Love is more than just a verb, it’s you looking in the mirror- Kendrick Lamar
I am a 22 year old, black male, from Winston-Salem, NC: who moved to Frederick, MD after my parents divorced each other. I am the youngest of 2, and the half sibling of 1. The way I pictured life in my past years, is the polar opposite of my outlook in this present moment.
I have took a lot of things for granted during my 22 years; family, opportunity, relationships, and sadly, myself. I thought life would be as easy as it is portrayed on television. It was like I was going through my life with a virtual reality headset on. I would take advantage of people who loved me, and loved people who took advantage of me. I got so ahead of myself, that I couldn’t see the bigger picture because my head was too big. I was a sheep, and not a wolf.
I would dwell on the past, and hinder my future. I would do things through other people’s perception, and not mine. I lusted instead of loved, not just other people, but myself. I would compare my life to others, and would beat myself up because of what I didn’t have.
The thing about life is, not one of us is the same. Not even the most identical twins. We are all images of the entity that keeps us going everyday. Some call this entity God, Jehovah, Allah: I call it love.
The most important love, is love for self. Because if you don’t love yourself, you will go your entire life seeking temporary fillers to mend that void. No person, or material possession should make you feel more loved than yourself.
I am not saying you shouldn’t give your love to others. I am saying, do not waste your love on others. Because that’ll drain the love you have for yourself. I would know, I have took many people’s love for granted, and witnessed the effects it had on them.
I was trying to fill the void of self love, and find it in others. Still to this day I am fighting the battle between me, myself, and I. One that I often lose, and it leaves bruises on my soul, and the ones who shared their love with me.
The upside is that I am young, and I am realizing these things now, rather than later. You are your biggest enemy, critic, support system, driving factor, motivator. If you are blessed enough to have someone who risk their love, to share it with you, do not take it for granted. You’ll never know when goodbye will come, and sometimes you don’t get the chance to say it.
I have been blessed with the chances to intertwine with many beautiful souls. I am currently tangoing with a lovely soul right now. The love that drives our relationship, helps combat our personal demons, and the ones around us. That, I am very thankful for. It has took me some time to really grasp my understanding of love, and everyone’s is different. That’s the beauty of it.
Life is stressful enough. Do not stress yourself out trying to please others, who don’t want to do the same for you. Again, the most important love, is love for self. Because at the end of the day, that is who you’re answering to.
You are the driving force of your life, anything you want to happen, you have to make it happen. Struggle is what makes success worth it. Pressure is what makes success beautiful. You won’t be successful in anything, if you do not love who you are, and what you’re doing.
No such thing as a life that is better than yours- Jermaine Cole
Damon Mackin. 22 years of age. Mass Communications major at Shenandoah University 18'. Freelance Journalist/Photographer