Friday, October 8, 2010


Tez keeps telling me he just turned 30
having dreams of being single forever he’s getting worried
and I’m scared too because I’m in the same boat
good women are rare too, none of them have come close
me I have’nt changed much, you know how I play it
better safe than sorry
instead of searching for substance at every single party
baby being part of this life
I feel like I’m bound to end up with somebody
that’s been with everybody
I need you to rescue me from my destiny
I’m trying to live right and give you whatever’s left of me
cause you know life is what we make it and a
chance is like a picture, it’d be nice if you just take it.
Or let me take it for ya
I’m just down to ride
or we can roll around the city until we finally decide
I got more than a thing for you, tattoo and ink for you
right over my heart girl I do the unthinkable

-Drake on "Unthinkable (I'm Ready)" off the The Element of Freedom LP

(This will be slightly rambling in nature...)

Ok, so I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a big Drake fan...not because dude isn't talented, I just find him a wee bit "overexposed"...I liked him when his songs were more about quality rather than quantity...

This post isn't about Drake...

Aubrey "Drake" Graham, in one of his bursts of great potential, touched on a subject that crosses every man's mind over the age of 25...Marriage.

Don't let brothas fool you, we think about marriage too. Some of us do anyway...

Michael Datcher in his book "Raising Fences" touches on it perfectly...he says that many men have "picket fence dreams"...but our notions of black masculinity often don't allow us to discuss them or even admit to them.

Personally, I think's its much harder to be a man who admits to these feelings and seeks to make them come true on multiple levels (i.e.-personally, professionally, and emotionally) rather than being the hypermasculine stereotype that black men have become accustomed to portraying.

This isn't a blog post about hypermasculinity, black manhood, or stereotypes though....

Well, maybe its about stereotypes a little bit...

Here we go...follow me now...

I am a 27 year old gainfully employed black male with a college degree. I have a beautiful daughter that I love very much and I miss constantly. I have dreams, goals, aspirations, and things that I still want to do with my life. One of those things is finding my (*CLICHE ALERT*) "Soulmate."

At 27, I've seen marriages amongst my peers. One of my best friends in life has been married almost 3 years if I'm not mistaken. He has two beautiful daughters, a loving wife, a nice house, a great job, and a life that's enviable by many and admired by me. He is a black man. He grew up in a "less than pristine" neighborhood. He beat the odds.


At 27, I've seen divorces amongst my peers. One of my closest friends in the world for the last 12 years is divorced. He got married about eight years ago to the shock and surprise of most of our crew. He was seen as the playboy. The Ladies Man. The 6 foot tall, light skinned brother with wavy hair and hazel eyes. You know? The one that stayed in style even as light skinned brothas got played out? Yeah, that dude.

He got married, worked a couple of jobs to keep a roof over his wife and son's head. Sacrificed hundreds of nights out with the boys and unsavory deeds done by the crew for the sake of keeping his house in order. When they had issues, he suggested counseling. He took days of work, spent time and money to keep his family going. In the end, it was for naught.

He still landed on his feet and is doing well. He still takes care of his children, got a better job, and sacrifices more than anyone I know to be close to his kids.

He's a black male. Didn't grow up in the best neighborhood. He beat the odds. And is refusing to be a statistic on many levels.

Many of us have these stories...

We grew up watching the Cosby Show on TV and New Jack City in our neighborhoods...

Dreams of success with realities directed to failure...

We woke up most mornings with visions of a better life in our head, for the sole purpose of making our present life bearable...and that, has shaped our view of marriage and what we want in a wife.

We've been fighting so long to get to a place where we can finally breathe easily and without worry that we are constantly looking to find the woman who complements that...If I were a simpler man, I'd say we were seeking "the one"...

We are very critical of ourselves, more so than those who know us and love us because our standards for ourselves are higher than that of the world's...we are never content...

So, we seek the woman who easily slides into the role as friend, lover, confidant, advisor, and nurturer...we reject the woman who "tries" to be those things.

The woman we offer friendship, intimacy, our secrets, our problems, and our weaknesses is someone who's broken down fortified walls created by years of hurt, insecurity, and struggle...and we don't take that lightly. At all...

Over-complicating the issues or navigating the dynamic roles mentioned earlier can cause a man to pull away, and away.

Some females reading are probably asking, "Why? Why does it seem that when I get a seemingly good man, he runs away?"

Well, I'd be willing to say that a lot of times...the guy is probably a dumbass in good guy's clothing. Sometimes though, its a matter of "Fight vs. Flight". The conditioned response all humans have with response to perceived threats. When a man is put in a vulnerable position by a woman emotionally that doesn't ring true in his heart, he'll typically run...if he's logical. Reason being, his logic won't allow him to stay in a situation that would cause him pain. He'd rather run than fight because his values won't allow him to "strike first" with regards to emotions...especially when it comes to matters of the heart.

Back to me...personal observation time...

First, this blog is my form of expression....primarily because there are WAAAAY too many thoughts that run through my head at one I understand that my observations are NOT the gospel...

Second, I enjoy discourse and feedback, so if you disagree feel free to send a comment my way.

On to the observation...The older I get I seem to find more insecure, bitter, and delusional women.

Insecure in who they are and what they want, so they make every attempt to portray an image rather than do a little self-exploration and live their lives. Their insecurities render them completely incapable of having a healthy relationship because they're always worried about what people on the outside have to say about their relationship. Or it causes jealousy to rear its ugly head...

They are bitter over their past failed relationships and are under the impression that the next man should pay for it, whether it be consciously or subconsciously.

Also, there are WAAAAAY too many women out there with standards for men that they don't hold themselves to. Reciprocity is a must.

Here's another thing. I'm going to issue a "Cease and Desist" Letter to anyone writing articles on the following subjects:

Black Men Ain't Shit
Black Women are Struggling With Regards to Dating Because Black Men Ain't Shit
There are No Good Black Men Because They Are Dating "Other" Women So They Ain't Shit
All the Black Men are Dead, Gay, or In Jail and by that I mean that "They Ain't Shit"
Lastly, Black Men are Intimidated By Me because I'm Independent so They Ain't Shit

Ok that I've sufficiently pissed some of you off, lets take a deep breath and "WoooooSaaaaaaaahhhhh"

Done? Good.

Here's a few things that I've noticed...

Black men have it women have it rough...rather than throwing darts at one another, lets try understanding one another and moving forward.

I'm tired of being beat up and picked on by a lynch mob of sistas because the last black man they dated wasn't shit. I can not separate myself from that brotha in your mind if you don't allow me too. The things you did in that relationship didn't work, so lets try something different with us, shall we?

I could do the same thing. The last sista I was in a relationship with completely dogged me. She did all sorts of things that were pretty diabolical. I did some things wrong in the relationship too, but I never did anything malicious like she did. I could take that past hurt, those past transgressions from her and project them on to every single sista I meet from here on out. I wouldn't do that though. Why? Because just like everyone has a different fingerprint, every sista I meet has a different mind. I different type of beauty that makes me absolutely weak just think about it.

Sistas I love ya'll, but me and other monogamous, ambitious young brothas out there feel like you paint us with a broad brush. So quick to point the finger at us for "not being shit" without A) taking the time to get to know us or B) taking responsibility for the fact that maybe you simply enjoy the company of "ain't shit" brothas.


Sistas, a lot of brothas have picket fence dreams (a la Michael Datcher *google the brotha*) we want the house, the beautiful wife, the good job, and peace.

I know ya'll want the same thing too

So, I was wondering maybe....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Failure To Launch...

"The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure..."
-Sven Goran Eriksson

"There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure."
-Ret. General Colin Powell

"My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents and I lay them both at His feet."
-Mahatma Gandhi

Failure is a subject that I'm intimately acquainted with...

Its something that, at one point in my life, I was obsessed with...

I was so preoccupied with failure that my life revolved around the concept of doing whatever it took to not be a my own eyes.

I honestly didn't care what people around me felt about my personal circumstances with regards to success and failure. More often than not, I was told that I had not failed...I was told that I was simply a victim of circumstances...

Well, in my mind...I'd failed.

Whenever I was asked about my greatest fear my answer came quick and consistent. I'd reply with a cold stare, "Failure..."

I feared no man...

I did not fear the gun...

I did not fear any sort of physical harm...

I did not fear death in the least...

I feared failure...more than death itself...

When I was a praying man, I would constantly beg God to not let me fail...

I simply knew God wouldn't let me fall...

My mind constantly goes back to a certain point in my past when I reminisce about talking to God regarding failure.

It was the summer of 2005, a little over 5 years ago. I was homeless, broke, destitute, brokenhearted, and completely incapable of fathoming why I had been handed this set of circumstances. I had dedicated my life to helping others. I had given time, money, effort, sweat, and tears to anyone in need of help. I simply could not understand why my God could allow me to become so broken...

I reached in my pocket and pulled out my last 10 dollars...I looked in my bank account and saw -11.86. The change in my little broken down Dodge Neon totaled a little over 37 cents. I leaned against my car and took a deep breath.

Standing in the parking lot of an on campus apartment complex, leaning against a car that wouldn't move and contained all my worldly posessions, clutching the last bit of legal tender I could scrounge up...I found myself searching for answers...

I glanced up towards a busy street nearby and saw the lights of a Chevron...

I walked up the street with my hands in the pockets of my tattered jeans. My "Alabama" cap low over my eyes, I walked towards it and thought heavily...

When the body knows it may not have another meal for a while, the stomach no longer growls. It disappears. The mind takes over and tells it, "Hey...cut it out. We don't have time for that, we've got to find a way back to sustenance together."

So, I walk into the gas station without a bit of food in my stomach. I bypass the microwaveable meals, the potato chips, the peanuts, the granola bars, even the candy...and walk straight to the beer cooler. I reach in and grab a 6 pack of my favorite beer and walk slowly to the counter. The teller asks, "Hey, how are you," feigning interest. I lie too. "Fine...gimme a pack of Newport 100s."

The teller tosses the cigarettes on the counter and says, "9.68."

I hand her my money and walk slowly out of the store with 69 cents in my pocket.

I get outside and gingerly pull out a cigarette. Placing the stick of white relief to my lips, I look at the apartment complex I'm walking back to while fumbling for a lighter in my pocket. After lighting the stick of tobacco...I dreadfully make my trek back to my place of residence, the front seat of my car.

As I get back to the car, I hear the crack of thunder. I flick my cigarette away and think of somewhere to go so that I don't have to sleep in my car during the window insulation had a nasty leak, so I didn't want to wake up wet.

Luckily, the apartment complexes had balconies. I climb over the rail of one of the balconies and try the patio door, its locked. I walk back to the railing, the thunder cracks again. I glance to the left at an out of order vending machine and look up at the second floor. I climb over the railing and walk up the complex steps. I leap toward the machine and grip the edge of its top. Pulling myself on top of the machine I glance again at the balcony railing on the second story apartment.

A light rain begins to fall.

I inch over to the edge of the vending machine and jump, reaching for the bars of the railing. I grasp the bars near the middle of the railing and slide down to the bottom, nearly falling off. The rails had been made slick by the rain. I pull myself up and steady myself by placing my knee on the inch or so of concrete protruding from under the railing. I climb over the railing and reach for the patio door.

Its open.

I enter the apartment and open the front door. Its summertime, and I am sure no one is living there. The empty rooms proved my assumption right. I walked downstairs to retrieve my 6 pack.

That night, I sat outside on the patio and talked to God. Yes, smoking Newports and drinking beer, I talked to God...

God and I have a personal relationship. We talk often. He knows all my secrets. Things I'm afraid to admit to myself. He tells me when I'm wrong. He tells me when he's proud of me. He tells me when I've completely screwed up. He soothes me when I'm angry...even when I'm mad at him. We talked for a long time that night and I begged him to not let me fail...he never replied.

After I'd finished my 6 pack, I realized that I still wasn't drunk....I looked up at the sky and listened to the symphony of rain and thunder. Praying, hoping, wishing for a reply...but there was none...

I pulled out another cigarette and said to myself, "Well...I guess he forgot about me."

5 years later, God and I haven't talked much...I guess he pretty much ignored my I understand...I was always afraid of failure because I was preoccupied with the concept of success and doing whatever I could to attain it...while I feel like I'm far from successful...I'm still intimately acquainted with failure. Why? Because I've faced it head on...and made it through to the other side. Now, I no longer fear failure...I no longer fear death...I DO, however, fear God...even though we don't talk much...

So what does that say about me?

I don't completely know...but I know I'm no longer afraid to fall...I'm only hoping to fly.



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Beneath the Underdog
I'm a black music aficionado with a lot of opinions...nothing more, nothing less...