I sit here on a Saturday evening, watching this speech for a 2nd time since Father's Day. It made me realize that I'm not in this fight alone and that there are many others like me. Actually, it reminded me rather more than realizing. Very refreshing. Now, as I type this, I take a deep breath for the next paragraphs to come. Before I continue any further, this is a terrifying ordeal for me and I can't believe I'm transcribing it from my mind to paper (let alone expressing it to the public). I'll try to keep it brief as possible...
During the 1960's (and still to this day), certain parts of South America were some of the most dangerous on the planet. Violent conditions, an extremely weak and poor police system, rapists, a vast amount of criminals with no conscience, etc. Like most immigrants, both of my parents struggled desperately in their own separate ways to make it into the United States. No education, growing up in poor living conditions, no ENGLISH, couldn't read or write, the list goes on. They started out taking the jobs that the average American would refuse to accept. At the time, my Mom was accepted into a household by a wonderful Polish-American couple from Martha's Vineyard who had recently relocated to the Washington D.C. area. They were able provide her with residence and a job cleaning houses. As far as my Dad, I really don't know much details other than him being a line-cook prior to him meeting my Mom. They both eventually earned their citizenship and embarked on the house-cleaning business together (again, both still learning to perfect English and could still barely read or write). Time goes by, I pop out in '87.
I lost the relationship with my father at about 8 or 9 years-old (a frail and tender age) due to a gut-wrenching divorce. A bitter and bizarre situation of adultery left myself and my half-brothers/sister scarred for life. From that point on, I was practically alone and the responsibility of raising me was put on a loving single mother. My only source of male guidance was from my older half-brother, David. I could never view him as a father which led to more responsibility put on my mother. Regardless, I heeded his advice almost every time (even when it wasn't the right solution, not knowingly) and never disrespected or disobeyed my mother. I spent the majority of my youth and teenage years trying my best live up to my mother's expectations on literally every single thing. During this process and without me knowing, my soul was actually seeking a major head start on adulthood (starting at the divorce). The huge amount of youth today lay the excuse of not having a father for every single action that they do. There were numerous times where I thought about putting myself into that overwhelming huge percentage but I chose not to. Actually, wait. I did do it at certain points in an attempt to hide my problems (bad idea). The point is, I understood from the get-go that my Dad never came to terms with the problems that he faced growing up and I couldn't let that cycle continue. Following this path though had some tough battles, set-backs and consequences that I'm still continuing to endure to this day: Isolation, depression, anxiety, living in my father's shadow, etc. Recently, I've taken the step towards towards rekindling the relationship with my father but in turn, only get very little success due to him putting his own issues in the back of his head for way too long and never trying to fix or even acknowledge them.
Love and conceiving are both a gift and privilege between two beings. I don't know what the latter part of that feels like but if I choose to have children, it's something I look forward to one day. I know I'll be full of emotion; scared, yet excited. But most importantly, I know the cycle will finally be at an end and my son/daughter won't see me as a parent but rather, their best friend. Thats the best gift any parent can give a child, the gift of ultimate friendship between the two and the ability to communicate about anything. Never try to relate to them based off your own experiences but rather, spend time and practice the patience to understand them and their feelings. I know it'll be hard to take certain situations personal but understand that in life, there is always going to be a generational gap. I cherish the struggle my parents endured and I hope that one day, my children will have an easier life than both myself and them combined. One things for sure, the journey will always be retold and embraced.
I commend Barack in his speeches for embracing the past. More importantly, I can relate to the frustration that I see in his eyes as he has to sugarcoat certain issues and can't be completely open because of the media. I can sense the pain and horrendous past that he had to overcome at a very young age. I'll admit, I had to sugarcoat certain stuff that was said above. Why? I really don't have time to do an entire life story about me. If you're really curious, pull me to the side privately. I do hope however that the information above can be beneficial in some way.
With life in general, don't let anyone hold you back from accomplishing your goals. That line has been used so many times so let me rephrase and reemphasize... Fuck everyone else, just do YOU. Seriously, FUCK EVERYONE and DO YOU!
Real talk :)
Thanks for reading.
Oh yeah, laughter is great!