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Better And Better...

I cried myself to sleep last night...

It's not a foreign concept to me, because I do it frequently, I don't like telling people that. But the truth of the matter is I get tired of everyone leaning on me, coming to me for the answers, always calling when they need or want something.

I read this article posted by LJ Knight that made me feel better - and it actually gave me the boost that I needed. A lot of the time, I find myself misunderstood, abandoned and alone. I can count on 3 fingers who I can count on when I really need something and even if they don't have it, they always seemingly make it happen. I guess that's better than most right?

I'll be the first person to tell you that I've harbored a lot of resentment and bitterness in my body. Earlier this year, I talked about one of the things that I've been bitter about. It happened when I was forced to move back to Los Angeles after going away to college. I literally put my life on hold for 8 years and I never finished. But I never let that dream go. Over the course of the last 8 years, I took classes here and there, but I was never focused when I was like when I attended Southern.

Over time I was pissed off until I realized what I was up against. No one in my family has ever graduated college. I remember when I first got to Southern, I said to myself, "I'm going to be the first person in my family to finish college." I was happy at the idea and I thought that people in my family would share the same sentiment.

My anger soon turned to bitterness when I realized that most people in my family laughed if not said something negative about me going to college. I was always told to just get a job and work - and for what? To be unhappy like them? Some of my aunt's an uncles told me I was naive and silly for attempting to go to college, one even went as far as telling me that I would never graduate - I never bought into that theory.

I've always been different, in every facet of the word. I'm the only large person in my family, I'm the only gay one in my family, I'm the only one who actually has some balls to stand up to shit talkers in my family, I'll go on ahead and label myself the black sheep, just because I don't really fit in with half of them. There are only a few people that I really trust in my family and at the end of the day, there are only two people that I can honestly say don't throw me under the bus.

In all honesty being a college graduate and going to school excites me very much. One of my goals of moving to the east coast finish school. It's important because I want my sister to have a better example to look up to. I've talked to my friend Kenny about this before. I follow his model for finishing school, primarily because he wasn't a traditional student. While most of my friends graduated around the time when they were supposed to, Kenny graduated when he was 30. It gave me a boost. He gave me the pep talk I needed to stay on track - and I set that goal for myself, "Graduate by the time you're 30."

One of the first things I did when I moved here was fill out an application to the local university. I got accepted and most of my credits transferred. I filled out my FAFSA and for the first time in my life, I got financial aid. It's a big deal for me - because there was always some financial issue blocking me from continuing and my family hasn't been at all supportive (with the exception of my uncle) in helping me get through college. Call me naive or whatever, but whenever I asked one of my family for tuition or something related to it, I always got a FIRM, SOLID, HARDCORE, NO. And it all honesty, it broke me, because I just knew that someone would help me - but again, it didn't stop me. I don't know how, but I kept going.

I've started the registration process for school last week - and it was fun to see all of the black kids on campus, who were excited about pursing their scholastic endeavors. It gets me excited when I see people going for their goals and reaching for my dreams and I always want to help those who are serious and focused about what they want to do, it's my way of helping myself, since I haven't always been supported 100%. It reminds me of the person that I used to be.

Yesterday after work, I went and bought books. Originally I had a book voucher for $100. I didn't complain because, again I never had financial aid, so I was grateful to get something. All the other times I've tried to go back to school I never bought books because I didn't have money to get them. Fortunately I'm smart and I take good notes. I was going in to get my psychology book, which was $97 dollars used and I was waiting to get paid to buy the rest of my books.

I went to the book store to get my book voucher processed and the clerk said "Okay you have $700 for books." I didn't say anything but okay. I smiled - because that was the first sign that things are getting better for me. I've paid a lot of dues, I've been through a lot of shit - and I've always felt like I got the short end of the stick. Everyday that changes...for the better.

There was a guy that helped me locate my books and before he walked off I asked him, "Silly question, but can you buy anything in the bookstore with your book voucher?" He said, "Yes anything is up for grabs," so I thought for a minute, "$450 in my pocket to trick off on some strippers or that laptop for $350?" So I picked up the mini notebook and an umbrella since it has been raining and i got drenched last week. I walked out of the book store with $16 of book money left. :-D. Guess I'll go and buy some fancy paper and notebooks.

All of that bullshit that I've been through was worth it, not only are all of my books and tuition paid for, I basically got a free laptop.

I'm not telling you this to brag. I'm telling you this to give you hope and to not abandon any of your dreams. You maybe faced with hurdle after hurdle - and you wont always clear them. Sometimes you have to run the race again to win. It doesn't mean defeat - it simply means you're perfecting your craft. My manger said something to me this year that I think about everyday, "God work's for you not against you." I now understand that this was my destiny, not to "finish on time." I had to attain some different lessons before I was able to focus on what I wanted. Everything works out in it's own time and in your favor.

I was so happy that I cried. For once, in a very long time, I felt like I had won. Everything that I had been through with school and the seemingly lack of progress, none of that matters anymore, because I am here finishing right now. All of the setbacks only helped me get setup! I truly have God's favor. You have no idea how much I've been through emotionally and mentally trying to attain this goal. But you just don't know how good it feels, to have everything "taken care of," and still have change

I can't wait to finish school next December, right before my 30th birthday. It will be a dream come true, I can taste it.

Never give up hope. Treat people right and with respect. Never come out of yourself to respond to ignorance and obviously miserable people. Pray - and treat people right, you'll always be taken care of. God will always send the right people at the right time to fill you up when you are empty.

Be blessed, never give up and stay strong.

1 comment:

kennyking78 said...

T, I cannot tell you how much this touches me! You, in my humble opinion, are a ROCKSTAR! Always have been and always will be.

All of these things are happening for you because you deserve it. You and I have had very great conversations in the past and have shared many of our experiences with one another. You are a person who has NOT had an easy life and, in my opinion, had to deal with very heavy things at a very early age. I have seen you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders without anyone ever reaching out to carry you.

But you know what? All of the pain, heartache and life experiences you have endured make you a better-rounded person and will help you appreciate this experience much more than you would have had you completed college at the “status-quo” age. Trust me. You still look like you can be 22 or 23 so your peers will gravitate to you. Due to your life experiences and age, your instructors will know that you are serious about school, therefore they will take more of a liking to you than the younger students.

I am happy to be inspiration for such a great endeavor. You had it in you all along. Even if you miss your “30” mark, remember that you told this story. Our goals and progress are as WE define them.

I can’t wait to be sitting at your graduation (yes, I am coming!). Congratulations in advance!