James T. Green is a conceptual artist, radio producer, writer, and educator from Chicago, Illinois, and now in Brooklyn, New York.

thoughts + feelings

28: Be Sweet, With a Handful of Honesty

Be sweet, with a handful of honesty.

Whenever I visit family, I get incredibly nostalgic. It’s a mix of reminiscing on the past and being contemplative of my future. I got a two for one deal by having my little sister’s birthday and Father’s Day land on the same day, which meant plenty of laughs and good food. In between those tender moments, the six of us always seem to get into deeper conversations and this time it led into the topics of becoming older and tolerating negativity.

It was a familiar site to my past of living at my parents’ home: my dad catching up on sleep on the living room couch (because he works midnights and does long shifts starting in the early evening), and myself, brother, and sister assisting my mom with dinner and chatting about whatever was on our mind. Aside from the usual banter of what really happened between Jay-Z and Solange and how much my mom wants to go to a 2 Chainz concert, we began discussing how much we tend to change as we get older. I began rambling on about the changes I’ve noticed in my maturity, as well as the benefits from telling the honest truth rather than internalizing your feelings for the sake of others.

In the not so distant past, all my decisions used to be made (fully) on what I thought others would think of me. I had a strange comfort in hoping and praying that everyone would love me no matter how painful and mind-numbing that charade was. When I realized that I was a puppet to everyone’s emotions, it drove me to a breaking point. Different situations made me realize the power in standing up for yourself, vocally or otherwise.

I’ve been told by quite a few friends that when I turn 30 (I’m 24 now) that my “toleration for other’s bullshit” will go down. When I told my mom that she gave a chuckle and dropped this knowledge:

“You always bring more bees with honey than vinegar.

Be sweet, with a handful of honesty.”

You’re right mom, you’re right.

Have you had a moment where you had to tell someone something really difficult, and you decided to “keep it real, keep it honest” with them? Tell me about it by hitting reply.

Have a great Monday and see you next week,

-James

What did I find interesting this week?

1) You’ve Been Obsessing Over Your Likes and Retweets Way Too Much: An opinion piece on Wired that investigates the lives of the “Invisibles” or those that create things anonymously.

2) It’s not about you: Seth Godin’s blog touches on doing your best work and forgetting what the haters say.

3) Silence, Please: A piece on Psychology Today by an author Beth Kephart about creating silence in her busy life.

James T. Green