I’ve learned that when it comes to talking to people about the the things that matter, the “hard hitting” questions, the “meat and potatoes”. Unless someone is aware of themselves or under the influence, they’re are not very forthcoming when it comes to personal information/details. It has taken me a long time to build what I think is enough self-confidence to hang my hat on. But over the years I got really good at dodging anything particularly personal and even better at getting people to open up about themselves and keeping the conversation off of me. Only recently, I’ve been having to actively try to open up more about me and be more vulnerable, to have more genuine experiences. But coming around that corner has helped me look back and have fun with catching people in the headlights of their “tru” questions. I say tru, cause I don’t really know. Who really does?! But being more comfortable in myself has helped me lean into asking people “realer” questions, because I feel like in some way I don’t have anything to hide and can wear it all on my sleeve. There’s an unspoken freedom in that. And it’s taken me a while to appreciate it and not feel like another average “black male misunderstood”. I think the point I’m really trying to make is sometimes it takes finesse to put smoke in a bottle. It’s a hard analogy to describe. But IYKYK. Sometimes you gotta take 3 rights to make a left. The bigger point. Bigger point??? Another point. Fair enough….Just continue to grow and be real with yourself and like Zack said, do some version of that “8 mile shit”. Wear it in your sleeve, own it. Take pride in your victories and know you are good enough. Also, am I a writer now?