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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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.

An Open Letter to the Father’s That Weren’t There; It’s Not too Late

img_0173I didn’t want to post this on yesterday because I believe that Father’s Day is reserved for the men that deserve to get recognition. The ones that takes turns getting up at night when the baby is crying. The dads that have to rush home from work to get to little league practices and then help with homework because mom has to cook dinner. Those men deserve all the days of being spoiled they can get.

Life isn’t lunch meat or milk. There’s no expiration date on when you can say, “I need to start over,” or “I want to make things right.” There are so many father’s out here that weren’t there when their children were kids and they don’t know how to make that right. It’s too late for ice cream and Barbie dolls or GI Joes. It’s too late for camping in the backyard and little league games. So they just let year after year go until they’re strangers to the people that share their DNA. Not realizing it’s never too late to at the very least have a friendship.

Holding grudges against your father for not being there only hurts you. I spent years trying to be a better man than my father and in the end I’m no better than him because the ultimate character of a man is to be able to forgive. A lot of our father’s just weren’t ready for fatherhood. They didn’t know how to be dads and by the time they were willing to try or realized their mistakes it was too late. At least in their eyes. So it’s up to us to reach out to them, maybe we’ll never have the father/ son relationship we craved as children but there’s value in becoming their friend. In getting to know where you came from. There’s value in your children knowing where they came from.

The easiest thing in the world is to make a mistake or screw up and walk away. Saying to yourself, “They were good without me as children, so why would they need me as teenagers or adults?” Just because a child grows up doesn’t mean he or she ever stops being your child. Even if it’s just a phone call once a week or Sunday dinner at Popeye’s, that quality time does wonders.

Living Life In the Shadow of Not Wanting to be My Father 

  I have fairly high expectations for the man I want to be. I’ve literally lived my life trying to do everything the right way. I don’t have any stories of drunken house parties while my parents were away or sleeping in the drunk tank on spring break. I have never concerned myself with what’s popular if it wasn’t right. I wish I could say I was doing this because I have this high moral compass or because I’m inherently good but that’s not the case at all. 

I am who I am because I promised myself I would never be my father. My fist time meeting him was my 4th or 5th birthday, at least that’s my first time remembering meeting him. My mom and family threw me this smurfs themed party. I loved the smurfs. He showed up with a car truck. Not the electronic type but the hot wheel kind. He didn’t hug me and barely spoke. I just remember feeling like he was a stranger and I never wanted to feel that way again. I never wanted to feel irrelevant. 

Sometimes I wonder what type of father I will be. I don’t worry whether or not I’ll be there for him or her or whether or not I’ll provide. I worry that I won’t be able to give them the emotional support they need. That I won’t be the man I always invisioned myself being. It’s a scary feeling being unsure about something that’s supposed to come so natural. 

Will I be the type of husband that just knows when my wife needs a break? The type of father that just knows when my child needs a hug instead of a spanking. My father didn’t teach me these things and in trying to be everything he wasn’t I’m afraid I’ll become some of the things I hate about him. Nature vs. Nurture.  

It’s Okay to Forgive Yourself

You're important. I know you are!

You’re important. I know you are!

People often talk and write about forgiving others when they wrong you. Learning to take back control of your emotions, learning to trust and love again. You see it when fathers break the hearts of their children, you see it when men or women fall out of love with their spouses or lovers. Leaving them to pick up the pieces. It’s not an easy thing to learn to trust and live again.

This morning I want to write about another aspect of those scenarios though. I want to write about learning to forgive yourself when you do wrong to others.

I’ve treated people I loved badly, did things to hurt them. I’ve taken women I could have had great situations with for granted and watched them lose interest. Friendships have come to an end because of my pride and foolish idea of respect and what a man should be. I spent so much time trying to make these people understand I was sorry, trying to get back what I lost that I forget to forgive myself. All you can do, all any of us can do is say we’re sorry and ask for forgiveness or another chance. If that doesn’t happen: cry, scream, drink and if God can forgive you, then you can forgive you. You’ll never forget how you hurt them but remembering their hurt will allow you never to hurt anyone like that again.

Life is never going to be this black and white, right and wrong concept of humanity. This isn’t a Disney movie or romantic comedy. Life will and always will be lived in the grey. Doing the right thing often times isn’t the best thing for us. Sometimes to make one person happy or even yourself happy you’re going to have to hurt others. This doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you an adult.

~ Demez F. White

A Letter to My Father

Dear Father,

A man isn’t a father because he gets a woman pregnant; he isn’t a father because he gives the child his last name. You have to earn the right to be called a father and you never earned that right, to be honest I don’t think you ever wanted it. When I was younger there were nights I would sit up and wonder if I would ever get to know you.

Even as an adult there are times where I imagine us having a beer and talking. Me learning about who you are, what made you the way you are? Maybe developing a friendship to make up for the father son relationship we never had. Then I think about who I am and who you are and I realize I’ve learned so much more by not having you in my life then I ever could by talking to you. Everything you’re not makes me everything I am.

I value my reputation. I work hard and I’m well spoken and dependable because I don’t ever want to be compared to you. When I’m drinking and I’m afraid I might be having one too many I think about you and I stop. When there’s a woman that looks amazing and all I want is her but I know I don’t need her, I stop.

I have 13, 14 brothers and sisters out there that I’ll probably never know because you couldn’t simply introduce us. Not pay child support or take us to the park but just introduce us? How hard would that have been? What type of man couldn’t do that for the children he brought into this world?

Do you know I wreck every relationship I have because I’m not ever sure if I have it in me to be a good father? I worry that I have your DNA inside of me. I worry that I’ll be too much like you and end up ruining some child’s life. I wish this was bullshit but it’s true, I have all these great qualities, all this love to give and every time I get close to someone I fall back because I don’t want to disappoint them like you’ve disappointed me. What if that’s genetic?

I’ll never hate you because you helped my mother give me life but I can never love you. I can never respect you or feel sympathy for you. All I can do is watch you exist, watch you kill yourself slowly. I’m 31 and I’ve never actually had a real conversation with you. I’m 31 and I’ve never been in a room with you while you were sober.

One day I’ll overcome these demons I have. I won’t let the blood of yours that’s in me allow me to be anything like you. I’m educated, I’ve never spent a night in prison, an hour. As I type this I’m at work running construction projects. I’m a published author. There isn’t a child on this earth that can say I’m his or her father because I wouldn’t do that to a child or a woman. I’ll be a great husband and I’m becoming a great man all because of what you taught me not to do. One day I’ll find someone and fall in love and my children will never know you exist. When you die, your legacy will die.

I said earlier I feel nothing for you but the truth is I feel sorry for you because you had an opportunity to be so much more and instead you settled for being nothing.

Sincerely Yours,

Your Son… Demez
me

Why Raising Another Man’s Child Can Be Just As Rewarding As Raising Your Own

Family

Family

What are traits about others that people admire?

Being Selfless,

Passionate.

Happy.

Loving.

All those traits apply to single mothers. Of course we all know examples of bad mothers but most of the women I know lose their mind when their child is sick. They go without if their son or daughter needs a little more to eat or drink even though they know the kid is full. They take off work in order to make sure the kid isn’t at school sick when they know the child was probably never sick to begin with.

Mothers are selfless, passionate, happy and loving as hell when it comes to their children. The good ones are but the great ones are all in.

I recently had a friend tell me that she stopped talking to a guy that she was crazy about because he treated her two daughters differently. He wasn’t abusive or molesting them but the youngest girl was a daddy’s girl so she had an attitude towards him. So he would do things for the oldest girl and not for the youngest. These children were like 4 and 7 by the way.

She said, “Mez, he was being indifferent to my youngest daughter instead of just giving her time to adjust. He bought my oldest some candy, when the youngest asked where hers was, he said; ask your daddy.’ What sense does that make? So I dumped him.”

I could tell she missed him but she did what was best for her child and that made me smile.

My point is this, as a man when you can find it in your heart to love, care for, respect, play with, encourage, teach and just grow with the one thing in this world that that woman loves more than anything else. You’re going to win in life.

I grew up with a generation of people where a lot of us didn’t have father’s in the household. I know a bunch of women my age that aren’t with the men they have children with. My grandparents grew up in a generation where you got someone pregnant and married them, forget that you didn’t love her or that she wasn’t the woman you saw yourself with. You did it because it was right, because being there for her and your children was more important than dating and trying to find ‘perfection.’

When you take on the responsibility of a woman and her child or children; she knows the sacrifice you’re making. She may not talk about it or bring it up but she’s aware that they’re plenty of childless women out here. She’s aware that her child is going to have an adjustment period. She’s aware that the child’s father is either going to be in their life or is in their life and at the end of the day it will be ‘ME’ that has to be the bigger person.

I’ll be the one having to bite my tongue if they’re arguing about child support or insurance. I’ll be the one that has to pick up the pieces if he doesn’t come to get that kid for the weekend and she’s hurting because her baby is hurting.

Once the smoke settles and she realizes I’m not going anywhere, she’ll love me more than she’s ever loved anyone because I’ve handled loving her and that child like they were the most important things in the world to me.

I grew up without a father, my stepfather was a bum. So I don’t know what it’s like to have someone care about me, come to games, come to recitals, pick me up from school and have that man on man talk. If it would have been my stepfather I would have loved that man to death despite his short comings. That’s the thing about children, they aren’t slow, they aren’t blind. They simply want to know that you’re there, there for them. There for their mom, there for that family.

I want a son more than anything in this world but I want a wife first. I want a bestfriend first and I want financial security first.

Being with a woman that has a child isn’t a handicap, it’s a blessing in the sense that I’ll be able to not only touch the life of my future seed or that woman but I’ll be able to touch the life of a child that needs it. I respect women and I understand doing what you have to do to raise your child.

A woman can’t raise a man and a little girl needs a father. She needs to see a man treat her mother like a Goddess no matter how cheesy that sounds. I loved a woman whose daughter looked just like the child’s father, I mean they could have cloned this kid. Every time I tried to kiss her or hug her, the little girl would jump in-between us or look at me like I was evil. I thought it was the cutest thing in the world because I would want my daughter to do the same thing.

We’re adults for a reason, we have to be the bigger people. Children need adjustment periods and when they do adjust they’ll love you just as much as they love their biological father. I firmly believe that but you have to be a man, you have to be real and you have to be sincere.

The friend that I mentioned earlier, we aren’t that cool but if we were I would have went to the doctor with her, I would have went to the Lamaze classes and helped her out with cravings. Not because I want a relationship with her, I don’t know her like that but I would have done it because every woman deserves to have someone there with them and because her child’s father is unworthy. I would hate for those vibes to sink into that womb.

So I don’t know how many male readers I have but if you do read this, give a woman with children a chance and to all the women out there just know that some man will love you and want you not just because you’re fine as hell but because he wants to be an asset to you and your child’s life.