Version 2.0

Culture, healing, politics and bullshit - Not necessarily in that order

The general, socio-political and very personal rantings and ravings of a hip hop head from the hood hustling for change... Of himself.

You all know me and are aware that I am unable to remain silent. At times to be silent is to lie. For silence can be interpreted as acquiescence.
—Miguel de Unamuno


Sunday, April 05, 2009

Everday Struggle

Good Sunday to you.

I spent yesterday just sitting around, vegging just thinking about things. For years now there has been so much running thru my mind. I've never been able to turn the noise off.


There has to be at least 127 different things going on at one given time in my head, and I hear them all. All at the same time. I never had a problem with my mind's filter. Not even now. I'm just selective with which voice I listen to. I have great ideas, I'm also a sick, demented fellow. Never had to give in to the evil or misdeeds that my mind sometimes tells me to do, so there.

But now in my third act I have to make a choice. I have to choose that one thing.

You know, like Lauryn said: That thing.

I don't have much time to make that choice either. Because I'm married and have to consider my other half's feelings and ideas... You know. I have to choose. This is a hard thing, making the choice.

You still don't know what the hell I'm speaking of? Okay, here:

I am standing at 40's gate. In fact I have a couple of years to get there, but here's the rub... I just got married about a year ago. I never wanted children and if I never have any I won't be mad. I did what I was supposed to do with school (after a little prodding and the phone calls from the student loan people trying to recoup their yapers after I dropped out of undergrad the second time) and never capitalized on higher education.

I saved and had money. Dibbled in real estate and invested a few duckets here and there but never made a wad of cash in the market. I wrote songs, recorded them and even wrote a few manuscripts with enough verbiage to edit, publish and stand on it but never wanted to really put it out there because I would put too much of myself out there for folks to buy and have on their shelf. And I would have to answer for that shit too... Hells naw, I've cowered out more than a few times and quit a few jobs over having too much responsibility. I refuse to baby sit grown-ass human beings. Left the Army over that shit and ran from corporate America as well.

I ain't the one.

Now I stand on this plane of existence with a wife, real estate opportunity, and the possibility of having a house full of opinionated, bad ass Hassans' running around, getting politically dangerous with their second grade teachers...

I have to make a choice of what I'm going to do in order to support my family and define myself in this, the last third of my life. The first twenty or so years were purely developmental. It made me me. As the second twenty comes to a close I have to stick to that one thing...

What my kids and history will know me for.
What will put food on my table. I can't drive that truck for much longer. Absence...
What will make me happy.
What will satisfy my wife, family and extended fam. I'm happy when their happy, trust.

I keep hearing Biggige hitting that chorus from 'Everyday Struggle':

'I don't wanna live no more
Sometime I hear death knocking at my front door
I'm living everyday like a hustle
Another drug to juggle
Another day, another struggle

Yo, it's just like that in at least the first 47 voices that be yelling in my head.

I got the education, the connections, the street knowledge and the drive, but I gotta make one choice and do something...

Out of all of the things I can do. I have to determine exactly what that thing is and stick to it and be happy with my decision. Can't build a home and feed and handle a family unless I do that thing, whatever that things is. I'm not confused, I just want to do the one thing that will make me happy and feel good about my definition.

I don't know what that thing is going to be. I also know when I make that choice I cannot flip-flop. According to the stats, I have less years left to live that I've already used.


How does one satiate one's soul, give into other's wishes and feel satisfied that what he or she is doing as the right and good thing? This is indeed an everyday thing struggle.


Anonymous said...

...Yeah. I so feel you on this one. We are there, too, and feeling more than ever how the everyday choices are the real determinants for our future. In fact, just this morning I'm watching the news thinking, is my freelance business sapping energy and time from what I really want the good energy to go towards (Leaning towards yes, but don't know yet). From talking to the elders, I think I just want to grow old with as few 'what ifs' as possible. Right now, I'm going to just work on that.

The Brown Blogger said...

But that's the thing... I feel like RIGHT NOW I don't have the luxury of doing things one item at a time. I think for me personally, I've run out of time. I can no longer have the mentality that I can just take my time and make this or these decisions all willy nilly without the respect of others that matter.

At the end of Common's records, his father Pops gets his opportunity to holler at the world. On the album 'One Day It'll All Make Sense' this particular version on 'Pop's Rap' he puts it out there. He said that one day he was in the kitchen with his son trying to get a clue on things and Common as a child, without saying anything looked him dead in the eye across the breakfast table with that look that a child has of expectation that says: "WHAT?!?!"

I can't be at that point and still not have my ish fandangled. I have to establish definition now.

Anonymous said...

How does one satiate one's soul, give into other's wishes and feel satisfied that what he or she is doing as the right and good thing? --- is it creating your joint philosophy/big picture of what the end of the next third looks like? If you have that as the guiding principle then maybe it wont be like a 'giving in' since so many different paths can get you to the same big picture. Or maybe its the variety of paths that is the problem, no?

The Brown Blogger said...

I can do anything.

I can't do everything.

What, where and when I choose to do has always affected others. The effect is important because the blowback became personal when I tied the knot.

She doesn't like half of the ideas and is not satisfied with the where portion right now. I can make a choice and stick to it even if I don't wanna wander down that path. That means emotional disconnect.

I'm very good at numb if I have to go there. Numb is becoming less of an option these days.

I want all of the emotional outpouring that life has to give me, that means opening myself. That also means that I have to give into a bunch of stuff I opposed back in the day.

This is hard because most of the time I feel alone in the decision making process. Hell, I feel alone, period.

Y'all will never know what I have to carry in the inner recesses. I'm trying to let that shit go. Coming out of warrior mode will make things easier, but I had to fight so long.

The hood
Undergrad and beyond
Living with the lies...

To strike all of that out and then just live like some happy go lucky cuss ignorant to the truth is going to take some time.

Anonymous said...

maybe i'm a punch-drunk newlywed, but i don't think it needs to be so absolute. i promise what you just wrote sounds just like tha urthmaan and the omnivore. now i know each of our stories has its own characteristics, but i think those dudes are closest to your own red circle.

Big Mark 243 said...

I simply wanted to let you know that I read this entry and I am interested in seeing how you go about resolving this.

Aly Cat 121 said...

You do it and stick to it because YOU KNOW that you are serving a good much greater than yourself.

The Brown Blogger said...

I'm not as sure if things are that damn great.

You hope and wish that things are, but the reality of things slap your ass like the wind in a hurricane.

Gallis said...

Does it need to be so specific? Maybe the decision you make is to be open, to listen, to feel what's right and move on that.

I once read an article about aging and one phrase stayed with me. A person they were interviewing said that we have this societal expectation that in our early 20's we need to figure it all out, know our path and yet in terms of life, that's unrealistic. He said that at age 20 you're just finished being a kid. It's at 40 when you've got 20 good years of being an adult under your belt and some scars on your back that your perspective is different and you can really make informed choices.

I don't know if it's so much about "that thing" as opposed to "that direction." It's not so absolute if you ask me.

Not that you did. :)

2 said...

The conundrum of life.

I too struggle with the very same issues. Unfortunately, I just have chosen to kill off most of my individualistic spirit and live the life I must live.

I MUST provide for my family - even if that means dying a 1,000 deaths every day I come to this horrible place I call work.

I MUST respect wifey's feelings and existence - even if that means quieting my inner voices.

Life would be so much easier if we could live in our bubbles and only interact with others when we wanted to.

Life would be so much easier if we could ignore our respectful civilized selves and just be. And just say what the fuck we wanted to say. And listen to whatever music we wanted to listen to - whenever we wanted to.

But when we choose to live in a society, and have a wife, and have children - we must neglect/kill some of those inner voices that you refer to.

Man, life is HARD. Life is UNKNOWN. Life just is.

My best advice - put on some of your favorite music (I got Sade on right now) and just go to another world.

The Second Sixty-Eight said...

Dammit man! Get outta my head! Again!!!

The only thing I can tell you is to just pick one! Providing security for you and yours has its own rewards. If you can do it and not hate it then you are luckier than a lot of folk. Try something and see.

I had hoped my sister taking care of my mother would help all of us. It didn't. Sis is still on the stuff and still selfish. Mom is not as well taken care of. I am less miserable but not happy. Tried it, it ain't really working out. So now I gotta change it up and make things better, at least for mom so I can head toward happy.

The thing is you gotta try SOMETHING and see if it works. Otherwise you spend all of your time worrying about what one perfect thing needs to be done.