Serendipity is a thing that happens in all of our lives. Things, people, moments that seem to be preordained and necessary to usher us into the experiences we need to have and the people we need to be. Perhaps it was no coincidence then that last week a man who I’d only had the pleasure of seeing and speaking to twice in my life, Carlton Mackey, who with each meeting proved that you don’t have to know someone to be kind and warm to them, called me up one late weekday morning and asked me to become a blogger for this site.
Perhaps it was serendipity that before I’d gotten the call from Carlton, I’d told my good friend, Christopher Barker, one of the producers of this site, that I was looking to expand my writing – and make some other major moves, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. And perhaps it was meant to be that Chris dropped my name when Carlton told him that he was looking for a voice to represent life from a black gay male perspective.
Maybe this opportunity was written in the stars or spoken into existence by the words of a few creatives and dreamers.
Or, maybe shit just happens. Meh, who really knows?
What I do know is that I’m here, now, and I’m supposed to introduce myself to you and explain a bit of who I am as a man, a gay man, a black gay man, a weirdo, a QUEEN, a nerd, and, most importantly, as Nic.
I guess I don’t have to do ALL of that in one blog post, and really I can’t. But, what I can say is that I’m 27 and a freelance writer. I looove music, models, whodunits and food (one of my nickname’s is King FATass), and I’m a cartoon, anime and manga-loving junkie.
Oh, and I’m immortal.
Now before you began wondering if I’m Amanda Bynes-style crazy (Pffft! As IF I’d ever publicly message Drake. I’d just DM him), or think I’m biting KiDu CuDi (that song is pretty fucking dope, though), let me explain myself.
It may sound strange, but I've gotten a number of my philosophies from the endless amounts of anime, manga and TV shows that I consume every week, and one of the philosophies that I've been enamored with as of late comes from Naruto. It’s the idea that our lives are not just our own, but that we are infinitely connected to the people around us throughout time.
In the manga and anime for Naruto and Naruto: Shippuden, there are these recurring themes about the importance of family and community, and how by sharing our lives with the people around us, we lock them into our hearts and they become a part of us, eternally.
Besides being completely moved by seeing such a concept play out on ink and pixels, I’ve seen proof of its existence in my own life. Take my family for example. In many ways, I think I’m just following in the footsteps laid before me by my father and grandfather.
My grandfather, Matthew, was an unconventional and wild pastor at an A.M.E. church in my hometown of Columbus. And no matter what group he was in, whether it be his congregation, his factory coworkers (yeah, my grandpappy worked for Nabisco) or his crew of friends, he used his voice to teach, influence and care for the people in his family and community.
Then there’s my father, Matthew Jr. He was the “peculiar” child of his family who always questioned the ways of the world. His words held power and influence with most everyone around him, and he grew up to become not only the de facto leader and wise man of his friends and family, but also of the neighborhood we grew up in, much to the chagrin of some of the other people on our block.
And then there’s me. The youngest of three children of Matthew’s and without a doubt the oddest person in my entire immediate family, maybe even my extended family as well. For years, I’ve claimed that I’m just a younger and gayer version of my father (although, my mother is definitely a part of me as well), and I’m sure that, in his own way, my father was just a younger version of my grandfather.
What I believe is that the things that my grandfather passed down to my dad are the things that have undoubtedly been passed on to me, and that includes a desire to learn as much as I can about this world and the people in it and to share what I’ve learned with others so that they can be free, be wise, be empathetic, and, of course, be entertained.
For years, I’ve been doing that by trying – and I do mean trying – to be the best friend, brother, son and boyfriend that I can be, and by letting the people around me have all of the pieces of me that I can give.
But with age, I’ve also come to understand that it’s important throughout that process to let go of the negative behaviors, defense mechanisms, shame and outdated mindsets about my life that hinder me from becoming whole. And even that part of the journey of self-discovery becomes part of the pieces that I can give back to the world.
And now that I’m a writer, I can try to take those pieces of myself, and the pieces of others that have been given to me, and give them to my readers through my stories.
Ultimately, that’s the message I want to bring to my work; that growth, solidarity and long-lasting change is possible if we’re willing to open ourselves up, be vulnerable and really connect with every facet of ourselves and with each other. By doing so we not only change the world, but we live on, free of mortality, through the lessons, the actions and the love we pass on through each generation.
So, let’s grow and become immortal together and help make sure that we pass on things that will make this place at least a little better for the next generation of immortals coming up behind us.
Until next time,