Tag Archives: life

25

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For my 1990 babies, we’ve either arrived at 25 already or we’re approaching it soon, real soon. 25 is a monumental age and it comes with a lot of expectations. It’s kind of the end of an era in life: the post high-school, early twenties, “We could still fuck around” era. The window of flexibility is closing, but we’re still very much developing and finding ourselves, at least I’am. If you asked me where I’d be at 25, when I was 17, it wouldn’t necessarily be where I’m at. However, back then I wasn’t exactly a realist, I still had the luxury of time and dreamt more than I really planned for the future. I did achieve my bachelors degree this past year and I’ve had a couple of minor accomplishments along the way, but my more fulfilling victories are still in the making. There are still a couple of pivatol aspects of life to figure out but if life is just a manifestation of where your mind is, things are looking promising.

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Though I’m not in the space I’d like to be, career-wise or financially, I still find myself happy as a young man. I’m happy because I can truly say that I have a firm grip on who I’am as a person, I’m comfortable in my flaws and confident in my muscle. One of the biggest strength’s is knowing your weakness. Toxic relationships, non-fulfilling jobs, the college life, and a lot of the love around me, have all brought me closer to myself & has had a heavy hand in building my character. Whether it was depression bouts, insecurity or surrounding myself with bad energy, I’ve gained a true understanding and appreciation for the struggles of my late-teens and early twenties,  because I’m starting to see how it’s all contributing to this slightly dark but beautiful piece of art that I call my life. It’s either your demise or it builds you back, stronger, and I took the latter. I’ve gained faith thanks to the turbulence, which is something I always had a tough time coming to terms with. Having faith in the fact that the challenges I face are nothing more than minor-setbacks and character builders, has led to more patience & understanding, and less unnecessary weight & stress.

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I see the progression of some of the people around me, or those from my past, and it gives me a sense of motivation. Which represents growth for me and a 180 degree turn from the days when someone, my age, doing it bigger than me used to make me feel like lesser of a man. Instead of seeing it as “why isn’t that me”, it’s more of a salute and “see when I get there” mentality that I’ve grown into. It took some time for me to realize that nothing will set you back like constantly comparing yourself to the next man/woman, and thinking of “where you should’ve been in life by this point”. With a lighter head and less traffic in my mind, I’m able to really process jewels from my successful piers and old heads who’ve seen their share of ups and downs.

Opportunity and Career

I still have my darker days, of course, a better perspective can’t prevent that but it can help deal with the once-in-a-blue blues, more productively. In my 24th year, my responsibilities and sudden inconveniences caused money struggles, I’ve lost a couple people, I’ve had my resume denied by some great jobs, but contrary to my past ways, I keep on, keepin’ on because there’s really nothing else you can do. Check-to-check jobs and not attaining my dream opportunity (yet) have made me hungrier and gave me an admiration of life beyond money and status. But in my 25th year, it’s time for me to get this money and put the finishing touches on my vision, letting my potential come to fruition…To my fellow beloved born in the same year Bel Biv Devoe released “Poison”, keep a clear head and find your spot in this big-ass world…

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Sidebar: August 15th is my 25th

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The Drifter

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We learn from early on, whether it be through institutions such as school or just hanging out in the street, that there is an overpowering desire for most people to fit in. There are crews and circles all throughout our little world, made up of people with similar characteristics, sense of humor, or just generally the same interests. Then, there are the chameleon-like people who seemingly blend into any cipher, these are the drifters. The drifters are at all the gatherings from the underground club scene to a weekend out in Long Island somewhere. This type of person usually adapts well and has the ability to speak many languages depending on the setting. The drifter is on another level of intellect, where they can dumb it down or dress it up linguistically in relevance to the environment. You can imagine that the drifter is very personable, usually one of the more likable and popular people around, but there’s a deep complex and conflict among this esoteric group of people.

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The Complex

The drifter is a drifter for a reason. Though there is a favorable side to being this type of person and that side is easier to see on the surface than any of it’s cons. The less flaunted side of this individual is the side that struggles with their own identity, which is also why they’re seen among so many different types of people and in such a variety of surroundings. Though it may seem like these people just love to be around others, which is partially the case, they are also looking for a purpose, something that they truly belong and relate to. At times, I can enjoy leading the life of a drifter because I like to hang around in different places with different people, just to see the contrast of lifestyles and culture in other boroughs, neighborhoods and circles. Despite that, through all my travels I had my core group of friends, who shared the same taste in music, sports, females and style, which is something that a true drifter is still trying to establish. The irony or the complex in the life of he or she who drifts is that they are loved by so many, but often struggle with loving themselves, because they can’t find themselves. They are constantly trying to find comfort in being uncomfortable. For some drifters, the issue is not so much an identity crisis, as it is their standards and expectations of people. After weeks, months, or sometimes years of trying to truly connect with others, those who drift will eventually get bored with those relationships (or lack there of) and move on to their next endeavor. Their standards are rarely met, not because the bar is set so high but because of their own unique character and interest, which leads to a lot of cut ties and burnt bridges. I’ve seen bouts like this fought from close range. Whether it be family members or friends who left just as quick as they came, I’ve witnessed it and have even had my episodes of drifting when dealing with minor identity crisis’ previously. I’ve tried to keep in touch with distant friends of mine, who go through this, but obviously the communication was loose and it became increasingly tougher to keep up with someone whose life was always changing. But all the best, none the less fam. However, drifters are not loners, they may be distant relatives but they are not the same.

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The Loner Vs The Drifter

As I stated, these two types of people are in the same bloodline but there is a thin line that separates the two of them, which is expectation and acceptance of an identity. Let me explain. The drifter still expects to fit in, still expects to relate to people and not become bored by them, whereas the loner, who maybe evolved from being a drifter, expects zip-zero out of people and couldn’t really give a fuck less what people think of them or who they relate too. There is more of a footing for the loner, they have their identity, though we often attach a negative connotation to being a “loner”, some people are perfectly comfortable with it. The loner has accepted the fact that they are not some type of puzzle piece that eventually will fit perfectly somewhere and are cool with the few they keep at a distance and their own company (or with cats). On the other hand, the drifter is still conflicted, still believes that there is somewhere for them and still battle with certain insecurities. I don’t want to paint the picture of loner being this happily alone individual because some are not, but none the less, they have reached a level of acceptance with their identity that a drifter refuses to settle for.

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The Love Life Of A Drifter

Sometimes the only true love that develops in the life of a drifter, is the love of their ever-changing travels. Just as there is a struggle to relate in friendships and a tendency to become uninterested, the same usually goes for relationships on a romantic level. The drifter has a phobia of opening up and becoming close, because they rarely connect with people on a level deeper than the surface and have doubts seeded in the pit of their subconscious. Though some remain hopeful, hope starts to dwindle with every failed relationship. Those standards that are upheld also cause conflict when seeking that soul mate, often leading to substance-less dating and ultimately boredom (as usual). The uphill battle just gets steeper with every attempt that goes left. Nothing is long term, whether it be friends, “home” or love. The cycle continues…

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Retrospect In The Life of: Fuck it, Just Be Honest

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For relationship’s sake: People, including myself, have underestimated the power of being honest when it comes to our love life. There’s consequences of it, depending on what you may be hiding, but it speaks to your character as a person at the end of the day. If you truly love someone, don’t use that as an excuse NOT to tell them the truth out of fear of them leaving, but use that as your driving force to give them the truth, regardless of  how hurtful it may be. Trial and tribulation has now taught me that one. Keeping an ugly truth from someone in fear of how hurt they may become, is only prolonging the pain, making for a more severe build up, and ultimately a more severe verdict as to how the situation will be handled. Not to say honesty will free you from all of your crimes in love, but out of respect, out of character, and as testament to being a stand up person, you should be honest. People will argue, “Well, if they had respect in the first place, they wouldn’t have done what they did“, which is valid to an extent and is subjective to the individual relationship. This is where we separate mistakes from habits. Mistakes are unavoidable in a life with so much to learn, and you may fuck up more trying not to make a mistake, as opposed to just experiencing the relationship. If you make a mistake beyond the vision of your partner, when you’re not typically the type to snake around, it could’ve been an impulsive or emotional decision as a result of a bad fight (Still no excuse, keep your emotions in check). In this type of scenario, it may not go over lightly but eventually there’s a chance of reconciliation because of your track record. Plus, it’s a known fact that if they have to find out on their own, it strips you of even more credit than the mistake itself, and these things ALWAYS find their way back, that’s just the ways of the universe. Now, habits are untamed mistakes, that just become a way of life. No matter the honesty you may bring forth when admitting to your wrongs, if it’s done habitually, that’s where there is a blatant lack of conscience, and the sincerity of your “Sorry’s”, get put on trial. Every time you have to apologize for an act, the apology loses a little bit of it’s value. When you’re constantly showing evidence of uncontrolled behavior, being honest isn’t the real issue, it’s respect. Anyway, having the ability to be shamelessly honest regarding a mistake is life support to a couple in need. There’s no guarantee that the relationship lives or dies, but there is still hope, because they at least got the confession out of you, which speaks louder than you think.

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For Self: I’m speaking to the people like me on this one, the people who still maintain a conscience. Honesty regarding our relationship not only shows the other person a light in the dark but it also helps us, the offender, as a boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, and just as people in general. In situations where I haven’t been honest, it eats at me, to the point that it reveals itself through my body language. Guilt is one of the most brute forces in our psyche and is as relentless as someone you owe money too. This is one of the self inflicted casualties/consequences of being dishonest about something, where you can’t even hold, kiss, fuck or look your significant other in the eye the same way, deteriorating the quality of the relationship. You’ll end up wishing you told the truth in the first place, after realizing  the guilt and attacks of conscience aren’t worth harboring the devils that you’re keeping from someone who has been there for you, when no one else was. Before you know it, your mind is racing with a mixture of guilt, and even paranoia, as you can’t even fathom the thought of your other half, being just as untruthful as you. “What if they were keeping something from me, how would I deal with it?”, looking at it from the angle of the victim, makes everything a little more clear, and starts to infect your mind, wondering if they’re keeping something away from you just as easily as vice versa. See how this thing spiral’s out of control?. Just hold up your half of the bargain in a relationship, and keep your slate as clean as possible, this makes life a lot easier. Once again, there are a lot of people in today’s world, that this type of backlash doesn’t resonate with, as long as they pull an OJ Simpson and get away with it.  But for the rest of us, just being straight up, even when you’re across the foul line, pays off when you realize that you have absolutely NOTHING to hide. The feeling that there is no dirt to be dug, no lies to be uncovered and no secrets to haunt you, is the closest human-beings will ever feel to being invincible. Yeah, the fear is real when you know you fucked up, but when you keep it hidden you still have to look a person in the face everyday, who genuinely cares about you, that alone will break you down from the inside, out. Even when it’s the hardest thing to do, admit it, out of respect for them, and to free yourself.

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Good people lie too, it isn’t only the blatant whore, scumbags and snakes who will go behind your back and keep things from you. The only thing that separates the two types of people when they’re both lying, is intent. When the scum of society are lying , it’s usually for personal gain, to see how far they could take it, or to take advantage of someone who loves the shit out of them. When a person of better nature tries to cover up dirt, it’s usually out of fear from the backlash. Not justifying it either way, it’s just to draw the line, and show that everyone is capable of keeping a dark secret. Like I wrote earlier, mistakes are unavoidable, but at the same time you can keep them at a minimum by being conscious of your actions, regardless of the weed or liquor in your system (That’s a weak excuse, fam). On another note, when you feel like you’re about to cross that line, just picture them doing the same to you. In the worst case scenario, if you do make a bad decision, the only shot left is to at least be forward about it, whatever happens after that point, happens. It’s not a fun place to be, looking into the face of that person and telling them where you went wrong, but it’s even less fun when they bring it up to you. They say the stupid man never learns, the smart man learns from experience and the smartest man learns from others experiences, with that said, I had to learn this through my own mistakes, hopefully you could live life through me on this one and take my word for it. If you fuck up, own up, simple…

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Marriage: The start of a new beginning or the beginning of the end?

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Growing up, I always assumed marriage to be a great plateau in life, the ultimate marker of love. Not only because it’s so often painted as a fairy tale in a lot of mainstream entertainment, but because I saw it from the perspective of my parents. I rarely ever saw my parents fight, they remained affectionate and genuinely seem happy with each other, to this day. But with a sky rocketing rate of infidelity and divorce in the world around me, it became hard to ignore. I’m talking the world that wasn’t so distant from me, my parents were a rarity, even in my own family. Of my 3 uncles, and 4 Aunts, the majority have remarried within my lifetime. To add injury to insult, I’d converse with old heads, particularly late 30s to early 50’s year old men, who did nothing but complain about marriage and glorify their long time affairs or the convenience of hookers. Somewhere along the line, the majority’s distaste with marriage was no longer so taboo to talk about, to the point where people openly speak of walking to the alter in the same realm of walking to the electric chair. Getting married was once depicted as stepping into a vortex of a lifetime bond between you and your soul mate, now-a-days marriage is seen as a jail sentence, an inevitably unhappy joint venture, an Alex Rodriguez contract.

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What was once the highest level of romanticism, now seems to ruin a relationship, more often than it turns into “The Notebook”. I try to decipher where this negative context of marriage really comes from. The majority of the people who complain about being married had a choice, we don’t live in a culture of arranged marriage. Maybe some felt obligated or forced into marriage because of their significant other, a significant other who wanted to fit in with their friends or siblings, who were newlywed. Some people marry out of vulnerability or fear of being forever alone, only to realize they may have been better off choosing the latter. Some should of wore a rubber and maybe they wouldn’t have a bitching girlfriend using their soon-to-be child as a tool of negotiation for a ring. From the sadder end of the spectrum,  some may have genuinely believed they were sharing life with who they wanted to, and became exposed to the realities and routine of marriage or the hidden monster that became of their spouse. Certain men and women are great salesmen before the knot is tied (around your neck), painting themselves as the perfect partner, with an agenda. Once the ink is dry, the ring is on, the honey-moon seed is developing and they’re aware of the power they possess, they are now able to truly release. This is when the dictator, the verbally or sometimes physically abusive, sociopath chooses to show who they really are, how convenient. In the case of a woman being the monster, they may start rationing the box, might use it as a bargaining chip, or eventually may stop putting out all together. Most people in these situations usually aren’t willing to get divorced, due to expenses, a prenup or third parties (children), so they find other outlets. Let the ugliness, affairs, alcohol and misery ensue.

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From another angle, people may have hyped marriage to be something that it’s not. Relationships that you could just walk away from without lawyers and settlements, are always fun because of the freedom. You and your significant other go out on a regular basis, may drink a little (or a lot), smoke a little (or a quarter), party, just experience the lighthearted,  fun side of the life. This also creates an illusion, that even while sharing 365 days a year with the person and half of your property, things will remain the same. It eventually becomes boring for a lot of people, and just as routine as your 9 to 5 career. Routine or a regular pattern is scary for some. That’s when reality really hits, and you realize “this is the rest of my life”. Routine is usually the end for the dreamer, putting a limitation on what was once a world of limitless possibility. Some are content, because they love their routine, whether it be their marriage or their job, while others are just not built for it, and need something more spontaneous.On the other side of over-hyping, some women expect the man in their life to all of a sudden become Prince Charming the mind reader when he becomes an actual husband. Women romanticize the idea of a wedding and marriage from the time they’re little girls and often over-fantasize about it, setting unreal standards for the married life. This isn’t all the romantic-drama films you cried and smiled while watching, ladies, this is real life. Not to say you won’t stumble on a good man who will take good care of you, but understand that a few vows and an “I Do”, doesn’t necessarily turn your man into Hitch. Long story short, if you’re not in-tune with the reality of what married life is really like, you might want to do your homework before making a mess that makes other people pay for your lack of thought.

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Regardless of the reason, at least half of the married couples in this country end up divorced. That statistic doesn’t account for the thousands of miserable couples who stuck it out for whatever motive they may have had. That’s a lot of unhappiness. Our elders and even young adults our own age, will often criticize a lot of my generations free-sex thinkers for having multiple partners and a lack of substance in their love life. But if they don’t want to be married and they’re not necessarily hurting anyone else, or doing any home wrecking in the process, who are we to gage their happiness?. I’d rather someone live in that swinger sub-culture than see another miserable married couple. And as far as the miserable are concerned, there is no good excuse for staying in an unhappy situation. Most people’s defense will be their kids, and the effects divorce has on them. How about what a miserable household does to them?. When there’s a constant war between parents, statistics have shown that most of the children internalize the blame for it. This has also been shown to lead to way more defiance and rebellion, and will often transfer into their mentality regarding relationships. In all fairness, some do set out to have a relationship nothing like their parents, and grow to be happy, but not without enduring scars. Divorced parents can still set a positive standard for their kids, where as a constantly negative at home environment never could. Another defense of staying may be the expensive process of a divorce. It’s understandable, but ultimately you’re putting a price on your mental health, as well as pretty much wasting your life because of lawyer fees and a prenuptial agreement. Nothings worth leading a miserable existence when you only have one life to live.  All in all, you can avoid the bullshit by doing the knowledge, regarding who your partner really is, learning to see signs of a monster in the making, or understanding what marriage is all about, and taking everything into account. It’s ultimately up to the individual whether marriage marks a new beginning or the beginning of the end.

Sidebar: To make it clear, this blog was to show the popular negative context that married people put on the idea of marriage. This is not an anti-marriage piece, because as I stated in the last sentence happiness or misery in marriage is completely subjective to how well you understand marriage and your partner. Me, personally, I’m completely for the thought of two people sharing life together, as long as its positive…

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Double-Consciousness: The Duality of Social Networks and The Real World

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We’re in a time when people put more effort into their identity on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, than their personality and their individual in the real world. I’m not one of the people who think the world was a better place before cell phones, texting and social networks, because they’re all very useful and essential for the fast world we’re living in. But I do question what it’s doing to my people socially. It’s starting to feel like even the most outspoken people on social networks and in text messages, are some of the most socially awkward people in face to face conversation. There’s a lack of a balance between who we are in real life and who we are with a phone or computer screen between us and the rest of the world. We start believing that being successfully sociable and accepted online is enough, and forget about people skills, becoming as stiff as our default picture and only as vocal as the keyboard will let us be. In certain cases, people even believe themselves to be overnight celebrities, after writing a few things people agree with, or posting a picture with a filter on it getting them more attention than they ever did walking down the street.

To certain people, the more followers you have, or the more likes you get, the more you’re getting somewhere in life. That’s not necessarily true. If you’re marketing your product or trying to build a brand, then yes, the more attention you’re getting on these social networks may help you get going in the necessary direction. Realistically, most people aren’t using it as a marketing tool for anything but vanity, surface value shit.  I just got my check, let me cash it and post it on IG to show people I’m getting money. I just got these new red bottoms, or these new trues, let me flex a little. My baby father isn’t shit, let me post a status on Facebook, or rant on twitter about it. Some are damn near stand up comedians online, and just can’t deliver the joke the same way in a circle of people. All fine, you want to flaunt a little, or express something to your people online, cool, but don’t get lost in it. I’ve seen regular people transform into GQ models, Preachers and “Bad Bitches” after a few hundred followers and some attention on their posts. It’s okay to get a boost from the attention, but for your confidence as whole to be dependent on your likes, we have a problem. I have a story to tell. I went to high school with a girl, who I was always cordial with, she was a soft spoken, nice, genuinely good person. She was never ugly, she received a moderate amount of attention from guys, nothing crazy. Eventually Instagram came along a few years later and all of a sudden this humble girl has 100 plus likes, almost 2,000 followers, and I’m thinking “good for her”. But then I start hearing from her old friends, how they had a falling out for bullshit reasons and how she’s “changed” with no apparent drastic turn in her life. I’m thinking “all these females talk shit about each other, I can’t take one of their words over another”, I just couldn’t see THIS girl, acting arrogant. Then I ran into her in a club in Queens this past year, first time I’ve seen her in a year. The last time I saw her was at a house party, we caught up, shit was cool. Funny what a year and some likes will do. Now, She walks in the spot like she owns the place, on some celebrity shit. I see her say “Hello”, she gives a cold wave and keeps it moving. I don’t take it personal, just a shame that one day shes going to have to realize that likes and followers aren’t likely to pay her bills, or going to be there to console her when shes by herself. Just goes to show that attention could be the devil in the wrong hands, lol. Everyone has their own personalized story about someone like that.

Regardless of all the changes in the world, one thing still remains. Social skills, real world social skills, are a big part of moving forward in life. If you can text 3 paragraphs, you should be able to hold a conversation with more than one word answers and without making the other person feel like they’re talking to a wall. If you’re an intellectual on Facebook status’, you should be able to delve further into your logic when someone asks you about it on the street. If you have a bunch of thirst-bucket followers on Instagram, don’t get gassed. Becoming cocky off the strength of likes, only shows your lack of true self esteem. Don’t be a keyboard thug, if you know that you’re not that tough, people have actually been killed for typing the wrong comment on Facebook (shaking-my-fuckin’-head). Pay more attention to getting a degree, getting a job, getting paid, maintaining your relationships, growing and maturing as a person socially and individually. This social network shit is a nice escape, but for the majority of us, there is no future in it. There’s a harsh reality check in store for some of us.

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