THROWING IN THE TOWEL: REALIZING YOU DON’T HAVE IT ANYMORE

Pair of White-and-yellow Nike Cleats

“Know when to say when.”


hard to say good-bye

When I officially stopped playing sports I was a senior in high school. It was track and field season and that is when I hung it up. I tried to get myself in the mode of running again, but the passion was gone. Luckily for me, I was on to something else in life. And that is when you realize there is more to life. But some people have a hard time moving on. And I am not just referring to professional athletes. I am talking about the people who were once upon a time good at their thing. Now they must go into society and be like everyone else. And for some reason they hold on to the past.

holding on

I won the state championship back in 1995. You should have saw how popular I was in school. Everyone knows this guy, the one who still owns his letterman jacket at age 35 or 40. This is where you don’t want to be in life because high school or college was the highlight of your existence. You have to realize there is more and that was an after thought. But when that was such a high time in life it’s hard to let go. Well, why was it such a high time? The reason being is that life tends to be mundane on a daily basis, so you have to resort back to a time when it was good. And for men, we tend to hold on to high school a lot, then college. This is because it’s our sports years when we were popular jocks.

no one gives a shit

Enough time has gone by where no know one will care. And that is the realization of you playing sports. No one cares how good you were in the past, there is a new batch of kids and their peers who look to them. You will just be seen as the creepy old guy that keeps talking shit about how good you were and how you could have made it pro. Real talk, drop it, no cares. And what’s worst is trying to get through to your children how good you were; they don’t care either. Focus on your new goal and purpose in life. Raising your children, being a good spouse, building your business, growing with a company; that’s you now. Stopping living off the past of what you were and to the future. Don’t let life past you by with no end goal.


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MAKE THE MOVE: ARE YOU READY TO JUMP TO ANOTHER CITY FOR A JOB

Woman In Grey Shirt Holding Brown Cardboard Box

“Packed and ready to go.”


the jump

When I first moved to New York City was to attend graduate school pursuing my MBA in Management. And along the way I found myself getting into writing and filmmaking. Yet most people make the jump into a city for a job opportunity. But is this always the best options when choosing a career? Because most people want to find a job wherever it is they are from, or went to college. You’re from the state of Indiana, most people stay. You from Indiana and went to college in Miami, chances are you will live in Miami after college. But let’s assume for a moment you want to make the leap to a new city. How shall you prepare yourself?

the big city

For most people who move, they go from living in a small city to a big city, or big city to big city. Wherever you go, make sure you visit the location first to see if you’d like it. So many people move to a new location they hate. And even with a good job awaiting you, the location can make or break you. Meaning, the lifestyle of Los Angeles is different from the life a person living in Houston. You’re jumping from the liberal California coast to the conservative south. Another aspect of moving to the new city is making sure the money being offered will grant you the same, if not a better life. For example, if you are being offered $100,000 to work in New York City, but make $90,000 in Chicago. Staying in Chicago might be worth unless the new jump has other better incentives.

along for the ride

For me, moving to New York City was easier than someone in a relationship, with kids, or both. Imagine getting a great opportunity in another city, yet your spouse is doing well in the current city and the schools are good in the present location. And in this moment you could actually see families torn apart. Now, if you live here in New York City and the job is in New Jersey, then it’s not that big of a deal. But if you live in D.C., but the job is in Phoenix, that’s a problem. So hopefully you have an understanding person you’re dating or married to.


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VISIONARY: HOW YOU SEE LIFE SAYS A LOT ABOUT HOW FAR YOU MIGHT GO IN LIFE

Related image

“Do you see life as a whole, or part of a whole?”


Since moving to New York City, I have consistently been motivated to become a working screenwriter/filmmaker and author. And how I see the world is why I feel ultimately I will succeed in my writing. So I view the world as a place that can only get better from where I was yesterday. So whatever I was doing last year is helping to set me up with what I am doing now, to succeed tomorrow. But what is it about some people who just don’t see the world in the most positive light? They only have something to say that is shrouded in hurt and pain. There is nothing they say that points to wanting a better life. Scary thing is that they would prefer you follow them and how they see the world. And God forbid you ignore their wishes and go off to become successful. They will come up with every reason as to why you were in a different position than themselves.

But truth be told, you don’t need to be born with money to propel yourself to the next level. Your mind frame says a lot about you; your vision of the world. The above photo is of a woman’s hands viewing the wide open landscape wit her hands creating a box. It’s something that directors do in movies to get the idea of something that is in frame that they want to convey in a film scene. But when they move their hands, they say action and role camera. Imagine walking around society looking through this box. That is how so many negative people see life because they refuse to move their hands to see the full landscape. Their boundaries are everything in the box and when you move outside the box, something must be wrong with you. How dare you operate outside the box.

Well, operating outside the box is the reason why the filmmaker was able to sit down and create the film. The in frame box gives you a more heightened sense of what is going in the movie scene. But in life there is so much more than the square your hands create. Now, can anyone drop their hands so they see the broad spectrum of life? Of course they can, but it requires giving up the way you currently think and feel. And no one wants to believe that their thought process is wrong. People want to believe that the reason for their lives going the way it’s going is forces, coincidentally enough, outside the box. But they don’t address what could be addressed because not addressing the truth head on allows them to be romanticized with their own bullshit. So they stay living in a trance, yet wonder why they go nowhere.

In the end, shifting your perception is what allows you to move forward in life. It’s like how people who live in poverty say that it’s easy to say when you have money. But it’s the mind that makes up the people moving into a more stable situation. If you are willing to put yourself in the know, you can have a lot. But the mind is not freely thinking enough because people cannot see past their current position.


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THE NEXT GREAT MIGRATION: WHERE WILL THE BLACK COMMUNITY GO NEXT

Image result for BLACK MIGRATION“On the road again.”


I was recently reading an article in the newspaper from the city I grew up in which stated that it is the 4th worst city for Black people in America. Now, the city to the north Milwaukee is ahead of ours. So that is two cities in the top five in proximity to my previous home. Today, I live in New York City, which seems like a world away from my small Midwest city in Wisconsin. But this issue that Black people face isn’t just a small Midwest issue, it is in other parts of the country as well. Gentrification has pushed a lot of Black families out of the community. So that leaves a question on the table.

Will there be another migration in my lifetime of the Black community? During the industrial revolution there was a leap from the South into the major cities in the north. Families were escaping Jim Crow South and finding better work opportunities. But today, the South of the past is becoming the life of today in other American regions. And my small city along with metropolitan Milwaukee are not the only places where Black people facing hardships. So, where will the migration exist? Will Black people head back south, or disperse even more throughout the country? Or, will we leave America and disperse elsewhere all together?

Because the young generation, unlike our parents are more fluid to move about. We could disperse more throughout the country. Or given there is only 11% of us in the country, we could easily disperse throughout the globe. When there is 40 million introduced to a country, that’s a lot, but around the globe is not. Because something has to happen considering we are dipping further and further down. With the signing of the Civil Rights Act and the Voters Rights Act in the 1960’s, coupled with the election of President Barack Obama, we thought life would be different. But it’s turning out to be worst than the past.

The schools today are worst than the past, the family is more fragmented, and our health is going down. We were 10% of the American population during the 1950’s and only set to be 14% by 2050. A population growth of 4% in 100 years is tiny, so another trend is taking hold. You could very well start to now see the numbers declining over time as well. Because if opportunities are slim, then fewer Black children born, and numbers decrease. So you could easily see the Black population of what was once descendants of slaves in this country become Black people immigrating from other parts of the world.

In the end, the Black community is decreasing in the financial morale department and could see a decline in numbers over time. Yet on the other hand population in America is growing, while White men and women’s numbers decline over time as well. Giving rise to America being a majority Hispanic nation over time. I am old enough to bare witness to such changes in America; and I wonder what the country will look like by the time I reach elderly years.


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BREAKING FREE: MOVING AWAY TO GROW

Woman in Maroon Shirt With Black Chain on Her Body

“Get away to grow up.”


In the year 2011, right after undergraduate school, I moved to New York City. Coming here for graduate school from Kenosha, Wisconsin was a new experience. You go from living on a rural campus to a major metropolitan hub. Yet graduate school wasn’t the only reason I decided to make the leap out on the East Coast. Another reason I chose to move to the East was because I needed to also be in a city where I could pursue my goals the best way I knew how to do so. And I also wanted to shape my identification. Growing up for me in a household where I was not only the only boy among siblings, but male in the house. And there are certain aspects of being a man that my mom and sisters don’t quite understand. So in my mind, it made perfect sense to create a whole new identity for myself and pursue my goals.

So I ask you, is there ever a moment in your life where feel you need to getaway to grow in life. Now don’t get me wrong, you are suppose to leave an environment in search of something better. Not run away from problems that you perceive to be external, but are really internal. Because internal problems only follow you wherever you go. I am referring to you having to leave because what the world has to offer you elsewhere is far too great to stay where you currently reside. And that could mean better schools, a better job, and overall better existence. For example, I come from a small city with a population of about 75,000 people. And now living in New York city, there are three to four times that many people in my Harlem neighborhood. So it has been a major leap in me getting acclimated to the city. But luckily for me, I have been here almost six years.

As for me taking the leap and living in a more open and conscious city, my mind has grown with it. So my writing has improved since leaving my small town. Now, does that mean I encourage everyone else to do the same; no. I just feel for me, the borough of Manhattan has an energy that inspires me to write everyday. Some days I will just walk around the high populated areas just to get in a mode and come back to the computer lab and write. So for you, a small town might be the place for you to push out the greatness that is inside of you. But moving away gives you a different perspective on how other people live their lives. You are given an open door into how others different from you think and feel. This may aid in your endeavors whatever they may be, to propel yourself forward in life.

In the end, moving away forces you to mature at a quicker rate than if you were at home. Because even  with a support system back home, you have to step up to the learning curve quick. For me, coming from small town Midwest and now in the Big Apple, you grow fast. If you don’t, you sink fast. The city will swallow you up and spit you out. And it is a true testament to how resilient you are in life.


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STANDING POWER: WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR AMERICA

Low Angle View of Flag Against Blue Sky

“The shift has caused conflict, but will it last?”


With all the social issues that have been popping up in the news recently, you have to ask yourself the question. Does America have standing power over the long haul? Because people are getting real antsy regarding the lack of jobs and their lost of freedoms. Not to mention these different regions are preaching sentiments of the past that could only hurt America not help. So what does the future hold for the country? In my opinion, I think that America is just fine, it’s just a rough patch we’re going through right now. But if it is, what is the reason, and when will it end? Or, on the other hand, maybe we just see more today than the past. That could be another reason it seems we’re heading downhill. Whatever it is, it has people off the rails.

One main reason, like I said above is because of the availability of the news in society. In the past, we didn’t have 24 hour news cycles that never seemed to never end. And when there was breaking news, the news really was breaking. Now, if the president is wearing an article of clothing we don’t like it becomes breaking. administration, articles, bankThe internet does not help the situation either; with social media, everything seems so much more worse than it is in real life. If you didn’t know any better you would think that we are on the brink of a major catastrophe. Then when something does happen that is bad, we start to really panic. Because all it does is further validates what we thought was really going in society. But is the news media the only aspect of society that makes you question its longevity.

What about the idea that jobs that have long been the source of America infrastructure have left and it seems like nothing is replacing it. We have so many people in America who only knew the factories, yet now what are they left with since everything is leaving. What are they left to do? Well, if they would educate themselves, there is a lot of money to be made in our country. adult, blur, booksAnd the money lies in this new tech space, yet so many don’t know how to access such information. The answer is to Google, Facebook, Instagram, Yahoo, or YouTube it. Look up information and try to put yourself in the know. But this is tough when the status quo has been the same for so long. Most people get up and work as if there will be a check for them every two weeks. Only problem is that this is not always the case. Sometimes you have to learn new things to keep you abreast of every change in time.

Which brings me to the last reason I think America is spiraling. We need to jump on with this new wave instead of rekindling all flames. American citizens are like someone looking up to see how someone who they used to date is doing. When you should be moving forward in life instead of trying to check on old flames. One U.s. Dollar Beside 100 Philippine PesosThere is a reason it ended, just leave it in the past. And that in the end, is a problem in America. We think by heading backward we can move forward. The problem with that is that we are not in the early to mid 1900’s. This is a global economy, and in order to thrive you have to find your place in this space. Other emerging nations are starting to make their come up and if America does not shift ourselves, we might be left lagging behind. China has already surpassed our economy as number one in the world. So it’s up to us to not only be the change, but make the change as well.


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MAKE THEM CATCH YOU: HOW COMPROMISING YOURSELF FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS IS NOT SMART

Athletes Running on Track and Field Oval in Grayscale Photography

“Catch up or be left in the dust.”


Ever been running a race and there is someone who you know is in the race with you. You guys both are trying to win yet encourage each other. But you have to also keep in mind that there are others in this race running with the both of you. So if you are in 3rd place and your friend is in 5th, you want that 5th place friend to catch up. But remember, there is 4th between you both, 6th, 7th, and 8th place in the back. And that’s when you start to care less about the position your friend is in, and more about trying to win the race yourself. Because your goal is not to worry about the place where your friend is sitting, but more so where you need to be. And where you need to be, is moving yourself in position for the 1st place win.

See, you can’t think about the person in 5th place that you know. They have to be bent on catching up to you, otherwise, you have to let them lose. And this topic is not about participating in sports. This topic is about trying to run your race in life. I was watching an interview that Hip Hop artist Snoop Dogg was apart of where he was discussing this same thing. He stated when he first entered the entertainment business, it was him and his friends. Then, as time progressed he stood tall and they never left their position. And the only way to be at their level was to come back down. And that’s when you start compromising your talents in this world. Which is a statement that I agree with wholeheartedly. You cannot make someone want to be something in life unless they are bent on going the distance themselves. Because you do more harm to them than help to them.

The way I see it, your 3rd place should make them motivated to run faster even if it’s only to finish strong 5th. Hey, and they might catch that 4th place person or even you. But if you drop back to help them, you’re now risking 4th catching you, and also 6th, 7th, and 8th. Now both of you guys are stuck in the back of the pack. And some people are comfortable in the back as long as there is someone there with them. Me, I am far from OK with being in the back of the pack. So in the end, the person who is running behind you have to have it in their mind to want to catch up in life. Because if you keep aiding them, they’ll never grow. They’ll always want you to carry them somewhere. Sometimes you just have to let them fail and keep moving.


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