I spoke to Milton, a little while ago, and told him that we have to be great. No matter what. I have not relented on my proposition. If anything, I’ve doubled down on that very way of thinking. Everything that I do must be done with the intention of doing it in the greatest possible way. This can, undoubtedly, bring forth a certain level of pressure with regards to the endeavors that I pursue but I’m not worried about that. Pressure comes with any and everything that we attempt to master. So how is attempting to be great going to be any different? That pressure is a small price to pay, to get to the heights that I am convinced that I am fated to reach. Few are privy of the knowledge of the depths of hell, from which I have emerged. Granted, there are many different iterations of Hades but I can veritably say that I experienced one of them. No need to elaborate. Suffice to say that I was able to crawl out of that hole and aspire for the things that believe that I deserve. The funny thing about life is that the heights that you, sometimes, covet end up being beyond what the universe may be willing to offer. Maybe the mark that you are meant to make has already been made. Maybe you are at the very end of your road. Maybe I am at the very end of mine….Or maybe the book has many chapters yet to be written. None of us are the wiser. For this reason we are continuously warned that we should prioritize the relationships that we hold dear, by people who have seen the things that we are still approaching, and not focus solely on the achievements that we strive for, daily. Our lives don’t belong to us. They were gifts, given by a higher power. So what exactly are you going to do with yours? If it all ended today, I would be okay because my mom is proud of me. That, to me, is the apex. There was a point in time when I couldn’t be so sure of what I just said. Communication issues. But, putting all of that aside, I still feel that I have more to do. Certain people enter and exit our lives, every day, and we can only hope to learn from the relationships that develop, through those encounters, in order to better navigate the terrain that we occupy. There are answers to everything that we need to know and, a lot of times, they are right in front of us. We’ve simply grown so accustomed to the complexities that most of those answers are cloaked in, that we expect everything to be elaborate. But I believe that there are simple solutions to most things. Exceptions to the rule will always occur but simplifying is what I pour my energies into. That, and not allowing the static to distort the message that was originally intended for me. Take that information as you will. I am only able to speak for myself. The universe has pulled certain individuals into my orbit and repelled others. The repelling was, at times, beyond my understanding. It may not have been what I wanted, in that very moment and, since I am not someone that quits on things, I may have unwittingly attempted to fight for something that, if left to grow in my presence, could have ultimately hurt me. I have learned to trust the universe’s magnetism and fusing those principles with instinct make me supremely confident in the directions that I choose. None of this is to say that I always make the right choices, when I make decisions, but I trust myself enough to not dwell on the mistake once it is made. These beliefs have led me to the precipice of a set of interesting propositions. I don’t feel any fear towards the unknown. The only thing that I truly feel, at the moment, is what my instinct is alerting me to. Greatness is my journey. Not my destination.
It is in my nature to self-assess. Without it, I fear that I would be far less able to understand the things that I do. There was a time where I felt that I was simply getting lost in the attempt to look deeply within myself, without really getting much out of it, because I just didn’t understand what exactly I was looking for. It all ended up being a sort of exercise in futility, to some, but for me it was the beginning of where I now find myself.
A little while ago, I went through a breakup with a person that I truly cared for. It hurt me deeply but I have come to realize that the reason that it hurt me as much as it did was for completely different reasons, altogether. I will get a few things off of my chest in writing this…So here we go…I reluctantly began dating that woman, because I was not in a very good place, emotionally. In truth, I didn’t understand how to be alone. I was a serial monogamist and I had never really given myself the opportunity to learn about who I was, without the company of another. Right when I felt that I was about to really begin to feel how hard dealing with a breakup would become, I met this beautiful woman, who was such a gentle soul, at the time, that I was instantly attracted. As I am an individual that thoroughly relies on his instinct, I began getting internal signals to leave it alone but I shook them off like a stubborn pitcher. What my instinct had attempted to remind me of was very simple:
“You’re not in a good enough place to undertake all of what is necessary to make this work, in the way that you want.”
That much was clear to me. But since I didn’t want to be alone, to have to face all of the emotions that I knew that I would eventually have to face, I kept going. Eventually, that woman and I forged an understanding and slowly grew closer each and every time that we would spend significant time together. But I was always reluctant to officialize anything. She later informed me that her friends did not trust my intentions, as they felt that we had been dating for too long without any change in the status of our relationship.
It took me a year to agree to be exclusive and, to be honest, I could have waited longer. I wasn’t sold on it. It had very little to do with her and a lot to do with me. At that point, I knew that I could handle most of what it meant to be in a relationship, but I didn’t feel that it was the right time for it. I will admit, I had let her friends’ whispers sway my decision making, instead of standing firm in my convictions. Lesson learned. It wasn’t a bad decision, though. In fact, it was great. For a while. We were having a great time, together. In that time, I had also gotten to know her father. More on that, later.
Over time, the initial thoughts that pervaded the outermost corners of my subconscious began to dissipate and I felt that this relationship was, indeed, something that I wanted to be a part of. There was, however, an incident that set our relationship back and caused trust to be lost, in her direction, but come on…that can’t be traced back to the initial instinctive advice that I was given at the beginning of the relationship…could it?
“No, instinct, you are wrong. This is an isolated incident. Albeit, a significant one. Relax. Ain’t no “I told you so”, just yet.”
I won’t speak on what exactly happened, that caused the problem, but I will say that I wanted to work it out with my partner, and with her alone. The problem with that ideology was that the issue didn’t stem from her, but from extended members of her circle and, as a person with admitted trust issues, the relationship that I believed to have existed with the extended members was now fractured beyond repair. I pride myself on being open with the people that I let close to me. If something seems afoot to you, ask me about it and I will tell you. This is not what occurred and I couldn’t rid myself of the suspicion that this was not the end of what I thought was a highly exaggerated and unnecessary situation. The lone bright spot, in that whole mess, was her father. He stuck by me and he spoke to me pretty directly about why he chose to do so. I had never had anyone do that for me and I began to see him as a sort of father figure. He embodied a lot of traits that I hoped to, one day, possess, as a man.
Over time, I moved in with my partner and the adjustment period was….interesting….We both got on each others’ nerves but I chalked that up to being in much closer proximity to one another. I gradually began having machinations on doing something that would be more closely associated with a legacy play: Making a sacrifice of my time to be able to obtain my financial freedom, on my own terms. I began to attempt to collaborate with other like-minded individuals but there was something holding back my ability to put my all into what I was trying to do…The relationship…
“I told you so…Stop this now!”
It started to become more and more difficult to hold on to my energies, because my partner needed so much of it in order to deal with the things that she was going through. Was she aware of this? I don’t know. But it was what it was. Silly me, with that “savior” mentality, felt like she couldn’t do what she needed without me providing that type of support. I enabled it and didn’t understand how to cut it off. The result of what I allowed frustrated me because my own designs on accomplishing some shit were hollow. Lacking in various areas, because I simply didn’t possess the requisite energy to do what needed to be done. What should I have done? Well, I should have addressed it. But, to be fair, I wasn’t even aware that all of this was taking place.
The frustration began to build (on both sides, I’m sure) and I sought counsel from an outside source. A woman. I also started not being as careful, with context, around certain women, often alluding to possibilities that were non-existent. When those actions came full circle, it (may have) created a wedge in our relationship that we could not recover from. The relationship didn’t last long, beyond that point, and I always felt that it’s undoing was completely my fault. I still do. But not for the reason that you may believe.
After looking within myself and having some time to separate myself from everything that occurred, I can see that what I was sad about had nothing to do with my partner deciding to leave our union. It had everything to do with me thinking that I did so much for a person that they shouldn’t even think about leaving. In other words: Ego. My ego took a hit and I was shaken by it. “After everything that I had sacrificed to make sure that you had amassed a certain level of confidence, how could you decide that I wasn’t enough?” I never actually said this but I’m just trying to give you some insight. A lot of what went on was based on my ego, and that wasn’t fair to that person.
“It’s over…but it was not on my own terms…”
I have been on a mission to remove that feeling from my life, ever since. I am very aware that I may not ever accomplish this feat but I honestly don’t want anything to do with whatever my ego will bring to me. Not if it means that people hurt, as a result. Although there were things that were done on both sides, I am not here to recount those things. I am here to apologize for my ignorance. I am here to say that I will walk with my head high and own my portion of the discomfort. And I am here to say that I have learned and am still learning. One thing that I wish I would get a chance to do is speak to her father and tell him that I am sorry for hurting his daughter. I genuinely love that man. He taught me a lot and I feel that I failed him. He always told me about how much he would do for her. And although I know that not all of this is my fault, the optics may seem different, to him. I would reach out but I don’t think that it is the right thing to do. I don’t want to disturb whatever the flow is, that has been cultivated, in my absence. Hopefully, our interactions together will be enough for him to know that I meant well…
I don’t know what to write, at the moment, but that’s never really been an issue. I normally just have to start down a path and, eventually, something shakes loose. I will say this: I’m really glad that I have nurtured my ability to communicate, in this form. I’ve come across a lot of brilliant minds that have a lot of trouble sharing their thoughts, when their thoughts are the only things occupying this blank canvas. I’ve always enjoyed reading but I’m not even sure as to what made me start drafting. It has always just felt…smooth. I wasn’t always skilled at the production aspect of creative writing, but I have been very fortunate to be able to find the words that I need, in order to express the series of interwoven thoughts that paint the picture of where I want to take readers. I’m pretty sure that, as I progress as a writer, I will look back on these entries and see so many flaws that it will embarrass me to think that I ever viewed these posts as “decent”. For now, however, I like ’em. I have received a few messages from people in different walks of life. Some I had/have a relationship with, and some I did not. All of whom have expressed how much they’ve enjoyed the things that I have written, as well as the manner in which they have been communicated. I truly appreciate it. I never expected anyone to ever like what I write. I never even thought that I would ever let anyone see the things that I decided to write about. I was a shy kid who knew that he had many talents but was afraid to be made fun of, because those talents may not make me “cool”. I’ve never been “cool”, though. With that being said, I’m not sure what I was attempting to hold on to. My entire life has been me, standing on the opposite side of what people think is culturally relevant, and it used to bother me. I thought that it was because I was poor. Then I thought that it was because I wasn’t in the same shape as other folks. Hair, height, affiliations…I looked into it all. You know, just to check it off of the list. Gradually, I came to realize that none of that stuff even mattered. In fact, I started to realize that by embracing myself and being comfortable with the person that I know that I am, deep down inside, I don’t even need to be viewed as anything. I’ve been by myself and I will be by myself. I don’t need to be a “part of something” to validate how I feel about who I am. So, I write. And I do plenty of other things. I also DON’T do certain things. Do I think that I am cool , as a result of it all? Meh, not really. That’s for you to decide. But does it even really matter?
Irrational confidence is a very dangerous thing to possess. It is also, in many cases of overachieving in the bubble, a necessity. It will always be something that I grapple with because I have been taught to be humble. My question to you is: Where does humility end and the refusal to recognize your own personal greatness begin? Just because I am proud of myself, for having accomplished something, that does not denote narcissism. Of course, if we’re talking about individuals that reflect on said greatness, with the sole purpose of reminding you that they have been exceedingly blessed…well…that’s just obnoxious, and I want no parts of that. But what are you supposed to do when someone acknowledges your greatness, poses that “confirmation-like” question, and you know in your heart that they are right? That question, oftentimes sounds like this: “Oh, so you’re really good at ____, aren’t you?”, and other variations of that observation. We’ve all heard it, and so I pose the following question: If you believe, in your heart, that they’re stating a fact, why can’t you confirm it? After all, we work very hard to obtain the knowledge that we, in turn, utilize to move our lives forward and on the off chance that someone feels the need to test our confidence, if we deem it an acceptable challenge, we should all be comfortable providing further proof of our claims. What says that we can’t be proud of the work that we have put in and, simply, recognize our efforts if we believe in them?
The first time I had ever heard of irrational confidence was while I watched a basketball game. I forget who was playing but I remember someone speaking about a specific player, and saying that “The irrational confidence that once made him a star is the same thing that will torpedo his career.”. I had never taken the time to grasp the concept of that possibility, before having heard what that individual said, but it immediately opened doors in my mind that would never again be closed. Ever since that moment, I have circled the idea of irrational confidence very carefully. I know that it can help me reach heights that I may never reach without it but I am, and will forever be, leery of it’s presence in my life. The scrutiny that I employ while maneuvering through life forces me to manifest a belief in myself that I possess against all of the odds that were placed in opposition of my path but, I often wonder, is it “irrational”? At this point, in my life, I understand exactly what I need to do. The only thing that I wonder is if I will be able to make it to the mountain top, before it’s all said and done. If you’ve never really thought that you would live a long life, it’s sort of difficult to envision a day when you might achieve everything that you now believe to be possible.
The confidence is there but the daily reminder, to accept the fact that I have a small window to do what needs to be done, is always at the forefront of my mind. No complacency, for me. The last thing I want is to be oblivious to the fact that I may possibly be weighing myself down with the very hubris that allowed me to excel. I grew up needing to make sure that I was able to identify any and all modifications that were necessary to my progression. That has not changed. In truth, I have gotten better at identifying the things that need to change around me, and inside of me. This clarity doesn’t imply that I have been successful in doing so, simply that I have become more aware . Adjustments are just a part of the progression and I am not shy about adaptation. Getting carried away, and believing that this ride will last forever is, simply put, a fallacy. The difficulty, I believe, in the subject that I am speaking of, is in ceding your position because your time is up. Who truly ever believes that they have, plainly, run out of time? Yes, we are taught that “Nothing lasts forever” ; however, when are we taught to cede power? Gracefully step aside? I feel that those lessons are just as valuable as learning how to grasp control. I also believe that our lack of understanding, for the latter, creates the illusion of being able to retain the former.
I rang in 2019 by meditating. I ran through each and every single moment that I could remember and gave respect to each of them. I spent about an hour doing that and I have to admit that I could have, probably, spent more time in deep contemplation. In doing what I did, I sometimes feel as though I’m still meditating. It’s like I set my clock to a certain time and now I’m living my life, following that time. Nevertheless, life feels different now. The confidence that I feel can only be described as “sunlight”. I have more control of myself, in the deepest of senses, and I am increasing my self-comprehension with the more that I learn about the person that I am becoming. I know what I need to do, in order to be the person that I am needed to become. Do I really need to be irrationally confident, to become that person? Who knows? Will it help me achieve my goals? Or will it tear me down because I’ve taken it too far?
I try to maintain a certain level of confidence in myself, at all times. I will admit that it is not always the easiest thing to do but I wake up, every morning, and believe in myself. From that point, it’s time to hit the streets and envelope myself in that energy. So, with that being said, what do you believe that you exude? And why do you believe that you exude it? I can tell you why I go around town with that mentality, in my back pocket. There was a time, in my life, when I used to seek validation from different places/people and I would extend (sometimes overextend) myself in order to obtain what I thought that I needed. As I grew to be older, I became upset with those same people, through whom I had sought that very same validation, because I felt like they were aware that I was looking for it in the wrong places and they chose to not steer me into the right direction. I thought that they were arrogant in that. Not realizing that the true arrogance was being actualized by yours truly. It took me a while to get to this place. The place of accountability. I cannot expect anything from anyone, if I don’t let them know that I need it and, as for any sort of validation, everything that I need is within me. Nothing that I do is done because of you. It is about how I feel about it. You may believe that saying this is selfish, and it is, I guess, but I can’t think for anyone other than myself and if I were to continue to seek for others to substantiate my inner strength, I would leave myself open to the possibility of dishonesty to be projected in my direction due to the fact that, unfortunately, some folks do not have your best interests at heart. With anything that you do, you’ve GOT to believe that you can do it. Belief, I have come to realize, is an EXTREMELY rare occurrence. Few veritably believe, whole-heartedly, in what they do/say. This is why I believe that it is truly important to be able to read what is right in front of you, and to utilize all of the tools at your disposal, namely your intuition. This is also why I believe that there is such a large discrepancy between the amount of success and failure, on every level. Now, this isn’t to say that many people don’t actually want to achieve success. I think that everyone wants that. It just comes down to a simple question: “Do you truly believe that you can attain it?”. When you believe, without a shadow of a doubt, success will happen. It is only when you offer up the possibility of failure that you encounter those things that will, potentially, derail you from your quest. I feel the need to be a bit more specific, with my theory. The singular thought of potential failure, rearing it’s ugly head, does not spell the end of your attempt, but you have to extricate those considerations by overwhelming them with belief. Your fears simply cannot be allowed to grow. Your day-to-day will always present you with a challenge (or two) that you may not have been prepared for, challenges that will threaten to undermine the mental state that you have been cultivating, so don’t be surprised when those moments appear. Build a solid base of confidence, and know that you will be able to deal with whatever it is. This is just how I think, every day, and I will stand behind these statements, if necessary. Ain’t nobody gonna look me in my eyes, and tell me that I can’t do something, and have me believing that shit. Never in your life. You’re welcomed to try, though.