Kaleidoscopes (Poem)

I knew the minute I saw you, I’d find euphoria,
as eyes give you a peek in the soul, I saw colors, shapes, the imaginary,
everything I knew we could be..

Because there’s something about the love you give that,
makes me feel like a kid all over again,
back when friendship bracelets meant forever,
pinky promises meant security and chasing ice cream trucks was life’s purpose..

You sparked a way to see the same you in many different ways,
that no matter how much I turn,
patterns of you never get mundane..

I know the older we get, we put away childish things but,
Can we go to Terabithia? Just you and I?
and lose everything we were made to believe,
just to go and make our own beliefs,
to live in this world where we can control forever, together..

Love is said to be more than what you see,
yet you’ve helped me see so much more,
I see now that souls come in all designs and the more you gaze with time,
the excitement lights up any darkness I’ve ever felt inside..

I just hope you feel the same when you look into mine.

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Confessions of Justin Lamar: My Fears Pt. 1

Facing fears is said to take a bout of courage. In my case, I think this is about me coping with inevitably. Unfortunately with my track record I’m terrible at coping, but writing is the closet feeling I can get to freedom and release. Leaping out of a window of pain, here I go.

There is no one on this earth I fathom I love more than Dorothy Jean. My grandmother has been more than an inspiration to my life. She’s been the reason I’ve kept my life going for a while. She has been the cornerstone on how I’ve built my relationship with God. She’s shown me how to show love through action. Crazy how I see so many of her ways deep down in me as years continue to progress. I want to simply say I love Dorothy Jean unconditionally, and even when I’ve strayed to make trials and tribulations of my own, everything she has taught me always seems to haunt me in this roundabout in my mind.

I remember when I first saw how strong AND weak you were. You called me late into the July night to tell me my grandfather passed. Your voice didn’t shake. When I saw you, your demeanor didn’t waver. With others around you trying to comfort you, you kept it together better than anyone I could know who would lose a partner of close to 30 years. I think deep down you knew to remain calm for the sake of others. I think you knew your marriage was far from perfect, but you being the person you are, you loved with your actions and did all you could to keep the good in mind.

In time, I saw how the loss began to consume you. You wouldn’t sleep for days at a time and plenty of nights I heard you crying yourself in the morning. I guess when you felt alone the most was when you could be your most vulnerable. The stress of helping take care of my brother and I started caving in. As a teen then, I felt it was time to become a young man. It was time you had someone to lean on for a change.

I know I’ve stressed you beyond measure. The main thing I always remember you saying, “Take the time to really live and enjoy life. I never took the opportunity to skip those things. I always cut my life short to take care of the people and things I love. Sometimes I look back and wish I did, but sometimes sacrifices are made for someone who may need you better than you need for yourself”. One could call this a foolish love. I know I have at times. However, this never stopped my grandmother from living accordingly. She gives and gives with little in return all because she finds her purpose in it. You don’t find many people like that. Sacrificing self for the happiness of others is sometimes foolish and rare, rarely foolish, and foolishly rare.

So that’s what I did. I set out to live life in honor of you. I went to obtain things you never had in your blessings. You didn’t go to college. I’m going for my 4th degree. You didn’t see the world. I feel like I’ve been almost everywhere and still nowhere at the same time. Money was something scarce. Now I’ve been blessed beyond measure. All of it is because of you. All of it because God felt I needed my guardian angel here on earth watching over me instead of in the heavens above.

This is why it’s so hard to ever think about you leaving me, but I do. When we talk, I hear your voice a little weaker. You’ve been so stressed all these years to keep going and you’re so tired. I see it. Your health isn’t the same and sometimes it’s really God keeping you together. You never sleep and through the years you’ve been more sick than well.

Truthfully…I NEVER want to lose you. The thought of you not here with me is soul tearing. I immensely fear losing the one person I feel who’s cared about me more than anyone I’ve ever come across. I’ve had a lot of temporary in my life. I’m used to that. You Dorothy Jean, have literally been there since my forever and forgive me if I want to be selfish and have the one person I felt showed care, love and God with me forever more. I feel like the day I lose you is the day I’m truly alone and that shakes my core. I love you lady, and it’s crushing knowing you won’t be here forever. I’d gladly give anything I have to know the remainder of your life can finally be spent in some peace. I only fear I may run out of time trying to do it. Losing you, even when I want to repress it, will be inevitable. I don’t know how to shake that fear. I don’t think I ever can.

Dorothy Jean has been a monument of love and sacrifice to me. I pray I’m able bless others the way you’ve been a blessing to me. I’m so glad you’re here with me now because it’s so hard to think about you gone away. Let’s make life a joy. I hope you find happiness here and now.

Thank you grandmother, for all you’ve instilled in me and thank you for the strength to keep holding even when I’ve felt like letting go.

The Love Life of Justin Lamar: Freedom

I feel like it’s been forever since I addressed any form of love in my life. I’ve transitioned so much over the installments on writing about my love life, and I can truly say that I am so blessed to be in the position that I am in right now. No matter the ultimate goal of everything I want to obtain, the here and now is so amazing.

A while ago, I rooted my commitment issues and fear of love/relationships to an extreme lack of self-love. Between the last person I dated and the spiraling of personal events, I said I must learn to make better connections with people or I don’t fathom me lasting longer in life. However, I learned more that I can’t really love and connect with anyone until I know the love for myself.

I was hard on myself. I faced my fears and the true ugly along with the ugly things I had done. I committed emotional self harm and had innocent bystanders along the way. While I can’t take it back, all I can do is admit how wrong I was and get myself in check not to do it again. Self love is immensely difficult. You straddle the fence between you’re more than enough and you can do better. Between the good and bad of who I am, it’s simply appreciating who I am and the impact I have had up to this point helps me have some glimmer of hope and understanding towards loving myself.

To those who have loved and still love me…

I am so sorry for never making it easy for you, but I am blessed to have your efforts even when I was self-destructive.

My self-love came into play when I started focusing on my purpose mainly in my career. After I looked at a law career and the glamour I wanted from it, I eventually began to question was that even my direction. I took A LOT of isolation to get my mind back on my purpose. I eventually learned my introduction.

Hi, I’m Justin Lamar, and I’m here to help you grow. More importantly, I’m here to help you grow in business and financial understanding. I focused my passion with my skills and I have never been more happier. Don’t get me wrong, the stress is demanding and anxiety is crippling, but I’m focused and happy. In fact, my self-love was realized when I saw myself challenging my initiative more. I want to maximize the person God has designed me to be. So here I am, pursuing a career as a CPA, traveling the world one bit at a time, and being creative as I can be.

What does this have to with my love life you say? Nothing other than I think it’s time. My meditations in the morning showed me a lot of where my fears are still centered, and I think it’s time I break free from it. I have been feeling like a lot of this I shouldn’t go through alone. While I’m grateful for the support I have, there is still more I crave emotionally. I have been exploring self-love for almost a year now. I’m still learning but I’ve come so far. I’ve tapped into protecting my peace and happiness at all costs. I’ve tapped into admitting my wrongs and short comings. I’ve been letting go bad habits that lead to a lot of emotional strain, from distancing myself when things don’t feel right to staying in a situation just to protect someone else’s feelings but not mine.

I know I want and need someone solid in my life. That doesn’t come cheap. I have to set aside my isolation and take time to bond. I have to work WITH this person and not just give them the work to do. Conveying my feelings needs a lot of practice and romantic love is something I need to learn all over again. I feel it’s all worth it. I want someone I can able to come together and create goals with. Let’s be the best of who we can be TOGETHER driven with a high purpose from the Most High. I think it’s time for that. Honestly it won’t be easy for myself or that person. I still have things to work on, but I’m a hard worker.

A while ago I mentioned I always felt I was in love with the thought of being in love. I think now it’s I love the love I have for myself and I would love to share the kind of unconditional love I have been feeling. I feel it would be selfish to keep that feeling to myself. I feel unconditional love although rare, should be shared, taught and explored. It’s the best kind of love and it makes you feel…limitless.

I feel free. I feel limitless. I feel love.

Here is my chance to give my all.

Venting from Aruba

You are amazing.

Or at least, this is what I tell myself after a long day of battling crippling anxiety while placing some sort of effort into defining more of who I am and exercising work into what is defined as my “purpose”. It’s been a while since I’ve channeled my thoughts and emotions into a writing piece. Quite frankly I’ve been overdue. I think I’ve been in this mental limbo lately, and it keeps me running away from the calling of actually writing anything. Lately I’ve felt better mentally, yet under constant stress. It’s hard to want to feel anything when you’re hard wiring a habit of going through the motions out of a sense of survival rather than motivation from a purpose. Lately things have felt so blasé and it’s been from a lack of fulfillment and a scary sense of observation in myself and others.

I took a real deep look into myself and those around me. Those around me aren’t necessarily close, just various social settings. It’s disheartening how much we set aside who we really are just to function in a dysfunctional society. I watched how much I depended on alcohol to cope and function. I think the only time I would drink or binge drink would be from attempting to fit into social settings or to deal with the copious amounts of stress I’ve been under lately. I really tried to justify it as me being more social or unwinding, but I always felt disconnected to myself. I didn’t drink out of enjoyment; I did it because it kept me mentally feeling socially relevant. The more I began to distance myself from drinking, the more I saw people for who they really were including myself.

It’s crazy how we’ve programmed ourselves to be at everything considered social to be around everyone considered a “friend” or “popular” and establish no connection with anyone. Lately I feel we’ve all resorted to being social zombies with no real awareness of who we are or the people around us as people. We all need an escape when life gets mundane. I get that. However, can we really say we enjoy people we call friends when they would easily cancel when you need them most for something better to do?

I see so many people always out surrounded by dozens of people because they genuinely fear being alone. The thought of them being alone with their own mind to face many of the issues they can’t positively cope with cripples them with fear. Fear of letting themselves or others into their secrets so they repress the depress until it becomes easy to mimic who others are to enjoy life. When did we set aside trust, true companionship, love and the ability to self express to live a life of meaningless weekends? We seek so much validation from others whether it be socially or through social media apps yet the irony is we never show who we really are to validate on the first place.

This last point kind of hits home. So many of us are bent on self-destruction from a sense of urgency without one consideration of longevity. I struggle with this a lot because mentally I always think tomorrow is never promised. Building a habit of instant gratification is no better either. We seem to live strapped with a societal time-bomb where if we all don’t have it all by *insert time line here*, life is an utter failure. Even worse, we get caught up in a time line with no real action towards any of it. We get caught up trying to live a life ahead of a very skewed curve never finding real satisfaction in the journey of living and learning each day we are given.

I feel we take our days for granted. We squander them away trying to live fast and when we realize that undocumented time stamp is approaching, we stray away from our purpose and start coping with what makes us happy now instead of NOW and FOREVER. We destroy our minds, bodies and spirits living shells of who we are and what we really do. I think we lose sight of so much living and good we can do if we focus on the impact in the long-term. I want to be here for a good AND long time. I feel I’ve turned to alcohol, sex, and social media to deal with the anxiety of living and the spurts of satisfaction feel great. However, once the fix is gone, I felt I wasted another day putting aside who I really am, and I feel stupid trying to appease people and things that don’t align with who I am and the goals I’m trying to reach.

Crazy how all of this can come to me as I stare at the coast of the Aruban sea…

I just needed to vent a little. Some would think I’m an idiot for not enjoying being in Aruba of all places, but this has been weighing on my mind and Aruba seemed to relax me enough to get this out. I didn’t really have an objective other than to say that everyone gets the opportunity either get lost in the storm or the clouds. The way you elevate yourself depends the outcome of the weather. Just know in spite all the flaws and shortcomings, your purpose and who you really are will always be there. Cope better. Live more. Love more. Share something amazing the world has never fully experienced: YOURSELF. Be amazing

Depression: Sink or Swim

 

*This is a piece I wrote in 2013 about depression when I really broke down my own emotional lows, and thought I would share my feelings to let others know they are not alone.  I still read this from time to time to get me by when I start feeling the same. Just. Keep. Swimming.*

I was 5 years old. I was living in Cali, and I went swimming with all my cousins and friends at my uncle’s apartment. Me being the excited kid that I am, failed to mention that I couldn’t swim so when I went I just stayed on the shallow end I could stand up in. Nothing I couldn’t manage. I tried to be brave and venture out to a deeper end with all my friends. Needless to say, I slipped and started kicking and screaming for my life because I was in 6 feet of water. I panicked, and all I remember before barely being able to breathe was sticking my hand out and one of my friends came and pulled me up and to the side of the pool to safety. Thank you Sasha!

The key concept to know is that when you’re in that water it’s indeed sink or swim. A concept bent on survival when you can no longer keep your head above water. When you no longer can simply stand, but actions are needed to take place. Depression in itself is one hell of a body of water that many of us face and like the analogy states; sink or swim.

My mom was diagnosed with clinical depression and schizophrenia for about as long as I can remember. At a young age, I never quite understood the condition just only knew what my grandma told me; “Oh your mother is ill, and she’ll be ok.” The visits to the psychiatric ward never registered. The voices I never heard. I never knew why she would cut herself. I remember one time I came in her room and saw her wrists leaking. Me as a kid, I thought what would make her feel better were some band-aids and a cup of soda. Soda always made me feel happy.

As I got older, I loathed her illness and didn’t even want to see her like that. I didn’t realize how selfish and misunderstanding I had become….until now.

I never thought me, a normal and typically sociable person, would have my own personal battles with depression just simply living with life and the situations I’ve been dealt. I grew up poor and I’m beating that. I grew up self-conscious and I’m beating that’s with modesty. I’m growing away from using anger and fear by just acknowledging life with “it is what it is.”

So what am I so depressed about?! Sometimes I don’t have an answer. There comes a time when you just get tired of having to fight for everything and you want and easy chance like others. Why should I fail so much when others succeed?! Why must I deal with the dysfunctions?! Why is it always fighting with all or nothing stakes?! A lot of times, I think often what is my purpose and why am I here on this earth when so many of my peers have it together?!

I feel I have no answers sometimes, and don’t see a point of wasting away. If I share how many times I thought about just letting go and ending my life it would be a bit startling especially to people around me. Although I’ve thought about ending my life on several occasions, I don’t think I could commit the act. Several things won’t let me.

Despite my own agenda, I couldn’t be that selfish to end my own life. It wouldn’t be fair to the people who love me and see the potential in me even when I’m blind to it. The support system I have does more they can imagine by just keeping themselves around. They instill in me some sense of purpose to not let them down no matter how I fail or see life. If you are reading this and you know who you are, I thank you and love you…for simply being there.

This world owes me answers to too many questions. To end it without knowing anything, would be a bit…unrewarding. I am a knowledge seeker after all.

Life and it’s uncertainty keeps me on edge. The nothing I can amount to in the moment can change to meaning everything the next day. I like to take risks especially when there’s a reward like that. So I think I can stick around a few more days because of that.

Do I have those thoughts now? Absolutely. They come not so often, but they come. Depression doesn’t simply go away as your life betters. Once you’ve felt depression and contemplated taking your own life, that feeling is forever there. That feeling even when you can repress it, can’t be forgotten. You’ll live with that forever. I love my mom very much and she’s been dog paddling for a while now. However, she chose not to sink. And I know if I’ve saw that woman at her lowest, that I can move myself to keep float as well.

Do I look at her differently? Hell yeah. Would I expect you to look at me differently? Absolutely. I feel I would have wasted my time sharing if you didn’t. Don’t feel sorry for me or alienate me. Prior to this you’ve had your preconceived notions about me, especially to those who personally know me. However, one shouldn’t focus on the negative aspects of what I said. There should be an understanding that this is part of me, but not ALL of me. If you love me, it will take time to fully understand that concept without focusing on the negatives that depression have had in my life. It’s part of me. It has made me part of who I am today, the person that you know today. To love me as a whole into the inner depths of my soul to the far reaches of my mind, you have to accept that this is part of me. When you begin to see that, you’ll begin to love appreciate as a whole and not only the part of me that you vibe with.

If you can’t seem to hold on or are lacking someone to talk to at least try the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You can even reach out to me if you’d like. I’m not Michael Phelps yet, but I stay afloat a lot. If you see a person or know a person who may be suffering. Hug them. It may be the simple life jacket they need.

To my brother Marcus…I love you, and I’m glad you’re still here because there have been times your talks have kept me here.

Peace and love until next time.

Running Late (poem)

Is it too late to fall in love?
When I’ve shared so much of my essence with others,
I turned to my flesh to cope with being alone,
Giving them all a part of me has left me empty,

But is it too late to be filled?
Am I destined to be a broken vessel who never held love within?
I’m trying to exorcise my inner demons to keep peace,
And find blessings from curses of who I used to be,

So can I rectify all of my life before I expire?
Or will everything I’ve done turn love into a liar?
I don’t know…but in order for me to grow,
I have to understand that love transpires from hope,
A hope that all the issues of trust,
All the careless mistakes all the actions and inner convictions,
Will grow a love unconditional…to take away pain I caused and feel,
And cure my dizzy spells from spinning on Karma’s wheel,

Is it love that I seek is it love that I seek?
Even though love is hard to find,

I practice patience in myself now so love won’t pass me by with time.

The Love Life of Justin Lamar: Acceptance

It’s been a while. Long enough to get my life in some kind of order at least. Justin Lamar is back to being grad student hopefully this is the last rodeo if my bank account has anything to say about it. I took the time to learn a deep lesson in myself about unconditional love. I’m just grateful that those who matter most can see it all.

Learning to love who I am unconditionally compares to seizing control over my love life. I remember some years back really marking how insecure I was in myself and the concept of love. Time has passed and friends have moved on to grow their love lives and I’m proud of them. They are one step closer to growing as a whole.

I remember a while back I said I believe I’m just in love with the IDEA of being in love. Truthfully, I never knew love for myself for a while now. I was always seeking acceptance. Friends, family, etc. I always wanted to be a part of something that said, “Hey man I appreciate you and love you for who YOU are”. For a while, I just sought validation in too many people just to feel happy or whole. I’m glad to say…I don’t give a damn. Not in a sense where I’m emotionally unstable, but where I’m truly comfortable in who I am and following the path the Most High has designed for me.

Love has always been with me. Through the trials and tribulations in my life I have had good people God has designed for me in my path and a lot of times I wouldn’t have coped with the self-hate of it wasn’t for them. The series of events over last year helped me realize how much I should value true connection with people.  Personally, my lesson was that I cannot continue to last much longer if I do not begin to close the distance from who I really am and connect with those willing to accept me.  That lesson started in myself.  I NEEDED to explore unconditional love for myself and be happy in the moments that I have being who I am.

I thank God for personal growth, but I thank God even more for the people God works though. One day I envision being physically close to someone and them FEELING my all. I think I’m ready to give all I have into love again whether it’s successful or not. I am ready to leap out the window of pain and fall in love at one’s feet.

That won’t come easy and won’t come if I don’t make personal changes in my life. All I know is for once, I’m uncertain about A LOT in my life and I’m ok with that. With the good and the bad, I take it all with guidance. To love: I’ll share you soon.

Justin Lamar