Pride of Lions

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… lions are chasing you.

I’ve recently been dealing with a hit to the pride that I didn’t think I would have to deal with. Not being able to find a job. Of course, this is halfway fallacy. If I wanted to go out and work at McDonalds or another fast food joint I could easily find a place there, but I chose to go after positions that I was not used to. Over the last week of November I submitted no less than twenty-five applications. All of them to positions that I did not already have on my resume, which meant no restaurant or bartending positions, nothing involving custodial maintenance or painting.

As I sat expectantly, knowing deep inside that someone would eventually call back and update me on a new job they thought I could fill I began to work tirelessly on my own business, freelance projects, the blog, even returning to YouTube. Anything I could use to fill my free time, I did. This didn’t stop as December came and passed me by, I rang in New Year’s Eve with my friends and my girlfriend, toasting all that 2017 was to me, the good and the bad, and I went home to watch a movie with my girl before falling asleep just before sunrise.

Up till Tuesday, I didn’t have a single job offer. The places I had called had denied me, I had begun to amass a collection of rejection emails, that another position had been filled. My encouragement and open mindset began to wear thin with each new email denying me a job, setting in that getting a job is perhaps not as easy as I once considered it to be.

Fortunately, just before I went to submit for unemployment, I was called by Dominos to be a delivery driver. I walked in and was hired on the spot. The same day that my old restaurant announced that it would be closing doors.

It’s funny, the way things work out sometimes. I was without a job, working my ass off on projects that I won’t hear about for another six weeks, and it fell into my lap that I should get a job and be offered another within days.

The possession of a job is an important mark in society. The feeling of being fired or let go or losing it due to circumstances out of our control can be a slam to the ego like you wouldn’t’ believe. I’ve had friends lose jobs and their attitudes grew dark and self-destructive. They grew impatient with the world around them, they grew hopeless that they wouldn’t find work before they needed it. I knew deep inside that I wouldn’t feel this way. I told myself regularly that I wouldn’t’ succumb to that change of mentality, but a month into being unemployed I began to question things and bite at morsels that didn’t deserve my attention.

I grew weary of the job search, being a job in and of itself I found myself hurt, at the end of the day, that so many jobs didn’t want me.

I was talking not long ago with a friend of mine about people’s vices and fallbacks, she mentioned that hers was jealousy. Mine falls somewhere between wrath and pride, two things I desperately need to keep in check but more often than not, I can calm my rage when it rises.

My pride… on the other hand, is much more difficult to manage.

I fall so easily to my terrible pride, this jobless venture has struck me much more close to home than any I’d had before. I felt hopeless deep inside and unable to complete the simple things I needed to complete. I feared that it would soon threaten my relationships due to the abuse I was putting my mind through.

Still, no matter how difficult things are, I learned long ago that difficulty is not a metric I use to gauge tasks. It all comes down to a length of time. Things aren’t hard, some things just take longer. I learned that from a Mod Sun song and reinforced it with every single word I write to encourage and assist those in my life. I have abandoned more things than I may have begun myself, but every moment I am fighting.

Pride is a pitfall, and waiting at the bottom of the well is a dogpile of lions with their fangs bared, waiting for a meal.

Don’t let yourself slip that far, take it from me. It is difficult to return, in that, it takes a long time to wake up and remember that your pride propels you, but you should never let it control you.

Each thing offered to me is a gift. My jobs, my writing, my home, my girlfriend, my friends, they are all gifts given to me by a Creator and taking any of those for granted, assuming that I am important because I have those things takes for granted each gift I am given.

I will not be food for the lions, and I hope you won’t either.

If you like this, share it and let me know your thoughts. I’d love to talk to you about it.

www.linmtba.com

Bad Pharaoh

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Standing above the necropolis, the great Pyramid rises out of the horizon like a fang shredding flesh from the earth itself. What was once a gilded tomb, covered in gold and meant to stand as an honor to the ego of the Pharaoh, now has fallen to pieces, barely an echo of its former glory. The remnant of a dynasty that has long since passed away. Even today, the Pyramid of Giza is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. I’ve spoken about the Wonders before, and likely will again.

There is much that we don’t know about the history of Egypt, specifically, some of the pharaohs. What evidence and knowledge we do have is slowly being uncovered day after day by the researchers and the historians who have devoted their lives to learning.

All of those things stand well and good, but I want to talk a bit about the symbolism of pyramids and one Pharaoh in particular, in relation to how we all can be today.

The pyramids, beautiful and impressive as they are, still are a symbol to some. In the hand of those who find their knowledge and identity in speculation, they belong to aliens or the illuminati, or, for some, Jay-Z. All of those aside, the pyramids are simply put, massive tombs. Legions of dead rest in some of them, buried with their Pharaoh, if my research was done correctly, they could have been buried alive beside their kings. A final attempt to reach the afterlife with their leader. The tombs are symbolic of their ascendance into the afterlife, perhaps becoming gods or supreme beings of one kind or another. The pyramids standing as a blister that shows the imagined importance of the meek human lying within, rotting slowly with each turn of season. The Ancient Egyptians were obsessed with the afterlife, consider the structure of their mythology, the gods and how they interact with the living, the symbolism of their god of death, Anubis. Which out of the number of gods the Egyptians worshipped, seems to be one of the most popular in our lives today.

Humanity as a whole is obsessed with death.

Even in the time of Pharaohs, gods and goddesses, we have been fascinated with the possibility of death and what it is like. Why it occurs. When it happens. All of the aspects of death are impossible to obtain and then share to our information hungry society. So, many of us seek out answers through life that will satisfy our craving for the knowledge of death. We seek information and knowledge to dissolve the fear that every living, breathing being holds dearest to their hearts.

I tend not to believe those who say they are unafraid of death. I am not afraid of the afterlife, I am secure in my faith and belief. I believe I know what will come of me after I pass, but death itself, the act of passing to another realm, that terrifies me. Just like everyone else I seek out answers to satisfy and hide my fear deep within my heart.

I use these tactics by telling stories, by writing poetry, by creating music. On some deep level that I struggle with admitting, I do these things because I know that they will live longer than I will and I want what I’ve said to pass the test of time. In my own way, this blog is just one of many pyramids I am building. This blog, my novels, my relationships, my future, all of them are just tombs.

This idea, brings me to a particular Pharaoh, who I think on some level is just like you and I with more jewelry and gold trim. Amenhotep IV is regarded as the worst Pharaoh that ever ruled. Going so far as to erase names of previous rulers in favor of his own, taking the responsibility for actions he didn’t commit and I don’t mean that in the “Oh I totally stole your bike, I’ll return it.” When he obviously didn’t steal the bike.

Bicycles weren’t invented then.

The point is, more often than not I find myself thinking with the same mentality as our Amenhotep, I write the things I do because in some moments, behind a curtain where I can hide my face I begin to think I know more about life than I truly do. I have seen some horrific things in my lifetime. I have experienced a lot of death, the kind that is eternal. The death that gives you closure. I want the things that I write to stand out beyond the grip of death and give my friends that live beyond me, as well as everyone else I can touch a chance to see the world how I saw it.

This comes from the same place of desperation that our ego evolves from. Amenhotep built many things in his name, out of pride and arrogance. He wanted Egypt to worship him, even later changing his name to reflect that of a god in an effort to turn more eyes towards his false light.

I think we all do this, to one extent or another. I use my writing as a way to get people to look at me, there are so many other ways to do this, using job status, family name, wealth, looks, religion, political ideals. All of these things can turn a good leader into a terrible Pharaoh. I have spent my time as Amenhotep. I have seen the efforts of gilding my creations with my name and accolades instead of my deeds and purpose.

When Amenhotep passed away, he was buried and the succeeding line of Pharaohs spent years and years trying to undo what he had done. It’s a pretty stark reminder.

No matter how beautiful you think your world is to others, the status we keep, the money we make, the ideals we hold, none of them matter when it comes down to the wire and we are being carried into the necropolis by those that either loved us, or hated us in life. I asked myself this question the other day, and I want to pose it to you as well…

When they drop your body off beneath the pyramids you built, are those people going to leave talking about how amazing you were, how you helped those in need, how you offered a kind word or gesture to anyone who needed it, how you were the pillar for those in times of weakness, or will they spend their lives trying to erase all the damage you have caused?

It doesn’t matter how beautiful your pyramid is, one way or another tourists will show up, will the guide to your life explain how you lived with kindness and grace, or will the stories of your victories be followed by stories of greater victories by others for a greater purpose? Either way, the people will strip the gold and the limestone from the face of your pyramid and you will be none the wiser lying beneath it, dead and gone like the rest of us. Peacefully staring at the ceiling, all of the things we obtained here in this life meaningless to the clawing void of necropolis, a labyrinth for the dead.

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