Updated: Jun 9, 2021
This introspective look was inspired by a good friend of mine, Carlos Anthony. His series called Pretty Boys Don’t Cry was powerful for me.
And so here I am… Sharing me with you all. In a few different portions. Some parts will weave into each other, so to read everything would be best.
Now let’s get started…
At the age of 5 years old, I thought that at the age of 25, I would become a doctor, married to a blonde hair white woman with 3 dark skin children. That’s one thing that made me realize that what we are exposed to can shape us.
In my teens, I viewed being old as being over the age of 30. I viewed that as being over the hill and I since had thought that I needed to accomplish all that I had set my mind to or I would be over the hill. Family also helped and continued to help in creating that narrative in my mind. That’s why I avoid those conversations, but that will be discussed in the family portion later on.
At the age of 25, I was engaged to be married and was laughing at my 45 year old uncle because he was not married and still playing the field. I am now no longer engaged. Never got married. My fiancée got married and got children. My uncle also got married and got children. I’m out playing in the field now. That nigga still ain’t shit.
In my 30s, my grey hair started showing in my beard and later on, in my hair.
And this year…
I turned 40.
The way I have evolved in the past 40 years has been nothing short of phenomenal.
One thing about me is that I was always highly intelligent, but would not show it. I wanted to be liked by people. That behavior continued well into my mid thirties. Demeaning myself to everyone’s whims until I realized that sometimes, people just wouldn’t like me no matter how much I kissed up to them.
There was also a time when I was very homophobic and ignorant. I talked about homosexuals like anyone who had a problem with them now. In my growth, I have come to find out that their truth is just what it was. Their truth. And honestly, if they were committing a sin, it was no greater than the sin of fornication or lying which we do every day. I learned to stop policing people when I was, again, in my thirties. And I’m in support of all people living their truths… Predominantly, Black People!
But the idea to stop policing people really came when I found out that my baby sister was dating the man who became her husband. Can’t say that I liked him. I judged him from his past. But he turned out to be a good man and good father. I came to find out that I was just an older brother. Not my siblings’ parents.
But I was taught by my parents to be a beacon to them. I was the head of the train. If I derailed, they would too.
Funny enough what your parents would put in your head as a child. Like be careful, or you’ll be embarrassed if you do one thing or the other. And what did I have as confirmation? Family members who actually made fun of me at various given moments. Again, in my thirties, I found a way to get back to unlearning this way of thinking. And honestly, I hear it in others, when they say, “What would others think?”
And I would think to myself, “What about them?”
And I am not just giving myself props for working this thing out. I had to go through 3 different therapists before I could get here. And I recommend every black person to meet with a person of color when dealing with mental health. It will make things easier for you.
I also experienced growth in spirituality. Reading books from William Marrion Branham, I felt like being Christian was the only thing to be. I would take the bus, Bible in hand, reading it on my way to work. I would tell myself that it was because I was really studying the word, but honestly, I wanted people to notice me reading.
I even translated in Church from French to English or English to French. Even translated a wedding like that. But I was no more into the word that a politician was into telling the truth. I was into being seen. I wanted fame. I always wanted fame. I wanted to be known for what I was capable of doing. I was the only one who could translate like that and I was able to prove it. And it made me more popular in Church. Mind you, my brother and I were already popular with some of the young ladies at Church. I just wanted to have a name there where people would see me and would see me as being high up there.
I felt that way until I had my heart broken. My engagement went bad. Details in a future post, but to give you the gist of it... She cheated on me, I cheated on her, she cheated one me, I cheated on her, she cheated on me again and I was done. I blamed God for that. I could not be in a Church of His, because He allowed me to feel this incredible pain that I could not describe. Funny enough, even without being in a Church building, I found myself experiencing such pain. Still could not describe it, but it was too goddamn familiar. Almost like an acquaintance that I couldn’t ghost.
The end of that relationship put me on a path of self improvement. For 3 years, I was depressed. I would go to work, come back home and stay in my room. In between, I’d stop at Wendy’s because they had the new Spicy Baconator sandwich. I would eat one every day for 30 days. And for 3 years, as I stuffed myself with fast food and alcohol (lots of rhum), I kept asking myself one question. What was wrong with me? Why would she cheat on me? What made me so inadequate that she would renege on our promise to meet at the altar? I had questions that I couldn’t answer because this was not a me problem. It was a her problem. It would take me 10 years to learn that one. And even then, I had to be reminded.
I went to this Asian psychiatrist. A work program provided by the company I was employed by at the time. After 5 sessions, the man called me shallow. Apparently, the fact that I wanted to be attracted to the women I approached was shallow. That didn’t get me out of my funk. Nah, that got me onto a path of listening to dudes who preached the best to get over pussy is to find new pussy. My clubbing weekends came out of this. Attempting to bag women and bring them over. Only one woman was I able to seduce during those club times, so you can imagine how much my confidence was affected.
About a year of night outs, almost getting into fights with bouncers and other club goers, getting drunk, driving home drunk, throwing up, having hangovers and not feeling better about myself, all in the hopes of getting laid. When my mindset was on that, that was all I started to look for. Entering relationships while looking for instant gratification. The shit was sad and it lasted until 2013 when I had my first adult relationship. I say my first adult relationship because I still had the mind of a little boy when engaging with the women I dealt with before. I had to learn to not just be about myself. I had to learn about communication and reciprocity. I had to learn about supporting your partner and being supported. And the most important part...Because we argued. And I had to learn to end a relationship when it was time.
Another thing I noticed about my growth… Women to me were people to observe. So weird, but at the time, when I had 2 friends of the female persuasions meeting for the first time, I wondered if they would argue or fight. My thoughts about women were very low. It took me engaging with women on a friendship level to change that. And from there, while my mind was transitioning away from the misogyny I had been living in, I spoke with other misogynists and recognized that their language was similar to that of racists when dealing with black folks. The male privilege was showing and I no longer wanted to be on that train. And even now, I pick and choose my battles, but I always put my support towards women. Especially black women. That’s probably why I like writing about strong female protagonists.
Memory lane is a bitch but it seems like I’ll be doing this a lot with this introspective thing.
I’m 40, but I’m not old. And after having watched the Isley Brothers Verzuz competition against Earth, Wind & Fire, I can’t wait to become grey like Ron Isley. I can pull that off better than he did. I know I can. I have a new therapist that I started talking to and I think I’m on my way to something better soon.