As of late , Ive been going though a bit of a personal identity crisis. Well, scratch that. Crisis is too dire a word. Broken down on the side of the highway with a dollar in your pocket and an uncharged phone is a crisis. Perhaps shift applies? Okay, we’ll stick with that. See, for several years I saw myself so much a riled up creative. Edgy, angst ridden pseudo romantic. I remember one time breaking into an abandoned hotel and ripping wallpaper off the walls and using it in a collage. See in the trajectory of my life, I’ve had no shortage of rabble rousing. I’ve marched in protests, been kicked out of properties, commiserated with questionable individuals whose ideas were not exactly in my best interests, but back then I was gung ho because I GOT IT.
I went, as many young folks do, through my ” fuck the man” state of existence. However, as the inevitable passage of time would have it- I can’t relate to this person I was anymore. For a long time, I staunchly maintained ideals I swore with every beat of my soul I would never diverge from. Hard core left leaning ideals.
Then, something happened.
I got older.
See, maturation isn’t the bogeyman we think it will be when we’re young. It opens the door to self reflection, which is a beautiful and beneficial thing. You get a chance to stop, assess, breath, look back and either pat yourself on the back or shake your head in utter humiliation. You grow , and hopefully you learn. Trust me when I tell you that having a brutal look in the mirror with a clear and unfettered mind will teach you more then any university.
This leads into what was going to be an earlier post. For a long time I was a devotee of the open mic poetry scene. You would be hard pressed to find someone more passionate then I was in the scene around 2014-2016. I hit them all up, like a verbal buffet, sampling bit by bit and forming a taste I could enjoy. I met many individuals and many persons who I’m still friends with to this day and for that I will never be ungrateful. Its amazing what a low inhibition brought on by cheap wine, a page of a moleskin and a dead end job’s worth of angst can do for a room. This was my ritual and I did it with zeal and zest. I identified strictly as a “poet and spoken word artist”, a term that I now reel at, if not for its obliqueness and sheer pretense. I chose to step away from the scene when I saw it go downhill from my observation. Too much pandering to socialital politics and insipid baseless PC mores rather then fiery freewheeling passion that got me there in the first place, and this I will go into further on another entry. However, what I’m getting at is I began to identity myself so strictly as this wordsmith that I didn’t know what else to be. . I learned something a long time ago at the gym. When you give to much energy to one muscle group, and work only that, the rest of the body will grow weak and ultimately give out on you.
Have you ever gotten so bemired in one aspect of your personality , you don’t know how to operate outside of it? I was so lost in terms and phrases, romanticizing every nuance of life from a corner that I forgot how to live it- and engage with it,the very instincts that brought me to it in the first place- which needless to say, became unhealthy. Rose colored glasses can look sharp and chic, but don’t necessarily help ones vision of the world around them. When we give to much of yourself to one aspect of what we are, all else is neglected and suffers. In my little studio apartment, on the fringes of the strip- I feel a transformation occurring. I don’t know what to tell you is on the other side of this. I’ve joined a gym again. I’m making an effort to build up my body. Not for vanity, but for health and a long life. My mind is more open to voices I would have blissfully and hastily shunned 7 years ago. My personal politics have gotten more moderate leaning as a pose to dyed in the wool liberal I once was. I’m open to the greater conversation. I want to meet people I once disagreed with and demonized, because it can only challenge and enrich me. I don’t feel that the people on the other side are the evil demons I once marked them as anymore.One part of my mind says I’m neglecting my god given gifts. Another, which I know to be the more mature and ultimately right side of my psyche , says that this is part of the ebb and flow. The turn of a page to a new aspect of existence.
What I’m getting to in all of this babbling is this; gifts are beautiful. I personally will always view writing as mys great gift and I relish that and honor it. However, its not all I am. I love this new knowledge. I love the fact that I can embrace new aspects of being . I love that this journey is now before me. Because I have to say, I was looking at some old photos from a protest march from several years back I went to and I saw myself. To be honest folks, I didn’t look very happy.
I speak from experience.