I’m doing everything I can not to think I’m an artistic failure.

Yippee skippy! Another Ospreyshire post that’s about my self-loathing issues! Hooray!

Please tell me that my morbid sarcasm came through in that first line because I’m rarely ever sarcastic in both my online and offline life.

This has been a marathon in reassessing my mental health and self-esteem. While it was fun working on another video project even if it was on the shorter side, I still hit some roadblocks in my creative life. I just realized how much some of my older material sucks whether it’s my poetry, fiction, some videos, or even the actual Ospreyshire material. Maybe this is me being older, but I felt like I haven’t fine-tuned what limited talents I had. What really doesn’t help is that people told me I was untalented years ago or whenever I do something great, they don’t see it or they try to downplay it if they do.

Yes, I still struggle with people pleasing.

I had a disturbing realization when I heard this one quote from a video I saw recently was where someone said (this is a paraphrase, by the way) “You somehow think that the enemy is perfect.” That quote really hit me hard because I secretly had that thought in the back of my head like how I was “trying” to be like the people who abused me even though I didn’t realize it back then. Maybe I believed in my mind years ago that if I got their validation, then I would be respected. Boy, was I totally wrong. Sure there were open bullies that I never wanted to be like, but it was the subtle ones that I low-key wanted to emulate even though I wouldn’t admit it. I was trying to fit in some circles where I wanted to belong, but never could. Whether it was me practicing my instrumental prowess or namedropping different bands, I thought it was somehow good enough. That affected me since it was a way of being someone else to avoid being my (worthless) self then. I guess blogging forced me not to do that as much in unexpected ways.

Anyways, I feel like I need to work harder with all of my talents so I can be seen as talented. Maybe not in the same way of how horrible people are still praised because of let’s say their musical talent, sporting abilities, or how well they can direct a movie, but I want to be seen as an innovator in whatever I attempt to create something. The odds have ALWAYS been stacked against me since I was born, so I had to work harder than all my peers whether it was in school, work, or any creative project I invested myself in. Shame that I wanted to get really good fast and quit certain activities or fell out of certain scenes out there.

I’m trying to find any worth in what I do.

I didn’t know I was hurt THAT much in hindsight

This past week allowed me to be unexpectedly self-reflective all of a sudden. In between my blogging life, work, adulting, and everything, I was really thinking about how my life was affected negatively in ways I didn’t even think about.

It’s one thing being physically attacked which I won’t downplay if that’s happened, but bruises and cuts can heal as well as being seen. The mind is far tougher to heal.

I don’t want to be to explicit or wax some grand life story, but I started to understand the causes and effects with how I view things. There are struggles with my mental health as well as my shattered self-esteem that I’ve mentioned before, but I’ve been realizing more and more how I was damaged psychologically. It wasn’t just about explicit insults, but there was a lot of low-key things.

Some examples:

-Being told that I can’t do something or join a certain group because it is “too difficult”. (Geez, dog whistle, much?)

-Being told to just take insults and potshots with a grain of salt while others getting what they want as well as making me the bad guy if I fired back with hurtful words.

-One time a former female co-worker complained about my “male voice” despite never raising my voice at her, around her, or trying to divert attention somewhere else. If the situation was reversed and I complained about her or any woman about her voice, I’d be called a sexist. Back then, I had NEVER heard that as a negative thing before years ago.

-People making fun of my interests, but if I make fun of them in return, they suddenly freak out if I knew about their weaknesses.

-My masculinity was questioned just because I was more into artsy things instead of sports by a couple of people. Dead serious.

-My peers doing some egregious things with impunity, but I do something far less severe and I’m punished for it.

-There were times where I apologized for things I didn’t do even though no one believed me that I didn’t do something when I was a kid.

-I was told by a now-ex-friend that I was being “unchristlike” when I vented out some frustration online even though I wasn’t attacking anyone. I wished I never sought this person’s validation when it came to friendship or even music. They even insulted me and humiliated me while pretending to console me after the fact and I should’ve called out this person more often. Maybe this person wanted a medal for mistreating me while trying to seem righteous while using me or others to get some indie rep or possibly moving to Portland…

That’s just some of the things among worse examples that are far more profane. Some of these emotions welled up and I held a lot of it inside.

There were some very negative side effects because I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone since no one would believe me or they say I’m making this a bigger deal than it should be. Not only that, but I wouldn’t talk to people for hours on end and I even had periods of self-harm years ago which really didn’t help. I just kept smiling despite being full of agony as I was going along to get along. As I get older, I realized how much others have used me as some kind of object or stepping stone without me knowing about it, how I’m not allowed to speak my mind, or how I’m supposed to just be oppressed with these microaggressions. It’s no wonder I’ve been so messed up in different ways, and I feel like I have to be an autodidact with my recovery. This isn’t going to be instantaneous.

I’m not sorry for this being a more depressing post. I wished I never had any pain in my life as well as immediately identifying all attempts of abuse at me even during my childhood. Shame how so many people never took my issues seriously.

I Wish I Could Smile Without Using It a Defense Mechanism

It’s scientifically proven that smiling is easier since there’s less muscles to use.

If it was physically easier, then why does it still hurt after the fact? I can’t lie to you, I have struggled in the past as being a people pleaser of sorts. Blogging has helped diminish that somewhat, but it still lingers. I tried telling people I wasn’t alright, but they tell me I should keep smiling more or they wouldn’t care about how bad I would feel then. Whether it was me being depressed or angry, it was somehow a nuisance to them. This was just bad advice in hindsight and probably affected my mental health in low key ways.

Are people that inconvenienced at best or scared at worst when I’m in a negative mood? Then again, I’ve seen my fair share of other people acting up way worse than I even could on my worst days and no one seems to call them out, but it’s whatever…

On here or my other blogs, I’d feel like I’d be lying if I said everything was pure sunshine even if I was genuinely happy when I typed something out.

I just wished others including my own friends and family would listen to me and care about my emotional well-being. It’s a shame how some people told me I’m being selfish for asking such a thing, but others aren’t. Thanks for feeding my solipsism, jerks.

Sorry for not having any poetry or any creative posts today. Smiling can be such a chore for me even before these pandemic-filled times. Shame on everyone who subtly violated my mental health in such stealthy ways years ago. This isn’t some kind of sympathy post. I had to get this off my chest as I’m self-analyzing my life.

10 Lies I Sadly Believed At One Point In My Life (In No Particular Order)

10. People like me couldn’t make it to a university much less graduate on time.

9. If you work hard, you’ll automatically be successful.

8. The independent music scene doesn’t have any cliques, drama or backstabbers like in the mainstream.

7. The Lion King is a fully original movie that would never plagiarize something like anime or music choices.

6. People who are huge bullies and jerks can always be redeemed.

5. Anger is a sin.

4. Christopher Columbus discovered America and he was very respectful to the Indigenous population then.

3. Going to a Christian school would make me less of a bullying target.

2. People who do heroic things will be praised at all times and evil will always lose.

1. Saying affirming things is somehow bragging when I do it even if I don’t say I’m better than anyone, but when others legitimately boast about themselves, they somehow have “earned it”.

I Wish I Was Never A Defeatist (At Least I’m Honest About That Flaw)

There are times where I wish I took a psychology course

To realize how much my psyche has been abused in ways I never knew how or why from subtle forms

The hobbies I like(d) became objects of ridicule

Social awkwardness manifested in itself

My heritage also made me something to hate regardless of my character

Apologies were spoken ad nauseum for who I was

As if my mind wasn’t flawed enough

So many things forced me to be an autodidact

“Why even bother?” I would say or think

“I know I’m going to lose anyway.”

Stop it, brain.

“It’s always the biggest jerks who get what they want. You need to be cruel to be on top even though you’ll never get away with it.”

That didn’t come from my mind this time. It was bad advice. Get thee behind me…

“Try reprogramming yourself. They think you’re a stupid robot anyway. You’re just a useless piece of –“

SHUT UP!

The violation of my self-esteem affected me way more than I thought. Shame how any affirmative thing I say about myself can be construed as an ego.

All I do was lose, lose, lose, no matter what as I try to squeak out a semblance of a victory.

10K+ Views Pt. II: Q&A Answers

Here’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for. I get to answer the questions I got last week for my 10K+ view milestone!


“What was going through your mind when you wrote all those 455 posts? I mean did you ever run out of ideas or did you always had a topic in your mind(if yes you did run out of ideas, what did you do to bring yourself back up)?”

from Eggsandwich04

Well, I certainly have more than 455 posts at this point in time now. Haha! Okay, in all seriousness, my mind has been at different points when I made certain posts. I mainly focused on the Ospreyshire project for my spoken word stuff with the poems, recordings, and videos. I expanded to talking about news events and my opinions about different things. I ranged from sad, angry, serious, and occasionally comedic if the time calls for it. However, I think most of my poetry tends to lead towards sad or angry in hindsight.

I can’t say I’ve ran out of ideas since new ones pop up. Some of them will affect this blog since I still have more things to do with what Ospreyshire was made for.

“Who would say is or makes your blog audience?”

from Khaya Ronkainen

That’s a question that I legitimately thought about. I guess the people who I know mostly view and comment on my posts are usually other poets, some bloggers that cover serious issues, and anibloggers given my prowess in multiple blogs. Funny how I have that kind of crossover appeal with different types of bloggers.

“Do you have any favorite poets or collections of poetry?”

from Eggheadluna

Some of my favorite poets include Langston Hughes, Buddy Wakefield, The Last Poets, and so much more.

“Do you think you’ll still be blogging in five years and if so, care to guess how many views you’ll reach by then?”

from Lynn Sheridan

I believe I’ll still be blogging in the next 5 years. I don’t know if I’d be working on multiple blogs at once, but I could see myself managing at least one of them that far in the future. If I were to gauge how many views I could get then, I’d say 20-30K by then. It took 4 years to get 10K here, so I don’t know.

“What do you think is the best story you’ve written?”

from Scott of Mechanical Anime Reviews

Hooray! I’m glad there are people who know about my fiction/author exploits! That is a really tough question. Hollandus Landing was a very important book for me since it was the first time I showed off my cell phone novel projects let alone a full story to everyone as I serialized it live back in 2017. Another important story I wrote would have to be in the Revezia series like Praxis of the Disenchanted or the Electrum Trilogy. By the way, you can get Hollandus Landing for free or donation!

“It seems that you still have some hangups about yourself as it pertains to anger about self-worth based on what others have done to your self-esteem, so having said that, has this blog done more to aid you in self reflection and instilled in you a true sense of self worth or are you letting others get into your head and instill their thoughts, their prejudices, their biases as it pertains to you being bi-racial?”

from Shelby Courtland

Yeah, I still struggle with these issues, but I do appreciate you checking up on me. It definitely shows with some of my poems and some of the news stories that touched a nerve with me whether it’s racial issues or when I did that infamous rant against a certain movie last year. One of my weaknesses is that I can care too much about what others think of me. It’s NOWHERE near as bad as when I was younger, but it still slips in from time to time.

This blog has certainly helped with self-reflection and catharsis. I am slowly rebuilding that self-worth that was diminished after dealing with bullies and people getting away with their abusive behaviors even when I would call them out. There are times where I wished I was more aware about subtle forms of derogation like projection, dog whistles, or low-key insults when I was much younger (I guess taking a psych class might have helped for some of that in hindsight). Speaking as someone who is biracial, I did get my wake-up call years ago about how those who are mixed tend to be treated whether they have a white parent or not. Knowing about that reality certainly allowed me to do my own research about things I wasn’t taught (various historical events mainly like Black Wall Street being a major one for me then). At the same time, I’ve had a bad habit of having to prove my humanity, competency, and authenticity to anyone regardless of my ethnic background whether online or offline. I’m not singling anyone out because I’ve sadly had that mindset with anyone I communicate with. Getting rid of these prejudices, biases, or even assumptions out of my head has been quite the task. Hopefully, this answers your question.

“If you could witness the writing of a poetry collection (or novel), whose would it be, and why?”

from Ashley Capes

If I had to witness the creation of such books, I would’ve liked to have been there to have seen the process of the Circle trilogy from Ted Dekker (I read all the books years ago) or if I were to cheat with manga, I’d say Hikaru no Go. Wow, I sound like such a stan with the second example.

Thank you so much for your questions. I still have something else planned for this milestone!

Wordsmith Graps #1

This is my time for a title shot

For unorthodox references involving my talent for words

I had to book myself for the challenge since no one would hand me an opportunity on a silver platter

This isn’t some kind of backyard attempt for a lyrical scrap

I did everything I could not to tap out in my training

My wordsmith tekkers will allow me to progress as I enter any ring with honor

Making an impact whenever I have a pen or a keyboard, but I’m not a keyboard warrior in that sense (Salutations, Mad Kurt…)

Whoever thought an avant-garde artist would try such a challenge let alone channeling such references in a “gimmick” if you will.

I will create a resurgence or possibly an empire with my skills in this field

Call me wavy, gnarly or the pride of Wordsmith Graps

I will make sure whatever my constant opponent of self-doubt gets down for the three count

Representation Matters Pt. IV: That One Time When I Felt Inspired By an Indie Pro Wrestling Show Of All Things (Yes, Really.)

Here’s one of the most out of left field posts I’ve ever done regardless of my Representation Matters series. Feel free to check out my older posts with parts 1, 2, and 3.

This post might give some people whiplash if they know anything about me. I wouldn’t blame you if you raised an eyebrow. I’m actually going to talk about pro wrestling on this blog. Yes, even I’m shocked, too. Think about it, I, Curtis AKA Ospreyshire…an avant-garde spoken word artist/musician, film critic of random obscure international films/anime/documentaries, DIY author who writes deconstructive fiction, geography nerd, African history/culture enthusiast, and someone who likes a good amount of art that could be considered “highbrow” actually has an interest in the indie pro wrestling scene even if I don’t consider myself super knowledgeable about it. Before I get to the core of this article, let me clarify a few things.

1. I know it’s a pre-scripted and predetermined form of entertainment.
2. People have no right calling it “fake” when they watch reality shows let alone movies or other TV programs. Besides, even real sports events have had moments of being rigged/fixed like boxing and MMA at times.
3. It’s stage combat and one could make a case pro wrestlers are actors who do their own stunts with no chance to re-edit the videos if you really think about it.
4. I’m not a fan of WWE especially currently, and I’ll get into that later in this post.
5. Yes, I know there can be stupid stuff in pro wrestling which causes me to facepalm, but don’t act like your interests are lacking in idiocy at times.
6. I also have a small affinity for some real sports outside of this field, thank you very much.

My interests really are eclectic even if it seems random or partially contradictory, right? Hahahaha! 😛

My history with pro wrestling is a strange one. I wasn’t allowed to watch it when I was a child, and I grew up around the time when it was insanely popular with WCW and back when WWE was called WWF (The pandas would win against Vince McMahon in that lawsuit in the early 00s!). Some of the biggest names at the time were the NWO, Sting, Stone Cold Steve Austin, DX, and The Rock long before he became a Hollywood household name. I knew the names of a bunch of them, but I never watched it. Of course, I also grew up during the time when Macho Man Randy Savage was in those Slim Jim commercials, so these wrestlers were everywhere despite not seeing these TV shows or live events. I had friends and eventually coworkers who were knee deep in that interest and they would tell me about a bunch of things even to this day, so I had some knowledge even if it was secondhand. Some online reviewers I used to watch made some videos about this subject from time to time, so I had a tiny bit of familiarity early in my adulthood.

For those who follow Iridium Eye, some of you might remember me reviewing the documentary Eddie Dennis: A 5 Year Old’s Dream last year. It was part of my portfolio of atypical topics I’ve covered in documentary form on the blog like how I’ve also reviewed Paralympic fencers (Beatrice), the Asexual community ((A)sexual), or an experimental band who uses faith-based lyrics while wearing matching nurse/doctors outfits (Danielson: A Family Movie) just to name a few. Eddie Dennis is a Welsh wrestler who used to work as a math teacher at a boarding school (I’m not making this up). He quit his job to wrestle full-time and he eventually got a contract last year. It was an interesting watch even though it wasn’t my favorite film, but it opened up a rabbit hole into this immersion of the UK indie wrestling scene AKA BritWres over the past several months where I was exposed to multiple smaller feds and indie wrestlers. That’s how it got started. I was then exposed to the Nottingham-based promotion Wrestling Resurgence in my research. They do all their shows in art galleries and museums. One of the owners is also a university professor who has an immense background in avant-garde art, ballet, and theater. I can’t make any of this up to save my life. I saw some matches from that company and liked what I saw. The thing that REALLY caught my eye involved just two words…

Everything Patterned.

Everything Patterned Picture

This was a show curated by South Londoner wrestler “Big Wavy” Roy Johnson. Everything Patterned was a major event of it’s kind since it involved a majority black card featuring wrestlers from England, America, Jamaica, and Uganda. This was to commemorate Black History Month in the UK where it’s celebrated in October (How come they get more days than us in America who only celebrate it in February even when the UK has a smaller black population compared to the US?). It was considered a big marketing risk, but the event was sold out when it was hosted in Leicester. I bought a digital copy of the show from their Vimeo page (the link is above the poster image) and thought it was great by seeing this positive representation going on. The matches were fun. It was awesome seeing the Rhio/Blaze match and seeing two strong women who are talented athletes that don’t resort to ratchet behavior. The main event between Johnson and Rampage Brown (not featured since he was a last-minute replacement for the then-injured O.J.M.O.) was a great heavyweight match where it was two guys fighting and you can take them seriously. There wasn’t an ounce of buffoonery in the headlining match. The Omari/Warren Banks match was insane in athletic prowess and would put so many cruiserweights to shame. Both of them are roughly 6’4″ and can pull off moves that one would expect only shorter wrestlers to do. I know the bloggers who know about my taste in movies are going to notice this, and I’m going to say this right now. No! I surprisingly didn’t freak out when one of the tag team matches involved a team called The Lion Kings. Long story short: One of the members of the LKs actually thanked me for telling him about Kimba the White Lion or how bogus Disney was with the Hakuna Matata trademark when I emailed him and we had a great discussion about Africa. There were serious moments, some funny moments, and some good in-ring action. It was a breath of fresh air not seeing any racist stereotypes or shucking and jiving going on like multiple cases of mainstream wrestling. Vince McMahon wouldn’t have the balls to pull something like this off (Yeah, I said it!). I wish nothing but success to everyone involved. It would also be phenomenal if at least one of the wrestlers from the Everything Patterned show could start their own promotion/federation in the near future.

Here are the videos that promoted the event as well as highlighting different perspectives of representation among other important factors in the context of wrestling.

Roy Johnson:

The O. J. M. O.:

Chakara:

Darius Lockhart:

Sugar Dunkerton [Context: Kofi Kingston was still holding the WWE World Championship at the time it was filmed]:

I found their insights to be quite fascinating and I legitimately never thought about those things in that realm of athletic entertainment. Sugar Dunkerton’s video about Kofi really hit it home when it came to why representation matters with that Ghanaian wrestler being the first (fully) black WWE World Champion. I’m not counting The Rock since he always hypes up is Samoan lineage constantly and only talks about his black side when he does a movie with Kevin Hart, but I digress (and this is coming from a guy who also would be considered biracial!). I know this is an unrelated video, but Dunkerton also made an awesome video with such brutal truth to it. If you’re black, then you will DEFINITELY relate to this video. If you’re not, then consider this a moment of learning and I’m not just talking about how the word “urban” can be a dog whistle term that’s offensive.

Suge D, you kept it so real. This also transitions into my point about how there’s racist crap that still goes on to this day in wrestling. Exhibit A: ACH FKA Jordan Myles. ACH is a black wrestler who made his career in the indies and eventually got signed to NXT (WWE’s developmental system kind of like a AAA minor league feeder promotion to make a sports comparison). He went under the name Jordan Myles and eventually got this T-shirt with his now former WWE moniker in 2019. Weeks after Everything Patterned, this T-shirt would prove Resurgence’s supporters and the wrestlers involved right in realizing why a show like this was needed…

View image on Twitter

DO YOU SEE WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?!?

That t-shirt just SCREAMS minstrel show imagery! The fact that they pitched this to a black wrestler by masquerading it in a white and gray design before publishing it in black is maddening. This is the same crap that got Gucci and Prada in trouble in recent years when they tried that with the racist blackface sweater and sambo figurines respectively. ACH blasted them on Twitter and eventually quit working for the WWE. I know that company knows better. While some could argue that ACH could’ve handled the situation better, he had every right to put the WWE on blast for doing such a stupid and bigoted stunt. I applaud him for standing up for himself even when that company shifted the blame onto him for the whole thing. It’s bigotry like this that made me sigh in relief that I never spent a penny on their product. Besides, I don’t even like Raw or Smackdown. I’m not even watching NXT or even NXT UK (Sorry, Eddie) because of this garbage. I’ll save whatever fun money I have on promotions treat their roster with dignity regardless of color/creed/gender/etc. and for various indie wrestlers.

Sorry that this was a strange post given what I usually talk about or the things I create. I wanted to let you know how I was unexpectedly inspired by a UK wrestling show of all things. I actually bought some merch from some of the people in Everything Patterned and not only that, but I even got into fitness far more often as an indirect result. My December goals in exercising have been working so far and I already feel healthier. If you would have asked me years ago that I would make a post like this anywhere on the net, then I would’ve called you insane.

With all that being said, I thought it was amazing seeing someone like me being taken seriously in this field. I’m getting healthier, I’m slowly gaining self-esteem, and my sense of well-being has improved so far. So what if some people would insult me because of this recent interest? This was something inspiring in ways I didn’t even imagine.

Thank you, Wrestling Resurgence and everyone involved with Everything Patterned.

I hope you liked my journey explaining the different facets of my Representation Matters series on the Ospreyshire blog. Thank you for reading this and my other posts on the subject.

All images and videos are of “fair use”.

The Everything Patterned videos are courtesy of Wrestling Resurgence’s YouTube page.

SUGE. Number 3. is property of Sugar Dunkerton’s YouTube page.

The photo of Roy Johnson is from Twitter and is property of Wrestling Resurgence.

The Everything Patterned poster is from Vimeo and is property of Wrestling Resurgence.

The Jordan Myles T-shirt is from Bleacher Report and property of the WWE.