A Real Conversation About Jamie and Cersei

After Sunday night I was just as disappointed in Game of Thrones as everyone else that watched it. It wasn’t that we weren’t expecting the results of Dany going crazy or Cersei and Jamie dying but it was how they got us to that point. It’s almost like they wrote this amazing novel and then got a text telling them to wrap it up in twenty five pages when they needed 200 pages.

I won’t focus on all the storylines and characters. I choose to focus only on two, Jamie and Cersei Lannister. I wrote on Facebook recently that I wanted a love like Jamie and Cersei and of course most of the comments were, “You want to sleep with your sister, ewwww.” I’m not talking to those people because those people are more than likely Hodor slow. Take the sibling part out of it, free your mind from that thought process. Just look at them as a man and a woman that grew up together.

Jamie is a man that literally did everything right is entire life. He honored his family, served his King and house proudly and had a reputation that most men could only dream of. It was only when he killed the King he was supposed to be protecting that he became “evil.” This is a guy who was never looked at as mean or evil before this. He was handsome, charming, funny and brave. One decision made him a villain.

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When you become a villain you take solace in the people that know the real you. No one knows Jamie Lannister better than the woman he literally came into this world with. Their intimacy wasn’t backwoods incest or passion they couldn’t control. I’m not even sure it was love, I think it was need. The need to be intertwined with the only person that sees the real them.

Jamie’s entire arc on the show was about doing whatever to protect and get back to Cersei. We want him to be this guy that’s changed and a better man but he never changed. He was just humbled and needed to keep his word. He fought for the living out of honor, not a need to be better than he was. His entire life was about loyalty and honor.

Cersei on the other hand, her entire life was about family and power. She hated she wasn’t a man because she knew in her heart that had she been born Jamie she would be a king. Her love for Jamie was the only thing that filled the voids in her life. Not even her children who she loved to death could replace the person she came into this world with.

“I killed my cousin with my bear hands for Cersei. I pushed a boy out of a window crippling him for life for Cersei. I would have killed every man, woman and child in Riverrun for Cersei.” Those words, that passion, that need, that love. That doesn’t die over night because you want to be someone you’re not. Killing Cersei would have been killing his soulmate. They lived in a world where everyone hated them, everyone envied them, everyone desired them. In each other they had calm in the storm. I stand by what I said, there story is the perfect love story. And if you can’t get pass the whole sibling thing, you’re as basic as Hodor.

Stop Underestimating How Important It Is to Like the Person You’re With

IMG_0001Love. Love is a word we love to use when describing relationships.

“When is the moment you realized you were in love with someone?”

“What do you love most about him or her?”

We are infatuated with romance and love stories, so much so that we forget liking someone is far more important than loving them. Love is emotional, passionate, an all encompassing feeling that can take over your entire life. Love can be based on how someone makes you feel sexually or spiritually. Love can come from someone being there for you when you were at your lowest and they saved you.

Love isn’t always forever. We aren’t robots, the same way you fall in love with someone, you can easily fall out of love with them. What’s just as important, if not more important, is liking the person you choose to give your heart to.

We all have bad habits, some of us leave hair in the sink, some of us leave clothes lying around. Others of us wake up with bad morning breath or bad attitudes. Either way the thing about liking a person is that you can deal with their “stuff.” We all have “stuff,” none of us are perfect but when you genuinely like someone, you can live with their stuff. You want to be around them even when that passion and intensity isn’t there.

For every romantic dinner and intense night of love making there’s five nights of “what are you we going to eat for dinner” and cramping. These are the nights where liking her makes you want to take care of her and go get food or cook because you know she doesn’t feel well. When she’s your friend it’s easy to do, when she’s your obligation you’ll still do it but it isn’t because you want to. It’s because you know you have to. And obligations have an expiration date.

Every man in the world gets annoyed at his woman. It can be her constantly being on the phone, it can be her leaving her clothes lying around the room and playing sick when you ask her to get them up. But liking her makes you laugh and smile at who she is. Liking her makes you forget about the mess and want to hold her, knowing that you can clean the house up over the weekend.

Love is that feeling that makes men tear down castles and write love songs that last a lifetime. But liking her is the feeling that makes you want to spend six hours in a car driving to New Orleans knowing that talking to her is better than anticipating her. One of the reasons we love the feeling of first meeting someone is that we get to anticipate them. The first kiss, the first shower, the first trip we take together. But you have to remember that there’s life after anticipation. The first time is sexy and fun, can it still be fun when it’s the 34th time?

Joe Budden was talking about his relationship with his son and he said something I’ll never forget. He said it’s just different when you love the mother of your child. It doesn’t mean that you love your child any less but the experience of each moment is just different. You’re sharing those moments in a way you can’t when you don’t love her, let alone like her.

Sorry I’ve been away for so long with the writing. I’m back.

Don’t Lose Yourself In the Expectation of Others

Don’t Lose Yourself In the Expectation of Others
One of the easiest things in the world is to allow the weight of expectations to leave a permanent imprint on your life. You can want so badly to do right by everyone else that you forget what makes you happy and even worse, maybe you never knew what made you happy in the first place.

For me it’s always been writing, it’s always come so natural to me that I don’t believe I appreciated it like I should have. Over the past couple years money has become the motivation and I will be the first to tell you. Every cliché quote you’ve ever heard about doing something for love vs. doing it for money is true.

When I was writing for love, writing for Facebook likes and blog likes and just wanting people to absorb my words, I could write all night. I could barely sleep because I was so excited just to wake up and put words on this computer screen. Once it became an obligation, once putting words on this computer screen became contracts and deadlines, I wasn’t so anxious to get up and write anymore.

What I had to learn, what I’m still learning is that I have to make time for the passion. I have to close the screens that I’m obligated to and open the screens I need. And if that isn’t a microcosm of life I don’t know what is.

It’s okay to take a break from your obligations and feed your soul.

I plan on doing a lot more of that in the year of 2019.

 

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One of the reasons writing will always have a place in our society is because it allows you to explain yourself. Unlike Twitter which gives you a character limit and you can easily be misquoted or Instagram which gives you one minute and someone can take a fifteen second soundbite and ruin your life, articles allow you to give your entire side.

I have a lot of thoughts on my grandparents generation. I do believe in a sense they were the best of us, they were brave and professional and they built homes, communities and families. But they also had their flaws, they spoiled their children and made a lot of them lazy which led to being bad parents. They cheated in a way in which they would have entire families across town.

They are just such a confusing yet interesting generation. I won’t  get too deep into it but I’m sure a lot of it has to do with being raised by parents that were heavy in Jim Crow and segregation. They saw their parents and grandparents struggle and not know how to read in a lot of cases so they wanted more. More often included sin.

The one thing they did that I did respect, is they always knew to take care of home first. There’s a part on Fences that goes unnoticed. He gives his check to his wife faithfully to pay the bills before he buys his liquor, hangs with his friends, cheats. He knew to take care of home before anything else and when he stopped taking care of home, his life fell apart.

Women were the same way. A woman may have had all the chores to do in the world or may have worked her ass off but she knew when her man walked through the door there would be dinner. She knew that no matter what he was taking care of home so she took care of him.

Our generation has lost that. We live in this constant state of taking care of everything and everyone but home. It’s a bunch of things, it’s technology, it’s circumstance, it’s social media. But they all lead to the same conclusion. We are a generation of selfish people.

In the 90’s a man or woman would work all day and when they got home from work they would call their friend and have a conversation about what went on. Maybe if they have an office phone, they’ll call during lunch. Now we’re in an era where people have 24/7 access to you. If you aren’t talking in a group chat, you’re on the phone, if you aren’t on the phone, you’re on Facebook. Everything feels urgent when the truth is, it isn’t. We carry our phones around like slaves. We neglect those closes to us in hopes a stranger likes a picture.

We don’t take care of home. Getting online and pretending to be in love means more than coming home and making sure someone ate. Going to hang out with friend’s matters more than coming home and surprising your significant other. Everything becomes an argument about who did what or who does more because the truth is our generation just doesn’t care about home.

So we end up with blended families and regret. We end up with people not appreciating what they had until it’s gone when the truth of the matter is, the same people you neglect your family for. The same strangers you crave attention from, once you lose the person that was there for you when the camera phone was off, none of that attention will feel as important.

Life has been and will always be about priorities. Every decision we make leads to the next decision. You can try and justify them but in your heart you know, we all know.

Our grandparents didn’t always do things the right way but they knew to take care of home first.

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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We Had A Baby Last Night

“If I can’t eat, neither can you.” Those were the last slurry words she spoke to me before she fell asleep from the epidural she swore she would never get. That’s an entirely other story I’ll tell at a later date. We’d been at the hospital since 9:00am and the doctor told her not to eat anything. What should have been a routine check up turned into the doctor telling us to come straight to the maternity ward.

“You’re about to have a baby.” He said with excitement.

No bags were backed, we were in separate cars, both planning on heading to work. Now we were being told we were about to have a baby one week early when she wasn’t even dilated past three centimeters. After a couple hours of running around and making arrangements we were in the birthing room arguing about the pain medicine she swore she would never take.

“If I can’t eat, neither can you.”

I waited until she was good and knocked out before telling my mom I was going to get something to eat. The least I could do was wait until she couldn’t see me eating. Memorial Hermann in the Heights is a weird location. It’s close to a million restaurants but almost none of them are in walking distance.

Walking distance for New York maybe but not for Houston.

But right next door to this massive Hospital is a small Mexican restaurant. No flat screens or fancy tables. No granite counter tops or 12 dollar margaritas. Just cold Coronas in a big ice chest and tequilas I can’t name. Starving and needing to get back to the birth of my first son I ordered something quick and then something happened.

You know that thing that happens in the movies where the music gets dramatic and you know the story is about to take a dark turn. My mother’s name popped up on my caller ID. If you knew my mom you’d know one thing about her, she never asks me for anything. That means seeing her name meant I knew she wasn’t calling to ask me to bring her some food.

“Dr. Ahmed is here. There’s something the matter with the baby’s heartbeat, it’s dipping too low and they can’t wait for it to stabilize. They need to perform a C-section now! You need to get back here Demez.” Ten minutes ago we were laughing and anticipating my son coming at six in the morning. Now at 8:30pm they were telling me if they didn’t perform this emergency C-section he might not make it here. Throwing a twenty on the counter and running back to the hospital I stepped off the elevator and as soon as I walked into the room there were nurses and doctors everywhere prepping her.

The epidural was causing her to shake uncontrollably and the anesthesia was making her nauseas and sleepy. With her eyes barely open and squeezing my hand she asked me, “Do you remember your promise? If it’s between me and Lennox, choose him.” For months she’d been telling me this and for months I’d been telling her that nothing was going to happen. Now here we were with her having a bad reaction to the epidural she didn’t want to get and my son’s heartbeat dropping with every second.

“I remember what I promised you. I got you. I love you. Nothing is going to happen.”

My mom and sisters helped me put on my sterilization gear. I followed the doctors and nurses to the operating room. This is the part that literally shook me to my core. Up until this point I was sure everything was going to be alright but they put me in a waiting room that felt like purgatory.

I’m alone in this waiting room and there’s one bench and no one else can be in this room. The nurses tell me to wait and they’ll come back for me. I can see my family and her family on the other side of the door every time it opens begging me with their eyes for answers I don’t have. At this point I don’t have to be brave for anyone. Not for B, not for my family, not for her family. I’m alone and now I have nothing but my own fears. What if my son doesn’t make it onto this earth? What if his mother doesn’t? What if neither of them do? Closing my eyes and praying to God for what seemed like the first time in months all I asked is that they both make it out okay.

The operating room is cold and sterile and quiet. They walk me over to her and ask me to keep her calm, to make her laugh. I’m supposed to make her laugh when she’s terrified and shaking. Cool, let me do my Kevin Hart impression while his wife is delivering a baby. I tell her to remember our trips, to think about the first place we’ll take Lennox. I tell her to focus on me and to focus on what it will be like to hold him.

In the midst of me talking I hear the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard in my life.

I hear Lennox Noire White crying. At 9:13pm on 6 August 2018 I hear my son crying for the first time. Cleaning him up, they place him in my arms since B is still being operated on. He’s 6 pounds 11 ounces and the most beautiful boy I’ve ever seen. A thick head of curly black hair, incredibly quiet for all he’s just put us thru and my world.

An hour later his mom is wheeled into the room on her bed and holds him for the first time.

That was my Monday.

That was the story of how I almost had a heart attack trying to say hello to my son.