break from queens.

SXSW.Austin. 4 AM. On the Thursday of that week , I had a bizarre argument with a friend of mine who’s been around since high school(Kwame). Since we were 15. He was the cool one that everyone knew. I was just the semi awkward kid who talked a lot of shit. Grew together and have been through plenty. Ten years.

Poof. Into thin air. Why you ask? I had managed to make him feel….ostracized by my actions. Not taking into account when he wanted to chill in Austin or what he wanted to do. We discussed beforehand I’d be with other friends AND them in Austin , but things kinda broke down somewhere along the way. Honestly , I knew a lot of people in Austin this weekend (he didn’t). I was stretched kinda thin and I also had a few things eating at me during the whole trip. Well really , one ongoing thing involving a girl that I probably won’t admit to until years from now. Mainly because it makes me feel embarrassed (it shouldn’t) and I’m not even sure whether I’m intrigued or repulsed by what our relationship has become. With all that said, my attitude should have been better.

So here we are , arguing. I’m in a nice crib in Austin with my dude, at SXW…just how we mapped it out. But look what it was becoming. An argument.  I’m not even sure I was upset. I was really more confused than anything. No one was happy and no resolution was met. We kinda went through the motions the next few days. I grew angrier at the whole situation over time (I hated that the issues weren’t aired out as they happened, as opposed to held onto until it exploded). I covered up how “off” the whole shit made me feel and tried to enjoy my last few days of SXSW. I left alone on the final morning.

What really bothered me about the whole ordeal is he accused me of putting him by the way side for my “other/new/cool” friends. That stung , mainly because I don’t have any friends from before we met that I’m still cool with. I moved from BK to the very edge of Queens as a child ; a few friendships died with that trip. They felt I dipped on them because we left a 2 bedroom apartment to a 3 bedroom house. Things were different. I had to “start over” per se. My WORST fear since I decided I wanted to be in the music/entertainment industry was losing touch with who I once was and my humble beginnings. His accusation felt like the start of me going off the deep end.

Me and Kwame spoke about 2-3 days after I got home. Tempers flared. I expressed how I felt, angrily and moved onward. I heard him and understood where he came from too .The thing about me is …I value those close to me. But inherently , I feel as if being “alone” is part of who I am. If I have to step away for you to see what point I’m making, I will do it. For however long that needs to be.

We spoke quickly in April , due to the urging of my ex. I contacted her on Easter because I “felt” something was wrong with her. We don’t speak consistently and I don’t see the reason to…but I could feel my heart pounding through my eyes when I woke up. I KNEW something was wrong with her and I was correct. Once we discussed that and got that straight , she told me “go talk to Kwame”. So I did. It was awkward but more peaceful than before. Halfway through , I kinda felt like “Why did I do this?” I was content with not speaking. I have a tendency to eventually be “ok” without people. This is a positive AND a negative , in the same breath. I also knew that the nature of our friendship was going to be “different” after this. Don’t think I wanted to deal with it. In addition to not talking to Kwame, I wasn’t really speaking to anyone in that friend circle. Didn’t want to make it awkward for everyone.

3 months pass. Three months. I did not talk to my best friend of 10 years….for 3 months. We spoke every day , about the dumbest of shit to the most serious of things..and now nothing. No real words until July. He reached out to me and was just very honest. He understood where I was coming from , told me what had been going on in the last 3 months. Very heartfelt. Very painful. From there, we started on the road to recovery. Things seem to be mending and going well now. I couldn’t tell you if our friendship will just be A-OK again but thats my dog. I love the guy and he’s held me down and looked out in situations where most wouldn’t.

So while I’m dealing with all this , I have other unpleasant shit going on. I quit my job in Feb on a leap of faith. I simply couldn’t do it anymore. It was taking too much from me. I couldn’t think , I wasn’t creative , I wasn’t even happy anymore. It was literally taking my soul. I had a great relationship with most of my coworkers; all love. But how did I leave? In silence. I emailed HR quietly. Turned in my stuff. Waved off and and all uproar. Just daps and hugs and contact exchanging and off into the sunset.

So…….I was broke. Not immediately. But soon after. Maybe 2-3 months. I didn’t regret leaving ; I had to. That job was turning me into someone else. I’m not a miserable guy. I am moody and intense; as soon as those feelings within become mainly negative I lose myself. And I totally lost myself , at that point.

So I had no money , not on speaking terms with my best friend , I’m INCREDIBLY lonely, I can’t go anywhere, and the wound of that nearly 8 month old, self initiated break up is still fresh , because my ex intermittently pops up via retweets or IMessage. So just add everything together…misery.

Me being the person I am , I didn’t tell a lot of people how shitty and worthless I felt. I didn’t want to come off like I was yearning for sympathy; I wasn’t. Life is difficult for everyone; how you perform under duress says a lot about who you are.  For this part of my life , I was not performing well at all. I was holed up at home doing nothing , being unhappy about everything. My hair length at the moment? It’s because I was sad. My hair represented how I felt; I grew attached to it. It was something I could “control”. Ive noticed when I have more hair i feel more liberated. And that’s one thing I definitely didn’t have at all…liberation. I felt trapped; by my own circumstances and emotions, with no real solution in sight .

Sometime in July, a ray of light appears. I got hired. First music industry job…ever. First time being paid to do something I like to do…EVER. The job itself has been going well and might really be the best experience I’ve had job wise. My contract is up soon , so this ride may end soon. Even if it does , I’m more than happy with what I’ve gained from it.

I made a series of decisions as it comes to my life , because it’s just time to do that. Had to choose my own emotional well being over speaking to my ex; decided to chop it up with Kwame like old times ; actually accept invites to places because I have some money now. I decided to use my qualities to be a positive guy , regardless of what’s going on. Things had to change. I had to exile myself in order to “gain control”. I’m usually in control but everything hit me at once and I completely lost it. I’m still not 100 percent but I’m much…MUCH closer than months ago. These things take time.

I’m learning how to be myself again. Before everything was so serious and heavy. Back when I just wanted to have fun and make people smile. When crappy situations didn’t weigh on me and push me off my center so easily. I feel different. I feel….good. I will only feel better moving forward, because I chose that path. I’ve become more self aware, and things are finally starting to brighten after such a rough patch.

Thank you to everyone who stuck with me.

P.S. I blinked back tears for most of this so I’m gonna do 3 sets wide pushups in front of a dirty bodega while listening to this. Probably shirtless.

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