The Settlement

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Gabriel Garzon-Montano

“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.

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Stop. Chill. Relax.

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I, sometimes, think that we, as guys, need to chill. I won’t exclude myself from this. I have the opportunity to be in the vicinity of both sexes during my day-to-day and I will admit that Montreal has extremely beautiful women, but there needs to be some perspective acquired, and parameters established, here. I make it a habit to be aware of my surroundings, as much as I can be. In doing so, one of my favorite things to do is to spot an attractive person (Male or female) and observe the reactions of the people walking towards or driving past them. I do that because I find it interesting to see how little some folks can control themselves. I won’t speak too much on how women respond to seeing a handsome man, in this particular entry. I will talk about us. The men.

There is very rarely any acceptable reason for a man to ogle a woman as she enters his field of view, and then to maintain that unfortunate display until well after she exits it. I find that offensive and extremely unnecessary. No one has ever said that it is wrong to acknowledge the presence of someone that you believe is aesthetically pleasing, to you, but there have to be clear lines drawn. Too often, what I see us doing makes me just plain uncomfortable. And that’s just me, not even being really close to the situation. I simply couldn’t deal with that nonsense, if I were a woman. A friend of mine told me that, once, while she was in the train, a man pressed up against her from behind and refused to move, even though there was reasonably enough space for him to so. When I first heard that, I remembered being mortified. She continued on to say that she never yelled or screamed out because she was afraid of what might happen to her, at his hands. Very few men, again including myself, have ever had to think in that way which, I believe is a big part of why these types of behavioral patterns still exist. Some of us are truly hypocritical, in that sense. I hear, see, and generally experience men being overly protective of their sisters, mothers, and daughters, but as soon as the context has been modified, some of those morals, with regards to the “object of our infatuation”, are more loose and we, a lot of times, begin to objectify in ways that they would never condone. To be fair, a lot of these situations occur whilst the individual is completely unaware of his actions but, then again, other times, we’re in our right minds.Regardless, I still hold us accountable because I believe that it is imperative that we use our intellects at full capacity when these circumstances present themselves. These women are our friends, our co-workers, the people that, when interwoven within the fabric of our lives, make the tapestry that much richer. We need to remind ourselves of this. Always. My rule is this: If you see a beautiful person walking up to you, and you didn’t have to courage to say something to that person while they are in or around your milieu, forget it. Move on. Don’t stay there, gawking at them, as if you’re trying to undress them with your drool.

I know for a fact that I wouldn’t want any guy doing that to my mom. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t want anyone doing that to my sister. So I make it a point not to do that to any woman. I am aware that there are bigger things happening in the world, but I believe that, in continuing to be respectful in that way, I am making it easier for someone. At the very least. I have made my fair share of mistakes, with women. Whether it was saying something that shouldn’t have been said, or otherwise, I believe that I have been, and will continue to be, genuine in my attempts at atonement. This entry was not written with the intent to bash all men, because “all men” don’t do what I have been writing about. But a lot of us do and I just felt that I should present my thoughts on the subject. To all the respectful men, out there, I salute you.

Purple

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“Open your eyes” – Pusha T

The writing that I do is therapeutic because I don’t feel comfortable talking about a lot of what I write with the people that I am around. It isn’t because of them, it’s just me. I have trust issues. Ironically enough, I have created an outlet, online, for many of my hypotheses to be forever scrutinized by any and everyone. An amusing thought. The anonymity of the reader eases me. When I open my books and unscrew my fountain pen cap to write what is on my mind, or when I create these draft pages, the words begin to seep out like a crack in a dam. At first, there is no consistent flow to what I am attempting to convey but, before long, the minor leak gives way to a current that cannot be obstructed until the entirety of what has been contained has been set free. This is one of my dear elements. Through this release, I am able to find a momentary peace of mind. The pressure within the pipes returns to manageable levels. I am “in my head” a lot but it doesn’t paralyze me. I like being there. It’s my place to enjoy for myself. My notions, while they may sound complicated, in the manner that I document them, are not going to amaze the world in any real way. They are simply realizations that I have made of the world around me and the ways that I can help make it a better place for the people that I come into contact with. The thoughts are rich. Pliable. I catch myself smirking, at my own wild thoughts, sometimes, because it excites me to have made those intricate connections. Challenging the edges of my mind to create a new edge. I don’t know how long I will be able to claim this clarity so I must utilize it in order to open my heart to the world and allow them to see what I see. I am aware. I am beginning to extend my hand to you all. Because I know that I need you all. I am in the process of coming out of the shadows and exposing myself to the blinding light of vulnerability. These words are my truth. Described in the ways that I truly believe that they needed to be articulated.

Thank you for reading.

rANDom ThOughts in the ANTE MERiduM

I’ve been writing pretty consistently for the past seven months. None of what I’ve written is in here though. I don’t know why that is but as I type these words and these phrases come together I’ll have given you an answer. I hope.

 

It’s scary writing things out. It’s scary, to me, because there are no omissions to make when you’re writing to yourself. No lies or half truths. You’re verbalizing the mirror that you look at yourself with. Stripping yourself of every “build you up” compliment that anyone has ever given you, whether it’s the truth or they’re simply inflating your ego. You have got to deal with what you are. Do you like yourself? Yes? No? Why? Explain it. I gain a tremendous amount of clarity through writing. I feel as though I understand myself a bit more, but in the sense that I’m capable of so much that I really don’t know myself at all. I also develop a keen sense of awareness, regarding certain things. The moment that I’m writing in, the emotions that I feel while writing those words and the mental note of being in that situation, for future use. A lot of times, I wonder to myself “Why am I even writing these things on this blog? NOBODY CARES!! The point is kinda for people to care but, I mean, is it really? I do this for me, more than anything. Because I just don’t have a bunch of people I can go to and spill this to, and I feel as though I’m being more discreet in the sharing of said information by not bombarding anyone that doesn’t want to hear it. Let’s just omit the fact that the blog is on the internet.

I am no one and nothing, but not in a negative way. I am the balmy conditions that cause you to become restless in the ante. I am the sudden gust of cold wind that knocks you off of your feet in January.I am the stillness of the jungle.

 

I don’t do this for any recognition, I just want to talk to myself and be there for me when no one else can, through no fault of their own. The stuff I’m saying may not even resonate with you, but that’s okay. It’s great even. Good night.