CHAPTER 4: The Times They Are A-Changing
Entry #33: "Worth It"
Today I completed 100 DAYS OF SWEAT. What beautiful feeling it is to stand here with the experience that i’ve had for the last 100 days. As you all know, this is my 2nd time doing this challenge and it was far more peaceful and comforting than the last time. I’m not trying to disregard the last 2 months with my struggling health problems, but my saving grace every day was some sort of workout. Every time I workout, it makes my soul feel so much better than the pain these illnesses bring out of me. This challenge pushes you far beyond fitness. You have to set your mind to it and install the idea that there is something more beyond the workouts that you are doing. Sure, you get stronger. But honestly, you get more mentally intact with your wants, your needs, and your feelings. You wake up and no matter how you may feel, you look yourself in the mirror and want to go out and finish that 5k or lift those weights. You learn to love yourself and begin to love the idea of a better version of yourself, physically and mentally. This challenge and this experience will always be something I look back on with so much love and admiration. With my illness, most people in my situation wouldn’t want to even try to do this daily, or even push it harder and do it twice a day. As someone who is a ticking time bomb with my illness, I want to tell you, YOU CONTROL your mind. You may not be able to control your body, but, you can do whatever you set your mind out to do. Trust me, I know it is hard, but challenges like this are worth completing because when the harder days come along, you can look back and say, look, I did that, so I can face these injections, or this surgery, or this remission, or even the idea of going blind. You set your mind to it, and you can fulfill whatever you desire. It's easy to say all this, but doing it, is on a whole other level. I feel so much pride within my heart and words will never be enough to describe this challenge and how it will always be one of the best experiences of my life. Thank you, Yes Theory, for this beautiful challenge that will forever be with me. I love those guys and what they stand for. I hope to continue using their train of thought and pushing myself to do things out of my comfort zone. It is so worth it, I hope more people begin to see that as well. I look forward to the next time I step into the 100 days of sweat realm. Because we all know I want a round 3. I did it twice now, I have to complete the trilogy, lol. I did it though! I completed this challenge. I will forever be proud of that. Let’s continue to seek discomfort and head down the road to find the rainbow connection. Onto the next.
Photographer: RL BAZA
What I'm Wearing: Nike
CHAPTER 4: The Times They Are A-Changing
Entry #32: "Overboard"
Life is hard to deal with. It can rock one moment, and the next moment feels like rock bottom. I think that's why I invested so much self-care into myself when quarantine started. I didn't want to bring myself down after leaving such a high plot point in my story in New York. As much grief as I feel for myself on some days, like I did on Friday and Saturday, I have to remind myself I have already come so far. I have done things I didn't think was going to be possible after getting diagnosed with Glaucoma. I am not the boy that had to use dark glasses all the time, I am not the boy who needed the walking stick. I have evolved away from who he was. Now that I have stepped into this evolution, how does this evolved version of myself deal with the problems that have been lingering for too long? I honestly don't know. All I know is, I am a fighter. As scary as these uncertain moments, from my health to the state of the world, I have no choice but to fight. Just because my body feels like it is ready to start giving in, and giving up, doesn't mean I am ready for it to make that decision for me. I may not be able to control how my body feels, but I can control how I feel. I don't feel like surrendering yet, I still have a lot of fight left in me. I just hope it can clear soon so I can feel like my head is above water because even a fighter gets tired of drowning and struggling to rise above water for a breath of air.
Photographer: RL BAZA
What I'm Wearing: Sweater - American Eagle, Pants - Uniqlo, Beanie - Adam Levine
CHAPTER 4: The Times They Are A-Changing
Entry #31: "Best That I Can"
I'm writing in here earlier than I intended to, I feel like I needed to. I needed to write about what is going on. A lot is going on in the world still. Being away from social media has me more in tune than most of the shit-talking that I'm used to seeing online. Lately, I haven't been feeling well. I'm trying the best that I can, to get a grip of my body back. I got tested for COVID-19 yesterday. I was given the test 3x and they came out negative. Regardless of the result, I hate that some people don't believe that the virus is not going around anymore, because it very much so is. Getting the test and seeing it first hand, it honestly shook me. I am genuinely scared because of what I saw. For the last 2 months, I have had this ongoing and difficult sinus infection. That sinus infection has lead me to 2 ear infections that I have had for the last 3 weeks. The hospitals are very strict, I was not able to go in and physically see a doctor unless I got the COVID test. I am considered "high risk" because of the severity of my Glaucoma. The infections have become too much for my body to handle, so I had to be seen. When I get sick, any kind of sick, from the flu to an infection, I get hit 10x harder because of my Glaucoma. I've been living off of Glaucoma meds for 6 years now, mixing that with meds for other health problems, is hard for my body to deal with. It's been harder to deal with this kind of problem during COVID because all the doctors I have dealt with for the last few weeks have just been playing a guessing game. They weren't able to look into my body and physically see what is going on, so they have been guessing. None of the meds have helped, nothing helped until I was seen by a doctor after testing negative for COVID. Going to the hospital during these pandemics is one of the weirdest out of body experiences I have ever had. It felt like a movie. Getting tested for COVID is very simple, but painful. It feels like they do a deep cleanse into your brain. You have to stay in the car and they give you their own medical mask to use. When I got there, there was a line of other people waiting to get tested. They have a scheduled time for you to get tested. These people looked sick. By sick, I mean, SICK. I may not be feeling well with my infections, but these people genuinely looked sick. It is a crying shame that they limit the number of tests given daily. It goes to show that these poor hospitals are not given enough tests and funds, because the funding is going elsewhere to people who don't need all that money, ahem, cough cough, police... When the clinic told me I had to get tested, they had to squeeze me in because there is simply not enough tests to give out daily. Furthermore, I only saw 4 nurses at the felicity. There was not enough staff to give out the test to that growing line of people. I can't stress this enough, seeing it on tv is one thing, physically going there and experiencing it first hand, that's another thing. I will not be surprised to see the country spike in cases. Not from protesting for BLM, but from lack of testing, the reckless and irresponsible re-opening of America, no firm plan on how to handle Corona, and the stupidity of the American citizens. If you are not out there protesting for the greater good, if you're not an essential worker, or out for essential needs, you have no business being outside. This is some serious shit. As I looked back at the cars around me, these people looked scared and weak. I hope that they didn't get bad news, I hope that whatever it is, they stay indoors and get better. Corona is still here, and just because it is keeping quiet in certain places, I honestly do not think we are done with it. I hope that someone comes up with some sort of solution for testing and what is needed to get a firm grip on this pandemic we are going through, alongside the other pandemic. Sadly, this country is so far behind on so many things. From getting a grip on Corona to the systematic racism that has been running deep for far too long. Other than the crisis going on around me, I'm feeling okay. I still have my ear and sinus infections. I hope that they will clear soon. I just want my hearing back. I haven't been able to hear properly in weeks. I also haven't been able to sing at all since April. I just want to feel like myself again. I'm glad I finally got to physically see a doctor to guide me in the right direction. I just want control of my body back. That's why I workout, so I can try to fight off these things that try to take my body down. Sometimes that is not enough, and when it is not, I ask for help. I'm so thankful for our front line workers because after seeing it firsthand, this is not an easy task to deal with. I really hope more people begin to take this seriously because, by the time they do, it might be too late.
Photographer: RL BAZA
What I'm Wearing Shirt - Converse, Pants - Uniqlo
CHAPTER 4: The Times They Are A-Changing
Entry #30: "No Title"
I did not think we would start June so rough. We're not even actively "living", yet here we are, either given no choice than to protest or finding ways to speak out from home, so we stay safe from the other active murderer, CORONA. This will be the last time I write in here for a few weeks. I'm going to say what I need to say and then step away for a second. Because from the never-ending white supremacy to the idiots who don't believe we are in a pandemic, I am annoyed and pissed. Also, I am kind of sick. Don't worry I do not have COVID-19. I have a really bad sinus infection that has infected my whole face and I need to scale back on a lot right now so I don't end up getting worst.
First on my list of annoyances is leadership. I wrote this letter to Trump that I will include after this. I have not made it a secret that I am 100% fed up with the world's most unfit leader. He really got to me on Thursday evening when he posted about the looting and protesting in Minnesota. I never thought I would have to let out that frustration, but I did. Here Is what I wrote.
Dear, Donald Trump
I can no longer sit here and be annoyed by your insensitive racist remarks, your thoughts filled with stupidity, and your actions filled with violence. Instead, I have chosen to write you a letter that I know you will not care about. Plus, you probably can’t even read it. Still, I write this because I’m fed up, just like everyone else. For 4 years as a country, we have put up with your bigotry. For the last 4 months, we have watched as you have failed the United States with your handling of COVID-19. Today we stand at over 100,000 deaths and STILL not enough testing. So many lives have been lost, when this could’ve been prevented if you just listened to your more intelligent colleagues. You forced your hand and now this country that was not ready to be re-opened is re-opening. I hope you are ready for another round of mass deaths around the country because it is bound to happen real soon. Now, this so-called, “land of the free”, that YOU are in charge of, is literally on fire because of the actions that your WHITE followers have taken. They are following your lead. Your lead is NOT the lead anyone or anything should follow. You do not know what you are saying. You do not know what you are doing. All you have ever known is your WHITE privilege. Trump, as you know on Monday, George Floyd was murdered in front of our eyes by a member from one of your WHITE RACIST law enforcement teams. As the world knows, justice has NOT been served. Instead of doing what a leader should do, you now suggest violence amongst the citizens of the country that YOU run. Let me break down your tweet - Calling BLACK citizens “thugs” is first of all beyond insulting. But you wouldn’t know, because you’re white and anyone not white is a threat to you. You want to call out African Americans, THEN SAY THEIR NAME. While you’re at it, SAY THE NAMES of everyone else who was killed by racism in this country. Next up, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts”. THIS is not how a leader speaks. This is how a dictator with no moral ground speaks. Instead of taking the lead and getting justice for George Floyd and EVERY BLACK MAN AND WOMAN killed by racists, you threaten to kill the same race and everyone else who is out here beyond upset with your actions, Derek Chauvin’s actions, and the overall justice system. When your white citizens protest because they want the mall or gym open, or because all the poor Karen’s can’t get their hair done, you encourage them to riot. But when the black community marches, you consider that true violence. The true violence is you thinking that anyone not white is violent. You sit on your so-called moral high ground and laugh as everyone below you suffer. As a man, as a president, you have done nothing for your country. All you have done is further divide a country that was never made for freedom. The United States has never been free, it has been a place where men and women of other races come to, only to find out, if you’re not white, you get pushed to the back of the bus or worst. Still, we stay here because we believe we can make a change and put our mark on the country that we somehow believe can one day be truly free. These black men and women, and everyone else protesting, ARE NOT causing violence. Everyone is UPSET. Because no actions have been taken to improve this forever ongoing situation. You and your white racist followers couldn’t hear them march, so they had to choose other actions to be heard. No one blames them. They need to be seen to be heard. That’s the sad truth of it all. It shouldn’t have to be like this, but you forced their hand. There are so many lives being lost right now, and sadly, you don’t care. You don’t care for anyone but yourself. I, along with every other citizen that believes in JUSTICE for the INJUSTICE, are going to vote you out in November. You are unprofessional and unfit to be a leader of any country. You do not deserve to be called, “Mr. President”. Shame on you. Shame on the justice system within this country. Shame on everyone who thinks they are superior to blacks and anyone not white. One day soon, you will see what true leadership means. Since we can’t get that from you, we’ll step up and do it ourselves. While we are at it, we are going to work to dismantle racism and white supremacy in this country. When you said, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”, well Donald, you got that wrong. When the pursuing starts, the BOOTING starts. We’ll see you OUT the door real soon. Btw, the house you’re living in. Black people built that. Just FYI, since you probably never took a history class in your white privileged lifetime.
Roy Lucian Baza
That man does not deserve a full-blown letter from me or anyone of us, but let's face it he is driving us up the wall. He's driven me so far up that I had to leave twitter. Every time I see another one of his racist minions supporting his unthinkable actions, it makes me sick.
Another thing that makes me sick is people who do not speak up. This is not some bandwagon that everyone and myself, is jumping on. At least I hope it is not for other people. I would have done this, even if things did not escalate to where it needed to escalate. It is very annoying being a content creator, social influencer, and musical artist, seeing my fellow peers NOT speaking up. In the last 3 days, I've seen some, but not all. I've seen some take selfies in the mirror because they are excited to go enjoy the good weather with their mask on, I've seen some lounge in their yard drinking wine, I've seen some post thirst traps for the hell of it, and the list goes on. Within all of their life updates on social media, NONE of those updates included support for the black community. Not only is that upsetting, but it also makes it more unsettling that these people are in the POC grouping. We are not white and we are not black. Just because we aren't either one of them, doesn't mean we should not speak out to support the black community who has so far not received the support they have always deserved. The black community doesn't have the luxury to go out and feel safe with their mask on to enjoy the sunshine, they don't have the luxury to feel safe out on their yard drinking wine, they don't even have the luxury to post happy moments at the moment, because this is NOT a happy moment. This should not be a happy moment for anyone. This should not be a happy moment for you to go out and celebrate in the way you are celebrating. If you are not speaking up, YOU are APART of the PROBLEM. It goes to show that you have gotten so comfortable with keeping quiet and letting things fly under the radar. That or you're a closeted racist. Either one of those reasons is unacceptable. This is not the time to stay quiet. This is time to stand up and speak out for the black community. They have not been heard, and the white community doesn't listen. So we, as people of color, need to help them. As people of color, you out of everyone, have no right to sit here and keep quiet. Your vacation and your luxury can wait. Anyways, that shouldn't have been your top priority in the time of this pandemic. Our black brothers and sisters are dying because of the color of their skin. NOT because of how they are personally, but because of their race. How would you feel, if you or someone you loved was under the knee, dying from that racist officer? If you have an audience of 2 or more, YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE. If you're not saying anything, you are apart of the problem. Your silence is apart of the problem. God didn't give us a voice to stay quiet. Speaking out may be scary, but it's scarier to never speak out. I've seen people from the deaf and blind communities saying and doing more than some of you. That says a lot about who you are and the selfishness that you inhabit. You should be ashamed of yourself. You only speak up for what you support, and whatever that may be, is not as important as the black lives matter movement, and the movement to end overall white supremacy and racism.
Just because I am speaking out about this right now, doesn't mean I have never addressed it. I just have never addressed it in this way. Right now I am at my last nerve and I will tell it like it is. The white community has a lot of work to do. More work than anyone else. They need to understand their white privilege and learn the struggles of the black community and how they can help improve racism that runs deep amongst their ancestors, elders, and peers. The people of color community also has a lot of work to do. Just because you aren't black, doesn't mean you can sit back and act like you are not apart of this as well. Your skin is not white or black, but you have to understand what the black community has gone through and continues to go through here in the United States. Most of you people came here to be free. As I said in my letter to Trump, this is not the land of the free. It will not be until we sit and work together to carve out a pathway that is safe for our black brothers and sisters. We don't have a fit leader or leadership, so if you want to be here and truly make it the so-called "United States", you need to stand up and speak up and learn from the black community. Otherwise, all of us as people of color are going to end up learning the hard way. We will never be united until we take the time to learn the struggles, the pain, and the heartache, that can't be completely thought through a 100-page history book in school.
I'm leaving now so we can all go think on our own for a bit.
From protests, to COVID-19, to general well being
Please stay safe.
Be back soon.
Always with you,
Here is a list of petitions to sign, phone numbers, and donation links, that I have personally signed, texted, and donated to support the Black Lives Matter movement and justice for George Floyd.