I ended up in Milwaukee on accident. It was an intentional move, at first. The plan was to stay only from July til January, work, save money, and transfer colleges. Work was hard to find and colleges were not cooperating. Soon, January became April. April became May. May became maybe. Maybe became must. Must became August 12, 9:13 AM.
It is August 12, 9:04 AM.
I finished packing bags and boxes of things I really don’t need just three hours ago. Sick of nibbling on pizza and juice, I began to reflect on the past 403 days.
I arrived in Milwaukee with positive thoughts. I am exiting with the same.
I didn’t learn to swim. I didn’t take a fencing class. I didn’t get back into dancing. I didn’t get my driver’s license. Those things, I suppose, will come in due time. I mustn’t dwell on my failures, for they are not failures until I have given up on them. And I have not given up on them. I merely got distracted by other opportunities.
This past year was full of expected misery, but also unexpected joy. I fulfilled old desires, sparked new flames, made new friends, visited three new states, attended a briefing at the White House, met (and befriended) personal role models, spoke on a panel, found myself published for the first time, gained two new brothers and reconnected with a sister, gained three pounds (hooray, 107!), became more bold, explored new types of interactions and relationships, and learned How to Be Black. I also learned how important I am, and how important I am not.
In two hours I will begin putting the lessons of these experiences to test in a new city full of new opportunity. I fear that in such a competitive place, a lazy lackluster boi such as myself won’t make it. But I will try. I will do. And I will not fail, for there is success simply in doing.
Infinite gratitude and love goes to those who helped make this past year survivable.
“Nothing remains as it was. If you know this, you can begin again, with pure joy in the uprooting.”
― Judith Minty