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.

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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.