It was two and a half years ago and I was not in a good place mentally. My life seemed to be a perpetual pendulum of positive and negative. I was surrounded by negative people that made dealing with everyday life more difficult. I was surviving but I was suffering. In my prayers I was thankful. I wanted to give praise for all that was good in my life even though I was embroiled in darkness. When I spoke on matters that bothered me it seemed people spoke in clichés. I began to wonder, why clichés were so easy to throw around, but people did not seem to follow them. Furthermore it seemed as if people had little understanding of what the words meant or where a cliché originated.
Taking a lesson I learned from reading about Malcolm X’s life, I began to feverishly look up the meanings of words. When I heard a cliché, I would try to find the history of the saying and the meaning of each word. I knew I had to educate myself if I was going to make positive changes in my life. It was during this process I first approached The New Citizens Press about submitting a column. Seeing a man eating from a dumpster behind a restaurant catapulted my thinking into another realm. I knew I needed to cherish what I had otherwise I could eventually be next to him competing for scraps and fighting for survival. I also knew I had to express myself. I believed others might be interested in my words. And like Malcolm X, I have changed the trajectory of my life. I pray that people can remember the man I am becoming at least as much as they remember the man that I was.
In those two and a half years it has been an interesting journey trying to navigate myself away from the quagmire of negativity into the pastels of positivity. Learning new habits in the second half of my life has been a difficult process. In doing so I try to find a simple formula and repeat it daily. I began to develop a type of exercise program for being positive. To anyone that is making a change in his or her life I believe there is one word that must be remembered – patience. Couple that with blind persistence and I believe success will eventually be won. The problem is defining that success or even recognizing it. It may be simple but it sure is not easy.
You have watched me change, or rather read my changes. To you, the reader, I give a humble thank you. I am extremely grateful to The New Citizens Press for allowing me to help find myself through writing. I thank those that have recognized my face and given me a smile letting me know you enjoy how I combine words every two weeks. However, I will never be able to find the words to express how grateful I am for the all that is because of this me2u column. I have learned. I have grown. My paradigm has been altered. Now, when I hear a cliché I do not cringe and take it as a trite response. I can use it as a reminder that those words have true meaning both individually and together.
With this new insightful knowledge I realize that change is inevitable although one can influence what path that change may take. No matter what happens I know that how I perceive the event is paramount. My perception is my reality, based on my knowledge and my history. Change as a constant is invigorating for me. I revel in my ignorance, for everyday is another opportunity to learn about this beautiful universe and myself. I believe I am ready for another life altering change.
Let it be known from me 2 u I appreciate each and every one of you.
~Melik | me2upro.com
This column was printed in the November 7, 2010 – November 20, 2010