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Connecting the Dots: Steve Jobs & Living for You (Redux)

Another personal post. This one is real to me, I re-read it and it brought back so many emotions and thoughts. This happened a year ago and in that year I’ve lost friends in a way more touching way then this. Like I really lost a friend in the physical sense and to this day it still boogles my mind, how someone who I thought would be here forever, shortly after this “lunchervention”, I watch be buried. My life has changed so much since then. And I’m so happy to be a member of the “Not A Single F*cks Given* club because if I wasn’t you probably wouldn’t know me as Jouelzy. There would be no YouTube, no 4C hair reppin’ and I wouldn’t be sitting here trying to keep up with the inventory from Shop Jouelzy.

I think some of you might appreciate the point of this post.

It’s crazy. I had talked earlier in the week with Eyevleegbruh about the inspiration and influence of Steve Jobs, unaware of his coming peril. Discussed him with my mother, linesister and a few more friends, having been further inspired by Jobs’ philosophy after a disparaging ‘lunch with friends’. Had his 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech on instant replay for the past week. I wonder if Steve Jobs’ friends ever took him out to lunch and told him he needed to change, cause he wasn’t living life pragmatically? Well I did.Last Friday, I was taken to lunch by two friends (who were asked by another friend/associate to do it), as an intervention…who out of supposed care and love proceeded to disseminate my character and tell me how I need to change. We’ll get to the exposition on that later in the post, but for a quick reference: I as an adult found this to be offensive, that someone would dismiss my intelligence as an ever evolving adult to do better and feel they had any right to offer their opinion on me as fact. They were telling me I need to change because I’m too random to deserve a job. The whole time, I’m thinking about that speech from Steve Jobs’.

Typically I am suppose to post on Wednesday, I even typed up a whole post on Tuesday night, entitled “Connecting the Dots” in reference to that same Stanford Commencement Speech and that lunchervention, then headed out the house to meet up with friends. I made a quick stop at a club in the city where I bumped into the one ‘friend’ who had requisite the lunch and one of the actual participants. After a quick hello, I was shuttled into the club, where I quickly decided I didn’t want to stay. So I left. While walking down 14th street, I see my same associates up ahead. I was apprehensive about walking up to them, so I walked over to the side and around them. My apprehension was proved sound, when I got within ear shot to hear them talking about me, with the one girl’s boyfriend in tow. The snippet I heard wasn’t encouraging, so I kept it moving back home. I was too over it to edit the post I had already written and decided to postpone my posting till today, Thursday.

Then Steve Jobs dies. I know in his wake a lot of people will be referencing Jobs’ philosophy on living fearlessly and following your heart. I don’t know that many people actually believe it and accept it in others. Forbes has previously referenced that in this job market a creative and innovator like Jobs’ would be passed over for the more organizational types. Everybody is on the innovation bandwagon, but when someone doesn’t fit into their boxes or can be easily defined, they feel threatened. The American dream is set with expectations, that while many will taut Jobs’ as the best that ever was, will defy his legacy by placing their expectations of success on others. To fail in American culture is unacceptable. To take the time to discover ones self and walk down their own unbeaten path, is really only acceptable for those who already made it. Jobs, GatesNeeleman…all bucked the system, defied expectations and impacted global culture in a major way.  Or maybe it’s only the legacy of White men who have the right to live according to their own standard. That’s a post for another day, but for now I refuse to allow my race and womanhood place burden on my legacy. In that famous speech at Standford, the point that I have carried with me, was when Jobs stated:

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

I decided that I would live by my heart when I dropped out of college in 2005. Funny enough, two friends tried to have an intervention with me then over the importance of a piece a paper with a distinguished name on it. They feared I would end up being a really smart cat lady with no success or love. I’m deathly allergic to cats…so yeah but no. I proceeded to spend the next 6 years figuring out myself, going through maturation and discovering what my passions really are. Connecting the dots through culture. Then I decided as Economaniac would put it, that I wanted to purchase my ticket to play in the corporate world. I fed into the idea of needing validation, that before I could really take on my own personal career endeavors, I need to work for someone else so that people would hear me when I speak. Which brings us to this lunch intervention.

In this search for validation, ie: Jouelzy needs to get a “real” job, I was advised that to put my pride aside and reach out to my network, my friends and ask for help. I’m an Aries, we don’t like asking for help. Well, what’s the worst that can be said? In theory it’s “no” and you’re no worst off then where you already were. Or so I thought….

I’ve asked maybe a handful people. Two of those people told me no in a roundabout way…no without saying no. They both were women and the closest to my inner social ring. In email form they were polite to me, but in turn they both divulged less than stellar opinions of me to my friends. One girl, we were nothing more than roommates, she’s done shady shit before and so, I can wave my hand and move on. The latter, we’ll call her Girl A, however, supposedly cares about me, or cares enough that she doesn’t want to offend me to my face. So she called two other friends, we’ll call Girl B and C, to have a talking with me about why she ain’t f*cking with me on the job tip. Now Girl C, also happens to be friends with the first girl/former roommate, and now that Girl A has followed her sentiments, Girl C has decided that she should offer me advice based on their opinions of me.

I’m going to go with this, in my heart of hearts, I do believe that Girl B and C are my friends, and they decided to hold this intervention of sorts out of love and genuine care. But they took a big misstep. One, they validated the opinions of two people who don’t really care about me and haven’t had much positive to say in general. Two their approach was backhandedly offensive. Ganging up on someone, or to put it in nicer terms, placing a person in a situation where a group of people are confronting them and then telling them not to be defensive is never pretty. Oh…so you’re just going to back me into a corner and I’m suppose to be like, ‘yes you’re right’. Unless a person is a drug addict, alcoholic, or detrimentally hurting themselves, this group “don’t be defensive while I tell you ’bout yourself’” scenario is NEVER a good look. I learned this from pledging a sorority and haphazardly attempting to do this myself, under the facade of “we just want to talk it out.” The person you trying to talk it out with while wagging your finger at them, is not going to hear 75% of what you have to say because the feeling of being attacked will cancel out all that sh*t. Especially with women. Well…aren’t women the only ones that do this type stuff anyway?

What really bothered me in this setting was that my life decisions were questioned as if to make a mockery of me. At one point Girl C, questioned whether I have ever been committed to anything for 6 months to a year. LOL, my bachelors, masters and financial/active status in my sorority just happened to fall into my lap. Then she haphazardly tried to make an example of my last job effort, as if to say I was fired because…what….she didn’t know, nor had the right to know, but somehow I found myself explaining myself, over sh*t I had never intended to share with her anyway. Wait, wait, wait…aren’t I an adult. And if you really cared, you’d ask in a caring manner and offer your opinion as NOTHING MORE than your opinion. Not as some fact I need to live by. It dismisses the idea that I am adult enough to be aware of my actions and working towards doing better. I can take criticism because I definitely dish it out. However, I’m direct to the person and only offer it as just my opinion, accepting them as an adult capable of making their own decisions.

Then to walk down 14th street and catch wind of how Girl A really feels about me as she broadcasts it loudly with her boyfriend and Girl B. I don’t remember asking her for a chance, but she doesn’t feel like I deserve one anyway…or at least that’s what I heard. *shrugs* Girl…bye.

To prevent this from turning into a rant, I will end this here.
It’s unfortunate that people I asked for help couldn’t turn to me and offer their honest opinion or advice. That I have to be setup to hear it or hear it walking down the street is shameful.  I do thank this whole situation for waking me up and realizing how vulnerable I had made myself by opening up to everyone’s opinion of me through this job hunt process. I was only half living for me, while trying to stuff the rest of me into some box. It’s a reason it hasn’t been working. I’m too big for that ish.

I’m going to keep living according to my heart, and actually put into application the words of Steve Jobs.

I trust the dots will connect in my future.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Tags : emotional maturityfriendships
Jouelzy

The author Jouelzy

Jouelzy is a #SmartBrownGirl, Author, Vlogger & Writer, addressing lifestyle issues that impact women of color from beauty, culture to technology. With 162k+ subscribers she’s reshaping the image of women of color, who honor their right to revel in their diversity.

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  • Derika

    I watch your videos on YouTube and LOVE them! I decided to check out your blog and I’m glad I did. When reading this post, it made me realize why I don’t have many friends lol I ,like you, had to find out the hard way who was really my true friend and who wasn’t. I’m glad that you got rid of those so called friends. I only keep positive people around me now who are trying to uplift me. There’s a way to go about delivering a message. You can deliver a message in a genuine way or in a condescending way. Do you and choose your friends carefully! 🙂 God bless!

  • dreamweaver822

    You are right, unless a person is an addict of some sort or hurting themself in some way, an intervention is not a good look. Real, true friends call you on your bullshite yes, but not in the manner you’ve described. Not in a gang and never in a way to make a friend, a sister feel diminished. Calling you up and saying “Yo girl what’s going on with ya?” and allowing YOU to talk while genuinely LISTENING that’s what a friend does. Offering advice (not criticism cause we each have our own inner critic more than willing and able to cut us down) and letting you decide to use that advice or not. Ultimately a real friend will honor the fact that you are an adult and will do as you please, but still let you know they are there should you ever need. Cause sometimes all you want or need is the PRESENCE of your friends ya dig? Knowing they got your back, even if they don’t always understand where ya coming from or where ya going. Being there when you succeed or fail and loving you no matter what. If they can’t do that then leave them where they stand. HUGS!!!

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  • Hue

    I watch your videos but never visited your blog until today. Glad I did. Got another insight on you. You are amazing! Keep doing your thing.

  • Darlene

    Be proud that this situation didn’t send you in a different direction. I remember someone saying, don’t expect other people to understand the vision that God has for you (or something like that). People that follow their hearts and dreams are the most profound individuals in the world to me!! I admire people that have a passion for something other than the norm! It’s courageous! I appreciate you! Keep on keeping on!!

  • hoxeyl

    The only way to live is to do you!

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