Tag Archives: Depression

The Center of Insecurity – Chasing the Dream

The Center of Insecurity – Chasing the Dream

Lawrence Insecure

Insecure has done a great job of highlighting so many of the dynamics between men and women trying to find a common ground in relationships, dating and just overall social interaction. One of the things that I’ve noticed while not really picking sides between the star characters Lawrence and Issa, is that Lawrence’s journey is one that surprisingly I connect to. I say that not in terms of the struggles that he’s having in his relationship with his now former partner but the background elements of him trying to live the life that he wants and that he has been working towards.

The backdrop of this character throughout these 2 completed seasons has been one of unfulfilled potential. We meet this character dealing with unemployment, clearly having a high level of intelligence as he pitches this new potential mobile app but not being able to get enough traction to get things off the ground. In the meantime, his struggles are wearing thin on his partner and on various levels we get a number of hints that perhaps their sex life among other things is not what it should be. These factors lead to overall growing tension between the two of them.

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I can wholeheartedly relate to the experience that Lawrence has been going through on the personal side regarding his professional advancements or at least his attempts to do so. More people than you know are dealing with an economy and a business world that has been in flux for probably the last 7-plus years now. There are more people with high education and higher work experience all vying for the same jobs. As a black man I already knowing what that job hunting process entails and how much higher you have to aim above the crowd, it’s stressful.

It takes a lot to get up and put on that professional face, hold it together throughout the course of the day and then come home and function when you’re not contributing your fair amount to the household situation. So we follow Lawrence as he goes from unemployment to finally bite the bullet and taking a Best Buy opportunity that was presented to him. It’s an ego check as it falls far below his intelligence and experience, but you do what you have to do to provide for your situation.

I connect with this so deeply, I know from personal experience how that feels to have to sit down and look at what you’ve done in the past, what you’ve accomplished, what you know than sit down and have to take a role that realistically you probably could have retained with no more than a high school degree. Again you do what you have to do to bring in that paper regardless of how much your ego takes a hit for it. Let’s just look things over a bit. In the midst of trying to get your paper right, you now find yourself out of your relationship not established in terms of having your own place so you know what happens next? You holla at your homie and you’re dealing with that air mattress struggle. Again I’ve never been in a situation where I separated from someone and ended up in that way but the air mattress struggle is real I’ve been there and when you find yourself in certain spaces of transition and you’re essentially starting from scratch. Building life from the bottom up is a very humbling position to find yourself in.

So as we watch Lawrence deal with these various levels of change some people may see it as him being the butt of a joke, however, your personal experiences will relate to the perspective that you’re going to bring to the situation and for me without touching the way he interacts with Issa, I get the stress, strain and the conflict that he is dealing with internally.

Interestingly enough the story of Insecure seems to present a situation where it isn’t until Lawrence is away from his supportive partner that he starts to make traction in his life professionally. He gets the new job, he gets the place and it makes you wonder was there something within the relationship holding him back

When shows like this hit the scene it is natural for people to start picking sides. The internet is full of Team Issa and Team Lawrence fanatics. People who just like me, connect to these characters in some personal form or fashion and are riding out hoping to see the best for that particular individual as the show progresses. As I said, I’m not on either of these individuals teams because I feel a lot of the decisions they are making in regards to each other and their former relationship have been incredibly destructive and hurtful to themselves.  

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I had this conversation with a friend recently; they are both being incredibly messy single people. But at least on one level of existence, I get where Lawrence is coming from I get the idea of wanting to be something aiming to be something falling short and having constant reminders around you of your shortcomings. I know what it’s like to be a certain age be in a certain place look around you and see others advancing others prospering and you still struggling to get to a place that you know you should be at. It’s not cool to admit the things that I’m talking about but this isn’t something new I’ve been very transparent with my life for years now. But as Insecure continues to grow in popularity I think the show presents real opportunity, to be honest about the lies that we live. As women open up and claim spaces in our society that they have been due for the longest. I think as men we need to start feeling enough comfort to open up about the difficulties that we have we are expected to be stone cold emotionless and just proceed with life like nothing ever affects us and that’s not true that’s not honest and it’s not healthy.

If anything the true level of insecurity comes in our inability, to be honest with ourselves and others that sometimes we’re just not happy with our lives. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s better to acknowledge your feelings and address them than bottle them up and have them possibly explode in the wrong direction or towards the wrong person.

While we await the next chapter of life between Lawrence and Issa in season 3, I do hope that the level of conversation that this show has sparked doesn’t die down. There are so many areas we need to address with other. We need each other more than ever and the first step to that position comes through understands open communication. We’re all insecure about something so why not share and heal together?

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Genie, You’re Free – RIP Robin Williams

Genie, You’re Free – RIP Robin Williams

 Robin Williams

The world is still trying to process the news that comedic legend Robin Williams passed away Monday via suicide. With a career that has spanned decades Robin Williams has been many things to many people. The high energy actor was a virtual plastic man that could twist, turn and fit almost any position needed from the highly serious to the silly and playful. Yet in the midst of making the world smile and laugh, the personal life of Robin Williams was a serious battle with depression and substance abuse that he never hid from the public. I have never dealt with depression nor suicidal feelings in any shape in my life. So, as I take in this public tragedy I do my best to pull some positives from the negative.

It’s amazing how many in the entertainment world spend their lives bringing pleasure and joy to the masses while internally struggling with their own demons. It’s almost as if the upward projection of creative energy is not just for the applause of the people but to counter act the issues that they are dealing with. It’s truly a cruel joke when a beloved comedian like Robin Williams, similar to a Chris Farley fall victim to their inner turmoil much of which is unknown to the people around them.

Williams career and professional resume is extensive. Yet for me as an 80’s baby and a child of the 90’s I truly was introduced to Robins Williams as Mrs. Doubtfire and as the voice of Genie in the Disney Animated Classic Aladdin. This is a huge part of my childhood that is now in mourning. Before I ever laughed at the whirling physical comedy and off the wall antics of Jim Carrey, it was the endless witty impressions of Williams that defined comedy during my youth. As an adult I still remember Genie’s “Friend Like Me” and “Prince Ali” verbatim. These are the sentiments that are flooding my Facebook and Instagram. A generation has lost their clown prince of comedy.

Many people are just now learning that Robin Williams was dealing with severe depression. I can’t help but think to the classic tale of Pagliacci the Sad Clown. He has been referenced in many places but I find his mention in Alan Moore’s Watchmen as sadly appropriate to the current situation.

“Heard a joke once: Man goes to the doctor. Says he’s depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says, “Treatment is simple. The Great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up.” Man bursts into tears. Says, “But doctor…I am Pagliacci.”

And there you have it. We rarely take a moment to consider the issues of those that bring us pleasure and enjoyment. We assume that those that make us happy must be happy themselves. In many ways Williams shared much with the character Genie. 2 people that gave happiness to others while technically being prisoners of their existences.

In the end I think the role of acting and comedy for Williams was truly an escape mechanism. One that lasted well over 40 years.  In his own words he said.

“Comedy is acting out optimism.”          

Could it be that one of the best funny men to ever do it was also telling us what he truly wanted in his own world? Via every punch line and gag, Robin Williams gave to others the peace that he ultimately could not find here on earth. I can only hope he has found it now.

 

Jason Francis | The Social Media Samurai

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Childish Gambino Interview on Juan Epstein

Childish Gambino Interview on Juan Epstein

Gambino

Being open and honest isn’t really the move for many people in entertainment so when Cipher Sounds and Peter Rosenberg sat down with comedian and artist Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino we get one of the best conversations on the concepts of creativity, depression and much more. Personally I love the way he speaks about Jhene’ Aiko. As men we often act like we know it all and women are just something we have entitled to and Glover’s honestly about his friend is incredibly refreshing.

Jason Francis | The Social Media Samurai