Personal Life Lyrics: The Black Parade

I hinted the idea of My Chemical Romance as I threw shade to that poor student with the previous post.

This time around, I feel it necessary to converse with you the lateral ideology that comes with being genuine then and now.

Yet again, substitute teaching rears my experience in how I am perceived as a teacher in the classroom among not only students but other members of faculty and staff.

When I was a young boy
My father took me into the city
To see a marching band
He said, “Son, when you grow up
Would you be the savior of the broken
The beaten and the damned?

“Why…when he was a young warthog” sings Timon to Pumba from the iconic Disney classic The Lion King and it should come as no surprise for me that this year, 1994; would be the defining year that my father and I would develop a startling passion for music. You see, my father is a music collector of sorts. In terms of a better analogy for our relationship (compared to Simba and Mufasa), he was (and still is) the order and I am the structure. As the story goes, Simba was a stubborn, prideful prince that disobeyed the order from his father to not venture from Pride Rock. Sure enough, he had to be saved by his father from the hyenas because of his pride, but in my case it wasn’t pride that always got me in trouble in my ventures, it was my curiosity (because curiosity killed the cat, or in this case my backside). I’ve learned (and he has as well) that my inquisitive nature has made me one hell of a generalist.

He said, “Will you defeat them
Your demons, and all the non-believers
The plans that they have made?”
“Because one day I’ll leave you
A phantom to lead you in the summer
To join the black parade.”

Inquisitiveness isn’t without some other emotional risks as well.

Enter 1999.

In the case of my teenage beginnings, my shyness and insecurities came from being the outcast (as I’m reminded of the song from Outkast – 13th Floor Growing Old*) in a new setting, away from the Pride Rock and into the land of hyenas. There is another word of generalist that was shunned upon.

Nerd

The protection that my preadolescence years gave me was done. My greatest enemy? The scars of new territory. Unfamiliarity was (almost) everywhere. I recall the first time I went to elementary school. I cried so hard and ran, looking for my dad. I didn’t want him to leave me in this unfamiliar place!

This moment was instilled in me during my first day in middle school.

Sometimes I get the feeling she’s watching over me
And other times I feel like I should go
And through it all, the rise and fall, the bodies in the streets
And when you’re gone, we want you all to know
We’ll carry on
We’ll carry on
And though you’re dead and gone believe me
Your memory will carry on
We’ll carry on
And carry on I did. Middle school was a wake-up call into the life of imitation and assimilation. I slowly changed the way I wore my clothes, my grades, although they were okay, weren’t like they used to be. I recall my 5th grade math teacher and her infamous influence, watching over my academic performance as it rose and fell. *Even though I wasn’t in that class anymore, her belittling attitude towards me lingered. This carried on in high school too.
And in my heart I can’t contain it
The anthem won’t explain it
The fact that I was learning an old skill in a new setting:
Adaption
A world that sends you reeling from decimated dreams
Your misery and hate will kill us all
So paint it black and take it back
Let’s shout it loud and clear
Defiant to the end we hear the call
To carry on
We’ll carry on
And though you’re dead and gone believe me
Your memory will carry on
We’ll carry on

 

High school in 2002 was quite interesting. The combo of adaptive nerd carries on for me, as 9th grade saw new beginnings with both old and new faces, and they had their own misery and hate to deal with, as I did in middle school. Both middle and high school presented an environment that I rarely had to deal with in elementary: The majority of these schools had Black students, like me! I was used to diversity. The mixing of ethnicity and cultures into the pigment of the neutral, not just the totality of neutrality in general! Regardless, I carried on.

10th, 11th, and 12th grade to go…

And though you’re broken and defeated
Your weary widow marches

And I march on, ready to leave high school.

Glad that was over.

On and on we carry through the fears
Oh, oh, oh
Disappointed faces of your peers
Oh, oh, oh
Take a look at me cause I could not care at all

And oh, I was so glad too. I was ready to embrace change that I’d enjoy:

Seeing how much my peers would change and I’d try to remain the same. But the ship made piece by piece from the same pieces over time never can be the same.

Can it?

Do or die, you’ll never make me
Because the world will never take my heart
Go and try, you’ll never break me
We want it all, we wanna play this part
I won’t explain or say I’m sorry
I’m unashamed, I’m gonna show my scars
Give a cheer for all the broken
Listen here, because it’s who we are
I’m just a man, I’m not a hero
Just a boy, who had to sing this song
I’m just a man, I’m not a hero
I don’t care

Throughout the years, I’ve learned to embrace my genuineness in all its glory. Case in point:

How this experience reaches the classroom, the staff, and members of faculty.

I’ve learned from my father the power of pride (the order of my father) and the subtlety of humidity (the introverted nature of my shyness made virtuous). I show myself unashamed, with the scars from the past into the school setting.

All of me.

I really learned to not care throughout the years what others think of you; that you are shaped by your scars. You’ll have hyenas ready to eat you, to take advantage of you when you are from a distance land, but remember:

To thy own self be true – Hamlet from Shakespeare

We’ll carry on
We’ll carry on
And though you’re dead and gone believe me
Your memory will carry on
We’ll carry on
And though you’re broken and defeated
Your weary widow marches
Do or die, you’ll never make me
Because the world will never take my heart
Go and try, you’ll never break me
We want it all, we wanna play this part
(We’ll carry on!)
Do or die, you’ll never make me
Because the world will never take my heart
Go and try, you’ll never break me
We want it all, we wanna play this part
(We’ll carry on!)
The greatest attribute that defines anyone is their ability to stand out above the rest. This is what I do whenever I am in any setting. This song, its lyrics, mean something to me as a testament of my time trying to define myself. You will always do so. You are a masterpiece of art; a symbol of royalty that has been though tragedy but also triumph as well. I present that to all.
Embrace your qualities.
Be genuine.
*RIP Mrs. Sharpe
Website:
*Here is the link for Outkast

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