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.

Necessary?

Considering you’re reading this on one of your many devices, doing shit you don’t care about is unnecessary. I don’t mean the every day things e.g., brushing your teeth, doing the dishes, taking your baby for a walk- of course all of those are necessary activities. I think big life things, like what you do to make money, who you spend your time with and just overall how you spend your time is way more in your control than you think. Your boring/unfulfilling job, that partner that adds tension and anxiety, and the agony of you not chasing your passion day after day can go away quicker than a rat snap. That shit is unnecessary.

Sure, most of us need jobs to survive but not at the mental expense that most of us don’t even realize. I’ve always heard that a salary never made anyone rich and with almost 13 years of vastly different job experience, it’s starting to ring alarmingly true. My goal isn’t to be rich but instead to one day have personal satisfaction and piece of mind in knowing  that I am self-sustainable without burden on other people. This goal will never happen as long as I to pursue mid-level management at some company that doesn’t really care about me or what my goals are outside of said company. People think they have assurance and security at big, established firms but at the end of the day, they’re putting their futures in the hands of people who only see them as a box in a hierarchy connected by segmented lines. I think this reality for them deep down in their subconscious and comes out through PTA beefs, stamp collections and too many happy hours. That shit is sad and unnecessary.

People need people, that’s true. It’s also true that people can be your biggest downfall. We all have an archetype built in for people we meet in our life, even if we don’t realize it. We trust the doughy, well kept, fair-skinned mom type because of movies and maternal figures in our lives and are attracted to hour glass figured, high heeled women because of the same type of thing (movies and media). That kind of stuff creeps in with your partners as well. Physical attraction is a motherfucker because it can trick our brains in to thinking a person is good for us even though all signs point to the contrary. The bottom line is, if your partner doesn’t make you feel good about yourself or doesn’t make you a better person, ya dip. That shit is unnecessary.

Most (if not all) of what I’m saying has been said and harped on before but I know there’s at least one of you that needed to read these words today. I don’t think my blog post is going to change your life but it could be one more grain of sand tilting the scale towards making a decision to change…and I’ll take that. Just remember that the things you choose to do everyday and the people you choose to be around should lift you up and make you better. If not, ya dip. That shit is unnecessary.

It (Still) Takes a Village

 You see the title, we’ve all heard the phrase. “It takes a village” is an African idiom as old as time, but I think it’s idiotic that it only applies to children. Where did this “village” go? What happened to all the people to who used to pinch my cheeks and snitch on me to my mom? It was all good when I was a cute pup but now that doggy’s all grown up he has to hunt for his own kibble. I’ll stray away from the dramatics of the dog metaphor but after you reach a certain age, life gets rough (or ruff, hehe). Right around the time you grow out of your cuteness is when you need the village the most. You’re a preteen and your face is greasy, your voice is all over the place and you’re swatting boners away like a never-ending game of whack-a-mole. That’s when the village starts losing members…like a plague came through. Your adorable “kids say the darnedest things” moments become awkward silence and dads aren’t cool with you hanging out with their daughters unsupervised. Adults try to connect with you by reminiscing about their old days, which only embarrasses you and further pushes you away. Or they’re so scared or insecure to try to connect that they turn in to dicks. I don’t know, and I’m getting close to that 250 word count minimum that for some reason I imposed on The Relatable team.

The jizz of it is, long after we’re children, it STILL takes a village. However, the cool thing is that you can eventually hand pick your village. Pick your village wisely and remember the strong will outlast any plague.

 

P.s. – I thought the title and premise was sooo original before writing this and I googled “it still takes a village” about midway through and forced myself to try to finish. Really embracing the newly found credo, “Don’t Overthink Shit”. Boom. Godnight.

Racing to Red Lights

 

I got tailgated and passed by some guy on the road the other day. He was in a rush, seemed kind of pissed off and sped past me only to get stopped by a red light no more than two blocks ahead. He then proceeded to accelerate really fast off the line twice more before eventually seeing me creep up behind him at yet another red light. Each time got funnier and funnier until I realized we’re all that guy in a convertible Mustang sometimes, just racing to red lights.

We clock in on Monday and race to the Friday night red light. We set a goal to lose weight and stop working on ourselves when we get there. We binge watch the Sopranos only to have the series finale cut to black. I’m pissed. I’m sorry, I just finished it and feel as angry as convertible Mustang guy. The Sopranos debacle aside, I think people can relate to the feeling of revving up only to realize you’re going to have to brake hard because of the world around you. We may see people around us moving slower than we’d like and honk and act like a dick because we think it’s going to make them move faster, but it won’t. At the end of the day, the actions or inactions of people around you shouldn’t affect your mood, you should. We only get mad at other people when we realize that we’re the ones racing red lights.

 

Appreciate Suggestion

One of my favorite movies growing up was “Annie” (the 1982 version). You bet your bottom dollar I’m not afraid to admit it. Stop rolling your eyes. Don’t be a Ms. Hannigan, that shit was FIRE. I’d stay at my grandma’s house once a month and insist she put that and “The NeverEnding Story” on a loop. I was content. Fast forward 20 years later and I can’t appreciate shit. I mean, I appreciate things but I don’t ever reexamine them. Why can’t we do that as adults? I feel like when we were kids we could watch a movie over and over and over again but when we get older we think we get it the first time around. We think we understand someone’s art while we halfheartedly watch with phones in our hand. Maybe our brains are trying to cut through the bullshit. Maybe we’re not interested because we know it’s a waste of time or maybe we don’t care because we feel like we’ve seen it before. I know my brain does both of those things. Any time someone suggests a new show or movie to me, I’m very skeptical. I guess it depends on who has suggested it (especially if they’ve wasted my time before) but usually I can sniff out why I don’t like their suggestion within the first five or ten minutes. This is a mechanism designed to comfort my brain. By picking it apart, I allow myself a rationalize why it’s a waste of time and get back to what I know I think I like. That last sentence made total sense, believe me. I shit on people all the time for being in their communal echo chambers (the far right and the far left) when I live completely in my own.

I’ve gotten pretty far from Annie in this post. It’s starting to feel like “The Neverending Blog”. Bottom line is I’m going to start taking suggestions more seriously- sans phone in hand.

Sleep on It

I was trying to get this done before the melatonin started to hit. I think it’s too late. I Googled “Why is my brain in a fog” today and wasn’t surprised at the results. It was so obvious that I laughed out loud. I mean, obviously if you don’t get enough sleep and aren’t eating adequately, you tend to get a little spacey. It’s so funny to think about how smart I think I am and then when I actually examine my behaviors, they clearly aren’t those of an intelligent person. I don’t know. Melatonin gotta nilla* wafered, nawmeen? I’m out. I hope Kawhi and Drake get the win tonight. We’ll see in the morning.

 

*nilla– a term coined by the comedian Andrew Shultz close in meaning to the slang African-American “n-word” referring to one’s confidant or compadre

ie. “I was pulling out of work yesterday and this nilla in a turtleneck totally cut me off.”