Up until this point in the interviews for The People Series, I’d only interviewed people between 35 and 60. It wasn’t planned. It was just the way it happened.
And then I met Alexus.
She was bright, full of energy, and unendingly optimistic.
It was such a sharp contrast to everyone else I had interviewed, that I walked around for the following few days like, “What happens to us between 25 and 35 that makes us so sad? Jaded? Defeated?”
My initial answer was simply “life”. For most of us, that 10 year period is one of struggle. For most of us, 25 is a point in life when you’re done with school so full time adulting comes into play; you’re at a place where you’re too young to be old and too old to be young. You’re juggling family responsibilities, professional advancement, budding romances, deciding whether or not you can buy 2-ply paper towels …
And by the time you reach 35, your bones hurt, you’re plucking out a gray hair or two, and having a few drinks on a Friday means spending all day in bed on Saturday sleeping off the hangover from hell.
And I’m 36 *insert tired ass eye role
The more I asked around about the things that happen to us during this decade of life, the more two things started to become clear:
- Life happens regardless of our age.
- We all have a CHOICE in how we respond to the BS.
Barring any mental health issues (of course) …
If you’re jaded, it’s because you choose to be;
If you’re miserable, it’s because you choose to be.
Because … spoiler alert … bad things happen; unpleasant things happen; shitty people will infiltrate your circle; crap circumstances will knock you off your game.
So why are we letting these things control the way we are?
I just found it ironic that the general public gives millennials so much crap for so many reasons, but maybe they have it right.
Maybe we can take a look at the resilience and stop considering it something that comes with inexperience, but something we can learn from despite our experience.
So without further ado, I present to you, Alexus, a 25-year-old teacher’s assistant from Oakland, California.
|How do you spend your free time?
I go to art events, poetry events, art galleries, and art museums. Oh, and I video games. I’m a Pac-man enthusiast.
|Are you happy?
Yes … completely
|What makes you happy?
Love … from everyone … from the universe … from my dogs … from my jobs!
All of the jobs I’ve ever worked at have shown love in some kind of form. I’ve always started the job happy and it may not have needed happy but I’m always learning something.
|What was the best moment of your life and why?
The best moment of my life? Ok … all right … let me think … let me think … I’ve had a lot of good moments … I think the best would probably be my great grandma’s 86th or 87th birthday I had an extreme amount of family come out. There were some that were doing bad; some were doing well. Some people who came to speak on my great grandma’s name because she is the foundation of our family. It was a blessed moment for her to be in. It was a moment. And that also happened the year before she passed. She lived her life! She’s saw everything! I was raised with my grandma, my great grandma, and my mom, so I got a lot of generational pass downs. You know, what to do what not to do …
|When you think back on it, can you think of anything you learned this week?
I learned that I’m a pretty dope individual. I’ve been doing a lot in the last month. I’ve done a lot of things in the last month that I didn’t think I was capable of doing … by myself. I made a lot of money and there were some stress points, but I did it. I was working two jobs and I was still kind of partying and I was taking care of other business. I’ve never faced the challenge before. I’ve worked two jobs before but I didn’t have any real responsibilities before. This time, I was working two full time jobs and I was able to do it all. I just never put myself in a position to be pushed that way, but now that I have, I’m excited.
|What is one thing you regret?
Being with my ex for as long as I stayed with him. I should not have stayed that long. … not the whole relationship, but I should have just cut it when I knew it wasn’t going to work. I should have cut it. I pray that I don’t do it again. This is my second time doing it, but I’m hoping it will work for me this time. But players fuck up sometimes. I’m just hoping I don’t fuck up again.
|If you could go back in time in your entire life (it can be other people, circumstances, things) and change just one thing about your life, what would it be?
I probably would not have went to my prom. My aunt passed away that night. My mom didn’t tell me because I was literally getting in the limo to go. I saw the look on her face and I kind of knew. And my prom experience was horrible. My boyfriend at the time tried to take weed in the prom and they found it – of course they found it – and I was cursing him out the whole time and I was so mad and when I’m mad there’s no talking. It was a mess. I would have rather spent those last moments with my auntie.
|When was the first time you were in love?
Umm … in love? In love? Last December. Yeah, the December that just passed.
Are you in love now?
Not exactly … no … I have love for multiple people, but I’m not in love with anyone.
|When was the first time you were in love?
The first time? We were young. He was this dirty little boy! <laughs> We were like real kids. We used to be outside all of the time. We were rough. We played around. He was nice. He made me laugh. That’s what I liked the most. It was like a family friend type of thing, so he knew how I was as a person, so I didn’t have to explain things.
|What do you think people think of you? Do you care?
Umm … I think people think that I’m strong … that I’m just some strong independent woman that beats up people. <laughs> People say Alexus is this, Alexus is that … I’m no one’s body guard.
No, I have an interest in third person perspective, but do I care? No. People paint the picture that we’re supposed to care, but they be caught up in emotions.
|What you want to be when you grew up? Did it happen? Why or why not?
An artist … and I am.
But when I was really young, I wanted to be an artist. Then I started playing basketball. I never wanted to play professionally, but I was still committed to it, so I wasn’t into my art all of the way at the time. And then I started hearing people say, “artists done make money”. So in high school, I started taking a psychology class and from there I knew I wanted to do psychology. I have my AA In behavioral and social science an after graduation, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my degree and I decided to be a teacher’s assistant and I somehow landed in special needs.
|What’s your favorite song? How does it make you feel?
On and On by Erykah Badu. I’m just going off the top of my head. It makes me feel infinite. It’s just that song is kind of singing about people and the universe and about how we’re connected to each other and the universe and it speaks to how infinite how we are as a people. People never pay attention to that song … it reminds me that I’m an infinite being.
|Who is your fav person?
Oprah. I love her background. It’s crazy. She didn’t not own a pair of shoes until 6. Can you imagine that? And then to go on to be one of the richest people in the world. She was just so poor … like the kind of poor we read about or see in the movies. She lived on a shack on the farm land with her grandparents. She was in and out of houses … prostituted in high school. And look at her now! Even with all of her political views, her success story is remarkable. She got it out the mud, literally.
Ironically, Alexus’ final words to be were, “We’re a different generation. The older crowd … they went through a lot. They went through a lot and we got to learn from that and live a better life and see a brighter side.”
Want to keep up with Alexus? follow her on IG @itswendyoutside. She’s currently working on a mixed media project and her clothing line.
Until next time, folks …
Love and Light,
What did you say?
You miss me when I’m gone?
Well, you know you can keep up with my antics every other day of the week:
Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8022454.Erin_T_McMillon
You can also find all of my books The Becoming of Us, Vol. I, The Becoming of Us, Vol. II, What’s Hiding in the Dark: 10 Tales of Urban Lore, and They Eat on Amazon: