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.

There’s A Difference Between Being Selfish and Doing What’s Best For You

Don’t let people try and make you feel guilty or selfish because you don’t want to go along with their wishes or agenda. Children are a perfect example of this, especially in work environments. Do you know how often I’ve had men come to me and say, “My son has a game this weekend or my wife can’t pick the kid up from daycare so I can’t work late. I know you don’t have kids so can you stay?” If you say no people look at you like, “Oh my God, you’re so selfish.” How am I selfish because you and your wife didn’t plan better? Why is you having to pay a late fee at the daycare anymore important that me wanting to watch Netflix and take off my pants?

Having a sick mother or a grandmother that can’t drive and you can ask for some help financially but you can’t pick her up to take her to the grocery store, that’s selfish. Putting your mother in a elderly community where they have doctors, resources, where she won’t have to be at home by herself all day; maybe people judge you for that. But sometimes doing what’s best for you and being a little selfish go hand in hand.

We’re all somewhat selfish even if our selfishness is rooted in selflessness. Say someone works at a shelter and they feel as though people aren’t donating enough. Isn’t it sort of selfish and a little arrogant to feel like a person should not buy a plane ticket or a new coat but instead donate that money to the homeless? It’s their money, they worked for it, whether they want to throw it at strippers or spend it on a steak, that’s their right. And if they only want to give 20 dollars to your cause, so be it. Unless it’s family or someone that has been there for you; very few people owe you anything.

Society has a way of making you feel like doing what’s best for you is selfish. Your family is struggling, your brother lost his job, your sister is depressed; so you have to turn down a dream job to stay home and help. You have to give up on your dreams because it would be selfish to not be there. In 10, 20 years when you’ve realized that you haven’t lived the life you wanted because you were so busy taking care of everyone else; that regret will eat you alive. What so many people fell to realize is that you can help the ones you love so much more by being selfish. By building and growing and in the end you help them build and grow. As opposed to all of you struggling together.

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Author Demez F. White

You’re Not Where You Want To Be In Life; Don’t Worry, Few Of Us Are

lies You’re Not Where You Want To Be In Life; Don’t Worry, Few Of Us Are

We’ve had beautiful weather almost this entire month. Gas is cheap enough where with a hundred dollars in your pocket you can be in Kemah or Austin for a Saturday of drinks and laughs and crawfish or BBQ. I haven’t had to cut my AC or Heater on in my home in like two weeks which means my bills won’t be harassing me. It’s been a good month so why are there so many miserable people? So many unhappy/ I’m looking for a fight sort of people. It’s because people have a hard time accepting that their version of happy and their story isn’t going to match someone else’s.

You know something I’ve never fully understood? It’s adults that work and live in the real world that make fun of other adults that spend income tax money. I want to scream, “YOU DO REALIZE INCOME TAXES COME FROM TAXES TAKEN OUT OF YOUR INCOME!” And furthermore it doesn’t mean you make too much money when you get no taxes back. Do you own a home, have children, donate to charity, have student loans, the list goes on. So this idea that “I don’t need my income tax money because I’m good” is crazy! I go to work everyday and every month they take taxes out of my check. Do they hesitate to take that money? Can I say, “Chill for a couple months Uncle Sam, I will pay you all my taxes in a couple months.” Yeah, I can’t.

In the mid to late 2000’s I would see people I went to high school with graduating from college and all I could think was, “I graduated higher than them. That person could barely read. They asked me for help with that exam.” I’d see men that cheated or weren’t responsible traveling with pretty women and getting married. Maybe back then I wouldn’t have admitted this but that made me so depressed. There were weeks where I didn’t even log onto Facebook because I couldn’t see that. Ten years later I see the error in my logic. Their happiness wasn’t a condemnation on my value or self-worth. Instead of being happy for them, I was a hater. It’s impossible for a hater to be happy. My journey is my journey, good or bad, win or lose.

I remember being at 300 before it was this new bowling alley and a woman that worked at a law firm invited me to her companies bowling outing. I was working picking up dead dogs, cleaning the sides of the roads, flagging cars at intersections. I didn’t meet them in my work clothes, I didn’t even throw on some jeans and a sweater. I put on a suit and walked in there like I’d just left a board meeting. Gas tank on E, maybe 5 dollars in my pocket. When someone asked me why I was drinking water all night, I told them, “It’s an early morning and I live far.” What I remember most about that night is taking a picture and posting it online and having all these people say things like, “I see you.” “Looking good.” “I want an invite.” I was putting on for some likes knowing I was hungry as hell and wanted to take them up on their offers of drinks and food. Pride and insecurity are horrible combinations. You never know what people that look like they have it all together are going through. Love your journey and your struggle.

Faith Without Works Is Pointless…

FacebookHomescreenImage.jpgIn order to fix a car sometimes you have to take the entire thing about just to get to a small part.

When we build a home, we don’t start with the color scheme or the tile, we start with the foundation.

No speaking in third person tonight, tonight I’m writing about myself. I’m afraid I won’t be all that I want to be, that fear keeps me up so many nights, it lives inside of me. I’ll be in a bookstore and read the first couple of chapters of a book that simply sucks but that person is a New York Times Bestseller. I’ll look at a blog that has a 100k followers and the person writes as if they don’t know what a comma is. In those moments I really do question my abilities.

Do you know what it’s like to love something so much that it consumes you? To wake up and write and be upset with yourself because you’re at your actual job that pays your bills feeling like you’re neglecting your passion?

I know those feelings and those feelings aren’t something I can shake.

I’m not a man that talks about it but doesn’t be about it. I’ve made progress, I’ve put in work. So I just have these moments where I worry if I’m destined to be what I so desire to be. And even though my faith gets low at times I never lose it, I never give up, and that’s hard.

Success isn’t easy, it isn’t fun, it isn’t smooth. It’s littered with heartbreak and broken promises, With friends that turn to enemies and lovers that resent you for loving words and books way more than you can ever love them. Success is life and death in the same breath because no accomplishment feels as good as the disappointments feel bad. But when you want it, you don’t give up because if you give up you never loved it as much as said you did.

I often write to encourage other people, hoping my words will touch someone that’s had a bad day or bad month or bad life. I’ll post a blog to let women know that God didn’t create you to be number two in a man’s life, that he didn’t take you from our rib to settle. I’ll write to let men know that we’re leaders whether we want to be or not, that we’re Kings from birth no matter or circumstances. But tonight I’m writing for myself because just like anyone I can lose faith but when I do I stop and take in the life around me. I think about all that I’ve been blessed with and all I have and my faith is renewed in those moments. We all have moments where that doubt creeps in and you just don’t know anymore but those are the moments that make us strong, that make us Kings and Queens, lovers and leaders, scholars and scribes. I won’t let that doubt and fear break me, don’t let it break you either.

A House Is A Home When…

There’s more than one toothbrush in the toothbrush holder.

When you go to the store and buy cereal you hate because she loves them.

When you call her at work to see if she’s coming over knowing she’s coming over but you just didn’t feel like going to the store.

When you sleep with the ceiling fan on even though it’s 47 degrees outside because that’s what she wants.

You feel guilt for washing your car and not washing hers.

You come home and it smells like cookies or a cake or any sort of food.

You can’t jam mixtapes but have to jam Christmas music because she’s spent everyday since Thanksgiving making a reef that’s going to be God awful but you have to put it on the door anyway or risk sleeping with one eye open.

You check the mailbox and realize she’s already gotten the mail even though all her mail goes to the apartment she’s never at.

You log out of your Facebook when you go to the shower because you’ve spent the last year before her flirting with women on FB chat don’t know care or don’t realize your house is now a home.

You realize your pots and pans no longer stick and the towels in your bathroom all match.

When she hints that she’s going to hold a girls night and you should go out with the brother or homeboys you’ve been neglecting ever since you met her pretty ass.

Your bed is no longer cold and empty but warm and holding a woman you love.

Your shower has been invaded by soaps and lotions that smell like Heaven.

She’s parked in your driveway and doesn’t move to get behind you when you tell her you’re on the way home. She’ has no plans on going anywhere until she goes to work in the morning.

You put up Christmas lights even though you had no intentions to because you know her father put them up every year and she misses him most around the holidays.

You realize none of the things you recorded on DVR are there. They’ve been replaced by shows that make you gag but you’re too scared to erase them.

You decided that you’re going to wear that really comfortable pair of pajama pants that should have been retired a long time ago because she’s now started to sleep in her hair wrap.

When you feel like she’s mad at you simply because she wanted to sleep in her own bed at her ghost apartment that night.

When your guest room actually has guest.

When you’ve been writing all night and find her sleeping on the couch because she didn’t want to sleep in the bed without you. So you pick her up, carry her to bed, undress her even though she’s not really sleep anymore and lie her on her back while kissing her on the forehead. Because going to take a shower and fix lunch for the next day just doesn’t right if the woman that has turned your house into a home is on the couch.