Here is the assessment that my friend did of me.
After meeting Catchingupat20 in a very strange setting, I found myself drawn to him for a host a reasons. After realizing that this young man was not the typical ATL trash, I decided to finally unveil that I, too majored in (BlANK). After hearing about Catchingupat20's desires and past summer experiences at MIT, I knew he was destined for not just greatness, but supreme excellence. A few conversations eventually allowed both Catchingupat20 and I to open up and exchange more freely our thoughts and ideas about each other, life, religion, politics, social issues, etc. Although we have a significant age difference, I value Catchingupat20's opinion (although sometimes a bit "rogue" in nature...) and look forward to having Catchingupat20 in my life for years to come.
When I first met Catchingupat20 it person, it became immediately clear to me that this young man was searching for something very deep. I could tell that Catchingupat20 was shut out, mainly by his own actions, from the joy of having an abundant and "full" collegiate experience...probably because he felt as if he did not fit in. I could tell that Catchingupat20 was a simple guy in terms of clothing selections, etc...but this did not mean he was unkept or unattractive. This self-imposed banishment has caused Catchingupat20 to feel as if he was a social outcast, when indeed, Catchingupat20 has not given his personal desires a chance to flourish and grow (as his academic success has). It probably doesnt help that Catchingupat20 sees himself as unattractive, unavailable, unwilling and non-committal to the "human" side of life. As a result, this man chooses to live a life that's extremely "robotic" in nature...reacting to personal issues only when absolutely necessary. This is no way to live.
It doesnt help that this young man already felt this way throughout his adolescent years, and now, these same issues are plaguing him in present-time. I also saw someone who was very sad deep down inside, and yearning to be accepted by the majority (what Catchingupat20 doesnt realize yet...and wont until years later, is that being accepted by the masses @ Morehouse at this day and age is probably NOT a good thing). I do not want him to suffer the consequences of not having a sounding board or guide to avoid years and years of unnecessary heartache. Therefore, I felt the need to intervene and assist this man in not choosing the rough side of the mountain. Its so obvious that Catchingupat20 is going to be fine in life- if only he believed this for himself and applied some experimental techniques into his daily routine to "get better" at the things he wants from life.
I want to help Catchingupat20. My prayer is that this brother will heed my advice, learn and listen to others, realize that these are indeed the golden years where its completely ok to try new hairstyles, clothing styles, and things that (safely) strike your fancy...and modify the things that you want, but realize that its completely ok to be just who you are. Catchingupat20 should pray and meditate more and ask God for his divine love; it is only there that Catchingupat20 will be able to receive the full grace he's deserved to live out the "full live" he earnestly seeks.
I see him as a gentleman in the making. Catchingupat20 will need to exercise extreme patience and prove to himself, moreso than others, he is indeed an open individual. Learn to respect the differences and opinions of others- just dont exchange your soul and heart for things that are not true representatives of yourself. Catchingupat20 guards himself by hiding from the world and not sharing the joys of his personality and outspoken nature. He also views similar to "Steve Urkel" (a nerdy kinda character----what Catchingupat20 doesnt realize is that Steve also turned in STEPHAN....Catchingupat20 has so much potential to turn into a STEPHAN like character...once he defines what is comfortable and fitting for him). Everyone who has come into contact with Catchingupat20 knows he's a scholar; there is no need to fine tune this attribute or prove yourself. Your thirst for academics and quest for excellence is evident and you dont have to say a word about it. Catchingupat20 needs to MAINTAIN his scholarly ways, but exert the same level of energy and persistence from his academic success into remedying his own personal flaws and desires.
I am confident Catchingupat20 will succeed- but he must realize that you only live once. Restraining one's self is no way to live life....we must live each day as if it were our last. As black men, we must also realize that no one, including those who look like we do, is going to give us anything. That includes hoping/wishing/praying for friends to find you. You must define what you want, and you must go for it with God's love at your side. As the great Benjamin Mays once said, "Low aim, not failure, is sin".
I felt bad that I hadn't put quite as much into my assessment of him. As he describes me as sometimes "robotic," I wrote a much more impartial assessment of him, borderline ruthless. I wasn't trying to be mean or deliberately hurt his feelings, but he said I assessed him like a "cold, IRS agent would audit a business." Ouch. Well, I did it to the best of my ability :)
I agree with many of the points he made concerning the lack of self confidence and inhibition from new experiences. I don't know where that rogue comment came from, I am if anything, cautious, especially in talking to other people about themselves. I feel like he was projecting some of his own qualities back onto me. For his privacy, I left out a large part of this where he talked about his own dark experiences in the past, and he has had a very unique experience. My own life aside, I am grateful that I did not have to go through many of the things that he did, and partially jealous for the same reasons. Often, the age gap between us makes it hard for me to really evaluate him, yet I generally feel more comfortable talking to him than people in my own cohort or whatever. That has always been the case for me. I can play and get along with kids, I can converse fine with adults, but I cower around people my own age. I don't know why that is. I was the only cousin born in my age group in the family (between 1985 and 1991, I was the baby), so I had to learn to get along with people older and younger than I am.
The weather in LA has been disappointing lately. This week it has been rainier and COLDER than Atlanta's winter, and now my cousin, OLDGIRL, tells me that it is in the low 70s out there. Weird twist of fate I guess. She is going to be coming out here soon and I have to figure out what to get her for Christmas (I pulled her name in the family's Secret Santa). She loves Betty Boop stuff, so I will probably get her a purse with the cartoon insignia or something cool Downtown. She has been talking about mounting her guitar, and since I leave to go back before she does, I could stop by Lowe's and get some slats to put in on the wall. For PRIVATEPLAN, I think I will get a joke gift, like a certificate to Victoria Secret or something haha. For BIGGIERICH, I am getting him a one month membership to a wine of the month club. Everybody else I already have covered.
Positivity. It's a frame of mind. It's so easy to drift and wallow in cynicism and sarcasm, that I don't even know how to be happy. I think PRIVATEPLAN hit the mark in his assessment that I need to figure out what exactly I want: from myself, from others, from life. I read something today that asked, what idea/force/thing makes you get up in the morning? I think the fact that at school, I often had trouble getting up is proof enough on this one. I just don't know. Questions about life purpose stop me right in my tracks. Of course, I love cities, I love architecture, I love urban design and development. I love my family, and have made a handful of friends that I wouldn't trade for anything. I have to admit that none of that really excites me enough for me to swear by it as my wake up in the morning, life's purpose. I got up today, just to eat some of my mom's pancakes and walk her little dog. Baby steps. I'll make progress from there. Paso a paso, se va lejos.
Mood: Impatiently waiting for nothing at all
Listening: "My Babe" by Columbus Short playing Little Walter
Random Quote: "Yeah, Mr. Williams always asks about what Little Denzel is doing..." - Dad
My Response: Oh gosh, I don't really know about that. And if I could blush right now, I would /:-)