Levels 

2007, in my mind, was not that long ago. 

Yet here we are, ten years later 

Many summers have gone by

And Many Christmases. 

Many lessons learned

Some more impactful than others
I drive back and forth

down the same roads

I did ten years ago

I still see the same old buildings 

The ones that were knocked down in the tornado 

That struck a year prior to me moving here  

I still pass by the prison like building

I once called a high school 
But still

I wonder if I’ve changed

Wonder if I am still that same teenage boy 

Who kept to himself 

The one who felt like he never quite fitted in
Truth is, 

It’s more complicated than a simple yes or no 

It’s true 

Back then, I didn’t fit in

And I still don’t. 

The difference between now and then is

Back then I used to try to fit in 

I tried to change who I was in order to fit with the crowd 

Now

I seek others like me

I seek others who have gone through what I’m going through 

I seek their wisdom 

I seek their knowledge 
Back then

I sought for acceptance 

Now I seek to lead 

I seek to teach 

I seek to inspire 
Like my father always had said

“There’s levels to this”

And to be honest

It took me a while to fully comprehend it

I get it now dad

I get it. 

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