A friend of mine came back to town to celebrate his birthday. We met in community college in 2012 and were introduced by my sister. At the time, they were studying culinary arts and learning how to walk safely through a commercial kitchen with a knife in hand and the word “julienne.” I was studying English, also learning the word “julienne.” I can't recall our first encounter, but I remember the feeling. I’m sure he and I can both attest to feeling a reciprocating magnetism of ambitious energy.
My side came from the fact that I wanted to fill the sliver of perspective missing from the creative scene. I could feel a heat emanating from a fire within him in the same regard. It was a simple want to “make it” and we both have something to say. And since then, we’ve kept in contact, long distance, briefly and sporadically.
I get a DM from him on Instagram - Jonathan is his name, inviting me to his birthday celebration. Against my apprehensions and anxieties that thwarted our past plans, I moved forward. On arrival to his birthday celebration, I felt the magnetism all over again exposing me to an underlying truth. Waves don’t die.
What’s more important to me is explaining what I believe this magnetism to be and it’s constancy. The little moments we’ve spent together allowed me to get to know his life situation and it’s not for the faint of heart. Because his story is not mine to tell, I can only tell you my experience. Our first hangout was not catching a flick or grabbing a bite to eat. We worked. I was learning photography and he was developing music. Our hustle was so strong that just the two of us decided to coordinate our own photoshoot with out any real technical knowledge or resources other than daylight, a camera and a will to make it work.
At the time, our lives were contrasting. I was 23 in a complete zone of comfort, dependent on family and financial aid. Jonathan was around 23 years old, working his ass off and renting a space from a stranger. The space was small and unwelcoming in a way that it does provide any other modest comfort to serve as a home other than it’s ability to shelter. To be honest, I couldn’t imagine myself in his position, away from family…completely independent. I wanted to be and admired his gall.
Even with our contrasting life situations, we both held a steadfast passion for personal evolution. That was the energy we both held and when we are in the each other’s presences, it amplifies. Evolving is constant. I believe that our natural want for growth is what creates this magnetism. His independent spirit provokes my own.
Sad to say, but my fear of failure thwarted the product of the photoshoot from ever being used. In fact, I lost the pictures to an old computer that died after soldiering through many viruses. This guilt I have only let go recently.
The significance of this is that I’m finding within my process of reinventing my life, fashioning myself a writer, there is destruction. The destruction lies in peeling back all of the unnecessary bullshit in my life that is obstructing my evolution. The destruction lies in the letting go of excuses, instant gratification and people pleasing. Old habits die hard. But in the destruction I can feel the magnetic energy of personal evolution. It rises again, bare bones, with daylight, a camera and a will to make it work. Begging the question, where will you go with this?
Forward. That’s the only way I can go.
I believe my friendship with Jonathan is a reflection of that truth. Even though I lost those photos, we still kept in contact. Because in the same fashion where we orchestrated a bare bones photoshoot, when you really want to go after your dreams, the only way to get there is to move forward with what you have and not focus on lack or victimhood.
This goes to show that nothing can ever disrupt the constant magnetism of personal evolution. And when one is ready to be present and accept what they have, one will be afforded their opportunities to grow. Needless to say, I had a ball this weekend.