Lord I pray I live and grow.
It’s almost halfway through the first month of 2015. Time flies, man. Time flies. That’s not the real shock though since with each moon we accrue, time seems to be moving in hyperdrive without the help of Han Solo. The big shock is that I have had an account with WordPress for five years, and this blog has existed for four plus years. In four plus years I have written 28 posts. In four plus years I have started and not finished 10 posts. In four plus years I have become quite a different person than I was when I began this endeavor, or exercise, or on-again-off-again-whatever-you-want-to-call-it. And with the calendar peeling into a new year, more change is inevitably going to happen.
I never jump to no conclusions and always know that life change.
While some change can come from external factors and forces causing us to adapt on the fly, there are other changes that can be enacted by oneself. I’m sure you all are very familiar with the tradition of New Year’s resolutions. I don’t dislike the tradition or the idea, but I do dislike the use of the word “resolution.” I would rather call the exercise “goals for the New Year.” I mean, they aren’t called short or long term resolutions are they? That sounds silly. I mean think about it: how often were you asked as a kid what your resolutions in life were? I’m guessing not too often. Who would want to start the year off by stating, “Here are the problems that I want to solve and make not problems this year.” Really? Do we want to start with a negative step to hopefully make positive leaps? Why start off a new year in that manner when you can start it by simply stating the new goals you want to accomplish?
Times my mind be clouded and I feel I had enough of it.
Having said all that, I want to share some goals that I have for the year 2015 to continue making strides to be the best me I can possibly be.
In conjunction with my year off from drinking, begin an exercise regimen. One change that I made in the summer of 2014, August 1st actually, was to take a break from drinking. I had a few internal conversations about taking a break. The act of tying one on had grown stale, it wasn’t fun and it especially wasn’t cheap. I also talked with a few friends about the idea and the theme was always a resounding, “It just isn’t the move anymore.” It was this specific conversation with my good friend Kevin that sealed my decision:
Kevin and I couldn’t be more right: we, you and me, are pretty incredible, interesting and intricate without alcohol. That is one of the many things I have learned on this journey. The next is how to maximize the opportunity I have before me by supplementing it with a workout regime. It ain’t about getting swole (OK, maybe 35% of it is), it is about feeling even better than I already do. The amount of energy (which is impressive because I’m pretty energetic and effervescent as it is) I have hasn’t been this high since I was maybe 18 or 19.
Working out and getting on top of my fitness will help lead me to making golf a bigger priority in my life. The sport I grew up with has never left me, yet I have left it. My skill hasn’t eroded too much in the past 5 years, but I can say it does take me a bit longer to warm up and get in a groove after I take a long layoff. Unlike growing up as an 8-14 year old, I now know a plethora of people that play the game and are willing to grip it and rip it with me. What I need to do is get back and make it a passion of mine like it was when I was younger. That means instead of waiting for the weather to get nice, get out to the range, hit the putting green, play a few rounds to develop a handicap NOW. Nothing made me happier this past summer than hitting up Broadmoor or Heron Lakes and spending 4 hours doing something I spent all day doing as a 12 year old. One last golf related thought, I want to make the Washington golf trip I researched and developed 3 years ago a reality.
Rosa Parks, Martin Luther always knew it, yeah, life changes
With all that has occurred in this country over the past year regarding race, religion and equality, people’s true character and paradigms have been revealed. As unfortunate as it is to say, this country is still enveloped in its own racism and struggles to look it in the face. Oscar Grant. Trayvon Martin. Michael Brown. Eric Garner. Tamir Rice. Only five names among a litany of others speak to how there is no isolated event of racism in this country. Instead these names speak to a trend of racism in this country. I want to be more vocal on speaking about race among my family, my friends, the students I will continue to mentor and tutor and anyone that is willing to listen. Outside of my work with Open Meadow last year, I usually have/had a tendency to let conversations about race flesh themselves out before I made any comments. However, I was very vocal about the Michael Brown and Eric Garner grand jury decisions– an astonishing transition from me at age 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23. It felt good. It felt empowering. By expressing my feelings on Twitter or Facebook, I learned how many allies I had among my friends. Even one better, voicing my opinion allowed a safe avenue for a good friend to share a part of her story with me that revolved around race. It is important to remember that to enact change someone must first take that courageous step so that others may follow. Look at what I did during the NBA Lockout! That’s a perfect example.
This leads to me speaking more, writing more, being more present and BEING more. I know my buddy Casey will be happy about this. He only asks me when I am going to write about 8 times a month. Or he’ll send me this tweet:
A. Knock knock. B. Who’s there. A. You should be writing.
— Shit Academics Say (@AcademicsSay) January 3, 2015
Why do I have 10 drafts in my queue? Why do I always find myself with something I want to write about and then when I sit down to do it I say, “You know… nah, this would be dumb?” It is me subconsciously telling myself my voice is not important. It is me telling myself to not be me because I’m worried about people not accepting me. Balderdash, right? Except it is not balderdash at all. Even a teacher I worked with extensively last year falls prey to being self-conscious in expressing himself through writing. This brings me to a goal that will help the above bold sentence: JUST DO IT! Seriously Clement, JUST.DO.IT. I have a post on gentrification I have sat on for almost three years (!!!) and with what is happening in North and Northeast Portland it needs to be shared. Get over yourself and just write right.
I really just want to be comfortable.
I don’t want to inundate myself with too many goals at once. I have a few more on the back burner that are actually close to complete OR they’ve already been completed and it’s just enjoying the fruits of work being put in. I think I mostly want to be able to do these last two things. For one, I want to be able to let go. Be it a bad relationship, bad day, argument, what-have-you, I want to be able to let it roll like rain off an umbrella. For two, I want to let things happen as they will. Pressing is meant for an ironing board, not for taking up my time or energy that is better spent on healthier endeavors.
Here is to a banner 2015 and to making bigger waves than were made before. May you accomplish your goals and continue to make more as the year continues.
Lord I pray we live and grow.