Life, these days, feels as if she’s on some super highway to enlightenment.
But before I go into that detail, I must make a brief statement about family. This past Sunday brought tragic news to my already teetering little unit. Very tragic indeed. The saddest thing in the world is to so blindingly—willingly—accept a life of abuse and heartache, and to condemn oneself to lay down and rid the self of respect and a productive and fruitful future, in exchange for… God only knows what. We’ve always loved you and supported you. It’s you who never loved yourself. And sadly, the time has come when we are all weary of your self-destructive antics. We’re in a losing battle with your darker half, and it’s finally happened. We’re unable to stand anymore, and we must fall to our knees and watch the many facets of your being shatter into a million, fiery pieces. I’m sorry that it has to be this way. I love you—even though you’ll never believe me.
On June 4th, I went to my very first concert. It was at the Uptown Theatre in Kansas City, and I ended up asking Taylor to come along. Thankfully, she was able to break free from preparing to leave for England for over 2 weeks, because I really needed company for the late night car ride. The thing about Taylor is that she’s a good listener. She can sense when I need to get things out of my head, and she’ll just… listen. She doesn’t judge. She doesn’t criticize me or provide advisory or an opinion. She just lets me go until I can’t go anymore. It was the car ride back to Springdale that was killer. Late night driving on a week night. Taylor in and out of sleep. And I was dwelling. I was dwelling on people from the past and my former life, and I was reflecting on my evening of taking in the bass and steel drums and lights and beautiful voices of The xx. The road was pitch black. Not a car before me or behind me for miles upon miles traveling down US-71 S. Just one single set of headlights, seemingly out of nowhere, hundreds of feet back—Never gaining on me, and never losing. Just stalking. For miles, and then it vanished. It reminded me very vividly of a scene in Carlos Castaneda’s The Teachings of Don Juan. It was, in essence, Death. He followed for a few minutes before vanishing as abruptly as he had appeared. It was eerie—and then Taylor woke.
I had cried off and on while she slept, and when she woke, I shared with her the different things in my life that I was self-conscious about. I talked about my shortcomings and confusions… My insecurities and heartaches… and the rest of it’s a blur. It was a very surreal night. The concert was otherworldly. I sat there and just absorbed all of the energy I could, and there were moments when the stage lights shown so brightly in my eyes that I felt like I was flying into the brilliance of the sun itself. Lasers and spotlights gave the illusion of a cloud-filled sky, and it was all amazing. I felt like I was a piece of their lyrics. I remember thinking at one point during the concert, I could die at this very moment, and I wouldn’t even care. To me, that was it and nothing else mattered. Nothing felt beautiful enough to live for.
Here I am back at work. I’ve had the opportunity to attend a Walmart Shareholders’ Meeting, as well as attend a Walmart-sponsored Road to Essence Fest which kicked off in NWA and will end in New Orleans. Music has played a huge role the past couple of weeks, and it’s helped me feel life in its different rhythms. I got to bring my little nephew to the Sun Fest organized by my job, and he had a great time playing with Haidee’s girls. It was a good day in the summer heat, just watching the kids forget about life and play. My days spending time with my nephew are numbered, and I will appreciate each moment I get.
What else… I got class Valedictorian in my SWIM class. We had the program graduation on Pop’s birthday, June 10th, and I had to give my speech. I was so nervous and relieved to finish. I was shaking…Don’t even remember what all I said. I can’t even really accept the fact that the class voted for me. To me, there were so many others who showed improvement and hard work over the past 12 weeks, and really, we all came out for the better. We all had different aspects of ourselves that we were struggling with, and I’m proud of everyone. Every single person was outstanding and inspiring. I guess the next step is to facilitate a class during the next program session in August. It’ll be interesting to sit on the other side of the table and provide feedback and encouragement to others in my own little way. It’ll be another interesting and unforgettable experience, I’m sure.
But today marked Canada Go-Live for the Travel and Expense project—sort of a third phase. I’ve been busy as all get out. I’m working four 10-hour days now, and the hours fly by at hyper speed. I also had my first quarterly 1-on-1 performance meeting, and I had the opportunity to bring up having 3 weeks off this December to fly out to the Philippines. It was approved, so now I just need to buy my ticket and then make sure to stick to a stricter budget the next 6 months. The Mint app will yet again be my best friend. I’m looking forward to hopping the plane and escaping reality for a short while. Most times I feel like I’m waiting for something or searching for something, but I don’t have any idea what it is. All I know is, the more I release my death grip on life, the easier things feel. But somehow everything and everyone seems emptier.
That is my enlightenment.