It does get better.
Things got pretty crazy from December last year to March this year, and there were times that I felt I was actually crazy. Had everything that happened happened when I was a lot younger, I might have said fuck it and eaten a gun. Probably not but that would have been more likely back then, anyway.
I am pleased to report that I did not go wild in an ill-advised (but usually effective) attempt to get over things. What I did do is teach myself to appreciate things. Things like having my family back, having great opportunities to get better at what I do, having people to have drinks with and secretly cry (or not cry) at the movie theater with. Not being dead. That sort of thing.
I have also been spending a lot of time listening to hip hop. Not for me, though, the swagger of money, cars, clothes, hoes*. I guess I’m too old for that now and don’t really have those to begin with.
The songs that resonate with me now have old school MCs talking about how great they are not because they have guns and gangs but because of skill. Because they’ve done the work and because they got through whatever hassles came their way (including, but not limited to, suit-wearing and girlfriend-kidnapping drug dealers).
They can back it up, too. As LL Cool J goes on “I’m Bad”: Even when I’m bragging, I’m being sincere!
Consider, for example, this performance by Big Daddy Kane at the VH1 Hip Hop Honors in 2005.
He was nearing 40 at the time but could still rap AND do splits. That’s the kind of swagger I’m going for now.