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The ultimate measure of a man is 
Not where he stands in moments of comfort & convenience, 
But where he stands at times of challenge & controversy.
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I originally wrote this blog back in 2009, I realized that I had a rhyming scheme going; how 2009 lol. But the title is pretty applicable to what I'm going through right now. Lately there has been that kind of shift of thinking in certain personal aspects of my life that was long overdue, about four years to be exact. I really want to say that therapy saved my life. I didn't realize how much anxiety I was dealing with when I was in the military and how much depression I was experiencing when I left. Three life changing events happened when I was in Iraq, and my therapist said to me that a lesser man would've broke down, snapped or even just fell into a full depression. She said that my mental stability is pretty on point and awesome. I told her that I lifted a lot of weights and wrote in a journal almost every other day. I can honestly say that probably about once, maybe even twice, I just completely lost my shit over there. But that's neither here nor there. But I did realize that I didn't necessarily needed to change, I just needed to get back to being who I was before all of the madness.

People like to paint this picture of Army personnel as these highly paid mercenaries, when that's not even close to being the case. It's all a dog and pony show that you have to play your part in the race, if you don't, then the owner will put you down, that simple. That's how life is pretty much. The thing that differs from life within the Army is the fact that you could have lasting repercussions from getting in trouble. I'm going to go on record for saying that racism is alive and well, especially in the military. I've literally seen things that shouldn't have gone down, but did. But a lot of people don't say anything because that's the cultural. "See things, keep your mouths shut". People say, "oh you can report it and it won't be any repercussions", yea OK. Those same people get black balled with the quickness. I always tell people to watch themselves when they come in the military because of this and they usually brush it off, and then a couple of months later I get the "You were right" text, and the subsequent reply of "I told you so" goes right back on out.

Now with that being said, I had to keep my head down, and my mouth shut. That's how I made it out of the Army. Well that and looking like I could break someone in half. That mentality of just trudging along to make it through the day, just to wake back up and do it all over again, is tiring. I was so ready to get away from all of that I let all of the frustration, anger, disappointment and fatigue just build up. I let it fester and eat away at my very being. Then I got out and never really addressed the issues at hand. Well fast forward to after some unfortunate events and my enrollment into therapy. I just feel great, I feel like my old self. As my therapist said to me, "if it's not broken, don't fix it". I realized that I didn't need to change a single thing, but rather learn, and shift things back into perspective.


I had a moment where I realized that there was a reason why my family never worried about my judgment in decisions. Why most of my friends follow my lead when I make the plans. The fact that I have so many people that are my genuine friends. I remember a coworker of mine telling me one day while randomly talking at work that I should be in charge of soldiers. I asked him and he said that they way I do things not with just the intent on getting them done, but learning how to do it so I could know the fastest way & most efficient way to do it. I took the compliment and thought nothing of it. But then he said something to me that I didn't expect. He told me:

"If we were at war, and I had to be on the front line, I would follow your lead because you have the confidence and best interest of every single person you work with, whether you like them or not. And that are the things leaders are made of."

That statement stays with me every single day. I don't think of accolades when I do things, I don't look for a pat on a back, I don't need awards. I'm actually shy when I get some kind of recognition. But to hear someone who I genuinely like tell me that, it was a level of validation that no one could come close to. I like to think I'm simple, that's what I like to think. In all actuality if you're close to me, you know I'm a very fickle person, and that's where therapy kicked it, it basically told me to calm my ass down and stop trying to control every single thing that comes my way. I need to let things just be and play out instead of doing everything in my control to make a perfect outcome. I use to just do my do and let things unfold by letting people be who they are. That whole trying to control situations stems from being in the military and trying to keep people at bay and off my case.

At the end of the day, I'm a simple man. I know who I love, I know who I am, I know who God is in my life. I just need to start trusting in my instincts and living life like the way I want to live it. That's how you need to do it, everything else will fall right into place, in due time, in the mean time, don't trip, just enjoy the ride.
 
A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.
 - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

1 comment

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