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.

“I’m Not Your Ex, I’m Not Your Father, I’m Me” Words Every Woman Should Hear and Feel

People are the sum of their experiences.

Let me say that again, “Human beings are the sum of their experiences.”

How can a man expect a woman to have faith in him if every man before him has let her down? Not specifically dating but in life. Imagine being a little girl and your father breaks your heart by not being there, making promises he didn’t keep. Imagine having brothers that you love to death and they didn’t protect you, used women, lied. These are her experiences with men and this is all before she even starts to date.

Women love on a level that men rarely do.

Women love on a level that’s selfless, there’s very few conditions past being loyal and nice. So think about it, you’re this woman that’s trying her best to be a good girlfriend or wife and what happens; your trust is broken.

So we’re talking men she’s grown up with letting her down and men she’s dated letting her down. I haven’t even touched on the guy friends. The ones that pretend they want friendship or the best for her and then when she gets a man or goes on a date he flips. Decides to bare his soul and hate her because she should have known he was in love.

So let me say it again, “Human beings are the sum of their experiences.”

That brings me to my original point, how does a man expect a woman to have blind faith in him when all she’s ever known is disappointment from men?

You can’t. It may be frustrating, it may be annoying, it may feel as though she doesn’t know you. But the simple truth is, you’re going to have to show her. You’re going to have to keep being the man she wants but isn’t expecting. You can’t let pride get in the way.

If every guy she’s ever trusted has ran, not kept his word, she’s protecting herself. If her friends and family have experienced the same thing, she’s protecting herself. She’s thinking about what they’ve been through and what’s she’s been through. Maybe she sees something in you that scares her, that reminds her of men in her past.

Ease her mind, her fears, be the guy that shows her rather than argues with her.DSC_0341(1)@authordwhite on all social media platforms.

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

We Aren’t Our Grandparents; Not Sure If That’s A Good or Bad Thing

When I was growing up my bedroom was right next to the living room and there were so many nights I would hear my grandmother and grandfather sitting in the living room talking. It was their routine. My grandmother would sit and read her bible and my grandfather would wait until the news went off and join her while she fixed him something sweet to eat.

Most nights I’m not sure what they talked about but I know they had very few secrets if any and they were each other’s sounding board. The thing about their generation is that they understood at some point your family evolved. Your immediate family went from your mom and dad and brothers and sisters to your husband or wife and your children. Your secrets and concerns stopped being between bestfriends and siblings and started being with your husband or wife.

Our generation has moved away from that and I can’t tell anyone reading this whether or not that’s good or bad, what works for you and your relationship works for you and your relationship but I can tell you that it can’t help that we don’t have that same sense of closeness and loyalty anymore.

It also works on the opposite in. My grandparents and that generation, the women didn’t ask a lot of questions and in a lot of cases, they didn’t have a lot of options. If they found a man that had a good job and was a good provider they didn’t divorce him no matter his flaws. Our women are different, they have jobs and careers and in a lot of cases are more financially stable then the men they’re with. There isn’t that same sense of accepting whatever he brings.

How cannot that not be a good thing?

I wish I could work and not worry about my wife working but we don’t live in that world anymore. You need two incomes and when your woman has to work how often can you come home to a homecooked meal? It’s the last day of 2017 and I haven’t one time this year.

Like I mentioned in the beginning, there’s no right or wrong answer but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a happy medium.

In case I get the feeling to write at 10:00pm on my cell phone this will more than likely be my last blog of 2017. So let me leave anyone reading with this thought.

Generations may change, cost of living and eras may change but the bond that a man and woman share will never change. If you find yourself questioning the priorities you share with a person you need to talk to them, make sure you’re on the same page. Often times we spend so much time analyzing that we forget to put down the cell phones and laptops and talk.

Do more of that in 2018.DSC_0341(1)

Love Isn’t Always Being Strong Enough To Stay; Often Times It’s Being Strong Enough To Let Go

I’m not sure how old I was when I started to relate to love songs. Not understand what sex was or heartbreak was but I listened to the words and could literally relate them to my own relationships and situations. Love is universal, you can speak different languages and be from different religions and still understand what your heart is speaking.

If you’re at home or at work or hiding in the bathroom trying to get a break from the kids, I want you to imagine with me. Imagine where you would be right now if you didn’t let go of a love you thought was irreplaceable? Imagine if you didn’t find the strength to leave that guy that wasn’t affectionate enough, the woman that only called when she needed something. Imagine if God would have answered your prayers when you said you couldn’t live without him. Happy Endings aren’t always relationships prospering, sometimes the Happy Ending is you being able to walk away.

We live in this world now where technology has made everyone feel more closely connected when the truth is technology is often a barrier to the connections we so deeply seek. Twenty years ago if you hurt someone you love you called their house and when they didn’t answer you went to them. You talked or argued, you broke up or made up, but it was real. Now not answering the phone means text and tweets and Facebook post. Relationships that should have ended just thrive in limbo.

I believe I’m going to be an amazing writer not because I can create characters out of thin air. I believe I will be an amazing writer because I’m transparent like every great writer before me. You have to take off the mask and the filter and tell your story. The good, the bad, the ugly. It won’t always be flattering and romantic but it will be a story people can relate to.

It doesn’t make you weak to fight for someone you love when you don’t feel like they’re fighting as hard for you. It doesn’t make you a savage to tell someone that will give their last to you, “This isn’t working anymore.” We have become a generation that gets our advice from meme’s and actors that give us words we want to hear instead of getting advice from our hearts.

When the day comes that you feel more comfortable sharing your day with strangers or friends then with the person you’re with. Sit down and have a serious conversation with yourself. That’s not only loving the person you’re with but loving yourself enough to know, it’s time to let go.

Where Are the Rules For Knowing How To Let Someone Love You?

The house dark, all the lights off, the television on mute watching him. Netflix for the fourth night in a row because the cable isn’t on. A beer on the floor next to him, a bottle of whiskey on the table beside him. There’s no sleep because stress has a way of being the enemy of sleep.

She wants to hold him, wants to be there for him, wants to love him. She wants to take the stress from his body and swallow it. Make it hers. When he hurts, she hurts, when he’s sad, she’s sad, her mood is a reflection of his.

Sitting next to him, her thigh touching his, her hand tracing his, her jokes awkward because she knows when he’s like this he goes into his shell. A shell she’s sure she’s cracked until moments like this. Until the moments where she knows he needs her the most and he won’t accept it.

Maybe it’s pride.

Maybe it’s arrogance in him believing he can do it all alone.

Maybe it’s him not wanting her to feel as though he’s not the man she thought he was.

Absorbing the anger in his voice, the sarcasm in his words, she still just needs to be next to him. She still needs to break down the wall. It’s tiring, it’s frustrating, it’s their love story.

Kissing him on the cheek, lying her head on his lap, they lay in the silence. Her presence saying everything words can’t.

5:01am In Paris; Met Langston Hughes 

It’s 5:01am here in the City of Love and so far I’m not sure how Paris, France got that name. It would be like calling the United States the City of Tolerance. Thursday was filled with flight cancellations, sick guys on planes and an upset stomach. 

Friday wasn’t turning out much better. We arrived at around 9:00am and since then we’ve walked a dozen miles and had to change hotels. I was this close to hoping on a plane and taking my privileged American ass home but then Paris reminded me it was Paris. 

Wine in a cafe at midnight while I bored my date with details of Langston Hughes and the Paris Transfer written by Arnold Ramperstad. Walking back to the hotel and getting lost, turning a corner and seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time. Ordering steak tar tar and not realizing it was raw meat, being too prideful to admit my mistake but the waisteess realizing no one orders raw meat. This has been my first day in Paris. 

I miss Whataburger, regular sized restrooms and AC but for someone as serious as I am. Sometimes it’s okay to not have a plan. 

I wonder what day two holds in store.