Known

Alone. As I sit in a crowded room of people, I can’t help but feel a deep longing for intimacy. I am surrounded by people I call friends, but yet I have never felt more alone and unknown in my life. Now that is mostly on me, because I have blocked people out and pushed them away. Why? I was afraid. Afraid, of the thing I desired most: intimacy.

Denver. Moving out here was the best decision I have ever made. But moving here has also been one of the hardest and most challenging experiences I have endured in my life. When I made the decision to move, I made the decision to leave comfort, to leave lifelong friends and to leave family. The intimacy through friendships and relationships that I experienced daily was all but gone. The comfort in being known had left.  

When I got to Denver, I quickly adjusted to the transient life. I was going out and meeting new people, snowboarding and exploring every part of the city and mountains that I could. The issue I faced though, was that I was reaching for these things to fill a void. I wanted these activities to fill the hurt and pain of missing my family and friends. I slowly pushed the pain and hurt to the side until I forgot about it. Eventually, I had completely shut out the pain and hurt. What I didn’t realize though was that in shutting off one emotion, I shut off all of my emotions. You see, we can not pick and choose what emotions we feel. (Brown) As we begin to numb ourselves in response to pains that we have felt, we put up walls. These walls help us protect ourselves from pain, but these walls can also block us from feeling joy, love and intimacy among other emotions. As protected as I felt with all my walls up, it stirred up something I had never felt before. Loneliness.

Now, I did not truly realize until a few weeks ago that what I had been feeling this whole time was loneliness. But when I became aware, I realized that I was afraid to have intimate friendships and relationships, because I did not want to feel that pain and hurt again. As a result, it was hard for me to open up and be vulnerable with people.

In that moment, I realized that in order to shake this cycle, I had to be vulnerable. I had to open up and let people know how I was feeling. It was the only way to begin the healing process. I began with praying and telling God what was on my heart.

While praying, I realized how many lies I had been believing about my life. I felt shame for the loneliness I was feeling. I felt the need to be strong when I was leaving for my family and friends. I felt the need to have it all together and so I acted like moving was easy. I felt shameful because I was homesick. It made me feel as if I could not make it our here on my own. For some reason I believed that I needed to be okay all the time.

In reality, God showed me that it was okay to not be okay. He showed me it was okay to not have it all together at twenty-three years old. He told me it was okay to be homesick and to miss my family and friends. He told me that those things did not make me weak, but rather they made me human. He showed me that truth strength comes from being vulnerable. He showed me that in life, we will never grow unless we reach out of our comfort zones. He helped me realize that in order to experience the fullness of this amazing life he has given us; we must be vulnerable. So I started sharing with my friends the things I had been feeling. As I began sharing, I experienced freedom.

“Vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness, but it appears that it's also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.” – Brene Brown 

Although I have struggled at times and this transition has been tough, I am so thankful to be in Denver. I am thankful for the challenges that have been thrown my way and am thankful for the growth that has come from said challenges. I am also thankful that God opened my eyes to the cycle of shame I was going through, because in vulnerability, I began to experience intimacy again. In vulnerability, the walls I put up began to come down and healing occurred.

Alone. This time in a house by myself. Yet, I know longer feel alone in this place. I feel known.

 

Sources

(Power of Vulnerability: https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability#t-877360)

 

Unconditional

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life." -Psalm 139:23-34

To ask God to search you is humbling. To submit your life to his path is troubling. Why? Because my flesh desires the opposite of God's path. My flesh feeds on pride, bitterness, anger, fear and anxiety. To ask God to search you and rid you of these things, will cost you. What does it cost? Your life. I am on a mission to let Jesus rid me completely of the world and be left only with the spirit of God and the person He created me to become. 

God has told me he wants to teach me unconditional love (rid me of conditional love), but in order to do that, I will get hurt. I will be torn up and spit out by the ones I care for and the people I love most. But I will stand strong and planted in the affirmation that I receive from the Lord. I will be able to show this kind of love not on my own strength, but through the unconditional love that my God shows me. And the most beautiful part about love and vulnerability is that I will experience freedom and life and every emotion that comes with it.

From what I have found, you cannot shutoff emotions. If you try to numb the hurt in one area of your life, you will numb the joy on the opposite side. I cannot pick and choose what I will feel, it is either all off or all on. Therefore, I choose to be all on and will do my best to learn how to love unconditionally. No matter the pain this may bring, if I face the pain and hurt with the Lord, I will be stronger on the other side.

 

Please Lord, point out anything in my life that offends you and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

-Bear

The Rocky Mountain State

It was a humid Saturday morning, 79 degrees, and I could feel the sweat dripping down my back just walking outside. It was time to say goodbye to my roommate. I was trekking over 1000 miles to a new beginning, a fresh start. All the other goodbyes had been said, but this one was one of the hardest. Obviously not goodbye forever, but for the time being it would be different without the buddy that I spent everyday with over the past year. It would be hard without all of my friends and family that I loved and had invested in for years. 

But my dream was calling, I had to go. Since I was six years old, I had dreamt of the mountains; those days that I could wake up and drive to the most incredible place I had ever been. The place where I felt one with the earth, one with nature and one with God. The mountains are where I belonged. So I made the decision, I was not going to let anything hold me back, I was heading to the Rocky Mountain State.

Now on that hot, humid December morning I said goodbye to my best friend and set off on a 22 hour journey that would set way to a new beginning.

I am writing now, about three and a half months into this new beginning. The transition has been filled with ups and downs. Nothing could have prepared me for the way I would miss my friends and family back home. By far the hardest part of leaving is the absence of the people who mean the most to me. And not the absence of their friendship but the absence of their presence in my life day to day. At times it has been lonely, but this has allowed me to learn how to be on my own, and to rely on God for every need that I have, emotionally and physically.

The good though, has outweighed the tough moments and my dream has become reality. This move has been nothing short of incredible. I look back at my four years of college and am so thankful for the friends in my life who showed me the grace and love of God and helped me grow into who I have become. This dream would not have been possible without that support and growth. 

Over the last few months, I have been all over the place and made tons of new friends. Working several jobs to get by, my goal has been to experience and enjoy life. 

I have accomplished my goal through ski season and to date I have 37 days on the mountain. I have made countless friends and have become involved in a group called SFC (Skiers and Snowboarders for Christ). I conquered the Incline, mountain biked on snowy trails, and have snowshoed with nothing but the moonlit trail. As ski season wraps up, I look forward to summer and what's in store: Red Rocks, mountain biking, hiking and climbing. I have done so much in these last three months, but there is so much more fun to be had.

This move has made me appreciate the state I used to call home. Louisiana and its people will always hold a special place in my heart. Those lifelong friendships will always be cherished and I am excited for the day I get to show them my new home. But as I look back, I do not think I could have made a better decision to make the move. I am so excited to see what God has for me throughout the rest of the year and I am so stoked for the new friendships I already have and the ones that are yet to come. But for now I will live out each day, one new adventure at a time.

Much love homies.

-Bear

Behind the Name

You may know me by the name Robert Eugene Tucker IV or you may only know me as Bear, but either way these two names hold lots of meaning. Forebear in itself means an ancestor. Therefore, Forebear Media stems from those who came before me and the meaning that they have given to my name.

"Fore" is a tribute to my Dad, my grandfather and my great grandfather. To carry on their name is an honor and though I never met my great grandfather, I have heard stories. My grandfather, Bob or what I called him, Bop, chose architecture as his craft. He designed cemeteries and mausoleums. He married my grandmother Ann and their marriage was a representation of what it truly meant to love. Near the end of their lives, more specifically the last fifteen years of their lives, my grandfather took care of my grandmother after she became ill. For fifteen years he sat by her side and waited on her, while continuing to work from home. He never complained, just loved. After awhile, his health began to stagger too. He had done all he could for my grandma and eventually she passed after fifteen years of battling various illnesses. Sixty years they were married and five short months after my grandma had passed, my grandfather, Robert Eugene Tucker Jr. (Bob) passed as well. His legacy and name will live on though, through my father's life and my life. The way he loved, has impacted my life and the way that I run my business.

Bop (Robert Eugene Tucker Jr.)

Bop (Robert Eugene Tucker Jr.)

My father, Rob, has blessed me in so many ways. As a kid you dream to grow up to be like your Dad one day and I can honestly say that I hope to be as good of a father as he has been to me. He has loved me through all the arguments (believe me there have been many), taught me how to hit a ball, showed me how to ride a bike, cheered me on in my best moments and even in my worst moments, and most importantly taught me to reach for my dreams and that nothing is impossible. He has done everything in his power to allow me to succeed and without him I would not be where I am today, as a photographer or as a man. Robert Eugene Tucker III, Dad, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Bjorneby translates from Norwegian to English to mean Bear City. Bjorneby also happens to be my grandmother's maiden name on my mom's side of the family. Before I was born, my mother, Sue, decided to give me the nickname Bear. I have gone by this name most of my life and so "Bear" has become a tribute to my mom's side of the family. Pete and Norma Jean, my grandparents, have played a big roll in my faith. They have given me a clear representation of what submitting your life to the Lord means. They moved to Nairobi, Kenya for five years to share the gospel and train people to be a part of Young Life. Their unwavering faith and steadfastness has been a true inspiration for my faith journey. This spills over into the way I run my business, built on the principles of love, trust and humility. 

 

Gran & Gramps (Norma & Pete)

Gran & Gramps (Norma & Pete)

I have learned a lot from my mom. Much like my dad, my mom has provided for me and blessed me in ways I could have never imagined. She is always a phone call away, and it does not matter the time. She taught me how to drive, how to run a business, and she was even an inspiration into me picking up a camera. I can attribute most of my skills in business to things that my mom has taught me or to things that I have learned through watching the way she works. At a young age, my Mom would take me to work and I would take out the trash and shred paper for quarters. She has taught me plenty of business lessons that I still hold with me today. My mom has always been my biggest fan and did everything in her will to allow me to succeed. So thank you, Mom, from the bottom of my heart. I could not be where I am today without you. 

Conjointly both of my parents have played such a huge role in my life along with my grandparents and the rest of my family. So Forebear Media came about as a way to honor every family member and ancestor down the line. If it was not for y'all, I would not be where I am at today.

Thank you.

-Bear