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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Dreams At 23; Reality At 33… Life Happens

IMG_0001I remember being 23 and feeling like I had all the answers. I was a year away from being a Civil Engineer, smiled a lot, thought I knew exactly what I wanted. 33 seemed like a lifetime away but when I saw 33 I saw a wife, a couple children, a career, stability. I was a “good guy,” you know the type. Never in any trouble, parents liked me, always did what was right. I was happy but it’s hard to explain what happiness feels like when it was a mirage. I figment of my imagination.

I hate math, I hate numbers so why was I going to be an engineer? I hate test, I’ve never tested well but I picked a career where in order to succeed you have to take and study for countless test. It made no sense but it felt right.

Sitting at my desk at 4:30am, the house quiet, not hearing or feeling any sounds other than my fingers hitting my keyboard those 23 year old ambitions feel like a lifetime ago. Instead of building homes or bridges I build people, I use words to tell stories that I hope make someone smile, cry, laugh, get aroused, want to fight. I’m not sure I know what happy is anymore or where to find it but I know this path is where I’m supposed to be.

Nothing is happening how I planned it and that scares the hell out of me. I’m the guy that washes dishes and makes up my bed before I go to work in the morning. I pause television shows before dramatic scenes to prepare myself like I know the characters on the screen. I read novels and send personalized emails to the authors thanking them for giving the world their art.

There’s a chance I’ll never have a Christmas tree in my home again. There’s a chance my children will never know what it is to sit on the front porch with their hands over their eyes while I plug in the Christmas lights for the first time. Something I did with my grandmother since I was old enough to remember. This time of year when the leaves start to change and the weather gets cooler I feel so far removed from who I was at 23. It’s a good thing and it’s a terrifying thing.

It’s been almost a year since I’ve come home from work and walked into a house with food cooking and that smell making me miss home. There’s so many days I just sit in my driveway and wonder if this is where I’m supposed to be. No one knows my innermost thoughts. People would rather group chat or text or be on social media than sit on the back of a truck drinking a beer or whiskey and talking about life. I hold my secrets and fears close to my heart because that’s the world we live in.

Questioning if I’m any better than the people that choose the love and attention of strangers on social networks just because I choose wordpress or novels. I fear for my sanity, for my health, for my happiness.

Just some random thoughts from a guy that can’t sleep and is craving a breakfast that doesn’t consist of leftover food from last night. I’ll sip this drink and go make that happen. Thanks for reading if you are.

Pleasures I Can Appreciate at Age 31 I Couldn’t at Age 25

Women love nice shoes.

Women love nice shoes.

With age comes wisdom, I can’t tell you how many times I heard that growing up from older people. “When you get my age you’ll appreciate peace and quiet. When you get my age you’ll look forward to a good nap.” Couldn’t understand that when I was young and now, nothing compares to a good nap on the couch on a Sunday after some good church and a good meal.

For me, a big part of maturing is coming to grips with all the stupid things I did when I was younger. Getting freaky in parking lots where any police officer or criminal could have driven by. Showing up to work late or unprepared, when they opened Super Target in Humble I literally worked there for two weeks, didn’t call or show up for a week and just came back to work like nothing happened. I once called this guy my ex was talking to, yes, I was that guy people. “So why are you and my girl on the phone at 2am?” That Demez made some really dumb decisions and you know what, I think that Demez needed to be dumb so this Demez can prosper. Excuse the third person, had a Kanye moment. All I’m saying is I can appreciate so much more now than I could back then.

I rarely shop these days because when I do I buy nice things. Haven’t bought a coat in maybe three years, I haven’t bought shoes in two. When you buy quality it lasts. A good pair of steel toe boots or loafers don’t break down. A nice pair of casual boots last for years. I’ve never been a tennis shoe guy but I bought my fair share of things that were “on sale” and they shrank when I washed them or looked bad after too many times worn.

A nice cashmere sweater and jeans is my look most winter days because it’s a look that never gets old. I’m not trendy, maybe I never was. I can appreciate clothes that fit well and I get my monies worth out of them. Skinny jeans and high top sneakers, I’m just not about that life.

When I was 25 I thought a nice watch was a 40 dollar watch from Marshalls. When I was 25 I thought quality cologne was anything that smelled good. With age comes an appreciation for what I spend my money on. Saving for three months to buy a nice watch, wearing cologne that only takes a dab and it lasts all day, I can appreciate that now. There’s a real difference between a grass fed, marinated steak and an 8 dollar steak, yeah, I didn’t know that until a couple years ago. Why would anyone spend all that money on a steak? A good conversation with the TV on mute, seeing the grass start to grow back after winter. Celebrating promotions and raises and my friend’s children’s birthdays. Good times that are better than 8 dollar beers at Coco Loco. Scotch and bourbon that have aged.

I can appreciate telling a woman I’ll be there to pick her up at 7 and she’s not ready until 7:45. I have an understanding for beauty and what it takes to be a woman that I didn’t have a 25. How long it takes to get her hair done or nails done or to get this waxed. Why she has a closet full of clothes and still has nothing to wear. I can appreciate sitting on her couch while she’s getting ready talking to me from the bathroom or bedroom. That’s quality time, time that I could spend making her laugh or letting her know she’s worth the wait. At 25 I was looking at my cell phone upset that she couldn’t call me and let me know she wasn’t going to be ready. You learn to appreciate women that are just worth it. You learn to appreciate the fact she doesn’t want to meet you but trust you enough to pick her up. That’s saying a lot these days.

Family is a big one. There are times when I wish I could go back and spend more time with my grandfather. Always chasing girls, chasing overtime, I let so many years go by where I barely said two words to him in a day. When I got older the conversations became more adult but I still didn’t take advantage of his knowledge like I should have. I have more of an appreciation now for my grandmother and my mother and uncles, aunts. Family has always been a priority but now it’s a pleasure.
I could go all day but just know with age comes the realization that I’m still here and I have a chance to appreciate what I couldn’t back then.

Demez F. White

10 Things I Wish My Generation Understood

a trini10- It’s okay to have secrets. Everything isn’t meant for social networks or even friends and family. What happens between a man and a woman should stay between a man and a woman. If you’re creeping, cheating, keep that between the two of you; whether it’s right or wrong is between you and God but if you’re going to do wrong do it right.

9- Your reputation matters. This is something our grandparents and even parents understood. It’s not cool being an asshole, it’s not funny making fun of people. Cursing, using the word nigga, bragging about a woman paying for a date or how many women you have. It shows a lack of character.

8- Women should act like women. No matter what society says we respect ladies. In 1776 if a guy slept with a lot of women but was good at his job no one cares, it’s the same way in 2013. In 1776 if a woman slept with a lot of men she was a whore no matter how good she was at her job. It’s the same way in 2013. Women and men are not the same, have tact.

7- Modesty is a valued commodity. We live in a world where the middle class is dying, where people are living pay check to pay check. Bragging online will get you robbed, it will have people jealous and envious and more than that it’s just tacky. You don’t have to talk about how much better your life is then everyone else’s, if it is people will just see it.

6- Just because Twitter and Instagram say you have followers, doesn’t mean you have followers. Huey P. Newton had followers, Bobby Kennedy had followers, President Obama and Ted Cruz have followers. 90% of the people that “follow” us on social networks just like looking at pictures or socializing. What makes you relevant isn’t a status, post or picture. What makes you relevant is “Are you touching or impacting lives with your actions or words?”

5- Women aren’t as tough as they pretend to be. Most women are doing it on their own because they don’t have any other options. She may know how to change a tire or mow the yard or wash her car; she’s trying her best to teach her son how to ride a bike or shoot a basketball but that’s because that man isn’t there. It’s more than that though, we have to watch how we talk to women around children. They’re listening, they’re emulating, they will do what they see us do. No matter how hard she pretends to be it’s hurting her.

4- The best way to deal with a situation is being upfront and honest. Leading people on, ignoring situations, ignoring problems. It just leads to confusion, resentment and lies. If you have a service I want and I can’t afford it, I’m just going to tell you I can’t afford it and I will give you a call when I can. I don’t want a discount but I also don’t want to hold you up. If I’m not interested in you romantically I’m going to tell you I don’t think we’re compatible. It won’t be easy but clarity combined with respectable honesty breeds respect.

3- Failure is underrated. Our ancestors took big risk and they lost big but they also won big. That’s how life works, if we only do what we think we’re good at we’ll never reach our potential. We can’t be a generation that makes all these jumps and leaps from a technological standpoint but is afraid to move out of our mothers home.

2- Reading and Writing make us better.

1- Small talk can be the start of some of the best memories of our lives. I make it a habit when I’m out now not to take out my phone unless it rings. If I see someone sitting at the bar alone I’m going to make conversation. We get so caught up in technology that we forget how cool life was when conversations mattered

Faith Without Works Is Pointless

379994_610579043725_118401058_31642843_1262844695_n Invest in Yourself.

Impress Yourself.

No one will value your talent, time, mind, body, soul, intentions more than you value them. We all get so caught up in what the climax will be that we tend to forget everything leading up to the climax is just as important.

The church won’t save you. I’m sorry to tell any of you that. Whether you give 10% or 50% of your paycheck you still have to work for what you want. Faith without works is pointless! God helps those who help themselves. You’ll miss sleep and meals and have to cancel dates and you may go years thinking, “Why isn’t God giving me back what I put in? Why does she have him or he have her and I’m alone?” The thing is, you’re never alone, your work isn’t going unaccounted for, you’re building capital, building a foundation. I don’t care how perfect your home is if it’s built on hollow ground. Invest in yourself, put the time in yourself and impress yourself!

The easiest thing in the world is to look at someone that has more than you and say, “I work harder than him,” “I’m a better a woman than her.” You’re asking the wrong questions, making the wrong observations. What you should be asking is, “How can I pick his mind to see how he got here?” What you should be asking is, “How is she barely 25 with the career and man I want while all I can meet is losers?” Age doesn’t guarantee success or maturity. You can be 40 and learn from a 23 year old. You can be doing well financially and learn from a guy that has 2 dollars in his pocket. Knowing what to do not to fail is just as important as knowing what to do in order to succeed.

The biggest myth in the world is that you can win in life with shortcuts. You can’t lose weight wrapping yourself I saran wrap if you don’t change your eating habits and work out. You won’t find the man or woman of your dreams if you never go out and base everything on how someone looks in a profile pic. Praying for a better job when you’re mediocre at the one you’re at or never put in any applications in a different city or state isn’t wanting it. It’s wanting it on your terms! Let me give you a guarantee in life… YOU WILL FAIL! YOU WILL HAVE TRYING MOMENTS! PEOPLE YOU LOVE WILL DISSAPOINTMENT YOU! That’s where faith comes in, the ability to not just bounce back but to keep fighting.

Demez F. White