“Success is an uphill battle.”
We all know what it is, we all think we do it, but few actually do. What am I talking about, I’m talking about the grind. I always hear how people talk about the grind, the grind, the grind. But how many people actually are on their grind. Let me tell you about my daily grind.
5:00 am – Waking up
5:30 am – Leaving for part time job
7:00 am – start work
11:00 am/Noon – off work
12:00 pm/1:00pm – working on storyboard for my next short film, wordpress blogging posts
4:00 pm – 8:00 pm – (sometimes work second shift on job)
5:00 pm – writing and structuring my novel/short stories/videoblogging
10:40 pm – leave computer lab
12:20 am – sleep
7 days per week.
That’s right, my goal is film making and I make it a lifestyle. I am not talking about it, but I am actually doing instead of talking. How come people don’t do, but talk? My best guess is that they are in a romantic daydream by talking. The daydream becomes real once they embark on that road of grinding. That’s a scary decision to make also. I mean come on, who is willing to put so much of their life on hold for building their future.
Come on, guys my age are thinking about work, hooking up, and blazing up. But me, I am constantly thinking, what is my next move. Oh, and by the way I just started my YouTube channel of building awareness for my upcoming projects. My second short film in the spring, my novel and short story book by the beginning of the winter, as well as my daily blog posts on WordPress. This will be my base to start from when also trying to catch the attention of a literary agency.
So as you can see, I am in a race. I am in a race against time. When you’re in the paradigm it seems like an eternity. Why does time drag when you’re grinding and hustling? I wish I knew how to speed up the clocks to the point where I am successful at what I do. But why click forward, these experiences are just what I need to make myself successful and maintain a strong career. I always remember the quote, “Opportunity meets preparation.” Everything I do is in preparation for my future. Now let me ask you something, what is your daily grind?
“Failure to Launch or Fear of Launch?”
As an adult, do some of us self sabotage or are some just flat out lazy at it pertains to working hard in life. There are young men and women who are in their early 30’s still living at home with their parents. And no, I am not talking about because they fell on hard times and need a place to crash until they get on their feet. I am speaking of the people who have this failure to launch. But is it always the failure to launch, or the fear of launching.
First let’s observe the failure to launch. A topic that has actually been produced into a feature film starring Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker. Why do so many men and women almost self sabotage to keep from stepping into the real world. Well, in the movie, McConaughhey fiance died, which sent him on this spiral of not moving out of his parent’s house. In my opinion, people get comfortable in an environment where they don’t have to try too hard because they can’t handle the pressure that comes with succeeding.
That not wanting to grow up does not just relate to living at home. It also extends into people’s intimate relationships as well. A guy meets a female, but still lives at home with his parents at age 29 years old. The female excepts it at first, but wonders why he won’t move in with her. I tries everything in his power to not have to leave the comforts of his parent’s house. She winds-up leaving him for a more stable man with his own place. Well, why wouldn’t he just move in with her? He’s 29 years old; you would think a man almost 30 years old would move in with his girlfriend.
The reality is no, he just wants to live at home. Why, because at home no dishes to wash, mom makes his meals, mom washes his clothes. He does nothing much for himself. So responsibility becomes the reason for his inability to grow-up. Or is it his fear of launching. Maybe he has this fear that is engrained that is not based around laziness. More so it is a fear that if he launches, he will crash. Not everyone who shoots off the launch pad soars, some people crash.
But isn’t that part of life is crashing? Don’t every successful person have a low moment in their lives where they crash. Resilience; how well you bounce back is the key to overcoming these obstacles. You would think parents would instill these principles in their children. Or maybe they do, and children still carry fear. Now you go, “What 30 year old man is afraid to launch?” “By this age you know failure happens.” “You know the climb to what you want in life takes long hard work.” “So what is it really?”
To further what I said earlier about being comfortable, allowing someone else to take on the responsibility is comfortable, too comfortable. The only problem is that if that person shall get sick or die, you’re screwed. Now you’re forced to live in society that is unfamiliar to you because you never had to hunt for what’s yours. You don’t know real disappointment so you don’t have the ability to bounce back. In the end it’s detrimental and can lead to loss of relationships, friendships, job opportunities, personal issues (depression and loss of confidence), and parental shame. There will always be people with a fear or failure step into the world. Doesn’t have to be you, and can stop tomorrow if you’re willing to put in the work.
The President of the United States has just finished his speech at the podium. As he walks away and proceeds out the room; the press media screams Mr. President. He makes his way down a long stretch of hallway which consist of ivory beams, red velvet carpeting, and wall paintings. Secret Servicemen are in front of him as well as behind him. A White House Aide walks next to him as they prepare to exit the premises (5:05 p.m.).
Out the front door the President emerges with his secret service protection and his Aide. The President enters his limousine, while servicemen quickly enter sports utility vehicles. Congregation of police squad cars await the gates of the White House opening, as the President’s limousine pulls toward the gates. Once the gates open, the two sports utility vehicles are first out of the confines of the White House property. The limousine exits the premises, as two more sports utility vehicles follow. The sirens of the police squad cars blare, as they follow the President’s limousine and the four sports utility vehicles (5:10 p.m.).
The President’s motorcade drives through the streets as pedestrians stop and stare, some take pictures. The police drive ahead of the sports utility vehicles, cutting off traffic as the President’s limousine speeds by cut off cars. Police drive away from cut off cars to catch up to the rest of the motorcade. The motorcade continues to hold up traffic, eventually making its way to a hotel. The police squad cars block off the hotel’s perimeter, as the sports utility vehicles and the President’s limousine enter underground parking of the hotel (5:20 p.m.).
The President walks with group of secret servicemen, and his Aide as they proceed to an underground elevator. A maintenance worker is in the elevator once the doors open, startling the President and his servicemen. The worker is apprehended and held by a few servicemen, as the other servicemen enter the elevator with the President and the Aide (5:24 p.m.).
The servicemen exit the elevator with the Aide and the President. They all walk from the elevators, pass the lobby, down an even longer hallway. Once all the men reach close to their destination, three hotel maids exit an elevator near the ballroom doors. Servicemen surrounding the President and Aide move in on the maids, in an attempt to protect the President. Servicemen standing at the door, make ready to open the ballroom doors. The Aide prepares to follow the President, but he receives a text message to come to the lobby. The Aide walks away, as the doors open and the President enters, as cameras flash and people clap their hands (5:28 p.m.).
A stage is not far from the door, as the President walks up to the podium. The room full of people continue to clap, as the President allows them to take their seats. The President is momentarily distracted as he stares in the direction of servicemen standing at the door. Another serviceman enters the ballroom and whispers in the ear of another serviceman at the door. The whisperer stands at the door as the other serviceman leaves the ballroom. The President begins his speech (5:32 p.m.).
The President says thank you, as the room stands to applaud. As he prepares to walk away from the podium, the serviceman whisperer approaches the stage from the front. The President makes eye contact with him as the whisperer pulls his gun, shooting the President. Groups of servicemen race toward the man whom just shot the President, shooting and killing him. The President lies on stage, while the room goes in mass chaos. Servicemen yelling for a medic, but there is no use, the President is dead (6:05 p.m.).
How did it happen, how did the President of the United States manage to get assassinated by an individual in such a well-guarded room? I, being a detective wanted to figure out how something like this could happen. The last assassination attempt on a President was Ronald Reagan, and since then, we have managed to protect the President quite well. I have a series of issues from beginning to end. For starters, secret service dropped the ball in the beginning by getting their sports utility vehicles before the President was securely in his limousine. My next issue is that police had to cut off traffic; which I feel shouldn’t have taken place to be begin with. If it were up to me, all those streets leading to the President’s destination would have been blocked off. As police were blocking streets, they broke up the protective motorcade around the President’s limousine; leaving him open to attack.
Once at the hotel, I would not have allowed all the police to stay on the street, while only four sports utility vehicles followed the limousine underground. Police officers should have been underground with the President, serving as additional protection. From there the problems really start, how did that maintenance worker come from that elevator? Who allowed that worker down elevator, knowing the President was coming up? This forced servicemen to stay with the worker, taking away from the President protection. Then there were the maids, why were those workers exiting the elevator in front of the President’s entrance into the ballroom? Someone would have been reprimanded if I found out who allowed them access because more men were forced to stay with the maids. Now the only protection the President had was a few servicemen, as well as two more at the entrance.
The President entering the room unprotected, as he stepped onto the stage. Big mistake because cameras were flashing, forcing the President to be temporarily disoriented. He should have never been allowed access to that stage by himself. What a lousy job the secret service had done up to this point with the President; such a disappointment. As the President finished his speech and prepared to exit the stage, where were the service protection? How was it so, that only one man walked toward the stage? Who was he and why did he replace the other serviceman at the door? Why was he allowed to shoot the President? I’ll tell you why he was able to; I’ll tell you why there were so many mishaps.
My name is Steve, I was born September 20, 1975 in Richmond, Virginia. All my life I wanted to work at the White House with the President of the United States. So when I was called to serve, I was more than willing to assist my country. That is until my country chose a leader who I felt was not interested in me or my country. So what does my life have to do with the President’s death? You want to know why there were so many mistakes. Oh no, I wasn’t the gunman, if that’s what you’re thinking. Shooting guns were never my forte. I was the man who created the setup for his assassination. Yes me, the President’s Aide. That’s right, who else knew as much about his schedule, the route, the destination, and his entrance into the ballroom, but me. Now the lack of security for the President and irresponsibility of the streets not being blocked off, that’s coincidence. On the other hand, that maintenance worker, my plan, the maids, my plan, and the stage guy, my plan. That’s right, executed perfectly from beginning to the end. Wait a minute, hold on, there is a knock at the door, “Who is it?” “FBI, open up!” “Holy shit, how the hell did they find out?” My door is kicked in, they barge in, guns drawn, proceeding to arrest me.
“I love you, but can you sign something for me?”
How do you go about bringing this up to a spouse? “So sweetie, you I know love and want to spend the rest of my life with you.” “But before we go any further do you mind looking over some paperwork with me?” She replies, “Sure what is it a marital license, the mortgage for our new home, the will..” Then you interject, “No, the prenup (cough)! She says, “Hmm?” You say, “The prenuptial agreement.” And with a exclamatory reply she goes, “Prenup, what the hell for!”
GULP! What is the right way to introduce this into a relationship? How in one breathe do you speak love, then the next ask for signed documentation? Documentation which will protect your assets in the case of divorce. Well first you have to ask yourself why is such a document necessary for starters. It’s necessary because of the high divorce rates, that’s why.
In the United States today, the divorce is close to 65% after only 5 years of marriage. I don’t know about you, but knowing you may have to split assets with someone you’ve only been with for 5 years seems kind of unfair. If you were married for 25 years, or 30 years, or 40 years, then yes, but 5. The reason I say 25 years or more is because at least there was a long term investment into the relationship. The 5 year plan seems like more of a business exchange than a marriage.
And that is where the prenuptial agreement comes into play. Marriage has become an in and out business today in America. Meet someone whose financially stable, get your 5 years in, and see ya later. But if you’re a man without any money, than a woman has no interest. Now if you are a man of means, this could be somewhat of concern. So is the way to protecting yourself not succeeding and striving in life. Because think about, you work all these years and someone comes and goes, “I’m not happy.”
So what, my future should now be determined on if you’re happy or not. So if I am happy and you’re not, than I have to lose in life. So now you think to yourself, what’s the purpose in working hard in life. Why push if you’re not going to be able to reap the benefits of your labor? As a man, you work so that one day you can relax and enjoy the fruits of your hard work. But if you’re only working just to one day hand it all over why work at all. Divorce has become the reason to be a total loser.
Women say that it’s not fair, fine let’s flip it. As a woman, you make $100,000 a year, would you marry a $30,000 a year man. It’s hard to do so, why because even you know as a woman that is not a business smart decision. So if you’re not willing to give up anything you worked for, why are you so ready for us to do so? A woman goes, “You need to be at my level.” But how often do you go, “I need to be on his level.” It’s easy to talk love and marriage when you have a lot less to lose.
This is why when people who make a certain amount of income wed, they need to have these discussions. But asking your wife to sign a prenup when you are a construction worker, police officer, garbage truck driver, etc. can be tough. Her reply would be, “You don’t have anything to take.” “Why sign a prenup?” Well that’s where she’s wrong. These men in these job titles are the ones who need prenups the most. If you’re athlete with $50 million and your wife gets $20 – $25 million, then you’re still good. But if you make $35,000 and your wife gets $10,000 – $15,000, you could be in trouble financially.
Which brings me to the after affects of divorce. One of the leading indicators of poverty amongst men is divorce. Conversely the leading indicator of wealth amongst women is marriage. So now you can see why a prenuptial agreement conversation can be one of much debate. It’s still the come up of a woman in America, but the lose of wealth among men. Yet, marriage is not on the decline in this country.
Maybe marriage is still going strong, well getting married at least, because people want to believe. Everyone wants to believe those numbers will change with them. Everyone goes not my husband, not my wife. We have something special with each other. We have a bond that’s bigger than money. And that’s just it. We as humans know it can be a crap shoot, but want to believe that the person in our lives would never leave. Yet year after year, the divorce cases pile on the desk of attorneys.
It’s 65% today what, 80% in the future. No matter how you look at it, marriage is still a great union, but in today’s society we have no other option at times but to treat it as it is. A union whereas two people are pooling together finances to gauge how well this relationship will work. Which dwindles down to a business contract that is an investment into our future together.
“Are you hiding something?”
You meet someone, and you start dating. Before you know it, you’re moving in with this person. Eventually the topic of marriage comes up. But by this time, you should already know a lot about the person you’re planning on spending the rest of your life with; or not. My last post talked about people’s debt situation. But what about secrets someone is keeping. What about infidelity, hiding money, sicknesses, and/or internalized torment.
First let’s analyze infidelity in a relationship. Could your intimate relationship survive if you knew your significant other has cheated sometime during the relationship. Does it matter, even if the incident happened once? I think women are more apt to accept the cheating once than we are as men. You know what, on second thought, once, how about multiple times cheating. Yet there are still those women out there who say absolutely not. Not under any circumstance would she accept cheating.
Now, is that the worse secret one could keep from a marital partner. How about hiding money in a secret bank account or in the form of cash in a safe? How would you react to finding out this person had a secret stash? A rainy day stash just in case they needed to leave the relationship. This way they are financially set in the case you want to leave them hanging dry. It is kind of offsetting to find out someone has plan B.
You start to think in the back of your mind, “Am I not giving them enough?” “Maybe they’ve been planning on leaving me all along.” Dozens of questions go through your mind as to why someone would need an escape route out. But it’s not all about money or cheating. There have even been people that hide medical information from their spouse. This may be on par, if not worse than cheating. A sickness, especially something deadly could put the family in limbo.
You go to the doctor’s office and find out you’re having heart problems. Yet you never consult your spouse, but keep it to yourself. You die, and they never knew anything was wrong. Sounds quite selfish considering had that person have said something, preparations could have been made in the event of a tragedy. Then again, some things aren’t medical per say, but mental such as depression or stress.
The reason why I said medical per say is because depression and stress ( which can lead to depression) is not always a medical issue. Some people can work out their issues over time. But how comfortable are you to go to your spouse and say I’m depressed. It seems like a very uncomfortable experience. But shouldn’t you be able to go to your spouse and express yourself. Especially if you’re depressed. They should be the first person you talk to in these situations.
Yet on the other hand, personal torment can even be too great to tell a spouse. What if it’s not depression or stress, but gender identity. Imagine the upset if your spouse came to you opening up about their sexuality. Could you handle your husband or wife telling you they were gay or bisexual? I can see it now, “Hello dear, how has your day gone?” “Oh by they way I’m gay, can you pass the peas.” Or, “Sweetie, we need to talk.” “I think I’m bisexual.”
There is no real way to break the news to your spouse. Because any way you explain yourself is going to be the wrong way. So with all that has been said, can your relationship survive secrets. If so what secrets, and what is the severity of those secrets. In the end it all depends on the person and their threshold for what you are about to tell them.
First you propose, then she says I do. Next thing you know you’re planning for a wedding. Once the big day gets here, you and her are so nervous, you don’t think you’ll make it down the aisle. But the day is a success with an I do and some fun and dance with friends and family. Then, as you guys settle in for the night you think to yourself, ahh, marriage. This is going to be such a great life together; or so you think.
You’ll be surprised how many people get married and not look into the life of the person they are marrying. And this topic won’t be about infidelity or some other dark hidden secret. It’s about something people neglect to think about before saying I do. They don’t ask the question, “How much debt do you have?” Uh, what, what kind of question is that. Shouldn’t people be focused on more important aspects of marriage. Well, that is an important thing to focus on. Well, why is it so important?
When you get married you guys are not just one emotionally, but financially. That means any debts that person has accrued prior to marrying you is now yours. Let’s say for instance I want to marry a woman and she has the following: $10,000 credit card debt, $100,000 college loans, $500 overdraft bank account, $400 car payment behind by 3 months, and $1,000 in unpaid parking tickets. Now, I understand the college debt, which is the norm, especially in society today where a college education tends to run this amount.
Next, lets look at the $500 overdraft fee, which typically in society comes from using a debit card for more than you have in the bank. I have overdraft before 10 cents, $10, hell even $30. But $500 is some serious swiping of the card. I go fine, that can be an easy fix. She put up $250, I’ll help her with the other $250. Now on to the parking tickets, wow, $1,000. Where the hell is she parking that cost that much money. Not to mention if these fines are not paid, a boot will be placed on the car. Then that’s a cost for the boot and the tickets. So I have to pay that ASAP.
Ok, on to the car payments, sheesh, $1,200 unpaid. This has to get paid because we need our cars to get back and forth to work. So how will I do this, I know dip into my own personal savings. I know, I know, not a good idea, but it’s necessary. Wait a minute, what the hell is this bill! Unpaid car insurance as well, she didn’t tell me about this. God this woman is starting to get to me. Now that that’s out of the way, yikes, $10,000 in credit card debt.
What was she buying to rack up that much debt in credit cards. Jesus, SAKS Fifth, Bloomingdales, and MACY’S. We’re going to have to put her on some type of payment plan. Not to mention all the student loan debt that has to be worked out soon. And with all this said, “Is a person’s debt situation a deal breaker? Should you call off the engagement or accept it for what it is? Cause then again, you’re accepting this person for their flaws right? Some say wrong, you have to hold that person accountable as well. I mean God forbid you get sick or die, and they’re over your assets.
But see, I put that in the context of me and a woman. What about women with men. Is it a deal breaker to women if his debt is out of control? Or better yet, what if he has a child in which he is behind on child support? There are some places where the wife’s wages are extracted to pay for his inability to keep up with his child support payments. Can you imagine ladies, you work 40 hours a week, for every two weeks. You get ready to contribute your portion of the household expenses and you fall short. Why, because he’s not keeping up with his business. So the state goes, “Hey, you’re in one house, you’re under the same roof.” “You are him and he is you.” “We can’t get him, so how about the next best thing; his new wife.”
A woman would kill a man if she worked the whole month to come home to nothing. So with that said, do you still accept the person’s debt and work with them. In my opinion it depends on why the debt exist. Some people are flat out fiscally irresponsible, which is something to take into consideration before marrying them. Others have racked up debt, that it starts to get away from them. Then it piles and piles, to where they are overwhelmed. They could use your help and over time regain their hold on the situation.
How do you gauge the situation? Is it on the basis of money? Is it not money, yet what the debt is connect to? Or is unacceptable period to have outstanding debts? Whatever the case may be, it’s something everyone should discuss, yet many skip over this aspect of, “I do.” I would strongly encourage you to do so before walking down the aisle. It could save you a lot time and money, as well as an insight into who you are spending the rest of your life with before you jump the broom.
“Where have they gone?”
It was April 15, 1947 when baseball player Jackie Robinson made his Major League debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers. And for those of you who’ve been sleeping under a rock for the past 70 years, he broke the color barrier in baseball as the first African American to sign in the MLB (Major League Baseball). And for years proceeded numerous names popped up in the majors of Black males who would follow his path. Men such as: Willie Mays Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, Reggie Jackson to Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Bonds, and Frank Thomas. But at some point the names slowed to a screeching halt; but why?
The departure of Black males from baseball is more sinister than you might have guessed. My theory that I have come to as to way Black men have departed from baseball is from the most unlikely of reasons: welfare. That’s right the welfare system had a lot to do with Black men exiting baseball. Now you wonder, why the welfare system. Well, let’s analyze baseball as a sport and what it means to men. Baseball is a sport that you learn to play with your father.
When a boy is young, he and his father go outside and toss the ball back and forth. It’s kind of reminiscent of a typical television commercial or feature film where the mother stares out the kitchen window. She looks on at the little boy with his baseball mitt tossing the ball to his father. All the while, dad is giving son advice on how to properly catch and throw. From the house mom looks on and smiles as dad says, “Throw it like this son.” “That’s my boy.” Once play time is over, they walk into the house, dad’s arm around son in a loving embrace.
And for the longest the previous description was the face of the Black community. But as times got rough for families in financial straights, some men left the house. Meanwhile the majority stayed in their child or children’s lives. But the government came up with a solution for the moms whom the father had left the household. They stated, “To the Black community, we’ll give you mothers aid for the man not being present.” Then again, women were still rare in the workforce, so him leaving was a major blow to the family.
Well, as you would guess Black women received money, but for the man not being there. As for the houses where the men were present, they struggled as well. But the aid was not for families, but more so for struggling single moms. So in the homes where a Black man was present a plan was devised. He would say, “You (meaning to Black women), go downtown and tell them you need assistance.” “I’ll leave the house so when the social worker get here she won’t see me.” “As a matter of fact, I’ll remove evidence of any man living here.” And that’s what got the ball bouncing.
As you would guess, social worker came and he was not there. Now this was also a time of major racial divide and strife for Black men, so even though a man was present, Black men were denied employment. So with limited work options in this tumultuous time period, stress and depression opened Black men up to drugs and alcohol, as well as other hosts of problems. Still, there was a family to raise. Now for the most part a lot of Black men kept it together, performing odd jobs to make ends meet. But a day away from the house when the social worker came turned into a week. A week into a month, and so on. Eventually there was a full departure of Black men from the household.
This was problematic considering a new wave of trouble was about hit the Black community. And that wave would effect the Black community more than Jim Crow and that is narcotics. Fatherless homes made young Black males turn to creating gangs and cliquing with each other. They formed their own bonds and brotherhoods. With these brotherhoods, the rise of gangs took hold along with Heroine, then powder Cocaine, and next the Crack Cocaine Epidemic of the 1980’s into the 1990’s. Before you knew it inner cities went from quiet low key hard working family environments to crime infested killing fields.
Now you ask, how does baseball fit into all of this, the father. As Black men left the household, Black women were forced to work long hours, so they weren’t coming home playing catch with their sons. Boys were left alone in the world, forced to take on other sports that didn’t require having pop to play with; like football and basketball. Black boys in the community who formed various cliques would get a ball and go hooping with friends. Basketball courts turned into places for gambling and trash talking. Everyone wanted to be the biggest baller/trash talker for respect of their peers and onlookers.
The game of football would soon take hold as well where Black boys developed relationships with their coaches. The coaches would take the place of the father. What’s odd is that none of these boys got together and formed their own base to teach each other the game of baseball. Not in baseball, but they did in football and basketball; but why? Well, for starters today, baseball, hockey, and golf are not only father son sports, but expensive as well. A lot of Black males are still growing up in poverty where finding a basketball and a court is cheaper than playing baseball. A football and a field is cheaper than baseball.
So what happened over time, Black men departed and Latin men entered, as well as White males who continued on strong in the sport. What’s shocking is that Black men fought the system so hard to play baseball. We took hatred in the form of being verbally abused, spit on from crowds, and even sent death threats to our homes. So today, we look back and go, what was all of that for; was it for nothing. What was the use of all that fighting if today we just vanish like we were never there. Will the greats who played eventually be forgotten like it never happened? Or will someone new come up and move aside football and basketball.
We have seen the talent from young up and coming juniors like Little League female phenom player Mo’ne Davis from South Philadelphia as well as the Jackie Robinson team out of Chicago, Illinois. But these are just the Cinderella stories we here from time to time. Stories that will continue to come and go, not remaining as long as the constant trend of fatherless homes stay the norm in the African American community.