XX/XY:  Be My Valentine

“Romance is about the possibility of the thing. You see, it’s about the time between when you first meet some fine ass woman, and when you first make love to her; When you first ask a woman to marry you, and when she says I do. When people who been together a long time say that the romance is gone, what they’re really saying is they’ve exhausted the possibility.”

~ Darius Lovehall, Love Jones (1997)

Don’t get hung up on the date. Everyone gets hung up on the date. Could I show you I love you any other day?  Sure.  However, you’re dealing with an exhibitionist, a live wire, a flamboyant personality that loves showmanship.

I celebrate you every morning when I roll over to your slumbering beauty. The sun illuminates your flawless face and fondles your exposed flesh. In this moment I understand that you are the sun and no candle can shine brighter.

Many men realize this and patiently wait for the deterioration of our union. They want my spot and boast about their attributes.   What they don’t see is that my moonlight shines bright, creating the perfect synergy. I don’t get complacent.  I remember how I felt in the beginning.   Am I getting too deep?  I hope so because you are worth these words.  My goal is to slide into your yang with my yin, mentally, physically and emotionally.

So, on this day, I go big, large, enormous, but not with traditional gifts like jewellery and spas.  You can get that work twenty-four, seven, three sixty-five. I want to make you something with my hands.  A trinket, moment or experience that rents out space inside your heart.

It took me awhile to understand the purpose of flowers. In my mind they were a hallmark media prop, but I feel we appreciate the beauty of a flower because it isn’t forever.

I believe that you are forever though and I will love you in whatever incarnation you become – quarter-life, young adulthood, pregnancy, motherhood, retirement, old age.  I want it all!  I want you, not because Hallmark, Bulk Barn and the florist dictate it, but because I do.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Where are all the real men at???

The masks we wear is truly remarkable. Fake tough guys exuding false bravado.  Players padding their kill counts without a care to who they destroy. Homosexuals fearing persecution for feeling a certain type of way, sometimes berating others for the same thing that they secretly enjoy.

This world is fucked, where I, a heterosexual male can’t tell my friend I love him and hug him without feeling less of a man. Mind you, I’m wiser and confident, these issues don’t plague me like they once did.  I can remember as an adolescent portraying myself as Tupac Shakur, my favourite artist, with Blood fatigues and sagging jeans. The one problem was… I wasn’t him.  Our life trials were diametrically different.

Pac, a poor inner city kid with a single, outspoken, strong mother who was a prominent member of the black panther party.

Me, a middle class child with a nuclear family and loving parents who carefully moulded me into a compassionate human.

Our tracts are clearly different.  My thought process at the time was,

“I’m black, this is what I see black men do.  I want the Juice to”  

My thinking was all flawed which bleeds into another much deeper issue, which I’ll completely gloss over now. My views on being black didn’t include academic excellence, a curious mind and an open heart. Those are traits I had to hone.

Now I look at the young men around me and wonder, who’s teaching them these traits. Whose developing their minds to think freely and speak without fear of sounding stupid?  There’s a lot of insufficient daddy-ing going on in these streets and in some cases, ghost dads, and I’m not talking about Bill Cosby.

I look at my two nephews now, one a baby, the other an adolescent and fear who they’ll become. They don’t have the piece of mind or maturity to delve into an isolation tank and be alone with their thoughts.  Will they unabashedly and openly love a woman with all their heart?

As their big uncle I try my best to instill this in them, what it means to feel and be compassionate. Kissing them on their foreheads and exclaiming how much I love them and am proud of them. These are things I received at a young age, but could have stood to hear more.

The shit scares me, cause I see a lot of knuckleheads out here talking about how much they lift, drink and how many women they fuck.   They aren’t saying, I feel healthier because I exercised my body. I had a great conversation with friends over a bottle of wine or a case of beers or I went on a date and stimulated this woman’s mind.

These things are looked upon as gay, and being called that seems to invoke this sense of despair. Like, “oh, I don’t want to be gay.  I gotta show how manly I am”.

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My friend died, not just any friend, a close, personal friend. A guy who I could count on for the rest of my life. He died in September 2009.  Its been 8 years and I still ponder if he knew how important he was and is in my life. I didn’t have the self courage I enjoy now to express my feelings to him because it wasn’t masculine. I miss him everyday.   That was a great failure, but the triumph is in what I learned from that experience.

I cried as the best man at my best friend’s wedding with no fear of what people thought.  My other brotha just got engaged and I feel so much joy.   These are people I grew up with, on the same street, the same public and high school and as adults I worked with both of them.  I feel no shame and neither should any kid, teenager or man out there.

You are who you are and it’s to be respected.  Don’t feign to indoctrinate yourself to others. Be a human. A compassionate, loving human who thinks of others.

Poivre Noir

How to have successful resolutions

Time is simply how you spend your life  ~ Craig Sager

…we don’t get to choose our time.  Death is what gives life meaning.  ~ Dr. Strange 

Resolution time is about us and flocks of people are gearing up for change.

“This year will be my year!”  

“2016 is where you learned the lesson.  2017 is where you apply it”

This sentiment is littered throughout social media, the gyms, people’s mouths and every where you look. What happens come February though?

Most of these same individuals may hit a bump in the road or just simply revert back to their regular routines. Why?

What is it that makes resolutions so fleeting?  Well, I’ll tell you. Resolutions are all bullshit. They’re mostly broad statements with no particulars about how you’ll arrive at these solutions.

Dreams without goals remain dreams. Just dreams. Goals on the road to achievement cannot be achieved without discipline and consistency. Between goals and achievement are discipline and consistency.   ~ Denzel Washington

You see the issue is that people want things without a clear direction of how to get there. I’m one of these people, or, at least I was. My story isn’t horrible, but to me it was a huge detriment to my success. I made a business and personal decision that almost led to financial ruin. After several weeks of scolding myself, I  decided “fuck it!  This can’t be my story”

 

I took a close look at what I have and what I would like, somewhere in the middle was a plan. I scrutinized my previous decisions and leapt to the forefront, creating detailed goals.  This all took place at the end of November. I didn’t see any reason to wait until January one and I’m not special, you can do the same.

I consistently hear people say, I want to quit smoking, but I’ll wait until after {insert bullshit event}. These people are not serious, they’re dabbling their feet in the waters of change. If you truly want something, you’ll find the means to arrive at your plot point.

Make a concise plan, write that shit down, review it every day until its committed to memory. It’ll become a habit that’ll morph into a routine.  Before you know it, it’ll be part of your daily process like brushing your teeth every morning and night. Momentum is a beautiful thing.

This is a fact of life, nothing in this world is free. What are you willing to sacrifice to obtain your goals?  It could be anything, sleep, nights out, drugs, booze, cigarettes, etcetera.  This may free up money and carve out extra time.

I’ve never viewed myself as particularly talented. I’ve viewed myself as…slightly above average in talent. Where I excel is with a ridiculous, sickening work ethic. While the other guys sleeping, I’m working. While the other guy’s eating, I’m working. While the other guy’s making love, I mean, I’m making love, too, but I’m working really hard at it! ~ Will Smith

Pay yourself first, I’ll tell you now that nobody’s going to shoulder your burden but you.  People will help, but everyone has their own story and set of issues to work out. Set yourself up with a savings plan or fail safe. I put away 20% of what I earn now because it’s an absolute must.

Eat well, laugh often and don’t be cunty to people. Treat others with the same reverence that you’d expect. Tell the people in your life that you love, that you love them.  Just be an all around genuine person.

Let me conclude with a disclaimer, this works for me. We’re not all the same, if you need to tweak this, do so.  There are no hard and fast rules to living, this is just what I’ve learned. Good luck and like my buddy says “BE EXCELLENT!”

Poivre Noir

{Featured image courtesy of:  www.theyoungmommylife.com}

What she left behind

Just like the sands in the hour-glass, so are the days of our lives. I never knew what that meant until this year.  The grains continue to sift through that small opening and with it goes another second, minute, hour, day until our expiration.

I look east and west, only to see my friends grow their families, find promising careers and potential spouses.  All the while I remain, me, growing in mentality, but the rest fails to keep pace.  Which brings me to what she left behind.

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Every experience is an opportunity to progress.  My relationships with the few women I’ve chosen to allow in my life are no exception. Each one teaching me something foreign, both positive and negative.

Ms. Mormon was simple in her approach, zest for life, appreciation of family and belief in something greater.  This was a union that happened ten years prior to when it should have.  Our experience was adult, we were not.  Some things can be perfect, but still not right.  No fault laid at anyone’s feet, just one of life’s paradoxes.

Ms. Insecure held my heart in the palm of her hand, preying on my affections like a Cougar toying with their meal.  There was a time I would have run into oncoming traffic to save her from herself.  She never took the time to evaluate her circumstance and change it.  A skill that comes with age and for a college student she lacked the aptitude.  I wasn’t much help striving to etch out my own beaten path.  Some people will leech on your good nature and take advantage.  The reason why good guys switch to the dark side.

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The Cheerleader defies expectation.  I was a bench player on an entry level contract, at least that’s how I viewed myself in regards to women.  My friends were dating dimes while I garnered the attention from ladies three cents short.  She was a bona-fide bad bitch and I was intent on penetrating her force field.  Once inside I proved my lasting power and she fell in love with me.   Sadly, all good things do conclude and she happened to surpass me.  The trick is to grow together, constantly empowering and praising each other’s accomplishments, devoid of jealousy.

The food critic was interesting.  She screamed forbidden fruit.  I was not supposed to be attractive to her, but I was fortunate.  We hid our interactions for fear of persecution.  Once we were able to openly express our emotions, a glitch in the matrix changed my  opinion of us. I hurt her, a sad truth about relationships and I vowed to not be that person again.

Ms. Impossible reveled in her namesake, not truly knowing who or where she wanted to be. Her face changed on a dime like Quintesson, leaving me befuddled.  She would feign strength but her Cadbury core betrayed her and insecurity oozed out.  She accepted no ownership of her deficiencies and deflected upon me.  These traits may not have been her fault, after all, I chose to remain and solve this Rubik’s cube.   I’ll take that on the chin.  After numerous breakups, fights, infidelities, deceit and emotional battery I chose to skate.  In doing so it allowed me the  opportunity to view everything from afar. My realization was I can find what I want by eliminating shit I don’t like.

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From each of these experiences I learned a great deal about myself. I loved completely, put myself out there and in turn, grew exponentially. Some of these women caused me financial ruin, grey hairs and complete estrangement from my buddies. With all that being said, I wouldn’t change one iota.  You learn in the mistakes, the successes are a mastery of the lessons.

Poivre Noir