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Showing posts from March, 2015

Dearly Beloved

The 20s are all about constructing your family. To call someone your family means something spiritually significant. Families are tethered together by energy, feelings, and beliefs that transcend time, place, and space. No matter where you are, your connection to your family can never be severed. Their irreplaceable importance means their essence becomes ensconced with your own. Your family is permanently bound to you. Even more so, when that family is the product of your active selection that unification holds sincere gravitas. They are your dearly beloved.

Honestly, I don't really know what to write for this post. I had so many different ideas of what I was going to convey but none of them seemed appropriate for what I wanted to get across. I'm going to switch it up and just write an open letter to my fraternity brothers.

Dearly Beloved,
Thank you for letting me be part of your college family. There is intentionality in me using the phrasing of letting and the implicit sense of…

The Boy Who Loved

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The 20s are all about knowing your personal truths. College is definitively a time for self-exploration. It's the place where you get to be whoever you want and define what it is that makes you ... well you. What is most profound about the freedom to demarcate yourself as whomever you'd like is that in doing so that is who you are. We really cannot choose to be someone else, all the versions of ourselves that we portray are still us. It's kind of a circular argument but a necessary one nonetheless. You can only ever be yourself - yeah everyone else is taken, but that's fundamentally what it means to be you. Now more than ever I finding out things about myself that I never knew before. I am the boy who loved.

As someone who has spent nearly the entirety of their life trying to be perfect - knowing with complete certainty that it is an irrational and unrealistic goal -  I have always felt that there were certain truths about me that I had to subscribed to. In high school …

Diet Racism

*This is my unpublished response to the racist fraternity chant incident with SAE at OU.

Diet Racism
Racism displayed by racist chant overshadows covert racism
By Joseph Oteng

It was the chant heard round the world.

Brothers of the now disbanded Oklahoma University chapter of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity had their charter revoked and were evicted from their house. The racism put on display by those fraternity men was simply boring. It was the tried and true easily recognizable version of racism. It lets us sound the alarm, condemn blatant bigots, and return to our routines of silence, apathy, or ignorance towards the everyday injustices around us, many of which we participate in. This whole ordeal points to the oversimplified markers for racism that are stuck in the height of Jim Crow law mandated segregation. We look for foam-mouthed vitriolic spewing of the n-word, prejudiced signage of separationist nostalgia, or the haunting visages of black face. Don’t get me wrong, those things s…

Regency

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The 20s are all about rallying. People love to have something or someone to rally around. It's what we do. We organize, come together, and throw our support behind things and people that we care about. It's an awe-inspiring phenomenon to see in full force à la protests, boycotts, and sit-ins but also in small ways like groups of people hanging out, videos going viral, and successful fundraising efforts. There is something to be said about being part of those groups, but even more so what does it mean to be part of that centrality. That's where it becomes regency.

As a kid I imagined myself almost always to be a prince. I never wanted to be king, just a prince. I liked the extravagance of royalty, the power that implicitly comes with it, and the recognition that comes with it. I loved playing Age of Empires - a strategic came about conquering civilizations in everyone's disturbingly violent way ... warfare. Many a Friday night in high school was spend firing cannons, lau…

Take Care

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The 20s are all about being there for one another. One thing I know I do not do enough is spend time with those I care most about. If there was one thing I could change about my time in college it would be how much time I spent worrying about tests, lab reports, and essays. I would have rather used that time to connect even more so with the people who were around me. There will never be a time like this again. College really is a special place in so many ways. What I have learned most about college is that is where many people, including myself, truly learn what it means to take care.

Taking care, at least to me, comes in two ways that naturally seem to overlap. Personal care is oh so very important. It's the ways in which we take time to make sure that we, ourselves, are doing more than okay but doing well and being well. It's when we indulge in our favorite things. For me that shows up in writing this blog, cooking food, getting drawn in  to a TV show or movie, listening to m…

Bury the Hatchet

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The 20s are all about coming together. Conflict is one of those things that you either really like or something that you kind of run away from. it's unavoidable because at some point in time someone will disagree with you, make you angry, or offend you. It's one thing to have some strife but an entirely other thing to work through it to productive place of moving on. Not every tiff can have a neat wrap up but there is something to be said about trying to salvage relationships and to learn from discomfort. It's time to bury the hatchet.  The literal imagery of burying the hatchet calls to mind the digging of a hole from fertile moist dirt ripe with writhing pink earthworms. I imagine it to be picturesque like two politicians breaking ground with perfectly manufactured smiles, clipping a pristine red ribbon, and shaking well-moisturized hands. A few words are said in a ceremonial fashion and a glistening stainless steel hatchet is lowered into the hole prepared for it and cov…

Crystal Clear

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The 20s are all about seeing beyond. Masquerading, acting, and pretending are things that we do daily. We have these rehearsed versions of ourselves that we present to the rest of the world and while they may not be the full fledged renditions of us, they are still valid nonetheless. We also have those that we take off our masks for and put on display all the messy, flawed, imperfect, and yet beautifully unique people we are underneath. Some people are refused to be unveiled and others you can see right through. Some things are just crystal clear.

There are certain things that are absolutely crystal clear to me but somehow go unseen and unrecognized. It's not until time is intentionally set aside or I have time to retreat into my head in a moment that I look around and see where I am, who I am with, and what I am doing. Do you ever just gaze in awe at your circumstances? This life is complicated in the most convoluted of ways, and yet it's plain and simple at the same time. The…