What Can YOU Do for BROWN?

All right, if you’ve skimmed through my last few entries, you’ll remember me talking about a book I was writing. It was called #SociallyAwkward, and it was to be some sort of cautionary tale for the many young men who might be socially inept and don’t like their life as much as they should and could. Well, due to a slew of ongoing events, that project is put on hold.

2013 was a very crappy year for me, worse than 2010. Full disclosure, I did attempt suicide twice that year, but in 2013, I still had enough confidence in myself that things would get better. I knew they would, but I simply didn’t know how, and I grew more and more impatient as I wondered when. In a rather symbolic way, I was sick with a stomach virus around New Year’s, causing me to miss out on Baton Rouge’s first annual celebration called Red Stick Revelry. But as I lay in bed that day, I thought back on everything that happened with me throughout the year, especially the missionaries I met a few days prior. In higher spirits, I downed my traditional New Year’s blend of all the drinks in the refrigerator as I rang in 2014 with Meriwether, Caparrota and Ulkins on Channel 9.

Since the start of the year, I’ve been bombarded with new opportunities, and I’m at a place where I have a neck brace on from the whiplash. I just finished reading “6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person,” a massively popular article by Cracked.com’s David Wong. In it, he gives the reader a tongue-lashing on why they probably hate their lives, and how they should be doing something about it rather than playing the victim. The article struck a cord with me because not that long ago, Javan H. was that victim. I was that nice guy with such a talent and ethic that couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t getting any play. But I’ve grown a lot from that lame twenty-three year-old in 2012, and that’s why I hate victims with a passion.

The theme of the article stems from a quote from the movie Glengarry Glenn Ross.

“Nice guy? I don’t give a shit. Good father? Fuck you! Go home and play with your kids. If you want to work here, close.”

The line describes my life as of January 1, 2014. I won’t go into the merits of the article because I feel that I’ve touched on that enough; I want to go into how my life has changed in such a small window. You see, I’m mentally checked out of my current job, and have been for almost a year. I went into it with all the eagerness in the world because that’s just who I am—that’s my character. In tandem, I am a person of many skills, as evident by this entire damn website. I’ve been on the job for almost exactly two years, and the first year and change was spent with my MacBook at my makeshift station, designing nearly all of what you see here while assisting the customers who came to me for help.

I won’t say that this is a hard job; really, a preteen could do it if the laws permitted such. But as I got deeper into my trade, I grew turned off by my actual responsibilities, you know, the things I’m actually paid to come here for. I started this job in March of 2012, and around September, the walls began to close in. I had many concerns in general and I did address them with my superiors, but all of that was futile. Still, I pushed through because due to unfortunate circumstances, I had no choice. As time passed, I grew more and more bitter as a person, so much that it began to affect my health. Designing while on the job went from a way to kill time to an act of desperation, and no matter how many apps and resumes I sent out, nothing came through. That is a huge reason as to why 2013 drained the life out of me.

On top of that, my social life went to hell. #SociallyAwkward was to recount the life-long series of events, but I’ll simply say that I smartened up and ended every single one of my friendships because they were all taking me down a dark path. This was in 2012, and I felt a huge weight off my shoulders. But in 2013, I realized that I now had to start over, and that was something that I had always feared. In saying this, I had no friends, I had no social life and I had a job that was abusing me more than it was using me. I spent day after day trying to figure out who I pissed off to deserve any of this, but as I learned how to work the system, things began to trend upward.

As expected, my supervisor told me to leave my Mac at home. I did get angry, venting on the phone during my break. But did I let that break me? No. Instead, I did what I was told, designing more graphics and creating more music outside of the job because I now had a fire in me. Referring back to Wong’s article, it was this time in which I realized that the world only cares about what you have to offer, and through my creations, as well as the reactions from my college instructors, I knew for a fact that I had a shitload to offer. I continued doing my Shuttle launches, as well as a ton of outro bumpers as a way to put my skills, taste and personal technique on to the test. After all, I’m vying for a career in the media, and no one wants a one-trick pony. As I continued to put out my work, I got a response from someone I thought I would never hear from again.

I believe it was late 2012 when I contacted a local production team for work—I won’t name names just yet. They weren’t looking for help at the time, and they said that I was more than welcome to write for them. That never came to fruition, sadly, but a few months later, the show and its host began following me on Twitter and commenting on my designs. A few months after that, I got a notification on Google+ that they wanted me to email the producer once again. I did, and that’s when he lowered the boom

…he wanted me to design a new virtual set for the show.

I nearly shat a brick once I got the request because this would be my very first major client, one that I had been gunning after for months. The process wasn’t easy, nor did I expected to be because even though I was outside of my cushy city-parish job, I was still a servant of the customer, having to match my talent and creativity with the needs of not only the producer, but the show’s own graphic designer. I gave them four concepts, and out of those concepts, they kept not one but two.

Thanks to the missionaries I met while filming at the river, I learned a major lesson in humility, causing me to look at myself and my job in a whole new way. But I was always a rather modest person as a whole, much to the chagrin of my instructors who want me to break out of that. Once the winter storm cleared, I finally met the producer in person, and even he was boggled as to why I was so modest. From my angle, it’s easy to talk up my work on Twitter. But it’s a whole different feeling when a professional goes so far as to use my work as the background for their computer.

Acknowledging how much potential I have, he tipped me off about a job opening, one that could change my life in ways too great to describe. I was told of this because I finally got off my ass and put out products that would make people want me.

“Nice guy? I don’t give a shit. Good father? Fuck you! Go home and play with your kids. If you want to work here, close.”

Aside from the new prospect, I realized that it would be best to throw in the towel at my current job. Why? I mean, I still have another eight payments left on my car note, and I’ve never been late! I’m down for the count because I need to fix myself. I’ve spent the past two years thinking that if I continued to “do right,” things would come up. That is the truth, but only to a degree; with doing right comes, well, doing.

I’ve quoted the line twice already, and it touches not only on the fact that the world is stunned about what you have to offer, but on the fact that change won’t  happen unless you do something about it. The quote was in the context of real estate, which is probably one of the most difficult industries to succeed in. What the boss was saying to his workers is that if you don’t act, the company doesn’t benefit, and if the company doesn’t benefit, you…must…go. In this case, it was my time to man up and sell some shit so I could ‘get my life,’ as the kids say nowadays.

Nothing is ever truly set in stone, but it’s best to accept when enough is enough, and to begin making provisions to ease any risks that would be made. I’m veering away from my own complacency because it’s simply my time to. I know what brown can do for me, but I want anyone and everyone reading this to understand what often goes ignored: what can I do for brown?

Let’s get it goin’.

My Space Shuttle will be launched for the eleventh time on Mardi Gras Day, March 4, 2014. Until then, check out my other blogs, follow me on Twitter and check out my work on here, YouTube and also Soundcloud.


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One thought on “What Can YOU Do for BROWN?

  1. Pingback: “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” — Hold The ‘F’ Up… | Javan H.

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