Living With a Non-existent Comfort Zone: As Told by Buck
Hey, it’s me. Spillin’ some person stuff bc once a year I express emotion; don’t get used to this :)
Over the last decade, I have noticed a consistent pattern within my life, and while this discovery is completely terrifying and I’m normally huffin’ and puffin’ and complainin’ about it, something about this time around that is sorta kinda making me embrace it for what it is.
I moved from Rockwall, Texas in 2007 to Atlanta, Georgia for college, where I knew absolutely no one.. and that’s what I loved about it. Having grown up in a predominantly white suburb where their favorite phrase was, “you’re not like really black though,” had me all too hype to finally be surrounded by niggas, niggas, niggas. I thought I was going to go to a HBCU and come out the other side a “real” black person. One who knew everything about the history, dressed black, talked black, did black things and lived just a black-ass amazing life.
When I got to ATL, it’s actually laughable how far out of my comfort zone I was LOL. I had no idea who I was really, I wore things I thought I “should” be wearing and I spoke in a way that I thought would make me seem more “black.” Thankfully, I think it was my sophomore or junior year of college that something clicked where I was just like, “Look, I’m the baddest and everything about me reflects it so imma just go with that.” I no longer felt the need to conform to what others thought I should be doing or acting like in order to validate my “blackness.” It helped that so many different people attended my university, from all over the nation so there was never really a checklist on “how to” succeed and be respected as an educated African American (I created that ridiculous checklist my damn self).
I branched out, met people from all different backgrounds, connected and planted lifelong relationships over dollar pitchers at Jack’s Pizza and cheap shots at Rocky Mountain’s. I burned calories at Graveyard Tavern, MJQ and El Bar. And then, in 2011, I left that comfortable bubble of ATL living and moved to the west coast, LA to be exact.
While both my sister and brother had planted themselves there a year prior, I had no idea what I was going to do when I arrived and knew no one… so I hung out with Frisky a lot (my childhood dog who was uprooted and moved to California without her consent). It was legitimately me starting over, meeting people, making friends, finding work and attempting to continue my writing career in some capacity.
I wound up working in restaurants yet again because duh, it’s the easiest way to meet people and I was good at putting on a fake smile to get them coinz. I met some of my best friends over the years working in the food industry, people who were in the same boat me.. Just tryna get paid and party afterwards. Some of my dearest friends I met in 2011 when I was so desperate to find some comfort in my decision to leave the cheap af cost of living in the south to spending just about every dime I made on rent, gas, food and alcohol (to be honest, I actually never paid much of rent my first two years living in Cali because I had/have a gem of an older sister who let me live with her for free + my below par budgeting skills and excessive spending on just dumb shit, leaving me thinking I couldn’t “afford” rent when really I could, I just didn’t prioritize it). Side note: This is me being as transparent as I feel like being today so you’re welcome.
Anyways, fast forward to present day, currently residing somewhere in Latin America, putting all of my energy into my personal writing project, establishing a business for myself, learning and dealing with a lot of deep rooted fucked up shit from childhood, traveling outside of the U.S. for the first time, being okay with being alone and embracing all this shit that’s changing within me every minute of every day.
If you’ve caught the pattern with all of this, it’s that every few years, around the time that I’ve gotten really comfortable with where I am, who I’m with and what I’m doing (please note that being comfortable with what I was doing in terms of work neva eva meant that I was happy doing it), somehow I was uprooted, willingly forced to change longitude & latitudes to an extreme extent. From Dallas to Atlanta to Los Angeles to Latin America, I know now that in order to fulfill my purpose in the world, in order to grow into the person that I am meant to be, in order to be a best selling author and write sick novels that everyone is going to love and rave about and to legitimately become the fucking phenomenal being that is THE BADDEST, I can’t stay stagnant, it don’t sit well with me.
Traveling these last couple of months has opened up thought processes I never thought I’d tap into. It’s brought me away from everything that I’ve ever known, having every single person I know and love at such a far distance (literally and figuratively) that I can trust in no one but my own abilities, and God of course. I’m alone right now, and many days it weighs on me, and other days I love it. But every day, I embrace it. I stay quiet and listen, really listen to my thoughts and wants and emotions and I react however I need to in order to keep moving forward in this journey of growth.
I really thought initially I was leaving to go on this cool journey to see things I’d never seen before, work on my spanish and write my book. I knew some internal things would come to surface and I’d have to face them.. but I didn’t quite think it would 1) happen as quickly as it did and 2) become a prominent aspect of my journey. My priorities have changed, my relationships have changed, my mindset is constantly evolving and decisions that once seemed like the hardest things I had to make are just like so miniscule because I either have time and energy to dedicate to it or I don’t, no apologies necessary.
Bottom line is, I’M LIT, I’m living a black-ass adventurous life, I’m like “realizing” things and dassit.
I encourage you to live YOUR BEST LIFE, man. Do what you have to do for yourself, not anyone else. Take that however you need to, personalize it for your own life as I have mine. I have no regrets in any decision that I have made these last few months. And if you haven’t heard from me, please don’t try and reach out now expecting a quarterly recap on the in and outs of anything.. that’s not how I’m dedicating my time and energy; just wish me well and keep it moving :)