A close friend of mine recently wrote this essay and I wanted to share it with Project Kinect followers. I feel that we all get into this space similar to the one she writes about and it is good to hear the importance of hope from another voice. We are all extraordinary and we have to be there for each other to get through all the times, good and bad. Community is a necessity and we have to know who our communities are. Thank you to my most wonderful friend and family member for writing this essay.
Do you ever feel like you are just spinning your wheels in your career path, or in a relationship or in life generally? Well, so do I. Daily I wonder what I did wrong, if God or the Universe has a sick laugh at my daily plight. Are the Angels and Ancestors looking down saying “Hey, hey, let’s do this to her.” and upon seeing my reaction an uproarious laughter spreads across the skies and echoes further into the void.
Lately, things have been real tough; I’m not going to lie. Fighting just to make an end connect to another end: Borrowing, lying, cheating and almost on the verge of whoring. Is this what life is supposed to be about? Is this why we are put on this planet, at this specific time, doing these specific tasks, and making these specific decisions? Is this really all there is?
How many times have we asked ourselves these same questions over and over? For me I know the instances are too numerous to count, so why do we still do it? Over the last few months I’ve pondered giving up on hope all together. It seems more of a burden when you’ve reached my age and still have not even a hint of the career you want, no man in site, fighting my biological time “Bomb” and finding myself in flux yet again. So, with all of that in mind, why do we, more specifically, I still have hope? Why all of the endless questions?
I know mentally that it is the journey that is what we are supposed to enjoy. That we are supposed to learn lessons, but it is so hard when all you can do it pray that you’ll have enough money to make your rent, bills, take care of your family and even to eat. In this economy, why would anyone quit their job to try to start a business? Why?
So the answers to all these questions still eludes me and may do so until my dying day, but I still have hope. In my late, late, late thirties (God rest their souls) I still have hope. I have begun journeys that have been beautiful and fruitful. I have done things that I never thought I would. Now, again, I am hopeful that all of the dreams that I have brought with me throughout the years will come to me. Many say that it’s foolish, but it is not. It is heroic to have hope. So many others have had their hope destroyed and obliterated by the economy over the past few years. From foreclosure to unemployment, from poverty to homelessness, it has not been an easy road for us and we still continue trying to live a life that is solely ours: A life that is solitarily maneuvering through foreign terrains despite not knowing them. Keeping all of our hurt, fear and anxiety to ourselves letting it fester within until we are not able to give anything to better ourselves or others.
In this search for our genuine lives, we have become reclusive. So reclusive in fact, that we prefer to text, email and use social media sites for all of our communication. Now, before you freak out and stop reading this, I too prefer to text, email, and use social media sites. My friend just pointed out how sad it was that my browser’s home page is indeed Facebook. I’m not saying that these things are the enemy; I’m not saying that they aren’t amazing and vital to humanity; I am saying that I miss community. I think that in our search for our lives, that we all miss community.
Growing up my family went to church every Sunday and Wednesday. After high school and a few years in college, I found my own church to go to. I went, pardon the pun, religiously anytime the doors were open and was a part of “Home Groups”. These home groups became a place to meet with my “Urban Family”. Throughout my journey, I’ve realized that that path is not the path that works for me, but I do miss that interconnectedness that we shared.
Several years later, while working in the restaurant industry, I started having “Family Dinners”. Every Sunday, I would have the people that were part of my then “Urban Family” come to my place where I would have dinner prepared. I would ask each one to bring something to add to the table and we would spend the evening “breaking bread together” as they called it growing up.
We used to do that every Sunday after church at my grandparent’s house. The whole family would gather at the house, chat, catch up and eat until we couldn’t eat anymore. Then the guys would sit in the living room watching football and the ladies would clean up and sit in the kitchen cackling at each other. The smell of pork chops and biscuits still permeating the air, the kids would all be outside playing in the yard, climbing trees. I still remember sitting around with a “solo cup” of sweet iced tea and just watching everyone.
Currently, 1700 miles from home, those memories are the things I miss the most. Do I want to move back to small town Texas? Sometimes, but not really. It’s the feeling of a place that actually feels like “home”, that’s what I miss. So, I plug on trying to find home and community while trying my best not to lose hope or have it beaten out of me by the hard knocks that come my way. It’s my duty now to choose to either find or create that feeling of home. That feeling does not cost anything and is one of the most amazing sensations that one could ever have, but sometimes it’s the hardest to find. If you’re close to your family or just a family of your choosing, then tell them that you love them. Listen to them when they hurt. Help them when you can. Call them and chat to them for a few minutes a week at least. Don’t be a solitary traveler through your life.
Thank you to all of you who are my family, thank you for your generosity, for your ear and most importantly for being.