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The Life of Phi: Balancing The Boat

June 10, 2017

To the NVSN Community:
Thank you.
Thank you for your kind words, thank you for welcoming me into this safe space with open arms and a warm heart. As a follow up to my previous post, many were asking what provoked me to open up and share something so personal; something so frowned upon, something so taboo.
For me, it was my thirst for the truth.
It was my desire to pursue a life of honesty, integrity, authenticity and reliability in the hope of inspiring a generation to make better choices for themselves. To provide a method for the metaphorical madness; a modern day mental Marauders Map. But I solemnly swear that if you’re up to no good, you better manage that mischief quick time because it is so not worth it, trust me.

"The smart ones learn from their own mistakes but the wisest learn from the mistakes of others"

You see, every time a television or phone is turned on, or a magazine is picked up, thousands of images of the western worlds’ most revered and idolized individuals
– AKA Celebrities –
are seen splashed across screens, pages and palms.
The teens of today literally hold the entire universe in the palm of their hands, and I mean literally not figuratively for all you grammar gurus out here (dw, I gotchu).
The brands, identities and personas of these individuals are constantly changing and tend to set the current trends for what is considered to be “poppin” within today’s modern society. The masses, myself included, seem to blindly follow these trends without a second thought.
Many don’t seem to realize that a public figure may in fact be crossing lines or even over stepping boundaries when it comes to the way their choices influence a generation of young malleable minds. Popular culture plays a huge role in shaping the way the youth speak, eat, dress and most importantly,
T H I N K.
In a musical generation where substance abuse is so wildly promoted in the media, these days it takes A LOT of mental strength and courage to stand up, take your mask off and say no Molly no Percocet - you feel me?
It takes A LOT of courage to break free from that herd or mob mentality we're constantly told to follow. Whether we're being pressured by the media or by the people we thought were closest to us. 
Someone important to me once said, “it takes more of an effort to hide in the shadows” so I say step into the light and let go of false fronts.
Its tough to let go of people who don’t look out for you or keep your best interests in mind, especially those you thought were your Day One's.
I've realized it’s actually cooler to say no. Well by that I mean it's actually cooler to stay true to who you are. So if you want to say no, don't think twice about it.
BAL         ANCE
Anyone that really knows me, knows that I have struggled with balance from a very young age. I was the high-key hype man instead of the low-key leader we should all be.
You see, I’m an all or nothing kind of person.
Always or never,
Not sometimes or maybe.
An absolutist to say the least.
I wasn’t one to test the waters with a timid toe, more of the one to dive in headfirst and think about the consequences later.
I lived by the motto
“It’s better to ask for forgiveness than beg for permission”
“The higher the risk the higher the reward”
Both are terrible aphorisms to live by because from that I learned that the higher your mountains are, the deeper your valleys will be. And it’s so much harder to pick yourself up when you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom.
If DJ Khaled was talking about anything in particular when he wrote that song, you all know which one I’m referring to, it was probably balance, self-control and mental strength.
Lets take the infamous story of Pi in Life of Pi as an example. I still remember reading the book with my father and never truly grasping the ideology behind Yann Martel’s story despite having read it countless times; that is until now.
In reality Richard Parker was merely a manifestation of Pi’s fear, anxiety and depression in dealing with the loss of his family and the life he had always known. Learning how to train the tiger was essentially Pi learning how to control his own mind and channel his own thoughts. Once he was able to master that, he was in control of his universe, rather the microcosm of his boat. Not only is Life of Pi one of my favourite stories layered in profound meaning, masterful motif and astute literary devices, but Pi himself has become one of the greatest hero’s in my life. He reminded me of the beauty of piety and faith in all forms, pun intended.
The notion of nature versus nurture is akin to the fiercely debated and longtime disputed dichotomy of science versus religion. I believe that one cannot exist without the other; they are codependent. They are not juxtaposing, but interconnected. Lets take the concept of astrology as an example. A pragmatist or “rational” minded person will see it as nothing but myth or fable. But those who seek the truth within parable will realize that Astrology itself is governed by the cold hard science of Astronomy – fact over fiction.
You see, when you find something that you are passionate about, it will take over entirely. It will be present in every breath, in every idea, in every waking moment. Channel your passion your energy into something that will help you, not harm you in the long run. Everyone has his or her escape. I found mine through writing and poetry and I was fortunate enough to have found it at a very young age, I simply never knew I had it in me the whole time. It offers me the freedom to explore a world of emotion and break into a fourth wall of reality beyond the pen, the ability to enter a fourth dimension of time and space.
I just wrote and wrote and after a while, it became a part of me. I found a piece of myself in every word I wrote. Then I began to say the words out loud, I felt like I was having a conversation with my soul. The way the sounds began to pour out of me, the way they danced on my lips and tickled my tongue. From this I learned confidence and oddly enough, the virtue of patience instead of leaning on the desire for instant-gratification.
With faith in one hand and a pen in the other on a daily basis I am able to defeat the axiom of my anxieties and forget my fears.
In the word’s of Pi himself,

“I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye”

so[phi]a out.
Written by: @sophjam

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