Hello good people (the only two that read this thing) a great moment occurred yesterday as I was baptized after a moving sermon by my uncle Harold. Perhaps the most symbolic part was after going under and coming up I was instructed to “breathe, just breathe”
Since the ferguson verdict I feel like I haven’t come up for air, the intelligent youthful funny observer gave way to a cynic social critic (a la George Carlin) whose critical thinking sharpened but whose aspirations, humor, and most importantly GPA became dull.
I’ve tried hard to “Do the Right Thing” (not too fond of Spike Lee, Eh more so his opinions, great films)
But pointless defiance, boredom and fear for the future have pulled me back.
Highschool can be stressful. Everything I’ve done academically for the last for years has been to better my future. But one nagging thought since Freshman year has been “I could’ve done better”
It feels like since sophmore year while I’ve tried hard and applies myself mostly that I’m not “The old Skyler” the kid who sucked up his problems, put his best foot forward and performed to the best of his ability.
Only yesterday did I realize the “Old Skyler” wasn’t gone. He just took great leaps that made him more cynical, he still had hopes, love for his friends and family, dreams, but the humor and smile he so often displayed faded away since the Ferguson tragedy. What does the sheltered intelligent black teen do when he sees a national tragedy, and those around ask for his thoughts; but not his feelings?
Simple he bottles them, afraid to seem weak, afraid to be hurt by the “secular world” afraid to display fear and release the loneliness he’s felt since he was a toddler to those around him.
Ever since I was born I’ve felt “different” I was never really treated poorly but my peers and I never connected. My humor was a way to open up. When my shy, high-pitched voice joked, I felt better, I felt fulfilled, I felt appreciated; something I haven’t in awhile. Mostly because I inadvertently closed myself off, afraid to feel, afraid to cry, to crack the shell of the little boy who tried hard everyday with little time to discuss his emotions.
“Shell” that’s it, that’s what cerebral palsy has caused me to see myself as. A helpless, burdensome shell, struggling for independence, reminded that “he better learn to do things by himself” and I tried but things took awhile, everyday task took tremendous effort to perform efficiently.
I remember my first steps at my dearly departed grandmother Maxine’s house; a five year old taking his first independent Walker-free steps seems unusual, but it was so fulfilling. My first steps towards independence. (literally and figuratively)
So I guess cerebral palsy has caused struggle, but overcoming it through the years has been a beautiful display of patience, frustration, sadness, dissapointment, fear, and determination.
My recent baptism finally let all those feelings be released, and manageable, for perhaps the first time. And it feels good