What My World's Like

be inspired: stand up for what’s right.

Nov
19

Admittedly, I’ve been fairly removed from the Occupy Wall Street movement that’s been brewing for the past few months. Last night, I found out a retired Philadelphia Police Captain joined the protest and was arrested. Not generally a fan of this country’s “defense” systems, it’s cool to see a police officer with a true understanding of where he stands within this nation’s social hierarchy and being one with the people and not against.

Here’s a short video of an impromptu interview before he was arrested.

Read more about this here.

What My World Sounds Like: Adele

Mar
09

I remember it clearly. It was 2008. I was living in Philly, but visiting New York. Standing in a Sony Music office talking to a former co-worker, I heard this amazing music playing in the other room. Bluesy. Touching. Heartfelt. Powerful.

I was distracted. So much so that I walked away from my conversation into a stranger’s office, apologized for interrupting and emphatically, almost pleadingly, asked, “Who is this?”

Her name was Adele. The album was 19. And with that information, in an instant, I became a fan.

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How to use your* prostitute. (*yes, you have one regardless of your sex)

Jun
01

prostitute

I’m different. I’ve always been different, always felt different, but didn’t always have peace with it. Sometimes I fought it, bumped heads with others because of it, and even embraced it. It’s a sordid past I share with it. As I matured, though, I began to appreciate the fact that I was different. I eventually found it odd that most of us spend so much of our youth trying to fit in before usually spending the rest of our lives trying to distinguish ourselves. After all, aren’t we all different?

My official occupation for the past five years should read ‘nomad’. I’ve lived in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Antonio, St. Louis, and even in an L.A. suburb. Right now, I’m on my way to South Korea. Each line of my resume places me in a different state and/or in a different industry so it’s quite likely that most companies seeking a long-term employee will immediately discard it upon review despite my qualifications; it doesn’t exactly scream company loyalty. Here’s the thing: I’m okay with that. Why? Because I’m different. That fact is evidenced not just by my thought process, hairstyle, interests or style of dress; my journey and choices are highly reflective of my individuality. My path hasn’t always been easy or glamorous, but it has been true to my essence as a free spirit.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, here’s a little something else: you’re different, too. You have dreams you haven’t followed, thoughts you haven’t shared, passions you haven’t explored. In short, you have a life you haven’t lived.

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SPOTLIGHT: Nneka

Jan
10

I could barely contain myself as songstress Nneka (pronounced neck-ah) introduced this live performance of “Heartbeat” at the World Cafe in Philadelphia. The authenticity of her musicianship and the sincerity of its messages are immediately evident. Confrontational and political, yet humane, Nneka’s music forces you to feel. Perhaps she embodies Bob Marley’s message of being able to cure hate and anger with music. Perhaps…

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“We’ve gotta be calm”

Apr
28

give thanks

There was a time when I was really intrigued by the idea of fate. Thought it was sealed, and that it was, at least for me, a bad thing. The idea of having no control was quite bothersome to me. After several questions and revisits, I’ve decided that I still believe in fate, although I’ve found a way to reconcile things that are “supposed” to happen with making things happen. I think everything happens for a reason.

Sometimes. Not always actively, anyway.

Last week, I was leaving Philadelphia on my way back to Texas. The check-in line wasn’t that long and I had an hour and a half before my flight so I figured we’d breeze right through. Well, not so much. About twenty minutes passed, and I was virtually still in the same place. The annoyance was beginning. There had to be about 12 kiosks. None of them worked. There were three to four attendants checking people in and no explanation as to why the same people being served then were the same people who were being served when we first got in line.

As more time passed, anxiety crept in. What was going on? It doesn’t take this long to check in. With each passing minute, my patience, barely existent to begin with, wore thinner. My friend, always much cooler than me, urged me to relax, but I couldn’t take it. Eventually, my stomach tightened and my breath shortened. It was at this point that I really began to lose my cool. I wasn’t causing a scene or anything, but definitely became unpleasant to the person I was waiting with.

When we finally reached the front of the line, I realized what the problem was and it was so simple that I was quickly embarassed by my previous attitude. I was flying AirTran, whose hub is in Atlanta. The weather there was pretty bad, so all incoming and outgoing flights were delayed. The attendants were trying to reroute passengers to different cities.

After I got to the counter, I was informed that I could either stay in Philadelphia one more night or stay the night in Atlanta and fly out the next morning.  I have friends in Atlanta, so the prospect of staying overnight didn’t bother me.  I texted them both to see if they’d be able to pick me up and take me to the airport the next day.  A few minutes later, I had a “yes” from my friend LT, whom I haven’t seen in 3 years.  The ticket was booked and I hung out in Philly for a few more hours.

Once I got to Atlanta and met up with LT, I told him about what happened.  He said, “We’ve gotta be calm.”  We spent the rest of the evening talking, catching up.  In the morning, he had a play for preschoolers.  I’ve never seen any of his shows, so I was happy to be able to go.  After the play, we dashed to the airport and I caught my flight back to San Antonio.

It’s true: we’ve got to be calm.  In my case, everything worked out.  Actually, it always does.  I just don’t know how in the moment.  I would’ve never imagined my trip to New York and Philadelphia would’ve included a side trip to Atlanta, allowing me to hang out with a friend I’ve scarcely been in contact with.  I had an enjoyable evening and learned a few things about myself.  Hopefully, next time, I’ll remember to be calm.

carpe diem!

* I snagged these photos from LT’s house.   Loved his house.

Challenge: Find the good in where you are

Apr
05

heal-heart

Right now, I live in San Antonio. Been here for about seven months and can’t say that it’s been the most exciting time of my life. I can say that it’s been a very therapeutic time for me. Not too long ago, I realized that everywhere I’ve lived has served a different purpose for me, acted as a sort of theme, if you will. I was raised in St. Louis, which served as the framework for my understanding of the world. In Chicago, I really grew into my own. Became more of that which I already was. I moved to New York and really began to understand my work ethic. If I care, I’m all in. If I don’t, I’m pretty much out. The second time I was in Chicago was the most broke and probably depressing time of my life. I realized that I needed to make some changes. When I moved to California, I began to make some of those changes. Insights about my family structure of my childhood, or the lack thereof, became clear to me. Shortly thereafter, I moved to Philadelphia and the overarching theme of that period was love. L-O-V-E. As is the case with many relationships, my beau at the time served as a mirror for me, allowing me to see myself as I was and decide which changes I wanted to make. My time in Texas has been very introspective. Not a lot of activity, but necessarily so. I’m not sure I would’ve been able to grow the way I have in this time if I were in a city that really had my attention. So, yes, I’ve been ‘stranded’ on the West side of San Antonio, but I’m better because of my relatively dull evenings and weekends indoors.

Operating with the understanding of why I’m in Texas, in terms of the larger theme of healing, has been incredibly helpful. I no longer hate being here or think I made a mistake in moving here. Very often, we condemn parts of our lives because we don’t understand their purposes.  Everything can be used.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  Meaning is never inherent; it’s always created.  Find the value in the experiences you’ve had and the experiences you’re having right now.  If you haven’t done this already, it will change the way you understand your world.

Find the good.