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

The crosses I bear do not define me but strengthen me…

There are nights when I don’t know if I’m strong enough.

There are nights when my fears and insecurities far outweigh my strengths.The crosses I bear do not define me but strengthen me. They do not hold me down but they give me the courage I need to keep walking. Because if Jesus could walk with a cross on his back to die for our sins… What complaints shall I have? What should I fear when I know it’s in me to be strong enough?

Pain and hate have a way of eating at you, those feelings have a way of tearing at the core of what makes us likeable and loveable and spontaneous. There are moments that I wonder if I’ll make it, if I’ll survive.

Not physically necessarily but giving up on my dreams to be more than just another statistic. More than just another guy trying to make it.

I want to make my grandparents proud before their time comes.

I want my mother to be comfortable.

I want my wife and children to never want for anything even though they aren’t even in my life yet.

I carry these burdens and crosses because it’s the only way I know how. Pride may come before the fall but I guarantee you I will not fall! I will not give up nor retreat! I will become successful, holding my shield up for the world to see or be carried away to God on that shield.

The crosses I bear do not define me, they do not weaken me, but they strengthen me.