Category Archives: Personal

Survival of the Fittest or The Softer Side of Me

Note, the following was one of many started but not finished pieces of writing I seem to have accumulated over the years.  I merely finished it recently.  This one I started over one year ago on 12/5/15 and can only guess what it was a response to.

Survival of the Fittest:

I’m not gonna lie, or try fronting.  Today got a little emotional for me.  Out of nowhere, I started to uncontrollably sob, the hysterical kind where after a minute or so, you realize how ridiculous you must look to anyone and everyone else if they could see you at that moment, and that thought makes you laugh, and you spending the remainder of your diva moment alternating uncontrollably between the two, until eventually it just stops out of the blue, for no apparent reason, and with as much advance notice and fanfare as it first came on with, which is none.

Maybe it finally got that snickers bar.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have this nasty habit of never allowing myself to feel proud or to be excited or to admit fear or many of the other basic emotional responses to various environmental stimuli.  I don’t know why I do this, or what it is I’m afraid of to where my instinctual response is to downplay my interest level or to not ever let on just how much something truly means to me, but it must somehow be tied into my survival as all instincts naturally are.  The only thing I do know is it often has the opposite effect in my life, stunting my growth as a person and alienating me from people and situations that I would otherwise stand to benefit from in the long run.

Maybe I’m afraid that by letting on the fact I’m excited about something will in some way influence the universe in delivering it to me or me to it, because there are many times I feel like the universe and fate, (if there even is such a thing), is out to get me.  It’s because those times I do show any outward exuberance towards something all I’m ever left with is a sense of disappointment when it doesn’t measure up, or deliver in the end, which it never does. 

Just Who Do You Think You Are?

After allowing myself to feel dejected for a while, I start to think to myself, who do I think I am to  have the audacity to feel I deserve anything from this world, from this life, from the universe? 

Such Hubris.

I am nothing, and no-one.

Nothing’s guaranteed except THIS very moment you’re currently living in, and even then the only thing you know is that this too will end, though you know not when.  Time is not a linear thing in this regard, all moments were not created equal, some last only an instant and some moments go on for longer like the energizer bunny.   How much of that is dependent on the individual, how much is by design, and how much would have happened the same way irrespective of who it happened to?

I’m not fooling anyone, am I?

What is it that makes me think not letting on about whether there exists a softer side of myself in any way makes me less vulnerable?  A soft underbelly is a soft underbelly, just ask Churchill.  The immobility this fear and these questions leaves me with cripples me, and leaves me paralyzed, at least from the brain down because my mind is constantly racing and working in overdrive, which acts as a counterweight to everything else about me.

The more effort it exerts, the less I’m able to do.   Classic cookie cutter example showing the pitfalls and dangers of overthinking, purely textbook.  In extreme cases, if left untreated, for long enough, a death of sorts is possible, even likely.

A slow and painful death, arduous to reach,  immobilized with fear, laying at the bottom of a kiddie pool slowly being filled with Piranha from the Amazon which would be easy enough for you to escape from if not for being paralyzed from the brain down.  All you would have to do, is stand up, step out, and voilà, crisis averted.

Instead, you just lie there, slowly dying from the inside out, one tiny bite at a time.  I know no physical pain remotely comparable to the psychic pain this causes and I wouldn’t ever wish it on another human being because it’s a pain I’m all too familiar with, having experienced it to some degree for my entire life, or at least as much of it as I can remember.

That’s what I get, for thinking the universe owes me jack diddly shit when it doesn’t, or maybe it does which is why that’s what I get and that’s another thought that terrifies the shit out of me.  What if I’m not nearly so good, or so decent, as I thought I was?

What if the universe has long since moved off of the gold standard, and the dollar, and now paid it’s bills using nothing but Karma?  How fucked would I be, would you be, would we all be? I’d be in debt up to my eyeballs either way and maybe that’s why my life has taken such twists and such turns as to make “move over murphy” become my new mantra?

I’m sure I’m not the only one this change in cosmic currency would affect in such a way either, because the universe, by it’s very name and definition, is universal.

You wanna talk about a global economic crisis; try that shit on for size; then we’ll talk.

Karma, yeah it can be a real motherfucker and it always has a funny way of coming back around and biting you right in the ass when you least suspect it.  But if that truly is the case, by that logic, to have the string of shitty luck I’ve had I must have done something truly horrific.

My whole life I’ve felt singled out, picked on, targeted, taken advantage of, or had shit started with me because for some apparent reason, one I’m unfamiliar with, I look like I make for an easy target or something.  Sometimes I catch myself searching for the sign or the target that must rest right between my shoulder blades and paints a bullseye upon my back when I stretch my arms, which I do often on account of my bad shoulder, to no avail.

Nothings there.

Maybe it’s the fact I don’t feel the need to puff out my chest, mark my territory, inflate my ego, or brag about how I’m the man in bed, in the head, or anywhere else (save work), and that was only because work was more about effort than anything.  If you wanted to get better, you would, if you didn’t, you wouldn’t.  Simple enough concept really, or so I thought.

Maybe it was my general stature which is small, or my demeanor which is and always has been of a much larger variety because I always try to carry myself well through this world (and sometimes I fail at it miserably), because I’ve always believed that while it may not be about the destination, how you undertake the journey matters, the way in which you go about getting there really fucking matters in the end.

In this belief, as with many others, I’m left feeling all alone in sticking to my guns and my morals and in all those things which I believe develop ones character in the long run it always feels like I’m the sole person standing up for myself, or for others in a room full of people sitting down on those things.  The only sane person in a world of insane people…now doesn’t that sound crazy?

At which point do I stop being the sane one? 

But I know I’m not crazy and I feel it in my heart that I’m not wrong either, that a lot of things that go on which people have conditioned themselves to accept are in fact wrong, in such a blatant way, and with such wanton disregard for the very basic principles of human decency that it serves as a damning condemnation of society today and begs the question whether we humans still have any decency left within us.

We should all be ashamed of ourselves, and I say with intentionality because while I may not subscribe to it, there is more that I could be doing to change it as well and therefore my own inaction makes me just as guilty as anyone else.

The only recourse which prevents me from adopting the cold and callous attitude of my immediate surroundings, and not to have already said, “fuck it, I take what comes next”, flipped the switch and turned the lights off for good, which I’ve already tried to do once (though that’s a different story for another time), is to adopt a devil may care attitude, and give off a general aloofness to the happenings of the world, both of which are just as much evolutionary adaptation as they are a conscious choice.

How else could I exist in a world so filled with hate, and with such reckless disregard for the wellbeing of others when I have so much love in my own heart and care more about others than I do myself?    

A major complication this presents me with, is the extremely small number of people I allow to get close enough to see me past a very superficial conception which, on account of my aforementioned defense mechanisms, and natural tendencies is at odds with the real me, and with my true self.

Due to my poor track record with those I have allowed to get close enough to hurt me, this path has now become littered with booby traps and other hazards and one must overcome obstacles which are daunting if nothing else.

Anyone in their right mind would rather have a family picnic in the middle of Korea’s demilitarized zone during the height of the tensions between the North and South, or would prefer an honest answer to the question about whether that dress makes them look fat or not, I know I would.

Needless to say, more often than not, my dinner plans consist of a standing reservation for one followed by light drinks, some quality time with me, myself, and I; maybe even dessert, we’ll see how everyone plays their cards first.

Judging by what I’ve seen from this world, I’m content with that, though sometimes even I get lonely and feel hopeless, and even I can only do that whole me against the world routine, carrying the world’s woes upon my back like Atlas, before I’m eventually forced to either shrug or be crushed under the sheer weight of it all it’s just too much pressure.

   

Here’s some of my oldies but goodies

https://sammyscoops.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/the-passing-of-rodney-king-what-it-made-me-think/

https://sammyscoops.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/an-attempt-to-write-these-wrongs/

https://sammyscoops.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/modern-age-lynchingtrayvon-martin-emmitt-till-of-today/

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Hey there strangers…

Hey, there you!

I have a slight confession to make…

I’ve missed some golden opportunities

Look I’m a little embarrassed in my lackluster performance this past year, I really screwed the pooch and missed out on delivering some solid material on a lot of issues near and dear to my heart such as #BlackLivesMatter, and the general push to de-militarize what has quickly come to resemble an occupying force; being the most glaring example that just jumps right out at me.

I’d also in that same vein, have to say that I missed out on the main events which kicked off the 50th Anniversary of the Black Panthers for Self Defense founding in Oakland California by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton as a direct response to many of these same issues surrounding police tactics and increased presence in communities of color.

It’s so striking to me the many similarities between the Black Panther Party’s mission and that of the #BlackLives movementi from today’s day and age; And I’m not talking they vaguely resemble one another (some real fraternal twin shit), I’m talkin that two peas in a pod, I share your thoughts, and whatever other weird “ness” known only to those who share every last thing in common, including their DNA, you know, the identical variety.  Essentially the issues being raised could have been lifted straight from 50 years ago and plopped down right here in the middle of everything else.

Moving Forward

I’ve got a lot of other really great ideas and nowhere near enough time for me to possibly flesh them all out in as  much depth as I’d like to or that they deserve to be treated with, but giving it an honest go never hurt anyone (at least anyone I can think of) other than ego and pride should we fall flat on our faces, but such is life right?   The act of simply showing up and trying is more than most do on a daily basis, and those unwilling to leave it all on the table and risk overextending and belly flopping aren’t trying hard enough,  period. So they should zip it as far as I’m concerned, there’s no room for idle talk.

I almost forgot to mention

Last but certainly not least, I should explain why it is I have so little time and availability with which to maintain this thing… Your boy made moves, of the epic life altering variety and let me tell you the struggle has been real.

I know I had allueded to wanting to pursue the profession I had known I wanted to do a long time ago, I jsut decided to take a year off of school in order to work full-time, get out of my dad’s place he was kind enough to let me live in, just not very peacefully, or without any sort of tension.

Well, it took a while, and things got off to a rather rocky start, but I finally shook them damn cobwebs off; I’ve taken and passed both the CBEST and all three subsections of the CSET for Social Science, a lot of which, such as Economics I had to either do a major refresh or teach myself entirely from scratch.  It was a lot, and I do mean a lot of hard work, and it’s not nearly done yet, not by a long shot.  In fact, this party’s just barely getting started.

In order to do justice to this most priveledged of professions with so much potential to affect our youth, and one I have such deep respect for, I had to really give it my all, and be committed, and let me tell you, I gave up everything to ride this one out until the wheels come off.  I’m in it to win it.

I guess I should start with…THANKS

And I definitely need to give thanks to all those I’ve encountered who’ve also heard its calling, especially those who had the grave misfortune of having me as one of their students, because they helped shape me into the person I am today, gave me their unwavering belief and support along the years, and having given me a love for learning that’s given me so many gifts in such a short timeframe that I will forever be indebted to them.

If that’s not enough, they did it in a way that not only let me be me, and do things in my own way, but actively encouraged the process of finding those things in the first place despite some of my poorer choices along lifes continous pathway of trial and error.

And let’s just say, mines had more than it’s fair share of errors along the way, but my decision to pick this dream up, dust if off, and bring it out of deferrment will never be one of them.

It’s the first thing I’ve done in my life that just felt right, which begs the question, “what took you so long?”, and while I may not be able to ever truly answer that fully, in a way that does the question, or my path up to this point any degree of justice, what I can, and will do, is respond in such a way that makes up for lost time, and says “I have arrived”.

Stay tuned, cuz baby, you aint seen nothin yet!

2016-06-04-20160604_211703

 

Happy Belated Birthday Dr King & Happy MLK Day Everyone Else

Better Late Than Never: A Birth Worth Celebrating.

Pensive Dr King
The Birthday Boy: The late great Dr King Speaking of Late, Here I am waiting t ill his Holiday only to its kinda crazy that really happened

Hey, better late than never right?

On the 15th of January of 1929 MLK jr was born into this world.  He would grow up to become one of the most influential people ever born.  His lifetime left a fingerprint on the very fabric of society makeup and composition of this nation in a major and compelling way.  The fingerprint of his lifetime will be felt and seen, and may even pop up in the extremely rare instance that it’s needed. world, into this world ., easily one of the most influential figures in my own personal growth and development journey and that of so many others was born.

Who knows where this nation would be, were he still here if he were with us still today; would the protests and the #BlackLivesMatter or #BlackBrunch  #EricGarner and #Ferguson campaigns would still be going on?.

 

Tragedy Strikes @ The Lorraine Motel Memphis, TN-April 4, 1968

A Great Leader Is Taken From Us Far Too Soon.

Dr. King’s life, his wisdom, and his leadership were stripped from us that fateful day, April 1968, robbing us of what surely would have been a calming voice of reason, drowning out the angry din of the turbulent times that lie behind us, and those that lay ahead.  His moral judgement serving as a nautical star, always guiding us towards that promised land, the one he dreamed of; where all men are created equal and judged only by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.

It Is His Day After All

In honor of his birthday,  his name day and his me-mo-ray(that’s memory for the illiterates amongst you), I shared some of his stuff below, beginning with speech about that dream his name came to become synonymous with.

Obviously Dr. King can’t take all the credit for the entire civil rights movement, much as the media among other people would like to just give it to him.  There were people and organizations fighting for the rights of African-Americans long before Dr. King ever got sent to Montgomery, or got the spotlight from the boycotts, but his pre-eminent role as the representative and face of the larger movement as a whole can’t be denied either,

He was merely upholding a tradition kept alive by all those who have fought for equality from the inside like A Philip Randolph who threatened to march on washington if African-Americans weren’t included to begin with.  No more of this playing  game and shit with your crappy ass little weaves or whatever the fuck you put in there. within their tribe or their own mind that we really don’t need to have any one there for it, because it’s just been one like

These Times, They Are A Changin:

From the time the Montgomery Bus Boycott began in 1955 until the his death in 1968 and even beyond; Dr King and the rest of the movement took the battle to the power structure and not vice versa, continuously applying pressure. in well thought out places   In attacking racism and discrimination where it existed and was most vehement; the lunch counters, the bus stops, and the polling place, of the deep south, they not only placed the entire practice of Jim Crow on display,  they put it on trial in the court of public opinion, a battle Jim Crow eventually lost.

Dr Martin Luther King Jr Delivering Speech
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr delivering one of his last speeches prior to his being assassinated at the hands of some backwoods simpleton who couldn’t plan his way out of a paper bag.

 

The Civil Rights Movement’s creative use of non violent direct action to frame and challenge the Jim Crow laws of the South met  with violence and repression at the hands of small town police,  members of the KKK, or just your garden variety, small-minded, red neck prick; most of which viewed by Americans across the nation were able to witness ignorance first hand at least once in their life.   Meeting non-violence with extreme violence backfired, leading to increased support for the demonstrators and eventually leading to Jim Crow’s demise with the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act in 1965.

A Job Well Done?  More Like It’s Just Begun, Time For Phase Two:

Let us not forget this little tidbit either,  just before his murder, Dr King had been in the process of expanding his consciousness and understanding and taking riskier opinions than he had previously or at least in public.s .  Rather than basking in the major accomplishments of the Civil Rights Movement, especially for African-Americans of  the South, he sought to do even more before he died, and  his last efforts weren’t limited  to the black community either welcoming all people regardless of religion and regardless of creed.  He also came out against the Vietnam War publicly in one of his speeches, something the old Dr King would never have done for fear of rocking the boat.  The Poor Peoples Campaign was open to all people regardless of race or anything like that, but it is probably my favorite speech of his .

Status Report: Where We Stand At Now

 

The Poor People’s campaign The plan was for a large multicultural group of poverty activists to march on the washington memorial plaza whatever and camp out there as a reminder of poverty that Congress wouldn’t be able to ignore it anymore.  Sadly, Dr. King would not see this one through to completion James Earl Ray’s 30.-.06 cut his life short, and for no apparent  reason other than who he is.  At the time of the shooting, Dr. King and his entourage were in the middle of doing something with a document, it looked interesting

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/3816635″>Martin Luther King, Jr: “Mountaintop” speech full length</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user907438″>Filip Goc</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

I think it’s pretty safe to assume everyone else feels the same as me when it comes to whether we feel as though we have to really put in very much effort .get up for anyone  about our sloppy levels of play lately not being acceptable anymore.  Everything has been all out-of-place I’m confident in saying I still don’t recognize the idyllic locale of his dream; guess we’re all still waiting on those two tickets to paradise as it sits now and you better believe this guy desperately is in need of a tan.

Gone But Not Forgotten

Luckily, I’m not the only one whose life the great Dr. King has touched.  We can rest assured that his memory will live on, the light he used to combat darkness will continue to illuminate the way for each of us committed to making this world a better place, a righteous one filled with love.

Only question is, who will join me?

 

Sources Consulted:

Wikipedia: Poor People Campaign

 

Related Goodies

The Passing of Rodney King 

Are We Guilty of Bigotry

What’s Wrong With The World; In A Nutshell

What Is Wrong With The World?

Are we ok? Is it ok (the world)? Is there anything wrong with us, with it?  If so, what is it; any thoughts?  Do you ever take a moment to yourself to stop and ask these very important and meaningful questions?   If not; you’re in luck!

Someone Else Beat You To It:

Don’t beat yourself up over it if you’ve never been lost deep in thought about the meaning of life, or struggled  to find or identify the source for some of those problems.

You’ve been beaten to it by  Bertrand Russell  (1879-1970), a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, social critic and political activist.[56][57] (Lets just say he wore many hats and leave it at that).

Bertrand Said It Best, But What Next?

I whole heartedly, 100% agree with his observation; I’m just not the type of guy to be ok with leaving it as such; just an observation, or some witty & catchy phrase oft spoken of but never acted on.

There’s a happy medium between knowing you don’t have all the answers and thinking you know none of them, we just have to find it.  There exists a constant give and take to everything.

Sharing our own thoughts and ideas is an importanat aspect of gaining knowledge or wisdom.  It enriches the lives of those around you, offering them a glimpse into your thought process, a glimpse behind the curtains at what it is that makes you tick, that makes you human.

Being open to listening to other people’s thoughts and opinions and striving for  understanding is equally important.  It  helps to make the world a wiser, and more understanding, tolerant and empathetic place.  Sharing your thoughts with others is enriching; to them, to those around them, and don’t forget yourself)

Heres a prime opportunity to empower yourself, and those around you.  Tell us, what you think? w What are your thoughts? others ourselves and each other by making use of that oft neglected moment for reflection to think I mentioned earlier and using it to actually put ourselves out there.

Dear Obama: A Letter On Delusions and Disillusionment Past and Present.

Here’s My Initial Thoughts:

Official photographic portrait of US President...
Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Obama sure talked a big game in ’08 , slightly downsized in 2012,
Obama 2.012 was with its original luster…it was also a campaign I was a small part of hoping to practice what I preached;
But the whole campaign something for me just felt, well, it just felt kinda off….
 
What should have been clue #1
 
No longer was he promising change; government cooperation, transparency, and efficiency; a more open and available presidency where the president could make a complete sentence, a president in touch with the will of the common person, not the corporate personhood, repatriation of our fugitive civil liberties…. hmmmmm I wonder
 
Not really being totally gung-ho about Obama especially his foreign policy, and knowing it would be the same under either,  I made what I felt was the least shitty of two shitty choices, opting to take what I could get in the form of his domestic social policies vs. their non-existence under Mitt Romney.  It’s only a few months into his last and final lame duck term, and I’ve got the strong feeling I chose wrong
Mitt Romney in Fresno
Mitt Romney in Fresno (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 
The truth is, aside from his oratory, which is still good, but not great; certainly ranking much higher than Bush’s, he’s failed to deliver on any of these promises. Lately even his speeches have been coming up short, and falling flat and seem if anything empty, and lackluster.

Is It Time For Tough Love?

Despite having supported him on election day of ’08, and the campaign of 2012 as an intern, I have to show some tough love right now, because theres nothing I hate more than a fucking liar.

Dear Obama

I’ve had it!

It’s not me, it’s you; let me tell you why:

No more passes, no more silence, no longer will I allow my subconscious to ignore your repeated human rights abuses, persecution of web sites internet activists and whistle-blowers, or your escalation of the drone war and War on Terror.

The belief that it’s alright if, “they’re a son of a bitch, but they’re our son of a bitch” is both mistaken, and flawed. Just as it was when we applied it to brutal dictators willing to bow to US interests; Ngo Diem, Mubarrak, or Sadaam & Bin Laden; It’s flawed in the here, and the now.

If you were really “my guy” you would not be making empty promises you have no intention to deliver on. I wouldn’t be forced to make the least shitty of two shitty choices, forced to wipe and wash up afterwards either way….

You would be about that change you so clearly stated you wished to bring, boutty-bout it, but instead;

You’ve become just another political hack and a crony.

the only difference between yourself, and a career politician, is you’re not any good at it; obviously having no political leverage or capital as your failure to secure your agenda on gun control and the budget (sequester) make evident to us.  You fail to be effective at pushing for legislation many people actually want in the Senate with it’s Democrat majority, let alone the Republican House….

Your failure to do so despite the tragedy at Sandy Hook, yet the ease with which you took away or “suspended” our miranda rights in the wake of the bombing at the Boston Marathon has been most enlightening……. and appears to be your MO, your modus operandi.

You wouldn’t refuse to release the prisoners from Guatanamo, many of whom we have long known are not terrorists, to their rightful homes, having been unlawfully imprisoned and tortured for over 10 yrs…….

You wouldn’t have kill lists or claim to have the power to kill US citizens overseas with drone strikes…..

You also wouldn’t persecute anyone bringing it from the darkness of shadow into the light, by putting it online, speaking about it publicly, or otherwise making it available for the American people to find……

Frodo Baggins:

Elijah Wood as Frodo in Peter Jackson's live-a...
Elijah Wood as Frodo in Peter Jackson’s live-action version of The Lord of the Rings. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Far from the shire, you now sit atop Mt.Doom gazing at the fire, finally able to destroy the one ring….and you can’t do it, placing it snugly back upon your finger, fading away into invisibility, just like the you I thought we’d once come to know.

No longer are you behind those ideals and beliefs as myself as you once were, or claimed to be. A born again Christian, only in reverse; its like you became a Jehova Witness goin door to door to spread the word on nights and weekends.

Keep that gospel, drink your bullshit and your lies down with that Jim Jones Kool-Aid for all I give a fuck;
Just stuff it.

No More:

Your failure to enact any meaningful legislation, or to step above the fray and carry yourself with honesty and dignity in addressing the American people, your secrecy, half-truth, white lies and those of the bold faced variety have taken their toll on me, and on all of us for that matter.

The only transparency you’re concerned with is the ability to carry out an agenda and it’s policies so transparent nobody else can see it. The only rights are those you take away and give to the executive branch of government so you may better remain within the shadows, safely invisible while wearing the ring you once wished to destroy and now adore.

The only problem is, you’re not Tolkien, this is not “The Lord of the Rings” and there is no Gollum saving you from your poor choices and ultimate frailty of your will; There are no Elven ships to take you from these shores to Vallinor to save you from the burden of your choices it was a fictional fantasy;

There’s just us,

For you to restore your faith to me, to us, all you must do is make good on those words you speak, as opposed to them being merely empty words.  That is the true measure of a man and where you consistently come up short.  Until you honor your word as your bond, until you become worthy of the Nobel prize you won, until you step from the shadows, bringing your actions clearly into the light-as they should be, until you stop using the justice department to unjustly persecute those who embarrass you by telling people the truth you’re unwilling to tell; you are not a leader, or a man.

In the meantime,

I’ve had it! 

 

The Key To Living Your Life Happily

If You Intend To Be Happy In Your Pursuits You Must;

Be True To Yourself
So true though. You just gotta be yourself.

Its impossible to exaggerate the importance and power of “self talk” in relation to your overall happiness. When you think of yourself as having worth, you challenge yourself more, accomplishing more in the process and begin truly believing in the untapped potential contained within. Believing in yourself and doing what makes you happy translates into added benefits in all areas of your life as well.

People tend to want to spend time with you when you’re positive, comfortable, and confident in your interactions. Honesty and authenticity in your words and actions is easily recognized by others. You’ll enjoy healthier relationships; rich and fulfilling in nature. Acting naturally ensures the people in your life appreciate you for who are.

They accept and like you because of your “flaws”, not in spite of them. Doing things you enjoy even makes work, and getting an education fun. If you don’t have passion for what you’re doing, you’ll find its hard do well or for very long. It won’t matter how much it pays, what it looks like on paper, or what it allows you to buy; you can’t buy happiness.

These are lessons I’ve forced myself to learn and re-learn throughout my life. Being injured and off work for a long time, forced me to begin applying myself to find things I found worth doing because they were meaningful instead of just easy, or comfortable. At the beginning of my experience with the injury and with workers compensation, I felt stripped of my life. In reality it had been returned to me. With nothing to do with my time aside from being miserable (of which I did plenty), it forced me to pursue things I find interesting to combat my feelings of depression; a major improvement over a dead end job. I found a way to turn this into a positive, developing more new skills and experience in new area’s than I had in the last 2yrs of my life.

In doing so, I interned with the Obama campaign which I didn’t enjoy as much as I thought I would. In the process of my campaign work I discovered a program doing writing workshops for incarcerated youth from a campaign volunteer who volunteered with them as well. Getting involved in the program made me realize how much I enjoy working with those kids we like to label as being “at risk” and I’m good at it as well.

Live Your Life With

Let Your Passion Shine Through
With passion is the only way to live your life! Everything else is irrelevant. Do what you love and love what you do.

I spent a good part of my life living with a single mother in a dysfunctional family, having little money and even less direction.  In efforts to fit in I began acting out of character for myself.  Getting in trouble, ditching class, experimenting with alcohol and other substances inevitably resulted in academic consequences.  I can remember in 9th grade we did a mock year book categories for our science class, I was voted most likely to go to jail…I think they were only half being funny….lightweight-hardcore.

That assessment hit closer to the mark than they could have thought.  I nearly didn’t graduate high school on time if at all, let alone make it into a 4 year college which had always been a personal goal of mine.  Despite feeling disappointed, and discouraged from this, I kept at it, working harder because I had to, always with my eye on the prize.

When I began Junior College, I used the new beginning as such, devoting myself to my studies and becoming active on campus.  Soon, building each goal upon another the transformation was clear.  Going from a chronic underachiever to gaining an Associates degree, and then transferring to UC Berkeley and gaining my Bachelors degree in History. As the first in my family to go to college and without anyone to really guide me ensuring I was on the right track or what to expect it was really difficult at times; but I appreciate it as a personal accomplishment so much more for it.

My growth and transformation in this process taught me a lot about myself and the limitless potential within each of us so long as we allow ourselves to believe in our ability. Its gratifying to come through the adversity in your life, reaching your goals, never losing sight of that light at the end of the tunnel. The act of re-fashioning yourself into a better person, reborn from the ashes of your mistakes and your failures is redemptive and empowering. The ability to become a phoenix resides within each of us, it just needs nourishment to flourish.

Having lost sight of this for a time despite my accomplishments; I sank back into feelings of depression and self-doubt making many of those poor decisions again.  This experience gives me a deeper appreciation for just how fine a line it is separating “I can’t” from the “I can”, and achievements from everything you were too scared to try.

Realizing this makes me understand how important it is to help others pick themselves up and dust themselves off when they have stumbled or fallen.  The ability to see and believe in your potential is a flame you must vigilantly fan and stoke in yourself and in others lest it go out; quickly striking a spark igniting it again in times its snuffed out.

Theres no doubt in my mind,  my journey is not a special one, the adversity not nearly as severe or as challenging as what inner city youth face today. Poverty and all of it’s manifestations is ugly and brutal enough here at home, let alone the rest of the world, but it was something important to me, and I did it. Having applied as a long shot, I’d already began making arrangements to go somewhere else when I found out I had been accepted.  The opportunity to go to college, and the one that I did for that matter, forever altered the course of my life with impact, in a major way.  A gift for which I”m eternally grateful.

Thinking back now, I remembering just how close I came to never experiencing any of it.  I almost never mailed in the application at all…  This makes me wonder how many others are out there at this very moment who find themselves now in  similar boat as I was then, “application packets”  hovering over the waste basket… Which in turn resolved me to share my passion for education and lifelong learning and my story as an inspiration to others, hoping to help at least one person to take that shot, even if it is an “oh what the hell, why not?” and in the dark.

As it stands now, I’ve begun the almighty litmus test of turning belief into action, interviewing soon for several programs similar to Teach for America, where I can try making an impact right out the door, as well as volunteering.

To be quite honest, I’ve never been happier or more comfortable with a decision in my life my eyes finally opened to whats important in my life, and it makes me wonder “what the hell took ya’ so long?”.
Using my story as a lesson for others, I offer up these few bits of advice

My Advice To You

  • Don’t dwell on your mistakes, treat them as transformative agents for change instead.
  • You should chase those dreams your mind is quickest to abandon or discredit;
  • Live your life happily and fully, being honest to yourself at all times, and in service of others when you’re able.
  • By doing so not only will you be happier for it, you never know how many lives you’ll touch, or people you’ll inspire.

 

These Burning Questions Lit A Fire

Wanna know something?

Spider in Des Moines, Iowa
Trippy Looking spider from the park in Des Moines, IA

Well I’m gonna tell  you anyways 

I’ve always wondered why people can’t come more to the center, attempt to meet somewhere in the middle in an effort to compromise a little. 

Society places these taboo’s on speaking about the things of importance; politics, religion, our place in life

 Everything has become so cut and dry, right or wrong, black or white… good or bad, heaven or hell; its all subjective it’s what you make of it…

Heaven forbid you get that awkward question and have to explain what you believe to someone else.

Maybe you’re scared,

Who knows, you may surprise yourself discoveries in the learned & unlearned 

Until we come together trying to understand each other, crooked politicians will continue to grow fat off kick-backs, runnin game on us all night.

Why is it that we have allowed petty differences to divide us so thoroughly as we have now?    

Why two sides can’t just “agree to disagree” while still making an honest effort at coming to a better understanding of the person “opposing” them?

 Things  of no consequence to others dominate their thought process, who’s doing what behind closed doors with who in the comfort of their own home?…

Women’s personal choice on what to do with their body is soon to be legislated or subject to an investigation or trial by“”Grand Jury”?

 Why is it people are so concerned with what others are doing as they themselves live an imperfect life while calling it “flawless”?

Didn’t we learn that lesson in Kindergarten?

Why does our government do horrible things in our name, and without many of ours knowledge?

How can we all go about our lives so wrapped up in pettiness, yet blissfully ignorant about things that matter?

How can people be filled with such malice, acting out cruelty and murder upon one another? s even kill each other?

 

How can we tell ourselves were a free Democracy and not take any interest politics except every 2 years?

Why would they deny us the imformation necessary to make informed decisons if this is Democracy? 

Things would go much better; much smoother, more efficient and effective…all those things that were not.

When exactly was it that human life became trumped in value by the almighty $$$?

 

AmeriCorps at the Badlands South Dakota
Just Another Day At The Office

 

I just need to know the future leads forward; the path of progress…otherwise

I’m not sure how much longer I can live in a cold world like this.

One filled with greed, and reckless disregard for ourselves, the environment, and for others.

A world filled with pain, and frustration, 

Collective anguish….  But theres hope yet… 

One day, for all these questions I’ll finally have some answers…

I have to believe  theres hope yet.

Eventually you have to ask yourself a final question, 

HOW MUCH CAN YOU LIVE WITH?

As a student of history, I’ve come to learn that sometimes theres just no good explanation to why it is we do the fucked up stuff we do to each other…

People, especially those in power will get away with whatever you let them…

just that much, and no more

Just because I make plain the less flattering aspects of stuff,

Doesn’t mean I’m not proud of where I grew up.

I just have tough love, because I know that we as society can handle it.

Rise to the challenge, and grow.

Lets you and me

Really be,

The change we wish to seek.

For liberty, equality

Peace, Justice 

& freedom for all.

what are we waiting for?

The time is now

 

Practice What You Preach

I now have an opportunity to practice what it is I preach.  After being selected for a fellowship/internship for the Obama campaign I am now able to actually do something and perhaps receive some measurable success in counteracting the negative effects of Citizens v United. I am glad to finally have the opportunity to put my beliefs into practice. Stay tuned people!

Joining the Fall Fellowship:

 

English: Barack Obama delivers a speech at the...
English: Barack Obama delivers a speech at the University of Southern California (Video of the speech) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Found out today that I was selected to join Obama‘s Fall Fellowship to begin helping to organize for his re-election.  Needless to say, I’M PUMPED!!!!  More to follow folks, really starting to think that my good vibes are starting to pay dividends, everything in my life feels like it is coming full circle from a few month’s ago… Really looking forward to it!

 

Here We Go

I Needed This,

My very dearest friend(s), are coming to see me in the very near future. Personally, I don’t think that this could have come at a better time.

My world has been in shambles, rocked hard by meteors as its fallin apart. My strained grip on reality reminds me far too much of grabbing at straws growing increasingly short, and shrinking by the minute. Miraculously, out of nowhere there they are, to save me from myself. Its almost as if they heard those silent screams made from deep within, when no-one is around. They were my teammates, my friends, and they know me better than I know myself. Together, we volunteered around the nation, helping those in need, and they will forever be a part of me, as will the experience.

            Unbeknownst to me,

we weren’t just helping those affected by disaster, and rebuilding homes or saving those in need.

This instance will be the second time around the person saved was me.

Anyone who didn’t experience the life of an NCCC’er thinks Im just overly nostalgic, reminiscing on life experiences long since spent. They just don’t “get it”, nor could they. But all my fellow alums regardless of campus, class or year know that in fact what we had, was magic. A time and a moment forever encapsulated in our memory, forever sought but never reacquired, unique and all its own. Living with 10 total strangers for 10 months moving from place to place, project to project, living out of that damn red bag and a GSA van. These were people who gave up all that they knew to go be a part of something selfless, and bigger than themselves.
Sadly, no matter how hard I tried, I could never feel like I belonged. I was in the company of people, truly good people, and I could never stop feeling uncomfortable because of it. The truth of the matter was, I did not belong there among them. Every last one of them, to the person, was far better than I could ever hope to be. Immediately before learning of my acceptance to the program, I was forced to the realization that in some things, in certain areas of my life, I was powerless, totally and utterly powerless. Completely at the mercy of my impulse, and boredom with the slow monotonous pace my life had taken. A drum solo with a slow and steady beat. The two people I had held closest to me, that I had given the most access to my inner being and therefore with the most potential to hurt me did so with the quickness of a viper.
Due to this I spent half the time pushing everyone away, when now I would like nothing more than to have them all near. That is the story of my life in a nutshell, Murphy’s Law applied with gale wind force. That which I desire I prevent, and that which I avoid, gets drawn to me much like a stalker to Paula Abdul’s residence.

Gravity is at play here in more than one sense of the word.

I wish that I could say I didn’t cause pain to those I most wish to shield from it. Sometimes I think about how much easier things would be on people if they had never met me. When these thoughts cross my mind I cant help but wait for a cameo by Jimmy Stewart

James Stewart
James Stewart (Photo credit: twm1340)

like this was the set of “It’s a Wonderful Life”. The only set I belong on is really “Its a Wonderful Lie”, because I do nothing but bring others down, like the sun to the moon, providing a constant point of friction burning an otherwise non-native arm. I know for a fact that I don’t want to live my life without these people in it, yet I push those I need most away from myself. A desperate attempt to keep up some semblance of respect in an otherwise un-respectable person.

Jennifer Lopez (珍妮弗·洛佩兹)
Jennifer Lopez (Photo credit: pamhule)

I needed this rendezvous, because I’ve been beginning to feel stretched too thin like spandex across J-Lo’s ass. After finally finding something at work that I enjoyed doing, found to be somewhat fun,
BOOM
I go out injured.

This is the longest I’ve been without work since the week after I was legally able to.

Amy Winehouse at the Eurockéennes of 2007
Amy Winehouse at the Eurockéennes of 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It Might sound like a vacation, except most of my days get wasted, (Amy Winehouse wasted) alone and in pain. Sometimes I feel like a miserable old fuck, my body is fallin apart on me like a rickety old house, but the architects can’t look at the blueprint and tell me whats wrong. Hopefully they get here soon cause I’m losin it, if in fact I ever had it.