Kobe

I’m not sure how I want to compose myself for this. Frankly, I don’t know what’s right. I wasn’t going to say anything publicly about this because I don’t know if I should, or what’s best. But, I feel compelled to write something, so that’s what I’m doing.

Yesterday Kobe Bryant died holding his baby girl. I break to write that sentence because the thought of it literally tugs my breath into my lungs and I can’t breathe. I didn’t know Kobe. I didn’t really watch him play basketball. He wasn’t on my radar until every media channel was flooded with his and Gianna’s, his 13-year-old daughter’s face. Yet, I still feel this deep loss that aches. Bluntly, something so horrible is pushed in front of our faces and we can’t take our eyes off of it because it is so horrible, so bizarre, and so real.

A superhero figure was taken down and the entire world shook. When I first heard the news, memories flooded my mind of playing basketball with my elementary students and hearing them yell “Kobe” as they shot each shot. Every single shot. I think about what the shake feels like to them.

I can’t even imagine what his family is going through, god I can’t even imagine. It hurts thinking about that.

When horrible things like this happen first we think about those involved, and then their family members and the people close to them. And then we turn it around into our own lives. We think about how we would feel if this happened to us or someone we know. We try to put ourselves in their shoes, I guess that’s a way we try to understand such a pain.

We see a perspective that we have been aware of in the past but now are forced to see it with a clarity that is so close to home. Life is short, and it’s not promised. All of us were slapped in the face with this reality when we heard the details of the helicopter crash. When we hear something so awful, we gasp, we take air into our lungs. It’s like we’re clinging onto the instinct to live. To feel. Bad things happen in the world every day. We forget this, and we even turn our heads away from it. But this, this snapped our heads back into place where they should be with a reality that is so true, so real. Right now we are living but we don’t know about any second further.

Sometimes I don’t know how to live each day as if it’s my last. Sometimes I don’t know how to cherish every moment and make sure everyone in my life knows that I love them. Sometimes I don’t know how to feel when shit like this happens so mainstream that it rips into every city in America. Sometimes I wonder if I should feel bad for crying for someone I never knew because I feel like I’m not worthy to cry for them, to feel something for them. But, my face contorts anyways and I’m just glad I’m alone while I write this. I don’t know how to relate when something like this happens.

But, for me, it feels natural to cry about this. It feels natural to hurt, to think about Kobe’s family. It feels natural to reflect upon my life and wonder if I’m doing what I should be doing. It feels natural for me to want to call up my people and tell them that I just love them.

As a humanity, we need to feel, we need to live. This horrible accident reminded us all of the importance of this. Hug your people. Love who you love. Try your fucking best and be who you want. Fill your days with what brings you joy. I wish this wasn’t the way we got our wake up call, but when something like this happens we should listen, fuck, we need to listen.

Transparency, baby. Texas is HOT

I’m sitting on the front patio of a coffee shop because every spot inside is taken. Upon sitting down, I can already feel the perspiration above my upper lip start to accumulate. I’ve already had enough coffee this morning, and the small sips I take of the cold brew I just ordered are making my foot shake more than usual.

Never would I thought that I would be living in Texas. Never. In fact, if you asked me in high school, Texas would probably be the last place I ever would have seen myself. Texas is historically the reddest state, and I never thought I’d want to take on the constant heat. But, here I am, sweating my ass off in my jeans at this coffee shop. And you know what? I’m perfectly content. To my fellow wanderers, you know the life of adjusting to new scenery. With it comes excitement for new beginnings along with the slight terror of it all.

I gotta say, I was pretty damn nervous to make this move. Typically in my past experience, the first month of adjusting to a new state, a new home, is rough as hell. I won’t get into the details of it all because it touches a little too personal on my being and honestly my pride, but getting through the first month is a feat.

Pushing through my own comforts and boundaries has been what makes my wandering spirit happy. It also has shown me that I need to set aside more time to be with myself and to recharge. Just because you ask for change doesn’t mean you need to excel in it every second of every day. It’s a balance, and over the years I have become very in tune with myself and can feel quickly when I start to lose my grasp on my emotions. Resetting, for me, is a necessity or else my anxiety skyrockets and takes over.

I have one of those calendar things where it tells you new wisdom-full things every day. There’s a page that I always think about. Without completely butchering the quote from some great monk that said it, I’ll paraphrase: living in the past causes depression, living in the future causes anxiety. It’s in the moment, the present, that you want to be. There you will find the joy and happiness you’re looking for.

So, as difficult as it may be sometimes, I’m finding myself in the moment. I’m understanding what works for me and (trying) to push away what anyone else’s perceived thoughts are about me. Like, right now I could worry about my sweat running down my arm and leaving deodorant streaks on my black shirt, but you know what, it’s cooling me off so I kind of like it.