February 17, 2018
Because humanity’s moral is subjective to any circumstance at hand, emotional intelligence is often ignored for satisfaction of acceptance.
I learned how to settle arguments easily when I learned common sense wasn’t so common, especially when looking racism in the eye. Imagine my unperfected thoughts against their unperfected thoughts. And these types of conversations are why 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. So, at my early adult stage I began to see the repercussions of certain things I was both attracted to and attracting to my life. We the people, who are darker than blue, can also be embarrassed by the popular trends of our hue. I walked away from a lot of ignorance and found myself attracting many moons of joy in people I never thought would be so. I also got rid of some weight in my life.
Especially when Erika Badu kept reminding me to get rid of all them damn bags – and she was right. 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 he was wrong about us.
Although I stopped wearing earrings and flashy jewelry long after the Vegas days, one other significant thing Las Vegas taught me about money is that it’s only a tool in someone’s life. 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.
Also, I didn’t want the recognition that came with that particular look – essentially for what it signified traditionally and the assumptions my father had of me for wearing it. Society’s perception of a black man wearing jewelry is another discussion, however, I began to dig much deeper into why I was wearing the jewelry. The attractions that earrings and jewelry brought to my life was not who I wanted to become. A lot of it was fake anyway.
At the time I wasn’t a dominant male as I aspired to be, but my U of O peers didn’t care because I was making the best friends that helped me through my most troubling times in life during college. And still today, I recall many of your familiar faces walking on campus that aspired me to be me. So, I began to follow a dream into another blissful atmosphere.
As a University of Oregon student, I was always reminded of the free access to the recreational center on campus – I started lifting weights randomly one day. I was off and on in the beginning but then one day I recalled Damo (Suh) a short while after high school, telling me I needed to get my weight up. Back then I didn’t care. However, something kept driving my attention and I was getting reminded of the free rec’ center membership I had.
I eventually followed Damo’s advice and lifted heavier each month. I basically started from zero. No routine at all, just bench pressed heavier and heavier and still until today – I did squats too by the way…
And sometime 5 or 6 years ago I started to follow in my father’s footsteps and began boxing. But I stuck with the heavy weights and I eventually reached my personal best on the bench in 2014 by lifting 2 reps at 330lbs. Meh…
I was always inspired by those who genuinely made it against all odds. And I’m aware that to a certain degree we all have ‘made it’ in one perspective, but if you know my father’s story you would understand the ‘making it’ against all odds starts way before someone is brought into the world.
So because my father was a God-Fearing man, my family was required to attend church every Sunday. And I did until I left for college. Maybe I didn’t respect my father’s fear for God until I got much older, but I figured now it was the strict religious lifestyle I had a challenge abiding with at the time. Because I always accepted the true and genuine rags to riches story over my father’s gospel story. And I never understood why a life of abundance was looked down upon in the church. Or maybe it was me and my precocious dreams…
So personally, I admired Jay Z’s story over my father’s spoken gospel despite the fact that my father was the one who raised me. However, Christianity will always be the foundation of my life’s story.
“Legacy, Legacy, Legacy, Legacy; Black excellence baby, you gon’ let ’em see,” Jay-Z in 4:44.
I’ve been exceptional in a handful of things I’ve set out to accomplish in the last couple years, so follow my wave. But more importantly it’s not something I bare to carry with me daily because I don’t really care anymore. However, it’ll always be a part of my story. And it shouldn’t define me at any given moment. This is the better part of my fluid compartmentalizing of life. I would never get away with trying to hold that weight while at work, blogging, boxing, and more importantly with my family.
Consider there’s a thin line between all the compartments in my life, as if it exists at all. Ideally, I’ll need to be the same genuine individual succeeding in life, as is seen in the eyes of the people that matter to me most. My persona may portray many different sides of whom I might be, but can you blame me?
Growing older now, I felt the need to validate my writing and journalism skills. I never figured writing would be the vehicle to a life I once desired through pipe dreams. And so, a few years back I had the opportunity to put it to the test. And one day at work, I got a call from our HR department in San Diego informing me that my heart felt, well written, and original piece on the acts of philanthropy around the world would be taking me to Guatemala, Mexico. That made me feel invisible – but only momentarily.
So… later that year I decided to do more international traveling. I saved up a few extra bucs’ working overtime and I booked a round trip flight to Reykjavik, Iceland. But before I left I realized I could get bored in Iceland, so I decided to extend the trip and I bought a one-way ticket to Manchester, United Kingdom. And considering Ryan Air is cheap, and I needed to get back to Reykjavik to head home, I bought a one-way ticket to Oslo, Norway. I was far from any familiar face but at least I didn’t care. I wasn’t traveling to get answers, I was trying to accommodate my blissful wonders.
The cost of travel is relevant because I travel often enough that it’s beneficial regardless of where money is allocated. I don’t see many alike faces in the airports, but I figured as a child that would be the case for me anyway. Do you recall what my grandma’ told me? Which clearly had no effect on me, and I’m also not a pilot for my own reasons, yet. If you read my first blog I published four years ago, you would know her apartment was the place I would ride my bike from to the airport, when I was 8 years old. But of course, I wouldn’t expect her to understand that. However, I’d be curious to know today, how happy she’d be if she saw how well I fared in the global aviation sector.
With costly travel I had to make a commitment to myself; with all the energy I make toward travel, it would benefit me long term. Not just for the memories, the Instagram photos, my blog site, or the recognition but also financially. Like my father used to say, “I got my too’s!”. He meant “tools”.
In many ways I also aspire to be the individual that carries on conversations around America’s “Superbug”, as Jay-Z referred to Mr. Trump on The Van Jones’ Show. Only because I have hope in today’s society. Thinking forward, what comes after the superbug? The exterminators and other blue-collar contract workers who fix dysruptions in our societies’ infrastructures that have order. And then you have the politicians (lawyers), doctors, and surgeons who fix dysruptions in humanity; this is the ecosystem that has order.
These are the people who take on the job’s most Americans don’t want to train and/or educate for.
Nonetheless, they’re the protesters, non-profit organizers, and community leaders that make Americans aware of today’s inequalities that are heavily routed from a misunderstanding of tradition and history. The anxiety I managed to concur would have never been done without the help of Leslie D. Gregory, PA-C; because none of my physicians prior to her identified my own internal dysruptions.
When I’m boxing I might aspire to be the world’s greatest, Muhammad Ali; as a face like mine can be more than just a fighting warrior but also a headstrong fighting warrior.
When I’m running at night I might aspire to be Floyd Mayweather; as a face like mine can run at 1AM and not be harassed.
When I’m lifting I might aspire to be Reggie Bush – I’ve never played in the NFL, but ignorance doesn’t know any better and you get the picture.
I realized that we live in a question and answer society, where most people are listening to respond to the answers rather than embrace them and stick with the original question. Essentially that’s what got us here in the first place. The questions often become irrelevant, and we forget why we are questioning it. That’s when people start seeing where in history things get lost in translation because like I said, a question can become irrelevant. Rarely does one care to ask again, and again, and once more for clarification.
I began writing this piece last summer in 2017, but I got busy this past 6 months transitioning my career into aviation, so it just happens to be black history month that I finally have the time to finish it.
And by the way, transitioning my career into aviation was one of my most affirming transitions in life – but for that story, that bridge, I’ll share at another time.
I share this story, because through many channels my successful idols have encouraged me to do so. I found it all too common that a face like mine is assumed a lazy boy, thug, athlete, lost kid, or weak. Which has worked out perfect for me because now I’m assumed to be the complete opposite of everything I just mentioned. Yet for the most part, I am only the communities my journey has grown to attract. I’m also the people that I appreciate every day, whom are many of you who’ve made it this far reading my blog. So, I encourage you to share my story as you are a part of it as well.
I also tell my stories for cultural perspective. Although it may not matter 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, they can at least be aware of my story so that it’s not rare to hear of a face like mine to be where I’m at in life. So, I’d like to avoid the stigma, because that’s typically what has followed in my past. And you can consider @VehicleDigest.net my bridge.
I could go on, but I share my stories to show how blissful ignorance can build a bridge that represents stories of a past lifetime. And that’s how I came to be me.
And to Self; who knows he’s a beautiful person. Not because of my darker skin tone or lifestyle, but because I’ve always known I’m beautiful. I just happen to be beautifully darker than some of you.