Archive for the ‘Everyday struggles’ Category

One of the subjects that always gets the juices flowing is the black relationship. I generally can’t go a day without getting in some sort of discussion or debate with friends or colleagues about why aren’t there any good black men in the world or why do black women want so much.

It’s a topic that can’t be avoided in the black community and a conversation that seems to have no end in sight.

So today, one of my Twitter boos and blogger extraordinaire @OneChele pinned this piece detailing a young woman who had walked in on her boo creepin’ on the come up. This couple, as described in Chele’s piece, appears to be in their late teens, early 20s and have been together for some time. So while they are young, one would think they have a solid foundation. At least as solid as one can have for being that age.

This gentleman, apparently an amateur in the playa department, made two very crucial mistakes. For starters, he chose to handle his side piece in a place where his main boo could walk in on them. That’s pretty damn self-explanatory. Secondly, I’m assuming in a tongue-twisted state and in shock that he’d been caught suggested that it was “just sex.”

Timeout.

Most of us who have loved and been loved, whether we’ll admit it publically, have either been cheated on or have done the cheating. Since I don’t hold back, I’ll put out full disclosure that I’ve both the victim and culprit. There really is no justifying it, it’s wrong no matter what the excuse is. But the reality is, it happens.

Now, in defense of this gentleman, it probably was “just sex.” After all, he’s a sophomore in college and I’m sure there had to have been a little bit of alcohol involved. The holier-than-thou people who read this will be quick to say “wrong is wrong” or “are you really defending this?” But who among us, men or women, never gave in to temptation when we were that age. I’ll wait…

Predictably, my friend uses a graph to slam men, saying that “they will run game if you let them.” I’m almost certain she shared this sentiment with her friend who sought her help. In case you forgot, women cheat to.

Should she forgive her man? I say yes. Only if she fully believes that it’s a one-time deal. And no, I don’t believe in the thinking that once a cheater always a cheater. Unlike women, men tend not to get emotionally tied to a woman just because he has sex with her. So I can get with his “excuse” that it was jut sex.

But at the end of the day,whether he gets his boo back or not,  maybe this will serve as a wake up call that a moment of lust is not worth destroying a foundation built on love.

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From time to time, a friend of mine casually brings up my blog. He questions, in his own unique way, why I don’t write as much as I used to. I smile and mostly deflects his conversation by trying to change the subject. A few weeks will pass and he’ll bring it up again as we pass each other at work.

His latest inquiry came a couple of weeks ago via a Facebook post. He, like many, came to my page to wish me a Happy Birthday. In addition to his birthday wishes, he simply said: “Write in your blog more”

I hadn’t really given my blog much thought as I’ve had a lot going on in my life. It was when that thought crossed my mind that I realized it was the perfect time to jot some thoughts down.

My birthday falls on June 19. It’s a time of the year when summer is just beginning, school is out and people’s minds begin to wonder to exotic places such as Miami, Cancun and the Bahamas, among others. On other note, it marks the halfway point of the year and it causes people to take a moment to reflect on where they are and whether it matches up with their goals and resolutions that were set six months earlier.

More often than not, there’s always something that throws a wrench in our plans. Whether it’s a lack of planning to something better coming up to real life “stuff,” things rarely go according to plan.

So around my birthday, I started reflecting on my year so far. The highs, the lows and the times where things were just blah. Without a doubt, the most memorable moment of my first half was the passing of my grandfather. He was and even in his passing, still is the head of our family. He was the first person in my immediate family to leave. It left us with a void that I feel on a daily basis.

His death and the week that followed leading up to his funeral was one of the most amazing experiences of my left. It impacted me so much so that, I’ve decided to document that experience in a short book, which I hope to have completed in the near future.

What Granddaddy’s passing did for me was serve as a reminder that no matter what I go through in life, nothing can replace the love of a family. It reinforced the fact that your best friends in the world are those whom you’ve grown up with, share characteristics with and whose last name you share. Not that I’d forgotten this, because I hadn’t. But I was beginning to question the man upstairs about some things. Where he was taking me. Why things hadn’t happened when and how I wanted them to.

As I move toward the second half of 2010, a year that has flown by, I’m more focused than ever. I understand now more than ever that, while professional success is great, if I’m not happy and fulfilled personally, all my endeavours are for naught. It’s easy to say, but whenever I get down and ready to give up, I think of my grandfather, and I keep pushing.

Until next time…

All work and no play

Posted: December 1, 2008 in Everyday struggles

bestman21

[Disclaimer: This post was originally started on Oct. 22]

The other day at a company-wide meeting, a young black women, who happens to be a Senior VP, stood up and made a presentation on behalf of her department.

She was poised, articulate and very nice looking.

She was the type of woman that, as a man, if you didn’t have your stuff together, you might be hesitant to even approach her if you saw in in a social setting.

The fact is, there are many successful women, of all races, that fall under this category. Young, successful, attractive and very much not in need of a man.

Or are they.

I asked someone who was at that meeting: “I wonder if she has a problem finding a man.”

What I meant was, I was jut curious what her dating life was like. Like I said earlier, she was successful well-spoken and her job requires her to be on the go all the time. And black men, no matter how much we deny it, are sometimes intimidated by our sisters, particularly those who are well established and may have more power in the workplace and make more money that we.

In this day and age, often times we put our careers in the forefront and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. Hard work is important and is required to reach any goals we set for ourselves in life. But at what cost do we set our priorities?

Is there a difference between professional accomplishment and personal happiness? Or does one dictate each other?

This young lady and others, by all accounts, seems content — from the outside looking in at least. I see women (and men) all the time display that swagger and confidence in the workplace and in meetings that suggests that they are the ish and they have their stuff together. As long as the have that pants suit on, that blackberry and are amongst their peers, they seem fulfilled. But what happens when you finally log off for the evening? Is there an emptiness because all of your eggs are in one basket? Did you leave yourself any room for happiness away from the job or school?

The world today with internet, cell phones, e-mail, etc. has sadly created an environment where this is the norm. IF we’re not careful there’s no time to live, love and laugh. And we sometimes don’t allow ourselves to be loved and to enjoy ourselves outside of our “professional” life.

To some, that’s ok with them. They focus is on their work and career goals. And that’s ok. But all work and no play sometimes leaves you struggling to figure out your priorities. When that happens, we often run to what’s comfortable, rather than what’s good for us.

I wasn’t one of those kids growing up who was shielded from the realities of life. My parents and family did their best to expose me to a wide array of things, both good and bad. And they didn’t shelter me so much that I wouldn’t encounter real life experiences.

Racism. Prejudice. Sickness. Death.

I’ve been to funerals. I’ve watched people, young and old, get sick, suffer and eventually die. Just this past week, a young man I knew growing up was executed by lethal injection for a murder he committed when we were in high school, some 11 years ago.

Death is inevitable. Those of us who are of the Christian faith understand that our day is coming but we believe that the casket is not our final home. We hope that if we live right, there’s room for us in heaven. At least, that’s what we say we believe.

Anyone who says they’ve never thought about death is lying. We all at one point or another have wondered about death as it relates to us. When, where, how? We’ve dreamt of our funerals. Who will show up and what will they say about us.

For me, it’s something that, even though I had some exposure to, still used to scare me. Depsite my religious and practical beliefs, what would really happen when I took my last breath. Would it be just like an unconscious state like sleep? Because after all, sleep IS the cousin of death.

To be clear, it’s not something that was constantly on my mind. But from time to time, I did think about it.

But as I got older, the realities of the real world set in and it was revealed to me that now that I’m on my own and not living off mom and dad that life is not easy. Sure we have times when things are going smooth. Finances are in good shape, we’re in sync with our significant others and we’re in good health. Life is good then. No worries. But if you’ve lived long enough you understand that those good times only last for a while.

I am a witness.

Lately, I’ve been struggling with a lot of different issues. I’ve been trying to maintain a tight budget, but continue to struggle. I’ve been doing my best to treat the SO right, yet it’s not good enough. I’ve been trying to look out for me, but yet still question things. One thing I pride myself on is the fact that I can face anything — I’ll never give up. But I’d be lying if I said to anyone that these struggles have been easy for me. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t become depressed and wonder if I’d be better off dead.

Because I have.

Sometimes I feel like Biggie: “I’m sick of niggas lying, I’m sick of bitches hawkin’, matter of fact, I’m sick of talkin’

But in spite of the hardships, I have to believe things are going to get better. I love and believe in myself too much to let things bring to the lowests of lows. I’ll make it through.

And plus, I’m dying inside thinking about what my momma would think.

No more Mr. Nice Guy

Posted: June 30, 2008 in Everyday struggles

[Note: I saw this on a friend’s page and borrowed it because it was so profound and spoke to where I am I can definitely relate to this to a certain extent]

To every guy that regrets hurting or losing her.

To every guy who knows which girl he wants.

To every guy that’s said, “You’re beautiful.”

To every guy that was never too busy to drive across town (or across the state)( or across the country ) to see her.

To every guy that gives flowers and a card when she is sick.

To every guy who has given her flowers just because.

To every guy that said he would die for her.

To every guy that really would.

To every guy that did what she wanted to do.

To every guy that cried in front of her.

To every guy that she cried in front of.

To every guy that holds hands with her.

To every guy that kisses her with meaning.

To every guy that hugs her when she’s sad.

To every guy that hugs her for no reason at all.

To every guy who would give their jacket up for her.

To every guy that calls to make sure she got home safe.

To every guy that would sit and wait hours to see her, even if they could only spend a few minutes together.

To every guy that would give his seat up.

To every guy that just wants to cuddle.

To every guy that reassured her that she was beautiful no matter what. And honestly believed what he said.

To every guy who told his secrets to her.

To every guy that tried to show how much he cared through every word and every breath.

To every guy that thought “maybe this could be the one”.

To every guy that believed in her dreams.

To every guy that would have done anything so she could achieve them.

To every guy that never laughed at her when she told him her dreams.

To every guy that walked her to her car.

To every guy that wasn’t just trying to get laid.

To every guy that gave his heart and still has a piece missing.

To every guy who prays that she is happy even if he is not the one that makes her that way.

To every guy who doesnt care how far away she lives, and will still date her because it’s her.

To every guy who cares the most about how she feels, even when she breaks your heart.

This is one message for you…

Not many girls appreciate nice guys anymore… And because of this, there are not many left out there…

First of all, shout out to the ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. because indeed, this is a ser-i-ous matta.

Or is it?

I’m a laid back guy. I try my hardest not to take my self, or anything I’m involved with, too serious. I try to live each day to the fullest and enjoy every moment. I’m old enough now to fully understand the saying “here today, gone tomorrow.”

For as long as I can remember, because of this mentality, I’ve been labled as nonchalant. People mistake my calmness for not caring or not being concerned. It’s something I’ve gotten used to, but still struggle with.

Make no mistake about it, I know when and where to turn up my serious meter. And when I’m engaged in conversation with someone, although I’m not outwardly showing it, I’ve very into and concerned about whatever said person is discussing with me.

The other “problem” I run into often is that I don’t worry about things I have no control over. To me, it’s not worth it. This is not to say that I don’t think ahead, because that’s not the case. Again, I’m old enough now to fully appreciate the saying “He who fails to plan, plans to fail.” Perhaps to a fault of mine, I often times implore the “I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it” method of thinking. To those who don’t think like that and who don’t grasp that because I’m not worried doesn’t mean I don’t care, that can be troublesome. It can cause them to be frustrated with me and question their own logic. This is not my intent. I just don’t take things as serious as them.

I question myself long and hard about this. I wonder if I should change. Most of the time, I could care less about what people think about me. I am me, I am ok. But when you constantly hear the same thing for years and you see how it affects the ones you love, you tend to look in the mirror, which I have done. I’ve question whether my happy-go-lucky outlook is a sign of immaturity.  I wonder how I can improve without changing who I am at heart.

Perhaps I can find a happy medium. Maybe if I adjust my body language, but keep the same mentality, the perception of uninterest will go away.  Or, maybe people will understand that although it may not appear to them that I care, I can and know how to be serious.