The truth is there is no competition. This is only the mind. There is no me against you or you against me. There is no reason to compare scars or cross examine each other to see which one goes farther or does more. There is no reason to look at people, like say, me or the neighbor.
There is no reason to keep up with the Jones’s or see who has the bigger house or the better pool or the nicer car. The truth is there is no competition.
The weight of the wallet or the title of a job is not the measure of greatness. Educational competence does not always equal cultural competence and many times, educational competence has nothing to do with competence at all. Life is not always what we think it is.
Everyone knew when the lights came on it was time to go home. These nights were nothing like anything we would ever see again. We were living in the best moments of our lives and at the beginning chapters of what comes after young adulthood.
I remember these days both fondly and introspectively. I say fondly because yes, these were great times. There was always something going on; however, I say introspectively because I regard these moments as a timeline of travel. This is when life took on a new shape and speed. I swore I knew it all but then again, who doesn’t know it all when they’re young, resilient, and out of control.
Be advised, this is somewhat of a rant (but not really). By the time this post ends, I will have moved beyond the reason it began. Partly because I want to understand and partly because I believe we are all misunderstood; and partly because I want to improve, partly because I have memories of who I was and used to be an partly because I want to change the misperception of what we think or believe is the reason why I began this trip.
Early morning and I remember. It was summertime. The sky was blue and the world was still young to me. I was still young. I was also the one that always woke up early. Everyone else was asleep. Mom was upstairs. The Old Man was sleeping too. My brother Dave was asleep in his room and me, I was up already and outside in the backyard.
I have always found my town interesting during the early morning hours. The day has started but no one has ventured out. This was especially so on the weekends.
There is a reason behind everything we do. And I am sure of this. There is a science to us all and a pathology to our behavior that stems from an idea, a thought, a feeling, or a need to settle a discomfort.
We all have this. We all look for comfort. We want to feel better. We want to fit in. We want to be accepted, wanted, desired, and moreover, we all want to be soothed, consoled, and reassured. This is primal by the way. This is the piece of us looking for the warmth of the womb or the swaddle in the blanket.
There are stages in life which we all go through. We grow. We live and we learn. We apply ourselves in different ways until we find our place. This is where the science behind our behavior comes in.
I have a drawer filled with little keepsakes and mementos from friends I’ve gained along the way. I have a picture that was drawn of me while standing in front of a roomful of people at one of my empowerment classes.
I have a tie that someone bought for me, which is nothing like anything I would wear but still, I kept this.
I keep things like this because from whichever angle the gifts come from and from whomever remembered me enough to give me something, I see each of these gifts as tiny victories. I keep them because they mean something to me.
Out of anything I hear most, I often hear people comment, “So you like to write books?” which is something that always follows with the same idea.
“I should tell you my story,” and then people say things like, “I guarantee you it’ll be a bestseller!”
I’m sure it will be. The truth is we all have a story. Each and every one of us has a story to tell; whether dull or wild, unbelievable or uninteresting, we all have a story.
I am young now.
In fact, I am younger now than before because I choose to be.
I am a man by my own definition; therefore, I do not concern myself with the definition of others or concern myself with the pronouns someone else uses. I do not concern myself with the way someone else chooses to define me because above all things; I am me and no one else can say or sway any of this from ever being true.
And here we are, two days before the beginning of August in the year of all years, 2020. I am wondering though. I am wondering about the ideas and the dreams of like say, 30 years ago. The idea of the year 2020 itself was larger than life back then. But tell me, where are the flying cars?
What happened to the prototypes of what we thought our future would look like? Is this it, because as it stands now, somehow, I thought we would be further advanced than we really are
There is a longstanding idea that we are born several times and yet, we only die but once. I can say that I have been born in several ways. I can say that I have died several times, only to be born again and brought back to life.
I have seen amazing times. I have been to amazing places. I have taken the risk to stand up and be counted and oppositely, I have chosen to hide at times, both sheepishly and regretfully, because I was too afraid to try or risk the chance that I might just fail.
There is an entire world around me that is changing on a daily basis. Life is truly moving at the speed of light, and yet, no one notices the hour or the day or how quickly a moment can evaporate right before our very eyes. This is life, imperfect and sometimes unjust, but nevertheless, this is all we have. or, better yet, this is everything we have.