Team, I’ve finally done it. I’ve finally written and published my book!
Please stay tuned in 2017 as I build the marketing plan for the book and its amazing resources. Until then, and in celebration of the holidays enjoy a 25% discount by using the coupon code –HOLIDAZE. Coupon code will be in effect until 1/1/2017
I’m make today quick and easy. www.PaladinJordan.com is on its way yo!!!! (try it if you want to. Its just gonna direct you right back here for now, LoL)
I’ve gotten the pictures back from my recent photoshoot. Man, I don’t even know who this dude in these pictures is! WHO IS THIS GUY!? If y’all ever even knew how much I’ve loathed taking pictures forever.
He ain’t me. Ot at least he wasn’t, had you asked me….. definitely two years ago. (In my head, I’ve been on a journey to confidence for the past two years) Again, y’all thought I was playin when I was tryna give you some tips for your photoshoots. Y’all better check my post out! 7 Tips to Knockout Your 1st Photoshoot. Get into my Squinch!!! Get into my Smize!!! Get into my chin-work!
No bur seriously… This wouldn’t have been possible just a handful of years ago. It didn’t even seem possible three months ago. As some of y’all have seen. I didn’t even have a suit… not even a week ago. I was chillin so hard in my comfort zone. Which was not putting myself out there. Eventually I’ll load these pictures into my website skeleton, and I guess now I have a GREAT picture for my barren LinkedIn and business cards.
Can I keep it real with y’all though? I’ve battled self-confidence issues forever. Not really with how I looked. I mean I’ve been fine with how I’ve looked prettyyyyy much forever. I mean we all have our days. But photogenically, especially in high school and college. I hated pictures. I just never felt like what was in the camera was what I thought I saw in the mirror. I would critique everything about myself. I wouldn’t have fun. I couldn’t let myself let loose. It has at times seeped into how I’ve felt about myself. How I present myself in public. The heir of confidence I’m able to permeate from my skin whenever I walk into a new room.
Typing this, it sounds arrogant. But if y’all knew the journey that I’ve been through you would know it didn’t come from that source. I’m so happy to be able to experience myself grow. Throughout life I don’t think I would ever have said that I didn’t love myself. But can I tell you how happy I am to see in my face, and in my presentation from these pictures just how much I’m learning TO love myself more and more each day.
I don’t really have anything profound to say. I’m just happy right now. Happy that I worked with my boy Nate. Happy that I’m investing in myself. Happy to see how even through the mistakes the investments always pay off.
Actually, I take that back. Aiming to be profound… what is it that you’ve been scared to do, that you know if you DID do it, it would not only make you proud of yourself, but also move you in step(s) closer to reaching your dreams? I know this is just a photoshoot to some. But its such great documentation of the growth I’m pushing for in my life.
I love y’all all.
If you’re in NYC/NJ and you want some pictures taken I def have to recommend my bro Nathaniel Brown from NKTBrown Photography. He hooked it ALL the way up. Check him out and show him some love. He’s good at what he does. Tell him Paladin sent you! http://photography.nktbrown.com/And again. I already told y’all the secret to great pictures with him.
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I don’t even know what to say about this here. Most firstly… I would like to say… that I never ever talk about my gay life. Not because I’m shy or like closeted. Because I don’t consider myself to be. I mean people know… The reason I never talk about my gay life is because there’s not shit going on in it to talk about. My gay life is the complete anti-thesis to my professional/academic lives. Or the sides most frequently shown here.
I wouldn’t even know where to start in breaking down how things have been for me in my years here in life. For me, at least currently it makes sense to start with simple questions and to develop the clearest picture for you, and really more for myself by speaking to you this way.
What is it like to be gay?
Hell I don’t even know really. Some times I feel like I’ve had a very unique experience. Other times I feel like my experience is indicative of culture in which I operate. While I don’t want to fall into the trap of generalizing and compartmentalizing the members of this culture. I will say that personally, I feel as though I participate in some variation of urban black gay culture. I have very few if any ties or connections to the larger mainstream gay culture shared across the country.
I don’t know how to break that descriptor down cleanly in a way that would make sense to you or I. However, I would have to say urban black gay culture is a multi-faceted collective of experiences that in some way shape or form bind me and my black/diaspora gay brothers across the globe.. It encompasses individuals from all regions of the black queer and lgbt community. As a member of the black-gay community, I find that still even to this day, I’m finding myself in new and different experiences that can sometimes make me uncomfortable, or really show my natural prejudice to my predefined norms and comfort zones.
Its taken me many years of reflection and development to understand how my sexuality intersects with the other facets of my personhood that make up the whole of who I am. Until recently, I’ve felt like my sexuality was working in opposition to everything else going on in my life. While the opposition itself had been difficult to comprehend, I would say the more difficult chore has been getting to a place where I can recognize this incongruence, yet still find the love and esteem within myself to still work to create the world I want for myself.
My sexuality had become something that I operated around. It was an obstacle that I detoured around for years, not understanding why there seemed to be so many inherent differences and misappropriations between my black and male self, and my gay self. I was talking to an associate the other day, explaining this story for one of the first times. Early into my monologue he interrupted and said – “What do you mean you have a black self and a gay self? Shouldn’t they be one in the same?”
To which I responded – For me not really. I mean my gay self is full of… failure, most of the other pieces of myself are filled with success or confidence, or stability… Its take me a minute to accept this as a type of balance that I experience in my life.
He pushed back, “I learned to love myself a long time ago.”
I tried to hear him. I wasn’t quick enough to share it with him, but… its taken me a while to figure out how to really love myself. Sometimes I feel like people aren’t really trying to hear that. As though they’ve fully loved themselves from day one. Its been a journey for me. I still struggle with the idea that I have reached my adulthood and still failed to harmoniously integrate my gay identity as fully with my other parts of being.
I’ve struggled honestly since SkoolHaze’s inception to think about how my sexuality would play in the contents of this record. I look forward to seeing how this extension will serve this space.