Milton and I have been estranged from doing “blog things” together. It’s been a while. A few years to be more precise. In that time, we’ve both grown a lot, as men, and been on numerous personal adventures. I simply figured that we could get back to kickin’ it, the way that we used to do, while also giving you all something new, in the process. Since I have been writing a fair bit, in the past few months, and posting some of what I write onto the blog, I thought that it would be cool to read something straight from my journal, in the video that we released. The issue that I had, in doing so, was that I didn’t decide what I was going to read until we started filming and there were specific names in my journal entry that I had to try to avoid using, out of respect for those people. So if the final product doesn’t make much sense to you, I apologize. It was also a bit windy, at the beginning, and so if that’s too much for you, I apologize for that, as well. What was nice about the entire thing was the fact that Milton sort of blindsided me with the questions that he asked. I answered some questions about “Le Chiffre” and “Francois Toulour” and what they mean to me, on my life’s journey. We also talked about the origins of the blog and the reason that I feel more comfortable writing these things out, rather than expressing it in other ways. Milton doesn’t usually do those types of things but it was nice to see him delve a bit deeper. After we decided to stop filming, we had the deepest conversation that, I think, we’ve ever had. It was a very introspective moment for the two of us and I got into some things that have bothered me, recently. It was supposed to have been recorded but, alas, it didn’t turn out that way. Maybe it was for the best. Milton is one of the very few people that I consider a real friend and I vouch for him. It’s great to see him doing well and going forward.
I’m focused, lately. I talk about balance and about how much I know that it is important but, when you’re an extremist, do you truly have the ability to comprehend the premise of that notion? Regardless, I have hopped onto the track that I was always, sort of, supposed to have been on, according to certain folks. I’m here to demonstrate the growth that is unavoidable. Not to brag. To be completely honest, I don’t recognize this person that I am, right now. I don’t know this guy. I’ve never been this guy. I knew that I could do the things that I’m doing now, but I wasn’t really sure when I would get here. It’s an interesting observation. For a long time, I’ve felt like the guy in a standstill, while the world kept flying by me. There was a time when I felt a bit anxious, to get going, but I had realized that my time would come. Is that time right now? I don’t really know. I just know that whatever “this” is, it must be cared for. Nurtured. Delicately. It may be the start of something or it could be the peak of something. Either way, I have to be smart about how I approach things, from now on. Recently, I’ve been isolating my mind, far away from all of the outside noise that might distract me from doing everything that I want to do. Writing, growing my plants, riding around the city, these are all things that are helping me to center my mind. I, sometimes, wonder how centered I can get myself. In my mind, there are two dueling trains of thought. On the one hand, I am proud of where I have allowed my mind to go, and the focus that I have been demonstrating, despite the other emotional issues that have been occupying most of my focus, for quite some time now. On the other hand, I am aware that my current focus represents but a grain of sand in the desert. I believe that one of my greatest strengths is my inability to see the ceilings to my possibilities. With that being said, I know that I can focus harder and I know that I can block out the noise, to a greater degree than I currently am. I’m not going to try too hard to understand what exactly is happening. I’m simply going to ride the wave. Cultivating my feelings and making sure that I make the most of the situation at hand.
I’ve decided to introduce a new segment, to the site. I have so many great conversations with so many great people. Some of them I know and some of them, I meet randomly. With their permission, I wanted to bring you all a bit of those great exchanges. The first episode of “Foreigner Exchange” features my guy, Milton. It’s so great to be able to unwind and have fun little convos in the presence of wonderful folks. These people push me to use my brain at a higher frequency, understand things that I may never have thought about and, ultimately, help me to become a better person. I have a love for everyone and I wanted to give a little bit of that love back to the folks that are interested in my blog.
Here is the very first offering, from “Foreigner Exchange”.
There’s a scent that is associated with that time, that I miss. It’s more than just the scent though. The sun used to set in a different hue. More orange, I would say. There was a certain gravitas that was acquired through knowing you and wanting to explore whatever this was. The way that you would look at me, with those eyes that shone so bright. There aren’t many things that I have ever seen that look like those eyes. What can I bring you that no one else can?
The world, in a kaleidoscope.
And the 73 degrees, at which I see it.
That, I am sure of. The security of your care warmed me and gave me an incorporeal dexterity. The direction, I had already developed. But you gave me something to look forward to, beyond my fated successes.
Old best friends. New strangers.
I grapple with the estrangement, despite what I am told. Because you are the homie. And although there are a plethora of misinterpretations and belief of incongruence, there is a truth that I know to be. Your diffidence makes it much simpler to judge outward than inward. We’re growing though. There’s no inertia, in what you now believe. The evolution is on it’s way.
My father was never much of a figure in my youth, which was a shame, but I had other folks to look to, for that sort of patriarchal motivation. A lot of what I’ve carried forward, and what I have fashioned in my own image, originated from the blueprint that they presented to me. The way that I dress, the way that I speak, it all comes from somewhere. Later on, I took a liking to reading and really examining situations connected to comfort and the lack thereof, in order to understand social cues. From there, I realized that I was a bit different. Reason being that I hadn’t encountered anyone that focused, so much, on the minutiae, the way that I did/do. It became apparent, to me, that I couldn’t follow any established blueprints to get where I felt I needed to go, and the folks that had inspired me were always supporting my journey. All of a sudden, indiscernible to even me, there was a shift. I began making exactly what I thought were the right moves, in order to attain my success. There were failures, but I was always on the right path. The issue was that there was a sort of inversion in my relationships with those close to me, that supported. They were always fans but they went from “The Standards” to “The Admirers”. Something seemingly made them think that they needed to accept their realities, instead of daring to continue to forge a path through the unknown. I became the inspiration. When I realized that this was the reality, I was surprised. I’ve never taken issue with this. I am honored to be able to be that, for any and everyone that enjoys it, but to these very specific people, it makes me uneasy. Because they have resigned to what their lives are. Which, in and of itself, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Not even close. There is just so much that they are capable of. It hurts me immensely when I have to stand there and listen to them tell me “Do you know how it feels to know that you’re settling?” I took a second to think about it and, yeah, I do know what the feels like. I’ve done it twice. That day, when that rhetorical question was posed to me, all I could ask was “Is that really how you feel?”, to which the answer was “I feel that way because that’s what I’m doing.”. In that moment, I realized 2 things: I need to help get them where they need to be and if I can’t do that, myself, I need to continue to be an example.
That specific situation put a lot of things in perspective, for me. It just explained a lot of things that I felt but couldn’t properly associate, in my mind. One of the things that I couldn’t quite place my finger on was an occurrence during a pretty big transitional period in my life, a little while ago, and I had been in a true funk. I was trying to figure out how this whole thing happened and why this kind of thing happens to me. I simply wasn’t being myself. It came to a head, one day, and they actually started to show anger for the way that I was being. Many things have happened to me, in my life but they, very seldom, have ever demonstrated any frustration about my sadness. This was different for some reason. It was as if they were saying “You have a chance to do great things now! There’s nothing holding you back, anymore! Do what you’re supposed to do, now!” In this instance, I am paraphrasing, but those words had actually been said to me, on a different occasion. It was like watching a movie with two characters attempting to escape a terrible situation but one of them knows that only one can make it. So that one decides to do all he/she can to give the other the chance. I feel that I am the one that was fated to escape. I want to save them, though. And I believe that I can save them. Save them from simply allowing things to be, and going after that elusive success that comes only when a person puts themselves on the line. For them to have been an inspiration, to me, and for me to simply leave them behind while they struggle with what they should do, would be a sign that I didn’t truly value what had been given to me, regardless of if they had been aware that they had been giving it, or not. I am a leader, now. Responsibilities rest upon my shoulders and I have always been brave enough to carry them. The difference is that I have grown into the man that can actually carry them, now.