Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Change Gonna Come...(Anniversary of A View From Paris)

When I first started this blog, I didn't quite know what I wanted to get from it. I knew I wanted it to be an outlet for me to get my opinions and thoughts out. A place where I could riff about sports, political issues and at rare times of personal waywardness, a place to vent. Kind of like now. This is probably the most random, but introspective thing I've written in a long time. Since I no longer have Facebook, Twitter or any other form of social media, that means I have no way to promote this so God knows who's actually going to read it.

I think sometimes in life I don't take time to take stock in what I have. Like most people, I tend to focus a bit too greatly on the things I no longer possess than appreciate the many things I still have or have been given. It's hard to do that in life sometimes. To show thanks for the little things. The little moments and little gifts that God (or whatever you believe) chooses to give us. I'd say that's one of my biggest flaws as a man. An acute inability at times to recognize just how truly blessed I am.

After having spent just over a year in Los Angeles, California I've experienced a lot. As a struggling writer, I spend most of my days lost in fantasy world I'm creating on my MacBook. Crafting characters and worlds, trying to escape the depressions of my own life. Trying to write that next great story that'll make me a millionaire. But as anyone will tell you that's a creative person, it's hard to escape your reality if your said reality has the weight of two full sized F-150s. That's the price of being a writer. The soul crashing self-doubt and countless failures one must endure for so few moments of success. And that's what I ask myself at times... Is it all worth it?

In this year, I've been lucky enough to eat, (most days, there were a couple I didn't, but that was very few and far in between) sleep in an apartment and work in my field of choice. Far better circumstances than a lot of my peers from college, so I'm thankful. I didn't lose any family or close friends and save for getting stabbed (too long of a story to tell), I've had my health. Besides that, I got a chance to get close to my oldest brother Zeph. So often people see us interact never knowing we hadn't talked or seen each other in over ten years. Not from malice or ill will but from growing up in different homes. Funny how blood is a bond that ties us and helped us pick back up like we never skipped a beat. I can say he's one of the best friends I have and I'm thankful I have him in my life again.

On that same note of long lost siblings, after four years of no contact, I was able to spend a few months with my daughter Aaliyah and I actually got to see both my kids together at the same time. First time they had been together since 2008 in fact. What a joyous week of watching them play, fight, laugh and share moments together. Just get to be brother and sister again. It's honestly the highlight of my year. Weird to say, but I never thought that day would come.

The soul of a man is a deep and lonely place at times. We're taught to hold in our emotions. Not to cry, not to feel but to "suck it up" and be "tough". "Be a man", people say. I think it's why us men end up so broke up after heartbreak or lost. A lifetime of being taught to bottle our emotions causes us to fall apart when things go south. (End up listening to old Sam Cooke and Otis Redding songs, like I am at this very moment when writing this.) My father once told me a story of how his father never once told him, that he (Zeph Sr.) loved him (Zeph Jr, my father). "I understood and knew that he did love me, but he never said the words to me", my father said to me. As a point, my father always tells me he loves me after every phone call. No matter how long or brief the call, my father always tell me. It's one of the few things in life I can count on.

In the end, I've learn one sure thing about this thing we call "life". Sometimes, you can do all the right things. Love your fellow man, read the Bible, pray daily, help old ladies cross the street and STILL end up with a shitty existence. All the while, the biggest assholes or untalented hacks can end up rich beyond measure, drive the nicest cars, date the prettiest girls, live in the grandest homes and have the best luck. The sun shines on the just and unjust alike. That sometimes nothing you can do will change the fact that you are just meant to have the short end of the stick. But through it all you can't get bitter. You can't let things like jealously, anger or doubt consume you. You have to stay on your path, no matter how long or tough your path is. It's your path to walk and your "cross" to bear. I say all that say, life is not fair and no matter how unfair it is...It goes on. And with that said, next time back to sports. Thank you for reading... if you did.

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