prepare yourself for the giant…

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Do you know who I am? I’m alive you understand, the life, the life, the life…Are you prepared for the atom bomb, are you prepared for my aching arms? Are you prepared, are you prepared? Are you prepared for serenity, are you prepared to disagree? Are you prepared, are you prepared for meThe Bird and the Bee’s “Preparedness”

We were a family of lottery players. We sharpened our pencils, selected numbers at random, and stood on a line that snaked the length of a city block, because we believed that all we needed was a dollar and a dream. Come nightfall we’d sit on the stoop, still wet from the johnny pump and the spray of Colt 45 that matted our hair to the backs of our necks, listening to the elders trade stories of what they’d do if they hit it big. Sadie said she was going to buy me a house where all the white people lived. Promising us that she’d stand on her lawn, defiant, knowing that they couldn’t get rid of me, even if they tried. Some mused about giant boats settling sail in a blue ocean. No one had ever seen waves swell, seen the beauty of them rise up and warble like a long note held. No one bore witness to the descent, to the waves crashing onto the shoreline. Back then the only water we’d seen poured out of spigots and sprayed out of pumps on the street.

Others hatched plans about taking a trip around the world although they secretly knew that the whole of their world would always be Brooklyn. Their prison was a ten-block radius, yet once a week they’d shuffle to the market with their dollar in tow, plotting escape.

Back then we were naive to believe that money bought you freedom. Back then we wanted the life we saw on our black and white television sets; we raged war with the wire rabbit ears to bring this life into focus. Back then we wanted the giant.

Recently, someone upbraided me for my decision to abandon a comfortable life. Think of all the money. Think about what you’re walking away from, she warned. Shaking my head I sighed and said that what I was running toward was infinitely richer. It was the ticking that was the bomb. Granted, I’m being smart about things. I’m squirreling away as much money as I can. I’m buying only what I need. I’m ridding myself of the unnecessary, the things that only bring me anxiety rather than sustenance. I’m making my preparations for the day when I’ll walk away from security to something other. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t worry about it, fret over my decision, a little. I’m pragmatic, cautious, but then I recall a conversation I had with my friend Kate a few years back. I considered renting a more expensive apartment than the one in which I’d lived, but worried that I wouldn’t have the money to pay for it in the long run. Kate told me that I should always bet on myself. I was my biggest investment and that I should nurture myself. The rent line would be stable and my potential could only grow — all things being equal, of course.

Ever since then I try to remind myself to bet on myself. To believe in myself. To know that I am the ticking that is the bomb. To know that money is actually the prison, not the thing that sets you free. To believe that I can break from third person and rush to first. That I can be the giant.

All this while having lunch at Campo de Fiori.

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6 thoughts on “prepare yourself for the giant…

  1. “To know that money is actually the prison, not the thing that sets you free. ”

    This is EXACTLY what I was referring to when I said I felt trapped by commitments and obligations. How do you know exactly the words to use what I am describing what I feel in my heart?

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    1. OH, Kel. I feel the same exact way. I was recently reading a post about a lawyer who took two years off to travel the world: http://www.legalnomads.com/ and it inspired me in ways I couldn’t imagine. I’m legitimately praying that I can perhaps consult in social media and pursue such an endeavor, and I’m trying to muffle the voice that tells me that I can’t do it, I’ll be homeless, etc, etc. It’s a difficult journey, assuredly.

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  2. your words are alive. i am with you on that stoop and also know the prison. i walked away years ago from a very comfortable life to figure out who i was and what i wanted. i lived in calcutta and walked the himalayas to follow what i felt inside. it was the best decision i ever made. you can never go wrong when you bet on yourself. your circumstances may become more modest, but think of the inspiration that that modesty brings. real beauty lives in very little. life will always rise to meet you.

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    1. This is truly beautiful. I’m starting to think about cultivating a life lived more modestly. Granted, I’ve been accustomed to so much more these past few years, but ironically enough it hasn’t been gratifying in the way that I need it to be — spiritually. However, I think you’re right about trusting myself. I literally need to remind myself of this every. single. day. Bet on myself, believe in myself. Believe that others will believe in my ability to be great.

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  3. Just discovered your gem of a blog, so full of beautiful and truthful and raw words, a woman after my own heart!I think I’m learning the same lessons, the lesson of believing in oneself because I only have one life and one chance to do so… Have been so used to depending on other people as my advocates but their advocacy will never be truly as strong because they don’t know me like I do. Will be continuing to read your blog; so glad to have found you. Good writing is always a blessing in my life.

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