Revisionist History

We are all victims of revisionist history, to some extent. It could be a friend that remembers things a bit differently than the way you do, or a parent who refuses to admit to mistakes made. Regardless of the instance, being a part of something like that, that you believe to be incorrect, stings. It stings because, in your heart, you know that things played out differently. See, but then the certainty becomes supposition. “Are they right about what they are saying?”. “I couldn’t have really been like that, could I?” Admittedly, we can’t be aware of every little thing that we do, over the course of the day, or we would not be as productive but, with your certainty wavering, you start wanting to comb through the different situations in order to pinpoint the error of your ways or to challenge the assertion that has been made against you. Mind you, you only care about this because you care about the person stating their issue. Had this been any old nobody, a bit player in your grand overture, you would barely bat an eyelash. But it burns when it’s someone you care for. It hurts because you just want that person to be happy with you and since they clearly are not, there is a growing discomfort.

This is where it gets interesting. Because you assess the situation and you start remembering instances that were mentioned in the grievance(s). In the moment of hearing these issues, your mind races to situate yourself, within the turbulence. There are instinctive emotional pivots that you know that you can rely on, but that can also complicate the situation further. You’re very aware of this. So you reject the option to go in that direction. You start scanning for other alternatives. “It’s important that I handle this correctly”, you say to yourself. Not even realizing that you’re saying it. So you try to acknowledge the issues that the other person is having while attempting to clarify your side. It doesn’t work. There are more examples that start flying in your direction, like the rubber bands that your older brother used to shoot at you, as a kid. It stings. And it’s frustrating. And you’re powerless. Weakened by the gripe of an important person. Hurt by the inability to make it right. Damaged by the aftermath. You know that the truth is being skewed because the totality of the situation is not being addressed, merely small moments. Moments that, by themselves mean different things without the sum of all the parts but to make that thought known is going to cause another problem. There’s no way out, beyond resignation.

As you wake up, in the following days, you go about your business as usual, on the surface, all the while being frustrated with the outcome. Sad about the current state of affairs. You start to formulate arguments, in your mind, that make large amounts of sense which, when you think about the arguments of the opposition and how lopsided it all was, makes you annoyed. Part of that annoyance stems from the fact that you’ve finally realized things for yourself but you know that revisiting the issue will only lead to another confrontation. It’s too late. You also know that allowing things to remain the way they are is tantamount to admitting guilt. “I’m not guilty…not THAT guilty”. You come to realize that the situation is unresolvable and this is probably the most crushing part because you’ve grown to believe that you can fix anything if you have enough understanding. The problem, in this instance, is that you don’t really fully comprehend what is happening. No fix. It becomes apparent that space is needed but that kind of space scares you.  “People don’t usually come back from that kind of space…not to me, they don’t…” That’s part of the reason that you isolate yourself. This is the reason you don’t let them in. It’s always hurt so much to see them go because you knew that you weren’t getting them back. “They will understand, someday”, you say. But will they, really? You don’t believe in poetic justice and, with that being said, you can’t convince yourself that things will smoothe out. There is so much going on in your life though. You can’t despair. You won’t. No. Not like last time. You’ve developed thicker skin. However, you do start to wonder if all of this “thick skin” is turning you into a person that you won’t recognize, before long. You understand that you have to deal with the hurt. Not push it aside. Because it will fester. Mutate. Become something worse than what it is. So you stand, looking out of the window as the sun rises anew. On the precipice of a new day. And you hurt…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uuuugh…

I need to get something off of my chest. I’ve hit a wall. I am not very happy with my lack of forward movement. Actually, it’s not even really a wall. I put myself in a bad spot and so I have to act strategically in order to rid myself of the nuisance that currently plagues my existence. The catch is that I need to get back to doing things that I normally do, in order to feel that joy and happiness that fuels my positivity but to be able to feel those emotions I must maintain the focus that I currently have. Vicious cycle. I’m not enjoying myself in my current state and that could be due to a couple of things but more importantly than naming those reasons, I need to embrace this…malaise that seems to be tormenting me at present.

I’ve recently learned something about being in a negative emotional state, that I carry with me with every waking moment. Personally, when dealing with a sort of personal tragedy, the understanding that I cannot speed up the process of feeling better was an important discovery. Anger, sadness, woe, these are all emotions and as such I feel as though they need to be worked through over time. I’ve never heard of anyone trying to speed up the feeling of joy or any other positive sentiment. You ride the positive feeling all the way out, until there’s nothing left, and so when I feel a particular feeling that I deem as counter-productive to my positivity, I need to ride it out because there is nothing else that I can do about it. It’s a natural occurrence and by attempting to “put out the fire” I’m actually just delaying said process. So I had to make peace with that reality. The steps differ from person to person but the fact, in my mind, remains the same.

So here I am, on the precipice of a new emotion but still languishing in the throws of one that I don’t like so much. Taking everything one step at a time is uber necessary because looking too far ahead makes me feel like I will never get to where I’m attempting to go. So I will get some sleep and wake in the moment that is today. I’ll have my chia seeds and I will start thinking about whatever it is I dreamt about, the night before. And I will be annoyed and unhappy. But it will go away. Because I’m focused on the task that will lead to my happiness. One step at a time.

Appreciation

It’s a very elusive thing. It’s very difficult to take a moment and truly be grateful for anything, I believe. And don’t tell me that you always find a way to do it on Thanksgiving or on Christmas because I’m not going to believe you. I’m not talking about the days that are engineered for you to relive past events and be nostalgic, I’m talking about genuinely taking a moment in your life, devoid of any other activity, and actually realizing that you are a capable, intelligent, healthy, loved person and and actually soaking that moment up. My cousin Randy’s friend was gunned down in Brooklyn about a month ago. Gerard. I didn’t know him, never met the guy but based on all of the messages that I have seen since this happened, I feel like I got to know him a little bit. Seemingly a nice guy. A bit cocky, but when you live in Brooklyn you gotta have that every now and then. I can’t imagine what it must have been like in the last few seconds of his life. The realization that this is all about to be over and not knowing what lies ahead. The people that you’re never going to see again. The things that you never got to tell them just one last time. And the fear. The fear in that moment and how you wish that it was just a bad dream. I hurt for Gerard because it was not fair. Whatever instigated this retaliation couldn’t have been as bad as taking his life for it, but let me get back to why I’m writing this.

I know that you see mentions about appreciating the moment in magazines. You see interviews of celebrities and they’re saying it, and I’m sure a few commercials have mentioned it too, but I’m saying it in the context of family, friends, co-workers, whatever. They know that you care but if you were to die today, would you be content with leaving it that way? I try to let my people know that I love them as much as I can, even the people that I don’t know very well but that I enjoy, I tell them too. The people I don’t know very well find me weird for doing that but I don’t mind. It’s just something that I feel and so I act on it. I don’t know how long I’ll be around. Death, paralysis, and other things are all around the corner and you can work out as much as you want but if it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen and them weights ain’t gonna stop it. So take a moment. It doesn’t matter where you are. Whether you’re riding on the bus, stuck in traffic, heck, even if you’re on the toilet bowl, just realize that you could be in a much worse situation than you are in and just be happy about that. Be happy that you have whoever you have around you and be happy that they are kind to you. Be glad that your cat or your dog greets you when you get home and that they make your life so much better. Be glad that you can put on your headphones and listen to great music without any real problem. Just be glad, man.

Rest in Peace Gerard Grant.