EPISODE 5 – THE NON-PROFIT QUESTION

In our fifth episode, Ed and I discuss another tabling session for Who Is Your Neighborhood at Los Angeles City College’s Resource Fair; we also consider the possibility of a non-profit status for our organization and other ways to grow with our work for the community. Plus, some BONUS audio on staying focused.

J.T.

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5 NOs to Remember with Your Fam this Summer

JMBTMS_SALV_1110
J.T.’s Great Tio on Grandpa’s side; San Jose Guayabal, El Salvador, 2018

1. No, They’re Not (Always) Trying to Make Life More Miserable. Think about it this way: with everything going on at school before summer break, it’s likely that you didn’t quite have a plan about how to get through summer break. The same is true for many parents and/or siblings. So all of a sudden, you’re all ‘cooped up’ at home again, and there will be challenges. Sooner or later, someone’s emotions are gonna get high, and then, let’s be honest: someone’s gonna make a mistake. Trips will get canceled. Stuff will get lost, and other things will go wrong, too. But it won’t be just because your family’s (always) out to make life more difficult for you. It’ll be ’cause all the ‘free’ time during summer in Los Angeles can be a burden for a lot of us to get through without fail. Accept it!

2. No, They’re Not the Worst Family in the World. Let’s face it: even if you know it’s not all their fault, there will still be times during summer when it’ll feel like your family just doesn’t get you. And since you’ll still have to live with them even though you’re from two different planets, it’s gonna feel like you’re just stuck with them. But here’s a secret: the differences you have with your family, if you can see them for more than just what makes you opposed to them, can be the things where you learn the most from. Even more than what you learn at school! But it sure doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to settle the differences with your counterparts.

3. No, They Can’t Just Leave You Alone Every time You Want. Here’s a fact: your privacy is a key part of what makes you the unique person that you are. But now here’s another fact: when you live with others, there are going to be times when your privacy will simply not be possible. You’re going to have to learn how to share. I remember when mom would cook lunch for my brother and I, and how I’d be so selfish. I wanted the table all to myself. Or, if I had to share, I wanted the best seat. Little did I know then that getting just my way every time I wanted it would simply make life less interesting. Eventually, I’d not only get better at sharing the table with my brother thanks to learning with him, but I’d also get better at sharing with others in general. And now I love sitting down to eat with my bro whenever we get the chance. (Love you W!)

4. No, They Don’t Just Want to Take All Your Stuff to Leave You with Nothing. Now here’s one that makes enough sense, but which is hard to remember: sometimes you lose things to find other things that you need. Wanna know how I know? Occasionally, when not heeding guidance like the one in this post, I’d get the Xbox taken away for misbehaving, or I’d lose all my TV privileges. At first, I had no idea what I’d do without my electronics. But then, I got creative. And eventually, I got to writing. This would one day turn into JIMBO TIMES: The L.A. Storyteller. Now, you and I both know we can’t get enough of this blog!

5. No, Things Won’t Always be This Way. Although you might not believe it, the fact is that you will not have your family right next to you all the time. Slowly but surely, you will meet other people, and you will find other things to do besides being with them every day of the season. Then, one sunny morning day, you’ll not only be able to find your own way, but you’ll have to.

This brings up one key question for me to ask all the Youngs out there. If you could find the best possible scenario for you to ‘leave’ your family with before setting out on your own life, what would that scenario look like? What would you want for your ma’ or your pa’? And/or what would you want to ‘give’ to your siblings before you could no longer ‘give’ them anything else? If you’re up for the challenge, answer these questions with no less than 300 words, then send it over to yours truly for review. If you think you can do it, then GO! The future is counting on you!

J.T.

^.^

In just over two weeks, JIMBO TIMES will complete its first year around the world.

I know, I know:

What a baby! But what a year it’s been, too.

A year with J.T. also marks a year since I got off the graduation bus to make my way into adult-land; like the page views for my website, adult-land has been a steady mixture of rising and falling through a world that goes with or without the contributions we make to its winds.

Adult-land has also been like a fresh plate of debts and demands to dig into, served to yours truly with a slight sense of freedom: the freedom to either reject or embrace the cold plate in front of me.

Ultimately, I’ve made the choice to embrace the plate, as I embraced the city of L.A. when I returned to traffic under its palm trees from the easy-going bike lanes of Davis, but make no mistake about it: it’s not been an easy thing to do.

One moment, being an adult seems like its the greatest stream of consciousness I’ve ever known, where its offerings make me feel like I can climb mountains or hop on a plane to leave America without a worry in the world. The next moment, I take a look at my bank account, and I freeze: consciousness turns into a whirlpool, and I’m pulled into a cold world of uncertainty over what the future holds.

Then in just as much of a flash, the whirlpool unwinds and it turns out my concerns are just pebbles skipping through a lonely pond. Adult-land is a sequence of variable environments to wade through like this, each containing myriads of different characteristics to adapt to, but all — like the debts and demands — asking only one thing of me: to make peace with how much I can control, and let go of what I can’t, or not.

Or as Mr. Moltez, my ole middle school principal, once put it, to “make it a great day or not, [because] the choice is [mine].”

With JIMBO TIMES, I’ve chosen not only to make it a great day in adult-land, but to make it an ambitious one as well — which more than anything — has led me to participate in the world with other ambitious minds. First with The Plus Me Project, then with the Beautiful Gate, later with VONA, and now with the InsideOUT Writers.

All of the people at these organizations have opened up their hearts to J.T., and in doing so, they’ve helped yours truly to beat back the debts and demands of adult-land with a true cast of allies, teammates, and supporters alongside me.

They’ve also led me to meet a wealth of other new people in my life, through which I’ve learned and relearned how regardless of where we hail from, we’re all fighting our own battles in a world that’s never short of them. I’m thankful for this gift, and hopeful that J.T. has only so much more growing to do with its contents in the days ahead.

Of course, I’d be a jerk to recognize my supporters without counting my friends and ‘fans’ from the days before The L.A. Storyteller, and those friends from the days in between all the different ‘work’ with the organizations named above. Then again, these people never read my stuff, or if they do, they never comment on it, so forget them! J.T.’s good without them.

But really, I couldn’t do it without each and every single subscriber, so to those three friends reading this: please don’t unsubscribe! It’s taken a year to reach over 600 people with my posts, and I’m not going to start moving backwards now! However, if you do unsubscribe, well, don’t bother resubscribing! I’ll know who you are, and I’ll name posts after you! Ahem.

Anyway, it’s been fun reflecting, but now I have to prepare to meet with another ambitious mind in The City. I’ll be back with more on Quartz soon, but in the meantime:

Make it a great day everyone! Or not.

The choice is yours.

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