I hate pride. It almost prevented me from speaking on a subject very personal for me. Thankfully, I decided a long time ago that my life, in all of its capacities, can be helpful to the listening ear and willing heart. It is why I have decided to confess something I consider to be an embarrassment. In a week, a four-year struggle comes to its conclusion. It will be the first time that I, a grown man, will be living on my own in four years.
I hate admitting that it took me four years to clear up enough debt and establish enough income to make this move. I hate that part of me feels like I couldn’t have figured this out without my support system. I hate that I feel lesser of a man because I had to stay with my brother’s family and my mom to stay afloat.
I should be grateful I have a support system willing to do this for me. I should sing praises that mom and dad gave me hundreds of dollars to keep their grown son from falling behind on his bills. I should be happy for the reduced rent and home-cooked meals. I should be at peace with my inabilities, because they will always exist.
I should be grateful, but sometimes I’m not. Sometimes, I wish I had been smarter. Sometimes, I wish I would’ve given up writing and gotten two jobs. Sometimes, I wish I had been better at establishing a second stream of income. Sometimes, I wish I had done better so I never would’ve needed my support system. They’re great to fall back on, but my pride won’t let me enjoy relying on them.
I could explain to you that I spent the entire time applying for jobs, but couldn’t find one that paid enough. I could use the fact that I had three periods (five months total) of unemployment. I could say that I had maxed out my credit card and depleted my savings. I have a plethora of possible excuses, but, being a man, I feel those excuses would fall silent to the simple fact that I just wasn’t that guy.
I am the type of man that needs a support system. I don’t do well with networking. I’m not the happiest person working two jobs. I believe in a healthy work-life balance. I have a dream that I am willing to go broke chasing. I am a starving artist. I am a man hoping the vision from God comes true.
I am King David, who needed his soldiers while in exile, away from his throne. I am Joseph, who needed Potiphar and Pharaoh to bring him to the manifestation of his lavish dream. I am Esther, who needed Mordechai’s support to do what needed to be done. I am someone probably far less important than these mentioned in the grand scheme that is God’s will made evident. The point is: I need my people.
I am accepting that I need those great people in my life. I am not the man who can always figure it out. I am not perfect. I am not God. I am limited. All of these statements are okay. They are not reasons why I can’t celebrate finally being on my own again. They are instead reasons why I can celebrate.
Thanks to my brother and sister, not only did I have a roof over my head, food in my belly, and a place to keep my things, but I had four awesome children to watch grow. I am a better father for the experience. Thanks to my uncle, my aunt, and my friend, Hector, I now know what it’s like for contract workers in this life. I will be a better business owner and know how to deal with being contracted to work on movies. Thanks to my mother, I know how to better live in the moment, than always chasing the dream. I am a better person for it. Thanks to my father, I know that we all have to go through our struggle periods. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. It is worse to suffer in silence than to ask for help. I am a better giver because of it.
I am not ignorant to the benefits of having my pride embarrassed. I know that every experience was meant to make me more like Christ, which is my greatest goal in life. I want to be like my Father in heaven here on the earth. Our greatest King lowered Himself to being a poor, wandering carpenter, and, even worse, an innocent sacrifice. Who was I to complain about being a jobless writer sheltered in my corner of the house? I haven’t walked as far as Jesus, nor have I been in situations where people have wanted to stone me to death. I am very blessed.
I would not alter my walk through this trying time. I would not avoid going through one of the hardest seasons of my life. I wouldn’t stop myself from waking up on pins and needles because of how much I was stressing. I wouldn’t dodge my personal chastising. I would charge into that same predicament again, because who I am as a result will make living alone this time so much more enjoyable. I am more of a man than I used to be, and arguably more of a man than I would have been had I stayed out on my own.
That is the confidence I am bringing with me into this new home. I am accepting the fact that I am a better man who is wiser and smarter this time. I won’t end up in that situation again, unless the Lord decides it is necessary. I do not control everything. I can only do my best.
It is refreshing, shopping for housing materials again. It is thrilling to know all that I can do with my own space again. It is exciting to know how much better this time will be for me. It is humbling to know how many people are so happy for me, and understand all it took to get here. Strangely enough, it is comforting to have the feeling that I won’t be here very long.
As you all know, or should know, I have finished 5 movies and 7 books. I need to get them copywritten, but once that’s done, they will be shopped. That means that at any point beyond this post, I could be called upon to move to a new city to finish a film or be contracted to write a TV series. Who knows where such an opportunity could land me, but God? Yet, after these past four years, I feel more confident than ever. I have a support system behind me.
My people don’t just have my back, but they take care of me in ways I pray I can return seventy-fold. They don’t judge me, they help me. They don’t mock me, they encourage me. They don’t use their gifts as ransom for my blessings. They help me out of the kindness of their hearts. They know that all that I have is theirs. I will support them the way they supported me.
I welcome this journey’s end, and I recognize this new journey’s onset. I will walk with my head held high into the next stage of my life. I won’t be timid, nor feel less of a man because of the people I relied upon. My family is spread wide. I am proud to have such amazing people in my life. From taking care of a meal to saying a prayer, I have many friends and family to be thankful for. Knowing I don’t have to stay afloat on my own strength is far greater than knowing I can handle it myself. Man was not meant to live alone, and I am not alone. Far from it.