Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Inspiration from the Beyond Emancipation Project
I've mentioned it before, that I've been volunteering with Beyond Emancipation. Today's session was making a video of them talking about who they are, challenges, expectations. I love those kids. Hilarious, brutally honest and courageous. I think back when I was their age and what frame of mind I had. I was focused at that time, maybe not on the things I should have been focused on, but I knew that I had a purpose. I was a creative person without an art, who decided to get into the Corporate structure of things. Now I know why within I'm so conflicted. I have a passion for the peculiar, outside of the box and I continue to question why I remain in the box.
If it were up to me, when I decided I didn't want to go to school anymore and just live, I probably would have ended up on the streets of Berkeley or SF, making and selling jewelry. Standing on the corner reading my poetry. I probably would have been a Henna Tatoo Artist as well, specializing in Adinkra & Khemetic symbols, reading Tarot Cards, digging deep into the Cosmos and Numerology. I love that, it always has felt natural to me. I've always been able to read people and see things before they happen.
It didn't happen that way. My parents weren't having that...
Both of my parents instilled the work ethic in me deep - even when I didn't want to work. I knew I had to do something to make a living and be self-sufficient. They didn't understand anything other than that. They didn't care how I chose to expand my mind or express my creativity - as long as I had a job to back it up. They taught me early that being a starving artist is not the way to go. Sort of how we tell our young men to have Plan B even though they want to dribble a ball or have a hot CD.
When I see these kids though, there is a rough exterior, but it is understood. I can only imagine some of the things they've experienced in life. I don't know everyone's story but I know too much happened to them at too young of an age. Still they are champions, wanting to break the cycle and wanting what every human being does, just to be loved. Even now as they are simply trying to make it, you see that gleam of hope in their eyes and it dawned on me today that IS life. The will to want to go on, prosper, be challenged, succeed and get back up when you are knocked down.
Going into this project I really wanted to share with them my love for Family History, my love for my Family (even the ones I refuse to speak to - I'm good at loving from afar). Today confirmed that I've learned much more from them. They've inspired me to want to write again, express myself. These are things that I've let lag too long and I'm thankful for this project, because it has given ME back to ME. Alot of people have tried and failed, who would have thought it would be a group of kids just looking to learn something that did the trick. See how the Creator works? So my Parents were thinking the right thing... Work, but make sure you do something you love while doing it... Keeps the stress down. I should have listened more.