So…

By Joshua Blake

I usually have a picture to accompany my posts – but not today. Today, I want to be a bit more reserved.

I’ve got therapy later today, I can register for my classes for next semester, and a little over a month from now, I’ll see Anette. Things are looking pretty well to me but, my time-management still sucks. Oh well. I guess I can’t have it all. It’s 3:30 in-the-morning and I’m up writing.

That’s because I miss it – writing, I mean. I miss the comfort it gave me. The closure. The knowledge. I used to write everyday until I had a mental breakdown due to the loneliness and the heartache I caused for my yearning soul. Crying out Love’s name by writing her a message in a book doesn’t garner results. I was lucky enough to meet Anette through mere chance – chance of fate, fate of chance – and it’s taught me an important lesson: never give up hope.

Love is a weird thing. A powerful thing, but a weird thing. It gives you a sense of power – within yourself – courageousness, empathy, understanding, happiness, communication, and trust. I used to be afraid of love to the extent where if I talked about it, by any means, I’d have cursed my tormented spirit, on the possibility that I’d never find it, or it would never find me.

Gone are the days of sleepless nights – for the most part – and fear over how I appeared to others. Gone are the nights of sorrowful mornings, bedridden and feeling like a castaway, having no home anywhere on this planet. Gone are my fears of never being able to amount to anything, or be a productive member of society. Gone are my worries over whether people cared about me.

So, now what?

And with that, I make my departure. No longer sad or loathsome over what I don’t have, and grateful for everything that I do have. My parents, my brother, my grandparents, my friends, my music, my love, and myself. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them.

This Is My Element

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By Joshua Blake

So, for those of you that may or may not know, I play music – pretty frequently as of late, too – and I love every second of it.

Something about performing gives me a sense of power, as if I have some hidden ability within my soul that can only unleash itself when the time comes. I have no fears, I have no worries, I have no conscience. I just play.

I’ve often called myself a writer, but I’m also a musician, and lately, I’ve been more of a musician rather than a writer. Nevertheless I’m enjoying myself to lengths that I’ve never had before. I’ve been making strides musically as well as educationally, setting my sights on returning to college in late August – which will be an adventure in and of itself.

In an odd twist, I’m horrible with time-management, but good at keeping time when it comes to playing the bass. Don’t ask me why or how because I haven’t got a clue. College is gonna be one hell of a ride – again that is. It’ll have been two years once I go back since I started there. I’ll be going back into the journalism program since I didn’t even give it a shot last time – nor could I – due to my depression and anxiety.

Is this life meant for me? A journalistic one? Do I have the drive to “go get ’em?” Sure, I could write a story about the differences between European educational programs and American ones – talking to people from other countries via Twitter or other means to get an idea of what the differences are, and how we can adopt ideas to fix our system – but nothing in America really changes and the people don’t really care. The news has become mainstream, and for those who are still fighting to report the truth, they have no outlet.

In a way, the news business is like the music industry – anything that challenges the status quo is cast aside like a damn leper, while the same thing gets said over and over and over again. I guess my point is that I’m unsure of the future of journalistic integrity and acceptance. Everyone says the news is biased, but they also fail to see the bigger picture. We’ve lost our innovation as a nation.

Kennedy once said on the decision to send men to the moon that “We choose to do these things in this decade not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” But if you think that the moon landing was fake, or that reptilian’s rule our government, or that we’re the greatest country on Earth, I’ve failed my duty as a journalist to report the truth because it’s not believed as truth. Or maybe it angers people when they hear the opposite of what they believe. In that case, I’d say research it yourself – look at every outlet.

Mississippi is one of the lowest ranking – if not the lowest – states in America when it comes to I.Q. Their governor – Phil Bryant –  singed a bill recently allowing the refusal of LGBT people to get married, adopt a child, enroll in foster care services, seek employment, or be declined to rent or sell property. What is this? The 1950’s?

Apparently, it’s a religious freedom bill – which I find ironic because if you’re a part of the LGBT community, you’re not infringing on the right of others to practice their religion. You’d just be pissing them off because it’s not what’s seen as “normal.” In the 1900’s no one even thought about the slight chance of inter-racial marriage. 50 years later and that notion slowly – slowly – started to change. Nowadays, it’s not even thought about. No, nowadays, two men – or women – getting married is going to tear the fabric of America apart. Not the offshore tax accounts, outsourced jobs, or fraudulent housing loans given out to people who couldn’t afford it back in the mid 00’s. No, that’d be too much to think about.

And that’s the fundamental problem with Americans: We’ve believed that complex issues have simple solutions for so long, that we’ve forgotten to question why – or how – things happen. Trump’s gonna build a wall. Why? To keep out illegal immigrants. How? Most immigration is via plane or other means, so I guess President “big hands” Trump is gonna build a dome around the United States of America and keep us safe – because he’s a business man! America’s a nation of immigrants, and for some reason, we really hate any new ones coming in because they steal our jobs, right?

I could then tell you about how unemployment is at 5% and Obama cleared nearly three quarters of the deficit since he took office in a New York Times piece written by Andrew Ross Sorkin a couple of days ago, but my audience is half of what it should be. Most people should receive the facts when it comes to news reporting, but now, there’s certain demographics that are targeted to certain people. Why? Because the news is a business. And businesses one goal is to make money by any means possible.

How does this relate back to music? Well music is diluted and generic now. Make some catchy pop song – probably written by a way more talented person then the one singing it – and you’re a millionaire. Meanwhile the ones who have something to say, something to add, something to improve the system are pushed out because people don’t like what they don’t know.

Sixx:A.M. has been making headlines recently, asking YouTube to be “fair” to artists when it comes to compensation, as the video streaming giant pays less than all other major music distributors.

Who knows where my musical or writing talents will take me. I’m willing to test the waters, but from the look of things, it’s gonna be pretty rough out there. But that’s life I guess. At least I’ll always have my loved ones, my friends, and music. Because in the end, it’s about the moments you’ve experienced with who and what you care about that matters the most.