“All of us seem to have something to rebel against. For most of us, it’s the East Texas bubble that we grew up protected by for so long. It’s the conservative viewpoint that refuses to acknowledge the other side might have some answers as well. It’s our parents and striving to be nothing like them. We might have our failures, but they won’t be the same ones as theirs. We’ll accept our failures and attempt to learn from them. We’ll be open and honest and willing to share our sad experiences with each other instead of hiding them from the world in shame.
We’re learning that everybody makes mistakes for nobody is perfect. So we don’t strive for perfection. Better to celebrate our imperfections and enjoy how we can all be different but still enjoy the mad dance we’re all caught up in. We spin and twirl and we don’t know where we’ll end up, but it’s a beautiful experience while we’re all together.” -an excerpt from my Day 8 of Write Yourself Alive, an unedited stream of consciousness prompt
My mind works in an interesting way. I get really focused on one idea, but instead of just thinking about that specific topic, my thoughts wander all over the place and somehow tie everything else that pops into my head back to the original idea. This idea recently has been the emerging culture in Tyler, and how my generation, the collection of young creatives that are starting to band together, can help change and grow that culture.
There is so much talent I’m surrounded by every day. On top of the talent though, there’s a thirst for change. There’s a desire for creating inspiration. The issue is that we are still going unnoticed by many in the area we live in. We’ve got musicians, writers, inventors, entrepreneurs, creators of every kind, and it’s only a matter of time before we start making a real difference in our town. We live in an old town mostly run by old money and old ideals. I’m not saying we need a 180° turn from that, because we do need to take the time to learn from those generations, but our time is here. Opportunity is waiting for us to just reach out and grab it.
There’s a coincidence I find quite funny. My blog name, Knocked Out No Longer, came about from my divorce. Both my previous blog and my jewelry business had “K.O.” in the title because those were my initials at the time, and I always liked that they also stood for “knocked out”. When my marriage ended, it was if I was coming alive again- like there wasn’t the constant badgering and hurt causing me to live completely checked out from what was going on around me. Now, as I start writing more and more about the life I’m growing in this place I swore I would never return to, and as I see all of these people around me, I feel like this blog (or at least the title) is somewhat of a battle cry- a call to arms that our generation won’t be knocked out or knocked down any longer. It’s a way of standing up and making the older generations in the town notice us and appreciate what we have to offer and bring to the table.
So, I suppose this is mostly a call to those friends who support these ideals and want to see change happen. Yes, we make mistakes. Yes, we’re young. Yes, most of the people around Tyler don’t take us seriously yet. But we’re the generation that will create the change needed in this town. We can have a different outlook than our parents, our grandparents. We can take ideas and run with them. If we make mistakes, learn from them and continue. We’re resilient. We can do this.
listening to: Father John Misty, Portugal the Man