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.

Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor

Fall Is Falling In Love Season

Can I be honest with you all for a minute?

I’m not afraid of talking about love or feelings or fears. I’m an adult, adult’s talk about these things. There are plenty of guys that want to be the coolest or hardest in the room, that’s not me. I’m not built like that, I cook and write and flirt and love the little things that make women women. That’s who I’ll always be and I thank God for that.

Living a life where I’m anything or anyone else would make no sense.

Every season is falling in love weather. You can’t control when you meet someone and everything starts to make sense. But something about the fall is just sexy to me. I have better days when the sun isn’t shining as hard and the nights are cooler. I tend to be on my phone less during the day because I actually enjoy working outside.

No matter how cool technology gets it will never compare to the feel of body heat next to you on a couch or porch when that first Fall breeze hit your face. When you have those moments of peace, conversation and attraction falling in love is the most natural vibe in the world.

We fall in like during sunshine and falling leaves. We fall in love when the sun goes down and it’s not quite cold enough for a sweater but just cool enough for her to sit under me because she has goosebumps. When the seasons change so do our outlooks. With beautiful weather comes beautiful memories and with beautiful memories comes sensations that make our lives matter.

I’m sure a lot of people that’ll read this love summer, short dresses, late nights after day parties and summer vacations. I’d never knock summer but Fall is when I feel most alive and how can you not fall in love when you feel alive.

It’s cool to be cynical and feel like love is an overrated word or romance is dead. If you feel that way I can’t blame you because you’ve dealt with stressful men or women in your life. But if you are that person, all I can say to you is to not let that taint the season coming up.

Picnics in the park where the bugs aren’t as bad and the sun isn’t as dreadful. Late night drives to Galveston where you can’t tell just how dark the water is or just how rocky the sand can be.

Stop letting the past haunt you and say yes to whatever guy asked you out last week. Say yes to whatever woman is throwing signs at you but she may not be your type. Say yes to making memories and maybe falling in love.

 

 

 

Demez F. White  winter

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.

Trump’s World Is Coming, Get Prepared

Something hit me recently, it came to my attention that most people look at Donald Trump as a character, someone who we love to hate but everything will be okay once he gets out of office. The problem with the mindset is that it doesn’t account for the scale of the damage he can do with simply the stroke of a pen.

Let me give you a cliff notes version of just a handful of the decision he’s made that can literally change all of our lives in a heartbeat.

  • He lifted protections that were in place against banks and wall-street. In the Mid 2000’s when banks were going bankrupt and people were losing their homes. When banks were giving out sub-prime loans, that’s going to start happening again and when it does, there won’t be a bailout this time.

 

  • He’s lifted environmental protections against oil and gas companies drilling in the oceans. This was put in place after those oil tankers lost millions of gallons of gas and destroyed coastal areas in Mississippi and Louisiana.

 

  • This may be the biggest one. Trump will have the ability to shape the Supreme Court and these men and women will be relatively young, meaning they’ll be shaping laws in this country for the next 20 years. Most don’t believe this but there’s a chance Roe V. Wade gets overturned. I’m not even a man that believes in abortions but I do believe women have that right. Could you imagine a world where women had to go to backwoods towns and risk their lives for an abortion?

These are just a few, this doesn’t even mention the immigration issue and the separating of families. The alienating of other countries and aligning ourselves with world leaders that are for all intent and purpose, dictators. This doesn’t account for the school programs that are being shut down.

Trump’s world is coming and it will be a dark place.

DSC_0333(1)

Having Daughter’s Isn’t God Punishing You For Being A Womanizer; It’s Just Your Guilty Conscience

father and daughterYesterday was Mother’s Day and I spent it at my cousin’s house with family. As we were outside talking about life and kids and responsibility we started to talk about children. And how it was a consensus among all the men that having daughters was somewhat terrifying. Not because little girls are worse than boys or grow up to be angry women but because of our guilty consciences.

For all of my life, even before I started dating I knew there were double standards for boys and girls. Men are often times praised for having multiple conquest and women are shamed for it. A guy can be a whore is entire life and if he changes to be faithful to one woman and love her right; the whole world applauds him. On the other hand, if a woman is a whore, that stigma never leaves. That’s an entirely different conversation but just as example.

I’m not sure when this became a thing but it’s probably been around for centuries. Somewhere along the way men got it in their heads that God or fate was cursing them by giving them daughters. Especially if that man was a womanizer. You want to know something funny and sad at the same time? Watch a grown man project all of his guilt and sins and tortured conscience onto an innocent child. Not because she’s doing anything wrong but because in her he sees every woman he ever lied to, cheated on, misused or abused. In her he sees fear, the fear that he’ll have to dry her tears because a man breaks her heart.

As much as we want to believe that having a daughter is karma for the bad you’ve inflected on others; a much easier thought to believe is that maybe there’s no secret revenge plot by God and fate but it was just the sperm that made it first. Maybe instead of projecting your insecurities onto your daughter, you could give her confidence and not let the double standards and misogyny that you were raised with live in how you raise her. Maybe you raise a daughter strong enough not to ever let a man disrespect her like you disrespected women. All of that takes looking inside of yourself.

DSC_03531

The Karate Kid, YouTube and Life Lessons

Fun fact about me, I love scripted television, maybe it’s the writer in me or maybe it’s the fact that nothing is quite as rewarding as not having to wait a week for the next episode. This past weekend YouTube Red, which is YouTube’s original content and streaming service, was offering a one week free trial of their Karate Kid reboot. For some reason I thought it might be interesting and I wasn’t wrong.

karate kid 2

Cobra Kai is set thirty years after the Karate Kid but the way they wrote it and tell the stories you don’t feel like it’s a sequel. It actually stands alone and that makes it ten times better. They add the social media bullying and midlife crisis story lines that appeal to both young and older viewers and more than that, almost every one of the main characters is likeable.

This doesn’t happen often by the way. No one feels stale or inserted into the story line for no real reason. I’m not a TV show critic so I won’t give you a breakdown of each episode or what hits or misses but I will tell you I love the life lessons in this series.

Everyone Has A Story

One of the really cool story lines in this show is that they take us back to 1984. They tell the story of both Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence. Anyone familiar with the movie knows Daniel is the poor kid from the single parent household and Johnny Lawrence is the popular rich kid with the pretty girlfriend and likes to bully. The show takes you behind the scenes to where he was coming from. An abusive step father, a mother that died when he was young. Feeling threatened by a kid that was constantly trying to take his girlfriend. You don’t feel sorry for him but you understand him. This applies to sooo many situations in real life where each side has a story and they believe their story 100%.

I Feel Sorry For People That Peeked In High School

There’s a theme in this entire show that revolves around individuals that had the biggest moments of their lives in high school. Daniel has built a successful business using his karate championship. Johnny is a drunk and has no ambition but constantly has dreams and flashbacks of his glory days in high school. He even drives the same car that he had in high school. Both men have a scene where they’re sitting in a bar looking at the Facebook page of the woman they were desperately in love with in high school. Both wondering where she is and is she happy in their own way.

Be Careful Of the Energy You Feed Children

The secondary story line of the show revolves around high school kids. The rich kids that are bullies and the poor kids that are getting picked on. Through karate the kids love to defend themselves but the part that’s scary is what they become. With miscommunication and constant training that teaches them to have no mercy and strike first the kids become mirror images of what Johnny was in high school. He doesn’t see it until it’s too late and by then the train is off the tracks. Even his own son gets caught up when he realizes his father is teaching these other children but hasn’t been there for him.

karate kid 1

Overall it’s a great show with tons of life lessons and if YouTube continues to put out content of this quality, they’ll become a force to be reckoned with in these streaming streets.