I come from immigrant parents, who left behind their home for a better living just to find another type of struggle. They wanted a better future than their country could offer them. They believed in the American dream. The ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success also a better future for their offspring with few barriers. All they had to do is work hard and the dream would come true. What they couldn’t anticipate is the culture clash and the stigma of being black for them and children. Where no matter the hard work, the barriers were not few but many. Despite all of them, they managed to provide and gave us the best life they could, better than where they originated from. For this I am grateful.
As you just read, I am the offspring of the American dream. In reality, I’m the product of the curse of the middle class. You’re not rich, neither poor. You have everything you need, none of what you want. The level of comfort is just enough and the struggle is not enough for you to strive for more. There is no story of hardship, you know when your next meal will be, no worries of being robbed or terrorized.
You grow up in a good neighbourhood with good schools, never stressed. You are relatively safe but something inside is saying, I am more than this. I have more inside me but I must stay safe and keep my comfort. Don’t go after your crazy dream it is too risky, you have it all, why would you want more? What is the benefit of having more than what you currently have? Why want the luxurious lifestyle? “Money is the root of all evil”. These are some of the many self-limiting beliefs conditioned unto me by my peers and environment. These beliefs controlled my life but once I became self-aware, I shattered them to oblivion and liberate my true self only I can define.
I must start by saying, I don’t have just one passion. Just like most, if not everyone, there is a multitude of things I’m passionate about therefore to say I have A passion would be false. It is a bliss to be able to enjoy them but there is always one you can’t dissociate from. The one, no matter what you do, you always go back to it and if you can’t find it in whatever you are doing, you feel unfulfilled.
I’ve tried a lot of things in life thinking maybe that was it. All the while it was right there in my thoughts. I would be watching a movie and wonder, how did the writer come up with that character? The same would happen with a video game. I would be more involved in the character, the story and the choices they’ve made or I’ve made than the gameplay and graphics. For example, the game “Detroit: Becoming Human”, the movies “Upgrade” and “Fight Club” hit home and ticked all the boxes of social conventions, inter-gender dynamics, human behaviour and technology.
The need to understand why we do what we do is and will always be something I will search. I think this need came from early childhood experiences. Why our interactions differ depending not only due to our skin colour but invisible borders we have created? Why do we let our emotions control us and why why are we afraid of the unknown? Fascinating it is, for an event we experience and perceive a certain way, someone else will have a different take on it. What did they see, thought, felt and came to conclude that I didn’t.
Aren’t we complex creatures? We have many goals throughout our lifetime but they change as we change. Everything around us changes, even our body. Then why are we so stubborn on wanting to keep things the way they are? We search for stability, familiarity and certainty as if all of those are constant. We fool ourselves into believing we are consistent as well, when the fact remains we are constantly evolving.
We pride ourselves by being consistent but expecting a different outcome. We think we have the power to stop everything from evolving. Instead we reject the truth of our powerlessness in the face of change thus creating our hurts and pains. If we could just accept the way things are, for what they are, maybe we would live with internal peace. I am guilty of falling for this false assumption at times but my self-awareness brings me back to compliance with the fact, the only thing I can change is myself. Everything else is out of my control. With this, my goal is simple, it is to guide others to accept change and have them live their best life. For this to occur they need their mind, body and soul in sync and it all begins with a thought.