My name is Knew.
Herstun asked me here to meet you.
And to share my th🤔ughts.
This season of my life has been a powerful mirror for me.
It’s helped me confront the reality that I’ve been dealing with various forms of anxiety, depression, and emotional trauma for most of my life.
I’m right in the middle of planning a wedding, advancing in my career as a school counselor, balancing significant relationships, grieving the loss of important people in my life, and doing this all as a human who happens to also be a Black man.
I feel all sorts of ways that I would have previously been unable or unwilling to fully acknowledge or express and — at times — still am.
I struggle with anxiety and depression.
From choking in clutch moments on the field, dealing with death, and struggling through my religious beliefs, to academic under-performance, mistreating the women in my life, and completely checking out in the times people depended on me most —
I now see that my inability to acknowledge and express fears, guilt, and shame, basically my inability to be vulnerable, has made my life far more challenging than I was aware.
There’s been a pattern that becomes more clear each time I look back on my past with new lenses.
How different would my life have been if I acknowledged this and asked for help sooner? 🤔
I do feel guilty.
I committed offenses.
Which is different from shame.
Shame is the fear of disconnection.
And, honestly —
Sometimes I feel shame too.
Whether intentional or not —
My actions (and inaction) have caused a lot of people pain.
Knowing this also makes me feel sad and powerless.
I’m deeply sorry, and while I don’t know the best way to repair the damage I’ve caused or if it’s even possible.
I do believe acknowledging the problem is the first and most challenging step.
I’m thankful that I’ve had people to support me and help me get back up when I fall.
The greatest of these include my parents, life partner, close friends and family, mentors, and fictive kin.
I’m thankful that even during moments when I feel lonely, I have never been completely alone.
I’m thankful that there have been people in my life who have modeled how to accept imperfections by accepting and embracing the best and worst parts of me.
I’m thankful that I’ve had people to practice love for me even when I wasn’t able to practice love myself.
Ultimately, I’m thankful to have reached these realizations at 31.
I mean, imagine if this hadn’t hit me til’… 32! 😉
My name is Knew.
And I can’t wait to grow with you.
Welcome to my th🤔ughts.
Credits & Wildenotes
Written by Knew. Edited by Herstun.
I have been trying to do work with Knew for the better part of five years. I have witnessed a lot of growth in him from a distance as an academic and a man. All while experiencing my own growth as a mother and writer.
Knew went to high school with me and in hindsight, it is easy to identify the similar cages we placed ourselves in with shame aka fear of not connecting being the main culprits.
It is a testament to his strength that his first piece is a lesson on vulnerability. This site has been a huge lesson on vulnerability for me. But I also subscribe to the Brené Brown brand of research. In order to achieve greatness, which is a true connection to those I love and life that can serve as a model fo
r my daughter, I must be willing to be open.
In order to live the life God has for me, I must be willing to be afraid. Embracing that fear is what makes me feel alive.
I can’t wait to grow with join and just hear more of his thoughts. They push me to think more and consequently be thankful for more. Knew fell right in line with the rest of Herstun this week focusing on the nuisances of love. Should it be focused outwardly or not? Knew answered that question with his featured quote.
In his experience, in order to love others, he HAD to learn to love of self. What is your experience telling you about love? Let him know in the comments.
Stay tuned to Herstun FM Readio. Knew will be back consistently. In the meantime, check out his new brand, Think DIF. I hope that we will hear more from #ThinkDif soon!
Our Story — #ThinkDIF
The American garden sprouted from the seeds of innovation. For a large number of people, life has been pretty simple. The steps for success (i.e. setting a goal and achieving it) have been pretty obvious and reliable. As long as people followed the steps, they were guaranteed life, liberty, and opportunity. What a revolutionary idea! Today, it seems that this experience is becoming less true for more people. The process of moving from all men to all people having equally inalienable rights has too often been filled with pain and peril. We have to think differently. As more diverse crops are included and the complexityof our garden increases, we must work to ensure that every seed we plant has fair and equitableopportunities to grow and thrive if the goal is to sustain our garden!
Our ultimate message is simply this: Equitable Sustainability in a Complex world. If any of this resonates with you, click here to learn more.