Wrestling with Wrestling

I don’t claim to be woke. Anymore.

I’ve come to despise the term because it’s been co-opted by so many different people in so many different ways that it’s lost all it’s original meaning. Anyone who displays a Hooked on Phonics level of knowledge and compassion for the plight of the marginalized gets labeled as “Woke” or “Woke Bae” or whatever other goofy ass term of endearment gets passed around on the internet.

An aside, I have yet to hear anyone outside of an electronic medium talk like this. If you’ve ever physically heard me say anything about being woke, I’m usually saying it tongue in cheek. Reality is a cruel bitch.

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Bored Ambition Reads: Toxicology…

Once upon a time, I was a young, hopeful student at UCLA, working in one of the student stores to keep some money in my pockets. It was in this store that I struck up a relationship with one S. Latria, a relationship that had and continues to, stretch well into the years since we’ve both left the campus.

Several years ago, I had the pleasure of speaking over the telephone to S. Latria, who was conducting field research for what eventually became her debut work Toxicology: Transform Your Unhealthy Relationships by Becoming Your Own Best Friend and provide some of my own insight to my experiences with my relationships with other women, which, outside of my own family (and even still) were a bit lacking at the time.

The book has been released and as soon as I was able to, I purchased a physical copy (e-book just wouldn’t do) of the book and got down to reading it in what free time I currently have in my life. I’m not going to lie and say this review isn’t slightly biased, but looking at this as objectively as I possibly could, I recommend this book to those of you who are into self-help and improving the relationships in your life.

Speaking from a purely technical point of view, the way the books is structured makes it easy to absorb the information and advice that is being presented. The author starts off by relaying a story of her own toxicity and gives us the Toxic R.U.L.E, then she goes into the various toxic types (and there are quite a few), and finally ends it with another story in which she handled herself with more grace than she did in her first story. Interspersed in the explanations of the toxic types are various stories of women engaged in or dealing with people displaying the toxic personality types to help hammer home exactly how those types manifest in your life.

Content wise, I found myself seeing myself in many of the toxic types and I thought back to many of the friendships that I have and how I displayed toxic behavior, from enabling other people’s bullshit, to telling little white lies, to being both an optimist and a pessimist (it’s possible to be both, trust me). I have been a love enthusiast with men. I’ve joined a pack online. Of course, my ultimate takeway from the book wasn’t that I’m a terrible person, no, but that I am a person who is in a constant state of improvement, and while I have displayed these traits in the past, and may even do so currently, I don’t have to hold on to that past behavior or down myself if I’m anything less than perfect today.

I implore you, to purchase this book, a hard copy if need be. It is available on Amazon and I’m not receiving anything for reviewing this except the pleasure of spreading the word about an excellent piece of work.

I Got What I Wanted

You know, I really dislike having a fucking job.

I like making money, but I dislike having a fucking job.

I say that because it’s fucking December and my last post was in February and I had this whole plan to be posting at least once a month this year and yet here the hell we are. And that is because in February, I got a job, a temporary job, but a job none the less, and said job sapped the energy I was going to use to write.

Then that job ended in June and by then, I didn’t want to think about doing anything and then I got a permanent job that started in September, a job where I’m talking to people all damn day and my energy is yet again being taken up by a fucking job.

As much as I dislike having a job, I also dislike not having a job too.

Of course, it’s very easy to blame the job, but I have to take some responsibility myself, blah blah blah, lack of discipline, lack of a stronger work ethic, I just want to zone out in front of YouTube and Twitter all day.

I don’t know what this has to do with anything.

Oh yeah, so in between February and now, and it’s been a year since I’ve written this post, I realized that I’ve actually got what I wanted…what I wanted 10+ years ago.

Manifestation can be a slow process. You can ask God or the Universe for some shit and they hear you, they totally hear you, they just might not get it to you right away, and that could be because you’re not ready for it, and they knew I wasn’t ready for the shit I wanted back then.

I asked to be away from my upbringing. I have gotten away from my upbringing.
I asked for quiet. I have gotten quiet.
I asked for my depression to at least be lifted more than draped on my shoulders, and I don’t wear it as much as I have in the past.
It’s like once I was granted these things, everything else has slowly fallen into place and will continue to do so.

So I still don’t know what I want to do, but I do know that when I figure it out, it will come.

The next decade is looking bright.

Featured Photo by Dark Indigo from Pexels

We’re on Ko-fi!!!!/A Thank You Post

For a while, I struggled with whether or not I should do like so many other creators and post a link to a PayPal or CashApp or Patreon link so that the people who read this site could send me money in support of the work that I do. I’ll admit that is was mostly pride that made me feel like to do so would cheapen the work and make me look like I’m begging for charity.

I have pushed my pride aside and recently signed up with Ko-fi. Their benefits seem to work more in line with how I work, unlike Patreon and if you would ever like to support the Bored Ambition team in any way shape or form, or just like the work that is done here, you can click here or click on the link in the left footer of the site to buy me a coffee.

I thank you very much in advance if you do deceide to donate. I also thank and appreciate all those who have stuck with the blog since we’ve been live, through the numerous changes, mental shifts and breakdowns and rebranding. I’ve often thought about giving up this site, but you never know who might be reading and could really use the words that I type here. So again, I thank you all.

New Year, Same Me?

I don’t like making New Year’s resolutions. I don’t like them because I don’t keep them and I don’t keep them because the pressure to make and keep them becomes too much and I end up saying fuck it at least a week into the new year. The act of making resolutions for me is mostly for show, to appear to be like other human beings, but I gave that up for Lent* one year and never looked back.

So I came into this year the same way I’ve come into the past five or six or seven years – with a renewed sense of optimism for what the days might bring, but with no plan on how to be a better or different person or to adjust my lot in life. I’m the living Kermit meme.

Nigga hush.

I might have to change that though.

Wait, let’s let the lightning strike and the thunder rumble and finish getting your chuckles out.

Don’t worry, I’m not making resolutions, because again, there’s just a bit too much pressure with trying to achieve them, especially if you put a timeframe on it like I am prone to do. But there are old habits that I need to break, old patterns of behavior that once again I need to reexamine how they fit into my life at this point in time (spoiler alert: they fucking don’t).

Stay tuned.

Thinking of Us or, Why Thinkpieces Give Me Heart Palpitations: A Personal Essay

Pop culture wise, 2018 has been Black as fuck.

I’m sure we’ve had Blacker years, but I bet that 2018 will rank highly among them. Music was good, strides were made in television, and the movies? LAWWWWWDD THE MOVIES!!!! If we weren’t the central focus of the narrative, we were definitely up in that bitch somewhere.

The beautiful thing about this Black Entertainment renaissance is that it causes discussion. People from all different walks of Black life gather in spaces both private and public to discuss their thoughts and feelings on the art they just witnessed, engage in fierce debate about whether or not something is a classic just 24 hours removed from release, or get upon their contrarian high horse to shit on anyone who dared like this mega-popular event and berate them for being sheep. It’s wonderful because it can be fun, and it can be downright annoying, or you could occupy that space in the middle. General indifference is an option as well.

While I’m glad that there is discourse about art, especially when it comes to discussion about those -isms that really keep us all from enjoying life to its fullest – necessary discussion that needs to be had – somethings don’t require, aren’t ready for and sometimes shouldn’t be given extensive critical thought. Some of these things are as shallow as a kiddie pool, some of these things are incomplete and others have been analyzed to death and can’t offer us new insights into ourselves. Thinkpieces and theories have become a staple of online discourse and I won’t lie and say that I don’t enjoy reading or composing them occasionally, but it can be a bit much.

The highly anticipated trailer for Oscar winning writer-director-comedian Jordan Peele’s follow up to 2016 tour de force Get Out premiered in the predawn Christmas morning. Us is a family film, if your family is getting chased and lit up by dopplegangers of themselves. Set to an eerie remix of, of all things, the Luniz’s seminal work “I Got 5 On It”, the trailer is an exercise in creepy.

I was legit creeped out watching that trailer.

Any way, once it was over, as I anticipated, the thinkpieces would come about before midday. You have a Black family (a dark-skinned Black family at that) vacationing in Northern California, they look affluent enough, the husband wears Howard University sweatshirts, the teach their kids the classics and the mother keeps a close, keen eye on her children. Yes, a great shout rose from the collective consciousness of the Woke and this idyllic view of Black family life being tormented by something other than white people.

What we got made me take a nap. When I awoke from that nap, the realization of what I had seen loaded into my brain and I sat up, exclaiming, “I know kung fu!” I don’t, but you get the point. I learned that “I Got 5 On It” wasn’t just a song about going “half on a sack” of some Indo’ weed, but a call from the ancestors to always offer our brothers and sisters in the struggle the five fingers of our hand to get ahead in this racist American society, something something, Five Percenters something something. That the film is a revenge plot on the talented tenth and suburban Blacks (probably the very people I am ranting about). That Jordan Peele is automatically unqualified to give us much of the discourse he’s given us with this trailer and Get Out because he’s a seemingly unproblematic biracial Black claiming man married to a seemingly unproblematic white woman (I ain’t dug into her background nor do I care to).

Point is, there is only so much that we can get from a two and a half minute trailer, combined with what the director himself has said the themes of the film are. I’m going to take his lead on this until I actually see a final cut of the film.

Us and Black-specific culture isn’t the only instance of this though, but it is the freshest. We get this type of speculation with nerds a lot as well. I saw so many thinkpieces and theories popping up with the drop of the Avengers: Endgame teaser that my eyes rolled into the back of my head and I had to get knocked silly to get them straight again. “Tony said ‘Rescue’! Pepper Potts is going to save him!”, uh uh, “Ant Man is a Skrull, there’s no way he got out the Quantum Realm!”, uh uh, “It’s in the past!” I saw someone break down the reveal of the movie’s title at the end of the teaser, indicating that the stylization and fonts used were indicative of certain events in the past MCU (the snap, the Infinity Stones, etc.). I need another nap thinking about it.

Look, I’ll admit that this is all deeply personal. I like to be told things. I did all my critical thinking in high school and college and when I try to apply much of it to everyday life I end up being disappointed or looking like a fool critically thinking about why Chik-fil-A breakfast is the GOAT fast food breakfast (their biscuits taste real). So when I see people engaging in a two and a half minute trailer, I feel a bit guilty that I’m not engaging in a two and a half minute trailer outside of, “Holy shit, this looks interesting, I will wait for it to come out.” Like me not engaging it further is a waste of my education and not just me wanting to be taken on a journey without expectations.

Then I remember the pretentiousness of a lot of these people. Don’t get me wrong, I can do pretentious. These people are on a whole different level with it, and that turns me off from trying to be one of them. None of the markers that these people celebrate – including thinkpiecing media to death – makes them that important. The rest of us who don’t want to engage in the pretentiousness aren’t any lesser for it either.

In conclusion (wink, wink), Black Entertainment has had a banner year in 2018, and looks to be making strides well into the ‘19 and the 2020. While discussion about Black art (as well as any other art) can be beneficial, sometimes it is taken too damn far for the sake of being taken too damn far.

Guilt and Shame Are A One-Two (One-Two) Punch

Stop sacrificing because feeling like you need to, for the validity of chossing the mature thing. The survival thing. The “adult” thing [sic].

Iron Lion Jackson

As we are prone to do, a good friend and I were having a conversation about my various neuroses. He told me that I am carrying a lot of guilt and shame that I needed to let go of.

Of course, he was right. I just wasn’t sure of what I felt guilty about (or maybe I forgot, I mean, I did smoke weed for six years).

Today, after chucking up the deuces to another crappy situation, and I struggled with my fiancé to justify why I should leave it, it dawned on me what I felt guilty about.

I felt guilty about wanting something else for myself, and that something else is this writing life. I should be making my bloodline proud and going after “a good job” with benefits, weekends off and PTO and this passion is something I should do on the side.

The problem with me is that when I have a job, I give it as much as I can (I won’t lie and say 100%, but at best I give a good 95%) and giving as much as I can leaves me feeling quite drained, devoid of the mental and even spiritual energy that I need to write. If I don’t have life in me, how can I give life to my characters?

And I feel guilty for that. I feel shame at my perception that I’ve let people down because I was supposed to be “the one.” Those are expectations I put on myself however. My parents and surviving grandparents will tell you that they’re extremely proud that I made it through college. My siblings will say similar things. Yet I feel shame when I quit a job, or guilt for just wanting to stay at home, develop a good, solid routine, and write for a couple of hours a day while taking care of my domicile.

I feel guilty and ashamed that I don’t want to constantly chase money. Money is the means to an end. The end can be comfort, a vacation, a new house, rose gold dining plates, a sex doll, whatever. I can’t help but feel like people think that money is the end though.

Yet, I know how I feel working at places that don’t move me and I’m tired of it.

Part of the master plan for 2019 involves me moving past this guilt and shame, especially since I’ve identified it (or remembered what it was).

In conclusion, guilt and shame are a hell of a set of feelings to experience, because in the end, especially if you’re anything like me, they will leave you in a vicious cycle, and I know all about vicious cycles. As my friend recently reminded me, I am living for myself and myself only and there is no need for me to make myself a “martyr for what”. That’s just going to leave me stuck, and I’m not trying to be stuck.

Peace.

The 2019 Bored Ambition Master Plan

It’s finally the end of 2018 and a few days before my 30th birthday, and as many of my ilk – the goal oriented yet jaded, underemployed super millenials- have done or are in the process of doing, I have devised my master plan for 2019, the list of hopefully attainable goals that I will achieve within the upcoming 365 days. Because I am such believer in sharing is caring, I am going to outline to you all what exactly those goals all, so that maybe you, my audience, can keep me accountable, because remember, these goals affect the trajectory that this site will go in.

Without further ado:

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I’m Sick of Nostalgia

Part of The Dirty 30

This post is going to be hypocritical, as I too have waxed poetic over the favorite things from my childhood. Power Rangers, Space Cases, the Fox Kids weekday and weekend lineup, Nickelodeon on Friday and Saturday nights, the beginnings of both Cartoon Network and the Disney Channel, BET, MTV’s Rock N Jock Baseball, Daria, you get the idea. The 1990s were a hell of a decade in human history, and those of us who lived as children in them are now approaching or are in our 30s.

We washed y’all.

What comes with age and the further progression of time is the tendency to look back fondly on those years; I happen to see those years with a golden aura around them. Considering the state that this country is in, the future is bleak and the present is complete bullshit; therefore, many of us, aided and abetted by like minds on social media are able to relive those moments from our childhood and reminisce about how good everything was back then and how we wish we could go back and have it all be so simple.

Fuck that.

I don’t want to go back and be a child in the 1990s. I don’t want to to it. I refuse.

For one thing, common sense says that shit was just as foul then as they are now. We just had a few radicalized white men send mail bombs and open fire in synagogue recently; in the 1990s, we had Waco, Ruby Ridge and the Oklahoma City Federal building bombing. The government fucked up the Middle East then just like they continue to do now. The nations of Africa were still struggling from the effects of colonization then and now and Black Americans people were no closer to being “there” that we are now. People were getting killed every fucking day. We just barely had a 24-hour news cycle reporting on it and grown folk didn’t allow us to be in their whack ass business.

Speaking of grown folks…listen. I know paying bills and being responsible sucks. I know. But if that’s what I have to do so that I don’t have to depend on grown folks to look out for my well-being, then so be it. I don’t want to go back to being a dependent. If that’s your MO, then by all means, go back and do it. I’m good luv, enjoy.

Finally, how much of the shit from the 90s did I actually enjoy and didn’t just watch because it was expected that I watch and enjoy them? I just recently revealed that I didn’t like Living Single. A show about a group of women living in a 90s kind of world and glad to have one another just didn’t mesh with me. That shit was on every week in my household though because it was a Black ass show. Maybe I’m simple. Even the stuff that I did enjoy, I’m not about to sit and watch that shit today. I’m not going out of my way to find or wait for The Splat on Teen Nick to air the Mega Diaper Babies episode of Rugrats. The reruns of Martin and The Wayans Bros. on MTV and BET were cool for all of five seconds. I stopped somewhere in the middle of Power Rangers Zeo on Netflix and haven’t been back yet. It’s not just a time thing, it’s a I don’t care to relive this shit thing and also a I just don’t enjoy consuming television and films like I used to* thing.

We get so wrapped up in the past and and remember things as being so much better than they actually were. That shit does not do you any favors and if you’re someone like me who is prone to bouts of depression, then you don’t need to linger on things that you cannot go back and experience again, or change. Again, I know the present sucks and it doesn’t look like there’s too much to look forward to. Truthfully, we’re kind of stuck in that regard. The past is gone, the present is a mess and the future is uncertain. For many of us, nostalgia is a salve, soothing over the current battle wounds, carrying us to relief in the future. Maybe I’m just a sucker for pain.

 

 

 

*How am I going to be a filmmaker without wanting to watch films and TV shows though?
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