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  • Writer's pictureNemi

What Do You See...

I often wonder what people see when they look at me and if they can see the timid kid who still exists beneath the jokes, laughter, smile, songs, clothing, and tattoos. My household has always been one of structure and balance two fundamental pieces which I'm grateful for given my place within this journey called life. Now, don't get it wrong, things have never been perfect but within the same breath things have never been chaotic.

The chaos is what messes so much of this life stuff up for each and every one of us; the inconsistencies which we allow to seep in and take hold of our hearts and minds. The fixing doesn't take place until we're honest with ourselves that something is broken. For far too long, I feel as though I've been broken, whether that be physically, emotionally, or spiritually. There are parts of me which I've faked for some time so not to rock boats or create more "trouble" for myself but said boats took on too much water and "troubles" well, they showed for a moment as well.

We are now living in a time in which people are "concerned" with insuring that my black life matters and that my voice is being heard. It's interesting to me that the world is just joining the party now. I've been living a life which has been difficult for oh I don't know, since birth! I've been ridiculed due to the color of my skin, laughed at due to the color of my skin, observed the mistreatment of my parents due to the color of their skin, and fired ONCE due to the color of my skin; I've been here for decades yet through it all I've never asked anyone to take pity on me, this is the hand I was dealt and I'm holding a pair of Aces, with a Full House showing on the river.

I work for a very large corporation that has in their minds, I'm sure, addressed the systemic issues of inequalities within the workplace; I mean training courses and out of touch videos will fix any problem(s). Again, this is my take on inequalities, they exist and they aren't simply tied to race though race does play a role in so much within this WORLD of ours, not just our nation/fifty states.

The same people who are attempting to carry the torches of change are the same people who were sending emails about my attire, hair, and earrings to various people within my organization, just yesterday, but here they now stand champions for the cause. This is all laughable in so many ways but I don't want to come off as being angry because an angry me is simply Samuel L. Jackson in Django or Uncle Rukus in The Boondocks.

When people look at me, I wonder what they see, I wonder if they see a stronger me. My formative years were spent in despair, I was athletic yet always gasping for air, there's a poem in this if I truly wanted to take it a few steps further. I've written of the "cool kids" and the scars which they left, I've seldom written about the other kids who like me were forced to hold their collective breaths. Maybe today is the day that I'll exhale?

Lately, I've been fighting with myself, I've been fighting to stay the course and not succumb to the noise, the lies which are swirling around us all like the smell of burnt food in a crowded restaurant. "What's that smell...."

Coming into 2020, I had a few decisions to make concerning, work, life, and me. One of the two was easier than the other and given the fact 1 of 3 isn't a bad baseball stat, I haven't beaten myself up too badly with my 3 for 3 stat line. Perhaps I'll make it into the Hall of Fame.

I pride myself in not placing all of my laundry out for people to see and remark upon, though it could be pretty easy to do so. By this point, I'm sure you've all deduced that I'm the furthest thing from perfect and I'm happy you understand this as we're probably looking into the same mirror. There are moves which have been made that have helped to keep me moving forward and not backwards. My dreams aren't a white picket fence, a dog, 3 kids, a smoking hot wife, and a mansion, instead, I dream for stability and sustainability within this thing called life.

The passing of my buddy last month has crushed me and I'm unsure what's up and what's down some nights when I sit and think about how important any of this is. All I know or at least like to think is that paths cross for a reason and those who are important do not necessarily fade away due to the fact they're not in your life, physically. Some of the greatest influences which I carry with me have since passed and I'm left here thinking, "What do they see..."

I'm not a fan of my face, my appearance, thus why I rarely post my face on my Instagram page. This picture which was captured by one of the Dancing Eyes Sisters stands out to me because I wondered what they were seeing when they took the picture.

So often I wonder what you see when you take a picture of me, with your glances, drop-ins, and likes; the truth is there's a child who has grown up over the course of time and turned into a man, a la a caterpillar to a butterfly.

What I see is a world that is laid out before me, one which I'm learning to master day by day until my final day/breath is gone. I pray when my time has come, I would have seen it all, all being what I was meant to see.

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