“Marriage is so tough, Nelson Mandela got divorced. He got out of jail after 27 years of torture, spent six months with his wife and said, ‘I can’t take this shit no more.’”Chris Rock
“The course of true love never did run smooth.”
― William Shakespeare
One of my biggest pet peeves is when a stranger interrupts my conversation. It just really pisses me off. I want to punch them in the face and say “SHUT THE DUCK UP.” Yes, I said duck because I am trying to do better with my cursing. Today an old friend of mine took me out to lunch. We went to a spot called Tilted Kilt because I had never been and I wanted to see if it would an upgrade from hooters. Yes, I know I am a typical thirsty man in need of water. At least I know what I am attracted to. So she is newly married and she is giving me the rundown of the marriage life. I felt like things really didn’t change for her because she is a relationship, nurturing, ride or die type of woman. So going from girlfriend to wife was really more of a legal thing in my opinion. As we wrapped up her lifestyle, we spoke on the difference between American women, and women from around the world. I felt like love has been monetized in this country and most women would rather you look good on paper than be a good man. However, we shall leave that topic for another day. So as I am giving my opinion on my views of the “common American woman” an older man interrupts our conversation politely to not only agree with me but to tell us his experience with dating. So as we continue to speak back and forth, he lets us know that he has been married almost twenty years. I’m like “damn bruh you been dating like that while you were married?” He told us how he was in a relationship with a side piece for like seven years of his marriage. Now my friend was getting pissed because she said “if my man does that, I will kill him. However, I was a bit confused because she feels like all men cheat. So I guess for her its one of those things like “I know you do it, but I won’t fuck you up till I catch you.” So when she said every man cheats, the older gentleman nodded. So I had to ask myself the question, “why have you been with a woman for twenty years that you are unhappy with? He quickly brought up getting a divorce after this year because all the kids will be out the house and independent. I asked him “what did she do or not do?” He started to really think about it. At first, he complimented her. He spoke on her success. He spoke on her independence. Her heart is big and she is a great mother. There were some things from the past that he could not seem to let go. She never cheated, but I think she may have said some things that he could not forgive her for. He didn’t feel appreciated. He felt like everything was always about money and work. The joy in their relationship had gone. I could see it in his face. When he spoke on the side chick he used to have, he smiled. He had so many good memories. See here is the thing, a relationship is like an Empire, it takes huge sacrifice and grand gestures to create, but you must maintain it by keeping up with the little things. For him, his wife could work all day and never check up on him. His wife could be off work the whole day and after he busted his ass, he never came home to a hot meal and bath prepared for him. Guess who did this for him though? The side chick. So to him, he feels like this woman who hasn’t even known him that long appreciates him. The problem with that thought process is he isn’t looking at the bigger picture. The wife works. The wife is taking care of the kids. She is keeping things organized. She has way more on her plate. She may not be able to nurture you every day how you like, but she has many tasks that make your life easier without you even knowing. This is why communication is so important. We as a people need to know when to put our pride to the side in order to give and take constructive criticism. It’s so simple to tell the person you love how you feel and what you want. Give them a chance. Plant the seed for the opportunity to grow. Find a way if you are married. You gave your oath for better or worse. Of course, the deal is off the table with verbal and physical abuse. I won’t speak on cheating because everyone tolerance is different, and sometimes there can be levels to why people cheated. I am not defending cheating, I am just saying depending on the couple, there may be a way to work through things. As we continued to speak on his wife he began to bring doubt in the idea of leaving her. I could tell he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. The grass looks greener on the other side, but his yard is really nice. I hope he can find that joy they had in the past. We get so caught up in working, priorities, and even kids. We forget how to have fun with each other. We forget the crazy things we did when we dated. Don’t lose that! Don’t grow all the way up. The spark came because of the joy. Don’t let life and age kill your joy. Find a way to manage your time, communicate, and maintain that empire. Love is a beautiful thing. If we don’t treat it with respect, we as a society will only continue to monetize emotion and devalue the true meaning of jumping the broom.
“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
― Dr. Seuss
So I usually am not a Valentines Day lovey-dovey kind of guy. I guess because my V-Days have typically been trash. Technically I am to blame since I am the common denominator to this reoccurring problem. Ugh, I hate admitting when I am wrong. It feels like I have this bad taste in my mouth. I get this awkward aftertaste that gives me chills. So I decided to write a short blog on a bad date I had. Everyone has had a horrible date before. The good thing about horrible dates is you learn, and it gives you something to laugh about later. So long story short, I had a friend in the military who thought it would be a good idea to set me up on a blind date. Now I’m not one to usually take a shot in the dark if you know what I mean. However, when we were having the conversation, I was under the influence of alcohol and was feeling very Indiana Joneish. What that means was I was getting in touch with my adventurous side. Let me live a bit dangerously for once. Damn Hennessey is a hell of a drug. So the next day apparently I had a 7pm date at a chain restaurant not too far from my base. I don’t know what this girl looks like, all I know is she was going to be wearing a black sweater. My friend calls me and tells me that she drives a white Hyundai like I don’t see a million of those a day. So long story short I am waiting outside of the entrance of the restaurant at 18:45pm. For those that don’t understand military time, 15 minutes before 7pm. This car did not pull up till 19:30pm. I’m a very patient person. I just don’t think it’s a good first impression to have me waiting that long. So she gets out the car smiling and walking up to me saying “you must be Ari.” I look her up and down like “oh I’m him!” From a physical standpoint, my friend knows what I like. This girl was gorgeous. She was short with these really nice curves. She had this beautiful face and lips that gave me naughty thoughts. I gesture for us to go inside. She didn’t touch a door. So long story short the waitress comes to us and introduces herself. My date had a bit of attitude in her voice but I’m thinking maybe its allergies or something. So within 15 minutes of us being in this establishment, I could tell my date had some negative energy towards our waitress. The only problem I couldn’t understand was why. So, of course, I asked my date “hey do you know our waitress or something?” My lady rolled her eyes at me and said: “no, but if she keeps flirting with you she will get to know me well.” My eyes got huge. This waitress was a sweet woman. She did not flirt with me at all. As soon as the food came, all hell broke loose. So long story short, my date started cursing at the waitress claiming that her order is messed up. Everyone in the restaurant looking at me like “do something.” I’m looking at the waitress like “pack my plate to go.” So I try to calm down my date but she starts cursing me out. I don’t do well with disrespect. So me and her start going at it. The waitress begins to cry and I stand up and try to calm her down. My date starts telling me “oh you want that bitch go be with her than!” I whispered some instructions in my waitress ear. She immediately comes back with a to-go plate and leaves. I put enough money on the table for me and Love and Hip Hop’s newest costar. My date continues her verbal assault of calling me every name in the book. I wished her good night and left the restaurant. I called my friend and cursed him out in the car for 30 minutes straight. The car ride home was only 10 minutes but he needed to feel my pain. This fool couldn’t stop laughing and telling me he is sorry. The lesson of the day is you can’t always control chaos when it comes knocking at your door. That doesn’t mean that you can’t search for an exit. Find a way out of those negative situations. As far as love goes, make sure that you spend your time with someone who gives you the energy and security you need. It shouldn’t take Valentine’s day or anniversaries for someone to know how much you truly care about them. If you don’t have someone for Valentine’s day, treat yourself. Love yourself. Everyone have a safe day and good night. Ladies, please don’t yell at any cute waitresses tonight. 😉
“You know how babies have the terrible twos? I think most of us men have a terrible twenties phase. We want to chase dreams. We want to chase women. It feels like the women and the dreams are going in opposite directions… thus turning us into indecisive douche bags.”
Before I get into the meat of this blog, I would first like to say a small prayer for all the families battling with is horrendous flu. Children have been dying, and if it’s not affecting you it may be something your neighbor is battling. So let me say “Dear Lord, please watch over our children. Our innocent, our future, our blessings are at risks. Please show them mercy as we work together as a nation to battle this epidemic. In Jesus name, amen.” If you don’t believe in a religion, just please speak some positivity out in the atmosphere. If you have a different belief, you know what to do. We are all people at the end of the day. My nephew is in the hospital again and we are praying for a speedy recovery.
Ok now lets talk about the terrible twenties. Right now, I am at the age of 29. I will be 30 in less than six months. Now if I look back to my relationship track record, I do not have the prettiest history. I am sure there some women that will hate me forever. It’s not because I was some purposeful bad person, but because I was so indecisive. I had no idea what I wanted and who I wanted to be. One minute, I could really be into you. I could crave you. As soon as I see you starting to give back those same words and actions I felt trapped. I started second guessing myself. Some women just honestly came on too strong from the jump. On the first dinner date, she tells me her timeline for marriage and children. Shit, I want to travel the world and accomplish certain goals before I pick new expensive responsibilities that may slow my travels and dreams. I’m not saying all women do this. Let’s be honest though, there are women who want certain things accomplished at a young age. Which can apply pressure to the dude she is dating. I consistently ran into these women. Which it was hard to straight push them away because they had these ride or die personalities about them. These were women that knew what they wanted. You had to respect it, but sometimes we want to take advantage of a situation. We know in our hearts we aren’t ready, but who wants to let go of a good girl? Who wants to burn that bridge? What if I don’t ever meet another as good as her? So you hold on to there heart until the weight gets too heavy. You can’t handle the burden of the responsibilities. You drop the heart. Now you have hurt her. What is she suppose to do? She believed in you! She expects you to fix this but you are backing away cause you are ashamed and embarrassed by the mess you made. So you leave her. You become lonely again. You meet another woman. The process starts all over again. Another woman hurt. Are you a bad guy? I didn’t mean to hurt them on purpose. I told them I wasn’t ready to commit this time. Did your actions say otherwise though? Where you calling her every day and doing sweet things to lead them on? Did you let your ego take over you conscious? Did you use a technicality to justify your actions? Oh, well we not together so she can’t get mad. My brothers, we must learn to grow and be better. As men, we need to be honest with ourselves and the people we meet. What we speak, we need to show with action. If you aren’t ready for that woman, you need to let that woman go. I had to learn that. You can manipulate someone with honesty but contradicting actions. For example, I can tell a girl I’m not interested in a relationship but put in work to make her fall in love. Now I can say “hey she can’t be mad cause I told her whats up.” However, I am responsible for my actions. Why am I taking her out to eat? Why am I on the phone with her every day for hours building a connection? Cuddling and consistent sex making her feel special and safe. We as men must do a better job of how we treat women. If we aren’t ready that’s ok. If you don’t know what you want that is fine. Most of us don’t know who we want to be when we are young. Enjoy life but be honest, and let your words fly parallel to your actions. Its never too late to be a better person. Its ok to focus on you. I’m almost 30 and I don’t have things figured out. Don’ let impatient women and memes pressure you. Women will say ” a real man finds a woman and starts a family.” A real man isn’t determined by if he settles down with a woman. A real man is defined by how he treats the people around him. How he supports himself and the people he cares for. How he protects the people that are most precious to him. His ambition. His word. Every day can be an uphill battle to become better. Look at it like an exercise. Be better about your words. Make sure your actions follow. Let’s treat women better. Let’s stop blaming our age for our actions. I need to be a better example for my nephew. He is the Batman I wasn’t strong enough to be.
“If you were born with the ability to change someone’s perspective or emotions, never waste that gift. It is one of the most powerful gifts God can give—the ability to influence.”
― Shannon L. Alder
I told someone that I would talk about cheating. I think that article can wait a few more days. I first would like to say, I hope everyone is doing great. I had an opportunity to watch this movie with my Grandmother yesterday called Chappie. I loved the fact that my Grandmother was so into the movie. She was asking questions and paying attention. I won’t be staying here much longer, so I must enjoy these moments with my family. So let me say first that I am a bit of a nerd. I’m not like a full nerd, but I have my Star Wars shirts and Marvel keychains. I was searching for a movie on Netflix and I found Chappie. I had no idea what this movie was about. However, it immediately grabbed my heart. When it showed the cruelty of mankind to an innocent mind, it was so disturbing to me. I couldn’t understand how people can be so selfish and mean. There was a part when they tricked Chappie and left him to be beaten by a gang. He couldn’t understand why people would try to hurt him. He didn’t understand why people would lie. When he is created, he has the mind of a child. Chappie must learn everything. So it was amazing to see how influences molded him. Anyhow, he still had a good soul. Regardless of everything he had been through, he still defended the people he loved. Even when those people betrayed him. The movie made me think of my Grandmother. My Grandfather was abusive. He physically and verbally attacked her on a consistent basis. My mother told me about a time he locked her in the house so she couldn’t leave. She took all her kids and left him. My grandmother had parents that abandoned her at a young age. She dealt with racism on a daily basis. Yet she still always had so much love to give to everyone around her. If you met my Grandmother, you would never have thought that she had such a hard life. Chappie taught me something. I have no excuse to treat anyone badly. Even if I have gone through hell, there is no justification to be a bad person. Every person that Chappie cared about in that movie did something horrible to him, nonetheless, he still took care of them. I’m not saying that we should let bad people run over us. What I’m saying is that we should never let people change who we are. We should all strive to be a positive influence. When you have your beautiful innocent children looking to you, you should do everything you can to lead them to be honest, loving, and appreciative people. In the movie, Chappie was put into a body that would expire in a couple of days. He found a way to save himself because he wanted to live. Everyone in the movie told him that would be impossible. Let us all defeat the impossible. If you believe it you can achieve it. Let us keep attacking these goals and building our small empires brick by brick.
“If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free. If our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed.” —Edmund Burke
Who doesn’t like nice things? I love nice things. When I see that big body Benz AMG coupe parked outside some fancy hotel I’m thinking “damn come to papa.” Well, right now I can’t even afford a 50K car so its ok to dream. I think that the majority of middle class and working class Americans have the wrong idea of what success is. For some strange reason, we want to please others. We want to appear like we are living pretty good even though most of us are living check to check. We need to change up the mentality a bit. With greatness comes some form of sacrifice. People who were able to get that dream house, or become business owners had to let something go. One thing that I decided to let go was my drinking habits. I didn’t realize how much I was spending on alcohol until I stopped going out. The nightlife is stupid expensive. Which I’m not saying don’t go out, but have some moderation in your habits. We don’t realize it till we get older. I think the reason why is ego. We want to be seen. We want to feel wanted by strangers. We want to appear like our lives are amazing. So when I look at the cost of me going out, I was easily spending 80 dollars a night. So if I went out Friday and Saturday that is 160 a week. So at a minimum when I was younger, I was spending 640 dollars a month on turning up. That is literally 7,680 dollars a year. From the age of 21 to 29. Now, of course, this is an estimation. When I was in relationships I was in the chill mode. I also deployed a few times. However, it’s crazy how dollars add up so quickly. So what I plan to do is show you. I start my new career in the middle of February. Brick by brick anyone following my blog will see how I create an empire. As I save as much as possible, I hope to motivate you to follow your dreams and change your spending habits. I want to motivate you not spend 8 dollars on a fast food meal and wake up early enough to make a sandwich for lunch. I want to illustrate the importance of moderation. I want my readers to grow as I grow. I am 29 now. By the age of 35, I will have at least one house, two small businesses, and two vehicles with no payments.
“We can alleviate physical pain, but mental pain – grief, despair, depression, dementia – is less accessible to treatment. It’s connected to who we are – our personality, our character, our soul.”
It’s crazy how the home will forever smell the same, but so many things change when you have been absent for such a long period of time. I served seven years of my life in the military. To my brothers and sisters planning on doing the big twenty, that doesn’t seem too bad, but when you are unhappy every day feels like forever. Every challenge whether big or small becomes grueling and annoying. When I came home the day before Thanksgiving, one of the strongest women I have known my entire life needed assistance going to the bathroom. I could not wrap my head around the fact that this strong little lady needed help with something so simple. The woman that raised five children. The woman that caught the bus to work every day. The woman who had my back when I would argue with my parents regardless of how ridiculous I sounded. There was never a moment in my life, I did not see her happy and thankful for the things she had. She looked me in my eyes, asking me who I was to her. Sometimes she would mistakenly call me my brothers name. Every day I noticed she would ask me the same questions. “How old are you baby? Whose son are you sweetheart? Are you married, baby?”It made me sad to know that she was losing her memory. When I need to escape from reality, sometimes I get lost in my memories. I love to daydream from time to time. This week I had to pick Grandma up from South Carolina to bring her back home. She had spent Christmas and New Years with her eldest daughter(my auntie). As we drove back to Georgia, she began asking me the same questions over and over again. I wanted to do something. I wanted to flood her mind and her heart with memories again. I was on my tidal account and I found some Ray Charles songs. I played ‘Mess Around’ by Ray Charles and my Grandmother went crazy. She started to dance and sing. This music did something to her. It brought her back to a place where she was young. She could see herself going out and having a good time. For the remaining ride home, she was lost in good memories. A beautiful fantasy which may not last forever but, at least loosened the bondage of dementia. We call my Grandmother Big Momma. She isn’t a big woman, but she knew how to lead, and she has always been respected as a Queen. Life teaches us not take anything for granted. As we get older, the people we love began to change and sometimes disappear. Though I see her struggles, it’s inspiring to see my family members work together to carry such a heavy burden of taking care of my Grandmother. They all do it with patience and a smile. Because deep down we know the love of a Grandmother is unconditional. She will love you and take care of you no matter if you are fat, broke, sick, poor, or even on drugs. Music is powerful. My mother always told me I need to be careful what I feed my soul on a day by day basis. To anyone who has a family member dealing with Dementia, Alzheimers and other diseases affecting the mind, you are not alone. Some days are harder than others. We must keep reminding our loved ones that we are here, and we can’t take it personally if they don’t remember. Deep down we all know if roles were reversed, they would be taking care of us.