Years ago, I went to church with my cousins, technically my aunt took us all, but I wasn’t there for her. My cousin Art always seemed to know how to get us as close to trouble as possible, while somehow avoiding being caught by grownups. Lucky for him, he always held a gift for this very thing. This particular Sunday stands out because none of our attempts to break free worked. Art gave the signal, he was going to the bathroom with a plan of not returning, then I would do the same during the choir piece. Keep in mind, this was a Black church, a single song gives you at least 10 minutes to break for it, ideally around minute 5 when the director begins stressing what should be the last 30 seconds of the song. I left my seat to meet up with my cousin at the rendezvous point only to see him standing at the location with my uncle who had just arrived. I’m not one who believes God only shows up to certain events as an omnipotent being, so when I said “shit” at the sight of them together, God already knew that was in my heart.
Usually, my uncle broke for the exits early as well, but for some reason, he was sticking around…as a result, he ushered us back to our seat after a few minutes of chit chat, just in time for the end of that song. I was wide awake, and not happy about wasting my alertness on this portion of the service. The pastor begins by speaking at a conversational tone about Jesus loving people, then his voice got louder and kind of melodic as he sang the words to this invitational. Then he goes down a wildly specific example of why someone should join. “Monday thru Saturday you make time for lotto, you can go to the lounge, you watch the games, but this is the day of the Lord”. I along with most of the audience paying attention, that this did not apply to, look around for the person(s) it did apply to. He continues with another shaming statement of what people have money for when they should be giving to Jesus. The whole time I’m thinking “Damnit! I should be outside right now”.
How this started
I began writing for this blog a year ago (early September 2021) and the catalyst was a rude lady named Teresa M on the Nextdoor app calling me out of my name for sharing my opinion on a political topic she disagreed with. Crazy right? The anonymity of social media is like Red Bull, giving people wings and such. She’s a moron, but her rudeness inspired me to put some of these ideas to use. I felt that I needed an outlet to share the wacky thoughts that I have, in hopes to provide additional perspective to anyone that cared to read them, if nothing else, just getting the ideas out. The first weekend of me saying “I’m gonna do this” I wrote 7 topics beginning to end and found pictures and quotes for them all. By the end of the first week, I had written 8 more. I took a break to live and then got back to writing. By late September, I had written 22 topics for this blog that I was planning. I told a few people I was going to do it and there was more confusion than support initially. I was determined to do it anyway because I had invested 3 weeks of my time into it at that point.
How it’s going
I figured I’d craft the website myself, despite not knowing how to do it. I tried and failed for 2 days and then finally on the 3rd day (October 4th, 2021) when I was going to give up and pay for professional help, I figured out the platform well enough to post amateur writings for an audience not yet established. Much like a wino with $5 in his pocket, I was sitting on all these posts eager to release them. I accidentally published the first two ideas on October 5th then I took the time to upload many of those original 22 posts, I’m still sitting on 2 that I haven’t found a theme for. Even though my initial target date was January 1st, those posts were burning a hole in my pocket, so I went live November 1st and if you’ve be reading, you pretty much know how it’s going. This installment is going live on the eve of the first weekly post. Some weeks have been better than others naturally, all authentically me though.
If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rainDolly Parton
As boring as my life seems real time, in reflecting I realized I’ve lived a lot more than I previously thought. Not in the sense of simply breathing, but actually experiencing life. I haven’t traveled as much as I’d like or gone out to play in the night life as much as friends of mine. I haven’t experienced tragic lows of drug addiction or the amazing highs of not having to work for a living, I exist in a very balanced space physically and mentally…though I still need to work out more often. In writing this blog, I rediscovered myself, as crazy as that may sound. I can’t pinpoint any one scenario to say “this is why I’m like this”, it is a collection of things that have given me this outlook and to an extent, being in the right place at the right time.
It’s all about timing
When church finally let out that day, we went outside and there were a bunch of police cars on the street all around the church. Down the street from the church, you could see the yellow police tape and an officer redirecting traffic away from the area. During the service there was shooting going outside right in that area and we never knew it since my uncle was out of character this particular Sunday, my cousin and I were inside when it happened. I haven’t heard much from Teresa M since her outburst that day, and I have no issue with that. Being diplomatic on social media is very difficult when dealing with idiots. However, dealing with that particular idiot, on that particular day inspired me to say “why waste my ideas on those that don’t care for them”. Granted, my posts weren’t this long, they were usually well thought out and only appreciated by a few. Though I’m glad to not hear from her, I am glad for that comment.
I am not unique in this way, to have things happen to them whether they’re close encounters with death, or chance moments of being in the right place at the right time. We all have these moments, and we’re all somehow shaped by the seemingly benign things that take place in our lives. I’m sure if your memory will serve you well, you’d be able to think of a day where something annoyed you but turned out to be one of the best things to happen in your life. I’ve learned and come to accept that my greatest inspiration isn’t typically some grand event. For me, it is what led to that grand event that makes me say wow. As a result, I’m very appreciative of the life I’m living, with hopes to live a lot more of it.