Lessons from Shedding | Drew Davis

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The dream is to be immortalized. To resonate in the minds and souls of the people I’ve helped along the way; the ultimate service of reminding others of their humanity and courage. To live a life of substance, an experience that involves breaking my generational curses to help free others from their own. A strong, willful life that demands I go into the fire- what is life without service and submission? A life where I’m stimulated, able to utilize my talents in spaces where I’m pushed to the brink of my limits. I want the area to manifest my inner child: the brat, the dreamer-or as some may call him-the crazy one. He who wants to play, read, and never lose his inner sense of curiosity. I want to explore all facets of this life. I wanna feel like I’m fucking human.

 

I don’t know whether I love him or the distraction he provides for me. The white eyes of the day always remind me of what I am not…but darkness infinite. It’s malleable, eager to shape into whatever experience I need — a getaway, solitude, the perfect canvas for a dream. The day is confined in judgment. Individuality is at an all-time low with groupthink mentality as massive as the humidity. Don’t make an effort to fit into rigid archetypes that seek validation from whiteness? Be prepared to be ostracized in the act of discipline. I often think about the irony of my university: the cinematic picture of mountains studded with greenery feel like the background to the ultimate escape. Life here is transactional, with Blackness as the lowest form of currency. So. I wait. I bide my time, complete my duties for the day and gradually for the week, for the chance to remember who I am and the life I’m striving. The weekend is where students go to remember who they are- or more importantly, forget the person they’re forced to play.

I never knew what patience was until I tried loving a man. I became a better man when I was encouraged to love myself. Essentially, that is what love is: a steady, consistent flow of words and actions that promote both parties to be their ultimate selves. No one was meant to walk alone; self-love cannot be born from solitude. In times of hopelessness, love from others didn’t save me. Instead, it reminded me of my internal strength and courage so I could save myself.

 

Vulnerability is the essence of strength
Trust actions rather than words
Never promise the world to a man
When you can’t even give it to yourself

 

I believe in humanity. The perennial curiosity, the genuine effort to understand the unknown. Those ecstatic, fulfilling moments when two people are mutually striving to understand each other. Alternatively, the warm, reviving instances of seeing a close friend after a long, draining day. When I adore something, I invest in it. Forget school; the ultimate life lesson is mastering human behavior. To invest means to push the boundaries, even if it kills me. Sheathe the hatred and utilize the patience; I can’t help but remember what it feels like to be alone. No one should have to understand the devious nature of solitude; I want more. A real community of accountability, space where one can be themselves outside of cultural/ societal policing. I crave a society that praises transparent communication; no one is responsible for another’s happiness. Do you want the world? Go out and forge your paradise, know that your community will always be there to take you in and to elevate you with laughter and lather your wounds when life gets hard. It’s too late for me here, I’m jaded, and my social capital is shot. However, as long as I’m breathing, it’ll never be too late for anyone else.

 

Me, Be a leader?
I can’t anticipate two steps ahead
I’m just a dreamer to clinging to everything,
I don’t want my inner child to die
A man only deserves paradise when he has the will to live
Don’t rage; I adore you
Never allow them to snuff the flame out your eyes
Believe in the talents you were given (I do)
See you on the other side,
Where the water is glimmering, and cicadas are chirping
The strong are always crush to prove their worthiness
It was never your fault.

 

 

 

Drew Davis, 22, is from Orangeburg, SC. A senior religion major in college. Tastefully problematic, naturally inquisitive. Interested in aesthetics and illuminating marginalized stories.

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