Subtraction By Subtraction.

It’s not hard to have sex. But know yourself before you indulge in it.

After my TRASH 2015 that included two rather bad splits and other low moments, I had to look in the mirror. What is it that I’m doing that gets me into these situations where I get tied up with a girl I like, then things just go sour?

My solution was not letting myself get so emotionally wrapped up in dating, to just chill, to just “have fun.” I’ve done this before; everything worked out, for the most part. This second go-round was disastrous, not in results or quality of sex, but in the long-term effect on my mindset.

It wasn’t that my approach changed, I was a little more subtle. I’m not really sleeping over, I’m not cuddling overly long, because I don’t want you to feel as if I’m trying to nudge you into a relationship. I’m not exactly a hopeless romantic (this is a lie), but I couldn’t really operate like this. I tried, I really did…but it was not me. I was having sex and holding back my emotions because I was tired of situations falling apart.

My newfound “strategy” definitely had some rough spots. Do you know how weird it is to have good sex but also think “wow I really enjoyed just laying there and talking to you after?” My life was lacking affection (and still is), and I couldn’t say how I felt out of fear of misconstruing things. I’m Steve Urkel masquerading as Stefan Urquelle, but I’m ACTUALLY both guys. My issue is I repressed the more emotional aspects of myself because I was tired of getting stuck in doomed pseudo-situationships. My actions must match my words, and in my head that came down to cutting out cuddling and other #smooth romantic shit that I really wanted to do. Maybe I was wrong.

When you taper down your emotions, you start to attract and pursue women who are on the same page. The problem there is, some of those girls don’t give a shit about you. They might enjoy having sex with you, MAYBE even like eating chicken with you beforehand, but you are of no importance besides your filth and ability to be on time. For some guys, this is a dream situation. I was one of those guys for a couple of months; then, it was trash. Making things worse, I have a bad habit of making situations better in my mind than what they actually are, which leads to disappointment.

Things had gotten so filthy that I said to myself “I wish I could go on a wholesome date.” All I was doing was working, going to the gym, getting drunk, and having mostly-emotionless sex. That is a very jarring change from my early 20s, when I was just hoping and wishing to get my wee-wee dampened.

In the midst of all the struggling, this is what I wanted. This is what I ALWAYS wanted. Even as a child, before I knew what sex or kissing or anything really was, I vividly remember telling my dad I wanted women to really like me. He told me it would happen, just do my damn homework. That was sound advice! But I eventually got there, and it forces you to look at yourself in ways you may not want to.

If multiple women are interested in you, thats great. But the reality is unless one particularly moves you, everyone else has an expiration date. The very poor handling of the pain of my past loves has kind of ruined my view; I couldn’t just relax and “live.” This has bled into a lot of other aspects of my life. If things are going well, I can already see when it’ll going start going poorly, and I tend to fixate on it.

I knew things needed to change this year, when I started to think “I am attracted to this girl and it’s not a sexually based thing.” We’ve done nothing. Not one date, no drunken kiss, NOTHIN. It was her personality, her earnest curiosity about me, and doing just enough to show interest but never making me feel like she’s swarming me. That’s slightly out of the ordinary for me nowadays; at some point in my life, women started doing too much as it came to me, and it bothered me.

Things went wrong somewhere, and I really think it started when I started to safeguard my emotions, for fear of misleading, because I didn’t want to get myself into something I didn’t want. And now, I’m deciding to be more like myself, and deal with things as they come.

 

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Jealousy, also a male trait.

 

How would you feel  if someone you were dating and really liked, had a crush on someone famous, and that person was….accessible? I don’t mean “he retweeted her once”, I mean, they’ve met, or he frequents the same clubs she does, or even lives in your city. Would you care, or would you just brush it off?

Let me just save you some time: I cared. I cared for a very long time.

From about the time I was 19, I wanted to be in the music industry. I was always into music, but I couldn’t rap, sing, make beats, or play any instruments. Thus, I always wondered where and how I would fit in. I eventually found my way.

Working towards this dream, and talking all over the internet about being in the industry, thrusts you into different circles. Now I’m amongst like minded individuals, who want to do things in entertainment, in journalism, who like being in those scenes. And some of them are hot girls. A LOT OF THEM, ARE HOT GIRLS.

One would think that if you’re dating women who are constantly amongst famous and handsome dudes as part of their careers, maybe you’d have your jealousy under control beforehand.

LOL.

 

About 4 years ago, my girlfriend and I were talking about when she interviewed A$AP Rocky. She started giggling and talking about how he dresses and my jealousy switch flipped to ON. She saw me tensing up and she said “Oh Robby, come on. He was just really nice to me. Ferg is the one who made me blush!” She laughed at me, at how ridiculous I was being over all of this. She kept teasing me then gave me a kiss, so I would stop being so jealous. I immediately thought “WOWWWWWW I gotta give up A$AP now?? This love shit is COSTLY!” This was just the beginning.

In the summer of 2014, me and my relatively new date were walking around LES, trying to get a drink or 3. We end up bumping into her friends and they all decide to go to Beauty and Essex. If you’ve never been, it’s pretty nice in there, and I had only heard of it up to that point, so why not? We get in, we talk and drink a little, everything is cool. We go in the back to the couches and sit down, and there is where things went left.

In walks Mack Wilds. You know who Mack Wilds is (or you should). He’s an actor, singer, and most relevant of all to this story, he’s from NYC. Now I knew beforehand that my date had a tremendous crush on him, but I didn’t know how deep it went.

When she saw him, I kid you not, she started reapplying her lip gloss and checking her make up and hair. She was also hyperventilating. This situation is now in the red, and I don’t know what to do. I legit remember the sweat forming on my brow, and me thinking “AM I ABOUT TO GET MY DATE STOLEN BY SON FROM THE WIRE???”. I strongly thought about just leaving her ass in there, but I didn’t feel like that was a real way to go about it. I let it play out; he didn’t come over or say anything. We eventually left, I told her bye, and I got up outta there. She apologized soon after, and we even kept dating after that, surprise! Still, that shit was harrowing. I really don’t feel threatened by other dudes, but I felt threatened as HELL that night. I also liked his album! And The Wire! And The Breaks!

There was the girl who just LOVED Jesse Boykins III. Not to trivialize her as just some girl who was obsessed with a singer; I liked her a lot, and that feeling was mutual. I’m also a fan, but her tendency to constantly bring him up started to rub me the wrong way. On one date, she just went off on this tangent about how he just moved to Brooklyn, and how she hoped they’d cross paths. I mentally checked out and let her go on…until I just decided I had enough. She tried to make it seem like she wasn’t doing too much, and I was kind of uncomfortable for the next half hour or so. Now that I think of it, I’m starting to wonder if she was trying to make me feel….jealous? If so, she succeeded. After we stopped dating (it ended poorly), I kind of avoided his music for a while, because I actually couldn’t deal with it.

But why am I like this? What was I afraid of? Is my ego set so that I couldn’t deal with losing a girl to someone famous? Maybe I didn’t really believe in myself. I think once your self esteem gets to the right place, you tend to not move so fearfully. Crushes are crushes; this doesn’t mean they’ll be acted on. I feel like a part of it can even be an inferiority complex, where you feel you can’t match up. In my experience, those girls liked me enough to not just choose someone else over me, and maybe I shouldn’t have sweated it so much.

I shouldn’t have let jealousy get to me. I never acted out, but I spent a lot of time behind the scenes, quietly upset and fearful that I’d lose out to someone who was just more….everything, than me. I think what I had trouble grasping, was that women can sometimes see you as much more than you appear; you can be more than your outward appearance, your job, your social status. If a woman really feels strongly about you, it’s not as likely that she’ll just discard you for a famous dude. I feel like that’s a lot of guys’ worst nightmare, but I’ve looked it in the eyes a few times, and I’ve come out better for it. Don’t be afraid of her celeb crush sending a tweet and sweeping her off her feet while you’re at your regular ass job; she probably really likes you and values you more than him. Just treat her right, listen, and don’t answer her questions with a question; you’ll be ok.

Lessons from the Sun.

Worst summer of my life.

Easily.

I would love to tell you that it was just 3 months of struggle and INCREDIBLE emotional anguish, but that would be false.

It was UNENDING struggle and emotional anguish. I still, somehow, got a lot out of it.

Love them while they are with you.

I knew, in my heart of hearts, that my relationship was doomed.

I knew it. I tried my hardest still, don’t think I’ve tried that hard at anything.

Didn’t work. But when I felt us very quietly and subtly hitting those dire straits, and that building dissatisfaction (it feels like nausea that does not cease), I decided to do something.

I decided to value every single good moment we had, and to feel honored to share her presence.

Good times do not last forever, so please…please…..squeeze every ounce of happiness out of them that you can.

I cherished every high and faced every low.

Until the low was too much for me. My appreciation and honesty and dedication to a journey that had no light at the end of the tunnel was not enough to keep my relationship from ending so jarringly.

But I don’t regret my relationship, or how poorly it ended, nor do I feel bad for putting effort forth and still failing.

I’m glad I did it. I learned who I am; I learned who my significant other was. I learned who my friends were.

I don’t speak to my friend of …13 years, over this shit. I loved him too. I loved my girlfriend. They simply could no longer be in my life, they were killing me.

However, I won’t die internally at your hands. No, I will not.

I loved the two of them as much as I could, until my very being gave away. Until I couldn’t.

One person simply threw my trust and good will out of the window; the other just…doesn’t support me when I needed him to.

Loving someone so much that you would happily tear your own heart to shreds, to save them from themselves. A worthwhile sacrifice.

And I’ll do it again, with someone else.

The inherent darkness of my split(s) this summer have made me appreciate the good times with everyone…because they do not last forever, and I must be at peace with that.

There is no shame in being a broke boy (or girl).

I mean really, I’ve been broke for about a year.

My brokeness SPIKED in the last 6 months or so, along with my break up, loneliness, my worsening depression, my inability to find a job, and no longer being friends with a close friend.

All at once.

So I was pretty much in an endless cycle of misery and loneliness that kinda never…stopped? The carousel is turning as we speak.

I had nothing, I felt worthless, I could not do what I want.

I still don’t have anything, really, but I don’t feel so worthless. Not so often.

Me not having money is somewhat out of my hands. I’m certainly doing what I need to do to get jobs, it’s just not coming together at the moment. So, I am slowly not beating myself up over it anymore and just trying to live.

I’ve had A LOT of money. I’ve had NOTHING. Money is cyclical, it will come back to me in due time.

I can only try to become my best self and keep applying, and keep thinking of places that I can contribute to, and roles I’d like to fill one day.

I only don’t feel so worthless, because people have shared words and time with me.

And because money isn’t everything, and it doesn’t define me, and it never has.

People will light your darkness with their honesty.

Knowing how badly I was doing this summer, I’ve had a lot of heart to hearts with a lot of people. Some who have been very close to me for quite some time now. Some who I was cool with, but not much more. Some I barely knew.

I was just seeking clarity. In that search, people have admitted to really painful things that made me feel like “I am not alone, here”. They showed me what love was, in a different light. They told me I would be ok, when I didn’t think I would. I’m still not ok, actually. Without their words, I wouldn’t even be on the road to “ok”.

I would be in the depths.

And I spent most of the last 3-4 months, in the depths.

Still, people reached out to me, texted me, hung out with me, emailed me, even though I was a total fucking burden, and surely no fun to be around. I appreciate you fine folks, for real for real. if you knew of my situation and shared a word with me, you’re good with me. I have no idea how I can repay that, but I’ll find a way, somehow.

I am just gracious for what was once part of my life, that which is no longer, that which I have now, and that which I will have later.

That is all that matters.

a few things.

 

 

2014 has been good. 2014 has also been…. strange. The only way to survive when you are literally rebuilding your identity and getting in touch with your sense of self daily….is to try to stay level. I’ve soared just as much as I have struggled (ok, maybe I’ve soared more), but I see things differently.

I’ve admittedly been struggling to write, as I teeter on the line between “trying to write the very things you are experiencing as they happen” and “revealing too much and fucking your life up”. I haven’t really written anything in a while (other than a poem/song while on a bus), so I’m just gonna play the list game. I hate lists, and I hate when people acknowledge they haven’t written in a while. *SIGHS*

 

Having the purest of intentions will always help.

I can hear you sighing and rolling your eyes from here. When I say things like this, people pile on me with their examples of things not going their way when they had pure intentions.

“It didn’t work out with me and my ex who is a goober but….”

“I keep trying to pass this class but….”

“My jumper is broken and none of my friends pick me to play 5 on 5 help. I shoot every day even in the rain SON! I deserve this!”

 

The real problem here is, I’ve noticed human beings have this innate feeling that things are just supposed to go in their favor. Not the way life works. I too have been guilty of this, but I know better now. You can be the best person ever, you can always do the right thing, you can still take the hugest L ever. What defines who you are is whether you use that as an excuse to be a shithead. Don’t be a shithead. Understand that you don’t “deserve” anything but respect and love. Everything else, you have to work towards. But most important of all, you have to be honest with yourself, and do the right thing. Try your absolute best, pour yourself into what you do, and let that be it. If it doesn’t work, admire yourself for your efforts and try again. Or take your energy somewhere else. That’s a call YOU will have to make.

 

 Don’t be a shithead.

I’d like to think I’m a pretty nice guy nowadays. I can honestly say that being nice to people and spreading as much postive energy as you can just feels better. Having people around you who are happy, comfortable and smiling….can’t really be beat. I now think people who are always out to abuse and torture people have deeper issues that need to be addressed. A high percentage of those people are hurting over something else; I certainly was.

 

You don’t owe anybody, anything.

Not an explanation, not a conversation, not a phone call, text, email, smoke signal, tweet…none of that.  I’ve noticed that people have come to feel that I “owe” them contact. I do not. if I don’t wanna talk, I will not. If I don’t wanna attend something, I’m just gonna tell you no. I’ve grown tired of feeling obigated to give people my time when I don’t want to. Minutes, seconds and hours are valuable. Don’t waste yours just because you feel like you “have to”. You do not.

 

and lastly….

 

Most people will not get “it”.

When it comes to the choices you make in life, a lot of people will disagree. Most of these people, I don’t care about them because they’ve never taken a stand for anything. If you’ve never stood up in your life or put your neck on the line for something you believe in, why would I care about your thoughts? Sometimes, its not that cut and dry. Sometimes people you love will disagree. Friends, family, something more…it’s bound to happen. With that said, you still have to push on and do what your heart desires. Most of the time, those very people who disagreed come around when they see your conviction and passion. A lot of people don’t step out and go against the grain because they are scared to death. By pursuing what you really desire, you become an outlier. So, of course people will treat you strangely. It’s not about them and it never was; this is solely about you. When you are trying to grow and lighten your load, the journey is strictly about you. Don’t let ANYONE distract you from that. First you help yourself, then you help the world.

 

See you soon.

Hitched, Part 2.

****Read this first.*****

    Over time, I started to notice…things. Well, just one thing. Whenever there were other girls around us, she acted “off”. I remember it clearly; when we were walking to go eat on campus, a girl from one of my org’s stopped me. We exchanged small talk, regular chatter. I guess this went on a little longer than she liked: She just walked away and left me. All I got was an “I’ll meet you there”. I wanted to introduce them to each other but she hung back so far when saw her, I couldn’t even tell where she was standing in the crowded student center. To be totally clear, I had a crush on that girl that stopped me at a point. My current situation really dissolved my interest in even going down that road. Maybe she “felt” something. Either way, I started to feel that we might be in trouble.

   My 22nd birthday came up. My 21st birthday was a mess, so I promised myself I would make my next one memorable. Me and my roommates brainstormed and we decided to have a party. We had liquor, I let the people know; no way this would turn out wack. I told “her” about it and she never really sounded too thrilled. I kept bringing it up, hoping she’d see how badly I wanted her to show up. Hours before the party, she said “I’m sure there will be more than enough girls at the party, you don’t need me to come”. I was sick over this. How could someone so important to me see her presence as disposable? She was always uncomfortable with my popularity(ugh, my friends were way more well known) at school , and that comment sent it home.

    The party went down. It was a success. I nearly got into a fight, plenty of girls came and it closed with the cops trying to arrest me (A+!). Seriously, it was a good time. With that said, I had a strange little moment there. My VERY first college boo(“A”) and her best friend (“K”) came. This is no big deal, as we were cool and put the past behind us (lol oh pls). They came through fly as usual, danced, drank, enjoyed. Once A walked away, me and K were talking. She out of nowhere murmurs to me…

“If you and B didn’t date……”

    She looked me in the eye and I knew what she was trying to infer. Ive known her forever. She’s been (and still is) an attractive woman. However, I didn’t hesitate. I defused that immediately and moved on with my night. I was very serious about whatever it was me and “her” had, even when it was on the rocks. My feelings and heart were tied up and I really just wanted to put my energy towards that.

    A few days later, she texts me back again. She tells me she doesn’t wanna come chill, doesn’t want anything to do with me, all that. I’m pretty much being dumped via text, and I don’t even know what I did. I’m not taking it well but my ego prevents me from chasing down the “why” of situations like these. If you want to let me go, cool. I won’t beg you, I won’t play myself. I simply asked her what lead to this and she once again bought up my popularity and how that was too much for her. I responded back calmly, accepting things for what they were. In the ensuing days, she continues to hit me up and make me feel stupid about the whole thing. How I shouldn’t have liked her so much. How I made it all into something it wasn’t, how all of our time didn’t really mean much. It was bizarre, because I wasn’t chasing her after she dumped me. She just kept coming back to me and killing me with the same knife. Me, in my state of need for her, kept responding until I simply was too bothered by all of it.

      I was totally fucked up over this. Non of my friends knew how serious it was for me, or that we even split. My roommate asked me “whatever happened to….” and to this day, I don’t know how I didn’t get out of that conversation without embarrassing myself.  Partner this bad heartbreak with the melancholy feeling of a pending graduation, trying to enjoy myself before it’s all over, and the incredible amount of violence going on at my school (guy got killed and his body was in the street a block away; on a separate incident a kid got stabbed up in the parking lot right outside of my window), I was stressed about everything. I’ve never really admitted this, but I honestly felt like I was going to get killed my senior year. I ended up adopting some beefs because of my loyalty AND a lot of students were ending up in crazy situations with locals after parties.

       I don’t really know how I decided to stop sulking. I do know that I found solace in my coworker’s bed sheets. We worked together on campus and I kinda knew she always liked me. I was sorta on the fence but as we got to know each other I warmed up to the idea a little more. She was cute; dark skin, big smile, infectious laugh. We hung out at the office, we talked on campus, worked on projects together. As fate would have it, she happened to live in my building. I saw her in the hallway while I was washing clothes, so I texted her when I was almost done. I ended up walking into her apartment and next thing you know, our lips meet. We didn’t have sex until maybe a few weeks later. Once we started, we didn’t stop. She was in an ODU office with me, amongst very important people, and no one knew what we did behind closed doors. There was a certain forbidden air to it. This went on until about a week before I graduated, when she disappeared quietly back home to northern Virginia.

     There was also someone else, who is memorable because she was a big “first” for me. She was at my apartment for a kick back. I was doing my homework; I wanted no parts. Me being involved would’ve thrown the ratio off. Nevertheless, I’ve known her for a few years but we’ve just been cool. I noticed that she kept walking by my door and peeking in. She eventually comes in and one of the guys (who I know WELL) pulled her off of me and out of my room. He had a huge (unrequited) crush on her, and I knew this. Never one to lose his cool in this situation, when she came by again, I took her by the hand and walked her into my room. She giggled and walked in curiously.

        I’m just running my fingers over her, admiring her form. She was sort of defined , smooth light skin and had an edge to her voice. She reveals to me “I’ve always liked you and thought you were cute, why didn’t you say anything?” BULLSHIT DETECTOR WEEEE OOO WEEEEE OOOOOOOO. I could’ve just been overcome with modesty, but I still think she was lying. How did I answer? With a lie of my own. “I’ve liked you for a while too!” First and last girl I ever lied to. It was pre-sex bullshit; going through the motions to make each other comfortable with things that aren’t true. I never subscribed to that again. Regardless, she chose to link up after Spring Break (which was next week) instead of doing anything that night.

   Our night came to pass. She came at 6 am, and slid into my building silently. I didn’t sleep, I just stayed up and waited for her. She hands me this, I take ONE swig, she is in my bed. It goes down from there, as Spongebob Squarepants plays far too loudly from my bulky silver TV. The next morning, I kept the lie train going and told her I had study hall. The truth was I didn’t want her in my spot all day. I eventually felt like shit about the pointless lies and vowed to never do it again. I also considered telling dude who pulled her out of the room what happened, because I wanted him to suffer. But I didn’t. So he may be reading this and just found out. If so, yes, her. 🙂 !

    The final part of my story that connects back to Hitch is simple. He approached women and all that they have to offer as “catching up on lost time”.  In reality, he was trying to cover up the pain of finding his girl in the rain with the resident cool guy on campus. She basically left me for her ex, then a FOOTBALL PLAYER. So she hated my popularity, then went to an athlete. Yep. I finally decided to entertain girls who I knew were interested in me, because I was fucked up. I was trying to patch the holes in my boat with lust. It never worked. Those girls didn’t particularly give a shit about me; they just liked what I projected. One of those girls I mentioned actually told me in bed “You were cute on that (ORG REDACTED) poster around campus, I had to have you”. It was never about me, just like it was never about them. I wanted to feel alive, after feeling as if I was literally dead on my feet. Casual sex is fine; just know that it doesn’t heal your pain. The emotional rawness of being discarded by someone who literally illuminates your days to girls who keep your nights shrouded in darkness is a lot for any 22 year old, especially one with a lot on his plate.

  I had to mature. I had to live. I had to understand that just wanting to have sex is fine, and so is wanting to put your all into a woman who’s special to you. Even though my clear blue sky turned gray, I didn’t want to be afraid the next time the sunlight chose me. With knowledge that it all ended so badly, I thank her for it. The highs, the lows, the jagged separation. My experience taught me to value myself and to appreciate the love in every waking day. Even the cold, lonely ones.

Progression (aka Yeezus).

So earlier last week, a friend of mine shot me a flurry of texts that basically ended in “I have Yeezus tickets, I wanna go with someone who actually likes it….” I originally had plans with my DOG, KWAME but I got his blessing. He already saw Yeezus, knows how I feel about Ye’ and knew I needed to go. So I squared that away and I was on board.

Now mind you, I’ve been to Glow In the Dark. GITD changed my life. This was my first big concert and I was maybe 21-22. I paid damn near 300 for my seats (as if I had that, who was I fooling) cringed, and went after my spring semester ended. I vividly remember watching the whole thing thinking “Holy shit, why can’t I feel like this every day?” GITD was a culmination of Ye’s ego, imagination, and talent, all in one cohesive story that felt like a child’s well developed day dream. He has an IMAGINATION. Around this time I noticed that my own imagination was dying, and so was everyone else’s. He was “free” more or less. Kanye’s energy that whole show told me he wanted to be there, and there’s nothing else he’d rather do with his time. That was deep to me. At that age, I had only begun to understand passion and how it fuels you. Ye was operating off of passion and love, and I wanted that. The technology at the show was also out of this world, and directly affected what I wanted to do with my life.

So needless to say, seeing Kanye’ perform is kind of a different thing for me. I saw him at Watch The Throne but that’s a different type of experience from a Kanye’ solo show. I had to take part in this.

I get to Nassau Coliseum , we get the tickets (just happened to be GA floor, YES!), we linger a little bit, then we go in. First off, to get to the floor in NC, you have to go down like 6 -7 ramps, deep into the basement of the building. It’s basically like a bomb shelter, with tight ass hallways. We get down there, give in our tickets and walk in. (sidenote: My ticket number was “143” aka shorthand for “I Love You”. I wanted to keep it but they wouldn’t let me. I’m just into symbolism, from little things like that to the more grandiose.)

The show starts about 40 minutes later and I’m pretty into it from the get go. I’m really not the wild out at a show type unless its just that kinda night. I  like to digest what I’m seeing, rap/sing along, and just enjoy the show. New Slaves/Clique/Black Skinhead….I’m engaged. Then something happened.

When it come’s to Kanye songs, Coldest Winter (and Streetlights) are somewhere in my top 10. These two songs are just honest, poignant, the kind of things anyone who’s ever had to deal with loss or feelings of inadequacy can relate to. He walks out to the edge of the mountain built onto the stage. It raises into the air, and he lays flat on his back and goes into Coldest Winter.

Right before he starts singing it, he tells us it’s about his mother (which I’ve heard before and always wondered if it was true). My heart sank a little, because I could never imagine losing my mother and feel for everyone who has had to deal with that. I only have one living grandparent, so, it’s affected those amongst me.

photo (2)

During this whole performance I’m staring up there, thinking how lucky we are to have someone willing to make music like this. We’ve had Kanye for too long; it’s to the point where we write off what he does. If we’re gonna be honest, from the gate, he was a talented guy making honest music. He was so self confident that we couldn’t tell if it was arrogance or someone willing themselves to the top (which he did). He has Grammy’s, sales, notoriety, fame, but I don’t totally really think that’s enough. His…”talent” for falling in and out of public favor has somewhat affected how people view him. He’s said shit I found corny (ie his reactions to Kris Humphries/ lyrics about Amber Rose post break up), but I’ve kinda got over it all. Sometimes he loses himself in interviews, but I’ve never felt that he meant any harm. He’s been coming off to me as someone trying to find themselves, and last night made me feel like he’s progressing.Once he took his mask off, he was….happy. Last hour of the show was pure glee; you could feel how positive the energy was from every in the house that night. He was at ease; anyone who has lost that knows how vital it is to have.

With all of that said, Kanye always makes me feel motivated when I see him perform.  Kanye gives his all, every time. A lot of things have happened to me fairly recently that make me feel like I should try harder …with everything. I’ve become somewhat concerned about not using what I have to the best of my abilities. I don’t really feel like I lacked talent (you can be modest if you want), but I do know I lack drive and motivation, sometimes. My life did not improve until I continuously pushed myself to the edge, and I think that’s the “secret”. I’m uncomfortable; shit is weird….but that’s fine. I’m becoming better and I see and feel it.  If you don’t squeeze every drop out of what you have, can you really complain about your results?

Life isn’t something you just stumble through. YOU control your reality. Just try to grow daily and keep stretching as far as you can. I get that in order to reach a point that you can only imagine, you have to prepare yourself for that and be disciplined. Kanye always worked, no matter what went on around him. He saw who he wanted to become, and he believed it enough for all of us. Is that not what success is?

break from queens.

SXSW.Austin. 4 AM. On the Thursday of that week , I had a bizarre argument with a friend of mine who’s been around since high school(Kwame). Since we were 15. He was the cool one that everyone knew. I was just the semi awkward kid who talked a lot of shit. Grew together and have been through plenty. Ten years.

Poof. Into thin air. Why you ask? I had managed to make him feel….ostracized by my actions. Not taking into account when he wanted to chill in Austin or what he wanted to do. We discussed beforehand I’d be with other friends AND them in Austin , but things kinda broke down somewhere along the way. Honestly , I knew a lot of people in Austin this weekend (he didn’t). I was stretched kinda thin and I also had a few things eating at me during the whole trip. Well really , one ongoing thing involving a girl that I probably won’t admit to until years from now. Mainly because it makes me feel embarrassed (it shouldn’t) and I’m not even sure whether I’m intrigued or repulsed by what our relationship has become. With all that said, my attitude should have been better.

So here we are , arguing. I’m in a nice crib in Austin with my dude, at SXW…just how we mapped it out. But look what it was becoming. An argument.  I’m not even sure I was upset. I was really more confused than anything. No one was happy and no resolution was met. We kinda went through the motions the next few days. I grew angrier at the whole situation over time (I hated that the issues weren’t aired out as they happened, as opposed to held onto until it exploded). I covered up how “off” the whole shit made me feel and tried to enjoy my last few days of SXSW. I left alone on the final morning.

What really bothered me about the whole ordeal is he accused me of putting him by the way side for my “other/new/cool” friends. That stung , mainly because I don’t have any friends from before we met that I’m still cool with. I moved from BK to the very edge of Queens as a child ; a few friendships died with that trip. They felt I dipped on them because we left a 2 bedroom apartment to a 3 bedroom house. Things were different. I had to “start over” per se. My WORST fear since I decided I wanted to be in the music/entertainment industry was losing touch with who I once was and my humble beginnings. His accusation felt like the start of me going off the deep end.

Me and Kwame spoke about 2-3 days after I got home. Tempers flared. I expressed how I felt, angrily and moved onward. I heard him and understood where he came from too .The thing about me is …I value those close to me. But inherently , I feel as if being “alone” is part of who I am. If I have to step away for you to see what point I’m making, I will do it. For however long that needs to be.

We spoke quickly in April , due to the urging of my ex. I contacted her on Easter because I “felt” something was wrong with her. We don’t speak consistently and I don’t see the reason to…but I could feel my heart pounding through my eyes when I woke up. I KNEW something was wrong with her and I was correct. Once we discussed that and got that straight , she told me “go talk to Kwame”. So I did. It was awkward but more peaceful than before. Halfway through , I kinda felt like “Why did I do this?” I was content with not speaking. I have a tendency to eventually be “ok” without people. This is a positive AND a negative , in the same breath. I also knew that the nature of our friendship was going to be “different” after this. Don’t think I wanted to deal with it. In addition to not talking to Kwame, I wasn’t really speaking to anyone in that friend circle. Didn’t want to make it awkward for everyone.

3 months pass. Three months. I did not talk to my best friend of 10 years….for 3 months. We spoke every day , about the dumbest of shit to the most serious of things..and now nothing. No real words until July. He reached out to me and was just very honest. He understood where I was coming from , told me what had been going on in the last 3 months. Very heartfelt. Very painful. From there, we started on the road to recovery. Things seem to be mending and going well now. I couldn’t tell you if our friendship will just be A-OK again but thats my dog. I love the guy and he’s held me down and looked out in situations where most wouldn’t.

So while I’m dealing with all this , I have other unpleasant shit going on. I quit my job in Feb on a leap of faith. I simply couldn’t do it anymore. It was taking too much from me. I couldn’t think , I wasn’t creative , I wasn’t even happy anymore. It was literally taking my soul. I had a great relationship with most of my coworkers; all love. But how did I leave? In silence. I emailed HR quietly. Turned in my stuff. Waved off and and all uproar. Just daps and hugs and contact exchanging and off into the sunset.

So…….I was broke. Not immediately. But soon after. Maybe 2-3 months. I didn’t regret leaving ; I had to. That job was turning me into someone else. I’m not a miserable guy. I am moody and intense; as soon as those feelings within become mainly negative I lose myself. And I totally lost myself , at that point.

So I had no money , not on speaking terms with my best friend , I’m INCREDIBLY lonely, I can’t go anywhere, and the wound of that nearly 8 month old, self initiated break up is still fresh , because my ex intermittently pops up via retweets or IMessage. So just add everything together…misery.

Me being the person I am , I didn’t tell a lot of people how shitty and worthless I felt. I didn’t want to come off like I was yearning for sympathy; I wasn’t. Life is difficult for everyone; how you perform under duress says a lot about who you are.  For this part of my life , I was not performing well at all. I was holed up at home doing nothing , being unhappy about everything. My hair length at the moment? It’s because I was sad. My hair represented how I felt; I grew attached to it. It was something I could “control”. Ive noticed when I have more hair i feel more liberated. And that’s one thing I definitely didn’t have at all…liberation. I felt trapped; by my own circumstances and emotions, with no real solution in sight .

Sometime in July, a ray of light appears. I got hired. First music industry job…ever. First time being paid to do something I like to do…EVER. The job itself has been going well and might really be the best experience I’ve had job wise. My contract is up soon , so this ride may end soon. Even if it does , I’m more than happy with what I’ve gained from it.

I made a series of decisions as it comes to my life , because it’s just time to do that. Had to choose my own emotional well being over speaking to my ex; decided to chop it up with Kwame like old times ; actually accept invites to places because I have some money now. I decided to use my qualities to be a positive guy , regardless of what’s going on. Things had to change. I had to exile myself in order to “gain control”. I’m usually in control but everything hit me at once and I completely lost it. I’m still not 100 percent but I’m much…MUCH closer than months ago. These things take time.

I’m learning how to be myself again. Before everything was so serious and heavy. Back when I just wanted to have fun and make people smile. When crappy situations didn’t weigh on me and push me off my center so easily. I feel different. I feel….good. I will only feel better moving forward, because I chose that path. I’ve become more self aware, and things are finally starting to brighten after such a rough patch.

Thank you to everyone who stuck with me.

P.S. I blinked back tears for most of this so I’m gonna do 3 sets wide pushups in front of a dirty bodega while listening to this. Probably shirtless.

Canal Street.

   I was on the train sometime earlier this week. This huge Latin dude with long , shaggy black hair and burlap sacks as clothing came into our car. If you’re a New Yorker, homeless people on the train asking for assistance is nothing new. I see people all over the car go into their “omg its a homeless dude” routine. Some fake sleep (the extremely fly white girl 10 seats away) , or suddenly pretend their reading material is SUPER interesting. He was really loud and usually this annoys me; I was at ease that day for some reason. By the time he comes over to me , I dig in my pocket for change. As soon as I reach into my jacket , I remembered I have a bag of Lays(PRODUCT PLACEMENT) Potato Chips in my pocket. I felt guilty for even having the chips , as I’m a fake healthy young goon. I nervously croak out to him “hey…hey…I have some chips! You want em?” “That’ll work!”. I hand the bag to him and he takes it graciously and ambles further down the aisle. He comes back and plops down noisily in the seat across from me. I noticed an older Jamaican woman in nurse garb look at him like he was the ASSIEST of assholes as he POPPED the bag open. She kept staring as he chewed. I moved on from the scene.
    He eventually gets off. A well dressed older white dude take his seat. This whole scene and experience kinda touched me. The train is the great equalizer. Everyone from the established(or those who look it) to people who don’t know where they’re sleeping tonight…all in one place. We all have somewhere to go; coincidence(destiny?) put us on the same route.
   Really , seeing the homeless dude and giving him the chips reminded of an experience I had in 2011. I was fresh out of college , on the way to my internship at Power 105. I was BROKE as shit and relatively miserable. I was glad to have the opportunity to be in the building with all of those talented people, but I had no job. They were doing well ; I was struggling. There’s almost always a person with a cart with food on it on my train. They start explaining their doing it for anyone in need and they’ll appreciate donations etc etc. I didn’t really pay attention. Next thing I know? The person with the cart rolls up to me and offers me food DIRECTLY. Just me. No one else.
    I was SUPER embarrassed and I never get embarrassed. All I felt was anger. I quickly said “Nah , I’m good” and then had to refuse again ; they kept pushing the sandwiches and snacks on me. I hid how i really felt and somehow stayed respectful. I could feel other people’s stares ; I felt even dumber. I didn’t need food but something about my energy bought that person to me.
    I was definitely in need ; I had no money but that wasn’t what I was really lacking. I needed hope. I needed signs that chasing the dream was “right”. I didn’t get it that night or even that month. I don’t fully have that now. I’d like to believe I’m on the right path but I don’t have much to show for it yet.
So I’ll just have to ride along until my stop arrives.

worth.

I got lost in New York. This happens all the time. Then my phone battery was on its last legs (don’t charge your 4S on an iPad charger folks). Luckily , I knew where the hell I was going. Just needed to find an L train stop and continue my shopping trip.

I somehow recognized where to go immediately and excitedly crossed the street. I got to the middle and my heart just sank.

I didn’t care about these things I bought. I needed all of them to varying degrees. But it suddenly meant nothing to me. I almost gave up on the last leg of my shopping in Brooklyn (I was coming from downtown Manhattan).

I kinda felt like….is this it? Money and shit I can buy? I won’t lie to you; buying clothes and such fills me with satisfaction at times. Possessions are cool but I felt….empty. Almost “guilty” when I shouldn’t feel guilty. But perhaps there are better places to spend my money?

But in reality it’s not even about the money. If life has taught me anything it’s taught me that everything is cyclical. You will have surplus ; you’ll have nothing. The thing is it always comes back around. I’ve been BROKE , waiting for those super measly Student Government exec board checks to appear. I’ve also been UP and bought all sorts of dumb shit with not a care in the world. I’m never irresponsible with money ; I just know at times you will have it and at other times you won’t.

Growing up as someone who had whatever I wanted…it kind of worked in the reverse for me. I wasn’t “spoiled”. I can appreciate the material. I just don’t feel its necessary nor am I moved by it. My goals have never really been about “how much money can I make/how many kicks can I buy/can I cover my entire forearm in watches?” All of that shit is fleeting. Love and appreciation from those around you and doing what you can to help is far more valuable to me. Always has been. I think I need to “help” more and offer more of myself to the universe.

Id like to touch a few lives and theres no gadget or silly trinket that can do that. It starts with me.

…but really though.

You know what term/thought process always rubbed me the wrong way?

Sloppy Seconds.

Now…now before you judge and begin to wonder where the hell this is going , bear with me.

I always see or hear it used in the same instances.

Let me start with the worst.

The Phantom Sloppy Seconds

“Nah son I’m not doing it because I heard someone hit!”

“Who?”

“I dunno I just heard….”

(-_-). Not to air it out but a friend of mine just refused to even bother with a girl we both know who was throwing it to him on a go route. He had the corner beat by like 5 steps but he didn’t want that box touchdown. Because she is an alleged whore. That no one can verify. Oh.

He was clearly concerned that other PEOPLE we knew drummed her when in REALITY…they probably did not. He more than likely even USED the term sloppy seconds. Foolishness.

Don’t let some shit you can’t verify separate you from someone you’re interested in. If your energy is right , you can feel people out. You can tell who’s good for you and who just isn’t if you just….allow yourself to feel it. Always held true for me and I’m a regular dude. This isn’t just in a romantic aspect either.

Your Ex is getting plowed/plowing someone new and you are bitter Sloppy Seconds.

Now , you’ve either done this or know someone who did. You become aware that a past conquest/bae/boo/lover/wifeyyyyyy/hubbyboo has someone new. Perhaps you even know that person. You hiding those tears as you bark out….

“THATS AIGHT , THATS MY SLOPPY SECONDS! HE/SHE CAN HAVE MY LEFTOVERS!!!”

Your soul bleeding when you say that shit….but it sounds cool. You think you got the world fooled; you do not.

If you didn’t care , you wouldn’t say some extra salted popcorn shit like that. But it happens allll the time. Face it: someone will be after you just like someone was before you. Sometimes it’s tough to accept they’ve moved on; sometimes it isn’t. Either way….don’t play yourself like this! They are not your “sloppy seconds”. Just someone from your past. Now go watch a funny movie or something and lighten up.

and finally….

“That’s My Dude’s Old Jawn But She Bad Doe But He Said Its Okay So Yeah” Seconds

No. Just no.

If he liked her?? Like had feelings?? Don’t do this avoidable shit to yourself.

Dudes ALWAYS lie in this situation because they don’t want their friends to think they are “soft” or “cuffing” when in all reality….asking your friend to not penetrate someone you once/still love is….A PERFECTLY FINE REQUEST.

But thats hindsight. At 20 , this isn’t such a clear choice. After that though……the excuse disappears.

I can speak to this because I’ve been on both sides of . I passive aggressively said I had a problem with it as opposed to “FOH I’LL KILL YOU”…which is what I felt on the inside. Long story short , it didn’t really go anywhere cause he fumbled the cooch in the 4th quarter and I ended up exacting revenge indirectly in the future. BUT YEAH…… situations like these are bullshit from top to bottom. No idea if women end up in this sorta spot (and if so….lemme know in the comments.) To get back to the point , these type of “seconds” situations have far too many awkward subplots.

I’m not talking about you weirdos who share girls with your dogs. Unless you dunking groupies and yall popular or something this shit has always made me kinda cringe. I could NEVER and I LOVE my inner circle. We have plenty in common ; the same snooches is just two feet past where I wanna go. If y’all dont care and the person yall about to share doesn’t care…well shit….cook. JUST DONT ASK ME TO GET INVOLVED …YUCK MAN.

Before I go let me say this:

We are all Sloppy Seconds. Me. You. The girl who rung up your Funnyuns tonight. The bartender dude. Unless you 13 years old , whoever you meet has had someone else in the past. If that’s keeping you up at night….you have bigger issues at hand. No one wants untouched snow. Unless the prospect of sex being reduced to sliding up and down on top of a surfboard is your kind of scene. If it is……..cool. It’s 2013….Robby isn’t judging.