So, my homeboy since high school caught his flight back to Florida yesterday and all I can say is.....Thank God!!! He visited me here in L.A. for a week and I am so glad to finally be alone again. Not that my friend is particularly irritating or anything, I just, for some reason, really value my space. Throughout the week, I kept wondering if I'm even the type to move in with a significant other. This past week, I really pondered that question and what it meant to my life. I don't know why, but I don't like sharing my space.
So, I got a call yesterday from my Dad. He and I have been on the rocks for the past two years, the time after he suffered a brain aneurysm and was hospitalized for months. My dad holds a lot of blame against me, for reasons I have failed to make him understand. I have tried to be sensitive to the fact that he may not be "all there" anymore due to the accident, but he has at times been extremely disrespectful to me. So, I did exactly what me and my brothers are used to doing with my father: stop talking to him. I don't know, he seems to like it...
Well, I invited myself to Vegas this week to spend the first Thanksgiving in almost a decade with my father and older brother. However, the next day, my father calls and explains to me, in so many words, that I am not welcome to Vegas for Thanksgiving if I do not apologize for being "rude" and "disrespectful" in past phone conversations. I wanted to tell him exactly what he can suck when he gave me this ultimatum of sorts. However, I didn't.
What I wanted to tell my Dad the most was that I don't need him. That I haven't needed him for the past 8 years of my life, the span of my entire adult life, where he has insisted on having a volatile relationship with myself and my brothers stemming from his gripping fear of losing control of what he has always deemed as his possessions: his children. At every turn, when we did not do as he "advised" he wrote us off even more. To him, we were "stupid", "dumb", and "disappointing". To him there was no "let them find their own way", it was "why the hell aren't they doing it MY way...?". So, I've gotten used to not having him around, to not talking to him, to not respecting him.
However, I have recently concluded that I do not want my father to die bitter and lonely. His health is already fading fast and with all of his anger towards his family, he's on a fast track to the grave. Add that to his obsession with death and dying. At this point, the only thing I want from my dad is to know that he can have great relationships with his children and that every facet of life is not about being on the battlefield with loved ones. He already has no impact on my life, but I'd be willing to let him into mine, if he lets me into his. But, I know me. And I can give as good as I get. I'm a smart ass and very opinionated. So, I pray for strength to hold back when I really want to set the record straight. To not flinch at his underhanded insults. He's going to have to realize that if he wants to fight, he will be doing it by himself. Throughout this experiment with my Dad, my plan is to not give him the fight he wants, the fight he expects. With a bit of reverse psychology, I plan to bite my tongue and kill him with kindness. After all, isn't that the best way to die? And if, by chance, this little experiment fails, I will not be reaching out ever again. This is the last call...
Today is my 26th birthday and I just woke up. It's been a while since I've visited my blog and this morning I'm thinking of a comment my assistant said to me yesterday. He told me that he admired me because I was so "in-tune" to myself. I had heard a similar comment from one of my bosses who said I was very "self-aware". Those statements have stuck with me. They're interesting. If true, they're most likely the result of many years of insecurity.
I guess it can be said that I know what I don't want; even if sometimes I'm not sure I know what I want. I think I have definitely learned to recognize when I'm comfortable and when I'm not - when to go hard and when to ease up - when to stay and when to go. I know myself better than I did this time last year. Now, just unafraid to actually be myself and to trust my emotions and intuitions.
I've been joking with my boss that I don't have a life. That's partially true. I'm definitely back into my hole. However, it's self-induced and much appreciated. I've recently come to recognize that I go through phases where I am very social and outgoing and then phases where I don't want to be bothered much with the outside world. And I like that. I need that.
I just finished a biography on the life of the writer, James Baldwin. I was so intrigued to read out the life of a writer, particularly a Black male writer, to find out how he coped with the insanity of it all. I think I was looking for some secret to be revealed to me. It seemed to me, after reading the book, that Baldwin spent so many years of his life just trying to find a quiet place to write. He traveled from Harlem to Paris to Istanbul among other places seemingly just looking for a quiet place to write. I think I do the same. I'm already dreaming of life after Los Angeles. I want to travel afar and across the seas. All with the hope that my writing will be gainfully influenced and I'll write that one pivotol story - the one I'm meant to tell.
As for my current life, I have a small circle of friends here in L.A. A circle that doesn't require me to be in someone's club or bar every weekend. I love spending my weekends going to the library, reading or working on new screenplays. At the moment, I'm gearing up to film my first film project in over a year. I'm really excited. I think I'm ready.
So, on my birthday, I am asking myself if the comments from my assistant and my boss ring true. My answer today would be: Maybe so.
I believe in God. Even during my phase as an early adult when I thought
the truly smart thing to do was to act as if He didn't exist, I
discovered I couldn't act Him away. Like Celie says in Alice Walker's
The Color Purple, "...trying to do without Him sure is hard..." Many
people who've come across me at some point or another at times in my
life have expressed to me that they didn't think I believed in God.
That my outlook on religion couldn't possibly leave room for belief...in
Him. But it isn't true. But I usually leave people to suspect
wrongly. To judge wrongly. In my opinion, it's no one's business.
Now, I'm a big talker. I love to share. But, my spiritual relationship
has always been to personal to wear on my sleeve. I think it's mostly
because I feel most wouldn't understand it. And it's not for anyone to
understand but me. It's something I keep closely guarded. He knows me
better than anyone. And I talk to him daily. Usually in short
thoughts. When I notice a beautiful sunrise. A yellow flower in a
field full of green. A cool, heavenly breeze on a lazy evening. More
often than not, I get offended when I hear people share so much of their
relationship with God with the world...it's as if they're bragging.
Like they need to convince themselves of something. As if they want to
be supported...as if they need the support, the job well done. I don't
know about most, but my relationship is too personal to share, which I
very rarely uncover (like right now). I used to think that God wasn't
real because he doesn't speak to me. Not the way I hear he does to
others. Until I learned that he speaks through me. But I wrote this
blog tonight because I wanted to ask a question. I think, if I could
have a conversation with God, and He talk back, I would ask: "Is there
ever a reward for all the pain?"
Sometimes it needs to be said. And sometimes it needs to be heard. A
friend of mine called me today. I originally reached out to him this
week for business reasons and he called me to follow up. As we caught
up on our personal lives and before we hung up, he told me about a frat
brother of his that had just committed suicide. He wanted me to know
that he loved me and to never forget I was well loved. He knowing my
history with depression, told me that anytime I needed to talk to him to
do so and that he would do the same. I was little caught off guard. I
caught myself tearing up. I personally don't hear those words very
often and it had been about three years since I'd heard it from this
particular person. For the past year, I had been having trouble trying
to figure out what he thought of our friendship as it stood today, we
had been through soooo many challenges in the past. But with those
words, he answered my reservations. I have female friends who say "I
love you" so easily to me. But for some reason, him saying it meant so
much. I needed to hear them. I needed to hear today with the way I'd
been feeling as of late. And unbeknownst to me, it was he who I needed
to hear say them. "I love you." It made a difference in ways he'll
So. I don't quite know how to start this topic or how to explain how I
got the inspiration for it. Recent conversations and happenings have
made me realize that the people I used to know didn't deserve the
pedestal I placed them on. I used to think my old "friends" were so
cool, so much better looking, so much more talented than I. I'm seeing
people differently. And I'm faulting myself less. An exchange with an
acquaintance made me ask myself whether my honesty runs people away. I
never thought about it before. I have this one associate "Justin" who
whenever I share a random thought about something that I wouldn't think
is a big deal, I don't hear back from him for days, sometimes a week.
And it makes me laugh, though it used to confuse me. Looking back, I
will never apologize for being so emotionally honest. I'm too lazy to
fake being myself for someone else's comfort. It took me a long time to
At my loneliest, I feel guilt. I look around me searching for the
reasons why I am alone. I feel like I've been systematically shutting
down relationships. And now I'm doing the same to the new ones. Why
start something that's going to end up broken, is my current
philosophy? Lately, I've been asking God to remove memories of some
people from my past. I wish there was a way, a reset button, that you
can use to expel any history of someone you don't want to remember.
Because it's the memories of the good times, the memories of the
potential that you once believed in that make you, in your loneliest
hours, wonder...how exactly did I lose it? Could I have done more?
I need to learn to be 100% okay with the decisions I've made. I can't
continue to drive myself crazy wondering if the traits that I cherish
about myself and are most proud of are the ones that drove away the
people I once loved. Or thought I loved. That's why I'm clinging ever
so close to my immediate family nowadays. They're the only ones that
have been constant. I don't have to worry about them throwing me away
or running away from me, out of fear. The rest of the world is a
different story which leads to my current state: I'm scared to love