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.
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?
There’s something that I would like to get off of my chest. A subject that I have been thinking about for a few months but that I needed to properly put together, in my mind. The subject is about people being phony. I don’t like it. I really, truly don’t. And so, I do my best not to perpetuate that type of behavior. I think of it as my own personal ethos. I just wouldn’t feel comfortable playing the part of “the interested party”, or “the caring individual”, if I didn’t actually feel that way. What I have noticed, in observing the actions of people around me, is that they occasionally feel this way too but the difference, between what I see and how I approach it, is that I do my very best to maintain this stance at all times. “I will not be fake!”, I say to myself. No matter how much it may advance my career, or put me into the good graces of the person that I am interacting with because, in the end, it just makes me feel like a shitty person to have “kept up the charade” at the expense of that other person’s belief.
This hard stance has gotten me in to trouble with past relationships, beit amicable or other, because I don’t think that I may have had a chance to properly explain my train of thought to the people that it directly affected. Or maybe they weren’t really listening to what I did say, when I spoke on it. Either way, this issue resurfaced itself a few weeks ago and so I will give an example of why being duplicitous is so maddening, to me.
I used to work with a guy, I’ll call him John. John and I have always had a pretty good relationship, in my mind. We weren’t overly close but we shared interests in a few things and, when we worked together, I always showed love because I genuinely had love for him. I had stopped working with John, and I hadn’t seen him for about a year when I ran into him in a restaurant that I frequented quite regularly. It was like we hadn’t missed a beat. Laughs, and good times. He informed me that he had recently moved into a new apartment and that I should come by. I told him that I surely would. So he sent me a text message with the address and I went over there. We spoke and spent some good time and, before I left, I had invited him over to my place. I explained that since he lived so close to where I stay, we would just hang out, get the grill working and listen to good music. He obliged, which made me happy because I don’t really invite anyone to my place. I didn’t really put much thought into the invite after that, but I realized that months had passed and I had not heard a word from John. “Meh”, I said. “We’re both busy doing things”, I told myself. About a year later, we got in contact for a forgotten reason and I let him know that the invite was still open. “For sure, man.”, he said, assuring me that we would get to it. As another year passed, I decided that I wouldn’t care about it anymore. This got me to thinking that maybe something had fractured our relationship, but I reassured myself of that not being the case. John has always been a solid dude, and if there were ever anything wrong, he would surely let me know. Fast forward to a few months ago, and I started the “Foreigner Exchange” series. I decided that I wanted to do an episode with John because I have always admired his perspective on certain things. I decided to send a text, asking him about helping me with “something for the blog” but I never got an answer back. So I decided to call, thinking that he may have changed his number. I needed to make sure that I was texting the right person. Call went out. It was the right number. Never got a call back. So, at this point, this treatment confirmed that there is, in fact, some issue. I decide to remove John from my social media and my phone, a few months after that. In my mind, there’s no point in having him on either platform if he’s not communicating with me. I had moved on from the situation and I had let go of anything associated to how I felt John was acting but, then, a few weeks, ago, I saw John while I was on my work break. He saw me and gave me a hug and asked if I worked in the area. I answered yes, and he mentioned that he did as well, and that we should have lunch together. He told me that he had my number in his phone and that we should get together.
THAT is when I got annoyed about this situation. I respected the fact that he was with people, in the moment of our interaction but, in my head, I was like “You know damn well that you are NOT going to make ANY attempt to reach out, to me. So why even make the offer?! You could have just said “Hey, you work over here? Me too. Well it was nice seeing you. Take care.”, and you keep it moving. I would have just had the interaction with him and gone on with my day. Why be fake about it? Is it because John had people around? Is it because we, generally, are fake with so many different things that we lose track of when we should be real? I don’t have the answers to that. Whatever the reason is, I do NOT want anyone to have these thoughts about me. I would much rather you not like me because you didn’t like the type of honesty that I offer you. At least you will know where you stand.
With regards to John, I have no actual beef with him. We all have the right to speak, or not speak, to whomever we chose. I am simply disappointed in how he chose to treat the entire situation because if there was/is an actual issue to address, I felt that he was a person that I would have put forth the effort to right the wrong. Alas…
Honesty is the best policy.
Learning to be alone is an arduous process. I say that because , for me, it’s a whole lot more than getting comfortable with the fact that no one will be at home to greet you. That, actually, has very little to do with anything. In my opinion learning to be alone is a never-ending journey of introspection and self-discovery. It’s about honing in on the person that you really are, beyond the societal requirements that force you to act in certain ways that probably weren’t instinctive, anyway. Being honest with yourself. Have you ever been asked this question:
Are you truly content with the person that you know yourself to be?
Think about how often you help without the expectation of a reward (and it can be any type of reward: A thank you, a smile, the last piece of a chocolate bar…Anything.) and tell me if you would maintain that strong desire to be helpful if those rewards weren’t a motivating factor. Those are the types of things that I have spent various moments pouring over. I spend a lot of time speaking to myself, discussing important topics, in order to really understand my stance on those very same subjects because I need to know why I think in the ways that I do. After all, how can I hope to properly convey my thoughts if I don’t get to the core of them? The molecular levels, so to speak, are the ones that interest me the most. Although I write, every day, my writing is not for that specific purpose. If that were to be the case, I would never have any substantial time to do anything else, because I would be hamstrung by my thoughts. The alone time that I have, now, serves those purposes as well as many others, within the realm of introspection.
There’s a lot of “inner cleaning” to do, if I can say so. I don’t think that I would ever openly discuss all of the things that need to be worked upon, with anyone that I know, but just know that I know what needs to be done. The next step is actually getting to a point where I actually start making those changes. In saying that, I don’t mean to imply that the changes will all be made on my own. No, no, no. I will definitely need to be assisted in getting to the place that I, ultimately, want to be. I believe in myself, though. I know that I can undertake difficult missions. And I am not afraid of doing so because the painful moments, that I know will forever be associated with facing the honest truths about about who I truly am, are things that I am comfortable accepting. The fear, for me, is in getting so comfortable being with myself that I don’t hesitate to keep it that way, and stop making efforts to socialize. This is a very, very, real possibility that I feel in my soul. On the other hand, maybe that is a momentary necessity in order for me to find some sort of enlightenment. And when I would feel that the time is right, I would reemerge as a new individual. Who knows?
So many questions, but the great thing is that I am opening to the answers. Regardless of how I will feel about them, afterwards. I, sometimes, have trouble allowing myself to celebrate small victories, but to have started this blog and to have written as much as I have, is something that I will enjoy for a little bit. I write simply to get my thoughts out. Be it wacky, emotional, or wayward, I do this as a release. I am no better, or worse than anyone, anywhere and I will maintain this stance for the rest of this life. I just enjoy this form of communicating and I am so glad that you guys/girls are on this journey with me. I haven’t always enjoyed being with myself, but those days are over. I look forward to seeing where I take it, from here.
The universe has been speaking to me for quite some time now. I’ve always been careful to listen as closely as possible, ever since I was a kid. Observing people, in their element, always gave me a sense of enjoyment and, a lot of times, those people would take the time to talk to me and drop little jewels that I felt obligated to scrutinize. To me, it was the universe’s way of directing me onto the right path. Now, I feel like everything is coming full circle. Balance is required, though. Leaning too far in a certain direction will create unnecessary problems and I am well aware that I have those tendencies.
What do I do, then, to keep all of the aspects of my life in a semblance of active harmony? Meditation. I don’t meditate in the popular sense (cross-legged, seated posture). In fact, meditation appears in various forms, if you ask me. I remember being in the gym, a few years ago, running on the treadmill, and totally forgetting that my body was actually moving. I had gone somewhere else, within myself. It was as though my body had taken on an internal navigation system. Maybe, for you, it’s in writing words in a book or taking a walk. Maybe painting is the move. I know that for me, I have yoga, writing, chess, and generally being contemplative, among other things. It renews my energy. I’ve also been learning to reduce my output. It’s really important for me not to overextend myself. I have a certain belief in myself, as well as a certain level of dedication that I offer to everything that I give attention to, and in order for me to maintain those levels that I have cultivated, I need to reduce my societal output, at times.
This is knowledge that I am grateful that I have had the clarity to acquire and that I hope to use properly, as time goes along. After all, I believe that it is extremely important to have an outlet to, not only exert yourself, but to be able to retreat inward at times. I took the time to evaluate myself, during difficult times and to see what I needed, in order to slowly begin the march back to stable ways. The dark days aren’t over. In fact, I believe that there will never be a day when those clouds dissipate, but I am learning how to manage the different aspects of my personality in order to be more efficient in the projects that I undertake. There are great things coming. Great, great things that I am working on, for the blog. And the vlog. I just want people to understand that I am doing this for me, first and foremost. However, I’m so glad that so many folks check for me, every day, by coming on the blog. I won’t let you down. I’m just in a good mental space, man. So, I’ve got to ride this bitch ’til the casket drop.
This part of what Milton and I filmed is much more introspective than the first iteration. My description of this video won’t be as long as the first part because I believe that the recording explains any and everything that I would need anyone to understand. Enjoy.