Chapter 18: God Bless These 20 Somethings
I turn twenty years old on Tuesday, December 4th.
This was a day that I have been dreading ever since I was little. Actually, no. I think I dreaded turning 13 first for a VERY valid reason: As soon as your age is off of the clock, it's all downhill from there. (I promise you, I am not just A prophet. I am THE prophet.) But I think from then, I was petrified of turning twenty for sad, practical reasons that came out of nowhere. I always believed that by now, I would have just about everything figured out. According to my guesses, I would be marrying someone four years from now, possibly awaiting a child, beginning my professional career in whatever I ended up choosing, and traveling the world with my millions. See, that's hopeful of me to believe all this. It's very cute on paper. In practice, this is messy. Can we just talk about that for a second? Have you ever seen a twenty four year old financially stable married with children traveling the world? Like, honestly Lucien? Seriously, I thought you were smarter than that! But there's no telling what could take place in your twenties, especially how the world is set up today. I just want to say that as a young black man living in America in 2018, I am more than blessed to be seeing twenty years (knock on wood because I'm writing this on Friday night). The fact that I am still needed, in God's eyes, to fulfill a relatively tiny part of a huge plan is mind-boggling to me. I don't think that I've discovered/started to fulfill my true purpose just yet, but part of me believes that this is the year that I, at least, begin to dabble more than I've ever done in it (if that makes sense). With all this said, I want to end this chapter with a relatively predictable activity for myself: Listing the things/people I am grateful for. It's cliche of me, I get it. Don't judge me! Shut up! It's my blog! Get your own!
I felt wrong doing a list of what I'm grateful for without putting this first. The Marist community, though I can't explain our mission statement to the people that ask me about it very well, shaped me into the person I am today. I kid you not. People ask me why I'm the way I am the way that I am and it's always the same three answers: my family, the Marist community, and it's what everyone should be doing like are you serious!?! I was going to give Matt Fallon his own spot, but that'd be exactly what he WANTS me to do. But I do have him to thank for actually trusting in me enough to inspire young minds at so many retreats and believing in my writing enough to give me a platform to speak my mind. I don't know why, though. I'm LITERALLY a mess. But, the fact that I was struggling to keep Marist in"the real world" once upon a time and now I do it with ease is so dope! So, thank you!
The communities at St. Michael's School & Roselle Catholic shaped me in ways I don't want to admit. But I still keep in touch with faculty from both schools, and I am CONSTANTLY reminded of who I was back in the cut. These people watched me grow from nothing to som-....well, I'm still nothing FOR NOW. But they've watched me grow and claim me as their passion project, which I really appreciate. These adults, whom I used to be annoyed by as a young grasshopper (sometimes...depending on the person), became friends of mine. Mentors. I did NOT see it coming!
I don't know how, but I think that this was my best year for music. I remember tweeting one time "there's so much dope music out there, but do I have time to listen to all of it?" That prompted my man, Timmy, to tweet back "No, so don't waste your time on trash." Since that day, I've been expanding on my taste & I can't thank myself enough for it. Soundtracking my whole nineteenth journey around the sun, I have learned so much about who I am because I what I choose to listen to. Honestly, thank GOD for music!
Okay. In all honesty, this may have been the best year for me when it came to pushing my pen. Whether it was blogging, songwriting, playwriting, academic writing, or journaling, I've grown so much on paper. I definitely want/need to keep growing, but one of my best decisions was choosing to take my writing more seriously. There's so much to look forward to when it comes to my writing, so stay tuned!
Successes & Failures
There's so much to be proud of this year! I honestly feel that, especially near the end, nineteen was a year of making moves. However, there's so much I am disappointed in when it came to this year. Both in the outside and inside world, there's much to wish to change. Nevertheless, I am so grateful for the lessons I ended up learning in spite of all of that. All I wish for myself now is that I keep growing and never limit myself in anything I want to accomplish.
I wrote about this once before, but I want to touch on this really quickly. I remember saying once "if everyone else gets to change, then why can't I?" The gag is I CAN CHANGE. Change comes about when you decide that YOU want to change. Growth happens when you choose to grow. Age is just a number (in this case). I am honestly so grateful that I've made changes to become who I am. It's not GREAT just yet, but I'm getting there.
Family (That I Chose)
I don't think I have to list you all by name, but if you know, then you know. This year was full of trials and errors that you've listened to me talk about all year (some more than others). Being nineteen was something I don't think I'll ever forget, and a lot of it has to deal with having a good foundation. Because of you, friend, I'm still alive spiritually and emotionally. You all prove to me that God is at work, and for that I thank you to the moon and back.
Yolande, Landy & Christine
You simpletons are my reasons to live. In your own ways, you're all SO annoying. So am I, but damn! Still, I choose you all every time. There were many times this year, in particular, where I was the butt of the joke for "not having any friends". It's fine, to an extent, but it's such a lie. You guys are my best friends, even if I act out and treat you poorly. You guys are my first line of defense who taught me the ropes even if I didn't have to use some of them. I don't know who loves who more and we don't have to compete with each other to find that out, but just know that I love you more than I love spending alone time in the bathroom...and I LOVE spending alone time in the bathroom.
Mom & Dad
Do I even have to explain this one? C'mon? If I had to refrain from being too emotional, I'd condense this expression of gratitude by saying thank you for bringing me into this world almost twenty years ago. I love you so much.
As I embark on my third decade in this world you created, please continue you watch over me, guide me, teach me, use me, love me, and instill in me your power, intellect, will, words, actions, and love to spread throughout the world. Thank you so much for all you've done for me these past twenty years.
Here's to more life! SZN20, baby! Let's go!!
Sincerely Yours Sometimes,
PS: SONG OF THE WEEK: SZA - 20 Something
(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.)