(B)lessonz.

I started this blog last year because I couldn’t talk my shit in just 140 characters on Twitter.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way…it feels kinda good to be writing after my lengthy hiatus. I actually wanted to write some fire shit when I felt like my life was going according to schedule. But as you may not know, I’m usually tardy for every party; so, I’m not shocked that my life is mimicking my behavior(s).

Usually in the middle of the year, I try to assess myself & my happiness in a whole bunch of different subjects. Like…am I doing well career-wise so far? Is my social life non-toxic? Is my workout regime paying off? Is my clothing still crack? You know, regular shit. And you know, after writing all of that…I realized I’m moderately content with the way things are going. It’s funny, I decided to pen my thoughts because I thought I was unhappy with the motions I was going with. Whoever said writing is therapeutic is definitely top 5, let me just say. This is fucked up though because my entire energy is shifting into writing something totally opposite as planned. “I guess that’s just the motion”, (Drake Feat. Sampha – ‘The Motion’).

A lot of times we’re overly critical of ourselves. As a person that has drowned in their own stress of “problems”, I understand the weight I put on my own shoulders. A lot of times it’s dead weight…but weight is weight & it’s only a matter of time before you give out. I really don’t have any advice on how to fix that, to be honest. I use to be one of those “coffee is weird” type of people until life became the weirdest thing. At the end of 2016, I received a job promotion. But last week I was getting yelled at (sort of) for doing my job incorrectly. I guess what I’m tryna’ say is, the more you win, the more weight of responsibility falls upon you. This isn’t bad. I guess we just need to take the time to really appreciate how we even got here in the first place.

Sidebar, I really wanna apologize if my thoughts seem to be all over the place. My thought process processes a lot…it’s overwhelming. But yo, none of what I have to say is nothing new. In fact, if you allow yourself to stay awake past 12, your mind will allow you to find solutions for all the simple shit we trip about. But who can handle the heart after 12? Not me. Anyway, my bad if you felt I was being distant. But in all honesty, I was being distant. But don’t feel too special, I was getting my mind right. If it’s any advice I would give to y’all, it’s to appreciate your solitude. The minute you feel like you need people around you to exist, you’ve already lost and you are lost, for the most part. Whoever said “the only power people have over us is the power we give to them” is also top 5. And for the people you no longer fuck with, you’ve got your reasons. Never mourn the death of a friendship from yesterday but rather have a good morning with the ones who still rock with you today. I’ve been having good mornings.

This might sound crazy but life moves on. Truthfully, there was a time when I didn’t understand how that can be possible. That stunted my growth for some time but I’m back and striving to be better. I guess that’s what I’ve been trying to say this whole time. My niece turned one last month and still hasn’t learned to walk. But she damn near tries her hardest day-to-day & falls gracefully each time. Think about that shit. (Who ever said “get that dirt off your shoulda” is most definitely top 5 – not up for debate.)

P.S. – Who needs depression when you have progression – is my fake mantra. Understand that I genuinely want everyone to win. Even you. And if you don’t love me anymore, you’re still a winner too.

Love,

Your Boy

Advertisements

Year of Change.

I normally wake up hating Tuesdays but today was different. Out with the old and in with the new, I suppose…or maybe I just had a good night’s rest. In any case, Happy New Year. I was thinking about how fast 2016 came and went and that shit is depressing. Last year was a roller-coaster ride for sure but we made it. It’s crazy how much you change in a year’s time. I never really notice until the beginning of the New Year – I tend to do a lot of self-reflection then. At 11:30 in the evening on December 31, 2015, I wrote a letter to my future wife on my iPhone in the ‘notes’ section. I was Drakey as fuck that New Year’s Eve. About three months later, that iPhone screen shattered & I had to get a new phone. The universe has a twisted sense of humor. Anyway, I say all this to say…change happens (thank God). I don’t do the whole “new year, new me” thing. I’ve always felt too old to change something about my personality. Plus, I’ll feel like I’m faking my attitude or the way I move by trying to be a different me (which I won’t be able to do, I’m a poor actor). But, I do think I should operate differently this year…or just in general.

I can’t remember the last time my mind didn’t operate at the rate that it does. I’m always thinking 1,000 miles an hour and I think I’m finally out of breath. If you know me, you’d know that you can’t really know me. But if you kinda know me, I suffer from fake chronic depression. It’s not hard to make me over-ponder. I’m actually the king of overthinking shit, it’s ridiculous. But over the years, I think I’ve let it consume me. This ultimately fucks with my day-to-day. Don’t feel bad, I’m not really diagnosed with this – but I do want to take the steps to overcome my mental dilemma. I’ve came to the conclusion that I’ve stopped choosing myself.

It’s in me to be giving and understanding of others. I’m no Jesus Christ and I actually hate self-praise but I have a huge heart. I forgive easily and give almost everyone the benefit of the doubt. I was raised to possess these qualities. Like most things, everything should be done in moderation. Of course, that’s my downfall. I’m a bit too understanding of others…too giving at times. I still don’t think it’s a bad thing but I do think it’s healthy to be occasionally selfish. In the midst of all this, I’m left stagnant. I dream big. I foresee where I want to be in years to come but this whole vision gets fuzzy when I’m busy worrying about how others might feel because they may have misunderstood me. Some days I don’t give a fuck but most days I do. It’s human nature.

Anyway, for 2017 and hopefully onward, I plan on making it my selfish year(s). Figured I’d document my thought process since they say you remember things better when you write it down or whatever. I personally want to get in a good space and humbly conquer. And so I chose myself this time around. If you know me (which I hope you know a little now), you’d know my intentions are always good. I do fuck up sometimes (I’m sorry, truly) – but in ’17, I hope to not trip over that. But yeah, I’m starting to get writer’s block. But just so that we’re all winning this year, my advice from me to y’all:

  1. If something isn’t sitting well with you, sleep on it.
  2. The bad is never that bad.
  3. You can never go wrong with all black.

Salud!

The Top of the Bottom.

Around this time in 2008, I was a freshman in college. I was studying for a math exam that I had the next day. I was in a study lounge in my dormitory – it’s always quiet in a study lounge…which is ideal for me because I have fake ADHD. As the night progressed I heard a lot of noise in the hallway. Good noise. I came out of the study lounge to see what was happening and a gang of about 50 kids that lived in my dorm were parading up and down the halls exclaiming that Obama won the presidential election. I was never into politics and even for this election I wasn’t as into it as I probably should have been; but the first year Obama won, I felt liberated. Not sure how to explain the feeling but it was just so refreshing. I was so young then but I understood the importance of voting and how good it was to see the young generation of our time be so involved.

I knew that if Hillary won this election it wouldn’t have been as live as Obama’s victory in ’08 but it would have definitely been a huge sigh of relief – especially since she was running against the erratic Donald Trump. I won’t lie, I really didn’t have plans of voting this year. I was almost sure Donald Trump wasn’t gonna win & that his existence in this campaign was just a scam & a publicity stunt. But after realizing the impressive amount of supporters he had, I knew I had to do my part…and I did. And so it was upsetting when I learned that he’ll be our president for the next four years at 6AM this morning.

I randomly pen my thoughts sometimes because it’s pretty cool to channel old thoughts when you re-read what you were feeling on a certain day. Below is something I wrote when the murder of Alton Sterling was really fresh and when I learned Donald Trump was running for president. I never pull the race card but how can you not when you see who his supporters are on live TV. I wish I wrote more but here it is:

I’m scared for us. I really don’t like what the world is becoming. I saw the graphic video of Alton Sterling and my heart hurts. I see the hate crimes all over my newsfeed & I never really say anything. I don’t make it a point to hashtag things because I always ask myself: how effective will this be? And I’ve been following a majority of the crimes that have been sensationalized. When it was happening at first, I tried to rationalize the situations but it’s hard to rationalize things when all you can see in these videos is hate in its purest form. I’m not into politics at all. I don’t even know how Trump OR Hillary would be better for the country. I just know right from wrong and whatever the fuck is happening is just wrong.

I guess all I can think about is when will the darkness be over? Everything just seems dark. There’s nothing genuine about anything anymore. Our way of thinking has even changed. Life is just…blah. I don’t know if part of why I’m feeling this way is because I’m an adult now, working a 9-5 or if my nostalgia for the 90’s is just too strong but I’m not dumb. Everything is just off now-a-days. I just figure that the day people find it easy to take a life is the day we hit rock bottom – and I’m pretty sure we’ve hit rock bottom.

I woke up this morning in a very shitty mood knowing this guy won. It just didn’t sit well at all. I had a million thoughts racing in my head about the whole thing and sadly there’s nothing we can do. I kinda had a lot of shit to say today but I promised myself I wouldn’t beat people in the head about this whole presidential election thing. 2016 started off to be such a beautiful year for me. Sucks that all good things must come to an end. I just really hope we don’t hit rock bottom.

The Sky’s the Limit (AND Blue).

I’ve been feeling so antsy these past couple of days. Maybe because I’ve recently decided to finally step up to the plate and actually start making moves for myself. I won’t get into what exactly is in the works because I’d rather keep my “move making” on the low until shit actually works out. And it probably won’t be a big deal to some people but I just know whatever I’m getting into will be a major good look for me. Well, a stepping stone to a major good look. It’s a process (most things are).

But getting into the groove of things makes me realize the mindset you have to talk yourself into when you’re about to make these life changing decisions. Sometimes it’s not even life changing, but you know what I mean. Mental preparation isn’t easy sometimes…especially when you’re a depressed sap like myself. Anyway, I compiled a list of pointers you should take when making a change in your life. I figured I’d make my mental notes an actual post that can hopefully benefit others and even myself when I spiral into my “is it worth it?” phase.

  1. Tunnel Vision: I can’t even begin to tell you how important this overused phrase is. Ultimately, tunnel vision is what gets you where you need to be. For instance, when I decided to start lifting, I was the skinniest man in the world. Seriously. The circumference of my bicep was probably a quarter of your kneecap (at the time). I knew I wasn’t going to see results right away and that discouraged me. I was so obsessed with making a difference quickly that I didn’t consider the time and effort it actually took to make these changes. Then I stopped caring about getting it done quickly and started caring more about actually getting it done. I just put the work in. Simple. Of course, there were days I wanted to give up but I knew that at the end of all of this sacrifice, good will come out of it. Two to three years later, I made an obvious transformation. That’s not how I knew I “made it” but I knew what the journey was like. I had tunnel vision. I sound extremely herby & corny right now but it’s true. You put a goal in front of you and attain it.
  1. Confidence: I should be the last person to talk about this because contrary to popular belief, I am not as confident as I pose to be. If it was socially acceptable to wear dark shades everywhere, I would. I hate eye contact. But being confident will take you a long way. Hennessey is my liquid confidence. Now, I’m not trying to sound like an alcoholic because I am very far from that…I’m just trying to make a point, bear with me y’all. But the difference in my demeanor from when I’m sober and when I’m drunk are day and night. I was parlaying with my thoughts one day and asked myself – what is it that I do when I’m under the influence that I don’t do when I’m being my normal self? Wasn’t too sure what the answer to that question was because I do a lot of shit drunk that I don’t do sober but for the sake of the seriousness of this post, I realized that I always take the leap of faith when faded. In order to take the leap, you need to be confident. Of course now I’m learning to do it without the brown juice but like I said, it’s a process.
  1. Just Do It: No Nike.

I really didn’t wanna be overwhelming with a bunch of other basic pointers because I feel like I basically just said the sky is blue. But it’s always refreshing to remind yourself that things are never that complicated especially when you start to lose a grip and end up getting your head stuck in the clouds from all the stress of the world. But anyways…for now, I wait for my winnings and grind humbly & silently. See y’all at the finish line.

Bless.

Guilt Trippin’, No Luggage.

Sometimes I forget that I have this thing and when I do remember, I get the urge to delete it. But during the weeks after my last couple of posts, people have been telling me that they actually enjoy reading it. Shit, even my mom came across it and indulged. I really didn’t think people would still read my stuff AND like it but I really just want to thank you for taking the time to give it a chance. And understand, writing and choosing what to put in the public’s eye isn’t easy – even for a regular guy like myself.

Have you ever wondered if feeling guilty is either a good or bad thing? Like…in a sense, it can be a good thing because it can be used as a catalyst to improve yourself. On the other hand, it can be a bad thing because…well, you did something fucked up & you were wrong for doing something wrong in the first place.

I try to live my life as a person that does no wrong to anyone or anything in any situation. As humans, we know that’s impossible…but it’s all a learning process. From time to time, I like to self-evaluate myself and think of things that made me proud of myself and things that made me disappointed in myself. Usually, the good things almost always outweighs the bad. But today at work I thought of something that’s been bothering me for a while…and the guilt has been leeching throughout my entire workday.

I was on my lunch break. I almost always go to this Cuban spot called Sophie’s for lunch. The way I go about my lunch break is usually always the same – leave the office, headphones in, disconnect from the world, get my lunch, back into the office and eat while watching a show. For some reason I forgot my headphones today and I had to face the world during my afternoon stroll. The first thing I noticed walking out of my office building was a little girl crying/bawling to her father because he wouldn’t buy her Starburst at this newspaper stand nearby. He was trying to explain to her that he only has a credit card on him and he’s unable to buy her the Starburst because they only accept cash as a form of payment. My heart immediately became heavy. Now, before you call me Drake and/or a sap, let me explain why.

A couple of months ago, I had to withdraw cash from my bank for a bill I had to pay or something. Being that I work a 9-5, Monday thru Friday in New York, the only way I can take money out is by using my bank’s ATM (since the actual branch is closed by 5:30). My usual routine is come off of the train, go straight to the gym (which is right off of my train stop) and go home after lifting. That day, my routine was – come off of the train, withdraw money, go to the gym, and go home. Easy enough, what can possibly go wrong? I get off of the train, down my pre-workout, and head over to the bank which is a block away from my gym. The minute I enter the space where the ATMs are located, I see a fifty-dollar bill lying on the ground. Of all the days for God to test me, he chooses today…

I kinda stood there and stared at it. I didn’t need it. I work a full time job in the field that I studied for. There’s no real reason for me to pick this up. But who leaves a fifty-dollar bill lying on the ground like that? I felt like I was being Punk’d.

I went to the ATM and withdrew my money. As I’m leaving I just kept thinking, if I don’t pick this up, then who will? Should I just walk away with it? Sidebar, I am not a greedy person when it comes to money – and if you know me, you’d know I’m actually quite generous when it comes to money. Money will always be whatever to me. Secondly, I live in a home where we can leave our cash lying around anywhere and the people in my home are respectable enough to leave it alone; our trust is that deep. And so I wish I considered these things when I picked up the fifty-dollars off of the floor.

My pre-workout immediately kicked in the moment I picked up the bill. My heart started racing, broke out into a slight sweat…I was hyper, ready to lift. As I’m walking out, a guy walks into the ATM area and starts looking at the floor. I immediately knew this was his fifty dollar bill. But I was too embarrassed to turn around and admit that I shamelessly picked his money up and basically stole it. Plus, I was already out the door – this would look stupid on my part.

I got to the gym and I couldn’t even make eye contact with the usuals. I got to the locker room and started to change out of my work clothes. I put on some deodorant but I still felt dirty. The pre-workout wasn’t helping either. I said fuck this, I’m running back to the bank…this man needs his money. All I kept thinking about was this guy and the face he had on when he was searching for his money. This could have been for rent…or his children. I couldn’t believe I was so corny. I got to the ATMs and he wasn’t anywhere to be found. I ran into the lobby area and told a banker that was walking out of the door that I found $50 in the ATM area, and asked if she can pull up the account that used the ATM before me because maybe it belonged to that person.

This guy getting his money back was all I wanted. I was mentally kicking myself the whole time I was interacting with the banker. She told me that the person whoever lost their money has to come to the teller and let them know they lost their money at the ATM and of course they’d have to tell the teller the right amount that they’ve lost in order to get their money back. I was disappointed, dawg. I was pissed at myself. I knew there was no chance that someone will come in after losing money in the ATM area and try to retrieve it from one of these tellers. I felt so fucked up…especially since I am way better than this. This was truly out of my character and I can’t believe I did something so low. I couldn’t even make it through my workout. I know I did the right thing by bringing the money back – but I should have done the right thing before it got this out of hand.

The next day was a Saturday. I had to withdraw a little more money for my bills so I got up a little early to head over to my bank. Banks, as we know, close early on the weekends so I made sure I got there at a good time. Ironically enough, the guy that lost his money was there at the same time…and he went to the teller to tell them about his misplaced fifty-dollar bill. I can’t tell you how relieved I was feeling. This shit was way too good to be true. I wanted to go smoke a cigarette witnessing this…and I don’t even smoke!

So…as I walked by the newspaper stand, I purchased my usual pack of gum. The father kind of looks at me with distress and embarrassment. His daughter had amazing lungs and her performance for Starburst was a little overbearing. I almost never have cash on me but today I did. I purchased the Starburst and gave it to him. I still felt guilty as fuck for what I did to that guy at the bank. And although he got his money back, that was just, honestly, amazing luck in its purest form. But watching this father go through it with his daughter kind of reminded me of that guy at the bank who probably had kids. Maybe I did a little too much by getting the Starburst but he thanked me for getting his daughter to shut up.

I still don’t know if feeling guilty is a good or bad thing…but it caused me to do something good. It’s all a learning process.

“I’m drinkin’ ____ and seltzerrr!”

If you know me, you know that you can’t really know me. You would also know that I hate to over-party…but when I do, I over party. But I’ve recently been partying a lot this Summer and it’s been the time of my life thus far…depending on what I’m drinking, of course. I’ve experimented with different types of alcohol in my life and at the recent soirees I’ve been attending. Long story long, this post is dedicated to everyone’s drug of choice: alcohol.

Today I’m gonna hold off on ranting about life and nature and list alcohol types and describe what each one does to me. Hopefully y’all can relate or whatever.

Wine:
I am an avid wine drinker. An avid red wine drinker. I’d prefer it at dinner every night but obviously that’s a little absurd. The only red wines that I enjoy drinking are the ones that are super strong, bitter and full of body. Basically, that Sweet Red nonsense is out the equation. I hate moscato/sugar water. Red wine gives me the chillest, calmest and chillest feeling. You won’t see me acting up after several glasses. And if you think I’m an elite ranter now, come see me with a bottle of your finest Cabernet.

Tequila:
I know what you’re thinking: how do I go from talking about wine to Tequila? If I’m being 100% honest…I don’t even know. But there’s not much to say about Tequila anyway because literally I just won’t remember the night. The one thing I hate about Tequila is that it’s the sneakiest bastard on this planet. After a shot of it, I feel fine. I mean I’ll feel slightly buzzed but I’m still in total control of everything. After maybe two more swigs, I’m still okay…at this point I want to hold hands and sing Kumbaya around the bottle. Then literally five minutes after singing Kumbaya, that shit hits me like a lead balloon. And then…yeah. Stories for ions but I guess we’ll get into that in a later post.

Cognac:
I’m not the biggest Cognac drinker but if I am indulging in it, it would be Hennessy. I’m not gonna lie, Henrock was always my drink of choice at one point. I even nicknamed myself ‘Henny’, sadly. But then I realized that every time I drank it, I always channeled my inner Floyd Mayweather. Now if you know me, you know that you can’t really know me. But if it’s at least one thing you do know, you’d know I’m a lover. I love to get along with people. I’m no Mohandas Gandhi, but I’m all about the peace. But for some reason, it’s always opposite day when I drink Henny on ice. Still a mystery but maybe I’ll grow into it.

Vodka:
NO. Just no. Keep that all the way away from me. If I ever feel like drinking Vodka, I’ll just reach into my first-aid kit at home and grab the rubbing alcohol because that’s basically what I see, when I see Vodka. Clearly I’ve had bad experiences…and clearly I hate to throw up (and fight).

Whiskey:
YES. Just yes. Jack Daniels, Jameson, Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal etc. Yes. I’ve always had the best time indulging in whiskey. FYI, I only drink my drinks either on the rocks, mixed with water or seltzer water. But whiskey will always be my drink of choice – at the bar, club, wherever.

In conclusion, now you know. Cheers!

 

 

Lights.

You know, I really hate red lights. Especially those really long ones that are the duration of a three minute song. Like, why? I blame Donald Trump. But…the only thing I kinda “like” about red lights is that you can really think about some shit for a good three minutes and actually be into it…for three minutes. It’s a great way to pass time…for three minutes.

For instance, the other day, I stopped at a red light right before the block where my house is on. I was sort of fake-depressed because I had the “so close yet so far” mentality. But I figured I was being a bit dramatic, so I decided to indulge in some “me time” while I waited for the green light.

I started to relive the times I use to walk up and down this very block to go to school (my elementary school was on this street). After I graduated from elementary school, I use to walk down this same block to catch the bus to go to high school…which then reminded me of the time I got jumped on this block. Ha. Boy did I not have the time of my life that day.

As you may not know, Jersey City isn’t the greatest of areas. Actually, I’m lying because it depends where exactly you live in Jersey City. Let’s just say I don’t live in the greatest area. Anyway, the bus I took from my high school dropped me at the very end of the same block that I’m stopped at right now, where I’m waiting on the green light. Quick background: I was a lanky, frail, brown kid that wore braces in high school. On some real shit, the circumference of my bicep at the time was probably a quarter of your kneecap. I was your average teen with fake confidence that could dress his ass off. I mean, I was fucking fly at times. But enough about me and more about me…I really have to learn to stop talking in circles.

During the 2000’s, the two color tone t-shirts were very in. I use to go to Foot Action and get the 5 for $20 tees in like every color…now that I think about it, being fly back then didn’t cost that much money. But yeah, it use to be the white shirt underneath, and then a colored shirt right on top of the white. The white was visible from the sleeve and neck area. I mean you could have switched it up however you wanted but, yeah…this info wasn’t even that vital to the story but now you know, you know?

So yes, the time I got jumped on this block. I came off of the bus ready to trudge up this long ass block to get to my house. I was rocking an all blue t-shirt (with the white tee under, of course, you know how zaddy do). As I’m walking up the block thinking about how I’m gonna fuck up an Ellio’s pizza when I get home, I see a swarm of kids from a nearby high school running in my direction from the opposite end of the block. It looked like they were running away from a fight that was taking place up ahead. Now listen, as a young kid, watching a fight was always intriguing for some reason. I kinda picked up my speed just to get a glimpse of the shit show. But man, these dudes running in my direction were fast…as hell.

Everything from this point was very slow motion. I hear one of the kids running towards me yell: “Yo, look at this mothafucka’ rockin’ that blue shirt. Is he stupid?” There were two colors you had to be stupid to wear in rough neighborhoods and those colors were either red or blue…for obvious reasons. And guess who decided to be stupid that day? Yours truly. Anyways, at this point, I knew they were talking about me and…well, I was about to get my ass beat. The last thing I remember seeing was the distant stoplight that I’m sitting at currently.

One of the kids punched me full force in my right eye. My vision was fucked immediately after this punch. Everything was so hazy and I now saw three to four of the stoplights that I’m still sitting at. The pain was a little too real. I couldn’t even defend myself if I wanted to because right after I attempted to open my eyes, another kid punched me right into the mouth, backing me up into a brick wall. My braces smashed up against my inner lip. Now I saw two to three stop lights and red blood on the floor. This fuckery needed to end soon, I still wanted my Ellios. I’m up against the wall, physically incapable of doing just about anything. The last kid comes up to me and balls his hand up into a fist.

I closed my eyes waiting to be hit and all of a sudden, I hear a lot of honking behind me. I snapped out of it. The light finally turned green…after three whole minutes. And this time I can only see one stop light. But damn. You could really think about some shit at a red light and really be into it…for three minutes. Don’t you just hate green lights?