Monday, January 28, 2008

Getting Grown

First of all, Cee-Lo is one of the most underrated rappers of all-time and it's absolutely criminal that he has moved fewer units than Solja Boy Tellem. Damn you hip hop fans.

I mention Cee-Lo because on his first CD he had a song called Gettin' Grown that talks about all the travails individuals face trying to make the transition to adulthood. It's a poignant song with a catchy beat, and I was thinking about the song's premise the other day.

See, I'm fully grown. But, I had to get there. And man, as a fairly self-aware kind of cat, looking back on the path I took to adulthood can make me cringe.

When I started this blog, I got a response from a young lady who introduced herself as a friend of a friend from college. Only, she used the word "friend," and she was talking about a guy, so that means they weren't just "friends." Get it?

However, I suck at remembering people. I typically either remember somebody's name or their face, but rarely do I get both. This makes for pretty awkward interactions with my former classmates from high school or college because typically a handsome, rotund brother like myself leaves an impression.

Or it could be because I was an asshole in both high school and college.

Now, when I say that, I mean it in the best possible way. I was a nice guy to a lot of people, but man, I could be a tool too.

For example, when trying to ascertain this young lady's identity, I wrote an email to my friends asking for their assistance. Because they typically were not a-holes, and were much more social than I was, they remembered the young lady right away. But, they also remembered a very, very telling incident that displayed the true levels of my obnoxious behavior.

See, the reason why this young lady knew me, besides her former relationship with my homeboy, was because once while being my typical asshole self, I busted into my homeboy's room while she was not properly clothed for visitors. The reason why this sucked, was because I didn't do it on mistake, I did this effed up thing on purpose.

That's right. I purposely walked into my boy's room while I knew he had a girl in there who might not be dressed. I didn't do this to cockblock (I never break that rule), but because some of me other friends told me I didn't have the balls to do it.

Channeling my inner Billy Badass, I walked on into the room, embarrassed this nice young lady, and could only utter a smooth "Sorry baby" in the thick New Orleans accent I sometimes used to sound cool.

That's an asshole move right there. And I regret it.

I've had a bunch of those moves over the years. Once, when I was going through a butt grabbing phase in high school, I grabbed this nice young lady's tush and she took umbrage. She slapped me lightly on the face, a love tap really. I reacted by grabbing her arm and threatening her in a very, very uncool manner as if I had the right to be pissed at her!

Now that's an a-hole move.

The thing is, even at the time when I made these moves I knew they were wrong, knew I wasn't behaving in an acceptable manner. But, I shrugged off those feelings and instead pretended like everybody else was tripping.

Which is why I wrote this post. Cause, it's a terrible thing when a man is wrong, knows he's wrong but still won't admit he's wrong. Only a sad man (or woman) can't acknowledge his shortcomings and try to do better.

Now, I sit and relive many of the asshole moments in my life and cringe at the people I offended, the disrespect I displayed. Even though I know those people probably don't think about me at all, I think about them.
I think about the many, many eff ups I've made in life and I imagine Judgement Day. I think of watching the reel of my life play on a massive movie screen while God and the rest of humanity watches me at my most debase and immoral moments.

That shit scares me.

But, what scares me equally, is that I'll grow into the kind of person who cannot objectively review their lives, and therefore, does not have the capacity to change.

Everybody has met those people. The wonderful bastarads who never examine those deep corners of their hearts, the people whose entire lives have been devoted to reinforcing the idea that they are wonderful.

I hate does people. Wait...scratch that... hate is too strong a word, hate crosses a line. I dislike those people. Seriously dislike them.

They make life harder for everybody in the world who wants to do better. I don't know about y'all, but I hate putting myself out there and admitting I'm wrong and having the other person reply simply "Yep, you're wrong."

M-effer, you are wrong too!

Self reflection can be painful, but it's typically illuminating. Confronting the worst aspects of who you are can often bring your best qualities into focus. Not only that, if you're honest with yourself about who you are, you're less likely to get taken in by some shyster with a slick mouthpiece. Somebody who flatters and cajoles you by appealing to those dark traits that you don't even know exist.

Anyway, I'm working on changing my asshole ways. Judging by the response from Big Man's little woman, I'm not always successful. But I'm working dammit, I'm working.

So, I take my trips down memory lane, I wander through my worse moments.

And I learn.

And I ponder.

1 comment:

Shock Therapy said...



THis is a classic A-Hole Story. But the fact the your homeboy didn't flip out on you probably makes him an A-Hole more than you say.

But it's all apart of growing up. i can respect a brother who can look back over thier life and see their progress as well as what more they need to keep working on.

Keep on growing Big Man; i mean that in life not size. since you refered to yourself as rotund.

Raving Black Lunatic