. I appreciate and love you. I only pray I will live long enough to adequately return the favor. Have a wonderful Christmas....

Happy birthday journal.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Continuous Change....

It feels like it's time again. The weeks go by so quickly. School has started and I’m still in quasi-summer mode. The predictions I made in my last post have come true, and time has, seemingly, acquired a couple red bulls and sprouted wings. It's in the stratosphere somewhere and doesn’t seem to have any plans on coming back down. I'm doing my best to keep up.

I sat and talked last night for hours and couldn’t help but feel that I’d left the conversation with even less understanding than I started. So many things are going on in my life right now, all outward and inward struggles against the pressures of knowing my purpose of existence, and the only course of action left to me seems to be something that I’m not quite comfortable with.

Since the first (in retrospect forced) social interactions of my freshman year, I’ve been a fish out of water, flapping around, praying, waiting, struggling for the evolution that would transform my pitiful floundering into confident strides. Yet still I feel I’m outside of my box, both baffled by the realization that I am no longer completely content in my solitude, and shaken by the fact that I am uncomfortably inept socially, I sit, struggling to reenter against a sea of emotional backlash.

I've grown too much to fit in my box and have evolved too far to survive in the water. In nurturing one side of my life, another has died leaving "the point of no return" as its epitaph. I've been reborn and am forced to learn to walk again. Now, longing for companionship and desiring interaction, totally lost and strangely afraid, I am completely and utterly dumfounded.

Uncertainty is rarely comforting, and true change is never easy.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Just Another Day....

This won't be anything deep or profound. I just figured I’d write something to fill the space that’s been missing for the past two months. Many things have happened since then. Summer started and is now almost over, and I, despite my best efforts, have been bored out of my mind. I know that I’ll look back on this day with scorn when the books start piling and the papers are due. I have so much time on my hands right now, time I know I won't have when school starts again.

I've been thinking about the upcoming year and am wracked with indecision about what path I should take. On one hand I have the ability to go over seas and study on foreign soil. On the other, I have the privilege/possibility of aiding an organization that my heart has been in since my arrival at school. I'm being pulled from both sides by none other than myself and I can't seem to find a conclusion that makes me totally happy. So, I’ve chosen what makes me most content.

I can never say that I’ve made a true commitment if I don't actually go through with committing. So...I'm staying. Though I’m sure that in England I would learn, experience, and grow in ways I never could here, I know that there will always be opportunities for exploration. I must first get my house in order before I can go out and explore the other side of the fence. I just hope that I have enough drive and dedication to make this experience worth forfeiting the part of my life I could be living.

For those of you who have been waiting for this decision: I'm putting my best foot forward so that you have the opportunity to do the same.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

20 years old...

I am officially not a teen any more. Scary as that may sound, it's not the most jarring part; for now, at the cusp of my formative (as if every day of ones life isn't in some way formative) and adult years I must, in fact, be my own person. I know this concept may elude some.

“What do you mean be your own person? You've been in college for two years, had your own job, made your own life decisions...etc".

I do understand this argument, and though all of these things are true, the bottom line, slap in the face reality is: all of my scapegoats are on an official leave of absence, and until I reach the age in which expectations for me are lowered again (probably at 100 with the rate popular thinking is evolving), the ball is not only in my court, it's in my hands.

For the first time in my life I am officially faced with the task of ordering my own steps. It matters little what my self perception has been over the years, how intellectually independent I think I have become in entering college or even how hard I’ve worked to makes sane/levelheaded decisions. Before this moment (or before June 1st to be exact) all of these things were attributed to the guidance of my parents, mentors, and other guardians over my life. Up until this point, every tumble I’ve taken, every inch I’ve fallen, every mistake I’ve made has been (in the eyes of the general public) de-facto transferred onto the shoulders of others. But now, at the ripe age of 20 I am essentially expected to "know better".

I am an adult. Perhaps the most power packed four words I’ve every spoken, this declaration has a finality that I have been afraid of for all of my life. In being comfortable with its constant inconsistencies, I have, ironically, come to define my stability through life’s seemingly erratic fluctuations. Seeing my thoughts as a representative manifestation of these variations as apposed to a digressive deviation from the comparatively regular and stable psyche of others has given me reassurance that has transcended the boundaries of outside perceptions.

But now, those boundaries are extended and I am frightened at the prospect of having to change my level of individuality/instability. With these new boundaries I am effectively forced to "go all out". Now, instead of comfortably residing outside of the area in which others expect me to be, I must push myself to reach that place.

This transition into adulthood would not be as jarring if it were not for the fact that this new status has moved the place in which I am most comfortable to an area that is beyond my comfort zone. The sad part is I knew it was coming, and, from the viewpoint a person who, if given a choice, would rather be ignorant of his terminal illness, this knowlege was/is the pea under my mattress.

If God has a sense of humor life must be his court jester.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Another chapter...

I moved out today. It didn't hit me as hard as it did last year which proves that hindsight is not always 20/20. THis post will be different then the other ones before it. Recently i've been looking to the outside world to interpret what's going on inside of me. It's worked, but it's time for a bit of a change.

This school year has been one of, if not the, most ridiculous year(s) in my life. My grades suffered, I had no time to breath, I was running on four hours ( or less) of sleep a majority of nights/mornings, and I seperated myself from somethiung that had been in my life for the better part of two years. I laughed. I cried. I learned. I grew. And now, at the end, I feel that I have, for all intents of purpose, reincarnated into the me that's typing this rught now. I feel like a completely new person, and, inspite of ( or because of) a great deal of the heaven/hell i've been through this year, I can't say that i'm upset with the results.

If it were not for this year and the extracaricular rehersals that oten took 6+ hous of my day...everyery day, I would not have learned how to work under pressure that would have caused me to slit my wrists last year. If it wasn't for the hundreds of pages of books and paper after paper, I would not have learned to accept the fact that life seems cruel right before it becomes cruelest. If not for the virtually sleepless nights I would not have built the endurance to sit trough lectures in which professors seemingly forget to teach and continue on with self indulgent banter for entire eighty minute periods.

This year, if nothing else, proved to me the extent to which I will have to stretch myself in order to be anywhere near I need to be to do what i want to do in the future. Because honestly, I can't see myself being satisfied until I am better at what I choose to do than anyone . Call this attitude what you must, I know that it's pointles to try something unless i'm going to be the absoulte best I can at it.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Why I do this....

It has come to my attention that I have been and am now creating something here that society (and academia) has not been able to make sense of. They question why anyone would make something public that is and has been so personal. They wonder how an individual could have a desire to explore ideas and thoughts that are so close to his or her heart in a space where anyone could see them and comment. They are baffled by the fact that otherwise socially and intellectually introverted people (read: me) would so boldly and freely articulate their hopes, aspirations, desires, and dreams to an arena that not only consists of the people whom they would not communicate with under normal circumstances but also includes the entire world.

Though I can't accurately speak for everyone, I'd like to (at least semi-intelligibly) speak for myself.

I started this journal as a means through which I could unload what was on my mind at the end of any given day. Because, honestly, (no matter how much I hate it and how much it jeopardizes the stability of my sanity at times) I live to think, and I, as a result, internalize and inwardly scrutinize everything that goes on in my head. If you were to ask me a year ago, I would have told you that I think too much. Now, because of my experiences in life and the ability to succinctly record and review them here, I see that, despite it all, I don't think nearly enough.

Essentially, here lies the end of the line for many tracks on which the train(s) of my thoughts have traveled. Every post here no matter how short or seemingly trivial is a (debatably) decipherable snapshot of ideas and thoughts that travel so quickly and in such abundance that they would (without the aid of this external storage) coalesce into a giant ball of uninterpretable, indirectable and unrefineable feelings. This journal keeps my mind free enough from these thoughts to be healthily burdened by them, and, in spite of my internal protests, creates an opening for others to dissect and interpret them in ways that may aid in their understanding of things they would never have ventured to observe before.

I would be lying if I said that this didn't scare me. I'm not one who revels in the idea that people (no matter how small the number) can see my thoughts and incorporate them into a pile of beliefs that affects and forms their own. But even with this being the case, I still feel a rush of happiness when someone tells me that my thoughts have made them think. I can see why this would be confusing to society. Because, like this journal, and, to a greater extent, me, it is an illogical contradiction.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Ignorance is bliss....?

"I can't stand it when people try to get me involved in their cause. I mean what if I were trying to be politically apathetic" said a female in my English class today....

I sometimes wish that the irony of people's statements would hit them as hard and as clearly as the force with which they state them. Here was a woman sitting in a classroom of an institution that was, at one point in time, all male, across from a black male (me), conversing with others about her gripes with protesting, after explaining her plans for acquiring a PhD. in English.

Sometimes, just sometimes, I wish people would educate themselves on things outside of their own narrow-minded, personally affecting circle of understanding. How did she suppose she was allowed the opportunity to get somewhere other than the kitchen? It's a proven fact that people in power do not share it unless they have reason to. With this in mind, why in the world would a man have made room for an individual whom he saw as a "weaker (lesser) vessel" without some form of reeducation by the type of people who wanted to get others to see things from their point of view (individuals with a cause)?

Do people not see the political and social masochism in protesting....protesting? I may not like the idea of people rallying against organized religion, but I do realize that restricting their rights also restricts mine. I think that if people would step outside of the "it's them not me" mentality and see things as (at the very least) "them equals me in the long run" a great deal of ignorance would not automatically translate into widely accepted acts of cruel stupidity.

This idea applies to a plethora of other asinine acts of mass ignorance and denial that could be easily avoided with a moment’s meditation. The concept may be offensive to some (namely groups whose entire method of operation rests on seemingly unchangeable, outdated and often harmfully discriminatory rules) but I feel that peace will never come to people who maintain that the only right behavior is that which shares the same strictly upheld idiosyncrasies as their own.

I mean honestly, if individuals would only take off the lenses of their specific experiences and start judging the cultures, beliefs, and action of others based on observations that compare and not contrast their differences, I feel that a great deal more understanding and clarity would be shed on situations such as the one that happened in that classroom. The girl would come from under her politically apathetic, "if I don't see/acknowledge it, it can't hurt me blanket" and wake up and smell the, "but I was just a non-combatant/civilian riding the subway" coffee.

It's only but so long that people can ignore horrible situations that seemingly pass right over them until they are excluded from that passing over and they experience first hand what the fuss was all about. That shouldn’t be the ultimate motivator, but in this day and age...I fear that appeals to our intrinsic desire for self preservation are all we have.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Still walkin' that road....

I just came back from seeing the movie "Glory Road". Now for those who know me, I am not one to usually go and see a film that I feel I might choke myself halfway through due to sappiness and clich├ęd attempts at forced moralistic conclusions, but my little sisters wanted to see the thing and I, being the big brother, was all but required to take them. In three words, I was surprised. Sure it had a rough start in the beginning, the dialogue was choppy and the talk between the coach and the recruits was a shade dodgy, but after all of the necessities were out of the way... the magic happened, and it was because of this that I began to think.

I've tried to avoid it thus far in posting. I figured that my skin held a story in and of itself that required no testification (I have a habit of creating words), but here I am, banging away at the keys, trying to write down my view on this before I loose the nerve. Needless to say, I'm black. I've been this way from the moment of my conception and I will bee this way until the day I die. I've skirted around this topic for the sole fact that I’ve held the mentality that being black is not the sum total of who I am. I was raised with this mentality and sought to essentially overcome the stereotype of the close minded, militant, gun toting, durag wearing (despite my profile picture) African American with a chip on his shoulder the size of this 300+ year old country. In doing this however, I have (in this journal at least) been a Judist to a part of me that is as important as the air I breath.

Many times people of my color seem to believe that to be educated requires an individual to downplay and even ignore their ethnicity. When accomplishments of success garners congratulatory proclamations that originate from surprise that is rooted not only in the overcoming of obstacles, but also in the color of ones skin, we, as a country, fail. Yes, I said it. I've heard the assurance of equality given time and time again by those who have never seen the bad side of a day. I've witnessed the puzzled faces of those who believe this to be a free country, as they hear of individuals who, in living life within a racial profile, strike as blindly as a cornered animal at anyone who shares the same majority of their accusers. I've felt the tension in the air of a classroom mixed with blacks and whites as the topic of discussion faithfully landed on disparities in American society. And I felt that it was high time that I acknowledge this in this Journal.

I've purported to share what was on my mind in this journal, and I for the most part have done so. But, in watching that movie I finally came to the realization that my socialization has been through the eyes of one who is part of a race that has, for the better half of past few centuries, not been allowed to and has been seen to be incapable of even possessing the ideas that I have shared in this journal. That is something that I can hardly wrap my mind around. The fact that a few decades means the difference between being strung up from a tree for trying to read and being an honors student at a research university is almost incomprehensible.

This journal won't now become the rantings of a racially embittered black teen. I don't harbor enough anger or patience for that. I just wanted to throw into this stockpile of thoughts something that hints at the corner of my mind at every glance in the mirror. I believe James Brown said it best...