It’s August. This month started out bad for me. To be honest, even with great milestones this year hasn’t been the greatest for me. Somehow I got back in the rock and hard place of “doing what I can or have to” instead of “doing what I want to do and love”. It lead to a very stressful, anxiety filled and depressive state. That state became somewhat paralyzing. I literally was sitting eating some hash browns thinking about my life and where it is and I started feeling pain. Pain in my back and legs. Agonizing, sharp pains. I was all alone in the house, yelling in pain. Too hurt to cry, but too down to feel like I can live. I buckled and couldn’t walk. I panicked and just stopped everything. I just laid in this spot, almost breathless until I felt enough blood rushing to my limbs to move again.
To be honest I got caught up in my own mind and it started blending too close to Social Media’s standards of “success”. For the first time ever, followers, likes, clout and exposure mattered to me. It mattered to the point I was thinking about doing things solely to achieve those things. It got to the point I was thinking about doing virtually anything. I felt disgusted with myself. Was I really ready to “do whatever” for likes and fame? Was I that starved to be accepted, build an audience and get paid? At the time I didn’t have the answers so I just logged out of every single social account I had and deleted them off of my phone. Before I did that I put out a message saying that I was suffering from stress and anxiety and needed to get away. I didn’t want to be perceived as “crying wolf” or “seeking attention” so I made that post and immediately got off the internet. I didn’t wait to see who liked or commented. I didn’t check the insight numbers to see if the word got out. I just cut myself off, cold turkey. I really had to see how low I’d sunk and exactly how much I got caught up in this fake world known as Social Media.
What I found is some people definitely took it serious and actually sent text messages to my phone. They wanted to check in and see where my mind was at. Give an encouraging word. A couple just wanted to tell me I was family and they loved me. It was an awesome feeling! Knowing that I could not be on social media, 2, 12, 24, 48, 72 plus hours and people were still reaching out to me gave me real clarity. It let me know that the social media world isn’t my whole world. It was a true defining moment in how to move forward and why.
How did I cope, heal and release? I went to Walmart, bought another notebook and 3 chocolate chip cookies. I had bought a notebook and pens a week or so before. That notebook was just for my goals and aspirations. In 10 minutes, I had 2 pages of things I wanted to do with my life and no visible direction of how to get there. I was so worried about the now. The career I was pushed out of. The jobs that aren’t paying well. The time, energy and expenses it was taking to barely get by. Putting the work and passion into things that just didn’t pay at all. It was all taking a toll on me. I doubted myself, the idea of God and whether or not I really had friends and family around me that really want to see me win. All these things were filling up my mind and body even while writing and reading my goals. It finally affected me painfully physically. So I went back to doing what I always did when my thoughts consumed me; Writing. It was the one effortless thing I always did well in my life.
I honestly should have tried to become a professional writer. Professor Henderson told me I should when he read my piece on Stevie Wonder to the class. I think he only read 2 out of 30 papers. Possibly more. I just know after class he stopped me and told me that I should consider a career in writing. Me being a foolish, money hungry teen said, “but do they make good money?” Professor Henderson didn’t give a definite yes, but he did say that I could be very successful at it. If I knew happiness was a bigger component to success at 19, I would have dropped out of that tech school after his class and tried to get in to Columbia, DePaul or NIU. Shoot, I might have even called Marquette University back, did that visit, signed up and been classmates with D Wade. However, I didn’t. I’ll finish that piece later. Back to the original premise.
The time off and away from social media and writing loosened the muscles and joints in my body. In just a couple of hours, I was releasing so many thoughts, statements, idea, words, lyrics, and poems in my head. I even wrote about things I was unhappy about with life. I felt pain leaving my mind and body. I felt my vision getting clearer. I felt drained and sleepy. I knew it meant my mind was at ease. I knew it meant I was healing. Although, the reality of everything in front of me hadn’t change, I felt better. That’s all I wanted to do. Feel better.
All the above and a Gary Vee video I watched before work lead me here. Gary Vee is the man! He always speaks on “finding your talent”. Knowing what you’re good at and doubling or tripling down on that. Having a real conversation with yourself about who you are and what you can do. The message hit harder than ever last week. What it made me realize is that the one thing that can never be denied is my ability to write. I’m a great writer. Bottom line. It’s natural. I’m sure some grammar and punctual police may beg to differ, but here’s the reality. There is technical writing and there is writing with passion. I am a master of writing with passion. I spark feeling, emotion and conversation when I write. I paint pictures and draw perspectives on a pen or a keyboard. I speak from a genuine place and I am felt even when a person may disagree. That’s why I’m a great writer.
Writing is my Plan A moving forward. It makes me feel good. It helps me navigate through life. I also believe my writing can help someone else. Why? Because I have the courage to make my words public as myself and stand on every single word. I look forward to doing that for all of you for as long as God allows. So enjoy my life, times and ideas in my own words. Here is the official birth of “The Pen Pimp.” Thank you for reading.