As I sit and reflect on the year I’ve had, I honestly can say I’ve grown a lot, I’ve become more of the person I want to be and I’m proud of the man I’m becoming I’m very proud of myself
The egregious amount of stress I’ve placed on me over the past year had shot my anxiety into damn near full-blown depression and I didn’t know how to handle it 8 months ago. I still don’t. However, I’m managing it all while pursuing my dreams and fighting hard to be all I can be and it’s working one day at a time.
Here is a reflection on who I am in the past year
This whole year has been a vulnerable one.
Coming out of school, 2 degrees and knee-deep in debt. Making 200 a week from a dead-end job that had nothing to do with my career aspirations or goals. Struggling to figure things out. I did have a cushion, staying back home with my mother ( I still am 6 months later and don’t plan to move out for another year or so). I was struggling out the gate to find a respectable position with my two degrees.
I felt hopeless as if all the 7 years I spent away meant nothing.
Thinking back on those days, all the time I spent withering away. I swear I spent so much time trying to fit in when deep down I knew I was meant to stand out. Despite having the world around my screaming for me to be me. I was blinded by this fake concept of what that was supposed to be. I couldn’t see who I was because I tried to shrink to make others feel good around me. My own inferiority complex limited me in this capacity. I hated myself. I did t take care of myself. I was lazy, I still am. I spent long nights up staring at a ceiling drunk out of my mind trying to figure out why I couldn’t be more than what I thought I was
All along I was more than what I believed in. I couldn’t think it because I always thought that how I thunk wasn’t contributing to the situation. Now I’m realizing that I am the conversation. I am the situation and people should conform to me.
I was in that darkness. I was confused. I was scared to take leaps and feeling like I wasn’t meant for the greatness I am. Now I’m typing this with tears of joy, relentlessly pursuing my dreams and not allowing others fears to place weight on my wish to be all I can. One day at a time facing all the emotions in my way. Taking the falls. Enjoying the victories and being the fire that will scorch his own path
Throughout my whole life, I felt shunned for standing out. Being the smart weird kid that always said things that didn’t have anything to do with a subject. Well, I thought it did. I make odd connections that don’t always connect at first glance to other people. I’m a deep thinker. I always have been, always will be. I’ve always had so much to say but was scared because I struggled to put it together. I was afraid of being wrong, I always had to be right. That pressure I placed upon myself was because of the weight of expectations placed upon me at a young age. See, I was my family’s golden child. The 3rd of my grandmother’s children, I was expected to do so much, because people saw the powerful spark in me. For all my golden children, you know how that feels.
I was a giving, self-righteous fool that couldn’t do wrong, but I did wrong all the time. Consistently screwing up. And it weighed heavy on me. This on top of the pressure to just fit in and all the societal constrictions of being a young black man made me feel like if I fail what will my family think.
It pushed me, motivated me but it also added to my already existing anxiety.
And it came to one point where I. College I would drink myself to a
Sleep. I had a toxic relationship with alcohol. The happy feeling I got from it would cascade away all the pain away for the moment. Until it’s sister depressant burst through the door. Some nights I drank till I passed out. I hated waking up to the stories in the morning of how much of a fool I was acting. I was afraid to live because my uptight self was scared of messing up. I had to be perfect or not and I’m being that I would always mess up. The cycle was exhausting.
However, I’ve grown. And learned from all of that in the past year. I’ve accepted who I am as a person and learned to love my flaws. And embrace my failures. It’s strengthened as I’ve finally after all these years learned to love this skin I’m in.
See, I’ve never loved myself, and my desire to help others worked as a shield to avoid the sheer fact that I had no idea how to. I was too nice of a person. Always giving, people constantly taking from me then blaming me or attacking me when I cut them off. The guilt I carried with that got heavier with every breath.
The exhaustion I felt from trying to please others consumed me to a point that I lost myself In a terrible concoction of my own thoughts. This dark blend of self-hate and despair, I drank ever waning moment of my life.
And this desperation for some type of love forced me into bad decisions. I tried to save people to avoid the inner pain within myself. Meeting me in so many others trying to heal their wounds in order to avoid the gaping ones in my own heart. I learned a valuable lesson in the past few years.
Love, within oneself, can heal galaxies of people without even having to speak. I realized I didn’t need to actively try to help people. My actions speak loud enough through my individual work for me.
Now I do for me, I selfishly glide through the tailwinds of my life propelling me towards the horizon of my dreams and don’t look back on what was only moving forward. Because that’s all I can do. I May fall in this new journey but so long as I fall forward I can be satisfied
Now as I reflect, I’m not perfect, I never will be. I take criticism with a grain of salt, I’m less defensive and more receptive, I allow all opportunities to come my way as I confidently embrace my new calling in life. Not new, but more so it’s new in the sense that I’m accepting it.
As I end this year off, I am a black man, 25 with 2 degrees, pursuing a writing and education career. I don’t know what heights it will take me but I know I’m climbing. I know my writing will take me far. I can feel it in every fiber of my body.
Looking back on the year 8 months ago I was afraid I was taking. The wrong turn in life, 6 months ago I was drowning in a toxic job force. 2 months ago I was drowning in burn out feeling like I was going nowhere. Working at a dead-end job again, catering. I loved the people I worked with but I hated the job because it had no mobility and it wasn’t pushing me toward my dreams.
Now, I currently have 3 writing jobs, potentially 4. I work educating kids in new fun ways through the YMCA. They’re not where I want to be. However, it’s where I need to be right now. And I love being here. I’m still ambitious, seeking that big opportunity. Yet, I know it will come at the right time. His is my journey, the long, exhausting journey I’ve lived into a quarter-century and I’m glad to share it with you. I say this to inspire anyone thinking they aren’t progressing. It gets better. Life goes on. With perseverance and confidence life will find away. It’s not easy, nothing that’s worth it will be. The dark days will come, even when you’re shining. But as Nipsey said, it’s a marathon, and it continues. This is my marathon, and I’m running it with every breath I got. So I hope I motivate you. I hope you find your own self-love and purpose out of this. As I found mine.
I’ll be honest with you, I have fears, I have doubts, I’m constantly thinking about what can go wrong in this new journey. Even as I write at this moment, I fear I took a wrong turn. A degree in poli -sci and another in leadership. Pursuing a career in writing and journalism with little to no experience in the field because of how I limited myself inside and out?
However, all my life people have been believing in me and my craft. It wasn’t till a few years back that I started to believe in it myself. Now it’s manifesting itself each and every day. three writing jobs with a fourth on the way, one teaching me how to be a journalist. I’m betting on myself and my ability to connect to people in mass and interpersonally. I’m believing in myself and placing all my faith in my abilities. Forget experience or credentials. I KNOW what m purpose is and I’m going to do it. The only thing in my way is myself, and that’s no obstacle I haven’t conquered before. watch me fly, watch me work.
Now’s my time, It’s my day. 2020 is my year, and the next decade will be filled with progression and loving every moment of it.
As Confessions of a Hopeless creative prepares to hit your hearts and minds I hope you find the life in you through experiencing this life of mine.