Balance: The Autobiography of Brandon McIntyre

(Current photo of me)

My name is Brandon McIntyre. Sometimes I allow my last name to be “Roach-McIntyre” because Roach is my mother’s maiden name, and I’ve been much closer to my mother’s side of the family than my father’s. Still, I never thought about dropping “McIntyre” because obviously, it’s my given name.

However, I have thought about changing the spelling of “McIntyre” back to my family’s initial surname. Nearly a century ago, my grandfather’s family’s last name was “Macentire”, but one day, when my grandfather and grandaunt went to school as kids, the teacher erases the names of the roll-call paper and “corrected” the spelling of their last name.

My family name is important because my family is important to me. My mother was a Middle School teacher for a little over 15 years, and also had her own home daycare. My father was an Air Force Reserve for 23 years and has been a High School teacher for the last 16 years. I’m the youngest of three (two Boys and one Girl), and I’m an Uncle of six.

In my early years, I was very energetic. You couldn’t keep me from sitting in a chair for too long. I used to run around the house, jumping up and down the stairs, sliding on the kitchen floor, basically anything that will keep me active throughout the day. But when the day came close to an end I would enjoy watching TV. My younger days weren’t much different from the average late 90s and early 2000s child.

(Childhood picture of me)

I was born on June 7, 2001, in Dover, Delaware. I’ve lived in Dover for basically my entire life. It’s generally uneventful here having few or no events happening on a regular basis, and having a God-awful nightlife, it’s very easy to get into things that seem very detrimental to one’s physical or mental health.

I believe everyone thinks that they’re different from everyone else (And in a way, we all are), but usually, our differences might come from something beyond the naked eye. But as for me, my difference was pretty glaring, and that was my thin body frame. As a kid, I would often have people ask me why I’m unusually thin, and it’s because of my unusual amount of food allergies.

Peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, pork, beef, seafood, soy, strawberries, and dairy are the full ingredients for my food hypersensitivity. Living with these allergies for my whole life has put me through situations most people don’t even think about. It’s put me through a period of isolation as I began growing up, leaving me with nothing but my thoughts. 

I like to believe that isolation made me a thinker, which is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I always think about situations I’m currently in or could potentially be a part of, helping me come up with quick solutions. A curse because it makes me think more and do less, which leads to overthinking. This would often interfere with my thoughts on life and even my belief system. 

Is there really a God and Satan? Who created them? Is there really a heaven and hell? Will I come back to earth as another vessel? What is the point of success? Why do we need to pay to live? Does any of these questions I’m questioning even matter? And a plethora of more life-wondering questions.

This would often consume me internally, constantly thinking about who, what, when, where, and why. And with the tempo of the modern-day lifestyle, it all seems to hit you at once, feeling overwhelmed and uncontrolled. It felt like my mind was moving at lightning speed while my body is in neutral. It kind of felt like a trap.

But there was a point in time where not only I but the rest of the world was held to a halt. 2020 really helped me find some answers and solutions to my questions and problems. And ironically, it came from when I had to stay still and think still.

“I’m pretty sure I can speak for everyone when I say that the year 2020 was an awful year for us all, but it definitely helped me gain a rejuvenated mindset, refreshing and rebranding my philosophy and ideologies.”

I don’t know what the purpose of life is honestly, but I can say that the purpose of my life is balance. Learning to keep everything at an even level, don’t overlap on one thing, because you will fall off on another. It all takes effort, but it’ll all be worth it.

I’d be lying to you if I said that my overthinking has completely vanished, but my coping mechanism for evading that dark place is by occupying myself with a passion I’ve had since I was two years old, that being basketball. 

Playing basketball is one of the joys I have; it clears my mind, and for just a couple of hours, makes me forget any problems I’m having off the court. I’m glad that basketball can be a coping mechanism for me, especially when I see people around my family and community use other substances and hobbies that can be detrimental in that same manner.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to an understanding that playing basketball probably won’t be my career. Still, I want basketball to be a part of my career, which transitions to a recent interest I’ve had in sports videography. 

Since I was a kid, I grew up watching YouTube videos, specifically basketball highlight reels. I was always infatuated with how the creators and editors of the videos could make a simple highlight reel feel so energetic and hype. Watching some of the videos made me want to go out and play basketball immediately. As of now, I want to be a part of that, making a reel that can make people excited and hope to see. As of today, I make plans on how I’m going to achieve these goals, but the most important part of the plan is to execute. Planning and organizing a goal is a great way to get started, but actually going out and following through on my promises is what gets me closer to my long-term goals.

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