When I Consider How My Jordan Year Was Spent
A year ago this time, I was on sitting on a train, heading to Rutgers New Brunswick to take a Milton final exam, a class I had failed twice at Morehouse. I moved back home to New Jersey to help my mother take care of my Grandparents. I didn’t have any major birthday plans, I never do – I hate planning stuff for myself. But I also reflect on my birthday: what I’ve done, where I’m supposed to be, and what I want out of life. I sat on the NJ Transit with Kendrick Lamar’s Michael Jordan blasting from my headphones, I began to map out my Jordan year.
I didn’t know exactly why the term Jordan year was so important to me. I’m not a diehard basketball fan; I’ve never owned a pair of Jordan’s. I guess you can say I grew up in the Jordan era, however, I’ve probably seen Space Jam more times than any Bulls game growing up. Either way, I had it set in my mind that at age 23, I was going to pull a Game 6.
My first thought was I need to get back to Atlanta. I hate being in New Jersey. I literally caught the train to Brooklyn at least 3 times a week. I was freelance writing for a few blogs and e-commerce sites based in NY to make money. I spent most of my time with my friend’s in Brooklyn and around NY, like I didn’t graduate High School in Jersey and have a ton of friends there. But ultimately, I wanted to get back to Atlanta. I did. In January I drove from Jersey to Atlanta by myself. I needed to finally finish school and dive back into the Atlanta art culture I missed in Jersey. I didn’t have a place – I stayed with a long lost aunt I had never met before in Fayetteville GA. Fayetteville is about an hour outside of Atlanta. I made the drive from Fayetteville to Atlanta everyday for 5 months. Some nights I didn’t drive back to Fayetteville. I slept on a friend’s couch if I had an early class or interview the next morning. Some nights I slept in my car half way to Fayetteville if it was too late and I was tired. Some days I just didn’t have the gas money.
I’m not going to review my entire year. But I think it’s safe to say that 23 wasn’t my game 6. I went on a minimum of 25 job interviews from January to now, getting turned down from nearly all of them. I got a job as a writer for a company that I will not mention because I still work there. However, It’s one of the worst jobs I’ve ever had in my life. I’ve been completely broke this entire year – spending the little money I make on creative and business ideas that have failed or blown up in my face. I’ve been disconnected from my entire family this year. I’ve never been super close to them, but my mother and I have always been close. My mother and I barely speak like we use to. I disappointed her – it’s really easy to hear in her voice whenever we do speak. Anytime my father or grandmother calls me, it’s because they’re concerned I don’t know what I’m doing with my life and they want to lecture. So I’ve stopped picking up the phone. I found a place to live in Atlanta after being nicely kicked out of my aunt’s house in Fayetteville.
Starting Beau Atlanta has been the only success of my year. It’s the only thing I feel like has worked out this year. Everything else has pretty much been a failure. I failed at making my parents proud. I failed at a lot of ideas. I failed at landing my dream job (I had the chance to work for Elliott Wilson and blew it). I lost some important people in my life. I even considered committing suicide and failed at that. But before I wallow in self-pity, I think about the concept of the Jordan Year. It meant more to me than just the number on Michael Jordan’s jersey. I wanted to achieve some level of greatness this year. I wanted a game 6. But I didn’t think about the fact that I hadn’t played games 1-5 yet. Jordan greatness came because of his hard work and persistence.
When I look back on this year, I’ve gotten up after every failure, every setback, and every downfall. I could’ve moved back home, stayed with my mom, got a job in an office or something, and been stable. But I decided to stay down here and chase my “dreams,” as cliché as that may sound. I’m not one for “new year, new me” statements or New Year resolutions. But I can honestly say I’ve never been more persistent than I was this year. I could’ve given up a million times this year, like I have in the past. I’m nowhere near where I wanted to be at this point in my life. I thought my Jordan year meant I was destined to win. But Jordan broke his foot his sophomore year in the league. Jordan entered the league in 1984 and didn’t win a championship until 1991. Jordan lost to the Pistons 3 times in a row before beating them. (I googled all of this information.) It may not have been meant for me to have a game 6 this year. But if I was meant to work as hard as Jordan for something I want this year, then I succeeded.