Reflection

Hey…How has your year been?

How many of those New Year resolutions did you complete? Meet anyone new.. start a new job.. maybe you traveled the world over?

Sorry,  what was that? Your year was sucked? That’s a weird thing to say? You’d think that…oh.. wrong letter…not sucked.. got it.

Rich, poor, old, young, and every color under the sun. It seems that everyone has been affected in some way.

This year has been very weird, which has now compounded my own weirdness.

I’m starting to wonder if my weirdness, my black sheep moniker if it’s actually a blessing? Not living in the shadows or in disguise but in the open, for all to see. Now my differences will not be yours, will not be hers, his or there’s. What is important, I think, is that you embrace yours. For the longest time, I didn’t know who I was and this was what made me feel indifferent.

I felt I knew who I was, but I truly did not. My physical description was the passport the world would see;  average height black guy with awesome eyebrows, but I was more!  I realized that what I considered different was just another description of what it meant to be normal.

So this one is for the ones who feel weird and isolated, the odd person out. This is for the ones that never really fit in, the kids that wore North Star suede shoes while the other kids wore Velcro sneakers.   The last kid picked for activities at school and to have obtained a date for the prom. The peculiar folk, this blog is for you.

Make no mistake, it’s not the way you do your hair or the style and clothes you wear, it’s not the piercing or the tattoos, it’s simply you just being you.

These accessories or adornments are all just symptoms or reactions to how you feel inside now manifested for the world to see.

Now, who wants to be like anyone else anyway?

No one says, ‘act normal’ or ‘be normal’ anymore because what is normal? The only thing that should be normal is how we treat one another, which should be with love and respect. Unfortunately, this treatment is what is now weird.

Do you remember the first time you felt alone in a crowded room?  I do.

It was a jumping house party of around 50 – 70 people. I could name at least 20 of them without thinking and mention a possible place I may have met another 15 or so. Laughter everywhere mixed with the sounds of glasses clinking and deep base and still I felt alone.

I learned that knowing people does not make you feel connected, connection and intimacy does. To some, this only makes sense, but those who have loads of people on their Social Media and still feel like they’re missing out or have no contentment with their exchanges online will know what I mean.

Do I still feel alone in crowded spaces today, sometimes I do, but now I know it’s because my tastes have changed and more importantly, the level of connection I need has as too!  I just appreciate being connected to a different vibe now.

It’s not because I’m not social or outgoing now, really, at times I can even make myself the life of the party, it’s just that sometimes,  I don’t want to fit in, you know what I mean?

I heard a sermon in church one day that said, one of the best deliverances you will ever experience is being delivered from the thoughts and opinions of other people. Instead of pleasing others, make sure you can be pleased with yourself, what God thinks of you, and nothing else.

To this, I say, amen!

I’m sure that the fact of the majority of my friends being married played a part in shaping my thoughts. Not disparaging their marital state as I value the institution and do look forward to finding that person that I can share miserable moments with, but sometimes, I don’t need to be around married folk.  Maybe it’s not having kids? I see the joy and elation they bring. I am a 2-time godfather and am an honorary uncle to many a youth in my friendship circle, so I know of the unconditional love they can bring, but I also see the mental and physical strain they can put on a person. Sure they love their kids but when we catch up to exchange stories and they hear of my ‘free life’ the looks on some of their faces, the defeated tone in their voices, it’s almost depressing to experience it. At that moment, they forget that this is the season they are in. Diapers, stepping on broken toys and God knows what other kinds of stresses that little evil, yet loving people can cause.

But like winter, that season passes to welcome new foliage in the spring and ultimately beautiful blooms for you to enjoy.  What am I saying, hang in there peeps, and know that those gremlins will move out and your relationships will improve.

Fingers crossed.

2020 has been a piss-poor year for a lot of people and some have called it even worse.

The unknown led to fear, which lead to bigotry and unkindness, which lead to sickness and death, which lead to isolation and lack, and to some poverty.  To make this all worse, it was all just a cycle guaranteed to start all over again.

This was just the pandemic.

Then there was the ugly head of racism that showed itself again, but this time was met with a force not seen in almost 50+ years. Around the world, people of every creed said enough is enough. It’s time to treat all people, especially those of color the way they were designed to be treated, as human beings.

We here in Canada face racism not on the same frequency as the United States but face it we do and I am so proud of the country, my city, and its people. For not fixing it, but recognizing that racism will no longer go unaddressed.

The future must be different, it has to be.

Then there were fires and murder hornets, beloved athletes and actors dying, and a presidential election for the ages.

Then, the second round of Covid-19 begun, and this time we were doing better, right? The bigotry of blaming a people or nation has subsided. The unkindness has turned to concern for our neighbors and elderly, which has slowed those death rates, but still, we suffer from the cycle of lost finances for many, isolation in many ways has affected all and now selfishness has been introduced, which has caused an uptick in the infection numbers, which will take more lives, which has now caused another lockdown.

You know, wearing a mask is not for you, but for everyone and anyone that is not as healthy as you. Caring for others is not a weakness, but a strength.

In this year of plague, isolation, and acts of God, I remain encouraged…

I’ve heard of more racial equity being observed in places of employment. I’ve heard of many people pursuing long thought of dreams bringing them to reality. I’ve heard of many giving support to those elderly and needing assistance. Charity drives increasing and more people wearing masks to assist in stopping the spread of the Corona Virus. I’ve heard of more love.

My thoughts in this piece have played out like a knock-off robot vacuum. Covering a lot of space but not in a concise pattern. All those un-touched areas in the room called life, this blog, will not be filled in by me as they can only be filled in by you. My thoughts are scattered because life sometimes is. I just found the key to surviving it, is not to get too wound up about the pattern as long as you’re certain of what the determined result should be.

 

It’s the hard times that shape us, and 2020 has given us the best Masters, TED, class, talk we will ever experience.

 

Folks, we’re going to be alright; 2021, here we come!

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