It All Happened Without You
This isn’t about you. Not you either. This is about all of yous. The girls with whom I once shared my dreams and now are no longer around to see them come true.
As I think about what’s next, and I stay true to the belief that whatever it is it’s going to be great, I think about all of you who knew me then. You girls who let me tell them about my moves and my goals, but for whatever reason, aren’t around to see such things happen. I couldn’t have done it without you, but in a weird way I did.
My mom once told me to find a woman to build a life with and when she said it to me, it was more like a warning, less like a lesson. “If you do it on your own, you’re not going to want to share it as much,” she said. “You may mean to, but trust me, you’ll be selfish even if you don’t intend to be.”
Well, here I am today, working hard to accomplish the things I want most in life without one consistent person in it. My mom’s words still ring loudly in my ears, but just because she said so, doesn’t mean I bring a woman into my life while I make my next move. I could never use a woman in such a way.
What I can do though is recognize you who was once around when some very good things happened to me. I can remember you who held me down while I was interviewing for a job that at the time was the biggest deal in the world. I can remember you who was waiting already at my apartment the day The New York Times Magazine asked me to write an article I pitched them. I can remember you who I woke up the day GQ asked me to do the same. I can remember all of you who were there to witness these little moments of my personal history unfolding, and I can remember how intimate those moments were.
When I shared the news with you, I didn’t feel the need to share it with anyone else afterward, except for maybe Facebook, but you know, that’s not a real person. You were the only one I cared to tell, and the rest would have to call me if they wanted to hear the good news.
These days when I get some good news, it’s a little different. It’s not so much the loneliness that strikes me, nor is it an empty feeling. I have a great number of people who root for me every single day, but for some reason I also always think about you who is not here.
Maybe you were there in the beginning when I first let you into this plan I had to succeed, but eventually it all happened without you, and I would love to share it with you, but I don’t think it would impress you. One of the great ironies in life is being with someone who has always believed in you. When you achieve all that you set out to and you tell them, they’re almost never surprised. Your good news doesn’t impress so much as it reaffirms what it is they already know.
But we both know I’ll probably tell you anyway. Even though you’re no longer around to see me make my next move, you deserve to know about it, especially (especially) if it’s a good one.
It’s odd to say this, but when you were around for the hard the times — losing my job; losing my biological father; being hospitalized — the comfort of your presence never compared to when you around for the good times. Maybe it’s the man in me, but hard times always seem to be easiest to go through by myself.
I remember being all alone when I received the news one of my best friends, Trey, was killed in a car accident. I remember how I was relieved to receive the news alone in my apartment, that way I could allow myself just one good cry without the feeling of someone watching me get it all out. And I compare that feeling to the one I had when my sister called to tell me I would be an uncle. I was also alone then, and I felt so, just so lost. Of course I was through the roof with excitement, but have you ever been the only witness to something unbelievable? It’s like the feeling you get when you make a basket from 3/4 of the court with your eyes closed and no one is there to bear witness. The first thing you’re thinking is, Damn that was awesome and you’re running around with your arms held high. Then the “aw shucks” moment comes when you realize you’re only jumping into the arms of the air, and no one was around to witness your incredible shot.
Sharing bad news is intimate, but so is sharing good news. I love that you held me down whenever times were hard, but I definitely missed you when the times were good.
Health: Ate horribly yesterday and no I did not workout in the slightest either. So far, this part of the process is slow.
Career: In talks to meet with the head of a major media outlet on Tuesday, may be an interview, may be an informational. We will see.
Real Quick: The SIXTH edition of the Poppin’ Questions Podcast is now up. Click here to listen