Still, With Blissful Faces (Part 2)

Cont’d from With Blissful Faces…

February 17, 2018

Because humanity’s moral is subjective to the circumstances at hand, emotional intelligence is often ignored for the satisfaction of acceptance.

-I come up with a lot of sayings during my peace time 🙂

Learning to settle arguments after realizing common sense isn’t so common, I looked racism in the eye and envisioned my imperfected thoughts against others. These are the types of situations where you must be careful with whom you argue with, because people watching from a distance won’t be able to tell who’s the racist fool.

In my early twenties, I began seeing the repercussions of certain things I was both attracted to, and attracting into my life. We the people, who are darker than blue, can also be embarrassed by the popular trends of our hue. After walking away from much ignorance and finding myself attracted to many moons of joy in others, it was just that, I enjoyed simply watching the moon.

Which helped me get rid of the dead weight in my life.

Especially hearing Erika Badu remind me to get rid of all them damn bags…. Because I could never hurry up (in life). I kept missing my bus, with all them bags getting in my way, every day. Officer Durant himself of the LVPD reminded me of this in his very own way. But still wrong about a younger face of his, young and in its uncanny bliss.

Although I stopped wearing earrings and flashy jewelry long after the Vegas days, another significant thing Las Vegas taught me about money is that it’s only a tool, and you should value it the same way you value your time. If you’re wasting valuable time with people and things, you’ll likely be wasting your valuable money on people and things.

The attention that came with my flashy look was stigmatic—for what it signified traditionally and the assumptions my father had of me by wearing it. Society’s perception of a black man wearing jewelry is another discussion, however, it allowed me to dig much deeper into why I was wearing all that shit. What earrings and jewelry attracted into my life is the stigma America has created.

But a stigma I had to break. No one is the jewelry they wear, nor the means to getting it, but rather, well, that’s up to the jewelry wearer.

Although my U of O peers didn’t care, I wasn’t walking the path to becoming the aspiring male I envisioned being. Making the best of friends who all helped me through my most troubling times during college was all that mattered.

If you’re reading this and know me from Eugene, or Vegas’, I remember you, I remember everything….🙃(Unless we met blacked out drunk)

As a University of Oregon student, we had free access to the recreational center on campus; so, I started lifting weights randomly one day. Inconsistent in the beginning, I recalled what Damo (Suh) told me I needed to do to get my weight up. At the time I didn’t care. His words, however, kept driving my attention to the weights and I was reminded daily of the rec’ center membership.

I eventually followed his advice and lifted heavier each month. By simply showing up without a routine, I benched heavier and heavier until I said to myself, “Bruh, leg day much?”

After college I followed in my father’s footsteps and began boxing. Still sticking with the heavy weights, I reached my personal best on the bench in 2014 by lifting three reps at 330lbs.

2017 – Viewpoint on Top of Neahkahnie Mountain – Manzanita Oregon

Inspired by the underdogs, I’m aware that to a certain degree we’ve all ‘made it’ in one perspective. If you know my father’s story you’d understand the ‘making it’ against all odds starts way before someone is brought into the world as a fighter.

My father, being the God-Fearing man in our family, required us to attend church EVERY Sunday. I did until I left for college. Not that I didn’t respect my father’s fear for God, but damn, it was his strict religious lifestyle I had a challenge following. I found myself attracted to the true rags to riches stories over my father’s gospel glory. Which made me question why our church never accepted a life of abundance. It was looked down upon by many preachers, suppressing my dreams, creating guilt from listening to rappers, but hey, I get it, we each serve our own GOD.

Whether ‘it’ exists in your life or not—God by any means can be defined by your experience.

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“Legacy, Legacy, Legacy, Legacy; Black excellence baby, you gon’ let ’em see,”

-Jay-Z in 4:44.

Considering each thin line that separates my compartments of life; from work, school, hobbies, spiritual practices and family, the same individual I wake up as, is the same person I go to sleep to. Eliminating the idea of role playing in between, my anxiety was once in the idea of thinking I needed to be a different person throughout the day at work, school, partying, etc…

Today, you read a negro named Budd, Terrell, TK, T, T-Kane, Eggbert, T-Ras, or Harold’s main man….Call me how you’ve known me. That thin line fades with stigmas and anxiety.

In 2015, I wrote an essay on philanthropy and giving back to less fortunate indigenous communities. The essay was submitted to our HR, and amongst a few thousand essays received, I was selected to travel to Guatemala, making it the first time my writing put me on an airplane. It exposed me to more life, and gave me the opportunity to serve others under uncomfortable circumstances. <–Read more here

2015 AMN Healthcare/Helps International Mission Trip – Huehuetenango, Guatemala

Later that year I decided to do more international traveling. After saving up a few extra bucs’ working overtime, I booked a round trip flight to Reykjavik, Iceland. Before leaving, I realized I’d get bored in Iceland, so I decided to extend the trip by booking a one-way ticket to Manchester, United Kingdom. And considering Ryan Air is cheap as fuck, and I needed to get back to Reykjavik to fly home, I booked a one-way ticket to Oslo, Norway. Far from any familiar face of mines, I didn’t care. I wasn’t traveling to get answers, or attention, it’s sorta where blissful wonders have taken me.

With travel becoming an addiction, I had to make a commitment to myself; meaning it also needed to benefit me in the long run. Not just for the memories, Instagram photos, blogging or recognition, but financially. Like my father used to say, “go get my too’s…”

He meant ‘tools’.

So you’ll [soon] see me traveling back to these places dropping off my books at random places…

In many ways I aspire to be the individual who carries on conversations around America’s “Superbug”, as Jay-Z referred to Mr. Trump on The Van Jones’ Show. With hope and thinking forward, what comes after the superbug? The exterminators and other blue-collar contract workers who fix dysruptions in our societies’ infrastructures.

And then you have the politicians, lawyers, doctors, and surgeons who fix dysruptions in humanity—the ecosystem maintaining our moral orders.

These are also the people who take on the careers and job’s most Americans don’t care to train and/or educate for.

To think about it, who are these protesters, non-profit organizers, and community leaders that make Americans aware of today’s patterns of inequalities heavily routed from a misunderstanding of tradition and history?

Some of them play both roles. The anxiety I managed to overcome wouldn’t have been healed without Leslie; she was the only one who got me. After years of no physician figuring out my migraines or high blood pressure, she broke a pattern and took her time with me.

So that when boxing I can aspire to be the world’s greatest, Muhammad Ali; as a face like mine can be more than just a fighting warrior, but a headstrong speaking leader.

When running at night I can aspire to be Floyd Mayweather Jr; as a face like mine can run at 1AM and not be harassed.

When lifting, aspire to be Reggie Bush—ignorance doesn’t know any better, but do you get the picture?

Realizing we live in a question to answer society, most people are listening to respond to the questions rather than embrace them and focus on the answers. It’s what got us here in the first place. The questions often become numb, and we forget why we’re asking. Between then, actual solutions get lost in translation, while answers are ignored.

I share these stories because through the many channels of my successful idols, I’ve been encouraged to do so.

Today, I’m the most of each community my journey has grown to attract. By the people I’ve appreciated into this very word, including many of you making it this far reading my blog, I encourage you to share my story as you are a part of it as well.

For cultural perspective, and not that it matters to my colleagues that I’m an African-American male in the global aviation sector, but when I tell someone who doesn’t know me, where I’m from until where we meet, I made it to them happily. Voiding the stigmas and leaving behind my past.

Consider the place I write my bridge. It holds the stories of flowing rivers, helped crossed by a diverse group of people who inspire me to share them. It’s also your understanding that’s an extension to our vehicle of love. Which connects us through a beautiful experience alike. And if you’re confused, that’s okay, it’s what I first experienced when discovering my true self.

The next step is taking that first step into bliss, and there you unfold faith. Over time, each step transpires the bridge you become.

And then we’ll read your story, too.


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