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My Many Strugglz

There is this known unknown, or unknown known, so to speak, about the hardships of life as a black man. I know I know, woe is me, everybody has it rough right? But just as there are different kinds of love, there are different kinds of struggle, and being black...yea, that's a different, different kind of struggle! The problem with prison is, not who is here, because that's just an adjustment, after all, many places like church, school, or the hospital may say this, but prison really means it when they say "We Welcome All!" and when you leave, the door man says, "Thank You Very Much For Your Time! Please Come Back Soon!" No lie, any and every kind of person is welcomed with Open Numbers(arms) in prison, but the problem is that prison embraces and reinforces prejudices and racism. Prison coerces separation and indulges in stereotypes, so imagine, being black when its ok to be reminded your color...its rough! But my problem was and is, for the longest time I wasn't comfortable with my being black, feeling as if it was at the expense of others comfortability. Im no longer running from that reality, but I must face that all real truth of being a black man going back into society as a convicted felon. And whats more is, im actually trying to do good and create a platform that can possibly chip away at the relative uneven curves people like me will face once free again. All in all, its a scary thing, even the freedom with the independence demanded within it after being told and scheduled to do what and where for so many years, I've felt more robotic and less human...side note, I have slight splashes of koolaid on my shirt, you know what...you really look like a dirty sloppy ass person when you have stains on your white T. No matter what else you have on, how fresh it looks and how good you smell, just one minor stain on that white T is like an indictment...that's kind of how it feels being black, just one smudge on my record, just one out of place word or action, or seen in the wrong area, its just...well you get it. So being black is like having a koolaid or ketchup/mustard stain on your white shirt...this makes sense right? But it takes knowing where you are, who you are, and what that looks like to be able to adjust to what's needed and expected of you in order to thrive and succeed. It took coming to prison to contemplate what really had me imprisoned before I had arrived. Sometimes it takes looking at yourself, not just the stain, to know exactly how you got to the point where you stained that beautiful white shirt. I mean I can say that I came into this world with a stained white shirt, but to make it fair, let's just assume we all are working with the same full deck, and its up to me to make the best out of whatever I draw, which I believe more than not. People often say when you're caught in a dilemma, what would Jesus do? Its the wrong question, right answer kind of thing...you can't fathom what a man so long ago would do today, but you can speak on what he did yesterday when adversity crossed him, and then ask yourself, "am I capable of doing the same right now?" And if not, why? Therein lies a truth about yourself that may help solve so much more, but we cheapen the process of betterment and self exploration by shallow or commonly accepted and asked questions that go no deeper than the now, with no room for reflection of past moments and moments to come. We get in these same monotonous cycles of "trying to change" yet doing the same thing, maybe its the words we use...maybe instead of change, we should be trying to Evolve. Evolution says to me; adapting, growing, survival, becoming, transforming, ascending, permanence, etc. But change simply is moving on to another temporary from the last. So I have to evolve my mind frame, anticipate my hardships, understand why the stains are on my shirt, question if I'm even able to grow and be better than I was the last moment in order to be able to make it past this moment and onto the next, because if better is possible, then good is never enough. Confronting issues head on will keep us from repeating these same cycles of "change" and we'll begin to apply the necessary steps to Self Evolution. Just saying the word Evolve or Evolution sounds so much more impactful and proactive, carrying a new sense of pride. So yea, I'm a black man, life isn't easy and once I leave prison it may get tougher, but I can't withdraw from that fact just to feel temporarily more comfortable, I have to face that and ask myself what am I going to do about it, and be willing to ask and accept help, even if that's just talking out my fears of freedom. Prison is a platform, I truly believe that, spending all this time self reflecting and building upon this broken image and foundation that was me, now I can speak to so many because I been through it...ALL of it, and there are people scared like me, preparing to break at any moment, confused and going through it now in their own way. I won't say I have answers, but I have understanding, and from there, help is always possible. Because truth is, there is no one answer fit all, every life is different, so is every struggle, and the threshold to withstand it, but I'm equipped to feel with and fight for people, prison at least gave me that ability..my struggle may be different, but its still the same language, slang is still English and so is that southern talk. We 'break' independently, as individuals but we can heal interdependently, together. Yea, I'm black, I've struggled with identity, self consciousness, repressing emotions, depression, trauma, anger, impulsiveness, suicidal thoughts, and relationships...but, if better is possible, then good is never enough, so I'm Evolving at the moment from doing good to becoming better. Denying that you struggle or why you struggle will only serve to keep you in the Chains and Prison of Self, but I crave freedom, do you? No More Locks, Find Freedom By Facing Self

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