Last Sunday, I celebrated another year of life. I spent time alone and with my family. It was a good day.
On my birthdays, I make it a priority to do everything that I hope to continue moving forward with this gift of life. I woke up early. I spent time with my prayer, meditation, and yoga practices. I exercised and practiced Capoeira music. Without a doubt, I played with my children, and I did some writing.
At one point during my morning walk on the beach, I decided to pause the Audible book I was listening to and take a moment of gratitude. I wrote in my journal, took pictures, captured some video, observed the beauty of nature, and thought about my life.
While looking at the clear blue water play tag with the white sand, I explored the parts of me that correspond with internal motivation. Through a series of questions planted by a Robin Sharma book, I probed myself about my current positions in life.
“Do I dream richly?”
“Do I live fully?”
“Do I let go?”
“Do I love well?”
“Do I tread lightly on the earth or engage work to make it better?”
I occupy many roles. I am the partner of an incredible woman. I am the blessed father to three amazing children. I am a writer, Capoeirista, entrepreneur, and professor. There are multiple ways that I identify and confirm my existence in this world.
As teachers and administrators engage debates about whether students should play Fortnite in schools, I took time on Sunday to sit and think. I contemplated the events that led me to where I live now.
It was the death of Michael Brown, and the senseless murders of others, that encouraged decisions that led to Antigua. It was a desire to show my children the world. It was the need to get my wife to her happy place. It was the intense feelings to pursue my entrepreneurial interests full-time. All these factors and more pushed me to leap from our lives in the United States to unknown territories abroad.
Similar to you, I have experienced some challenges in these past two years of life. I have struggled through financial difficulties. Through reading, listening to others, and my commitments to staying woke, I have witnessed social injustices. With the demands of work, entrepreneurialism, and my relationship responsibilities I have felt exhausted at times.
In the words of Langston Hughes, "Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.”
These past two years abroad have forced me to grow as a leader, partner, husband, father, and business person. On my birthday, I realized and acknowledged these changes in my life. My identities require me to advocate for more diverse and inclusive practices. I am on this island for a reason.
On my birthday I recommitted myself to embracing the determination, tenacity, and the legacy of my ancestors to make progress toward goals aligned with serving people in need.
Although today may not be your birthday, I want to encourage you to think about the purpose of your life. Why are you here? What problem requires your unique set of talents, skills, and abilities?
Leave me a comment, thank you for reading, and have a productive weekend.