“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.”
On 1 January each year, we all want to start something new. It appears a universal trend, the New Year’s resolution. But to be honest, it is common for these resolutions to seem somewhat far-fetched. The realization or misfortune that life brings, in the course of our days, lead to deviations from these plans. I have struggled to spread optimism for years. I realize I am constantly looking for the positive, despite the negativity that occupies a quarter of my days. As if shrouded in a black veil, expectation darkens the door like a blown light bulb.
“But I hear it’s exhausting, you reckon.
“Oh! Yes, tell me about it, I’ve noticed it.”
Expectation leads to disappointment, and disappointment, which occurs when expectations are not met. But we will save that for later. Observe how negativity affects us. Yet another growing pain to which we must endure. None of us is free of the thoughts that distort our minds. A simple yield will only redirect us into ongoing traffic. It is imperative that we stay focused before we release the brake and accelerate. You know the experiences that we usually share. The child falls off his bicycle, scratches his knee, sheds a tear, it happens. Nevertheless, we hope the children will eventually get back on this bike and try again.
After all, there is no better feeling than a sense of accomplishment. It’s like the old saying: “If it doesn’t kill you, it only makes you stronger.” 2020 I was determined to try again. This would be the year in which I would pick up the remnants of a beaten life and start anew. I mean, that was the ultimate goal; that’s what was anticipated. I’m not going to beat a dead horse. Many of my thoughts are in each post on this page. Indeed, parts of my story can be traced in every line of poetry; in every verse I have penned. I mentioned that before, right? Trust me, there is more.
The Little Thing
“A truly strong person does not need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep”.
I consider myself to be a late bloomer. Most of what the average person may have gone through in the past, I experienced later. I am sure it was abundantly clear. But that’s okay; the key to positivity is to embrace this journey and make the most of it.
But I digress.
2019 will go down in history as a hell of a year, at least for me. This was the start of significant change. It started with a slight uptick into this 180. At one point, it seemed as though hope had arrived. When this car reached the top of the track, I had no idea what was ahead of me (or below). We were thrown into a new Year, 2020 was waiting and it had its own agenda. Well, this was far different from what most of us expected. This is the point where all our paths converge in the middle, but with all that has happened, this has taught me a powerful lesson.
To appreciate the little things more than that which we have no control over.
Lost: but Found
“Expectations were like fine pottery. The harder you held them, the more likely they were to crack”.
In 2020, we will be overwhelmed by one of the greatest threats since the pandemic influenza of 1918. Even after barely three weeks into the new year, we are still reeling from the aftermath of COVID-19 (Sars-CoV2). In hindsight, while the numbers continue to climb, and previous, strains mutate. Nations are making a valiant effort to produce enough vaccines to counter this pandemic.
Several instances of police brutality went viral. Systematic racism was brought to light on a monumental scale. That spotlight spread across the foreground like brush against grain. This unfortunately unmasks an additional conflict. One from within the infrastructure; civil discord. Dissensions ignite into a nation on fire. Peaceful protests dominated a continuation of the civil war, marking the parameters of a divided country. It has always been a dark truth that we want to hide. But whatever happens in the dark always comes to light. This has become even more apparent in the last 12 months. Really, it has been suppressed until the last few years. Let’s face it, it doesn’t matter which side of the spectrum you are on. For some, this is the reality we face on a daily basis. There is no reasonable justification for this if not all are considered equal. Apart from that, all those who lost their lives last year were the sons or daughters of someone. A father or mother, an uncle, an aunt, nieces and nephews, even grandparents. Occupation aside: Civilian, police, management consultant; EMT: it doesn’t matter. We are men and women first. Soldiers senselessly killed and disposed of like a defenseless animal on their last limb. As a person who prides himself on being cosmopolitan. It is hard not to feel physically bound and emotionally scarred by the idea. It is difficult to remain optimistic when the “why” does not offer an easy answer. And this even though the country is still in the midst of a global pandemic. Seriously, let’s let that sink. “Could things get any worse?” we asked. “Well, let’s recap”. Suffering ensues from insufficient funds. Business’s closed leaving norms like dining out and movie nights a thing of the past. The streets begin to resemble a barren wasteland of dystopian films. Simple freedoms have been stifled. Mask mandates and the concept of “social distancing.” Some fail to wear the damn thing. With insufficient consideration for the medical history of those who stand a few steps behind; in a queue at the grocery store. What’s actually going on? Because this: blows my mind. Let’s not forget those who were ostracized and attacked for trivial differences. #chinavirus or not. Read between the lines because a group should not be berated for another’s misinformed statements. When did a person’s appearance dictate anything but a reason to exist? Even I sensed the shockwave of this from a closet sized room in the Republic of Korea.
The narrowness meant that far too many of us were digging a rabbit hole. False prophecies and convictions would force us to lose our damned minds. All because: Nothing appears clear and nothing is ever certain. The presidential election began for the US, and this solidified a sizable divide among the American people. It pains me to acknowledge this, and you can agree or disagree; this: is reality. 1.9 million lost through a complex phenomenon whose origins remain unknown. Others are the result of fear, negligence or the abuse of power. The irony is we spend so much time picking each other apart; for what we lack, what we failed to do. Throwing obscenities back and forth through social media platforms; like darts to a board. We have failed to comprehend the biggest picture. The most obvious. We survived to behold another year in which others were not so fortunate. But dare I mention, we’re all in it together. “Well, is this living; you question?” That’s a reasonable question any rational person might ask. There is no simple answer. If you ask me, I’d say yes. Because living means accepting the journey and making the most of it. It comes with the good, the bad and any situation that leaves you indifferent.
2021 has only just begun. I won’t dare mention the spiral of events, that led to the chaos that occurred 6 Jan 2021. If you have no idea what I’m referring to, it’s hard to miss. It has been in conversation for a few days on all major network platforms and news channels. All I keep doing from my living room is what many people fall back on who lack the answers. #shakemyhead.
It’s funny, I used to tell myself that the world was the cause of most of my problems. I believed it. With age, I’ve realized the world in which “we” live: is the source of all our problems. What I mean is there is a world derived from fact. That which can mostly be accounted for. We also have our world which is subjective. This comprises an extensive list of factors. It is easily manipulated to fit our logic. Sociology taught me that how we view the world is a social construct, and our greatest adversary. It’s the ideas we let fester and multiply; like the virus we expect to eliminate. Like a Simpson’s rerun, call this a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s how we process and publish those thoughts. It’s our inability to empathize or promote sympathy for one another; and lack thereof. It stems from bigotry; the greed, the hatred we hold in our hearts. The reluctance, to do what’s right. It’s lacking personal accountability. The conflict we face both internally and externally. It’s a driving force that has shaped our past but more importantly dictates our future. Due to all this: we fail. We fail within our respective communities. We fail as a nation. Guess what? We
America is the land of the free, and home of the brave. We are often the greatest nation. If I can be frank. At this moment it is terribly difficult to believe.
“Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be”
Who’s never failed? If you say other than “I have”. I’ll tell you now, that is a lie. Sorry to disappoint you. Yes, we failed; but that is okay. Failure is one of the many. Necessary evils we experience. It is important to land a couple scrapes and bruises along the way. I like to think it builds character
So, what happens next? I don’t know. But for whatever reason, I’m optimistic. I foresee there will be a change; even if it’s gradual. Not from a change of leadership, not because a new party takes the seat. This has nothing to do with a new commander-in-chief. I believe like the American public, the people of this nation, are going to get it together. That takes time, that goes without saying, that’s okay. Are we looking at ourselves and wondering what the fuck we’re doing again? What can we do better and what should we do next? You know the story, Kid falls off the bike, scrapes their knee; but with time we hope the kid won’t quit. He or she will muster every ounce of courage, take a look at self and try again.
This is for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Vanessa Guillen, the millions who lost their fight due to Covid. To the officer and troop who paid the ultimate sacrifice and served honorably. To the love ones who grieve from their loss; I grieve for you. To those who inspired to fight for their beliefs. I hope that through your sacrifices we can work towards the better. It’s time for change. A new year a new direction; let’s talk about it. No really; #L3TST41kAB0UT1T.