Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pursuit of Happiness

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness
Our founding documents of this great nation claim that we are all entitled to these three things.

Upon examining the phrase, I noticed something.
We are guaranteed life...
We are guaranteed liberty...
But not happiness...Only the pursuit of it.

The word pursuit in the phrase seems to imply that happiness is something that is elusive. It is something that we must chase. Here lately, that has been more than evident for me.

I just turned twenty-five and after spending the first years of my twenties living a joyful and sprightly existence, I have hit a grey period.

I discussed this while posting the Nat King Cole song "Smile" but it's worsening. Everything I thought to be solid is crumbling. Oddly enough I don't care about being single as much as I did before. I don't have someone to call my own but now I realize that may be a good thing. I need to get my own life together before I welcome someone else into it.

I have dealt a lot lately with identity issues though conversations about my clothing in terms of manhood, sexuality and it's role in religion, and the confinements that go along with being a black man in America whose life represents a stark contrast to the typical young black man.

The ingredients that make up my upbringing have made me very different than most black guys I know.

Through all of the influences swirling around me, a potpourri of identities was created. I still loved rap but I chose to wear skinny jeans. I quoted Malcolm X but I listen to Puccini's La Boheme. I grew up in Orange Mound but my life screams Cordova.

I consider myself to have eclectic interests. That doesn't always go over well with everyone. For the first time in my life I feel out of place. I don't know where I belong, or if I should belong. A good friend of mine recently shared some experience with me and he emphasized his delight in being different.

I suppose that is what I should be pursuing. I should be striving to embrace my differences instead of hiding them of making excuses for them. I will never be my brothers. I will never be my father.

I can only be George.Arnett

I'm not sure where the next few years will take me. I don't know if I will care about music anymore. I doubt I will be in Memphis. I may be single. I may live happily ever after with my prince. Who knows... All I know is that I have to be proactive and make myself happy.

I need to pick up the pace. Happiness is far ahead and I'm getting lost in the dust. It's time I stop looking to others in the race and trust in God and myself. And keep my eye on the finish line.

One day I'll hear the words in the song below, and believe them...

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