Thursday, October 29, 2009

Breaking the Habit

Anybody that knows me knows that I lead a rather interesting life. It's not anymore interesting than that of the next person, but at the same time, it's far from what many would call "average." I'm the product of a bi-racial marriage, I actually welcome challenges, and overall, I try to find the bright side of even the darkest situations.

Now let's re-examine that last thing I mentioned: "...The darkest of situations." I don't know about you, but I've found myself in contretemps that a person my age, let alone a person of any age, should be smart enough to get out of (or steer clear of altogether). But the thing is in situations like these, as an outspoken young person, there are many times when nobody short of my closest loved ones or friends can talk to me. And even with, it takes a sign from the Man Upstairs to catch my eye to see that I should relax in certain situations.

What does this mean ultimately? I have to break the habit. Not just a habit, the habit. I can be so stubborn sometimes, that I find myself tripping over the most simple things. That's probably why I love the Linkin Park song "Breaking the Habit." It's so full of contradictions and emotion, that it's a negative song. But it's the positive message that gets your attention: The person singing the lyrics isn't just singing them, but belting out his sorrows for the world to hear, even if those are his last words as a living person. With that in mind, let those be my last words as a 21-year-old person:

"I'm breaking the habit... TONIGHT!"

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Playing Our Positions

One of the things that I have to remember as a young person on the cusp of adulthood (if I'm not already deep in it) is that good things come to those that wait, and moreover, patience is a virtue. So bearing that in mind, as much as I want to throw a tantrum when things don't go my way, or think about being a bad sport when I've competed as hard as I can and still come up short... I just can't do it anymore. And that's the adult in me talking sense into the kid in me, as abstract or just plain crazy as that might sound.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, impatience is a childish trait. It could be impatience with our loved ones, friends, or just life in general. I'm saying this from experience. There are things that I'm still waiting for that I've learned, for better or worse, I can't control and expedite into my life. But I've had to go through some growing pains before I realized that this happens to almost everyone in one shape or another, and then it hit me:

Good things come to those that wait for them.

Now I'm not saying you should just become lazy and not be proactive in life, never mind your own, but knowing you waited for something to come to fruition is usually, and might be the only way you'll ever learn how to appreciate it. For example, it's cool to say you can get a date with a different supermodel any day of the week, but 52 weeks later, you'll have no real relationship to show for it and a whole lot of baggage afterward. Now for comparison, if you just choose to befriend a member of the opposite sex and get to know them over the course of a year... Who knows what could blossom from that?

When people think of those who have passed, they usually think of the positive things that came from their time on this planet, but you know what those positive things usually are: Not the fact that they failed at times or might have made the same mistakes more than once, but the fact that they had the wherewithal to get up, and keep going. In the grand scheme of things, that's all that matters. Too many of us want to hit the game-winning shot in the championship game, instead of just playing our positions so our "teams" can win.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

All The Best

Lately, the lyrics to a familiar '80s song continue to play in my head: "Sugar free... in the night... / I'm sugar free... in the day / (All my sugar's gone, [she's] gone away).) Whether I'm trying to emulate the sounds of a Roland TR-808 drum machine for a drum track, or just watching the snow fall, I end up thinking about people that mean something to me, and in this case, a female companion.

It's no surprise that for someone as personable as I am, I tend to be rather aloof when it comes to discussing matters of the heart. (As long as mine keeps beating, I'm usually a happy customer.) Sarcasm and jokes aside, I've put my own ambitions second to only trying to help others out, no matter how successful those efforts may end up being. Compound this with me having a rather unsuccessful adolescence in terms of interactions with females, and I'm something of a jaded individual when it comes to romance.

But when it comes to this one girl... There's something different about her. Something intangible, a je ne sais quoi. I generally don't have time to consider dating a girl, so the word 'marriage' isn't in my extensive vocabulary at this point in my young life, but she's the kind of girl I could see myself marrying someday. She has a beautiful smile, real cute face, stunning figure, and these soft, brown eyes... And she's bright, too. She wants to be an elementary school teacher, and I can see why: She comes from the kind of family that I do, so being around kids isn't an issue with her.

I probably wouldn't even take the time out to write this if it wasn't something I think about some days when I get introspective, or don't have something to be doing at that exact moment. Absence must make the heart fonder, because when I was in town I tried to make time for her, but I didn't know what I was missing until I left. I guess what really struck me as different about her and set her apart from the other beautiful girls I come in contact with, is that she didn't need me to validate her... But she still enjoyed my company and chilling with me.

Whether we seriously get involved romantically is irrelevant at this point. As sweet as she's been to me, I wish her all the best.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Always Be On Time

I hit the floor next to my bed too hard this morning... The only thing that kept me from zooming out of my house was the fact that I hadn't brushed my teeth, was barefoot, and perhaps even more telling... I was still in my night clothes. Ah, well. At least I woke up refreshed for once.

After doing all of these things, I went over the morning's headlines, both local and national, while simply annihilating some Froot Loops, which now are a good source of fiber, according the box. (Thanks for being so health conscious, Toucan Sam.) I knocked out a couple of routine tasks, and my usually boring morning actually flew by for once. All of this considered, that's where the topic of today's entry really comes from: What is time, and what does it mean to us as people?

I'm not trying to start some esoteric scientific discussion, but this has been something that's always puzzled me, especially growing up in a Christian household. In the first book of the Bible, Genesis, we're taught that God created the Earth as we now know it in seven days, taking only the seventh off to rest. I'm not going to even go into the measurements of time in the Bible, because in the Old Testament people lived for hundreds of years seemingly and it would be a waste of time to try and quantize or measure anything from a holy book, let alone the Bible...

But I wonder: How long does a day last for the Father? One thousands years, a million... A google? At this evening's revival service, the guest speaker went on to talk about important numbers that appear throughout the Scriptures and picked a verse from Revelation to expound upon. As a Christian, I'm confident the Messiah will return when He is ready. I just find it interesting that as much as we could never do it, people some times try to think of God, heaven, or anything spiritual in scientific or even mathematical quantities.

For now, this is a verse I'm going to reflect on, from Revelations verse 11:15:

Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The Kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!"

If that's the case, maybe time doesn't matter that much after all. As long as I'm on His time, I'll always be on time.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Carpe Diem

With another day on the grind behind me, I have a few minutes to gather my thoughts before I try to get a solid eight hours of sleep... Or at least a chance to roll around in bed until the sunlight comes up. I hit the ground running as hard as it may have been to do so, due much in part to #MusicMonday on Twitter.

Yesterday was a full day. I had a great time preparing and enjoying a great Sunday dinner with a family friend, but there was one rotten apple in the otherwise great bunch of apples that I would call the different facets of my day. I finally got a response to an inquiry I had made, but it wasn't the one I was looking for... Or really needed, to be honest. It's cool though; it only made me work harder today.

The Man Upstairs must have seen me grinding with all this extra paperwork earlier, because I got an unexpected package in the mail way in advance. That was definitely a good look. Other than that, I had a chance to chill this evening and think my plans for the next couple months through. The most satisfying thing was probably the good advice I got from my Dad, but there was a track that I took apart and put back together that I cannot wait to finish tomorrow.

All in all, I'm alive to see another day, and if I don't see the next one tomorrow, I can say I had a great one. Live every day like it's your last, and carpe diem. (That's Latin for "Seize the day!")

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nothing Worth Recording

It's been another "interesting" day for Legacy Elite, and I mean "interesting" in a good way. Many of the things I've been working on behind the scenes are coming to fruition, while others are coming together. I'm blessed and highly-favored by the Lord, so I expect nothing less than the best from me and those around me. God's had to put me in some humbling places just for me to admit this, but I have way too much to be happy about for me not to live life and enjoy it to the maximum. There are a lot of times when I forget I'm only in my mid-20s, and not in my mid-40s as my writings and my unique tastes in music and literature would lend people to believe.

I've gotten back into my production as serious as ever, and have cut back on a lot of junk that I feel wastes my time, such as mindless drivel in various forms of media: Corporate radio playlists, reality television (or really television in general), and literature that I cannot really get anything from. I believe this has to do with me looking at how certain songs or movies make me feel afterward as much as me having a birthday in a couple of years. After all, there are some songs, like TLC's "Waterfalls" that I will always love and reference as a piece of great music if someone asks me what great music sounds like someday... But other songs, which need no mention, don't make me feel the same way they did in high school.

Granted, I'm only 21, but outside of certain things that the older people in my family listened to or introduced me to, there aren't many records that drop today or I receive somehow that make me do a double-take. That's one of the things that make me enjoy making music, writing lyrics, and still learning how to combine the two: The chance to create something magical and timeless. When I listen to the first few bars of Tupac's "Dear Mama," I can't front: I almost tear up thinking about all my mother has done for my siblings and I. When I hear old '70s funk I instantly think of long road trips to Miami with my father and siblings and songs that seemed to last as long as I-95 itself.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that when I create music, it's coming from a special place, and if it doesn't, it can just as soon as go in the trash can. After all, what's music without some kind of soul or spirit in it? To me, it's nothing worth recording.

Friday, October 9, 2009

One Million and One

It's been a long time since I've updated my blog, but needless to say, I have my reasons. The seasons are changing and I've had more than enough to keep busy. One recurring thread that has quietly interwoven into the fabric that I call my life is gratitude. My year as been nothing short of incredible, be it from the dizzying highs or from the crushing lows.

Most people would think that triumph and defeat have nothing in common, but I beg to differ: They actually have everything in common. You flip a coin, and the result's going to be one or the other... There is no in-between. When we apply this rationale to life (and admittedly, as subjective as life can be at times, we probably shouldn't), life is ultimately a pass or fail course.

Sure you can say you cheated the teacher all those times you passed around answers in class, or even claim you cheated death that one night you fell asleep behind the wheel, but we're only cheating ourselves in the long run. I've learned that for better or worse, you can never cheat God. There are times when we feel like he isn't with us, or that we've avoided his judgment, but he always has the last word.

I say all of that to say this: Who are we, as mere human beings, to deny ourselves greatness? This question came up in a conversation with a friend and musical collaborator about our musical aspirations earlier this summer, and there was something about the conversation that resonated with me: He was to entitle one of his mix tapes "Glory or Death," and that profound title hit me hard. As someone who's been told that they have so much potential or could be anything I wanted to be my whole life, I've dealt with adversity and underestimation... But most of it has come from within my own mind. We are our own worst enemies, and once we can accept that, it allows us the freedom to make mistakes. After all, nobody is perfect!

I believe Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan said it best: "I can accept failure, but I cannot accept not trying." As I'm getting older, I'd rather fall on my face one million times just to say I got back up one million and one. How about you?