This is my 7th year blogging starting with a strong desire to write and share. I started on a weebly blog as “Selim Bouhamidi Sketches” which later developed into a project I called “Sketches of Lasselle Street” named after the street I learned to call home in the City of Moreno Valley, California. At that point in my life, I went through a roller-coaster 10 years moving about 13 times getting in and out of different relationships, jobs and pursuing education through some rough times. It’s nice to be moving and running so you don’t have to dwell on the monsters that lay within. Unfortunately, once I settled down, hustling my way up in my career, becoming a husband, a provider and a home-owner, I finally to ask the hard questions about my life: what kind of creature am I really? Do I really live my life as a poet without faith in God? Am I happy with the company that I keep? Why am I living life like I haven’t healed from the hurt boy I was on Van Nuys Boulevard? About a year ago, I re-launched a zine I wrote when I was a teenager called Dif’rent Mind State which was named after a Coachella Valley graffiti crew that I joined in the late-90s. I was dealing with fall-out from nervous breakdowns that I had as a youngster – my friends were dying in the streets with suicide, gangs, crews and drugs and I felt that I was never being heard. I was intensely into Hip Hop spending my adolescent and teenage years in the streets joining tagging crews, and digging in crates, copping mixed tapes (back when they were cassette tapes that took 2-3 hours to record). I wish I could say that I was a Street Artist but I wasn’t – I was just a skilled tagger trapped by mediocre drafting and art skills but blessed with great hand-writing skills that allowed me to adopt styles from different counties as I put up my tag name throughout Southern California – pretty much Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, Hollywood, Venice and Inland Empire. I got caught up in the system around age 15, and to keep me away from spending my formative years behind bars or dead because of the multiple beefs I was entangled in, I created a zine, and started writing lyrics at 16 and 17 years old. The graffiti never really left my system but I was able to curtail my taste for vandalism by becoming a successful academic and professional. Today, I am picking up the pieces of a life that collided in many pieces and – like a puzzle that is scattered – it is impossible to see the whole picture until all of the pieces are put back together with careful time and attention. I have loved blogging and sharing the interesting life that God has blessed me with which I say freely as I develop my faith in my forties because I learned that intelligence and science does not mean a person should neglect their spirituality. Dif Rent Mind State is this project here – free for free thinkers but burdensome for me and others that struggle to make sense of the world that was given to them without instructions.