I used to work at a Wells Fargo in Austin, TX for about 4 years. The location I worked at is at the corner of Highway 71 and South Lamar a.k.a. “where all the hippies live.” And if you’ve been to Austin, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Working there I met a lot of interesting people from all over the world. I was introduced to different cultures, backgrounds, and different types of life that I would have never been exposed to if I hadn’t worked there. I also asked a lot of questions when I found something that caught my attention. I remember helping a client and noticed a tattoo of a bow and arrow on her forearm. I asked her about it and she went into detail about what it means to her. Her explanation was very eloquent and I’m about to butcher it all up, but the gist of it was that the bow symbolized conflict or struggle. After the arrow is released, it uses all that built up tension and shoots forward with force through the universe leaving the negativity in the past.
There’s things that I’ve done in my life that I’m not proud of. I know my anxiety stems from the decisions that I’ve made. I sometimes sit and think about the trail of destruction that I’ve left behind. I wonder how many times my actions led someone that loved me to feel pain. It kills me inside, I wish I could undo it all. I question my morales at times, my own mind becomes my worst enemy. It tells me to be on my toes and to panic because everyone is out to get me. I can’t come to peace with some parts of my past and it’s affecting the person I am today. I have a self destructive streak in myself that scares the fuck out of me. I know my anxiety is there, but inside of me I feel like I can’t control it. I feel like a quarterback with no accuracy, Patrick Mahomes without the cannon that was surgically implanted on his shoulder.
Imagine this, what if Steph Curry had all the same mechanics, was still son of Dell Curry, grew up with the finest of NBA training since birth, but when he went to shoot a ball he was terrible at it. What if his shot looked like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s? And that’s no slight to MKG because I think he’s a good player, but for a second can you fathom how frustrating that would be? You clearly know that something is there but you can’t harness it, you can’t control it. It controls you.
I realize that I have a platform and that to some people I am a role model. When I sit on the beach and stare into the Pacific Ocean I think about what kind of man I want to be remembered as. How long after I die will my name still be spoken, and more importantly, what will they be talking about? I try to make decisions with this in mind, one day I’m going to have to look my child in the eyes and explain all the shit I did. And I’m not looking forward to that day. I have two younger sisters who I’m ashamed tell my full story to. The older of my two sisters struggles with her own anxiety and depression. We grew up without our fathers, she never met his. I think about how I have to stay strong for her. How is she supposed to stay strong when her big brother can’t? I don’t want to be the second man in her life to let her down.
My anxiety has also put a strain on my relationship. I feel traumatized by some of the events that have occurred and I can’t shake that feeling. I’m in this constant panic around her and she feels that. She reads my energy like a book, my baby girl feeds off of it. So, when it’s not flowing quite right, she knows. Granted, I feel like this because, once again, of the stupid shit that I’ve done. You don’t know pain until you look into the eyes of the person you love and realize that all that pain was put there by you. I’ve only told her this, but there’s two things in this world that scare the fuck out of me. Not living up to my full potential and losing her, nothing else matters. I tell her all the time that in order for us to move forward we have to stop living in the past. But, I’ve been a hypocrite because I’m still letting what happened back then dictate how I feel now. There’s issues that I’m scared to address inside myself, and until I’m at peace with me, how can I be what she needs? There’s times where I feel like I know what I have to do, but I don’t know how, or even what to say. I try and think of how to fix problems between us, but my anxiety takes over and I can only think what if it’s too late? I want to peel back the layers of what’s really making me feel this way for not just me, but for her. I want to change her last name, her perception of men, and make her mine forever. If I lose her, I’m going to lose myself.
There is so much pressure on me right now to succeed. Pressure that I have long asked for. I come from a place that the only thing expected from you was to survive. To find a way not to become the next statistic, to not end up dead, or in jail. Seeing things that I’ve seen have left me mentally scarred for life, it molded my mine to think a certain way. I still walk around on egg shells like I had to back then, when in reality I don’t have to. Maybe that’s where I need to start. To re-condition my mind with the reality that I live a three miles from the Pacific Ocean, not in the war zone that was Rundberg Lane. Maybe then, brick by brick, I can start to un-pack my feelings and insecurities. People tell me I’m courageous because of the way I write, but I let my soul bleed every time I pick up the pen because I’m insecure. I portray this confident persona who has it all figured out, but in reality, I have no clue what it is I’m doing on this floating sphere that’s zooming though the universe.
I have a theory, it basically states that you usually become what you hate the most. Your mind spends so much time and energy thinking about that negativity that it consumes you. And as we all know, your thoughts become reality. When I was a kid I said that I was going to get someone to pay for me to move to Los Angeles so I can follow my dream of being a writer, it happened. I woke up one day and said I wanted to start interviewing celebrities as content for the world, and I made it happen. I used to think all these wonderful things and speak them into existence. As of late, it’s been hard to think of anything nice to say about myself. I think the worst of me and it shows. Just know that I’m trying, I’m sorry. I’m doing my best. Just don’t give up on me, I can’t do this alone.
I just hope the tension on my arrow doesn’t snap my bow and I let go before it’s too late.