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THE COLD HARD TRUTH

THE COLD HARD TRUTH

THIS is not a story about combat, or why I joined the Marine Corps, this is a story about discovering truth in a creative writing class. For the past two years I have been writing. I have been writing essays, poems, and short stories – I even had a short run at screenwriting. At one point I thought I could make it as a famous Hollywood scriptwriter, that dream is dead now. The point is I have been looking for something, trying to find a truth long lost in my experimentation with drugs, alcohol and other things. I became lost in the abyss of choices, both personal and professional. Should I reenlist and become an officer in the military? Should I become a teacher? Should I take a year off and travel? What the hell should I do? Where the hell should I go? That is the question that all of us ask ourselves as we journey through this experience we call college. We take classes hoping to find an answer to the question: What is the meaning of all this, and how do I get paid after graduating? Now, as I am just a few weeks away from graduating I will tell you what I have learned. Number one, I don’t care about the money. Yes, that’s right, I’m not motivated by how much money I can make. I am motivated by what I can do and how I can do it well. As many have told me along the way, “Money comes and it goes,” which leads me to my second point. Work. It’s not enough to have passion for something because at the end of the day you still need to eat, the rent has to be paid, and taxes are due in April. When I was a teenager I wanted to be an actor, work on stage and in all the big blockbuster movies, but when I finally came to Los Angeles, the city of broken people, I soon recognized that there were hundreds if not thousands of people, just like me, who also wanted to be an actor. From this realization I learned that it’s not enough to want something, or desire it, you actually have to go out and work for it and a lot of times, it doesn’t work out the way you expected it to. We have to work, that’s the harsh reality of it all, some of us get to do what we dreamed of and others well, they have to settle for something less sexy. Number three. Love and romance are hard things. There’s passion involved, but like a job, it requires a lot of work and a lot of rejection. When I was young I believed that love was this thing that just happened to you, and everyone would get a piece of the pie. Well, that’s not true. The truth is not everyone will have an opportunity to love and be loved, some of us will experience a void in that department, and so I learned to deconstruct these false realities and assumptions that everyone will get married, have kids and do the mommy and daddy thing. No, in actuality a lot of us won’t experience that old American dream. We will work for the rest of our lives and in the midst of it all try to make meaning of our circumstances and environment. When once in academia we were philosophers, sociologists, writers, painters, and future road scholars to then handling phone calls, emails, learning the different functions of the Xerox machine fully adapting the ways of the keyboard warrior. Administrative special ops are what I call these technicians in all their glory and valor. Number 4 beneath each person’s smile and presentation is a vault of brokenness and uncertainty, a cloud of confusion and at worst, anger and frustration. You see we’re all suffering to some extent. There’s some part of us that remains unresolved and we mask it with finances, degrees, careers, shallow relationships, and many more things that occupy our space and time. While some are good at hiding their pain others are living it out in the streets, huddled away in holding cells, or in rooms with white walls and a twin bed in the corner to sleep in. With suffering comes the understanding that madness is a universal trait that is unprejudiced to race, gender or any other political identity. We all got shit and some of us are better at concealing the smell while others let the aroma fill the room. Number 5: Blaming someone is easier than taking responsibility. Something that I did not know existed until I entered university circles was the notion of privilege. I stand here and read this and think to myself, “Well, hey, I’m pretty privileged. I didn’t have to endure through any firefights, I have all my limbs, and for the most part, my mind is pretty intact – for the most part.” However, I didn’t understand this concept of privilege as a vehicle for blaming injustices or inequalities. I simply just didn’t get it, but then I realized we have been doing this since the beginning of time. It’s the easiest and fastest way to give an answer, blame somebody. The white man, black people, Jews, Nazis, the British, women, the gays, just blame somebody and it all makes sense. Well, not exactly. I have learned that no matter what the powers at be are orchestrating the thing that I must do is take accountability of myself ultimately that’s what we must all do. Number 6. Life is hard. There’s no easy way around it, it’s difficult. It isn’t sunshine and rainbows, far from it, it’s a cold dark world and we all do our best to filter the evil that takes place everyday. We see it in the news, and often times we shield ourselves from it because we don’t want to deal with that reality. Instead we all do our best to live our secure and comfortable lives and try our best to control the outer chaos with colliding with our inner turmoil. It’s an unfortunate reality, but it’s the truth. Many will say I sound like a pessimist, or that my piece here reads like nihilism, but the truth is I am an optimist because I do believe at some point things do get better. That there is redemption at the end of the road and although it may be hard to see, it’s worth traveling the long hard road to find peace, happiness and serenity. When I look in the mirror I face my ugly truth, and when I go outside I see the world’s ugly truth, but the truth is better than living a beautiful fantasy contrived by fables, Disney movies and inspirational political speeches. Just give me the truth, the cold hard truth and nothing more.

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“The Right Decisions for the Right Reasons.”

I visited a Marine Corps Officer recruiter yesterday. We had a conversation about life, career ambitions, personal goals and family. He was a well spoken man and although I already know how recruiters work and their tactics to get people to “sign the dotted line,” I felt inspired to look for answers and seek the truth in areas that are important to me. After we finished our conservation I remember at the front desk was sitting this large kind of burly man. His name was “Big O.” He served 30 years in the Marine Corps and is now retired with a second job.

“What are you here for son?” he said.

“Purpose Sir,” I replied.

“Ah, yes. I did my time. 30 years, and now I’m just waiting in line like everybody else.”

At first I wasn’t sure what he meant by “waiting in line,” but as our conversation continued I realized he meant death. Judgement. Life.

I’m not sure if Big O is religious or not, but I get the hint that maybe he has some deep moral and religious convictions.

“I tell my son that whatever you do in life that if it’s for the right reasons then that’s all that matters.”

Our conversation ended there, but it did stick with me. Now I have six more days to decide if I am going to go through with the this application. A lot is at risk, and I’m still undecided as to which path I am going to take. The fork in the road, that’s where I stand and unfortunately, the decision isn’t an easy one.

Life.

Death.

Judgement.

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Prayer #3

Thank you Lord for giving me the strength to continue pressing forward.

Please forgive me as I fail to live up to your commandments. I am grateful for your Son, Y’Shua, Jesus the Christ.

Heavenly Father, please forgive those who persecute me and work Satan to torment my life – they do not know you Lord and therefore do not know what they are doing.

In spite of everything I have done Lord I know you will continue to love me and show me the way to Truth and Light.

I pray over all these things in the name of Jesus.

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Amen.

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Prayer #2

Dear Heavenly Father,

Please give me the knowledge and understanding necessary to continue living.

I am struggling in understanding my purpose and with that the knowledge that has been bestowed upon me.

I don’t know why I know the things that I do, but I do and I just want to understand why I was brought here, to this point, in my life.

Things appear to be confusing to me and I don’t understand why it has to be this way. Please Lord grant me the knowledge and wisdom necessary to live a fulfilled life.

In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Amen.

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Zanelle Zephurin

Dear Heavenly Father,

Please help Zanelle Zephurin to quit smoking marijuana. If indeed she is your child, your daughter, then you will pay heed to my prayer.

In the scriptures you warn us of things that are of the world and that are not beneficial nor profitable to our spirit or flesh. Please give her the strength to refrain from using and please instill in her new healthy habits.

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Amen.

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Prayer for the Day

My Prayer for Today

Lord, I ask You to help me remain focused on my goals, even when the devil tries to use people to steal my focus and distract me. Knowing that the devil tries to use people, I ask You to help me equip myself spiritually and mentally so I will be able to keep my eyes on the goal You have given for my life. I choose to forgive those whom the devil uses. I will pray for them to change and to repent for their actions; I will keep my heart free of offense; and I will continue to march full-steam ahead to achieve what God has told me to do! Holy Spirit, please help me stay on track and keep my heart free from all strife!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

 

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