Just show up…
Even if you envisioned this scene out of a movie; when the ‘hancho’ aviator emerges out from the passenger manifesto, jumping into the first captain’s seat of the cockpit and becoming the individual responsible for taking on the survival of others on board. Robert Hayes in the movie Airplane only compares because of my liking for the unruly scene. However, in modern society we wouldn’t want to show our sweat, because those around us might support our anxiety.
So, because my airship of comfort began to boil inside, something was afoot, hmm! Soon I had to jump into the captain’s seat of ‘self’ and take control. Meanwhile, holding the lives at stake; my ego and id. They had no choice but to stay on board. Meanwhile, I’m steering aggressively and falling hard – a free-falling rocket after reaching its quintessential heights in space.
From an individual’s outside perspective, free-falling seems reckless. As if the landing space is at random, maybe projected we’d hope. Also from that perspective, looking up at the rocket beginning to free fall is a bit of a downer. As we watch it rise up to the top, to heights of unknown environments that only science can describe, we embrace the peak as well from below in site. Soon it falls as if no moment thereafter will match said moments. But responsibly, after each blast off it’s main goal is to reach it’s quintessential height.
In the persona of spirituality, I walked with GOD on the biggest decision of my life. Navigating through my words in conversation to make the energy public to my leader – because who’d allow the fear of flying for a ‘Ted Striker’ end it all for the passengers on flight no. 209er.
Never let them see you sweat…!
Prior to this ‘exit’ conversation, it was the anxiety; the Howard Hughes within drawing up the next flying vehicle in my life, right on top of my corporate desk. I was OCD in the moments because my next plan is required to be perfect. So, the exit was imminent.
I reckoned that some individuals are not meant to work under a hierarchy of established rules led by robotic bosses, artificial stress and an 8-hour work persona. Today I leave that behind. But I’ll still be up in the air – just without the broken hearts left behind on the ground.
I plan to influence, navigate, and be the trusted individual going forward in the times of disturbance – for the people. George Clooney wouldn’t donate a ‘fuck’ because I’d be the one taking his severance packaged, and a recently laid off group of employees under my wing. His job was done once he’s up in the air, and so was his relationships.
I was willing to take the risk of failure, I was willing to fight vulnerability, and it seemed easy because I had a plan. Like the mental battlefield of words when I write, it can be a chaotic storm in my head yet the decency and orderly is imminent.
And there you read.
Eventually people are given a complex circumstance when they least expect it. I did many years ago and failed.
Recently I cried momentarily as my vision took over and the decision to disengage auto-pilot and go into the unpromising skies of freedom came to light. I spoke freely and confident about it. It’s now or lick the wounds later. I decided those wounds would be my very own learning scars for the world to hear about. Not another corporate wound, but you’ll hear about those eventually.
The idea was often lurking in the back of my head, but auto-pilot was easier. As changes were frequent under new leadership — I rolled with the punches for years . It seemed like the bigger the establishment, the more often change was implemented.
True navigators often want to disengage auto-pilot and fly free, now I’m freelance. But the rules of today’s society make it difficult. Maybe it’s money? Or, maybe it’s how we look at money? We don’t think about it enough, likely because our employers will always ensure we get on the ground safely and to the right baggage claim on time.
And because my writing once unexpectedly took me to Guatemala, Sky’s the Limit for me. I don’t ride that accomplishment any longer, because what have you done for me lately, Terrell?
One of my most fulfilling accomplishments of the mission trip wasn’t being selected to go or doing the work because that was for the indigenous people. My biggest accomplishment was when I let the navigator in me take over, and other people got to read about my experience. It was no longer about the corporation’s public partnerships or hands in the global community. I made it a part of my story and Guatemala was just the beginning. Despite my other successes that followed, it was validation and diversification at once. The gratification is what inspires me today.
The ‘fire’ behind this stems from many experiences, failures, and people. But that also depends on your definition of failure. The same HR that didn’t leave me an appropriate voicemail the day prior to my first day, also told me I’d be a one in a million Rockstar one day – but they fell off immediately way back in my story. The voicemail would’ve kept me from coming in on my first day.
Despite my credit being the hindrance of employment at one point in life, 4 years later I move forward in that respect by keeping the blueprint to my home under all the other appliances’ manuals. This is just above the hideaway stair case that goes downstairs into the studio I’m building. It’ll be complete in November, podcast going live mid December.
I didn’t get the call from HR, no one told me my background check didn’t pass due to my credit report being bad. Later that night, it didn’t matter – because no matter how shitty’ my credit was I didn’t agree with the score or the system. It didn’t paint the story of me, just the idea that I wasn’t financially a good boy.
My little cousin Zoe was born that same day – and somehow it inspired me to run home and be happy after seeing her enter the world having nothing to do with how cruel it can get. Knowing that one day she’ll be old enough to play in my home and I’ll tell her this story, everything that happened thereafter was God’s plan.
Failure is your decision.
Prior to all the above I had to navigate through 7 months of unemployment. I couldn’t afford anything, let alone the emotional baggage I claimed. I just needed someone’s w-2 to sign because I was navigating with baggage full of failures.
Who’d want to claim that?
And so today, my home looks nice – thanks to the Janney’s.
But what is it to you? I got a thousand other failures worse than the above. I’m thankful you’ve cared enough to read this far.
Like the Radio Flyer of my past, the jump off the cliff had to happen. The desire to influence and expose my dark skin amongst conversations of greater matters was now. I trust the people in this country have moved far along in the race realm, so they won’t always look at me like they looked at the Tuskegee Airmen. They were the first to disturb America’s expectations about black men. And many of my peers are not aware of that story.
If you decide to jump, have a plan that heads up North. They say the south is still being worked on but that’s also where a big part of my heart lives. My color isn’t the matter, but rather the representation of what we in society can achieve today.
The Tuskegee Airmen all swallowed great pride to position themselves above average. Meanwhile fighting for a country at the time who subconsciously ruled them less than human. Including the Tuskegee Airmen who made it in the face of unfairness, racism, cruel discipline and disrespect, I plan to succeed in this jump on their behalf. In memory of the many who jumped out of fear into death. Yet sadly death is what keeps life going, so I’ll keep it going for them.
The other option is to be dispatched – what’s a useless black man to society? I work hard out of fear. What’s a useless YOU?
Then ask yourself; what are you today within the circumstances – survivor, victim or navigator? I decided up, Aviator.