Brownness

March 1

by Jemal Yarbrough

Tomorrow begins the stage for a lot of changes in my life.  With one journey finally put behind, I am now ready to take get on several untraveled roads before my 40th birthday.  I know most of us start New Years resolutions at the end of a year so why now?  My reply back is why not?  I had no idea what to expect in December and was completely in the dark.  In a way, the time spent caring for her and others, as well receiving and accepting help from others made me realize how much I missed being the one that always had a plan.

Somewhere, somehow, something ignited in me that I can no longer ignore.  Why 40? because it’s a pinnacle of sorts. It not now, then when?  If I don’t work on losing weight, writing, learning spanish and doing an event, then when?  I just accepted life as it came along, never realizing that life is what you make of it.  Sure, people will think I am crazy, some will just shake their heads because they have heard this before (notably my family), and others will laugh (probably many), but something is different, I have had my Harajuku moment (from the Four Hour Body by Timothy Ferris, http://www.fourhourbody.com ) and I know I want to be better, or maybe just myself again. I want to do all the things I envisioned doing earlier except just got side-tracked.

Don’t get my wrong, I wouldn’t change anything (not the stroke, not the cancer, not the divorce), nothing because each had something to teach and until I got the lesson, they would have continued repeating it.  So tomorrow isn’t just a new day, it’s a 9 month march towards achieving to the best of my abilities, come hell or high water.  I’ll be damned if I enter 40 flabby, unpublished and demoralized.

You are my witness.  Keep me honest.  I will also be blogging regular updates on my new focus.

Family, Myself, Writing

Real Friends and Family

 

By Jemal Yarbrough

 

Sitting amongst the scattered poker chips, with the sun drenching the room as well as my soul, there is a sense of fulfillment that I have not felt in ages.  Nothing like a birthday to simultaneously make you feel old as well as loved.

Books sit around me.  It’s the second time since I built my library that I am actually writing from here.  The light is just dark enough so there is no glare , and I feel a sense of peace.  As much as I fought the idea of writing in a closed room, I had dismissed my book palace too easily.  Sure, I notice dozens (ok maybe closer to 100) of books I meant to read, others that I have merely perused and then others I have repeatedly broken open.  If nothing else, it makes me even more determined to write and read more.  To love and be loved more.  But most of all, it makes me value my friends and family even more.  The ones that matter always seem to appear without needing an official invite.  The ones you have to send a card to or constantly ask for a response are just temporary guests in my life, and thus not deserving of my time and attention.  If I have to explain to you why you should call or visit me, then perhaps you never were a friend, but a temporary placeholder.  A time pass.  Thanks for the good times, and the commercial break but now the real program’s starting.

Last night was a culmination of sorts as the many friends and family in my life came together to celebrate not just my birth but a new beautiful new relationship.   Not just of friendship and family but of new beginnings, and suddenly nothing seems impossible.  In just one day, I was surrounded by so many loved ones, I can’t believe I actually believed/felt alone.  So I sit here, bathing in the sun as well my good fortune and suddenly, nothing seems impossible.

Nothing like a birthday and an amazing  party to know your real friends and family.  Thank you.

Myself

Birthday Resolution

Cover of "Enter the Dragon"
Cover of Enter the Dragon

I am struggling with who I am, who I want to be and I am nearly 40. That’s the latest mantra in my mind.  My desire to be a writer, to be a lawyer, to be truly great at something is getting lost somewhere in the shuffle because I refuse to do the day-to-day.  I rather indulge in fantasies like winning a Trillion dollars (who does that?)  than sitting my butt down and creating something new.  It’s easier to dream and imagine but so much more difficult to create (except for tension).

by Jemal Yarbrough

 

So I approach being 39 with some dread because I have to answer to myself.  I happen to find a list of things I wanted to accomplish by the time I was 40 and was disappointed to see that I had managed only 5 out of 50, but then it hit me that the others did not matter to me as much.  I need new goals, new things to achieve.  Actually, that is a lie, I only have one goal now: to be a published writer.  Too often, I have made excuses, too often have I blamed others, too often I sit at this desk and write about wanting to write but then write nothing of value.  Too often, and so instead of a new years resolution, I made a birthday one: WRITE.

No matter what.  Write.  Write lists, write journal, write morning pages, write something, anything.  Just keep that pen moving (well in my case fingers over the keyboard). I can’t help feeling like Bruce Lee in Enter The Dragon during the mirror sequence.  I am surrounded by versions of myself but each of me partially hidden by my image while I look for the elusive antagonist (in this case, The Writer).  And with a loud Kiyaaahh, I shall break those mirrors, break what’s holding me back, break into a new kind of Bruce Lee, the kind that kicks ass with words rather than kicks.