Love Isn’t Always Being Strong Enough To Stay; Often Times It’s Being Strong Enough To Let Go

I’m not sure how old I was when I started to relate to love songs. Not understand what sex was or heartbreak was but I listened to the words and could literally relate them to my own relationships and situations. Love is universal, you can speak different languages and be from different religions and still understand what your heart is speaking.

If you’re at home or at work or hiding in the bathroom trying to get a break from the kids, I want you to imagine with me. Imagine where you would be right now if you didn’t let go of a love you thought was irreplaceable? Imagine if you didn’t find the strength to leave that guy that wasn’t affectionate enough, the woman that only called when she needed something. Imagine if God would have answered your prayers when you said you couldn’t live without him. Happy Endings aren’t always relationships prospering, sometimes the Happy Ending is you being able to walk away.

We live in this world now where technology has made everyone feel more closely connected when the truth is technology is often a barrier to the connections we so deeply seek. Twenty years ago if you hurt someone you love you called their house and when they didn’t answer you went to them. You talked or argued, you broke up or made up, but it was real. Now not answering the phone means text and tweets and Facebook post. Relationships that should have ended just thrive in limbo.

I believe I’m going to be an amazing writer not because I can create characters out of thin air. I believe I will be an amazing writer because I’m transparent like every great writer before me. You have to take off the mask and the filter and tell your story. The good, the bad, the ugly. It won’t always be flattering and romantic but it will be a story people can relate to.

It doesn’t make you weak to fight for someone you love when you don’t feel like they’re fighting as hard for you. It doesn’t make you a savage to tell someone that will give their last to you, “This isn’t working anymore.” We have become a generation that gets our advice from meme’s and actors that give us words we want to hear instead of getting advice from our hearts.

When the day comes that you feel more comfortable sharing your day with strangers or friends then with the person you’re with. Sit down and have a serious conversation with yourself. That’s not only loving the person you’re with but loving yourself enough to know, it’s time to let go.

Belize: A Beautifully Lazy Place

Being a writer can be exhausting at times because I tend to overanalyze everything. From service being a tad bit too slow to the water being not quite fresh enough. So I made a promise to myself that this weekend I would do a better job of living in the moment. Instead of worrying about what’s not going right, I’m going to worry about what makes me smile.

Feeling my toes in the sand, the breeze on my face, all the things you feel when you’re not trying to feel.

Day one in Belize was all about getting settled in. It started at 4:30am in Houston with a plane to Miami, then a plane to Belize. When I arrived I was in relative shock at how small and intimate the airport was. The runway scenery was barns, livestock and grass. There was no air walkway, they pulled up steps to the plane. We walked off a 757 onto a runway that looked as if it was just built the day before.

Just to clarify, none of this felt like a bad thing. It all felt organic, everyone was laid back and happy to arrive. It didn’t have the normal anxiety and hustle of a regular airport.

The information I received told me that the resort would be about a 15-20 minute ride from Belize City but that doesn’t really prepare you for what’s about to come. From the airport you board a single engine plane that holds around 12 people. The seats are small and every ounce of the plane is accounted for, even the co-pilots seat.

After the plane ride, which will feel as though you’re literally flying on the wing of a commercial airplane, you’re transported to a boat. The first thing I noticed was how amazingly beautiful the water was and the smell. The scent smells like what you think the ocean should smell like. The boat ride feels as though you’re going somewhere that’s a secret, somewhere undiscovered by chains and corporations.

The moment I arrived there was hotel staff waiting on me with a drink and outstretched hands. There are no cars out here, no loud music, no yachts with partying college kids. This isn’t that type of place. This island, this resort, this vibe, it’s for couples and families that want to get away from the noise. I was on the plane with a family of six from Wilmington, North Carolina that was here for a week of fishing and deep see diving. A couple I met at the pool was here to go cave hoping in the Mayan Ruins. You won’t find luxury shops and town cars, most people get around on golf carts and bicycles. There’s only three streets in the entire city.

Day one in Belize was quiet, nothing overwhelmed me but nothing underwhelmed me. For a man that takes solace in that, I can’t complain.

Where Are the Rules For Knowing How To Let Someone Love You?

The house dark, all the lights off, the television on mute watching him. Netflix for the fourth night in a row because the cable isn’t on. A beer on the floor next to him, a bottle of whiskey on the table beside him. There’s no sleep because stress has a way of being the enemy of sleep.

She wants to hold him, wants to be there for him, wants to love him. She wants to take the stress from his body and swallow it. Make it hers. When he hurts, she hurts, when he’s sad, she’s sad, her mood is a reflection of his.

Sitting next to him, her thigh touching his, her hand tracing his, her jokes awkward because she knows when he’s like this he goes into his shell. A shell she’s sure she’s cracked until moments like this. Until the moments where she knows he needs her the most and he won’t accept it.

Maybe it’s pride.

Maybe it’s arrogance in him believing he can do it all alone.

Maybe it’s him not wanting her to feel as though he’s not the man she thought he was.

Absorbing the anger in his voice, the sarcasm in his words, she still just needs to be next to him. She still needs to break down the wall. It’s tiring, it’s frustrating, it’s their love story.

Kissing him on the cheek, lying her head on his lap, they lay in the silence. Her presence saying everything words can’t.

Stop With the Small Talk and Plan A Date; It May Change Your Life

It’s easy to be the man that steps up when he’s supposed to step up. When it’s her birthday, you’re on point. When it’s your anniversary, there’s not a better date planner in the world. She’s excited about a promotion; you’ll have the champagne and flowers ready as soon as she walks through the door. That’s only like 10% of a relationship though, 10% of the dating process. What about the other days, the other nights?

Calling a woman or texting a woman and asking her, “WYD” or “It’s supposed to rain tonight so what do you want to eat?” You might see it as sensible or something that just makes sense after a long day but sometimes you have to not only take control but also crave control. If you’re a man reading this I want you to ask yourself one question, “When is the last time I called a woman and told her, ‘I’m picking you up at 8, wear that black dress I saw you in when you went to your best friend’s party back in May.” Don’t be afraid of her saying she has plans, don’t be afraid of “I’m tired.” Be afraid of being ordinary.

I don’t care if your woman is in charge of the largest department in her company. I don’t care if she makes twice what you make and had to let your little brother “borrow” some money for a textbook. That doesn’t take away from that fact that just because she has to be superwoman out there doesn’t mean she wants to be that at home or in her relationship. So many men complain about dating when the truth is all you’re doing is setting a standard that lets her know she can stop entertaining those other guys. One way to do that is by simply being tastefully aggressive.

What’s tasteful aggression? It’s being the man that knows what he wants and is an adult about expressing it and actively pursuing her. Not just asking a woman out on a date or out for drinks but telling her where, what time and what you like to see her in. Not the cheesy lingerie or panty talk but actual clothes. Colors, styles, how you like her hair. If you’re a genuine guy she won’t take it as you trying to control her or tell her how to dress. She’ll take it as you being a man that pays attention.

In 2017 everyone takes pride in being laid back, in being cool. You want to know what I take pride in? Being serious about the people that matter to me and while I’m being serious I’ll take time to laugh, smile, flirt but she won’t have hesitations about my intentions.

Why Don’t They Teach A Class In High School About Adulting?

I’m half way into my 34th year of life and I can honestly tell you I have never had to use biology in real life. I have never gone on a job interview where someone asked me, “So, what is an organism?” I have yet to go to a pay a bill and the person behind the counter asked, “Excuse me sir, we need your street address, social security number and for you to tell us 10 State Capitals.” Why do they teach us all this useless knowledge but don’t teach us how to adult? Below are four classes on how to adult before you hit the real world.

Lesson One- Money and Common Cents

Could you imagine if in your senior year of high school there was a class on real life budgeting? Not calculus or trigonometry but a class entitled “Money and Common Cents.”

classroom pic 2

Food all goes down the same. Wingstop taste amazing, Pappadeaux for happy hour is everything. A good steak from Brennan’s, mouthwatering. However, lesson 1, there isn’t a worse feeling than checking your bank statement and seeing you’ve spent 120.00 on food for the week knowing your cell phone bill is 117.89. Spaghetti is your friend; sandwiches are your friend, those cheap sausages that turn the water super greasy, your friend. If you know you don’t get paid for two weeks, don’t blow your money on food.

Lesson Two- Love Is Going To Break You; But It Won’t Kill You

We as a society do a horrible job of preparing our youth for how powerful love is. There was never a class in high school or college that taught us how much love would break us down. No group project on how to deal with seeing another man’s name pop on your woman’s phone at 2am. No power point on feeling like life is great and your man walking in and telling you, “I don’t love you anymore.”

There should be a test given to every high school senior. Don’t let love make you make dumb decisions. If you aren’t married, don’t co-sign for him a car because he changed a flat for you. Those things are not equal baby girl and I know you think he has a good job working at UPS overnight but I promise you a good job at 18 isn’t a good job at 24. If that woman wants to break up with you, let her go. Beating up her new man may feel good but the record that comes with it doesn’t. In a year she’ll have moved on and you’ll still be living with the consequences.

Lesson Three- Don’t Blow Off Your Grandparents and Parents

There’s a time frame after high school and before true adulthood kicks in at like 26 that we ignore our grandparents or parents. We want to travel and go out and sleep in so we say, “I’ll see grandma tomorrow.” “I’ll call my mom back tomorrow.” Those tomorrow’s add up and the next thing you know it’ll have been two months. There will be a day when they won’t be here anymore and in that moment you’ll think back to when you blew them off for a man or woman you have blocked on FB or friends that you don’t even talk to anymore. Love those that love you.

Lesson Four- Most Of Us Won’t Die Young; Prepare Yourself

Go to the dentist. You only get one set of real teeth.
Make memories and takes lots of pictures.
Don’t not pay bills to enjoy yourself. Credit is something you’ll need.
You don’t feel good, go to the doctor. You still don’t feel good, go back. You still don’t feel good, go to another doctor.
Don’t waste years of your life being unhappy.

Confident Black Men and Women Scare America

I have written about LaVar Ball since he popped on the scene because in the beginning I felt like it was a click bait story. You want to get a couple shares, a couple retweets, write about LaVar Ball. So I stayed away from it but then something happened. I started to see the hypocrisy in the way we society views black men and independence. Let me give you a couple of examples.

  1. Nike exec George Raveling on LaVar Ball: “The worst thing to happen to basketball in the last hundred years.”
  2. Unnamed NFL Coaches, “Colin Kaepernick is a traitor and I would never want him on my team.”
  3. Republican Congressman, “Obama took 400,000 for a speech; we need to take his pension.”

What do all three of these things have in common?  The black men involved weren’t docile enough.

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Why is that whenever I hear about Lavar Ball I never hear that he’s been convicted of any crimes? Why is it that I’ve never heard of his sons getting in trouble or of him hitting his wife? Why is it that I haven’t seen one piece on him being a good father and mentor while I’ve seen two hundred stories on black boys and them surviving without fathers? That’s not the story they want to put out there, they’d rather focus on how bad of a guy he is because he doesn’t want to take their handouts.

Now let’s talk about Kaepernick, teams were saying he’s asking for too much money and most people were happy to accept that was the truth. Meanwhile he comes out and says, “No one has talked to me or returned my calls so how would they know what I’m asking?” Guys have beat their wives, killed people drunk driving, fixed games and the worst person in the league is a guy that took a knee to bring awareness to cops killing black men and women?

Lastly, President Obama was criticized and attacked more than any President in history when there was no basis for it. The worst thing he probably did was wear that tan suit that time. After eight years of this Republicans lost their minds seeing him on vacations and smiling. They lost their minds that he and his wife got this huge book deal and they lost their minds even more when it came out that he was getting 400k for a speech. I live in Texas, ex-politicians and athletes have been getting paid for years to give speeches but now it’s a problem?

Confident Black Men scare America because they hate our strength. When Tiger Woods was winning Majors he was “Blasian,” I’d honestly never heard that term in my life. When he got caught cheating, he was a black man. When Kanye West said, “Yeezy’s will jump over Jordan’s,” we laughed and said no one buys Adidas. Now you can’t find a pair of Yeezy’s anywhere, they stay sold out.

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Lavar Ball says, “If the Lakers draft my son, they’ll make the playoffs next year.” He didn’t say they’ll win a Championship or that his son will be the best Laker of all time. He said a team full of young talent with a pass first point guard could make the playoffs. People are literally hostile at that. He has confidence in his son and that makes you uncomfortable? Just because Archie Manning wasn’t on TV every day doesn’t mean he wasn’t behind the scenes making sure his sons were taken care of.

Dear HBCU Presidents; Do Better!

trump blackDear HBCU’ Presidents,

Do Better!

There are very few institutions that represent what it means to be a black man or woman in America like the Historically Black College. It’s a place where kids had to go because schools like the University of Texas and Baylor wouldn’t accept them. Out of hate and bigotry rose Texas Southern University, Prairie View A&M University and countless other colleges throughout the south.

Colleges that gave young men and women pride, opportunity, a place to be amongst their own and thrive. Where has that pride gone? Why can it be found in twenty three year olds but not in the men and women that have risen the ranks to run these colleges?

Donald Trump is the President of the United States and we have to accept that but we don’t have to accept is his policies, his child like behavior and the unqualified and ill-intentioned people he has put into office.

Explain something to me because I am genuinely baffled. On February 28, 2017 over 80 Presidents of HBCU’s met with Trump and they were treated no better than tourist. Given a small speech, given a couple pictures and some lunch. No real conversation, no real change. A month later the Trump Administration questioned the need for HBCU’s and just this week word has come out that Trump wants to either defund or reduce funding for HBCU’s but you still want to reach out your hand to members of his administration?

I respect the work ethic of the generation that came before me but I cannot and will not respect men and women that are selling out the integrity of their schools for a check or photo op. Stop allowing people in high places to use you.

These young kids are not willing to sit back and accept it. You can’t charge them for degrees and make them work and struggle only to tell them that they have to do as you say or else.