Imagine coming to a revelation shortly after you have another self-imposed moratorium on my affronts and barriers, the ones that keep me warm and safe at times but distance me from the vulnerability and trust so many of us seek. In that moment, I sought a change from within that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but I knew I needed to dig up a few things out of my system before I could make those radical changes I wanted to see in my life.
So the next morning, I did the first thing that came naturally to a man wanting change: I cleaned the desk in my house. And by desk, I mean in and around it. I had sneakers older than some of my students back there. Through dustrabbits and fog-hats I stabbed with the back end of my broom, I eventually saw what appeared to be a wall.
I wasn’t satisfied.
I saw some dust in the back of my monitor, in the back of my computer, and I began to eradicate some old sneakers and papers. Just emptying those spaces relieved me in ways I didn’t even realize. Fundamentally, the answer wasn’t me running away from my desk or just leaving it be while I paid attention to other things like building the facade. It was just the simple (but not easy) effort of cleaning what was already there.
Thus, in those efforts, I learned a very critical lesson about becoming a better self. I can’t possibly get better at being myself if the old remnants of myself stick around. My foundation still isn’t as solid as I’d like, so I’m constantly working on that. In only that way can I really build this house the way I’d like.
Jose, who’s going to Jamaica tomorrow …