Return of the Mess

Truth - Comebacks can either a return to the spotlight or an embarrassing public guffaw. Thinking of people's careers, usually entertainers, there have been those who have disappeared from the public eye and returned stronger than ever and then there was some that wanted to make an appearance but were one hit wonders. Reinventing yourself works sometimes, and other times your run in the limelight fades out. Everyone wants to be relevant for the long run. It takes knowing yourself, how others perceive you, and keeping up with the times. This is return of the mess.

"Happiness comes out of being willing to do your work in your twenties to find out who you are, what you love."
Candice Bushnell

To be quite honest I love my life, plain and simple. I am so happy I get to be me. I wouldn't want to be anyone else. Sometimes I forget and get caught up in the melodramatic woe is me pedantic runaround. In the grand scheme I live a privileged, impactful, and most of all, comedic life. The things that happen to me and some of the experiences I have really couldn't occur in any other way. Even when things aren't going my way, I hope to remember what remains important in life, and to know that there are other powers at work on my behalf that always make sure things are okay. I may not laugh in the moment but when I look back, I'll be sure to cock my head back and let out a laugh. Life is funny. My life is hilarious. Hi, I'm Joey and my life is a mess.

This week somehow I was put on to a 90s R&B kick and have been jamming to Mark Morisson's "Return of the Mack." The context of the song is not me at all since it announces the comeback of his player persona but it definitely takes me there, gets me bumping in the car, and puts a little swagger in my step. What I realized was how much energy it gave me and what it made me see was that I was finally getting into my zone. The real me, the quirky, cool, confident, yet understated me that I developed in college was finally showing his face in this new world that I have come to know. It's a struggle because with it comes some general clumsiness, perfectionist problems, and anxious nervousness. Even with some of faults and flaws comes the happiness of knowing that I'm being myself, creating my own hype, and living up to it. I missed letting my intelligence shine through instead of just my abilities with emotional intelligence, tough conversations, and moral support. Newsflash, I'm a brainiac and it's time to let that goofiness out too. Get ready, it's the return of the mess.

More and more I find myself getting acclimated with this new life of mine and the campus culture where I live and work. It's foreign to me for sure but I'm growing used to it. It has it's merits for sure but definitely I see places for change as well. I have appreciated the students I get to work with. They continue to surprise me, for better and worse. It's just unreal to me how much influence everything I do with them and what I say to them has. I am grateful that they allow me into their lives and that they share theirs with me. This week they took it to the next level and held me up in little moments where I wasn't as strong as I'd wanted to be. They were the ones this week to teach me a few things and to point out the best parts of me when I couldn't see it myself. It's awe-inspiring to me how people are put in your life to say exactly what you need to hear at the time that you need it most. That's what let's me know that I'm not in control but other things are working for me.

Pieing people in the face really should be fulfilling but in doing so last Friday it was clear to me how fond I had grown of the students that I have come to know here. I struggled to get into it because they have been nothing but kind, funny, and themselves in all that they do with me. I admire their uniqueness and how they all show up. It's also interesting to see the ways in which they have grown, and the same goes for myself. I was taking a stroll with another and just their thoughtfulness in intentionally wanting to know me as a person meant a lot to me. Then there's my supervisor who I am sure was truly a divine intervention to be paired with. It is more clear to me that this entire endeavor of grad school and pursuing higher education would be incomplete without him. He is a gift to my life and while his antics are ridiculous, I value the genuine authenticity he brings to all he does. He's himself. He's a mess. He makes it work in a way that only he could. I hope by the end of our time together that I have fully embraced my kooky traits and figured out how to use them to the benefit of others like does daily. I powered through the weekend and spent some time with even more students just bonding over the little things that we had in common. I resisted loosening up but it was clear that my best self shows up when I let go and relax. It's the return of the mess.

Monday's have a bad rap in my book and this past one was no different. I was the carpool driver for my miniature cohort of Clevelanders. On our way back to the city a big ole truck tried to overtake me instead of yielding which shook me up. I did discover some primo free parking though. My beloved apple sauce exploded in my backpack but at least it smelled good. Then came the night where I accidentally turned on the wrong burner to cook some lobster ravioli, melted plastic, and filled my apartment with white smoke. The fire alarm was set off and the whole fraternity house had to be evacuated. I was mortified and thoroughly embarrassed. The brothers responded in a way that I didn't respect. They were nonchalant about it, found it funny, and a few expressed to me how much they enjoyed having me around, how much they liked me, and to know I was doing a good job. I still took it hard that I had made such a "big" mistake and talked to my family. My inner perfectionist made an unnecessary guest appearance but my rational side came out and told me to laugh. All was well. I'm human. I'm a mess. I'm also perfectly fine at the same time. I'm damn good at what I do and will only continue to get better. It's the return of the mess but the mess is what makes me ... me. X


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