I have spent my 20s searching. I have searched for love, piece of mind, and stability in the some of the wrongest places, all with varying results. I have fallen hopelessly in and out of love with men who's love for their personal ventures eclipsed any love they had for me. I have hunted endlessly for a convincing, healthy love and appreciation for self, a respect for the collection of faults and fucking awesomeness issued to me by God. I have been at times insecure, pitiful and self-loathing behind a mask of self-assuredness and pride. Several times.
I have chased success, instant wealth, foolishly, on many an occasion, hoping for some logic-defying magical business "deal" to once and forever sweep me out of the rat race and into early retirement. Still waiting for that windfall.
Finally, at 25, I've achieved the healthy balance I've sought for years. No, I have not retired, fallen in love, or hit it big. I do however, have a solid, realistic plan in place. I am comfortable in my skin for once, not longing for the traits of the next athletic, conventionally-beautiful, allegedly successful brother with a smaller forehead and fatter bank account. I like what I've been dealt, the situation I've created for myself. I'm going in a positive direction. For once. Shit.
Dance and I are...separated. The marriage wasn't exactly producing the desired results. Passions faded, the drive dried up, and it has been reduced from "reason for living" to "hobby". And I'm okay with that. We haven't divorced just yet. I've just revisited an old love that brings me great joy, even after being relegated to side hoe all these years.
Yes, writing has stolen my heart once again. I haven't written "seriously" since high school. So, I am thrilled to be actively pursuing and honing that craft once more. A project is in the works. I've lived quite the colorful life up to this point, and it is absolutely worth documenting, I now realize.
My living situations have been varied, interesting at best. For years I have drifted from one initially livable scenario to the next. Knowing no situation was permanent, I went where I figured I could last for a month or three, mostly out of necessity. I've laid my head in shifty Brooklyn piss holes, in rooming houses, in luxury apartments and penthouses, on the couches and floors of friends on two coasts. I've mastered the art of moving on a day's notice, piling my life into trash bags and boxes and vanishing when a living situation took a turn from from tolerable to terrible. When fists were thrown in place of I love yous, I let the debris left behind speak on my behalf.
Now, eight years after I left college to pursue dance two states, five boyfriends, ten addresses and 15 pounds ago, I've found the stability I've sought all along. I have searched for a place where my introversion could thrive unmolested by the cancerous ignorance of poorly raised, motivationally anemic goons. Now, no more Adventures in Hopeless Negro Roommate Land. Gone are the comical exploits of Chocolate Peter Griffin, Foolisha, Coonisha, Dirty Dez, Chiquita, Sweetback, and the like. I am happy, both in my own skin, and in my own apartment. Finally.
I am on a path of self-improvement. Once again, I crave knowledge. I recently battled with some unwelcome feelings of intellectual inferiority. While I like to consider myself a reasonably well-rounded, knowledgeable colored boy, I faced some moments of self-doubt in the midst of two harmless, friendly debates on the same topic. Momentarily considered myself unable to compete mentally, unable to draw broad, analytical conclusions like I figured these more "academic" minds were so good at doing. Not a good feeling.
In the end, I regained my stride, attributed our differences to our widely varying perspectives and life experiences. No way these dudes were smarter, more worthy of opining than I. Nah.
I say ALL of this to say that for the first time in ages, I'm both clear AND realistic about my goals, have an understanding of what I need and want romantically, and am honestly, proudly accepting of all of this introverted, rude ass colored goodness right here. Every cynical, insulting drop.
This all, of course, hasn't been without false starts, failures, and friend-pruning. And I'm okay with that. I've secured and cultivated positive, mutually-beneficial relationships with what I consider two great mentors. My relationship with my parents is stronger than ever (we talk three to four times weekly). I honestly have no complaints.
My intention isn't to have this serve or come off as a "my-life-is-better-than-yours" post, but rather to show that (1)I am alive and haven't forgotten the log-in for this blog, and (2) I'm....okay (for me more than you).
*sigh of relief*
So...what's helped you...cope?