Howdy, and welcome to my blog! My name is Tristan, and I want to start by saying thank you, thank you for embarking on this journey with me. My sincerest wish is that you, through the lens of my lived experience, will find nuggets of wisdom, and gems of knowledge to go on and share with others.
Now to introduce myself, you should know I am from Texas. I was born and raised in and around the city of Houston. I love my city and my state, so much so that I’ll often tell people that I’m a Texan before I’m an American (kidding… I think). As of right now, I work for a mechanical contractor in the commercial HVAC industry. Construction has treated me well since I entered the industry after high school. Recently, after moving companies I have begun my work in developing organizations, and leaders. I am also a full-time college student, hoping to attain my undergraduate degree within the next two years or so.
That’s my life as of now, however, as of not too long ago, I was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. For those who aren’t too familiar with this organization, they are the ones out in public with the literature carts, or you might find them knocking on your door at ridiculous hours of the morning. Having been raised in that environment, and later leaving has shaped my worldview in many ways. Growing up I lived with my mother and stepfather and visited my dad on the weekends. I was a child of divorce, which is never fun, but my father was also an ex-member of the organization, so this only complicated our relationship. Due to the vast difference in environments growing up, I felt a dichotomy of self and belief from a very young age.
This leads right into my main point. “Why this blog? What are you trying to accomplish by sharing your story?” To answer these questions, I want to share a story with you. This story is one of the first times I remember writing, like really writing. It also reminds me of how far I have come in my ability to think critically, and freely. It goes as follows:
I was still a child, maybe eight or nine years old. I sat on my bed at my mother’s home, writing on the yellow college-ruled notebook I had had for a few years. I remember my mind racing, my pencil moving along the pages in quick spurts. I remember pausing to read my work, then, dissatisfied I would erase and start again. You see, this was my first dance with subjectivity, with exploring concepts I knew nothing about. I marked the pages with words like “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” and “freedom.” Freedom, both of choice and of thought. For what felt like hours, I produced maybe two pages worth of writing. Overjoyed, I ran out of my room, down the hallway to the kitchen and grabbed the home phone. As I raced back to my room, without shutting my door I called my father, excited to tell him my thoughts because he needed to hear this. As we spoke, my body tossed and turned on my bed trying to find a comfortable position. Once I finished reading, my dad asked me questions like “What if,” “Why do,” “How…” My young mind struggled to offer insightful answers and to keep up with his questions. I pieced my answers together from books, movies, and previous conversations with my dad. You see, these were the kinds of interactions that lit me up inside, and my dad and I had them often. I would be remiss if I did not pause and say that the man I am today is very much a result of my father’s willingness to allow me to think freely and his patience and effort in creating a safe environment for me to explore new thought. Even as I write this now, I smile thinking about the beauty in the struggle to understand a concept.
After my father and I spoke, I hung up and walked out of my room towards the kitchen to return the phone. Soon after this conversation with my father, I was sat down by my mother and stepfather. The resulting conversation, although carried out with good intentions, was a reminder that thoughts like what I had were not welcome. Subjectivity did not exist in that home, there was only what God said, and what the organization directed us to do. With concern painted across their faces I was told that the ideas floating around in my young brain were of little importance in comparison to my ministry. Since I was young, I knew better than to talk back. I nodded my head in feigned agreement as they spoke, eventually going back to my room feeling sad and dejected. To add context, this was not the first or the last time a conversation like this would be had with me. Thankfully, like most children I was stubborn, and my being discouraged in the pursuit of truth never lasted long. But, still living with my mother I grew up carrying out my duty as a Christian as best I could. Yet, no matter what I tried, something felt off. The child inside of me, the one yearning to taste, see, touch, and feel all that life had to offer was fighting for a way out. I’d like to believe that the child inside of me has finally escaped, and he writes to you today.
This blog was created for those who are dedicated to progress. To anyone who is on the path towards knowledge, chasing what it means to be better, this is for you. I hope that we can build a community of people whose passions propel them forward every day. I want to encourage free and critical thinking. For those whose childlike wonder is still very much alive, even as adults, you are why I write these words. I want to help light the fire inside of you and provide a safe space away from the fire hoses of doubt and intimidation that run rampant in our world. Through my lived experience I hope we can see the gray all around us. Because, when we see the gray, the subjective and ever-changing truth that surrounds us, we grow in compassion, empathy, and curiosity. I believe that these qualities are extremely vital to our success, individually and as a society.
So, my friends, with each post, my wish is that you are left rejuvenated and ready to continue towards a better you. I hope you find value in each post, whether that comes as a new idea, a different perspective, or simply an enjoyable read. Know that I do not claim to know the truth, only mine. I cannot tell anyone what is right for them, but my purpose here is to help guide them towards the things that make them feel alive. I’d like to conclude by sending my love. I hope you enjoy the material that’s on its way and continue making a conscious choice to be better than the day before.
See you soon.