It was a little before 12 P.M. and I was with my sister and her friend. We were laughing, smoking and having a good time listening to music. Then I retreated to my quarters (my room) and got started writing a new song I was really eager to work on. The time until I had to go to work inched its way closer little by little until finally I had 10 minutes. All I had was 10 minutes. It was 12:20 P.M. and I don’t know why but in that moment I was so grateful for those 10 minutes.
All I needed was 10 minutes and I could make my mark on this song. So I continued to work, and a minute passed. Slowly, slowly passing. 12:21 now. Each minute felt like its own special moment, a microcosm. I was happy. At least I had these last 10 minutes like when someone is given a few moments with their loved one before they are torn apart from them forever.
Then finally it was 12:30 P.M. My high spirits came crashing down at the very thought of having to go in that day. Everything just seemed perfect and work would ruin that. A thought came into mind “you don’t have to go.” At that exact moment, the headphones I was listening to the song with short circuited and interrupted the playback, bringing me back into the present moment. It felt oddly uncanny. That moment was later followed by a fired up feeling in me. Almost like a green light telling me what needed to be done. I thought “I have to go to work because it’s what you do.”
So I mustered up all the willpower I had and got ready to go out the door. While all this is happening, I look to a mentor of mine for guidance. He always talks about things of this nature. I can’t find the right video to tell me the “right thing.” Which was just what I wanted to hear in that moment. It got to a point of ridiculousness as I was feverishly searching for that one video where he said that one thing I liked so much. But being the responsible person that I am, I nevertheless kept moving towards my obligation.
Strangely it felt like time was slowed. I checked my phone and what felt like 20 minutes was really only a couple of minutes. It was so strange and bizarre. The cars were moving in extra slow motion, drenched in molasses. And there it was. My chariot. The bus was on time and parked at the stop as usual. Just seeing the bus up there gave me a nauseating feeling. I got to one corner of the street to cross the intersection , and looked at my phone. 12:40 P.M. “The bus leaves in 5 minutes,” I thought. 5 minutes and I would be across the street and then I’d make my way to the bus stop.
I finally got across the intersection, crossed the street to the side of the street where the bus was and stood on that corner and looked at the bus. It almost haunted me. At that moment I felt like I had to make a choice and no one could make it for me. The videos weren’t supplying the answer, even freezing up and crashing on me, forcing me to think for myself. That nauseating feeling in my body was still present. The more I looked at the bus the more I became sickened. I couldn’t do it. I decided against it. I walked back in the other direction, going home. Regretting nothing. Still thoughts came up about whether or not I let people down but I quickly brushed those aside.
See, those people can’t make decisions for me because they aren’t in my shoes. They only see from their limited perspective. They can only offer me what they would do in that situation but they don’t have the answers. Only I have those. Only I know what I’m subjecting myself to. What’s truly necessary for my nurture and growth.
So I continued on having felt vindicated. Almost immediately after my mind was made up my sister calls my phone and asks if I left for work. I confidently said no, explained the reasons why and ended the phone call shortly after. It was almost like I had to confirm it to myself by telling her over the phone. I know many won’t understand this line of thinking.
Later that day I was in the store, time still moving as slow as ever. Some men that must have been African come in speaking their native tongue and my ear is tuned to every word they are saying. I don’t understand anything but I’m really curious and fascinated at the same time. I’m observing everything. It feels somehow like I’ve entered a new reality.
I come back home from the store with food to meet my sister. Suddenly I’m really thankful to have her in my life. She’s usually been there for me and we can depend on each other for a lot. I begin eating the food and I’m eating it as if it were my last meal. Not a single crumb was on the plate when I finished. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Like you’re supposed to.
Then, I go in my room and feeling energized I get back to writing that song I was working on. I suddenly realized how valuable me and my time is.
Something told me to look up musicians who had day jobs before making a career from music. I listened to one interview in particular from Tyler The Creator where he talked about some jobs he worked before becoming famous. Starbucks, and Fedex. When he talked about the Fedex job he said it was mainly old guys pushing around boxes and they were fine doing that for a living. He explained that seeing that scared him so much that he didn’t last long at all before quitting. Jimmy Kimmel (interviewer) then made a brief comment saying that if he knew what Tyler would later become he would have told him to quit as well.
I immediately resonated with all that. At the job I was working, a much much older man was showing me the ropes. He told me all about how he had been working there for years. Nothing ever changed. It was still the same work when he started and will be when he finishes. I looked at him and thought about all the potential he had to be great. It was all inside of him. In all of us. Then, to feel better, I tried to tell myself that he was fine living that way and that there was nothing wrong with that.
But that was only to convince myself.
Oddly enough, his daughter became a licensed therapist. It seemed she had made something of herself while her dad just kind of took a backseat.
Tyler also got fired from his Starbucks position citing that it was “the greatest moment of (his) life.” I wondered if this moment was something like that for me. It definitely felt different. I didn’t feel the same as before and I valued myself as a person more. If I had any doubts about whether or not I made the right decision they were vanquished with reassurance after reassurance. Now that I had more than 10 minutes of my time, what will I do with the rest?