Like most people, when I left home for college, I told my high school sweetheart that we would be together forever. However, three years later we had grown so far apart our relationship seemed impossible to ever repair. It wasn’t because high school seniors don’t know what love is. It was simply because we grew apart and she didn’t like what I had become. In high school, I chased her for a few weeks and I felt accomplished when I had her. As a junior in college, I had come a long way from that awkwardly short and skinny boy who was sort of funny. I was four or five inches taller than when I left high school, and had progressed to being the president of my fraternity. She didn’t like that Jay. I was different. I was better.
Please listen to the mix that @CarvertheGreat and myself put together today. Put to this post, and it has that hits that y’all love on it. Download it here, or stream below:
It’s no surprise that if you listen to Kanye West or Drake on your speaker box you know that they can’t stop referring to old loves. (Big Bro Streetz touches on this here.) Kanye’s first two albums were laced with references to Mr. Rainey’s daughter. By the time, Kanye West dumped Brooke Crittendon and we finally saw who Alexis Pfifer was, we all hoped that it would work out. Similarly, Drake spent the better part of two mixtapes and a rookie album referencing how much he was in love with Alisha. Correction, he is still talking about Alisha.
And to me, it made perfect sense.
Not too long ago, I was having drinks with a classmate from high school. After a few drinks she told me that I had changed. I replied, “I didn’t change, I just had a good idea of who I wanted to and didn’t want you to steal it.” People are predictable and interesting characters. When it’s someone else, it’s change, when it’s yourself, it’s growth. The pressure of growth is very difficult for all of us. Each of us wants to keep it real and not lose sight of our past, but our future and dreams typically requires us to let some of it go. If there is anybody who tries their best to hold you accountable for your past, it’s your old loves. The past women in your life always think they know you the best and in your truest form. As you try to make it to the next level, they are the constant reminder of your current.
As you start to grow and your world changes, you both struggle to find her place in that new world. Secretly, most of us aren’t always happy with every growth in our lives because we still want to keep a piece of the past in a sacred place. Pretty soon, you don’t invite her around as much with your new friends because you don’t want her to see the new you, or think that’s the real you.
Now you’re stuck with these two worlds: one where she exists and one where everyone else exists. The weight of the world on a man’s shoulders is enough to make him fold and walk away from both. Sometimes that conflict inspires greatness and other times it causes our personal lives to fall completely apart. You can’t please two masters, you have to pick who you want to make a priority in your life. Unfortunately, faced with the decision of your dreams or your past, you typically pick your dreams.
Choosing your dreams is not void of serious downfalls. Not having someone who knew you before the person you are today can be dangerous. There’s no one to keep you honest at times. The general public can tell Drake every day he’s really feeling himself and his newfound fame, but it won’t mean the same as when Alisha does. In a way, Drake needs Alisha just as much as he doesn’t want her. As much as he wants to claim he made her what she is today, she’s just as much a part of who he is today. Therefore, when you decide to move past those first loves, you find yourself thinking about whether you’ll ever meet someone who can offer you the same level of honesty again. This causes paranoia to set in and you begin to trust no one, or you develop a larger than life mentality that everyone is either for you or against you.
I’m one of those guys who hopes that next year, I’m on a higher level than I am now. That’s been my goal every year. I wonder if I’ve lost some great people along the way and maybe I have. I get worried because I know that the pressures that the people in my current life put on me today sometimes lead me to believe I may distance myself from them in the future. I get paranoid thinking that secretly they don’t want me to be successful because they feel there is no place for them in that success. The truth is, I don’t have an answer for that today, and I may never have an answer until the day I have to decide. I’m just trusting that the decision I make is the best one for me.
Update: Check out this related post. It’s a music video from Rahzel, Jr. (Son of Rahzel of The Roots) titled, Career vs. Love. You guys know I love music and Fridays. Rahzel Jr. – Career vs. Love.
– Dr. J
If you really want to know what this post is about check out Track #5 on the mix! — Tracklist: 1. George Strait Intro, 2. HYFR by Drake, 3. Shot For Me by Drake, 4. Climax Remix by Joe Budden/Usher, 5. CAMP by Childish Gambino, 6. Heartless by Kanye West, 7. Song Cry by Jay-Z, 8. Don’t Tell Me You Love Me by Big Sean, 9. Closure by Joe Budden, 10. See You In My Nightmares by Kanye West/Lil Wayne … Enjoy your Friday!