Writer’s Note: Wow! It has been a minute since words have been transcribed on this platform. For that, I sincerely apologize. Since the last newsletter, I bet on myself by getting a new job, found other interests, and have simply just been busy. I’m back! I’m not promising any particular form of delivery, but I’m committed to trying my absolute best. Thank you for continuing to rock with me. Happy 2022. Let’s get it!
It amazes me how traditions weave their way from your childhood into adulthood with your own children. As young as I can remember, my parents were having conversations with my brothers and me at the dinner table, more often than not, with no actual food in front of us. The dinner table was just a communal area for us to express concern, wonder, and vulnerability. I’ve kept that tradition alive with my wife and children. Albeit, we rarely use our dinner table, preference goes to the island in the kitchen, the concept is still intact.
Dinner in our household is always enlightening for one reason or another. This week we enjoyed Taco Wednesday (yeah, I know) with the children trading riddles. Garvey asked, “what goes up, yet never goes down?” Zora looked at him with the most annoyed face and replied, “age, that one was too easy!” I was hit two-fold by my little girl’s response. First, I didn’t know the answer to that fucking riddle, so fuck riddles in general. Second, I am getting older.
This past October, I celebrated my 38th birthday. Writing those two digits together equally unnerves me and fascinates me. I’m closer to the age of 50 than 25 and that’s scary, yet exciting. My friends and I celebrated this milestone by taking a guys trip to Las Vegas. I have no regrets on the outing, but I’ve come to realize a ton about myself at this moment in time. First, partying all night in your late 30s is similar to binging Game Of Thrones, it starts off exciting and ends terribly. Why knowingly put yourself through such misery? Second, my sense of fashion has disappeared faster than us turning our backs on Chrisette Michele. I used to pride myself in my overall appearance. How have I allowed myself to be too comfortable and the pandemic to steer me towards AmazonBasics? Finally, the most gut-wrenching discovery of them all was, I am no longer cool. It’s all gone and I’m not sure I even want it back.
I don’t know what Pushin’ P means. My Gen Z co-workers attempted to explain cheugy to me and admittedly, I still don’t fully understand. Full blown pandemic aside, I try to avoid clubs and lounges as much as I’m avoiding catching COVID. Even bars that play the music too loud, are fucking annoying to me. My cool is gone. Cool was way too much effort and requires a level of commitment I’m not willing to give at this point of my life.
Aging for me means those closest to you are aging as well and maturing in their own ways. All of the interactions that I have with the children in my life expose this uncomfortable truth more than ever. Zora stopped calling me “daddy” when she turned ten years old. Her excuse was something about pre-teens not using such language and now uses the simple title, “dad”. Bruh… talk about your heart shattering in a million pieces right in front of you and you have to play it off like it’s just another Tuesday. To continue on how children are cruel messengers of aging, my soon to be nine year old nephew curved my hug only to extend his arm out for dap. The nerve of this kid! I’ve known him before he was even a thought in the mind of his parents and this is the thanks I get? Such is life.
As I’m growing older, it’s time that I now prioritize the things that matter to me the most: health, family, and financial independence. As a Black man, I’m susceptible to a litany of things that could negatively impact my health, from hypertension to prostate cancer. It doesn’t end with the physical, but extends to my mental health as well. I’m learning to set more boundaries with people in my personal and professional life. I’ve had far too many discussions with people that have simply burned out of corporate America. Not to say that entrepreneurship is the right answer, but I would rather stress building something for myself than for someone else’s dream. The goal moving forward is to never have a single source of income. I enjoy my lifestyle tremendously and I will not be beholden to a conversation with HR, an economic recession, or circumstance to negatively impact that.
Here I am. 38 years young with a lifetime to go. Where I currently am in my life feels more like a starting point of a journey rather than the awkward middle. I’m drinking my water. I’m minding my business. Most importantly, I’m taking the time to just enjoy the fucking ride. Not yesterday, not tomorrow, just right now at this moment.
What I’m Listening To
Nas - Magic. I’m immensely thankful that I get to grow old with rap music. All of my favorite rappers from childhood are still delivering art and doing it masterfully. Ending 2021 on the highest of notes, Nas releases a third album with producer, Hit-Boy. The album is concise, yet musically deep. Albums with a consistent producer and sound rarely miss.
What I’m Reading
I read an insightful article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution titled, “Once the ‘richest Negro street,’ Sweet Auburn tries to hold on”. This piece was written by Ernie Suggs. The article discusses the concentration of wealth and success held by Black people nestled on Auburn Avenue. The street is synonymous with the civil rights movement and Black businesses. Present-day, the area has been hit hard with neglect and natural disasters. The article explains the initiative to revitalize the area and hopefully, bring it back to its former prominence.
What I’m Watching
Stay Close on Netflix. I almost gave up on this series, until I had to remind myself that I’m a writer as well and I need to give grace to my fellow craftsmen to tell their story. I’m glad I stuck it through, because it was worth it. Overall, the UK-based drama was entertaining, albeit utterly confusing at times. If you have time to kill and are looking for a slow burn then check out this series.
“Only thing undefeated is time. Second is the internet. Number three is this rhyme.” - Nas