Biggest Mistake In My Career

I was preparing for a high stakes job interview last week, and I came across a question that seemed difficult to answer at first:
What is the biggest mistake you made in your career, and how did you overcome it?
My career rap sheet has 5 years worth of experience (relatively short time), ranging from law firms to IT, event planning, and now even engineering.  When was there time for a HUGE mistake, and if there was one, how am I already over it by now?  I thought back on everything it took to get to where I am today and then the grim reality hit me like a pile of bricks. 
My biggest mistake was all in the beginning.  Deciding to get a degree in Political Science…what a hard pill to swallow…because while I was in school full-time I was working full-time in a law office for almost 4 years with one of the most wonderful teams I’ve ever worked with.  I thought I wanted to be a lawyer too, that my whole career would be shaped by a firm I was lucky enough to be a part of in the midst of extremely formative years of my life.  But it was during my last semester of college that I realized I didn’t want to pursue law – it was like my school beat any remaining passion for politics out of me by shoving it down my throat constantly (Poli Porn lol)…Too late to turn back now though. Now what?  I didn’t know…All I knew at this point were a bunch of things I didn’t want to do – and that folks, is where this post is going.
Knowing what you don’t want to do can be just as important as knowing what you want to do.
I quit my job and moved across the country without a real plan – I had savings and a determination to see what my newly earned degree and years at a law firm could get me.  In the past year alone I have since worked in 3 vastly different industries – and after probably 300 hours of serious reflection, job applications, reading about Masters programs, pouring over my resume, skills and so forth…I figured it out.  My dream is to become a Project Manager, first…famous stand-up comedian, second. 😉  I didn’t come to this answer overnight, but the only reason I got to it is because I pushed myself to try different things based on answers I found from looking inward.  All this is to say, if the answer isn’t obvious to you at first, or you feel like you’re not particularly passionate about anything…(cuz every millennial poster child will tell you to pursue what you love, but that might not always be the obvious or lucrative lifestyle answer)…Don’t worry.  If you know a bit about what you DON’T want to do with your life, you’re halfway there.
Oh, and to fully answer the interview question?  I overcame my mistake, by still using a degree I’m not passionate about as a stepping stone into a field I am passionate about. Not such a mistake after all, huh. No degree is a mistake as long as you know how to leverage that paper, sis!

Gemini Man

As a Will Smith fan, I expected Gemini Man to be good, but it was even better than that. The storyline seemed new and hard to predict, while also presenting interesting moral questions that made you connect with the characters. The visual effects are amazing, and the fight scenes literally had me on the edge of my seat. I can’t describe it, without feeling like I’m giving too much away, but it’s perfect for the times and worth the egregious price to see it in theaters. Gemini Man gets my vote, and is definitely “Relatable”.

Episode 144: Mommy Whistleblower

A lady turns her son in to the cops for allegedly plotting an attack on his school, another person gets shot by a cop minding their own business in their own home and the guys try to figure out why black people are “snitches” and white people “whistleblowers”.

PNV Jay – Glizzy 2

Kembe X – Voices

The B of the D

The old art of “The B of the D”, is something I think has long since been forgotten. Giving someone “the benefit of the doubt” is rare these days among a generation that fears rejection more than ever, rarely gives second chances (cancel culture), and is always posturing their nobility.

I think I’ve mentioned before that people are, the best “judge” of others, and the best “lawyer” for ourselves. Meaning, we can easily justify our own actions, thoughts, and behaviors, because we see our whole story; as opposed to others, who we judge based on a moment in time, and extrapolate as if that moment is an example of their lives.

Giving someone the benefit of the doubt, is making a conscious effort to reverse these roles. I often play devils advocate when talking to friends and family, because usually the party in question is not there to defend themselves. And not having any relation, I like to be as open as possible, to all motives and ideas that could be overlooked, unthought of, or ignored.

For example, if a friend came to me with advice about whether their spouse is cheating on them or not. I first assume the position that they enjoy each other and want to be together. So I might ask, why would they cheat? Then why do you think they are cheating, along with maybe some alternatives to explain the strange or insensitive behavior. In all honesty, I could be absolutely wrong, but it’s the “benefit”. If it someone they care about, why wouldn’t you give them that benefit? Without any actual proof or evidence, why would you default to a worse case scenario? Why not give them the grace of the best case scenario? In this way, I feel like I can manifest more positive energy. It’s the opposite of “ jumping to conclusions”. Whether their spouse is ultimately cheating or not, stewing in the worst case scenario or negative energy isn’t going to change the outcome or ease the passing of time until the real answer is revealed.

Here’s The Thing, the “B of the D” is allowing the future to stay in the future, while making the most of the present. It’s not letting the anxiety of the inevitable, overcome the actuality of the now. There are no victims when giving “the B of the D”. The BoTD is the grey area between black and white. And I like to think of that grey glass of water, as half full.

Top Boy

Top Boy is like if The Wire took place in London. It follows a group of friends that are clawing their way to become Top Boy on the block. The writing is incredible, along with the acting and soundtrack. Every episode is a story within itself that builds suspense, develops characters, and builds to the next. And maybe because I’m American, but something about their accents and slang make everything more interesting. Top Boy is “Relatable”, innit?!

Find Your Special

So I had this whole thing written out detailing how I met my father when I was 19 but I realized that most of it was for me. I’m 27 years old now and the whole experience still fucks with me but I’ll give you guys the Cliffs Notes version of what I learned from that experience so that maybe you can relate and get to know me a little better without rolling your eyes at the minutiae. I go a long way to get to my eventual point, which is basically that you have to find your “special”.

Like I said, I met my father when I was 19 years old and at the time I felt like I had to. My freshman/sophomore year of college was a wild, mixed period of both self-destruction and self-discovery. I was failing out of school, experimenting with drugs and alienating from people all in the name of “finding myself”, maaan. I felt at this point in my life, it was only right to get to know the other half of myself. After some Facebook sleuthing and a few direct messages to confirm key information, I found my father and he was willing to meet up where he lived in Ormond Beach, Florida.

 Now it’s highly unfair to put expectations on someone, it’s even more ridiculous to put expectations on a moment, but holy shit was it surreal. I thought I was just meeting my father but what I didn’t know and realize was that I had an entire other family. I had cousins and uncles who looked exactly like me, half-sisters, aunts, grandmas, dead grandpas, and I met them all (minus the dead g-pas of course). It was overwhelming, to say the least. My father didn’t have much to say. It felt like he was hiding behind his family and acting like the moment was so much that he couldn’t say anything. It just felt like he couldn’t wait for it to be over. I don’t know what he could have said though, really.

“I’m sorry I never fought to be a part of your life” might have been too on the button. 

I left bummed out. I had built this moment up from the first time I realized I didn’t know who my real father was (around 7 or 8 years old). I built this guy up in my head because I wanted to be that guy one day. I remember day dreaming as a kid that my father was this charismatic, rugged dude who couldn’t stay in one place for very long. Instead, I met a guy who lived in a house he rented from his brother near his hometown with three daughters and a baby mama whom he’s clearly not passionate about. He clearly wasn’t “living the dream”. It was depressing. I thought, “Will this be me?” It wasn’t a particularly bad life but it’s certainly not the pedestal I want to end up on. He seemed sad and unfulfilled. It’s not my intention to hurt anyone’s feelings but up until that point I had a lot of pride in who I was and who I thought I wasn’t going to turn in to. My mom was this strong, standup person, she certainly wouldn’t have procreated with a dud, would she? 

I think that’s why I’m pushing so hard against the status quo now. I want to pursue creative avenues not of the norm to avoid a life of silent desperation. I don’t think I’m “destined” to do great things but I would be lying if I said I don’t think I’m special enough to possibly do great things one day. I guess we all think we’re special but it’s the people who embrace it and believe it are the only ones who actually do anything with it. This meeting 8 years ago was a setback but I’m embracing my “special” more and more each day. 

I obviously have a lot more to flush out about this experience and things to confront concerning my daddy issues but it feels good to be honest on how I feel about someone who shouldn’t affect me one way or another anymore. I can let go of the resentment and anger. I can appreciate that this person gave me the gift of life by not squandering it with mediocrity and self loathing. I don’t have to repeat the cycle of misery and guilt of abandonment, and can instead be cognizant of my “special” and use that as fuel realize my full potential.