October 6, 2019
Taking off from the heights of my career in aviation, in hindsight I was just getting started. With enough savings in the bank to write freely to the world full-time, no dollar amounted any security to ease the anxiety.
In a childhood film which released in 1992, the ending scene of Radio Flyer is the make-shift single engine aircraft taking off from a nearby hill-top of character’s Mike (Elijah Wood) and Bobby’s (Joseph Mazzello) home. The aircraft soon after would stall, leaving Bobby, the aviator, to call upon his watching brother Mike, for help.
The film inspired me to do the same; draw out a blueprint of a similar looking aircraft, find scrap wood, and discretely attempt to deconstruct my father’s Honda lawnmower.
He immediately ripped apart the cardboard rudder and duct taped tail I began with.
Asshole. (Or maybe I was…)
I’d soon write in my dear journal about the frustrations of not living up to my blueprint’s plan. I still go Doug Funny in my journal every morning and night, just so the anxiety of an uncertain writing future is cleared on paper.
Every so often, I look back to read how unnecessary my emotions get to me. It’s fueled me through days I wanted to give up and go back to work. Maybe I will, but I’d be working in vain, and smiling in disguise of a feeling that I don’t want to be here. I’m not saying I’d never go back to work, but at this stage in my personal development, I’ve accepted who I am, and what I stand for.
I’ve lived a life of emotional suicide. This was a decade ago. In my late teens, early twenties, I often woke up wishing I hadn’t—walked in hope someone would do it for me, and simply had a zero worth mentality. When I got happy, college, people, and society would remind me who I was.
A worthless black man. My mentality was broken.
When I finished college, I was still so depressed I skipped any efforts to walk across the stage. Even with the validation of education, it didn’t change me. I took off into the real world only to stall out from past dreaded emotions.
In the summer of 2013, my mom randomly gave me something. It was the journal she wrote in just days and months after I was born. It began with this:
“…he smiles so much that I believe he’s talking to angels”J.Kent
I read the journal for an entire summer, and smiled until I felt angels lift me out of depression. Soon I’d be able to smile back into the dark days when I wanted to die.
Like the Cox motors on Bobby’s aircraft’s wings, each word in my mother’s journal lifted me into the free writing spirit I’ve become today.
To show appreciation to my mother’s words, I ran the journal to the top of Portland’s Rocky Butte—a hilltop where I can see many smiles take off and land from runway 28 L at PDX airport. (Blurred in background)
To my number one reader, supporter, and first to donate to my GoFundMe campaign after all she’s done for me—mom, thank you.
My first book ends in an opportunity for readers to journal. Creatively written, for those creatively inspired.
Lastly I’ll mention, many people will opt out of helping. It’s not their obligation, nor is it their duty to care. Just be sure you’re not fucking up anyone’s lawnmower trying to fly out of trouble.
We sometimes need a struggle, or pressure. It’s how diamonds are made.