Diana and I will travel and see new places and plan our futures together. I will support her in taking care of her family while being supportive in getting her into a completing PA school.
What is passion without soul? I’ve been thinking a lot lately about random stuff but one thought that has constantly repeated itself is my time management. One thing that is important to me is how much time I spend in my thoughts. Being able to understand what I have control over and what I do not, what I should let pass. Gaging how important an outsiders thought is. Also just as important what I feed my body, both in the food I eat and food of thought and knowledge.
Return of investment. Not really in a monetary sense but the return I receive from investing my time into my passion, myself, other people ect. Relationships are wonderful learning experiences but different people want different things in life. I cannot reach my goals investing time in friends that have goals that are polar opposites of my own. Also I must prepare myself for the changes that inevitably come from myself and from others. As harsh as this sounds, right here, right now… That’s what I believe.
I must also spend more time motivating myself and those who inspire me. What is art without soul? What is work without passion? Consistency… consistency is a MUST HAVE if I want to achieve what is my definition of success. As I narrow my goals and make them realistic and sensible for others to understand, I still dream BIG, however, I also understand the journey will not happen quickly. The more I network the more I become confident in my vision and my ability to achieve my goals.
I suppose if I sound selfish maybe it’s because at this point, I am. No one else will achieve my goals for me. I will stay focused. I will be consistent. I will invest in myself. I will invest in my passion. I will manage my time. I will put my SOUL in my work!
This feels different… This past weekend while spring cleaning I had an epiphany. Forced to think about life, and wondering what could I be doing better to achieve different results than the ones I was getting, I came up with a solution. The issue reached its peak Friday morning when I received a denial letter from the University of Washington’s iSchool for their mid career program. Obviously I was a bit angry and down, but realistically I definitely applied knowing I didn’t have the years expiereince they were looking for in a ”mid career” student. This is definitely not to say that I couldn’t hang with any other student in their program intellectually, or that my perspectives and experiences could not provide them with new outlooks. I knew I was taking a shot in the dark, and unfortunately I missed. At that point you can either stop shooting and go home, or you can continue to map out a way to make things happen.
What was my epiphany?
My epiphany was I don’t need anyone to validate my vision or my aspirations. Paying $30K+ for a piece of paper is not a down payment on happiness. In my opinion happiness is something we make happen for ourselves. There are things I could be doing NOW to get to where I ultimately want to be.
Furthermore, I started thinking more about identity, and how I’d been blogging my truths and my life under an alias in order to protect myself from those who wouldn’t agree, or take offense to my truths. Was I afraid to share? What would people think? What if I had gramatical errors? lol
I guess through my journey of finding out who I really am I became someone whom could care less about who found my gramatical mistakes, who was offended, and whom just didn’t agree.
Naturally when I separated my government name from my beliefs, it was for acceptance, thinking about the consequences if someone with power found my blog posts on social justice and discussions on race and fighint against institutional oppression? At the time I was unemployed, I just wanted to be someone a job would hire! Wow, how wack is that? I would be embarrassed but this is my truth and I KNOW that I am not the only one who was hiding.
Great women and men stand behind their words and their truths. They are students and life long learners able to admit what it is that they do not know. My goal is not to be famous, or even to change the world anymore. Today, my goal is to tell my story, tell my truth, express my opinions and find out more about myself. So today I merge my brand with my name and I stand behind my thoughts, my passions, my words, as a progressive and forward thinker. Yes, I still have a lot to learn, but who doesn’t? I predict I will use language that could offend, I will say things that may be incorrect or inaccurate, but I wont be the first and I am sure I won’t be the last.
Today I know who I am, and I know the power of my words, do you?
Oh how the time flies… I recently wrote a blog post, but before writing this one sadly I wasn’t sure if I had posted it… I did… This just means I haven’t been writing enough. Lately I’ve been working on a graduate school application trying to sum up my life in 7 very general questions that don’t seem to ask much about the person I have transformed into through life experiences I guess that’s life, we have to bend the rules in order to freely express ourselves and still manage to get what we want out of it.
I’ve been doing a decent job of sharing things that inspire me lately on this blog. Last night the Pharrell interview with Henry Rollins really inspired me. It made me feel like I wasn’t crazy. YES, I am not the only one who thinks that equality and justice should be common sense. We are far from perfect beings, but we are slowly moving in the direction of enlightenment.
I am trying to catch myself when blogging in order to find some sort of direction. Inspiration is always nice to find but often times the same things that I post that affect me can affect us all. From the recent Boston bombings to drone strikes. However, this is not a news blog.. If you want the news follow NPR or something, however I do my best to add my perspective on situations. Bloging to me is a form of art. Articulation to me is art. Being able to put together words is important to me, to tell your truth and deliver information. Factual or fiction its all in the delivery. My writing skills are not amazing, but its easier to freely right a blog and not care if it will be broken down and torn apart since there is little consequence for my opinion!
Insert Segway here…
The other day I sat back thinking about all the time I spent as an amateur Hip Hop artist. When I say amateur, I mean nobody really heard it, except for a few of my friends and my family. I thank them for their ears, their criticism, their support, their honesty, and for some their lies. Lol. Recording music was my way to express myself, even when expressing pure ignorance, I was telling my truth as I knew it. I look back on the enjoyment I received when a song was completed and ready to be shared and I remember how much I enjoyed those moments. At some point life got involved and I began to see that I was in too deep and what was once a hobby, and a way to express myself became open for interpretation by anyone who would listen. It changed from a hobby to me to a DREAM that I wanted, and the goal was less about therapy and more about trying to get paid. I’m not sure when that happened; I’m not sure when I realized it wasn’t feasible. One day I just stopped. I became a critic like everyone else examining and dissecting everyone else’s art. It sounds horrible but it’s the truth. Today, art is art to me. I have my opinions, but it’s like religion, your god may not be my god and I’m okay with that. You enjoy what you enjoy because of why you enjoy it. That’s all that matters to me. I will support the art that I enjoy and life will be okay for all of us. On the flip side I will defend the art that I like to the fullest if debates occur, and still think some art is GARBAGE (haha). It’s not that the art I like is better than what you like, but it’s like saying “I have the best mom.” She may not actually be THE best, but shes MY mom… so no doubt I will defend her honor.
I’m wrapping up this grad school app, still on my work out plan, still cooking, and not yet learning my Japanese. The days are going by faster and I’m determined to make the most of the extra day light we have. Stay focused.
http://www.hardknock.tv Exclusive in-depth interview with Scarface backstage at Paid Dues. Facemob talks to Nick Huff Barili about his writing process and ho…
Scarface will forever be one of my all time favorite Emcee’s.
I had a great conversation about identity with a Nigerian graduate student today. The conversation started because she had mentioned that the church she attends here in Seattle had been talking identity, and the significance and the importance of community. I told her that recently I had been thinking about my role in my community. How I am currently struggling to find a community to attach myself to as a young African American recent college graduate now living in Seattle. There is always the excuse of time, but nevertheless it’s personally something I am working on.
I told her that I had been reading Ronald Takaki’s: A Different Mirror lately and learning about the history of migration to America. Her next question to me was one that caught me off guard. Her question was, why are you reading this? And why do you think African Americans feel the need to always hold on and personalize past oppressions? She said she meant no disrespect by the question, but she had gotten in disagreements with friends when she asked them what good could come from it and why they could not just move forward. She felt like it was hurting African Americans more than it was helping them. Ironically I had discussed a similar conversation recently. I’ve been told that holding on to such oppression is a “slave mentality” and that thinking this way just proves furthermore that shackles have been placed on the brains of African Americans without us knowing it.
I am far from an expert in this subject and I can only speak from my opinions, my thoughts, my experiences, and my assumptions. I told her personally I was reading the book to learn more about the country I live in. Everything that I have read thus far have been events that I felt like I should have learned back in middle school. Yet truth is we were only taught surface level facts and white lies.
In my opinion African Americans as a race have been stripped of their connection and importance to this country and to the world through slavery. Slavery may have happened a little over a century ago but I explained to her for African American’s many of our families cannot trace our roots back further than the South.
Psychologically I feel as though this affects us in many different ways. There is a feeling from recent generations that they would rather be considered “black” and not “African” American because they do not consider themselves to actually be from Africa. While I am not one of the people who agrees with this sentiment, I am beginning to understand it. Stories of slavery were rarely passed down to African American families, furthermore the forced migration processes that took place from most of our ancestors was not discussed either. While we all know as a culture this was our contribution to America, most of us do not have specific details or know where our people migrated from before ending up in the south. Therefore, there is no direct connection. For many cultures who migrated to America, while there is still a loyalty to America as home; there is a since of cultural pride when it comes to their country of origin. African American’s are expected to be prideful to a continent they have no family connection too.
I hope I haven’t lost you, Digging even deeper into the subject we discussed travel and location. Things that many of us take for granted like thinking globally. What effect does having a family connection to an area outside of the United States have on a persons mindset. The urge to learn about these area’s, the urge to travel to these areas? Without this connection the bridge has been broken. Not every person has this urge, but I feel like as we get older and start to learn more about identity and discover, the information is a lot harder to come by for African Americans.
On a simpler note, how about the infatuation with “blocks” or hoods or geographical locations. While there is so much that plays into this, could this be a cry of wanting to feel a deeper belonging. Wanting to feel as though they are a part of something? Nevertheless this is their community. While there are China Towns, and Little Italy’s, and Little Japan’s or some sort of the same all around the United States that cultures take pride in, African American communities never get the credit deserved. They have been too often been reduced impoverished neighborhoods through illegal housing practices, corrupt business practices, and a drug infested communities. That’s a whole other conversation.
My conversation with this young lady was abruptly ended by an interruption. My last opinion was this, even as we strive everyday to be successful, for many African Americans it becomes a stressful journey when you look around and realize that the higher you climb up the latter in this country the less African Americans you see. That internalized oppression can be scary when you are treated like the exception to your race.
In writing this I have more questions than ever. Maybe looking to deeply into oppression is a bad thing. It can easily consume who you are as a person. Personally, I guess I am still in search of truth, and history. I feel a since of social responsibility to know things, and to be educated and speak from factual opinions. I don’t know everything there is to know about anything, but as long as there is information, and books readily available I feel that we have the opportunity to learn and educate ourselves.
Everything I’m not made me everything I am. Well it’s been about a month at my new position and I’m still happy. Things are pretty slow since students are now on Winter Vacation, but it has given me time to learn concepts and understand things before the real fun starts in January. Some big things are coming my way this Winter. My goal is to start a new gym membership in January and start waking up early at least 2 days a week to make this happen. Hopefully I will start an extended learning Japanese class January 8th where I can learn basic Japanese language and culture. The goal is to be a lot more dedicated than I am about learning the language now. I will also be starting a GRE prep course in February that will hopefully allow me to successfully apply for a Masters program. My goal is to obtain a Masters that will allow me to use Digital Media and Social Networking to progress social and criminal justice.
I’ve recently bought two new books read. The first will be The Five Love Languages. This book is all about communication and understanding in relationships. The second book is Total Money Makeover. This one is all about saving money! These are two things I think EVERYONE should work on. More importantly these are things that I need to work on.
Continuing to educate myself is definitely something that I feel is very important to me progressing in this world. While I know that this will require much more time and much more effort than I’m giving now, I also know that it will be well worth it!
My New Year resolution is COMMITMENT. As long as I can commit myself to my goals and not let anything stand in my way 2013 will be a great year. Living in America we are all given some form of opportunity that can significantly change our living situations no matter what cards we are dealt. Nothing is perfect but every day is a new day to progress. Keep working, keep your integrity and keep smiling.