Real Friends

This week I’m feeling like the kid at the end of the lunch table. It’s like I’ve been observing the conversation for a few years, but too timid to jump in the mix with the cool kids. Well, those days are over. I’m finally a Snowfall evangelist and I’m here to spread the good word! And I say unto you, John Singleton was a genius and I really miss him. This creation he left us with is equal parts entertaining and thought provoking. I’m still on the first season, but please tell me Franklin stops making dumb decisions and at least does some enforcing? Regardless, the series does touch on all parts of the cocaine/crack epidemic in southern California during the 80s. It even gives women bigger roles than just support to the men on the show. If you’re near a television or phone or tablet or computer (gotdamn we have a lot of things to watch programming on), then make some time to watch the first few episodes. While I have your attention concerning good fictional drama, Tariq St. Patrick needs to die. I don’t have anything else to add there. If you’ve watched Power long enough, you know why. If you just picked it up this season, you know why. If you don’t watch at all and happen to own an Instagram account, you definitely know why. Courtney A. Kemp, if you’re reading this, give the people what they want. After we gave you our attention spans for six seasons, this is the least you can do for us.

This week has been a reminder to me that our children should be better than us. I’m living proof that with the right amount of engagement, resources, and time, our kids should exceed anything we accomplished in our lives. Zora started the chess club two weeks ago and has been dominating at it. She’s killing it so well that her teacher has been sending Jay and I texts on how well she’s doing. Each day after practice Z boasts on how she’s been beating the fourth and fifth graders. In all transparency, I didn’t learn to play the game until I was in my pre-teen years. No indictment on my parents whatsoever, but more of an observation that with each passing generation, expectations are set higher and more often exceeded. So shout out to all you parents, guardians, and aunties/uncles, who take that extra 30 minutes to read to your kids, expose them to the arts, or even let them travel with you. You’re all doing the Lord’s work and your rewards are those little humans who seem unable to leave us alone.

I would be remiss to leave the most glaring observation that I’ve made this week, yours truly will be revolving around our sun for the 36th time this weekend. With getting older, I often think about my mortality and how I envision the way I want to live out the remaining years of my life. So many questions run across my mind. Do I want to be wiser? Stronger? Healthier? Who do I want to be? How do I want people to view me? By no means is 36 close to middle age, but it’s in that weird area when you’re definitely not young anymore, but nowhere near the age that would be considered old. I feel like I’m in age limbo, but strangely enough in a space where my life is just beginning. I haven’t exceeded the age of taking charge of my health or being dependent on medication. All decisions I make today have major impacts on my life in the future. So being inactive, but more importantly remaining active is a resolution I have for myself in this 36th year. Not only does that mean getting back into running and weightlifting, but looking at my health from a holistic approach. Some of those activities include ensuring I’m getting the right amount of sleep at night, visiting my doctor on a regular basis, limiting or stopping the amount of alcohol I consume, learning more on subjects I’m not well-versed in, and strengthening the relationships that I have in my life. The latter has come in handy as I’m going through this transition. My wife, family, and friends have been a blessing through this journey. Whether it’s getting advice, having someone to vent to, or even providing moral support during trying times, my loved ones have been stronger than a frozen Jolly Rancher. My two cents is to get you a solid crew of folks that are not only liked minded, easy to vibe with, but don’t mind kicking cold hard facts to you without sparing your feelings. I appreciate all these folks for holding me accountable and they better damn-well reciprocate those sentiments! I have a few group chats with friends, a Dad’s group, amazing family, and an encouraging wife. My village can go head-to-head with the best out there. With the many goals I’ve set for myself in this new year, I know for sure each and everyone of my people will help me accomplish them. *This is the part of the blog post where y’all are supposed to pull up “Friends” by The Carters and nod y’all head on beat.*