Marcos Diary Entry: 12.4.2014: Messiah Complex – My Experience Thus Far as an Artist and Educator

4 Dec
Most important lesson ever.

Most important lesson ever.

I though I had just been tired after not getting back into a normal sleep cycle after Thanksgiving break, but it’s now clear to me that I’m just emotionally worn out.  I am full of anger, anger over all the nationwide injustice at the hands of police.  I am not alone as countless others share my rage.  The problem is that I am not sure how to direct this energy.  I’m less faithful in peaceful protesting as I was prior to Ferguson.  Where did that get anyone the last 30 days?  I also do not want to be hasty and join the newest non minority supportive fad like the silly #alllivesmatter thing.  And like I said before, hashtags are not solutions.

My current political philosophy.

I spend the majority of time at a school Monday through Friday.  Today I realized that part of my frustration comes from the lack of conversation in respect to all of this. Nothing, teachers to students, students to students or even teacher to teacher.  As the only one who wants to talk about these things I’m left to feel like some kind of extremist. In my mind there could not be a more relevant thing to discuss, especially since the majority of our kids are likely to be profiled or to end up on the wrong side of the stick if they ever enter an altercation with an officer (statistically speaking since our student body is made up mostly of minorities).  Maybe people are afraid of rocking the boat, rustling feathers or whatever metaphor you like.  It’s never mattered to me when it comes to doing or saying what’s right and that’s why I’m glad it came up today amongst some kids.  It breaks my heart that these kids who already have it so hard are growing up in a world where we need another, more aggressive Civil Rights Movement.

In addition to the before mentioned, I’ve also been drowning under a sea of stories and moments that give me more insight into the lives my students live when they leave the school.  I used to think that loosing my mother at 14 after watching her die in my arms was as rough as it could get.  I was insanely wrong. Today I feel like young Xavier in Days of Future Past, more so than I have lately. (Everything can be an X-Men analogy to me).  Worn, beaten, a shell of a man who never lived up to his own expectations and a man haunted by all the thoughts and pain he feels when he uses his abilities.  I can’t read their minds or hear their thoughts but I can see and feel their pain, always hearing their stories in my head.  They ricochet and repeat in my mind all day long. “Love them while they are here and let them go when you go home. We can only do so much.” That’s advice a teacher I respect told me.  It’s easier said than done.  The downside of being the one that everyone wants to talk to, play with,  hang out with and be taught by, is that the kids open themselves to you, exposing their fears, pain and venerabilities.  They trust me and they look up to me.

And who am I?  That’s one of the main questions that have been staring at me, right in the face for the last few months. That answer can change depending on how I’m looking at my life that day.  Currently, I feel as though I exist as a invisible artist who has not reached anywhere near his potential.  A struggling facade of a man who works a day job that keeps him impoverished.   The questions right next to that is,  “who do I want to be?”.  It’s like I’m Logan / Wolverine in a place I don’t really feel that I fit in, belong or a place I’m not sure I want to be an extended period of time.  In my own mind, my life is a complex hive, full of departments that represent things that make me happy.  The problem is that I haven’t found a way to connect all or some of these things to create some sort of clear and tangible life that allows me to do and be exactly what I want to.  So by no means do I have things “figured out” or “together”. Perhaps these kids see something in me that I can’t see in myself?  I’m not sure, but I know that working with them has changed me.

I do not want to be a career teacher.  Let me just get that out of the way before I go on.  My heart is still in music, still in art.  I have been changed by these kids in that, I am always remind that there are fights bigger than me, struggles harder than my own, stories worse than my darkest and  that there is an infinite number of little people who are in need of motivation, inspiration and love, way more than I ever am, have been or ever will be.  So as The Blackout Beat continues to evolve, grow and in some ways simplify, I know that it has to involve some element that caters to the young underdogs and the future Marcos and Armando’s.

It’s my damn messiah complex that I have to put into check right now though.  I’m sure things will make more sense as the fog that clutters my mind and life clears up down the line.  But right now,  I want to fix everything for everyone in one fail swoop.  End racial inequality, find those Mexican students, avenge their deaths, fix every broken home for every student I work with,  inspire them all to live up to their potential, and then fix my own life, my own career so that I may be so busy with projects I love, so happy, that I’ll never have time to even consider that I may or may not be doing what I want to.  I can’t do this though.  I probably can’t even do anything on that list but the last one.  But my mind doesn’t allow me to think that way.  It sees everything as a possibility.  It really is a double edged sword.  It’s one thing to fail when you never really believed in yourself but it’s an entirely different thing when you fail and believe with all your heart and soul that you are capable.

The funny thing about my experience as a teacher is that I sometimes feel as though I’m the one there to learn.  I’ve learned a lot about strength in the face of terrible odds.  I’ve also learned that the ability to dream as big as I did (still do) is something that is becoming a rarity.  I’ve learned that when you do see that spark in someone’s eyes, it’s your duty as a human to focus on it, nurture it like it’s your own passion.  I also learned that the definition of success is a very different thing to children.  This is crazy to me because I had to redefined it for myself after starting Blackout over 10 years ago.  But that is redefining it as young adult and then later as an older young adult, (er… I mean adult).  But, the child definition is what I am still processing.  I have a car, I can dance, draw, I play and make music, have a studio, a log, a CD, I’m on Youtube, etc.  Those are things that make me just like Pharrell, Ginuwine, Justin or Timbaland to these kids (those are the people I aspire to be like in terms of career noteriety).

So as I plow forward, always moving towards a dream that is both vivid and invisible, in pursuit of becoming the most self actualized version of Marcos there can be, I will take comfort in the fact that I am already the kind of person that is worthy of all the hugs, high fives, secret handshakes and comments like “I wanna be like you Mr. Marcos when I grow up.”

-m

Marcos Garibay: Producer, song writer, dancer, educator, X-Man and 30 year old big kid.

Marcos Garibay: Producer, song writer, dancer, educator, X-Man and 30 year old big kid.

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One Response to “Marcos Diary Entry: 12.4.2014: Messiah Complex – My Experience Thus Far as an Artist and Educator”

  1. KC December 6, 2014 at 11:36 pm #

    your words get to my heart. Teachers are the closest real life super heroes our students have. It is a difficult task and I admire you for always giving your best to make a difference in students’ lives. Don’t stop dreaming, thank you for sharing.

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