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  • Writer's pictureNemi

Prodigal Son...

Too often, I sit and wonder about where I'm heading to, in life. The question of, "Where do you see yourself in five years" is one flippin' question that gets my blood boiling, every stinkin' time. I can't formulate where I'm going to be in five minutes, let alone five years from now.

As I think back to all of the things I've done within the time I've been so graciously provided, I can't help but think that I really don't have any regrets. I do not remember if I was voted the most likely to succeed, I know I was voted the class clown, nonetheless, here I am living, in a not so funny world. It's strange to think that I feel stuck in so many ways yet free in so many other ways. Perhaps that will all spill out in another post at some point; I'm forever learning about myself.

Lately, I've been asked, "What do you hold onto in life" and the answers can produce both light and darkness. My feelings for the mundane have been evident for some time now and my mentality is, IF you're not growing, you're sort of taking up space and wasting time. I do not have room to waste time, life should be lived with a purpose outside of (insert whatever you'd like, here). I think this pandemic has taught me a great deal of patience but patience with myself first and foremost.

My hardest critic in life has and probably will always be me. I do not measure up to the standards set by society, I'm so anti "The Dream" being sold to so many people not just here in America but throughout the world. I'm unsure if it's age or wisdom which have led me to a place of understanding, where I'm not so much concerned with the words of others.

We live in a time, now more than ever, in which people are consumed with being seen, recognized, or heard, with these actions being a form of validation somehow. The current society will "cancel" someone or at least attempt to if their beliefs or actions do not line up to whatever narrative is being pushed. In this nation of die-hard liberals and conservatives who clamor to be perceived as the people's champ, it's the people who are truly losing. Yes, there are aspects of every society which are broken, however, the gap being created here in the USA is such that there will be no coming back from at all.

The cool thing to do, now, is to be a part of something, a movement, a hashtag, a cohort. Corporate America is spending monies on diversity awareness within but not truly making a difference outside of the emails and random conference calls which are led by people who have never experienced the barrio or hood. It's comical to sit and listen being who I am and then think back to times not too far passed when people within my company were talking about my hair, sending emails about my attire, questioning my bosses about my earrings, but never placing my work ethic into question. It's always the appearance that matters right?

I'm an African man, living within a world which dislikes the color of my skin, mind you I say world because the truth is being black is difficult all around the world. The idea of running away from America is something that often crosses my mind. I think of how James Baldwin left the USA and ventured to France, though not on a Baldwin level, I find my soul searching for a place to rest my emotions, a place to call "home".

Years ago, my father expressed that it was time for me to stop traveling so much and running around as he put it. My dad thought I was wasting both time and money but the unadulterated truth is, I was planting seeds of friendship which have now blossomed and started to bear fruit. The man who I'd grown up wanting to be like, the man who had pictures in family photo albums of his travel exploits, didn't realize that I had been paying attention for far too long.

You see, within my family, I'm a bit of a Prodigal Son in many ways, I left home with no want to come back home. The riches my parents have for us kids isn't monetary, they've gifted us with spirits of love and smarts; I do think both of these attributes are beginning to wither within my life. Again, I've lived a charmed life, one which has required me to learn to get out of my own way.

I think this is the year of growth and more adventure; the summer will be upon us within the coming three weeks and the world will be reopened for adventure. I'm not planning to be around too much... Maybe, I'm more nomadic in thought than I am prodigal, only time will tell.

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