home is where my habits have a habitat

I am grateful for space where I can be myself freely, express myself freely and be appropriately critiqued and molded into excellence, or a shadow of it, whatever and however excellence might mean or be in the eyes of The Creator.

*whew* say no to run-on sentences, aish!

One of the recurring themes in my work, my social life, among family, everywhere around me, is the idea of self comfort and maintenance of a constant state of existence – no change, just constant. I see this manifested with…

I’m just doing me. That’s who I am. It’s me…

Love me or leave me alone…

I’m gonna keep doing what I do. period.

This is how it’s always done…

It’s tradition!

and of course, in the words of the late Baatin

Can I be me, can I do what I do?

While our inclination is to just “be me” and “do what we do”, I don’t believe in complacency and stagnancy.  I do believe in achieving and maintaining a balance between recognizing and celebrating who I am, while also challenging myself to be better.  If the goal is excellence, a lifetime can be spent exploring what that is. But that’s just for me – what about those around me?  How do I encourage excellence around me without encroaching on the personhood of others?  In my role as a criminal immigration attorney and adviser, I have to lay out options for a client and their advocate, making recommendations.  In my role as an elder in the Ndugu-Nzinga Rites of Passage Community, I heed to the wisdom of my elders to guide those who come after me.

I believe in transformation.

I’ve had clients insist that this insert illegal and or unwise behavior is just what they do, an essential fabric in the makeup of who they are… And no amount of pleading and warning of the risk of a suspended license, jail time, employment collateral consequences or deportation will change that.  I’ve had family members maintain practices that are financially and emotionally devastating, but are so tied to this notion of treasuring tradition over self-preservation.

I believe in transformation.

I also believe in a place of comfort, where you can honestly be who you are, recognize your flaws, even wallow in them for a bit. But that space shouldn’t be infinite… And someone, something, some force should be available to mold me, challenge me, tell me that they accept me, but that they are looking for an opportunity to celebrate continued, increasing excellence. HOME.  I am so grateful for a home where this can happen, where my habits have a habitat, but are not allowed to consume me. I am welcome, I am celebrated, I am “pushed and cajoled”.

thank you.

“Here’s coming a better version of me” – Fiona Apple