Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Seeing My Valley As A Peak



So what's been on my reading syllabus since coming home? Well, I'm struggling through E. Lynn Harris' Basketball Jones, half ass reading Iyanla Vanzant's Up From Here, and rereading Diana Gabaldon's Outlander. Oh yeah, and less I forget, also Brother Hill Harper's Letter to a Young Brother, which some could argue, I'm neither young nor a "brutha," since I'm almost 40 and peeps here in the old neighborhood think I long ago crossed the color line, never to return. My Blackness, or lack thereof, is a matter of interpretation depending on my associates at the time...Why black people gotta be so judgmental?!?!

I digress.
Back to my literary adventures. Now, I wonder? Am I an oddball or what, but I have an uncanny tendency to read books backwards. I"ll truck along for so long, reading from the beginning, then I'll skip to the last chapter and find out the ending. After doing so, Ian reads the middle parts. I've never been one for suspense. Boy's gotta know the details NOW! Am I the only one that does this??? Perhaps that's why I'm having trouble reading Basketball Jones, I already now the ending (I won't spoil it if you haven't read it). Suffice to say, Jones is my least favorite of E. Lynn's books.

For a l'il bit of inspiration and motivation, I picked up Hill and Iyanla's jawns because I knew returning to the homestead would be an emotional challenge. The physical part, while taxing, has been the easy part. Dealing with my folks and the peeps from the old 'hood, has been the hardest part...Last Saturday night, the next door neighbors were smoking herb in their backyard, (you could smell the shit all around the block) That, and smoking cigarettes, and drinking alcohol. Umm, OK, I was unprepared for my own cravings for weed, nicotine, and alcohol would kick in with a vengeance. Old habits die hard. I haven't lit up a joint since I was, well...a considerable time ago... Not within the last five years! I don' judge people on smokin' weed. Too many do; that ain't my thang. Now, for your highly more destructive and addictive drugs, I do have a problem and will lecture you.

The agony! Last night I commented to Brother New York (Cocoa Rican) I've been sorely tempted for a cigarette since Saturday. Of course, I'm forbidden to leave the house under the "household convalescence rules," but you know I could charm my dear sweet younger sister to go grab me a pack. Wouldn't be nothing for me to sneak out in the back and light up in the dead of night. My folks, the warden and security guards, sleep like rocks. B.ut I'm hanging on in there. It's been a little over a month, whic is to be commended, and I will have my temptation. Boy will I! The power of suggestion is a cruel seductress... I have to remember to take it one moment at a time.

Hill and Iyanla were supposed to carry me through this tumultuous time. Unfortunately, neither author's works are holding my interest. Maybe I'm not just in the right frame of mind to handle Iyanla? And Hill is a good brother, but once I start reading him, inevitably, the comparison comes along as to why my life sucks so bad and his has reached stellar heights. Brother Harper seems to have obtained it all...sexy, talented, good writer, lawyer, friend of Barrack Obama (FOBO) . What I got? Two cats and a pocket full of lint!!! LOL.

Aw, don't listen to my negativity. Troubling me most is remaining here in my parents' home and being confronted with the demons from the past, living up to parental scrutiny, and attempting to be my own man, while relying on them for assistance. Issues. The first thing I'm doing once I get back up on my feet, literally, is going back to therapy. Happiness and I have had a strange relationship ever since I was knee high to the grapevine. I'm not sure why maintaining happiness has been a challenge, but I'm hoping to change my attitude, thereby, changing how I view happiness.

A relative purchased a copy of Peaks and Valleys by Spencer Johnson, the same author who wrote Who Moved My Cheese?. So far the book has been an easy read and actually inspiring. It's all a matter of changing one's outlook to change perspective, seeing your valleys as peaks, and vice versa. It's helping to an extent, and I'm grateful the seed is being planted. With perseverance, hopeful by summertime, I'll be in a much better place.

Ian's Inquiry: What book or books has/have inspired you to challenge yourself?

3 comments:

ToddyEnglish said...

Boy, you better get into Iyanla. I won't even lie I swear by her. I read "One Day My Soul Just Opened Up" during a ver dark period in my life and eventually...It did. ::smile::

What I do want to say (and not being all preachy or anything, because it is a lesson I had to learn myself)is to honor your own process. Be grateful for everything that you do have and don't submerge yourself in what you've lost or don't have. And don't compare yourself to others. You're wonderful and unique in every single way. No one offers what you have to offer. Rejoice in that.
Your blessing will come in due time. And when you are ready to recieve it seize it.

Take care!

Cheers!

Cocoa Rican said...

Pa, I really hope you're hangin' in there..if you're not, know that you can AGAIN drop it if you picked it up in the last few days. Here's the weird thing...one of the reasons I quit smoking is that back in December, I called an old friend (who smoked like a Minneapolis chimney) and asked if he still had the hook-up for discount smokes...he said, "Oh, I forgot to tell you, I quit...like 3 months ago." Well, I was floored! I mean, I have 100% more will power and less cigarettes per day smoked than this hookah! It was at that moment that I realized that I could do it too. I take it ONE day at a time. I have ENORMOUS cravings and just ignore them since the one thing I learned is that as strong as they come, they pass. The key is not rewarding the craving with a smoke. As for inspirational books, I find that books that either have a protaganist with a horrid existence OR someone that overcame unsurmountable odds seems to do the trick to get me motivated. Don't lose hope...one thing is certain...trouble don't last always. This will pass and you'll look back on all of it with a smile. Summer's coming pa...summer's coming!

Thomas said...

LOL, I do the same thing with books! A book has to be really intense to hold my interest. I also read a few books at a time.

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