Chapter 12: September is Over. Wake Up.
I don't know how to perfectly transcribe the month of September into a chapter about how to be "Marist" in the real world. Enough happened to tire me out for a little while. Still, because I didn't post out of lack of inspiration on what to write, I feel like I kind of owe you a chapter, my friend. Don't get me wrong, I want to write, but with this topic...okay, let's try this. Have you ever seen that Pixar movie about emotions? If not, tough luck! Google it! The film tells the story through the eyes (and emotions) of an eleven year old Midwestern born girl named Riley Anderson. The story follows her through her transition when her family suddenly moves to San Francisco, California. What makes this story so amazing is the fact that these five prominent characters take the forefront. The characters are Riley's emotions. You have "Joy" who self-assigned herself as the leader of the pack and the whole brain, "Anger" who frequently takes the lead whenever he feels like he needs to, "Fear" and "Disgust" who both, essentially, keep Riley from getting harmed in their own ways, and "Sadness" who never takes the lead at all & constantly "ruins" everything. Keep the character descriptions of these emotions in mind. You'll need it later. My September'2018 experience can be, most accurately, told through Inside Out. Here's how:
Aigh, so boom. I can talk a lot on the disgust that I've felt for this year, let alone September. However, most of that stems from politics & political figures doing inexcusable, inhumane things. I'm not sure if I want to speak on those things in this blog, so just catch me in person. NEVERTHELESS, this section will message reigns true, still. BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE. If you are disgusted by something, it does not have to remain that way. We might just be the most progressive generation that has ever lived (I said "might"), so why not. Look at how much we've evolved as singular people. Have you even thought about how much has changed in YOUR life in one minute? hour? day? week? year? How about life around you? We take the good and keep it going while taking what we're disgusted by and fixing it. Though, we have a long way to go, we're doing it! The whole "making do with what you're dealt with" thing is DEAD! Get on it, friend!
I wish I remember who told me or where I heard it first, but I once heard someone say "Fear" & "Faith" basically have the same definition. I mean, if you want to be "above average IQ" about it and screenshot definitions of both words to prove to me that this statement is a lie, go for it. However, both words essentially mean "believing in something that hasn't happened". Think about that. There are so many things that we are afraid of. Everything you feel is valid, sure; but sometimes, the things we feel are very irrational and unnecessarily amplified to fit a situation that may not be so grand. It's not our faults. That's just how we are made to be. But just imagined if we substituted our fear for faith? What if we thought to ourselves "I have faith that this will/won't happen" instead of "I have a fear that this will/won't happen"? A minute into September 1st and fear consumed almost everything I did. I have grown to hate complacency and mediocrity because last year was full of just that. I was doing "okay" in school, I only talked to a couple of people, I'd only go to school then home, I'd find myself always wanting to just be home and nowhere else. It was really bad. I was scared to fail at anything, so I didn't try at anything. It took very stern lectures from family to really get myself together to do something with my life, but I was STILL very fearful of outcomes that are COMPLETELY unreasonable and irrational. That's fine, though, because it all grew to become amazing opportunities to do SO MANY amazing things. The biggest thing to come out of this month is something that I am VERY excited about (mentioned briefly in Chapter 8 & Chapter 9). I haven't acted onstage ever since April'2017 when I played Gomez Addams in the musical, The Addams Family, but I am SO PLEASED & SO BLESSED to announce that I will be playing Riley in the musical, Parade! I looked at September, from the beginning, as something to have faith in and, somehow, I manifested what I wanted into reality. Try speaking good things into existence, bless that thought with some FAITH instead of FEAR, and see what happens. Fear is healthy, yes. But excessive amounts of fear will keep us from not living our best lives.
See, I have to keep reminding myself that "anger" is not a sin. Acting upon your anger in awful, unsafe ways are sinful, but being angry is not being sinful. God gets so angry sometimes, and I don't think it's taken into account by us how angry God can get. The full, unleashed wrath of God has not been seen in my lifetime just yet, to my knowledge. Every day, I feel as if we get closer to God's breaking point where he just SNAPS, but this chapter ain't about all that! My point is that anger not being a bad thing is something that we all have to understand. HOWEVER, there is a catch. I'm sure that I touched on this in a previous chapter, but I was never a fan of those who have chose me to "spaz out" on but then come to me later talking about how they have "anger issues" that they haven't learned to control yet. You are can not be completely aware that you have a problem and not work on yourself to better the situation or fix it because that is completely unfair to whoever's receiving the full brunt of your outburst. If you have issues, solve them. We choose our emotions. We choose how we react to things. I'm not sure if we can control the INITIAL-INITIAL reaction, but I know for sure that anything afterward is COMPLETELY chosen by us. Now, there were so many minuscule moments all throughout the month of September that brought the anger out of me that I can't even remember at this point. However, there was one distinct situation that I found myself in where I would ALWAYS find myself angry whenever I thought about the principle of the matter. When it came to my anger, I would quickly react instead of just sitting on the situation in order to be logical about it. However, being in that situation made me notice that whenever I find myself in predicaments with other people, I pray for them. I always pray for people even if I'm sure they're not even praying for me or even wishing bad upon me. It's always been implemented since childhood that you treat people how you wish to be treated and you pray for those who need it. It's hard, but it's something that I found easier to do than being angry. Taking situations to God makes things just so much better.
Talking about anger is the perfect segue, in my opinion, to talking about sadness. In fact, the situation I mentioned before plays a crucial part in this section here. I actually have my best friend, Nadiyah, to thank for the inspiration of this section (song of the week is dedicated to you, bud). I've been wanting to make a chapter about "feeling all of your emotions fully then letting go of your pain" because of her. Long story short, I was coming home from school one day late at night & I was on FaceTime with Nadiyah. I was ranting about all the things that have been stressing me out, which led to me completely unleashing the beast within me. This was the angriest I've been in a while and I was saying things that matched that. Everything I felt was angry until my voice started to shake. My voice started to soften while I had all of these things to say and then I felt tears stream from my face. I literally began sobbing on the phone parked in my driveway with Nadiyah on the phone just listening to me scream and cry. It was a messy, ugly cry that led to just complete and utter silence. At that moment, I had completely surrendered to God and let him take everything. But remember that chapter I posted about seeing God in people? I don't know how God did it, but when Nadiyah was consoling me after the mental breakdown I had, it sounded like God was speaking through Nadiyah and was guiding me throughout my episode. Sadness, out of all of these emotions, may just be the hardest emotion to endure because you try. You try so hard all the time to be strong for yourself and for others, you try t keep everything together because it's easier like that, and you try to be okay. But sometimes, you're not okay. Sometimes, life sucks. But you know what, emotions were made for us to feel them, including sadness. Y'know how in Inside Out, Joy and Sadness (polar opposites) work together at the climax of the film to bring Riley home to her parents to reconcile? That's kind of how we got to do things with our emotions. In order to be in touch and be comfortable with ourselves, we have to be in tuned with all of our emotions. I know that for me, being a young black man, it's very frowned upon and discouraged to feel anything but anger in order to look more like a man (which is something that stems from the times of slavery......different story for a different chapter), but I encourage everyone, ESPECIALLY black men, to understand THEIR OWN mental health and emotions because it's SO important to do so.
I am still alive. 'Nuff said.
Remember when I asked you to keep the character descriptions of Riley's emotions in mind? I asked you that and told you about my month to ask you the following:
Who took over the heart, the mind, & the soul this past month the most? In your words & your actions, who was on duty the most?
Who needs to take over this month? In your words & your actions, who needs to be on duty more?
Ever planning to let God take over for a while?
Sincerely Yours Sometimes,
PS: SONG OF THE WEEK: Jon Bellion - Guillotine (featuring Travis Mendes)
(Every time I post, I will include a song that may or may not correlate with the topic I write about. This is me thanking you for reading my posts by gifting you with good music.)