They say your 20’s are when you find yourself. At 23 that is exactly where I’m at, an existential crisis, trying to find my direction, purpose and footing in the world. I don’t have many regrets, but my biggest one is not embracing my interests early. I never took school seriously, ever, I felt since there was no direct reward other than some grades, fuck it. My mentality was, even though I’m not into the whole school thing, I’m social, personable, let me make these days as fun as possible. I did. My high school and early college years are some of my best memories to date. I was working dead end jobs since I was 14, but I was making money and doing what I had to do to get by in school (C’s get degrees fam). Until I was 22, I never studied a day in my life. I thought I was fucking the system over because of my God given intelligence to get by in school without taking it seriously. I only really fucked myself. Had I taken older-head’s advice to stick with my writing abilities, embrace my intellect and really think about what I wanted to do early on, I wouldn’t be jammed up right now.
I went wrong around the time I was enrolling into college. I never put any thought into where I wanted to go (Nassau Community by default), or what I wanted my major to be, I just chose liberal arts, because “that’s how you save money, esepecially when you don’t know what you want to do yet”. But I did, I wanted to write, a journalist, especially regarding sports or music, my biggest passions to this day. I loved writing music, still do, but dreams are never worth striving for in the mind of a pessimist. Maybe I was just too logical of a person, looking at the odds against me, I couldn’t believe my dream as an artist or a song writer would come true. But I was 18, I thought I had a world of time ahead of me to make that decision, or that’s how I rationalized it. I didn’t have the balls to go for what I wanted at that point and let it slip. I didn’t want to really lock down into school, I didn’t even know how to. I wanted to get my associates, while still taking school as least serious as possible, just wanted to enjoy life, which is what I did with a blind eye. I eventually received my associates degree from Nassau community college in 2011, about a year late. So at this point, my resume is looking like “Custodian Job, stock clerk at a supermarket, and an associates degree in liberal arts”, none of which really reflect my potential or my real ability. Throughout this time I would have my ups and downs. Mostly up, because I was living a great life in one sense, as many friends as you’d want (which isn’t what its cracked up to be), partying, the whole nine. My downs would come, when reality would come in for a short stay to remind me about establishing some type of direction in life. I went through my fair share of bouts with depression as a result of over-thinking everything and a lack of belief in myself. Doubting myself, comes from the fact that I had a gift and a curse. A gift in the sense that anything I wanted, came to me naturally, didn’t have to work for much. If I wanted to get involved in sports, I was a decent athlete, no problem, writing and music was second nature, females never gave me much of an issue either, getting a job, just had to do a little talking. But it was a curse, because it gave me no work ethic. So when a challenge came my way, instead of taking it head on, I shot it down like “Fuck it, I don’t need to deal with this”, when I could have been building my character by challenging myself . Too scared to be shut down, or fail. What I’m learning now is that most of our reality and our biggest achievements are outside of our comfort zone. If you’re not willing to step up, you’re going to remain in the same place.
When I was transferring from Nassau, my head was on a little bit tighter than before. I was doing a little less drinking and partying and I was focused more on where I was going. I had gotten involved with my lady, Alexa, a few months before, and she really taught me a couple things about life, honestly. She was living on her own since she was 18, a single mom at 20, but a hustler. She didn’t complain much, just knew how to go out and get it, as long as the means didn’t violate her morals or principles, she was there. That intrigued and motivated me, because she had something I never had, real drive. I started to hustle a little more myself, making moves on my own, trying to better myself in any ways that I could. Save up a little more, resist the temptation to go out, or buy some Ralph shit. Quitting one job to go to one slightly better, less for the pay, but more to challenge myself in a completely different environment. I was taking more chances and taking on more challenges, but something was still missing. The missing piece was my vision of the future. I was building the confidence and getting more experience in the world, but I was still looking at jobs and side hustles, instead of a career. Even when I chose my major at my school Old Westbury, I wasn’t thinking much towards my future, but I was at least acting on my interest. I’m currently a Sociology major, with one semester left before I get my bachelors.I chose sociology, because I love looking into the depths of society, and how we got to where we are today. But I’m ready to be the fuck done with school and make full time money (5 and a half years of college, when I was supposed to be done last year). But I’m not trying to be a social worker or something like that. No offense to anyone who works a state, city, or government job, because it is pretty good money in the right gig and it is secure. But my dreams are bigger than normal 9 to 5’s , I don’t want to be alienated from myself, I want to be able to express my true interests and be able to be financially stable. But as the years go on, the window of opportunity closes inch by inch. So I try to get my little entrepreneur on, and find these little outlets to showcase my abilities (hence this blog). I’m also going to get into video editing, getting a vlog going and possibly studio engineering with my cousin, who has a load of experience in it. I’ve even been piecing together ideas for a couple of documentaries, and trying to see possible options for funding. One thing, that I have really kept with me from majoring in sociology is learning how to collect information, via interviews, which is something that could come in handy. I’ve got the first step down, believing in myself, now its about getting the right people to believe in me as well. I have to be my own salesmen and not be afraid to kick some doors down. But these are all just efforts to succeed in the work world, while keeping in touch with myself. I may just end up working a normal 9 to 5, but at the end of the day, I just want to be able to say I went for something else even if I failed. Just trying to prove something to myself, because I never had enough courage to even be that optimistic.
With the cost of living seemingly raising everyday in New York City, it gets stressful. Everyday I’m facing the question of my next move. It’s coming time for me to branch out, while I’m still trying to figure myself out. I also make the mistake of comparing myself to where my parents were at 23. My mom had already been moved out by the time she was 18, and my father was a hustler who had enough money to move into a house at 16, but eventually moved out at 24. To my credit, its a different world (and a bit more of an expensive one). I have my days when I’m a little bit more calm, but when I’m in thinking mode, all hell breaks loose. The jobs I wouldn’t mind being a part of, won’t take a look at me, because I don’t have a link into the company, and don’t have some of the necessary qualifications. But I’m not looking for sympathy, just a chance. I’m hungry, and what happens when you’re hungry for too long? you start eating at yourself, which is what is happening. It’s funny though, how your past comes to haunt you. I was always warned about that, “what you do now, will come back to you”, and it did. This is the product of not giving a fuck about anything but a good time. However, one thing is for sure, I’m going to make something out of myself. I might have made it a lot tougher on myself to get where I’m going, but shit, when I get there I’m going to have a lot more of a story and character than the people who had it handed to them.