One of my favourite rap lines comes from Kendrick Lamar (shocking, I know), but it’s one that I could always go to when deciphering something going on in my life or just what’s happening around me.
“We all get distracted, the question is will you bounce back or bounce backwards?” – Growing Apart
There are a lot of things that can distract us from just living life, and I discovered a bunch of distractions having lived my own for a full calendar year. There’s a mindset that you evoke when you come to be a responsible adult and you have to take care of yourself and maintain an upkeep not only in the home, but also mentally & emotionally. I will admit that I did have a bout of living in a depressive state, and not on some “oh my God, I’m sad, I’m depressed” trivial on & off thing – more like a “Yo…I’m really not right, and I need to admit it.” There are a lot of things that I worry about. To list them all off here right now, I mean, it’d be like writing one of my album reviews, but you don’t need all that. I’m someone who has a vision for what I want in life, and obviously that takes a toll on the brain when you have to factor in just everything that comes with that. Are your bills paid? Do you have enough groceries? Are you eating well? How’s your mental health? Are you saving enough money? What about a job? Is freelance really the wave? Questions on questions on questions, and it got to the point where I had to say to myself that I needed to turn it off, but really I don’t know what that is. It’s like I have to always try to figure out what’s the next move, and not focus on what’s the most important – Myself. Everything starts and ends with how I am as a person, and the only way things will get better is if I get better, and that’s what I needed to admit.
Randell Adjei, the genesis of RISE (Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere), is one of the most genuine human beings you could ever meet, and really he was the catalyst that helped me discover a newfound appreciation of just what it means to take care of self and let everything else work as God intends for it to be. I’ve had my share of struggle, trials, and tribulations much like the next person, but what so many people fail to accept (through various circumstances) is that they don’t admit that they’re not okay in the faces of others. That’s what was brought out of me when I encountered Randell on a RISE Monday (which you should really attend – one of many reasons to venture to Scarborough). Some of the best conversations come about when you’re talking to someone just from the heart and shit just pours out. That’s what happened, and that I’m thankful for. I know many people who are going through situations (or ‘shit-uations’) that they feel they can’t dig themselves out of, but as someone who has had to fall down hard and bounce back time after time, over and over, it can be done.
Cliché as it may be, Hip Hop really has saved lives, and it’s definitely helped me out through times where I didn’t even have motivation to push forward, although you’d think my goals would already have me push in the direction I want to go. Two songs that really resonate in terms of having that self-love are J. Cole’s Love Yourz and Kendrick’s ‘i.’ Both of their albums, 2014 Forest Hills Drive & To Pimp A Butterfly respectively, showcase and emphasize the value of self-love when the world around you breaks down your mental capacity to a minuscule drop. Everything would feel overbearing and convoluted. But with that being said, those are just two of other examples that could help you develop a state of mind that can warrant away the negative and introduce a positive vibe in your life. As ironic as it may be, I don’t usually write for myself exclusively. I write for myself and others because I want to help people in whichever ways that I can. “There’s a war going on outside that we ain’t safe from”, and there are soldiers dying in the battlefields every day because that one lending hand doesn’t seem to have its reach. It’s important to help yourself get right because you are what determines how things shake up your world. Yes, there are other factors that play their roles, but it all starts with self. I’ve already noticed things starting to happen in a great way when I openly (and privately) admitted my state of mind, and I want the same for whoever is reading this. If someone hasn’t said it to you already or don’t hear it often enough, you are loved and appreciated. Stay true to yourself, the rest shall follow.
“We’re talking about peace! A piece of yours; a piece of mine; a peace of mind. One Nation under a groove”
That’s My Word & It STiXX