Why Don’t They Teach A Class In High School About Adulting?

I’m half way into my 34th year of life and I can honestly tell you I have never had to use biology in real life. I have never gone on a job interview where someone asked me, “So, what is an organism?” I have yet to go to a pay a bill and the person behind the counter asked, “Excuse me sir, we need your street address, social security number and for you to tell us 10 State Capitals.” Why do they teach us all this useless knowledge but don’t teach us how to adult? Below are four classes on how to adult before you hit the real world.

Lesson One- Money and Common Cents

Could you imagine if in your senior year of high school there was a class on real life budgeting? Not calculus or trigonometry but a class entitled “Money and Common Cents.”

classroom pic 2

Food all goes down the same. Wingstop taste amazing, Pappadeaux for happy hour is everything. A good steak from Brennan’s, mouthwatering. However, lesson 1, there isn’t a worse feeling than checking your bank statement and seeing you’ve spent 120.00 on food for the week knowing your cell phone bill is 117.89. Spaghetti is your friend; sandwiches are your friend, those cheap sausages that turn the water super greasy, your friend. If you know you don’t get paid for two weeks, don’t blow your money on food.

Lesson Two- Love Is Going To Break You; But It Won’t Kill You

We as a society do a horrible job of preparing our youth for how powerful love is. There was never a class in high school or college that taught us how much love would break us down. No group project on how to deal with seeing another man’s name pop on your woman’s phone at 2am. No power point on feeling like life is great and your man walking in and telling you, “I don’t love you anymore.”

There should be a test given to every high school senior. Don’t let love make you make dumb decisions. If you aren’t married, don’t co-sign for him a car because he changed a flat for you. Those things are not equal baby girl and I know you think he has a good job working at UPS overnight but I promise you a good job at 18 isn’t a good job at 24. If that woman wants to break up with you, let her go. Beating up her new man may feel good but the record that comes with it doesn’t. In a year she’ll have moved on and you’ll still be living with the consequences.

Lesson Three- Don’t Blow Off Your Grandparents and Parents

There’s a time frame after high school and before true adulthood kicks in at like 26 that we ignore our grandparents or parents. We want to travel and go out and sleep in so we say, “I’ll see grandma tomorrow.” “I’ll call my mom back tomorrow.” Those tomorrow’s add up and the next thing you know it’ll have been two months. There will be a day when they won’t be here anymore and in that moment you’ll think back to when you blew them off for a man or woman you have blocked on FB or friends that you don’t even talk to anymore. Love those that love you.

Lesson Four- Most Of Us Won’t Die Young; Prepare Yourself

Go to the dentist. You only get one set of real teeth.
Make memories and takes lots of pictures.
Don’t not pay bills to enjoy yourself. Credit is something you’ll need.
You don’t feel good, go to the doctor. You still don’t feel good, go back. You still don’t feel good, go to another doctor.
Don’t waste years of your life being unhappy.

An Open Letter to My Brothers

black women

Keisha, Alexandria and Natasha

Dear Black Men,

Donald Trump created an entire fake University just to rip people off and he’s one of two people in America that are vying to become our President. A white college male in California raped an unconscious woman behind a dumpster and is basically getting 3 months. As I’m tying this a black man is probably getting sentenced to years over weed when it’s legal in several states and most cities don’t even arrest you for small amounts anymore. These are all facts and these are all things that need to be addressed. I am not addressing them in this letter. In this letter I want to talk about the three woman that were murdered this week by men that look like you and I. Not because of gang violence, not because of police but because of domestic violence and this idea that, “If I can’t have you, no one can.”

Earlier this week I talked about how there has never been a race of women that existed that love black men more than black women. They will literally sacrifice their last for us, our mothers, our sisters, our aunts but more than anything; the women that love us in a romantic way. When a woman loves you, it’s with her entire being. She feels your pain and love in her soul and what’s hers is yours. The thing is though, if you don’t appreciate it, you’ll lose it and once you lose it, you have to her go.

Someone is going to read this and think that I’m saying all black men are woman beaters or all black men look the other way when it comes to domestic violence. Someone will read this and say, “What about white men?” “What about police?” Let me be clear. I speak to black men when it comes to protecting black women because no one else will. This week, three black women were shot and killed by men that should have been protecting them whether they were together or not. If a woman is the mother of your children, you should always want to make sure she’s good. We are spending too much time and energy fighting each other when we need to be looking out for each other.

If my friend or my brother or a co-worker tell me they are having problems at home or problems getting over a breakup. It’s my job as a man to talk to them, to see where their head is at. It’s my job and responsibility to let them know, “Bro, let shorty go, it’s going to be alright. You weren’t good to her when you had her and now that she’s finally happy you want to terrorize her even more?”

Black women used to give themselves to slave owners just so black men wouldn’t get beat or sold. When black men were getting lynched and locked up in the 50’s and 60’s, black women bailed us out and picked up the picket signs. When drugs hit the community and entire neighborhoods and cities lost black men to prison; our women held our sons and daughters together. Even now, with every other rap lyric and social media debate attacking black women, they’ve never let our side. So it’s up to us as men to stop looking the other way when we see domestic violence. When we see our brother, our friend, is about to lose it. We can’t laugh it off or belittle him. We have to make him understand, let her go.

I get sick to my stomach having to prove I’m not a criminal every time I get pulled over. Having to prove I’m qualified every time I work on a new project at work. Having to wait just a tad bit longer for my meal at a nice restaurant because, “He’s probably not going to tip well.” But what really kills me is watching little black boys and girls be raised without a mother. We have to fight the world everyday, we can’t fight each other.

I’m aware all three of these women weren’t murdered by ex’s in their lives. But they are still black women that were taken too soon. Domestic violence and domestic terrorism are the same to me. 

It’s All Love,

Demez

There’s A Difference Between Giving Up and Knowing When Something Just Isn’t Working

Who Doesn't Want This?

We all want this but life isn’t perfect.

happy

That difference between true love and love.

“I’m never getting divorced.”

“People in our generation don’t know what loyalty is.”

“A man should take care of a woman like my grandfather and father did.”

We throw these phrases around in 2015 without actually thinking about what we’re saying. You notice how it’s always single people that make statements like, “I’m never getting divorced!” Or that say things like, “People don’t want to work for relationships anymore.” I respect any couple that can go through the ups and downs of life together for decades but let’s be honest about something. A lot of those women and men put up with things our generation would never put up with and why is that a bad thing?

If you work at a job for a year and realize you suck at it; no one blames you for quitting and finding a new job. If you buy a car because it’s sleek and pretty and realize the gas mileage sucks and it floods too much in Houston for something so low to the ground; no one judges you for trading it in for something that’s more practical. So why is it that we are so judgmental of people that realize a relationship or marriage isn’t working and decide to move on? If you give someone your all for six months and realize the differences are just too great to overcome would it be easier if you gave them a year, two years? Who are any of us to judge whether or not someone gave their all? Tell me if this makes sense: Be unhappy for a decade but you can say you were married for ten years or be unhappy for a year or two and spend the next eight enjoying your life and maybe actually finding someone that makes you smile.

For the longest time people would ask me about past relationships and I would say with pride, “I was with my ex for eight years.” But as I’ve gotten older I realized it didn’t make me strong or better than someone else for being in a relationship that long when I knew neither of us was happy. It made me a man that was afraid. Afraid of accepting that not being with her would mean uncertainty. It would mean maybe she would find happiness without me or maybe I would feel guilt for giving up on her. Fear of time wasted or guilt can’t be the cornerstone of a relationship. Being honest with yourself isn’t quitting, it’s being an adult.

How arrogant is it for people that are in marriages they resent or single people that have never even been engaged to make statements like, “People don’t try anymore.” Every marriage, household, relationship is different. You think that man or woman that you feel like just gave up went into their marriage with the idea they would get divorced? Every story is not the same and it’s okay to say, “This isn’t working, let’s be happy.”

4 Ways to Help Him Through A Quarter Life Crisis

20140822-233539.jpg I’d never complain about being a man. I have no problem saying I’d suck at cramping or being pregnant and I definitely wouldn’t take to constant Facebook messages or sexual harassment too well. No, I love being a man but there’s one thing that we can all admit. It’s not okay for a man to show weakness or to be vulnerable with everyone. Don’t mistake this with it’s okay to not have emotions or to talk, it’s just not okay unless she means something to you.

Expectations are an amazing thing. They often force us to reach heights we didn’t even know we could reach but there’s also the weight of expectations that can be heavy on our pride and mental makeup. You reach a certain age and you aren’t feeling as accomplished as you should be, it’s not an easy thing to deal with. You can become withdrawn, depressed and some may see it as feeling sorry for yourself but it’s bigger than that. You don’t stop living or working, you just stress more. Having a woman there to take some of that stress away, some of that edge away, that makes all the difference in the world.

“I’m Proud of You.” This may seem small or insignificant but hearing this from the right woman when you’ve had a bad day or bad month or didn’t reach a goal you set for yourself. It fixes everything in that moment. You look at her eyes or hear her voice and you just feel as though you can take on the world in spite of any obstacles that come your way. “I’m proud of you,” means you believe in me. It means you see the small steps I’m taking and are just as excited about those as you are about the big steps.

“Dance With Me.” I love silly, serious women. That’s a thing. Women that are about their business and work and are busy but when she’s with you she has that silly side, that playful side, that laugh that you know not too men have gotten to see. She sees you at your desk writing or sitting on the couch sulking and she grabs your hand and shakes her hips and says, “come dance with me Mez” and in those moments where you’re feeling her body and her energy and holding her waist her hands or grabbing her ass you feel better. Holding her, dancing with her is better than alcohol, sex, Crave cupcakes. It’s better because it’s organic, it’s in the moment, it’s intimate in the most non-sexual but sensual way.

“I Told Someone About You.” There are a lot of ways to show a man you love him or care about him. There are a lot of ways to show affection or to cheer someone up. You can never go wrong with sex or a bottle of his favorite liquor or his favorite meal. But for me nothing puts a bigger smile on my face than knowing a woman wants professional success for me just as much as I do. When she calls or text saying, “A friend told me they needed a writer so I mentioned you.” Or “I know you haven’t been happy where you are so I was looking online and I saw this,” and she sends me a link to a company or opportunity. Those little gestures have such a huge impact because you know she’s selfless and your happiness means that much to her.

“Come to Bed.” One of the first things to go when you’re stressing or not happy is sleep. Some men drink themselves to sleep, others take whatever pill they can find. Some just scroll social media all night or try and work. When a woman comes and rubs your neck or back and pulls you off the couch or out of your office and says, “come to bed” you do it. Maybe she doesn’t want to sleep alone, can’t sleep without your warmth but more than that she just wants to have you close. There’s so much intimacy in those before dawn conversations about life, work, family, stresses. Her semi naked body wrapped around yours, her head on your chest and that conversation is therapy. Maybe it ends in earth shattering sex but it’s not about that. It’s about that connection, that bond that’s being strengthened. Even if you only get a couple hours of sleep there’s comfort in knowing she can’t sleep without you.

Five Steps to Forever

I feel youStep One- When You Least Expect It

(Her Words) They always say it will happen when you least expect it. My mother always told me that when I became solely focused on bettering myself and my situation, is when the proverbial “He” would walk in. But honestly before I met my “He”, I never thought that this approach would work for me.

(His Words) No matter how many conversations I have or how many women I date the same feelings always arise. Is she the one for me? Can I make her happy? Can I spend forever with her? I had a conversation with my grandfather once where he told me, “Don’t ever trip over one woman because there are too many out there for that.” For so long I lived by that until I realized that approach wouldn’t work for me. It wouldn’t work for me because one woman is all I’ve ever needed.

Step Two- The Unexpected Date

(Her Words) Every woman likes the anticipation and excitement of the first date. The choosing of the outfit and the fretting over the hair and makeup are oftentimes better than the date itself. Women tend to build up the whole evening in our minds. We imagine that he will show up with flowers, have the whole evening planned to suit our specific tastes, and be the perfect gentleman. However, when our prince reverts to a frog, the excitement quickly turns to disappointment.

I have heard that friends make the best lovers. It can be hard to imagine but now I understand. How do you transition from telling him about all of your man problems and woes, to him being the source of them?

(His Words) It wasn’t supposed to be a date. There were supposed to be fifteen people there but when I arrived it was just her. Just her smile, just her hair, just her eyes. I can’t say I was nervous or scared or anything but comfortable. This wasn’t supposed to be a date but how could it not feel like one with me being with the most beautiful woman in the room. She was funny, charming, soft, polite, she even bought my movie ticket. It wasn’t supposed to be a date but five hours later, a bottle of wine and countless smiles and laughs it was the best date of my life.

Step Three- Falling in the Moment

(Her Words) The ultimate sign that you are on the right path is when you experience what I like to call flow and what the Buddhist call Nirvana. When you experience it once, you will go to great lengths to recapture that feeling. Work and familial duties are neglected, an unwise lack of sleep becomes appealing, and you start receiving worried texts from your friends. Messages of concern and welfare checks replace happy hour and girls night invitations.

(His Words) One text turns into one conversation, one conversation turns into four hours of conversation. It’s 4am and you realize you still don’t want to get off the phone. It’s 4am and you realize it’s been a decade since you’ve talked to a woman for this long. No matter how much you yawn or look at the time you don’t want to be anywhere else but in that moment with her. That moment is me falling and falling feels like the best uncertainty in the world.

Step Four- The Heart Wants What It Wants

(Her Words) When it’s right, you know. The superficial list of what you thought you wanted and what you thought you needed becomes like a seed that blows away in the wind. When your heart meets its complement, you know. You feel so comfortable that spending time together becomes second nature. It feels good. It feels natural. It fits you. It suddenly and unexpectedly takes root and there is no turning back.

(His Words) “I hate to see you cry but I love to see her smile.” Andre 3000 said something like that and I can’t agree with him more. Canceling plans to be with her, ignoring calls to be with her, sitting at home writing and reading because when you’re falling no woman compares to the woman that has set up shop in your heart and taken a hold of everything you are. No matter how hard you try to rationalize that it’s too soon, that it’s too early to have these feeling, your heart wants what it wants and once that happens it’s no turning back.

Step Five- Déjà vu

(Her Words) They say that Déjà vu exists as a sign to show you that you are exactly where you are supposed to be, experiencing exactly what you are supposed to be experiencing, with exactly who you are supposed to be experiencing it with.

(His Words) Have I been here before? When I’m with her it reminds me of my dreams, it reminds me of my desires. It reminds me of moments that feel like the best times of my life. Kiss me under the light of a 1000 stars, the moon shining bright, her eyes sucking me in as though a meteor is bearing down on me. This feels like Déjà vu because this feels like the beginning steps to forever.

Change Can Be Scary but It’s Necessary: Especially in Relationships

You all deserve love.

You all deserve love.

Change Can Be Scary but It’s Necessary: Especially in Relationships

There are all types of change. Some change is good and some is bad but in most cases change is always necessary. You either change and adapt or you stay the same, nothing is more damaging in life than not making progress. Even regression is more relevant in life than not making any progress at all.

We’ve all come to believe that relationships have to be two people who are intimately acquainted whether it be physically, mentally or emotionally. We’ve even given relationships new names in order to justify the seriousness of them. Situationships, Friends With Benefits, Hook-Ups, etc. Don’t let any of these new age names fool you; when you’re talking to someone on any level you have a relationship with that person. Of course there are levels but it’s a relationship none the less. Either you grow and build on it or you don’t, there’s no in-between.

Why can change be scary? Mainly because comfort is a beautiful thing. When you start to feel safe and warm and know what to expect day after day or meeting after meeting you don’t feel such disappointment anymore.

It’s why so many people go to jobs they hate or stay in relationships that drive them to cheat or be miserable. That comfort. “I know he isn’t shit but I’d rather be around someone that I know isn’t shit but has some redeeming qualities then to get with a man that makes me believe he’s about something and lets me down.”

Change is often terrifying because you’re going into the unknown and there’s always two roads. The first road may lead to everything your heart desires and the second road may be failure. However do you want to know what’s worse than failure or success? Regret. That feeling of not knowing what might have happened had you just made that change. Taken that chance.

When I write and speak about relationships I’m not limiting myself to man and woman, that’s too simplistic. I’m speaking on relationships that affect who we are. Our jobs, relationships with friends that don’t help us grow.

Change matters in life, don’t be afraid of it.

Real Men… Admit When We’re Wrong

379994_610579043725_118401058_31642843_1262844695_n One of the hardest traits I’ve ever had to learn is humility. Not the sort of humbleness you learn because you have to or because it looks good on social media but the kind that’s sincere.

I can be an arrogant man. This isn’t something I take pride in, who likes being an asshole? Who likes losing friends or having people you care about think you don’t care about them. Sometimes I want to pick up the phone and just call and say, “I miss you.” Not the kind of miss you that comes with memories of passion or foreplay but the kind of miss you that comes with missing a friend. Nights driving and looking at Christmas lights, drinking hot chocolate. Afternoons sitting on a bench downtown just talking on a lunch break. I want to call and apologize and do those things but pride, pride is a stubborn b*tch. So instead I make smart comments and act like I’m not fazed. That’s being a boy, not a man.

Apologizing means you know you hurt someone or did something wrong so you want to acknowledge your mistake. That’s different from being sorry. Being sorry is realizing your actions had a chain reaction. Being sorry is knowing things can never go back to the way they were because no matter how many times you try and glue it together, that cracked mirror is never going to be the same.

I knew I was wrong but pride made me fight a battle that I’d lost before that first bullet was shot. She’s mad, I’m mad, she says something hurtful, I say something back. A night of frustration turns into a couple days and that turns into a week. Instead of apologizing and maybe just losing the woman I was falling in love with; now I’ve lost a friend. That’s the class they don’t teach us in school. The class that tells us pride can be a beautiful thing and it can be our worst enemy. Every time I see her I regret not saying I was sorry sooner. I regret not being a better friend. Warm bodies come a dime a dozen. Wet thighs on clean sheets are a text message away for most of us. But having someone that genuinely cares if you ate dinner or had a good day. Those are the people that are worth swallowing your pride for. Those are the people that deserve admitting when we were wrong.

~ Demez F. White