Friday, January 23, 2009

Change Is In the Air for 2009, Hopefully for the Better

Random Thoughts on Personal Change & more...

So what does the Obama Victory, and now Presidency mean to me? I'm still not sure. My feelings keep changing. A few weeks ago I wrote commentary (that I never posted) where I praised Obama's victory, but didn't think that it would really have a positive measurable impact on how Black youth perceive themselves, how they performed in school, and how they navigated through life in general terms. I wrote that many of the problems for Blacks, especially Black males, would remain.

I also believed (at the time) that Obama wouldn't have much of an impact on my own life in terms of my problems with Black identity, how I perceived myself or how others would perceive me as a man of color. I believed (and for the most part still believe) that I would still be seen through a stereotypical lens by Whites and other non-Blacks....that I would be seen as less than because of my skin color. I will probably always feel this way. I understand that no matter how well Obama does, I will still have to run faster and jump higher just to be considered a worthy equal by non-Blacks. I will continue to have to work for some sort of White approval...whether I want to or not....and whether I even know it or not (I often find myself doing this when I am not trying to and when I am not cognizant of it).

However, after the events of the past week, I don't feel as rigid or hardcore about these views. The pride of seeing Obama take the oath, and seeing him saluted by his honor guard, seeing well over a million Americans of all ethnic groups in Washington to witness history first hand, seeing him walking outside of his limo to greet onlookers, and seeing White powerbrokers calling this man "Mr. President"... it is all having a moderating effect on me already. I expected to be in my watchdog, (almost anti-Obama) mode this week... ready to pounce on the first signs of backtracking or of a mistake. And yes.... I will eventually get into that mode of being critical of Obama... and he will make plenty of mistakes. But for now, I have been somewhat neutralized by events. I am already looking at myself differently.


I am hoping that things will begin to pay off for me this year.... that my financial situation will begin to change. My financial paralysis has always led to a sort of social paralysis...and general life paralysis for me. I have never enjoyed a "normal" life situation in adulthood.... something that others take for granted. This has led to an absolutely pathetic "existence" (not really "a life" at all). Other folks would have probably committed suicide and would have been done with it by now... but my faith that something better would eventually come has kept me alive. I don't know how much longer that will last...but for now, i'm still here. But this situation of no money, and thus no relationships, no woman, and few comforts has to change and change soon.

Obama's victory, and his 2 days in office so far have already provided me with much needed fuel. Waking up each day and looking at myself in the mirror isn't quite so dreadful. My old hopes (some which died a long time ago) have been stirred again....
I think 2009 will be a pretty good year for me. Tough... but good. No matter how I feel about Obama's policies... his Presidency has put a little bounce in my step.

More Random Stuff...

I hope to start getting out more this year (for me that simply means taking myself to a movie or treating myself to dinner a few times).... I may even challenge myself to date again... at least one time. I despise dating (i'd rather lose an extremity).... mostly because I am so financially ill equipped and always have been. As a man, I am defined by what's in my bank account....and by how I make a living, even when I know I may have a few other things to offer. I know that once I find better (what I consider dignified) employment, how I view myself will immediately change. My crippling shyness and lack of confidence will begin to shift too... I'm 35 and I don't ask women out (for a variety of reasons). My attitude is... "why bother". I hate it so much that I didn't have my first date until I was 30. But with age is coming the fear that I will die without leaving anything behind... or I will be 40, 45, 50, with nothing. I'm already wishing that I could hit a rewind button to take myself back to 17, 18, or 19 to start all over again... Every major decision would be different.

I can't do anything about the past though... I only have control (or at least some control) of the future. And Obama is turning out to be a welcomed sight for me... i'm starting to reset my goals already.

Right now...on the personal front... i'm just hoping not to surpass former NBA Star AC Green when it comes to celibacy. If I pass AC Green, then i'll probably go ahead and make an appointment with Kevorkian. But that leaves me with 3 & 1/2 years. I just haven't been motivated. It has been by personal choice...but mostly because of financial circumstance. I hate myself...and feel like slitting both wrists when I see lesser men walking around with gorgeous women, and I see this everyday at work. It's like seeing someone enjoying Prime Steak when you are eating SPAM, bologna, and cheap bread everyday. But I just keep hoping that God has some sort of plan or purpose for me and that it will make sense at some point.

I also hope to reconnect with family this year. I have zero relationship with my 3 siblings. Mostly because I am embarrassed (of life, etc). Again... Obama is causing a rethink. I keep in touch with 1 or 2 family members on a scant basis... simply so they can claim me once i'm dead. I am detached from everyone else.... even from the Grandmother who helped raise me. "Change in our own lives" is definitely in order for me. It was something about the last several years that have been stifling.... Being social was always exhausting and draining for me... I have to work 10 times as hard as everyone else to do it... but I think 9/11 (among other things) helped pull me back into my cocoon. I mean... I'm not totally anti-social. I work where there are millions of visitors a year...where there are thousands of people passing through daily... in a work situation or in school... (although labored), I am able to do what I need to in order to accomplish the immediate task... I can navigate all sorts of social situations. I seem to be able to do this by zoning out..and blocking thoughts of weaknesses, etc. It's my personal life that is most dismal. So i'm making 2009...the year of personal improvement.. to be a better man (although it will probably take several years to get where I need to be... starting is the hard part).

On a lighter note...

I don't usually watch much TV... i'm always working during prime-time anyway. But I have recently found myself hooked on "The Cash Cab". If I were in New York City, I would be out looking for that damn Cab, even though there are thousands of Cabs in the Big Apple.

I'm also hooked on "Manhunters". It gets my adrenalin going. Generally, I tend to enjoy A&E, TLC, Discovery Channel, NatGeo, and the History Channel. Every now and then I will turn to MSNBC for news (since I am a politics and news junkie)... But I have been less interested since the election. You can only take so much corporate news. I get most of my daily news and info from NPR, CBS radio, USA Today, and more than a dozen internet sources. I do enjoy watching 'Countdown' on occasion though.

BTW... I was hoping that I would have something to really complain about after Obama's first 48 hours in office. But uhhh... I couldn't find anything to criticize. I guess that's a good thing... but it has an impact on my blogging inspiration. The man's first 2 days as President have exceeded my expectations.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Because of your blog, you've inspired me to start my own. My blog will be mostly about my journey back to college to finish. (38yr old, black male going from CAD draftsman to 3d artist) Also, it will have alot of my political, social, outdoors and sports musings in it.

Most of this, truthfully, was inspired by your courage to challenge our ppl to take a good hard look at ourselves in your blog. If you ever doubt that you have purpose, don't. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Also, check out a book called "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People". It changed the way I saw things in some of my darkest times. I hate grandiose proclamations about self-help books. Each persons perceptions are diff but I haven't meet one person who didn't get something out of it.

Last, I signed up for your blog (Paradigm was my username but I forgot where I put my password so I've been anonymous) and I've been coming 6-7days a week for your insight. You matter and you're talented. And you'll pull through.

PS: Once I started working on my own happiness, not in a selfish way but my overall soul (spirit) I found the woman I'd been looking for. It's the best aphrodisiac going. Better than money or looks is confidence. Make your happiness your goal and things will fall in to place.

Bless you brotha.