Family is an odd thing.
In one since, we all have one, despite how dysfunctional yours may seem.
Even when you did not grow up with your family and do not know who your family is, you still have one, whether that is in the form of friends or your extended family. Its very similar to the six degrees of separation phenomenon, someone will be there for you, at times its just hard to find.
I was lucky enough to grow up with a family which was close, but yet had the fortitude to leave us with enough space to feel that I was on my own.
With the loss of my grandmother earlier this year, I thought it would be a great idea to chronicle my family and they whey in which they assisted me during my youth to help me to become the man that I am today.
Here is a snippet from the first few pages which I have written:
Tuesday June 11 1996
Today I was called a nigger. This is the first time that I can remember that I have been called this. People might have called me this behind my back, in fact, I am sure that people have called me this behind my back.
I was in the car with my mom and she was trying to merge into traffic. It had seemed like one driver was going to let her over because he has stopped his car with enough room to let her in, so we pulled out. At the same moment he pulls ahead, leaving us out of traffic and on the shoulder of the street so we had nowhere to go but push our way back into traffic in front of that guy. He honked his horn at us and then came up beside us and said “You fucking nigger!”
I did not feel the rage that I thought I would. I felt empowered. I felt this way because this man was so afraid of us that he almost hit another car while he sped away from us. I guess he was afraid of us. Ignorance will do that to you.
All through my life, I felt as if I did not belong, and the aforementioned entry from my journal is just one area where I never quite fit in. Not in the since that I was shunned, but in the since that I always felt that there was someplace where I was more suited to be, I just had not found euphoric place that you read about in books like Harry Potter or B.F. Skinner’s “Walden”. In the beginning of this realizations, I attempted to mask its reality and live the life in which was supposed to be living; that of an African American hetero sexual male. It was only after the realization of my family’s love, world travel and military life, that I had come to the realization that pretending only spirals into more lies, ultimately becoming an omnipotent aura in your life.
This document of my life is nothing more than an insight, a life lesson for those who are still caught behind the veil of their true self and want so desperately to unmask. I can’t say that the way in which I found self discovery is the right path for all who find these words, in hind sight, I am not even sure that if I had the omnipotent option to bend time and retrace my steps, that I would conduct myself in the same way. But I can say for certain that the path which created the man that I am today was the correct one, for me. Telling my story may help whoever finds these words to locate their own path.