No Barriers

Time has healed so much pain as I've gotten older. And the pain that I felt from the way others treated me or the way I treated myself has turned into happiness. The happiness I didn't even know I could feel - ever. I remember as a kid feeling joy and making my parents proud. Wanting to always be the best and showing off what I knew and why I was ”the best”. It was always an expectation but talked down when I didn't do enough. Self-confidence was lost when I started asking myself what is all this for? This is at a young age, after leaving Detroit and moving into the suburbs. As life went on, it felt I was alone even while doing way too much. Getting a job at 14, buying my own car, drivers training, school plays, sports - and with no support from who I cherished the most for so long. My parents. It became easier to surround myself with people who loved to have fun while also thinking there are no consequences to actions no matter what I did. Elaborate - I put myself before others and their genuine character. If I had to steal from someone to get to the end goal of being the best - I thought it was the risk since no one would suspect lil ol me. Young nerd, nice, and beloved by everyone. As I got older, I only hated who I was becoming even more while not being able to realize I was doing so much good to undermine the bad. The bad only got uglier. This is when I truly hated myself and felt sorry for this person. Loneliness sets in. And while all this is going on, I'm also suppressing my sexual identity because that's a whole other can of worms. So taboo and weird, but really just what I was raised to believe. Things turned around with a support system. People that I will never forget what they did for me and what they still mean to me. Sometimes it's very unfortunate when you lose contact with these people. And it keeps me up at night sometimes, since I wish I could say directly to them how much their kindness changed my life. Reflection of the last 32 years has been refreshing and also great to make peace with me. I started to love myself again. It's no unfathomable to think I was so unbelievably lost because of not having love in my life. No one in my family with maybe my mom ever said I love you to me growing up. She still does it even though our relationship isn't as strong. It's so easy to wallow and hide, but where I am now in life is worth celebrating. And it's now encouraging me to go beyond just doing one thing. I can help other people and make them find their happiness. Either through this medium, social media, fitness or just being there for them. It's been so hard finding purpose in my life and feeling like I can't be beyond good. Or I did X so I'm not allowed to do Y. And Z - that'll fucking never happen. Now, what CANT I do? I'm excited to see what's next and channeling what things I know and building a presence off helping others move the biggest obstacles in their lives. Sometimes it's just themselves.


And... Scene

Life sometimes to me feels like a motion picture. There are some moments where I listen to people explain their day and some exact instance went down and I can almost visually see it. Almost cinematic. From drama to romantic comedy, death, or something someone would do and land on America's Funniest Home videos. Then there's also where I play back my day or week and ask myself - is this real. Almost like there's someone in my head writing a screenplay and things will be on full display for the world to see soon once the writing team and producers are lined up to find a way to distribute. Straight to streaming services or independent release looking for word of mouth.

The current scene in my life feels like it's the end of a chapter in my life. And now I'm tasked to write the unknown. But what I do know is that I don't want to be calmer than the past 2 decades. I think back most of the time of the most traumatic times in my life and how depressing it makes me feel. Constantly searching for the good times and trying to make those the forefront. In the middle, I realize things were rough, but I also did a lot to be where I've ended up. Full circle. And I know what it takes to take risks and still move forward. I don't like holding my tongue. And I may speak ill of someone or something since in my mind, I know where this will lead. But that also may be fear since every situation isn't the same. So, I keep myself at this moment and give an excuse to stay complacent so I don't go through an undesirable conclusion. Fearing to lose everything since I know what that feels like.

"What happens in the past doesn't matter. You have to look at now."

Every time I hear that line, I seethe. Because most people have almost gone through a very calculated timeline of events. The pieces have always been laid out and choices were available. I've yet to reach a point in my life where everything was normal. With ease and where I knew the next day or month would be ok. I don't think kids are supposed to be worried about their parent's relationship, dad's alcoholism, their relationships deteriorating because of their own gossip. Then the financial hit - not being able to pay for heat, the mortgage, food, and other things that for most were just available. So I walk around this world holding onto what I have as precious. I let go of things very easily that don't get me to the step.  But the precarious steps I take to take the next challenge on is very calculated. And sometimes I miss out.

So now, as I'm reaching a point in my life where this rage is also seeing the beauty and I'm writing again. There's also self-reflection. I know I should take this very unique period and set myself up for only the best in life. Not forgetting where I came from, but knowing that I've seen what the bottom looks like. I won't go back to that point, so I have to move forward and bring out my best. Remembering who and what made my high points in my life a reality makes now easier to navigate. I'm feeling fearless. If the things I've been through and things I've seen only make me a better man - I have to do and see more. It's been a journey, but in no way should I feel defeated.

Until next time.


Reprieve by Exhaustion

Sunday. Routinely the laziest day of the week (if errands are out the way) has been different with a clearer head. Found myself diving into a book, small batch of laundry, 2.5 mile run (and the other .5 walking up hill), and lastly taking public transportation through the city instead of an Uber. Who knew you could get around on trains and buses that don't make you feel like you could catch and STI or something.

Like Sam Smith has mentioned, I've got money on my mind. And thinking more how I need to save it. A proper down payment and realistic look at my finances . Then onto where I should buy.

I've thought about Detroit for years and may need to bite the bullet before the city makes a comeback. Could I live in Michigan again? Maybe - Detroit is a gem that not many people are onto. I've also thought about California, but the market in the Bay Area - FUCK. I'd need a hefty pay increase. Already a work in progress.

This week I hopefully can retrieve my car from the shop, but that'll set me back a couple grand. It'll be nice to have a reliable automobile back, but does anyone usually have a few grand just laying around on a middle class income? Feels like I'm one sneeze away from a life filled with debt.

Aside from all the thoughts of dinero, today felt better when I put my foot to the metal. Getting back to strength training with consistent running could be just the kick I need.





I haven't written on here in some time.  Knowing how this and other posts may be interpreted only makes me fearful of losing what I've worked so hard for thus far. Conflicted with myself while asking almost daily if I'm good enough, smart enough, or good looking enough. I never thought that at age 31, I'd feel more isolated than I had been in my early 20's when things were so much more dire. Even though there's so many more people in my life that say they are here for me - I find it even more cold than before. Conspiring to be great seems to result in failure. Letting plans be known turns into having to live up to my own expectations. Again, failure follows.

My happiness seems completely lost even though where I am compared to almost two years ago, should have me feeling the opposite. This mainly stems from the day to day struggles at work. Emphasizing to leadership the solutions to solve such small problems only seems to fall on deaf ears. I've already been through this for 7 years in retail. The responsibility for change then lays on the shoulders of those with limited resources. I never thought working for one of the biggest tech companies would be so difficult to walk into each day. I don't exactly feel like I belong amongst the smartest minds in Silicon Valley. I could jump through hoops solving problems that someone from Stanford can't figure out, but I'm rewarded with words of just be patient for your time to come. When will I thrive?

Since grade school, I thought showing what I could do and sharing that knowledge to solve others technological problems would make me feel good. But corporations almost give me a number like a prisoner and expect performing mundane tasks as an accomplishment. Attempting to find myself  in day to day life just makes me want to shrivel up in a corner. No crying spells nowadays, but the stress is heavy. This blog is now again my escape as I recognize now how much it helped me though dark times over the past 10 years.

My biggest challenge now is finding and loving myself before trying to do the same for others.



Detroit - The Great


Aspiring To Be Great ...

My mind has ran rampant for months on end and not knowing how to put things into complete thoughts to share here. But you have to start somewhere then develop from there. 2017 has been a long long long year. My life has changed tremendously in 12 months. Most of the changes for the better. But I still feel something missing. That void has always been empty and as I grow older at least identifying what produces happiness is becoming more clear.

End of 2016 saw a big move to The Golden State with 2017 making me officially a resident of San Francisco. I'm naturally a homebody, but there's so much to see and do in a city full of history, unique residents, and nature (who knew). Living in the Bay Area and working in tech is like peanut butter and jelly apparently. A lot of smart people all trying to make it financially and leave a stamp on the tech world. You could procrastinate here or actually do  something with yourself since sky literally is the limit. And boy is it high.

Leaving one employer that gave me an opportunity of a lifetime by moving me out to the Bay and then joining Facebook has been a surreal experience. I still get to help out people who are grateful a well to work there. But of course that's not everyone. My next step is to take all the managerial skills I've gained in my 20's and get some real projects under my belt to further advance my career. I've already started to leave an impression on some people while also trying to be a voice for those wanting change. As a place that wants you be open and to make your community better, it certainly allows me to learn, grow, and be an activator of change (for the better of course).

As the next challenge awaits at work, my social life is also taking big boy steps. Leaving Michigan, for the most part, was about the lack of acceptance in a state losing it's progressive touch. Being black, son of immigrants, and gay is a giant mix of what makes a independent liberal 'Bernie for President' guy. Even though I do share some of the old Republican ideas, there was no space to be both in Michigan. So now, I live in a liberal bubble, but at least I can be myself and be unique without being looked at weird. Plus a lot more good looking guys here. Maybe a husband out there, but not holding my breath.

So now, moving forward.

2018 just a few days away and I feel great. 31 and feeling like a 21 year old again is also a good feeling. Happy New Year to those who read and happy Holidays.


A Deeper Understanding

As long as I can remember, I've always walked a tight rope when showing any talents. From fear of being made of to thinking that my ideas were so outlandish that who would possibly find me credible (or sane). As I grow older, I now find myself saying the same thing 8 year old self would tell educators and my parents - I want to be the greatest in the world. From wanting to be president, making IT simple for individuals, or simply lending my ear to the voiceless. With my back possibly being against the wall with corporate America doing what it does, I want to get back to being that enthusiastic kid wanting to be more than one of many.

But where do you start when you want to change the world? Dreaming is only step 1. Pen to pad still needs action. As my head swirls everyday with ideas, I'm ready. Getting rich could be fun, but not really my intention. Recently, my nephew said that he looks up to me and wants to grow up to be like me. I'm a softie, so that text brought a 6'3 240 pounder to water up. If a mind like his could one day bring a smile to his mom's face, I want to make sure I can at least set a path that he would never knew exisisted. I have failed more than once in my life, but for the sake of cementing my name in the hostory books - why not fuck up more.

I'll soon be on another trip across Europe and it reminded me that after my 18th birthday in 2005, when all my friends were going to Cabo or wherever the fuck middle-upper class white people go - I booked a trip to Amsterdam. Probably the most daring thing I'd done that year. I simply gave zero fucks and I even lied about a friend going with me. Now I think about it, my parents weren't even phased. But I think over a decade later, I'm ready to shake things up again and seek the unachievable and unbelivable.

Procrasination has always been my best trait, but focusing on one area of expertise to achieve a bigger purpose, I'm ready to try it. Here goes nothing.


Trump Described


Under Pressure

It's been about 9 months since I left the Midwest for more opportunities to advance my career. California was a choice not made lightly and always seemed ideal. The other option was New York as the city life has always interested me. When others are around you hustling and almost on the brink of collapse, it makes me just want to plan for the opposite. This has worked in most dire times. Now that I have the potential to move towards prosperity before something awry happens is met with so much thought and complexity.

I always here that life is not supposed to be easy, as that is what makes us stronger as we grow into old age. But why must it be a struggle until that day comes and what's wrong with wanting the best now. Society tries to tell us what the best is. Living in a place known for being pretty expensive, money is just a tool that you must master very well. The abundance actually doesn't mean shit.  So, now I am starting to decompose the thoughts when I was younger and being uber-wealthy with the idea of what will bring me happiness and bring my name into longevity.

These are not the ideas of my parents or even my siblings, which makes me think - is this why our family has always been in this rat race of who owns what and the perception of another without first admiring themselves first. My mother has a Masters in Economics while my father also graduated with a Bachelors (in what - I still haven't the clue...Hmm Google maybe). But both never entertained the idea of being someone special despite what you own. I learned that being wealthy and having money was always the key. But as I now look at it, they were always in financial distress. Losing our family home not too long ago, car repossession, DUI's, being faced with so much adversity - and that's when they decide to fix things by going the extra mile.

That feeling of hopelessness and trying to overcome at a time when your body and soul can't take anymore is not for me. I want to be free until my final day. I want to share that with someone who knows the meaning of life is to enjoy what you have and what you've worked for. That "enough" will come one day and it does not mean we've settled. It means we've reached a place of happiness that only we can define.