Finding Motivation Is Key

I haven’t been writing a lot in 2018 on a personal level because I decided to focus more on the business side of writing. Though that wasn’t the only reason. I also felt like I’d run out of things to say. So often as creatives and writers especially you get your motivation from real life, I look at like a battery. The more you charge it, the more powerful it becomes. For me 2018 was a year of growth and learning. Taking in moments as opposed to sharing them.

I’ve become a father and when I tell you it’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever felt, I’m not even sure that does it justice. Just holding him and looking at him and realizing that he’s a part of me is something that changes who you are as a man. Not just your priorities but I’ve never felt love like I feel love when I look at him.

I thought it would gross me out to change diapers or get spit up on but I find myself excited when he takes a poop because I know it means he isn’t constipated or gassy. When he spits up and looks at me and smiles, it’s because I know he got a good burp in or he ate too much and now he’s relieved. I’ll be driving to work and laugh at something he did and it brings joy to my life. Being a father is amazing and he can’t even play outside yet. I can just imagine what it’ll be like when he’s walking and running.

Having my son and living life has given me stories to write about, stories to focus on. Not just when it comes to my blog but when it comes to novels and scripts. Sitting back and watching, listening, ingesting the world around me.

I once saw this meme that said, “Be careful what you say around me, I’m a writer and anything you say or do may be used in a story.”

I have never related to anything so much in my life. 2018 pushed a button inside of me, a button which reminded me that life isn’t as short or long as we think it is. Life is just life. You live in the moment, you live in the day and before you know it, years have went by. What did you do with those years? What did you create? Who did you help? What did you inspire?

I’m sitting in my office writing this on a Saturday morning and before I know it it’ll be February and before I know it, it’ll be August. 2018 will be my last year viewing the world from the sidelines. I’m tired of playing it safe. I want to take risk and try new things. Write new genres and push myself professionally.

Being unhappy or unmotivated for the sake of it isn’t the move anymore. Make this last month of 2018 count.

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I’m Demez and I’m Having A Midlife Crisis

“It took me becoming “midlife” to realize what midlife crisis really meant. It isn’t losing your mind or chasing your youth; it’s getting to an age where your responsibilities outweigh your passions and you have to decide to give them up.” – Lennox’s Dad

A midlife crisis isn’t a bad thing. It isn’t some emotional or mental breakdown where you feel unstable or ashamed. It’s a crossroads moment that every man and woman deal with. It’s that moment where you decide to either settle into a comfortable living and forget about your dreams or you keep pushing and risking the future of your family. 35-40 is that age where you have to decide, do I keep working for a company I hate because I need that retirement or do I not take that promotion because the more hours I spend here, the less hours I can devote to my craft. It’s a real question and it’s a crisis in the middle of your life.

When I was younger I’d see the guy that was about to turn forty and he’d have a little grey coming in, his hair was going away and he’d go get that sports car or motorcycle. Everyone would whisper or joke with him, “Look at Bill, going through a midlife crisis.” I told the same jokes.

When you’re 18 or 21 and feel like you have everything planned out, it isn’t that you think 35 or 40 is old, it’s that you think it’ll be different for me when I get there. I’ll have my dream home and dream car and be a bestselling writer. I won’t settle or give up on my dreams. And then life happens, bills pile up which means you have to take a promotion you don’t want to make more money. That promotion comes with more hours at work. Maybe you have a child or get married and now you’re responsible for lives. Instead of investing that thousand dollars into your passion, you have to save it in case your child gets sick or your woman’s transmission goes out. And slowly you start to realize you haven’t done what you loved in days, then in becomes weeks, then you stop all together and start to focus on your “career.”

There’s this point where it hits you, it has to, I can only speak for myself obviously but very few people were dreaming about making 50k with good benefits when they were twenty two. Your dreams were probably so much bigger than that.

The real definition of a midlife crisis isn’t chasing youth or feeling old. It isn’t seeing grey in your beard or hair and dying it. A midlife crisis is being 35 or 40 and looking up and realizing you’ve been at that job you hate for 5 years and you convince yourself that you may as well work 5 more for the benefits. A midlife crisis is not finishing that book or not starting that food truck because you have to choose responsibility over passion. Imagine dreaming about becoming someone your entire life and now you realize that may never happen. That’s a crisis of life.

Why do you think so many people in our age bracket are walking alcoholics? Our generation makes fun of crackheads and the old guys that get a 40 after work but we’re worse. We literally invented days just to drink. Brunch and Mimosas, Taco Tuesday, Steak and Beer Thursday. The drinking, the fear of commitment, the starting a new relationship and abandoning your family, that’s because we’re going through midlife crisis’s and don’t know it. We look at that as something that happens when you’re 50, not 35 but how many people do you know that die at a 100? I can name you a bunch that die at 70.

All I’m saying is, don’t let obligation or responsibility stop you from pursuing your passions. If you have to take that new job that means you’ll be working 7 days a week, sacrifice your football games or social media time and chase your dreams. Do not let life rob you of what you love because that’s what “we’re supposed to do.” Keep pushing, keep putting out content, keep believing in yourself.

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Being Depressed Isn’t A License to Be Destructive

Depression can come and go like the weather. One minute it’s sunny and breezy and you can’t wait to go get a drink on your favorite patio bar and the next minute it starts to storm and you don’t have an umbrella. When you do get in the car, you realize you need gas and the windshield wipers aren’t working like they’re supposed to.

It hits you quick and hard and can be paralyzing to the point where you feel as though you don’t have the mental or physical energy to do anything. It’s in these moments where you have to fight the urge to be self-destructive.

I’m going to let you all in on a little secret. Everyone you know has battled some form of depression or mental illness. It can be something as simple as losing your job or breaking up with a mate. Our brains interpret that pain and hurt as though it’s actual physical pain. When these moments of shock of happen you can’t use them as excuses to be destructive.

“I’m not happy in my relationship,” so I’m going to go find happiness between the legs of someone else. “I’m not getting what I need from my job,” so I’m going to leave work that other people are depending on me to finish undone. These are self-destructive traits and when you wake up from this cloud of depression you’ll have to deal with the consequences that came from your bad decisions.

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I often write that the fundamental problem with most adults, men and women, is that we are unwilling to accept our roles in our own depression and bad situations. It is human nature to look out and see how someone has wronged you. When we should be looking within ourselves. You can be an amazing woman and do everything a man asks but he cheats and you have a right to say it’s his fault. But after you get past the tears, the depression, the anger, there’s a part of you that knows you saw the signs and chose to ignore them. There’s a part of you that knows you looked the other way when things didn’t feel right. You aren’t the one that broke the trust but you are the one that should have been honest with yourself.

Talk to someone.

Be honest about your feelings and allow your mind to pursued your heart out of foolishness.

I Can’t Wait To Teach You How To Be A Proud Black Man

Dear Lennox,

I Can’t Wait To Teach You How To Be A Proud Black Man

Since your mother walked into the kitchen on that January evening and told me about you I’ve been thinking of what I wanted for you, of how long I’ve been waiting on you to get here. This world, this world you’re about to be born into isn’t the kindest of places to little black boys that will grow up to be black men. We will do our best to protect you and shield you from that ugliness but that will be a time when we aren’t there. When you become aware of your skin tone, of the way you’re perceived.

It will be in that moment that you still hold your head up high, that you don’t respond with anger or violence or fear but respond with the confidence of knowing where you come from, who you come from and who you are.

Text books will tell you that slavery never existed.

Schools will tell you that the Civil War was over States Rights.

Teachers will want to silence you if you ask too many questions.

Slavery did exist.

The Civil War happened because they wanted to keep us in chains.

Ask all the questions you want and I will have your back.

I want you to grow up watching your mother laugh, watching us be affectionate. I want you to know that it’s cool to love a woman, to need a woman, that they are not easily replaced. I don’t want you to sexualize them before you even know what sex should be. I won’t tell you it’s cute when you grab a woman on her ass. I won’t smile when you sing words to songs you shouldn’t be listening to. I want you to understand that love is an amazing feeling and has nothing to do with your hormones.

I’ll never be your friend but I’ll always be someone that you can come to and talk to about any and everything. I won’t judge you or curse you out but I will tell you when you’re wrong. I will tell you when you have to live with the consequences of your actions. And then I’ll hug you, I’ll hug you because my father never hugged me and I grew up thinking that made me tough.

There’s nothing tough about hiding your emotions. Nothing tough about needing to cry, about wanting to cry but holding it in because you don’t want to be seen as weak. There’s nothing soft about hugging your mother or calling her when you’ve had a bad day. You won’t know what it feels like to have to do it on your own blindly. To have to search for answers. We will be here to give you the blueprint so that when you go into this world you won’t be blindsided the cruelty of it.

I’ve been a lot of places. Traveled and enjoyed their cultures, their food, their music but I’ve also collected books in each of these places. Books to teach you, books to make you want to explore the world one day. I read to you while you’re in there baking, I rub her stomach and tell you about the beaches of Belize. I kiss her belly and tell you about where Langston Hughes studied in Paris and where Eddie Murphy ate steak off a models back. I talk to you because I want you to know the sound of peace when you hear your father’s voice.

Your biggest responsibility as my son will be being yourself. I’d love for you to love reading and writing and boxing. But if you end up loving dance and painting, I’m going to support you.

The first time your mother heard your heartbeat on a monitor she cried. Not like one of those sweet teary eyed cries but an actual ugly cry. I didn’t cry, I didn’t shed a tear. I just closed my eyes and said a prayer that you make it into this world okay.

It’s A Good Day To Start Living Your Best Life

You’re unique.

Perfect in your own way.
There is no reason you shouldn’t be comfortable in your skin because God brought you to this moment, this place, this time for a purpose. All of the heartbreak, the disappointment, the moments where you wanted to slap someone or scream in the middle of a workday. That’s okay because that simply shows how strong your spirit is!

There are a lot of people that didn’t make it home last night, a lot of people that didn’t wake up this morning. Men diagnosed with cancer, women that lost babies in the second trimester. But If you’re up and reading this you made it another day.

So make today count! Make it count in your own way! You don’t owe it to anyone to be great, to be special, to be happy but yourself! Life will never be easy and I’m sure I’ve written that before, life isn’t meant to be easy!

I’m not the first man to say this and I won’t be the last but ‘We Are Not Meant To Be Alone!’

We aren’t meant to be sad.

This isn’t a morning note about religion or inspiration, this is a morning note about LIVING! About SMILING! About realizing that  everything may not be great but it’s better than most and for that we can be grateful!

Someone out there loves you, someone prays for you and wishes that they could have your strength! Someone out there wants to be your protection, sanity and bestfriend. Someone out there is waiting for you to apply for that job that doesn’t make your skin crawl when you go to work in the morning!

Believe what you want will happen because what you want and what you need walk hand in hand.

I believe what you want will happen if you’re willing to put in the work to get it! Nothing worth having is going to come easy, prayer is necessary, talking to friends and family to ease your mind is necessary! But more than all that, working hard and not quitting is what will get you there!

There’s no magic formula, be true to yourself and those that hold you down and watch good things happen!

Good Morning and smile today because God didn’t give you another day to be sad

Dreams Are Just Reality Waiting to Happen

My actual writing career started with Facebook notes. I would write them every morning before work. I literally mean every morning. I had this whole routine where I couldn’t sleep so I would just lie in bed and look at the TV on mute; then I would get up, go to my computer and write a story.

The first six or seven months no one really read them and I would tag people and talk about it but nothing and then something really cool happened. I was at work and my phone started to blow up and one of the stories I’d written was getting shared. Now I would wake up and write and people would look forward to my words.

I could literally see them sitting in traffic or at their desk, drinking their coffee or orange juice and reading my words, my words. I would live and die with every like, share and comment.

Those Facebook notes at the crack of dawn got me a book deal, a blog that does good numbers and changed my life. If I’m being honest I have no idea if I would be writing on the level I am if it wasn’t for that.

I didn’t take any literature or English classes. I still confuse sentence structure and tenses to this day. I never loved writing because I thought it would be cool to have my name on a book or it might get me cute shy girls. I loved writing because it always came so easy to me and it feels like the most natural thing in the world. Don’t ever give up on your dreams.