Saturday, January 2, 2016

The dream that was 2015

I dreamed in 2015. No, not that aspirational glide toward lofty heights and shiny "New Year, New Me" goals, but just floated through. I did a few rideshare rides (less than I let everybody think I do), I got stuck in my car going up an icy incline on Valentine's Day. I worked, or at least appeared to do so. I visited my family several times. I went on a few dates, but ultimately they did not amount to much.

This year felt like a haze, because I blocked myself. It's so easy not to try to do anything, to let things pile up, to make grand promises to yourself and others without delivering, to retreat. Then to see your peers go off and do great things, the endless scroll of self-congratulations via *insert social media platform*. I stopped knowing myself, and I didn't take the time to get reacquainted.

I had a vision coming out of grad school. I took a course in international housing markets and i loved it. It made me want to travel to Africa and get involved in the work going on down there, but that idea has stayed in the back of my mind for almost four years. I have barely budged on it. My inertia rests in the idea that it will be impossible for me to achieve anything through it. I know this is logically not true, but in my heart, that's what I believe.

I can't stay focused and its much more comfortable for me to sit and complain rather than actually take action and build toward things that may not come. That's the headspace I have sat in this year and much of the year prior. Career stalled, love life stalled, personal care stalled. I have become ok with being immobile. That has to end.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

We all have our one story. Mine has been complicated. Much of my life, I have see it through a negative lens, my glasses were dirt-stained and not rose-colored. I have spent much of my adolescence and 20s brooding. I was am "woe-is-me", anything bad that happened was expected but still bemoaned, anything good was random and undeserved. I can't tell where or how this line of thinking became the norm, but it did. It wore deep into my psyche, like the well worn path of a river through a canyon. Not loving myself became comfortable. Constantly comparing myself to the stereotypes of what I should be toward the black community and the gay community. I wasn't tall enough, I wasn't light enough, I wasn't man enough. My own personal shortcomings translated into my professional life. I became burnt out, opportunities may have been available, but I wasn't open to them. I was no longer progressing into something or someone better. I became static.

I can read through my past blog entries and all I can think is how much I really beat myself down. Years, I wasted so much energy wallowing in negativity, expecting the worse, not loving or accepting who I was and not attempting to put in the work to change. That has to end. I know that I'm ready to start doing more things. Despite my current terrible job and low pay, I got a decent education and something inside me tells me I can do more, be better. I don't know if its my ego, or something destructive, but I have always felt that I was meant to do something big with my life. Like, everything that I had experiences would lead to something. Nothing about who I see myself as should be mediocre.

I can't rewrite the story. Shit happened in the past. I missed out on things and people. I was lonely. I was sad. But I also made good friends. I had some brief, but nice romantic entanglements (tried to phrase this as well as possible lol) I can revise how I looked at the past. I can stop remembering only the bad parts, but the good parts as well. I can look and examine the sources of my anguish, much of which is self-inflicting, and I can work to let it go. I can put more faith in myself, believe that things will work out the way that they should. I won't operate on the assumption that they will not. I can accept who I am, but also work to build up the parts of myself that could stand to be better.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lean, Mean 2013

Lean, Mean for 2013

The obligatory new year's resolution post. It's a bit late ( OR REALLY LATE), but I was shuffling through deciding what I wanted to focus on this year. I mean, not even four months ago, I couldn't have told you where I would be at this point. I moved to a new city, started a new job. And I'm just beginning to confront many of the pressing challenges that have held a grip on my subconscious. I have many fears, things that creep through the back of my mind about the future. I have to hide behind glassy smiles and congratulatory eyes as friends tell me of jobs in London, acceptances to PhD programs, getting married, having babies - basically life is happening. I'm ready to see some changes in my own life. My proposals are for a lean and mean 2013. Ignoring the corny rhyme, this year has to see some things CHANGE for me. Years of hitting a wall in my social interactions, being trapped in my own thoughts and neurosis have not worked. Its going to be slow and difficult, but its time to dig out of this pit, so that I don't lose that which I have the most of at the moment: Time.

Here are 8 things I plan to focus on for this year. It might seem like a lot, but many are interrelated and will definitely help me focus from how my mind usually thinks through things.

1. Create a 5-year plan

I have so many ideas of what I can be doing with my life, made so many lists, brainstorming sheets, etc. It's time to set an action plan and take the leap of faith to make it happen.

2. Face the things that I fear/hate

The list of things that I have had an emotional response is staggering. Things that have plagued me since I was a child on the playground. It's time to own up, and realize they are not bigger than who I am or what I can be.

3. Cultivate old hobbies: writing, tennis, photography, drawing

I used to be pretty decent at all of these. Exploring these interests is a good way to reconnect back to the positive aspects of what I used to be.

5. Continue to grow, learn and expand in my field

Part of mastering your career means acting like a lifelong student. Reading articles, taking classes, presenting and lecturing on it, discussing it with colleagues, tackling challenging issues/questions within it -  these are what make you grow

6. Enhance my level of fitness: through diet and physical exercise

I have struggled with this for years. My relationship with food and my body always wavers between the initial excitement of a new routine and lost interest. Setting up a better plan to educate myself on recipes, exercise techniques is essential.

7. Network

I suck at this. It's painful, awkward, and scary for me. But if I want to be in a better position, if I want to grow, meet more interesting people, I have to do it.


Coffee, dinner, movie, museum, skating, plus more unconventional date ideas I haven't realized yet. This is what people do, right? lol Well, its what I want to do.

9. Learn 2 new languages

Spanish and French. Those are what I would like to focus on. Expand my realm of communication! Date a sexy Frenchman or Cubano! We we! Si si!

10. Develop my spiritual side

I have values, and a moral system. But I have struggled with finding a faith system that fits into how I have come to view the world. I want to explore different faiths, including the ones I have resisted for so long.

11. Foster stronger relationships with friends and acquaintances

I've been bad with forging and maintaining connections with people in the past. I tend to take a "me against the world" mindset, and await the moment when people's nefarious intentions reveal themselves. This is perhaps one of my greatest challenges

12. Have fun

Laughing, acting silly, smiling with reckless abandon. I have to find ways to increase the fun in my life and share that with others around me.

13. Write daily

Take time to reflect. Not stare at a screen (be it a cell phone, TV, or iPad) but actually sit down, put pen to place and be honest about how I feel.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Mr. Right List

I'm 23 years old. 23. Twenty Three. Meaning I am reaching middle age in gay years. LOL

I haven't been in a relationship. I haven't kissed somebody and felt butterflies. I've never held someone's hand and felt that warmth and energy tinge between our hands. I try not to, but I often begrudge my friends for the lurid stories of relationships, breakups, makeups and romantic getaways they have. I can't relate to their experiences. Of the sustained "relationships" I have had in my life, all ended badly or  on rocky terms. None lasted longer than 2 months.

In analyzing the why and how of my lackluster romantic life, I've talked to many close friends about the situation. They care and they've told me those platitides and polite answers that friends are supposed to say to spare your feelings " Your cute, your smart, your time will come, blah blah." The answers are appreciated and pique my confidence for a moment, but I know that I need more unbiased, biting critique into what I'm doing wrong. I am asking myself the questions about who I see myself as, and what qualities I want in my partner. I often have heard and seen the quote. That you can't wait for Mr. Right, you have to BE him first. So what qualities do I most want?

1. Intelligence
Lance Freeman, Associate Professor at Columbia's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, leading expert on gentrification

My Mr. Right will be smart, hopefully smarter than me. I don't mean to say that in a way that suggests I figure myself a genius. I don't. I have been humbled more than enough times to realize that. But I want somebody who challenges themselves and the people around them on an intellectual level. I want him hungry to know more about the world around him, think critically and have a unique and thoughtful opinion.

2. Handsome
Laz Alonzo, Actor (Jumping the Broom, Miracle at St. Anna)

Ok, I'll be real with you. Attraction is necessary. Having somebody who is somewhat easy on the eyes is important to me. I don't need a model or a Laz, but somebody with a striking face or a quality about him that makes him noticeable in a crowd is important. I want him to be somebody that I would be proud to walk into any room hand in hand, be it my parents living room, a gala function, or the neighborhood dive bar.

3. Quirky
Donald Glover, Comedian and Music Artist

He has to have some quirk. I like weirdness, it makes things interesting and sets you apart from the crowd. I don't need anybody who is the kind of weird that would have them on a show on TLC or anything, but enough that you have a different taste in music, or you have a slightly different style of dress. Maybe you enjoy watching Indian films, or are an experienced tap dancer, anything that is an unusual interest/quality that is an indelible part of what makes you you. A quirky man that owns his weirdness in a way that makes him fresh and unique.

4. Conscientious
Van Jones, Founder of Green-4-All and former White House Advisor

There are so many issues and concerns in the world, and I can't imagine myself with somebody that does not care about something beyond themselves and their family. I think a man that has great concern for his community over issues that extend far beyond his personal view is a very appealing quality, and proves he has heart.

5. Spiritual
Michael Beckwith, Pastor and New Age Spiritual Leader

Like India.Arie sings in "Ready to Love," I want a man who respects the spirit world. He doesn't need to be a Christian, but he should have values and core beliefs in a power greater than himself to guide him through his daily life. If he is a member of an established religion, I want him to be able to critically consider his faith, and be able to discuss it openly and freely with those that may not agree or find fault with it.

6. Passion
Lenny Kravitz, Musician and all around sexy MF

You gotta' have that extra something. In your eyes, or your smile. Your walk, or your words. Something in you should reveal an underlying energy and zest for life. I use passion here in a less obvious way (no I don't mean 'swag') This passion might reveal itself through your daily activities, your social life, your extra-curricular, or just in conversation at home. Some part of your life should have a burning light that shows the world just how alive and awake you are to it.

This list is far from perfect, but just a few things that I would notice and find appealing in a man, my Mr. Right. Some of them overlap, and some are less tangible than others. But I'll be able to recognize them when I meet him, that proverbial him. But, as I mentioned before, if I want these things, I have to BE these things.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Welcome to the Terrordome

That is one of my all-time favorite hip-hop songs. It's packed with energy, aggression and power and speaks to something deep within myself that rarely shows it's head in public. Gems like " dropping a bomb, brain game, intellectual Vietnam", "Most of my heroes don't appear on no stamp" and "It's weak to speak and blame somebody else when you destroy yourself" are like candy to my ears. The Terrordome to be conjures up a place of fear and isolation that exists in your own head. In this place you are in a mental prison, where resources are scarce and nothing is sacred or familiar. I often look out of my overpriced graduate housing window and imagine that I am in a terrordome. Often I don't even have the pluck to go downstairs and get something to eat, out of fear and laziness. I can think of no shelters, no safe places in Philly for me.

What is a safe space? For me it's a place where I can go and just be. Not feel like I am lurking there or that I can't stop for a minute to take a breath. In Atlanta, I had the townhouse, apartments of friends, my favorite restaurants, even parts of Morehouse were comfortable for me. Here, not so much. Is it my fault? Yeah, I must admit that. Again those coarse, ugly human frailties got me again. I have a lot to do. And blog, I know you know that. I always have a lot to do. What's different now is that I am the catalyst for where and how my life goes at this point. No college, no parents to answer to. I have to make decisions about what I value, how much work I want to put it, where I want to work, where I want to live --- and that is scary. It should be empowering, right? I mean, at this point I should be moving into a wider circle of friends, experience and knowledge to be able to rock through the rest of my twenties and solidify the person that I want to be.

I have a habit of perceiving the environment I am in as hostile. No matter how or what situation I find myself, I end up slightly hating the people around me, and believing the universe is conspiring against me, to thwart me so that I end up in some dire state. I'm so kind to myself, right? I do it because it's an easy way for me to rationalize why I feel I was slighted by fate. I could go on about the many things I see lacking in myself, the good things are not plain to me. But my perspective, my negative one, so colors how I experience the world, and I'm tired of wearing these glasses of blue (sorrow), black (despair), yellow (anxiety/irritation), and red (anger). I probably wear the black and yellow shades the most (Wiz!), and it gets tiring. Sometimes it's enough to make me want to break down and cry, which I did a few days ago.

I'm working through a transformation on how I see myself, the world, and my place within it. Although I am world's happier and more fulfilled than when I first started blogging, I have a long way to go. There are so many things I want to do and experience. I want to fall in love, I want people around me that rely on me and vice versa, great career, a nice home, travel abroad, etc … Things I want so badly for myself but I recognize won't come about if I don't get my act together. I can keep living in a fog to avoid these choices and decisions I have to make about my life. They are challenging, scary, but real. The longer I put them off means the longer I keep myself from growing into the person I am meant to be.

Ok, time to get back to work, but I will be musing more on this, as I prepare for my first appointment with a therapist here. Funny the appointment was made over a month ago, that's how "busy" they are here.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

I went to the rumbar event tonight. It's hosted by one of Philadelphia's few black gay socialites. And he's a nice enough guy. Always friendly and sociable. A good mix of people attend and it turned into a friendly, lively atmosphere.

I just wanted to leave. I had dressed up in my new clothes, but still had the same attitude. By 11 I was ready to go. I do t know how to crack that code of meeting people and getting to know then. Frankly drumming up and continuing conversation gets old. People love to talk about themselves, I get that. But sometimes I get tired of asking questions and fishing for ways to keep the conversation going.

I just wish I had somebody around for me, that was interested in me and saw something special and interesting in me. I know you have to do that for yourself, but I find myself hating the fact that nobody else seems to care. I think about how I don't have a support system here, and how I'm failing at the basic stuff.

It's selfish and lazy, but i just wish I didn't have to jump these hurdles. My personality and disposition never lend me any kind of social grace or charisma. People just see right through me. It's an uphill battle with everything in my life and it doesn't get easier. I'm just so tired of it all. Sick and tired. Where's my rainbow? When do I get my place in the sun? When do I have people around me that I love that love me back?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Well, my mind is a jumble right now, a lot going on. But I feel like I am finally getting my shit together. I feel energy and good things coming and I don't want to misstep.

Hopefully I'll keep a promise to myself and write something everyday. Since I love to get lost in my own dream world maybe this will be a good way to stay grounded