I'm learning that one of the biggest quests in life is finding myself. My identity. Is it a basketball player or a coach? A mentor or motivational speaker? A believer in Christ or a minion of the adversary? An author or a poet? The quintessential hard worker of my youth or the distracted adult battling an ongoing war brewing in my frontal lobe? Could it be, that I'm all these things rolled into one? Is it possible, that my identity isn't staked on one specific thing but a combination of them all?
Sitting here, back against the wall, typing away just after one in the morning, I'm pondering the question. It was proposed to me about two months ago and it’s still sitting with me. When I got asked, I immediately knew that it would be the next blog but when I sat down to type nothing came out. I wouldn't call it writer's block, but more like writer's constipation.
A myriad of thoughts swirling through my mind that when I sit down to push them out, I'm stuck. Desperately grunting trying to find a way to release it all on the page, but only air escapes as I exhale in frustration. I believe it was more than not having the correct words, the truth is, I'm not exactly sure what I would identify myself as.
I would dare say I'm a hooper, but deflated dreams knocked me down to the level of someone who simply plays ball. A coach? Although I love it, that's not the current position I'm in. Sporadically getting the chance to do personal training sessions or pick up a team in my youth league. I'm unsure if I can still claim that title.
Being a mentor is a lovely idea, but how can I when I struggle to keep in contact with my own? How can I pour into kids when I struggle to handle my life? Doing consistent drills to build character and morale but losing the ball every time I cross over in the lane I try to own. Yes, I was blessed with the gift of speaking but if I'm unmotivated, how can I motivate anyone else? It's powerful words from an empty vessel.
I would love to say I'm a true believer in Christ but God and I both know what happens in the dark. The residue of my past presents itself in the black light. Wanting to follow the light of the world but stuck in the blackness of the night.
Although I've been on this quest, it wasn't until a couple of months ago that I realized that I was battling with my identity. I knew I felt uneasy, tossed to and fro in the winds of life. Hopping from one idea to the next, back, and forth from the blog to the short story and on to the plot of my book.
When I was asked why I always base my blog around my kids I wasn't sure how to answer. If this is truly to be a blog where I vehemently stab at the letters on my keyboard to convey a form of expression, why don't I cover a multitude of subjects?
Maybe, because, I attach my identity to who I am as a parent. Just like I did when I was a basketball player, and when I wanted to truly focus on following the Lord. So much so, that in each season that I took on that identity, I was liable to fall at any moment. When my "identity" wasn't in line with what I saw in my head, my entire world crashed around me, and heaven burned me while hell left a nasty frostbite.
Especially when it came to my employment, my work ethic, the imprint left on coworkers, and the impact I had on the youth. I distinctly remember having a conversation on the importance of hard work with one of my counselors as a Summer Camp Director, using my gift of relatability to move him to tears and understanding. I expressed my work pedigree confidently standing on my credibility and successes at each notch on my resume.
My occupational conspectus was stained as a result of a toxic mixture of pleasure and business. A host of other factors such as mismanagement of my personal life. Letting the pressures get to me like looking for a new car, hoping to see Amelia or the rapid dwindling of funds due to poor social decisions. The demeaning ridicule with inequivalent direction and power-driven management created an unhealthy environment for growth. Losing faith in authority, and vice versa, heightened my anxiety incurring new spots of alopecia and affecting my ability to write. Digesting comments on vocabulary versus punctuation wondering if the spike in views reflected criticism or genuine interest.
I’m learning that I could preach a message without being considered a preacher, I can be a leader without the title of Director, and I can be a teacher without being in the school system. Listening to The Basement by Tim Ross with DeVon Franklin truly helped me be confident in myself, using all of me to walk in many different rooms and succeed. It’s not like I haven’t had it before, but sometimes the environment and trusting the wrong people can be draining.
I'm realizing that, yes, I am a parent, a hooper, and a follower of the one true God but that's not my name. My name is Quinton, and I am distinguished by the gifts that I've ascertained along my path or organically through my heavenly Father. I am a writer, poet, podcaster, blogger, business owner, father, son, and hard worker, but the mirror portrays a skinned shell that encompasses all of me.