The clock is moving towards 2am, now, and my thoughts are stuck on a conversation that me and my father had yesterday evening. I can tell that I'm at a point in my life where listening is key; I've fought for so long to be heard and now I'm seeing I've probably been heard for quite some time.
We always attempt to protect those who are in our tribe, circle, family, even some individuals who sit on the cusp of being worth the trouble or not. In my family, I can safely say that I'm the "freckled sheep", obviously we're all black so the analogy of "black sheep" goes out the window! The reason I'm THAT sheep is for a myriad of reasons, one being that I've always moved to my own beat, never caring too much about perception. In 2005, I was fired from a job, by a boss who wanted me to bend the knee to his commands, all the while ignoring the person that was sitting before him. A few weeks before I was fired, my boss called me into his office in order to try and scare me, he threatened that he could fire me today, tomorrow, or next week; he said, "The perception is, you're not helping those above you with their workload" basically he was saying I wasn't a team player for fixing the mistakes of those who were raking in the big money.
Sometime in 2005, I wrote a poem entitled Snicker Allen, the first stanza of the poem being directed towards my former boss. The day, my boss looked me in the face and attempted to wield his wit, I remember my retort being, "The thing is perception isn't always the truest reality". It's amazing that this sentiment has remained for close to twenty years. IF it wasn't for this one man being less than understanding towards me, I wouldn't have embarked upon this journey that I'm still very much on within my life.
I've had a few interesting lessons along the way, maybe four major life lessons. The greatest amount of patience I've EVER had to use was during my time away at college in 1995. I was a seventeen year old kid who never faced adversity and there I was learning about patience, all while watching snowflakes falling from the sky, wondering if I was meant for something greater in life. A senior by the name of Blake Jackson, who I would play hoop with almost daily, took me under his wings and really saved me while on campus.
Blake and his fiance Jennifer, no clue how I remember all of these names still, showed me the care I wasn't receiving from people who shared my same blood. The moment I left New York, I never looked back at it with fond memories, instead, I've despised a majority of those days because there are wounds which still haven't properly healed. These words aren't code for anything, this is me processing how "funny" life is at times.
When I returned back to California, I returned less of a person because by all accounts I had failed and the word failed is being used lightly because there wasn't any failure other than not being strong enough then to check the voices of those who were meant to protect a kid.
Yesterday, I spoke with my dad for close to thirty minutes whilst standing like two old friends on my parent's porch. I have zero clue why we covered some of the topics we did but one in particular caused me to look at my dad and know without a shadow of a doubt, that O.G. and me are similar.
I wish I hadn't been over stubborn all of these years, I wish I had been more appreciative of the man I call my dad. Now, don't get me wrong, my father is someone I look up to and I've aimed to be like for far too long. The way he has approached life, reminds me of the journey I'm on currently. We both move to a DIFFERENT MELODY, we understand how life works, family is supposed to work, and how words can build or destroy (where's Dilated Peoples at though).
The sun hit me a little differently on my drive home, I wasn't thinking that today I'd find peace within the words of my father. I've given up on things due to others before, I almost gave up on life once because of how I perceived myself; needless to say, I'm still here and there is a purpose I still have to fulfil. I'm the furthest thing from perfect but at the same time, I'm the furthest thing from useless too.
Come closer, I have a few more stories to tell... I mean if you have the time to read/listen.