Young, Shiftless, & Black & The Delusion of Confusion


The Delusion of Confusion
Confusion.
It is defined as a lack of understanding or uncertainty; the state of being bewildered or unclear in one’s mind or something.
How many of us have been in that weird place of indecisiveness and confusion? In high school, we all have these grand plans of college and our lives and what we will do and, for some of us like my cousin and FAMU J-school alum, came into college knowing exactly what he wanted to do: work in news. He secured an internship at a news station as a junior in high school, majored in journalism, and became the editor-in-chief of the FAMUAN his sophomore year. A year before he graduated, he was offered a position with the largest news market in the nation.  He is now a senior producer for the Weather Channel and recently just bought his first home, a brand new BMW, travels the world on big boss status (all before the age of 30)  like a true J-school alum.
Now me?
Well, let me give you a minute to lower your expectations.
Lower….
Lower….
Cool. 
When I first got to college in 2005, I was admitted to FAMU as a political science student.  I then switched to history. Then I switched to African-American studies.  For about a week or so, I switched to criminal justice. Luckily, they lost my paperwork and I remained in African-American studies. Then, I switched to early childhood education. I tried to switch back to African –American studies.  Finally, after doing some research on FAMU’s psychology program, I enrolled and graduated from that program (with honors, might I add). 
I then took my very confused and indecisiveness ass to Texas A & M majoring in Urban Education on the graduate level. I was there for approximately 11 weeks and realized that Texas was NOT the move for me. I high-tailed it back to FAMU and got my masters in history. Then, after applying for 50 teaching jobs, and getting zero call backs, I jumped into a doctorate program at Florida State University. I was accepted into the Educational Administration program only to switch halfway through to the Educational Policy & Evaluation program. I downgraded to the masters one last time for good measure. If you’re keeping count, that’s 11major changes in 10 years across 3 different degree levels. I used to beat myself up mercilessly for the many paths of indecisiveness over the last 10 years. I would tell myself that it was my lack of decisiveness, my constant state of confusion,  that ended me up in the situation that I am in – and it was in a way.   I guess depending on the perspective; this is very much the case.

Perspective is Key.

Through steadfast meditation and prayer, it was revealed to me that my steps had been divinely ordered and every decision, every path, and every degree in essence was all a part of a plan that I do not know, but I am being well equipped to take.  Once I began to see and understand everything I had accomplished, learned, gained, experienced, and reflected on all of the people and places I’d met and been, my perspective changed completely.
Though I thought I was confused on the path I wanted to take, I  always knew that I was dedicated to service, justice, and Black & Brown people and not necessarily in that order.  I knew that I was interested in learning and delving deeper into the Black experience and the experiences of Black people, and that I wanted to use my skillset and knowledge to do so.  In my “confused,” state, I was actually in much better shape than I realized.
I Became A Master Writer.
 Hindsight allowed me to see that my majors, all 11 of those bad boys, though seemed broad, and with the exception of history, all belonged to the field of social science.  So what did this mean? Well, for one, it meant that I had spent the last 10 years gaining extensive experience in all types of writing styles. APA, MLA, Chicago-Turabian, and AMA; proposals, technical reports, research papers, critical essays, etc. were perfected.  There is literally no paper or format that I have not written at least once. As an entrepreneur, I have gotten comfortable with constructing social media plans, press releases, and  formal and informal correspondences. I am currently learning how to do a fundraising matrix and stewardship report. I even tried my hand at creative writing. 

I Became A Master Researcher.
 Additionally, I was trained extensively in the area of research – both qualitative and quantitative.  Everybody is a researcher until they are staring down the deadline of a 20 page paper and don’t know where to start. I have learned how to scale everything from slave records to 40 year old copies of Newsweek.  I have mastered the art of building a narrative and consider myself a pretty dope storyteller.  These were skills that were developed over the last 10 years.
I Was More Disciplined Than I Realized.
All of that reading, writing, and researching over the years made me realize that I was more self-disciplined than I gave myself credit for.   The affirmation “I Am Self-Disciplined” became part of my self-talk this summer.   As I have matured emotionally and spiritually over the last year, understand me when I say this: If you lack self-discipline, you will excel at nothing, exceed at nothing, amount to nothing, and fail at everything.   
Bring it Home.
Listen, I am not advocating indecisiveness.  It is actually an unhealthy habit rootedin some very deep seeded fears and unresolved trauma (that’s that good ole psyche degree!) I always knew the end goal; I just had a little trouble in trying to figure out the path to get there. Even today, I should probably be more depressed or down about my current circumstance or that 130K+ debt.  It is what it is; what’s done is done. The focus now is wealth-building, entrepreneurship, and self-autonomy.
I once heard Oprah say that there is no such thing as mistakes; this aligns with my own personal philosophy that there is no such thing as a bad decision – there are just simply decisions and outcomes we desire vs those that we do not. Either way, life has to be lived.  I own my decisions and their outcomes and will accept what the future holds based on those decisions.  All I can do is hope for the best. 
Bring It On Home. 
 I also IMPLORE you to make much better financial decisions than I did.  (All of them degrees, you’d think a brother would’ve pick up accounting).  When I received that balance notice in the mail and saw that 130K+ in the red a while back, I had the worst panic attack of my life. It literally choked all life out of me and knocked me to my knees.  It was also the last. I made up my mind then that I had to deal with it. You all know more about me than I do at this point so I may as well share with you my goal in dealing with this debt: One day in the very near future (5-10 years), I will charter a private plane to DC, walk into the US Department of Education, and write one check. Then I am sliding to Bus Boys & Poets. Don’t believe me, just watch.

What I thought was confusion was not confusion at all but rather, the revelation of my personal journey handcrafted just for me by the All Knowing, All Seeing. What I thought was indecisiveness was actually a series of well-thought out, and well calculated decisions that simply did not pan out the way I expected them to. What I thought was failure was simply The Universe saying to me, “Not yet; you have a little more work to do.” I was reminded by a good friend that God does not call the equipped, He equips the called.
There is absolutely no point in continuing to inject myself with my own venomous words and poisonous thoughts about what I should have done and how I should have done it. The rehashing of these things simply distract me from my end goal which, has always been self-employment, self-autonomy, self-made wealth.  I am not sure where or how this journey will end, but I do know for certain that rather than trying to control every moment and do things according to my one track-minded plan, I will simply let it be. I am exactly where I am supposed to be.  I am grateful that I have the capacity to dream such big dreams for myself, although Queen Elder Oprah reminded me years ago that God can dream a bigger dream for me than I could ever dream for myself.  But here is the question I must ask – and answer – myself:  If I  have accomplished the things I have these last 10 years without all of these life lessons and pit-stops, imagine what I look like to my obstacles now that I’ve got a grooveabout myself? 
 All art is by Xavier Payne.  Check the brother out here.

1 Comment

  1. Eric Troy Wright Jr. I'm so very proud of you. I absolutely enjoy reading your articles. I can hardly wait on you to publish your first novel with starred reviews."Highly recommended not to be missed", "A nail bitting near thriller," "One of the most thrilling novel". Great job son.keep writing…..

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