Phantoms of the Past

We all have a past we may not be proud of. We are not born knowing all we know now, thus we must grow as people. This means mistakes will be made, and feelings will be hurt. However, to sit and condemn a person striving to become better based on their past when you are only devolving to your past maturity state makes you one of the most pitiful human beings on the planet. “Oh you messed up 5 years ago? Well all the progress you have made financially, spiritually, mentally, or scholastically mean nothing then!” Really? I fully believe these people often project themselves onto others, or are so miserable in their own stagnancy that they want to tear others down to their level as opposed to working to build themselves up. As we know, a fool opening his/her mouth is all too easy in comparison to rational thought and action. The best part is these people often will call others childish and selfish based on past mistakes, all the while ignoring that they are actually speaking into a proverbial mirror. If you find such fault with the past of others, then why insist on buying land, building a house and living there?

It All Comes Crashing Down

The strongest of stone erodes with time,
So it shall be with my body, will, and mind.

To feel life so deeply, a blessing? A curse.
Joy is just granted to be defiled and dispersed.

I knew this was coming, it was already planned,
But I tilted the hourglass, and counted the sand.

First, tears fell heavy, like a flood from the sky,
Now I’m so empty, that there’s none left to cry.

No time to rest, no chance at reprieve,
I don’t want to stay, but I’m too tired to leave.

So I drink in this room, silent to your ears,
But inside my head I have been screaming for years.

Promise and hope are what keep us alive,
But they breed disappointment, so either way we die.

Rumors of My Demise…

Greetings, WordPress readers! I apologize for my extended absence, rest assured that during this time I have been well and extremely busy. While many things have happened, I just wanted to let my readers know that I have not forgotten about you, nor have I stopped writing. I simply have been growing in my personal and professional life. I promise to attempt to write on a more regular basis, as I wish to let you know what has been happening. Perhaps through that, you can find the inspiration you need to do what I am doing. Happy blogging!

Half-Empty, Half-Full, or Just a Glass of Water?

Some people accuse me of being bitter, or a pessimist. This is far from the truth. I am a realist, and parts of me are an idealist (a “real-dealist” if you will). However I am not blind to how things have been, how they affect me, how I need to work on things, and the possibility that things may not always go according to plan. I do not just blindly assume that things will work out for the best. Why? Well because if one wants something one has to work for it. One has to invest in it. Even when someone has something, one has to work in order to keep it. A person can look for something to be happy about in every situation, and there is nothing wrong with that, but to ignore negative feelings, to just try to block it out, creates more problems, and few solutions. No matter how much an optimist says, “Things will work out for the best,” if he/she doesn’t acknowledge what is going on and how to fix it, if that person refuses to acknowledge that it is affecting him/her, then that person will be left with spinning wheels. Not to mention, SAYING that everything is okay when it clearly isn’t doesn’t really change a thing. Do you see this orange?

Photo by Jonas Löwgren via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Photo by Jonas Löwgren via Flickr
(CC BY 2.0)

Now an optimist can sit there all day and say that this orange is an apple. That person can wish it was an apple, even say one day it will be an apple…. But it is not an apple. It is an orange. Wishing doesn’t change it to an apple. It will never BE an apple. Realists see that and know that if they want an apple, they are going to have to go to the store to buy one.

Confidence Versus Conceit

Confidence is of key importance to having a happy, productive life. One must be able to believe in both ability and worth when it comes to many aspects of life, such as work, education, socialization, even relationships. Without a healthy self-esteem one may want something, yet not have the motivation to pursue it; even a person that strives for something may not believe it is deserved in the end if confidence is naught. Though appearance is superficial in the grand scheme of things, a person must possess the ability to accept oneself and appreciate one’s uniqueness, lest feelings of being unworthy of a romantic relationship sneak in. People that are not self-assured at times do not reach their full potential, and in even worse cases, their lack of self-worth can cause destructive tendencies that not only hurt them but the people around them. However, with this being said, there are major differences between someone who is confident and someone who is conceited.

Someone who is confident possesses self worth and embraces strengths while also acknowledging and improving his/her weaknesses. While this person may be proud of a talent, skill, or accomplishment, this do not mean turning a blind eye to the accomplishments of others. People of this persuasion do not set out to prove to the world that they deserve everyone’s undivided attention. Personal knowledge and growth is enough to satisfy someone self-assured, and the criticism from others will not cause this to falter, even if it makes someone stop and reflect for a moment. A confident person does not rely on the validation of every person met, as it is understood that not everyone thinks and believes the exact same though other’s right to an opinion is respected. Those that have self-esteem often revel in the happiness of those around them, as they do not need to tear others down to make themselves feel important. They are open to new ideas, even if they are steadfast in what they believe. Self-assured people are scarcely afraid to share an opinion, but they do so without being intentionally offensive or pretentious. A person of this personality will take care of outer appearance, however neither places value solely on such a trivial facet of life nor seeks the approval of everyone as a “standard of beauty”. In many cases, these people are comfortable enough with themselves to go against the societal fashion norms. Confident people tend to attract many others to them, and usually are not adverse to socialization, though quality friendships are valued over quantity. In relationships, they know what they want and what they deserve, but they also are keen to want to keep their partner happy. They are not content to settle for someone that treats them poorly.

Conceited people are never content to believe in their own strengths. They will over estimate and/or exaggerate their strengths , capabilities, accomplishments, and importance. People of this caliber also usually assume that those around them always must view them in the same light and will become very annoyed or hostile to those that question or threaten their perceived superiority. Arrogant to a fault, a conceited person will inundate others with mundane life details, trivial problems, and over-stated accomplishments. Often, conceited people are vain, and have seemingly uncountable pictures of themselves, while putting unspeakable amounts of money into beauty products, clothes and the like. These people will fake a humble exterior, while their actions bespeak someone that wants to draw an overt amount of attention to themselves. At the center of it all, conceited people have a psyche based on selfishness and grandiose self-importance. It often stems from the exact opposite of what a person wishes to convey: deep seated insecurities and feelings of inadequacy. It is a mindset of, “If I pretend that I am more than how worthless I feel, then people will surely see that I deserve money, love, friendship, etc.” These people tend to constantly seek validation of their accomplishments, therefore they never seem to talk about anyone other than themselves. Of course, there are many that actually believe they are that superior and seek others to praise them as they “deserve”. Egotistical people are perceived at first as charming, but in reality they have few friends. Instead they prefer “followers” or “admirers”. If someone falls into a relationship with an arrogant person, one may find that this person is more interested in his/her own wants, needs, and qualities.

While there are major differences between these two personality types, there is a fine line between them, especially if one is not confident but wishes to project such an image. It takes times, self-knowledge, and reflection to get to the point of confidence. In my case, it has taken over a decade, and I still must work at it daily. Never sell yourself short, but also don’t make a mountain out of a molehill and tell others it’s a fortress.

The “Affair”

My dear, I must confess, though I swore to always be true, my faithfulness has faltered. There is another, a man that is kind, patient, compassionate, rapturous, and endearing. Never have I met a man like him. He puts a smile on my face where you only furrow my brow. He wipes my tears where you cause me to spill them. He offers me adventure where you offer me a stagnant existence. He shows me passion where you show me complacency. He speaks with actions where you speak with empty words. I cannot help but love him. Yes, there is indeed another man. The man you used to be.

Veils of Perception

“I do not see him in the same light that I once did. To gaze upon the man I loved no longer incites feelings of warmth and happiness or floods of good memories. It is as if I see him through a fog… I know he looks the same, but the visage is distorted. ‘Just pull back the veil,’ one could say… It would only be so easy if he would pull out the knife.”

The Color of The Blues

The world, she is a cold one,
In case you ain’t heard the news,
I used to have a heart of gold,
But now I sing the blues.

I used to wear a big smile,
I had nothing to lose,
I once wore glasses tinted rose,
But now I sing the blues.

I saw people’s true intentions,
My temper turned a short fuse,
For years I saw through sight of red,
But now I sing the blues.

I had to make a living,
I need a home and I need food,
I sold my dreams just to make green,
And now I sing the blues.

I’ve loved and been abandoned,
Been broken down and used,
My soul turned a darker shade of black,
And now I sing the blues.

So listen well, young children,
Lest you be consumed,
Escape the towns with skies of gray,
Or you’re doomed to sing the blues.

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This blues-inspired poem is a bit out of the ordinary for my writing style, however being born and raised in Mississippi, I have deep roots in the culture. A recent friend of mine, an up and coming local Blues singer by the stage name Katfish Frogmore, inspired me to write this poem through my working with him to help make his career dreams come true. When I am able, I will be posting more about his journey, and am going to help him become a fellow blogger as well, so I ask that my readers be on the lookout for that. I also ask that if you have the time or even the slightest interest in the music genre that you click the linked text and give Katfish Frogmore’s Facebook page a visit and listen.