I have always thought well of Tupac Shakur. His black-ground is amazing and his fore-front is also rather keen. He is one of my favorite wordsmiths for all the reasons others choose to only identify him with “Thug Life.” Sometimes in order to be heard in this world, you have to simply use rogue, thug tactics.
Tupac was an artist who has transitioned or MOVED ON to another realm. Did he go willingly? Only his final breaths’ are certain, but he was definitely a Cat who survived enough trauma THIS SIDE OF LIFE that dictated that he should have Moved On far sooner than he did.
His purpose was yet fulfilled…his voice was still voluminous…he left earth misunderstood.
Some of us have a choice to move, but choose to remain sedentary. Still. Permanent fixtures uncomfortably resting upon life’s barges that will never identify a wave strong enough to inspire “movement.”
An apt cliché is “a boat going no where.”
The important thing is, when we move, how we move, why we move, and IF we move – on or forward or backwards - it’s a decision, a choice, a dedicated perpetual mistake for some, or a life assignment in quick sand for others.
I grew up moving. They call folks like me “military brats.” The physical move in life for me was as easy as 1, 2, 3, before I learned to count. I was born in El Paso, Texas…then lived in Savannah, GA, then Moses Lake, Washington, and this was before I started first grade in Baumholder, Germany. And the movement seemed to never stop:
multiple primary grade schools, middle schools, and then like a stop sign God dropped out of the sky, the seemingly last and final destination was Jacksonville, Florida: my mother’s birthplace and home. I attended 9th grade at J.E.B. Stuart High School and then Nathan B. Forrest High School. Seemed easy enough. The evolution of life: you’re born, you learn to color inside lines, numbers are multiplied, divided, subtracted, you make friends, you move away because the government gives your parent “ORDERS to MOVE,” and you just do it. So what’s the problem? Nothing.
I mastered the art of moving before I fell in love with the prefix move.
As an adult, I continue to gravitate towards a transit life, movement, moving, and being a woman who is a self-defined movement.
But all of the aforementioned deals with “Physically Moving.”
There’s apparently another dimension of movement that stymies the adult species and renders them mentally stagnant with regard to moving on from employment, relocation to places unforeseen, ending toxic friendships, or parting ways with lovers who’ve contributed a wealth of stagnant to balance your stymie. I call the latter an adult “balance sandwich.”
How to do you learn to bite into life and still indulge the meat between stagnant and stymie? For some its no quandary. Life is good. No movement is good movement. Sameness equates to goodness and toxic friends are necessary to advance their choice to be martyrs for friendship victimization.
Not me. I keep it moving. By choice. It’s an art form. A requirement. A necessity. A choice.
That last and final word is monumental and crucial to my survival. CHOICE.
It’s a great big ‘ole adult, one-syllable, haunting noun/adjective with an “I” in the middle. Great word. It’s also a strong verb reserved for strong people:
A strong-me chooses to dwell places that render her peaceful and relaxed. I choose to engage in activities that foster growth for my personal and professional life, and I choose to embrace people who I find intriguing, humorous, insightful, intelligent, daring, interesting, sincere, honest, and dignified. But that doesn’t mean because I DON”T choose to co-mingle with you that you don’t possess those qualities. The important thing to remember is that I am an adult and have carte blanche rights to CHOOSE who I want in my circle, my sphere of influence, my daily interactions, and yes: my past, present, and future.
My general thought process is that there are indeed billions of people on planet earth. I’ll never meet one-third of them or better stated, an eighth? I’ve certainly been fortunate to meet thousands thus far from all walks of life and in the most remote of places or public arenas. Professionally, romantically, socially, educational platforms, and yes: in elevators.
Just like finding rare pearls in oysters or needles in haystacks, people who have remained an intimate part of my life are inevitably tried and true. They have been there for YEARS and have seen me through a mountain of triumphs and an ocean of woes. They don’t love me because I’m perfect by any means, they are my friends despite my “Penny-ness.”
I am all of what I bring to anything and everything I bring is the end result of gathered experience-pebbles from life’s continual flowing brook (sappy…I know; I got stuck).
Everybody just isn’t meant to go forward on your journey with you. I struggle when I travel because I want to pack EVERYTHING. My excuse is that I like to have “choices…options.” I don’t see people the same way. When I leave my home, I know EXACTLY who I can call if an emergency ensues, if a craving for a caramel apple and park stroll presents, or if I just need to “rap” about what’s on my mind.
Who calls everybody they know for those types of encounters?
“How’s that working for you?” - Dr. Phil.
And for the record, the latter list starts with family, and yes, some of my friends have become like family.
I’m always open to meeting new people…it’s the hallmark of my work as a collegiate professor and independent journalist. But, it’s also one of the reasons I love to teach “short-term” courses and write about subjects then, tightly tuck the notes away for safe keeping after publication. I encounter EXCELLENT minds in classrooms. Some stay in touch; some don’t. Most don’t by design of the experience. I have interviewed fascinating subjects. Does this give me rights to randomly call them “Friend,” simply because I published collaborative words? Not. (and in some cases who wants to?)
People inspire me. Those who are close to the helm know my dreams and goals. They support me and encourage me when doubt rears his ugly afro or insecurity pops out of a sprung box like a blonde-banged Barbie.
I would be nothing without my friends, but give due thanks to my numerous acquaintances. I absolutely have more acquaintances than friends. A quote I’ve grown to rather like is that, “It’s better to have four quarters than 100 pennies.” You wouldn’t want 100 of me for starters, and you definitely don’t or shouldn’t believe you have 100 friends.
But you JUST might, and again I say, it’s your CHOICE to intimately decorate your portion of the globe as you do, but by all means, don’t dictate or question my choices. I don’t “vet” human beings nor do I deem them indispensable, I simply trust my instincts and harken to the voice of the Lord when he unequivocally speaks an affirmative “No.” Each time I have questioned that voice and made my own choice, it has backfired in a way that leaves me in feeling like Penny-Piss. Those days are behind me. I never, ever, harbor regrets for my choices for doors I venture to waltz into or for abruptly pulling the knob behind me to avoid the “unwelcome” from infiltrating my space.
People are in your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. ( another overused cliché, but it’s appropriate in this instance)
I also don’t allow other people to define the length of their seasons. Often it’s obvious: that loving feeling is just gone. Sometimes it’s just necessary: your “stuff” and my “life” are bad addition. I require a more positive sum.
Often, a season is meant to end and when forced – due to nostalgia or an overwhelming need to reignite what was once a beautiful time-frame in life - it becomes disastrous.
I don’t do disaster or tragedy or OMG!
I just don’t do it.
It may appear heartless, arrogant, cold, insensitive, aloof, mean, snobby, or even OMG, but guess what?
It’s my choice to recognize the REASONS a person was in my life and offer gratitude for their contributions to my life’s wholeness, appreciate the seasons and end them accordingly, or enjoy my family and fine friends for a lifetime:
reason, season, lifetime.
Penny Dickerson 2014