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.
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?
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.
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.
“Keep On Running”
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.
Amber – Nils Frahm
Press play and enjoy!
I am a mixture of emotions, below the surface of a stoic exterior… I could easily throw these individual feelings into categories that are all too familiar to us, but I believe that they deserve more respect than a mere assumption. My soul percolates, in search of what it all means, to me. “What are these feelings that I feel? They can’t all be the same 4 or 5 that I always hear about”. The complexity of that search is so enjoyable. It’s also one that requires time and patience, the latter of which I am trying to further cultivate. I liken the search, through the prism of my emotions, to the photography that I have been interested in, for years, by a man named Alan Jaras. Alan developed the technique of Lensless Photography using light, a camera body and a refractive object to form ‘Refractographs’ directly on to film. It’s his explanation of that technique that has my attention:
“I have always been fascinated in visualising the invisible. After a long career in industrial scientific research using optical and electron microscopy to image the microscopic world I now explore the strange and wonderful world of the refraction patterns of light. Working with glass, plastics and resins I capture these unique patterns formed by a single static beam of light after it passes through the complex transparent objects that I create.”
It sounds scientific and, undoubtedly, it is but there’s something beautiful in the way that he describes the light and the result of it, passing through the object that he creates. “Vizualizing the invisible”…Man, what a concept. I look inward, at the images that circulate through my subconscious, and I see layers. Layers of my mind and the different things that I can possibly be feeling. My thoughts are certainly less scientific than what Mr. Jaras explained but I want to understand the invisible, rather than “visualizing” it. Learning about those intricacies is such an adventure. The possibilities are endless and the results can, and will, affect your whole world. I am a mixture of emotions, below the surface of a stoic exterior…