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Monday, September 1, 2008

An old blog, Revisited

ust a Random Blog

What Ive been doing the last 2 years

Its been a long time since I wrote a blog but I had to think about something to write about. There were a bunch of different things, so I just figured Id write about all of them. So hold on with me people, its about to get really random.

For last year or so I have really been going through this change of sorts. Well, lets call it maturing. I got a little easier going and I allowed a lot of things to just roll off me. Took it in stride, you know. There were a lot things that changed. My circle and I grew apart. Now, this wasnt really a bad thing and there was no bad blood, but people grow up and grow apart. We just do different shit, feel me. I changed. I got to a point where I wanted my clothes to fit. Lol. But, were all still cool, but I tend to roll alone. No crew, no girl, just me. I go to things by myself. The movies, poetry spots, concerts, etc. And to be perfectly honest, I like things more that way. You gotta get to a point where you are comfortable with yourself and Ive always been like that. Gimme my ipod and Im rolling.

During this past year, I retired the clubs, mainly because I just really dont like them. Except for a very few random times, in even more random locales (Tahoe, Sac, etc.), I havent gone out to hardly any clubs. Now, I dont wanna sound like Im knockin clubs or club people, Im just saying that it aint for me. I dont like spending $20 to not have fun and babysit grown ass niggas, it just aint my thing. But, what I did do was get my work grind going. I became a working beast and my hard work paid off. While cats I was working late. I was putting that honorary masters equivalent to work! I taught myself most of the ins and outs of my organization and gained an understanding about childhood behaviors that surpasses most of my colleagues. Who said young people were lazy? I took that past year and delved back into reading. Cranking out at least 3 books a month (I know 3 aint a lot but I work full time dammit). Getting my learning tolerance back up to prepare me for the next phase in my life. I was on the grind, not the grind that rappers rap about but the life grind, the better-myself grind, the I-dont-wanna-blame-others-for-me-not-being-successful grind. And I decided to go and get a masters to pair with my MSW exception (let me show you how to hustle).


During the last 2 years, it was really important to me not to have a girlfriend or any serious distractions. I mean I dated but nothing too serious. I had to place myself in a position where I didnt have to worry about someone else. I needed the space where I could focus on me, the kids that I serve, and investing in my future. I wanted to hustle harder than anybody else and I think that the people closest to me saw that. I think that I did. I know Jeff did (who, by the way, did his own bit of hustling- that kids gonna own PG&E) and Will did (still stuck in Iraq, but when youre out there you aint spending, youre stackin). We had to make real-life moves and Im sorry but I dont think that you could do that if youre always worried about wheres the party at. Maybe some can, Im not that good. So now, my life is pretty simple yet hectic. I now pretty much run a program at work that I am very passionate about. That program is growing more and more by the day. I am about to start the MPA program at SF state. My bookclub is doing well; weve all gotten pretty close. The spoken word spot that has taken me in with open arms even though I have never (and dont plan on) did poetry at. My family and I are good.

The funniest shit Ive ever witnessed though is when I hear people complain. They complain about the man, not getting a fair shake, and yadda, yadda, blah. And I actually agree with some of the claims they make. Remember, I have experienced a lot of discrimination in my short 23 years. So you hear people complaining and you try to help. But when they see that work has to be put in they cower. They take the easy way out and go back to complaining and then get mad at me, say I changed because I cant go out to a whack-ass club with you in the middle of the week BECAUSE I HAVE A JOB THAT I NEED TO WAKE UP AND GO TO IN THE MORNING!! Sorry, I got a little excited there. Its just that those things really bother me.

In the last few years of my life there have been a lot of people come in and leave out. My attitude and outlook on life just bothers some people or maybe its too intense and they cant handle it. Now, dont get me wrong, I know Im an asshole, but I worked really hard to become one (you can quote that). I just dont think that someone will outwork me. And if they do, then Ill go back and work harder. I dont really allow too many people to be that close to me. I believe that having too many weights around you hold you down. Misery loves company and usually if someone is lazy, they want you to be lazy with them so that you all can be lazy together and complain about being broke and then you can become a rapper or something (**Sidebar: wait, let me clear my throat, ok Im ready.. EVERYBODY CANT FUCKING RAP, MEANING EVERYBODY CANT BE A FUCKING RAPPER. Some people are good but most of you cats aint. Im sorry, now back to my story). It takes me a while to let people in and everybody dont make it. I know Im not some special ass person but Im picky about who gets close to me. You are represented by what your friends do and I am very aware of that.

Well, thats pretty much the end of my rant for now. If you wanna know more or if there is something specific that yall want me to write about then let me know. Basically, Ill tell you my business if you ask...
Cole Out.

25!!

7/30/08!!!
A depressing-ass day. The best way to describe it. Major birthdays for me are a time to self-evaluate and plan. Look at the past with an analytical eye as if it were someone else. Looking back at the goals you set and decide if you met them or not. If not, why not? Was it out of your control or were you slacking? What can you do differently?
This is the process I went through. The only way you can truly benefit from the process is to go hard. Interrogate yourself like a Muslim in Gitmo. So I did that and what follows is what I came up with. For your judgmental enjoyment, my f-ups in black and white.
At this point in my life, I wanted to have been finished with my MPA, had a better playing job, traveled more of the world and made some type of tangible impact on my generation (a book, an initiative, etc.) I'm not really there yet. First the MPA…
MPA:
Grad school has been a rather rewarding experience. I've met some of the brightest people there. People with good ideas and even better intentions. Some of these people really want to change the world and I'm confident that many of them will. I mean, these guys are truly inspirational. The environment is so tense that you can't help but feel some pressure.
I could have been done, but I felt that I rushed through undergrad; I really wanted to savor this degree. I wanted to really absorb the material. I mean, I am going to have a pretty healthy debt; I better at least enjoy myself. So my new goal (since I didn't make the last one) is to finish in the next 2 semesters, God willing, that means focusing and putting school first, before people, things and activities. Making sacrifices!! Remembering where I was as a child and keeping my promise to myself to never be there again!!

Professional Life:
I'll start this by saying I love my job. Being a social worker is something that I'm actually good at. But it feels like I've hit a ceiling there sometimes, what's next for me there in terms of professional development? How much longer can I endure the commute? When do I get a raise? It's a thankless job with terrible pay but that's the nature of the nonprofit beast. I think another part of me needs the stability. As a kid, I moved around a lot and stability was a foreigner to me that spoke a different language and ate food that I had never heard of. Even thinking about leaving is a frightening, well maybe not frightening, but anxious moment. Having to prove myself all over again, separating myself away from the norm, that can be a lot of pressure.
But I think it may need to happen, especially if I have hit a wall. So, the plan going forward:
1) Determine my professional worth to the organization. What professional development path do they see for me? Does it align with what I see for myself?
2) See what's out there. Test the market and get a readout.
3) Don't be afraid to take the next step, whatever that may be.

Traveling the World:
The world is so much bigger than Northern California. Living in 3 different regions in the US taught me that much. People that aren't naturally from the Bay Area tend to appreciate it more. Everything from the weather to the forward-thinking politics, to Silicon Valley, to housing both UC Berkeley and Stanford, two of the world's best institutions.
I grew up in between Chicago and Kentucky before settling in California. I think living in those very different regions have helped shape my character and really appreciate this place. Going to Mexico, even TJ and Rosarito, gives you more insight to people. The Dominican Republic was the most beautiful place I've ever been in my life. I saw these natives with no money but happier than anything I had seen in a while. No whining, just working. Never taking their paradise for granted. Those things help you appreciate your life so much. I have to do more of it. To anyone reading this, go get a passport!! ASAP!! It's worth it. The experience you get abroad is unrivaled by anything else that I've ever done.
In the next few years, I have a few places planned: Italy and Brazil are at the top of that list. Hopefully, I'll make it there. Anybody that wants to go, let me know. I will include you in my life plan (if I like you, that's very important). Set the goal with me and let's do it. Screw it!!
The key for all of those is for me to focus, focus, focus. On the way there, I will lose some people along the way and that sucks. That sucks salty donkey nuts, but it happens. Gotta make it happen though. Stay strong through it all. Leave your comments, opinions, f-you's, whatever you want. Suggestions are good too. If you want to stay anonymous, leave it in the truth section on my profile and I'll get it.