Father’s Day Hangover Pt. 2

One of the cards I received Sunday…

​Maybe one of my favorite all-time movie dads, King Jaffe Jofer was right when he said “There is a thin line between love and nausea.” I wake up with a hangover every Monday after Father’s Day. I wonder if I’m the only person who feels like this. It’s possible so much recognition causes my body to go into shock and it needs to recover.
The gifts, the BBQ’s, brunches, and what have you are all cool (I’m jealous of you rare dads that get to have alone time that weekend). The reason why Father’s Day means so much to us patriarchs is very simple: validation for our work.

In spite of some issues, Father’s Day was amazing. My daughter Cydney wanted to have a barbeque for me and my favorite people-unfortunately my dad couldn’t make it-in attendance. My nephew wanted to try lemon pepper wings; I made that happen and he loved them. I taught Cydney how to ride a two-wheel bike. I got cards with handwritten notes from my kids and my best friend…and I contributed to a video for Attn: that racked over 100k views. My work was working.

Over the past week, I have been giving the word validation a substantial amount of thought. My good friend, K-Star made a joke in our group chat and it resonated with me. After every clever quip he made, he followed with “Good one, K-Star.” I thought it was brilliant.

K went on to say that he had been giving himself hi-fives all week and it made him feel great. Somewhere between finding it funny and believing my friend, I gave it a shot. I first tried it in the group chat and it felt pretty good. I then tried it out in real life. While working at my desk at a job I’m not too enthralled about, I gave myself these little hi-fives after completing each task. 

K-Star pointed out the elusive obvious, or the thing that was right in front of us and we didn’t see it. How often do we validate ourselves? More often than not, people tend to let their insecurities drive them. Our brains are wired to unconsciously push us into circumstances for us to say “I knew I was _____! See?!” The balance to this is that people have a slightly exaggerated viewpoint of themselves as well. For as much as we try to coerce ourselves into thinking we aren’t good enough, we do the same to say “I am great.”

More often than not, we look outward for this validation. There is nothing wrong with that because we are human creatures. However, we tend to neglect the person who matters the most: us. 

An hour after K shared his epiphany, I felt amazing. As a very competitive person, I wanted to keep finding things to do to tell myself “Good one, Chad.” My mood changed. I began to ask better questions and finish tasks in record time at work. My writer’s block completely went away and I began to pen a fairly ambitious project. Something as simple as giving myself an inner hi-five was the beginning of a paradigm shift.

By the time Sunday came along, external validation had greater intrinsic value. Maybe I felt hungover because my body was in shock from all of the validation. Good one, Chad. Good one, K-Star.

I think all of you reading this should give this a shot. Do it for a day and let me know how it made you feel.

The Reverend Mason Betha Devotional: Book of Life After Death, Chapter 10

Every Monday I will share an anecdote and/or existential life lesson based on teachings from your favorite rapper’s favorite pastor, Ma$e.

“Stay humble, stay low, blow like Hootie.”

Prosperity preachers often get a bad rap. The public perceive them as pompous and pious people who pillage Peter to pay themselves. Most miss the undercurrent of humility and thankfulness in their message. Ma$e is an expert propagator of this narrative.

Rev. Betha grew tired of speaking as a gun-toting product of his environment. His contribution to 112’s ode to showing one’s woman love the way God loves us all, “Only You (Bad Boy Remix),” aka “Songs of Solomon, 1996,” garnered the young man a clear path to success.

Spending time with a different crowd, M-A-Dollar Sign-E felt compelled to explain the entrapment of success with the world on a song called “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems.” The newcomer felt obligated to expound on modesty and servant leadership.

Had Cuda not schooled Mase to the game, he would not have known his duty. At 19 years old, the good reverend was “mostly Dolce down to the tube socks” because God sent Cuda Love to guide him.

The most salient advice Mr. Love had for his protégé  was given in one incomplete sentence: Stay humble, stay low, blow like Hootie. The seven-word parable was layered with information. There was a fictional tale about a black man who made country and rock music named Darius Rucker from South Carolina.

In this tall tale, Rucker was the lead singer of a band called the Blowfish. They toured the southern states of America playing to audiences that loved his music; but wasn’t too fond of the pigment of his skin. The racist crowds disliked Darius but loved his music so much. To get under his skin, these audiences referred to him as “Hootie,” a derogatory term for disgraceful music that originated with Bell BivDeVoe’s second album, Hootie Mack.

Rucker took the high road by “staying low.” He already stood out like a sore thumb as the one black guy everywhere he went; but the music was most important. Instead of making a fuss, he quietly changed the name of the quartet to Hootie and the Blowfish. They sold millions of records and whenever they asked if Darius was Hootie, he’d say “That’s just a name for the band.” Once again, this is all folklore…Charlie Pride and Nelly were the only two black people that made country music.

Ma$e told the world he never would have made it without mentorship and humility. Yes, he danced in tunnels, threw his Rolex in the sky and waived it side to side; but he was still the same ol’ pimp with a changed limp. Scholars have argued the Harlemite’s limp was because he too wrestled with God like Jacob in the book of Genesis; but that’s for another devotional.

We all need and have Cuda’s in our lives. They are the proverbial villages that raise us, tell us right from wrong, and give us guidance we often miss when directly displayed from the divine. Nelly too listened to Cuda’s fable of Hootie and the Blowfish; it worked out very well for him.

 

Thinking B.I.G.


“Biggie got killed,” were my mother’s first words to me on the morning of March 9, 1997. Somewhere between shock and déjà vu, the moment felt surreal. 

The passing of both B.I.G. and Pac felt like the end of childhood innocence. My world was beginning to expand in sixth grade: I went to middle school on the other side of the planet—northeast Queens—and began taking the MTA on my own to basketball practices. My worldview was becoming larger than my parents’ sphere of influence. The onset of adolescence required a different soundtrack. 

Twenty years later, I am the father to a six year old girl and a father figure to my nephew who is in the fifth grade. I have become my parents because I never want to listen to the nonsense my boy is into. They’re stuck listening to as Cydney says “that old school stuff” when they’re rolling with me.

Cydney and Courtney respond differently to my music. My nephew could care less; he’ll opt to blare Drake or something from his headphones. In my head, I still feel youthful; so if I play something like “Unbelievable” and he doesn’t nod his head appropriately, I feel old. He can’t relate and that’s fine…I did the same thing in 1995.

My nephew and I have talked about the difference between our musical preferences. He feels a similar way 10 year old Chad did about Earth, Wind, and Fire. I will tell him “See, B.I.G. was the greatest of all time. The way Hot 97 plays Drake all day, every day, is how they did with B.I.G.’s records.” My nephew will never understand how essential it is to live and die by the “Machine Gun Funk.”

Cydney on the other hand is her father’s child. Whenever I wear my t-shirt with Ready to Die album cover on it, she says “That’s Biggie Smalls, right? That’s the Notorious B.I.G., right daddy?!” 

If I play [edited versions] of the Brooklyn emcee’s songs, she begins to roll her neck to the beat and jam. She loves “One More Chance” and “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems.” But “Hypnotize” is her favorite. 

“Daddy, can you play “Hipmitize?” You rap the boy parts and I do the girl parts.” I’ll cue it up and she mimics that hefty “Uh…Uhh!” that let us all know the King of New York was about to say some shit in ’97.
Cyd wants to be in and a part of everything I do. She at the age in which I can do no wrong in her book. If I like it, she loves it, and she wants me to notice. In spite of being over my “old school stuff,” my daughter wants to be a part of it with me. She knows that music-especially hip hop-is a very large part of who I am. It’s in my walk, talk, attitude, and how I raise her. She wants to rap to instrumentals and play rhyming games.

Biggie Smalls died at 24 years old; he was just a kid. In my thirties, I have had a very hard time taking most things people in their mid-twenties say with seriousness (not you guys, of course). The concept “applied knowledge is power” is a brand new one because life is consistently kicking your ass. 

Listen to B.I.G. or a ‘Pac interview. They sound like kids who think they know more about life than they actually do. If that was your 23 year old cousin, you would listen intently and say in the back of your mind “Shut up! You don’t know shit!” However, reckless abandonment made that time in our lives so much fun.

For some reason, our generation doesn’t see B.I.G. as a kid we would ignore. His words still sound profound because it takes us back to that time in life when we looked at him as our big brother. The generation before us think of him as one of their homies who shared a similar struggle. We all have surpassed him in age and experience; but that’s the power of music. 

While “Blunts and broads, titties in bras, menage a trois, sex in expensive cars,” still sounds like a hell of a time, I’m listening that shit in an office thinking to myself “Once I get off work, I have fifth and sixth graders to coach, my daughter wants attention, and the other day I had an awesome ass date where we did laundry.” But there’s a brief moment I picture the week when “Hypnotize” went from the new song everyone tried to memorize to learning the words in memoriam.

Twenty years from now, Cydney and Courtney will hear “Juicy” somewhere. At 26 and 30, they’ll recall being the kids in the back of the car that looked up to me.

The Mason Betha Devotional: Book of Harlem World, Chapter Six


Every Monday I will share an anecdote and/or existential life lesson based on teachings from your favorite rapper’s favorite pastor, Ma$e.

“If you got a girl, don’t be real committed. ‘Cause Ma$e will hit it. You got-ta deal with it.” 

In 1997, the Player Hater’s Parable, also known as “Lookin’ At Me,” was considered groundbreaking. While dancing around a convertible, his name in lights, and next to a woman buried in sand, Betha revealed several life lessons from a first-person perspective. Without faith and following P. Diddy who made him pretty, the rapper of the cloth never would have had to ask a hater “Why you don’t like me? Because I’m mad fly and icey?”

Contrary to Genius’ claims, Rev’s last two lines of the second verse were not a tale of his ability to take “your” girl and get to know her in a biblical sense. The message was one of self-awareness and one’s place within the universe. It was the Harlem way of saying “Faith without works is dead.”

Whether we believe in a benevolent and omnipresent supreme being or the spirit of the cosmos, something and someone out there is guiding us all. No ideas are our own; the Universe puts ideas into the air and it is up to us to complete them. 

You ever have that million dollar idea and for one reason or another sat on it for too long? Shortly after, someone always makes a ton of money-or acquires success-with the same vision as yours. Well, the answer is simple, you didn’t commit. 

M-A-Dollar-Sign-E knew this from a first-hand experience. He knew that his life’s work would be to deliver souls with a powerful message the youth could dance to. However, as a member of the Children of the Corn[er], he fashioned himself as the baby-faced gangsta, Murda Mase. A chance meeting with prophet Sean “Puffy” Combs changed everything. Hip Hop’s landscape was changing and Puff needed a messenger more palatable-and less hideous looking-than Craig Mack to balance Biggie Smalls.

At first, Mase was hesitant of changing his image and needed convincing. Had he not bought into the program, Puff would have found someone else to preach the truth and the light while frolicking in shiny leather suits. Without acting on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Mason Betha could have been in his apartment on 140th St and Lenox Ave, seeing someone else saving souls on in Las Vegas on BET. With or without the good reverend, “Feel So Good” was coming to fruition. 

While there are many lessons to learn from “Lookin’ At Me” aka The Sermon by the Bentley, its overall message is one of self-awareness. Even if a player hater is over there looking at you while ya girl-or man-is standing there, you have been correctly following the path that the divine has set for you. If not, someone else-Mase-will and you’ve got to deal with it.

Be blessed.

The First 10 Days of 2017


​If I could use one word to describe the first 10 days of 2017, it would be “fuckery.”

Yep…Fuckery.

Call it a dark and twisted sense of humor; nonetheless, I find beyond-belief ridiculousness amusing. Chris Brown and Soulja Boy opt to turn their social media squabbling into a celebrity boxing match? My only question is “Who is throwing the fight party?!” Shirley Caesar’s support of Kim Burrell’s “sermon” makes a gospel legend the new Ken Bone? Y’all ain’t know who she is until the end of “Hold My Mule” became “beans, greens, and KFC fixins.” Hell, as I am typing this, there are think pieces being entitled “Who Are Migos?” because of the Golden Globes. Someone has literally been assigned the task of deciphering “Rain drops drop tops. Smokin’ on cookie in the hot box.” (Note: At first, I thought Lil Uzi Vert’s verse was Kevin Hart as Chocolate Droppa).

You know your life is fuckery-filled when your friends refer to ludicrous happenings as “Chad stories.” I like to think that my circle comes to me because while there is lots of laughter-often at someone else’s expense-I give insight in navigating through otherwise troubling waters. I am more than okay with this.

I don’t make resolutions that begin January 1. It sounds like a lot of overthinking to me. Somehow, this year I am doing so. A text message sent to the wrong person, a funny story and inside jokes on Snapchat, and [redacted] made me finally embrace the fuckery. 

Why am I doing so? Honestly, I love that my life plays out like a well-written sitcom. While staying calm and collected, I facilitate hurricane after hurricane because it’s adventurous. Last week, my supervisor gave me an apology for being thrust into a department adjusting to a new paradigm. With a look of sincerity and shrug-off, I let her in on one of my finest attributes: I thrive in chaos.

While I do need to work on processing emotions and wanting to “feel” more, that’s not who I currently am. If there is one person on the planet my friends and family can put their money on that will not lose their cool, it’s me. I am the cause of all of the foolishness that seems to find me. I attract who I currently am which is someone currently looking to sharpen themselves for the sake of helping others around me.

While there were others, 2016 is when I fully embraced being single. My drama-free life got dull in February. It feels as if saying to myself “Man, I am in a great space. There is no ridiculousness!” was enough for the universe to say “Say no more.” Said universe heard my statement, combined Paulo Cohelo’s famous quote from “The Alchemist” with Murphy’s Law and needless to say, life has been nothing short of a hoot. There is never a dull day, over here.

When in doubt, I am always in control. I may not have much governance over others and what they do; but I rule and run me. With that said, bring on the fuckery, 2017. I can’t wait to write about you next January.

Assorted Thoughts On January 4th

This morning started like many others: my 6:45am nap on the Long Island Railroad to a soulful soundtrack. As I waited for the A train, I looked at my Facebook account and saw a memory. It was a video of Cydney. It prompted me to shut off DMX’s folk ballad “Niggas Done Started Somethin’,” and press play. 

Three years ago, my daughter wished her mother a happy birthday and blew a kiss. A smirk crept out of the corner of my mouth as I remembered it was January 4.

Five years ago, I was getting dressed to go to court. It would be the first of several hearings in two states over the course of two years. I knew my in-laws would not drive from Virginia to New York to attend that day. 

I wanted them to know I meant business. Timile hadn’t been buried three weeks. For her first birthday in heaven since 1986, the Browns had to deal with me…and I didn’t give a fuck. January 4, 2012 was the day I became fearless.
My time with Timile Brown taught me how to love with no limits and that made me a dangerous person. FDR’s famous quote “Only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” became reality. If I continuously strived to get out of my own way, what was the worst that could happen? They died of cancer and custody hearings for my child before the body gets cold? Shit, everything else in life was light work.

I was more than prepared to go toe-to-toe with Timile’s parents five January’s ago. Two months prior, my father in-law’s intimidating tactics scared the fuck out of me and I rolled over for the sake of peace. It wouldn’t have happened that day in court. Hell, it wouldn’t have happened today, either. That morning, I decided rarely would I ever lie down in passivity again unless I absolutely had to. If I did, it damn sure wasn’t going to be because I was scared.

How do I currently feel about Timile’s parents? I still don’t like them. I still have trust issues because of them. I absolutely hate that they only call Cydney on her birthday, Easter, and Christmas; that shit really irks me. However, they’re the ones who are missing out. Cydney is an amazing little girl who is happy. I would tell them everything I have written here to their face, as well. 

I have no malice in my heart for Cydney’s maternal grandparents. Just because I don’t like them doesn’t mean that I don’t love them (I accidentally said it to them last Christmas). Forgiving them set me free from a lot and it might be my biggest act in fearlessness. Forgiveness just might be the most courageous action in all of our lives.

Nowadays I rarely refer to Timile by name. It isn’t because she has become a ghost that I am afraid of or anything like that. It has become a habit. Most of the people I associate with didn’t know her, so to many she is “Cydney’s mother,” or “my daughter’s mother.” 

The main reason I have this habit of not saying “Timile” is because of Cydney. As a Kindergartner, her classmates all live in her neighborhood. She sees all of the kids and their moms; there is a heightened awareness that something is different for her. 

Cyd seems to get put off-guard when Timile is mentioned around her. It triggers something and she begins to feel sad. One day, while driving home, Cydney says to me “Daddy, I don’t want people to mention my mom. Why do they?” Time and time again, I tell her “Because she meant something to many of us that knew her.” It’s the only thing I can think of to say.

Last week, I was in the midst of my morning ritual mentioned in the first paragraph. A creature of habit, I pulled out my phone and opened up Facebook as Dark Man X growled and yelled “Is y’all muthafuckas ready or what?!” A picture of a very pregnant Timile and I showed up in my memory cue. I immediately pulled up a picture of Cydney from Christmas day and thought to myself “Man, Cydney is a perfect blend of the two of us.”

When Cydney was first born, all I could see is Timile. As my daughter has matured, Cydney Moriah Milner has become a miniature version of me but with no filter. 

In writing all of this, I have come to a realization. I’m kind of “over” this. I am-and have for years-been more interested in the future. As soon as I post this, I still have work to do. People turn their past experiences into demigods and elephants in the room. Fuck that. I don’t subscribe to that mindset. Just acknowledge, let the assorted thoughts come, and move on.

Tweet Through It: A Parent’s Thoughts During Their Child’s Christmas Show Pt. 2

 

25 years ago, I was that kid in kindergarten who loved to perform. I was Michael Jackson 2.0 in my head (I wore a silver, glittered hat that got thrown all over our apartment as I spun in the mirror and recited the words to my hit song “Ridiculous Girl.”). Elementary school shows were my time to shine and I had to let the whole world know what they needed to get the first glimpse of. One couldn’t tell me that every show I was in wasn’t entertaining.

Now on the other side of that coin, sitting through these shows is horrendous. They’re actually adorable; but there are many other things I would rather do than sit through that. However, it is endearing to see my child evolve from infant to rehearsing for weeks to sing songs of yuletide merriment.

With that said, here is this year’s Christmas tweets. With Cyd the Kid being in elementary school, I have to retire the crier count. Enjoy!

I decided not to sign Cydney out of school. There was a long line of parents, it was 2:30, and school gets out at 3. By the time I would have made it to the front of the line, the bell would have went off and she would be leaving anyway.

If you enjoyed this, here are the links to last year’s shows: Cydney’s Christmas concert, Courtney’s Christmas concert, Cydney’s Spring concert, Courtney’s spring concert.

Hard Times Are Divine Interference

Views from the 17th Floor

“Crenshaw is a completely different world from Union Square,” I thought to myself. The laid-back Los Angeles groove of Terrace Martin’s “Valdez Off Crenshaw” in my ear buds was a stark contrast to my view of Lower Manhattan’s skyline.

It was my first day on the job in a brand new office. Shortly after I was let go from my day job, I received a call about an analyst position at my former employer’s corporate headquarters. I charmed my way through the interview and received a start date days later.

As I was walked around and introduced to the team, several of my new colleagues shook my hand and told me “We have heard great things about you” and “If they hired you, they think highly of you.” The pleasantries made me feel welcomed and validated.

Things have changed drastically within the past month. The job out of the company’s Queens office was okay at best. I took the job because it was a paycheck. Before the position came to fruition, I prayed to God telling Him I couldn’t “live this way anymore.” Some semblance of understanding in my personal life was happening, as well.

I believe in treating the small wins like huge victories. As soon as comfort crept in, everything was shaken up. I should have known this was about to occur. 

There are no accomplishments without adversity. There are times in which God tells us all “Sit yo ass down! Oh, you’re not going to? Then I will make you.” It sucks; but it is needed.

That’s where faith comes into play. To be transparent, I am quite the control freak. Not because I want to force things; I am very confident in my capabilities. I truly believe that unless God intervenes, there are very few things I can’t acquire. If I want something, I’m going to make it happen. 

Because of this mindset, I have an interesting dynamic with God. When I put my mind to something, He replies with “Ayo, you feel that way? I’m gonna test you and you will fail several times. Then you will have to chill, rethink some things, and try again, dead ass. I believe in you Chad and you’re my guy, so let’s see what you’re made of, b.” (Note: To me, God is a New Yorker)

My faith isn’t always the greatest. Maybe a better way to word that is that I have a lot of faith; but I don’t pray as much as I should. I mostly do about the things that I am thankful for as opposed to asking God for something. When I pray about something once, I let it go. In my eyes, to continuously go back feels like a lack of faith. 

I prayed to God to open up my heart and eyes and He been testing me in that area.As soon as hopelessness arts in, things begin to shift. 

Our moments of adversity are periods of preparation. We have free will to do whatever; so what we do with the down time is up to us. I detest arrested development (Not the group. I actually have a very funny story about my encounters with a former member). We all have traumatic events that stunt our growth; I try to eliminate much as that as humanly possible.

After my initial prayer three months ago, God put me in a position that took care of my immediate needs and gave me a glimpse into my future. Before I got into a routine, the door was abruptly shut. 

The way the job ended put me in a position to lean on someone I was hesitant to, due to our past. Opening up about my frustration set forth a chain of events that created a path to understanding. That feeling of frustration lead to thoughts I wouldn’t have had being in Queens.

While I was distracted with the daunting task of figuring out how to emotionally process shit, God worked under the radar. All of the thoughts and feelings I was under masked what was really going down. The position in Queens put me back into the company’s system with an email and ID number. While I was getting back into the swing of commuting to Queens, I had been saying “I want to work in the city again.” Sometimes the discomfort is just divine interference.

I couldn’t wait to get home and show Cydney a picture of my view of Manhattan from the 17th floor.

Five Years Later…

December 8, 2006 was the day Timile Denise Brown and I officially began our relationship and December 9, 2011 was the day she passed away. I have spent as many years without Cydney’s mother as we did together.

How did I feel? A way I hadn’t in years: I wanted a cigarette.

I always knew December 9 was coming. A few days after Timile and I decided to give us a shot, we sat on my couch and watched The Godfather Trilogy. I began to sob out of nowhere. Timile asked why was I crying. “One day I’m going to lose you,” I replied.

Looking back, I grieved her loss before we even started.

I went for a drive Thursday night. I parked on the shoulder of Ocean Parkway, rolled down the passenger seat window, stood outside of my jeep, listened to Jeezy’s “Seen It All,” and looking at New York City’s famous skyline from 40 miles away. Approximately 200 steps from the Atlantic Ocean, the fierce winds hitting my face was the closest I had come to shedding tears in nearly two years.

I began to reflect and relive parts of the past five years. When I first reunited with my daughter after our five-month separation flashed across my mind first. I then snickered at a thought about December 9, 2012; passionately kissing someone else’s girlfriend and my then-toddler as a witness.

I stared off at Manhattan and reminisced about when I fell in love a couple of years ago. I first saw, kissed, and how afraid I was the first time I said “I love you” to her on that small island. Those moments freed me of the past and they became context for my future.

Life had to continue. The peace that overcame me as I consoled family and friends five Decembers ago was because I made a choice to no longer be afraid of anything.

My father called me while I was in a contemplative state December 10th. We conversed about life and love since 2011. I told my dad that for me, December 9th has had very little to do with the passing of Timile; but life after.

“The older people get, the less they give a shit. Everyone has gone through crazy shit, so they aren’t phased by it. We all go through crazy shit,” my father said. I told him my mindset resembled his words. I felt that way often. He continued “People don’t always know what to say; but they mean well. Sometimes the best thing that people can do for you is just show up.”

Trav Murdah was right. I spent all of December 9th with a friend who in spite of giving me constant grief, always shows up. I told my old man and he replied “There you have it.”

“See, the thing is, I loved Timile with everything I had. But I can have that again and improve on it,” I assured my dad. He repeated my statement to confirm its validity.

My father’s next affirmation began with the infamous “Check this out…” Since a child, I have known that when my dad starts a sentence with those three words, he was about to say some shit.

Speaking from a wealth of experience, Pops said “Check this out. Everyone is fucking crazy. Men are crazy. Women are crazy. The one whose “crazy” you think is cute, that’s the one you go with.” That summed up the past five years perfectly.

31

I’m no longer 30; now I’m in my thirties.

30 began and ended the same way: my day-job cutting my contract short days before I began a new year. While disheartening, it is a blessing in disguise.

I was feeling a down during my final lunch break. In spite of my hesitance, I went with my gut reaction and called my place of solace.  I asked if they had a moment to listen, and told them in a nonchalant tone “This is my emotional voice,” before  began to vent.

“I get tired of being treated as if I’m not human,” I lamented over the phone. My frustration wasn’t primarily with being let go or its timing; it was with constantly being treated as if I don’t have feelings.

I vented “People often feel as if they can say any and everything to me because things don’t ruffle my feathers. Because I don’t get mad, they tend to back off, thinking that every time they do something [that could hurt my feelings], they react a certain way, thinking that this will be the time I finally get mad.” After being heard, we prayed for 15 minutes before I went back into the office.

The next morning, I prayed to God to open me up in a manner that I take a step towards my future. After a conversation with my cousin, Brian, a seed was planted. “Cuz” explained  God throws things up in the air and it is up to us to carry them out. If we do not, God will leave it there and someone else will complete His task. “This is why we have million-dollar ideas and another person comes up with what we were thinking,” he said. An internal light bulb went off in my head.

Two hours later, a friend of mine texted to ask if I would like to come by their place and write. I immediately replied “On my way.” I drove from my Long Island to to Manhattan. En route, I passed by my former place of employment around 1:30 PM. I looked at the building and thought to myself “Yesterday, I was in this same area, articulating how I felt. Right now, I would be on break, aimlessly driving around this area, waiting to clock out. But today, I have an idea and God has a plan much bigger than that office.”

The past two weeks have been filled with uneasy thoughts, feelings, and anxiety. I prayed for an open heart as a means to process emotions and that’s what happened. For the first time in a very long time, I felt sadness, anger, loneliness and didn’t shrug them off. I needed this in order to grow, even if it felt-and still feels-uncomfortable.

When their shell gets too small, lobsters hide under a rock until they have generated a larger exoskeleton. More or less, this is why I have hardly written anything on this site. In spite of being an uncharacteristic ball of emotions, I am quite happy. There is a lot to be thankful for.

There was a brief moment in which allowing myself to feel caused a brief moment of anxiety. I apologized to the person and explained that I was not excusing my actions; nonetheless, processing emotions past “Chad, don’t take things personally. People do shit based on their own experiences,” is a relatively foreign to me. Friday will mark five years since I shut off said process.

I would personally and publicly like to thank a certain friend for being my happy place and their patience while I come out of my shell.

The next year is about to be lit.

…Read It Because I Wrote It

%d bloggers like this: