FIVE IN THE STREET: HOW TO PLAY LIFE WITH HAND YOU’RE DEALT

cards, chance, deck

“Just because you were born at the bottom, doesn’t mean you have to stay at the bottom.”


For myself, as with many like myself, I am starting my life from humble beginnings. And when I say humble beginnings, I mean growing up poor. My mother is what you would call the working poor. Where one missed day of work, one sick day could have placed her, my two sisters, and myself in a homeless shelter, or worse in the street. But does that mean our lives have to stay that way? No, it does not. Because living in America, we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. My two siblings are currently steadfast in their careers, and am actively pursuing my own path in life. So if you’ve been dealt a bad hand, how do you win with that hand?

Well, for starters, it comes by way of education. At a young age, my mother started to invest in our education. And when I say invest, she didn’t have money set aside for us as children. But she did make sure that the schools we went to were good enough and safe enough. She waited in lines to enroll us in school. She didn’t sleep in the bed and not make an effort to get us into a good school. She made it her mission, at times sacrificing her own well-being. Even though we were in public school, with my oldest sister attending private in high school, the schools were decent. The school wasn’t a place where all the kids were focused on being cool kids. You were encouraged to expand your mind past how you were being perceived by your peers. So you were able to focus on your education.

So now that education was taken care of, my mother cultivated a household where our minds could grow. At a young age she would take us to the library where we took part in various activities: reading, writing, and putting together puzzles (which was an activity I loved). We even had times on Friday nights when she would have long conversations with us about life. Little did I know those conversations and those weekend trips to the library were getting us prepared to deal in life. It taught me patients, hard work, persistence, and dedication. In addition, I also have to not forget those trips to the zoo and museums, where we were encouraged to have an open mind to many different cultures and experiences.

So now that my sisters and myself are adults we can pursue our own endeavors with the confidence needed up to this point to succeed. So what does all this have to do with winning with a bad hand; well, a lot. Everything that I was taught growing up, in combination with my own cultivated intellect, we have always been able to prosper. Now, everyone did not grow up in a household where their talents were nurtured. Some people have some very tough lives that are far beyond my life. But understand, that your story and my story is not unique. There is always someone that looks like you, and have come from where you have come from to succeed. So in the end, there is always going to be people dealt a bad hand. Some will overcome their struggle and others won’t. Sadly enough, that’s just some of the outcomes of life.


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NOT QUITE THERE YET: ARE YOU NOT IN THE PLACE YOU WANT TO BE IN LIFE

daylight, grass, landscape

“The long arduous path that is success.”


Have you ever had the feeling like you’re not in the place you want to be in life? Like you should be or thought you would be a lot farther by this point? Well, I am about to turn thirty years of age and I am working toward a career as a writer. While working toward this career, I am working two part-time jobs. And that sounds fine when you are a twenty years old, but not when you are thirty. Because when you are thirty, you are supposed to be a certain place by this time. You should be on your way to finding your first starter home and thinking about children, not writing. But I am pursuing a career I love, rather than a job I have to go to everyday.

So here I sit, in this moment writing. And to cope with the long road to writing success, I try to observe those that started around my age. And you see they had their first success at about mid to late thirties. Now I gave myself a ten year time period to break in as a successful writer of screenplays, playwright, and novels; with a little lightweight film/theatre directing. Now that I have gotten myself out of the way, what are you pursuing that your life isn’t where you thought it would be? We have all these visions when we are children of the things we will do as adults. But when we become adults, everything is up in the air once you are in the world on your own.

And everything is really up in the air if you have no clue what you want to do with your life. You typically spend all your time working, then coming home and existing. So the days turn into weeks, then weeks to months, and months to years. And before you know it, life has past them by, and they have not attempted at anything in life. And that is the scary feeling people have of not quite being there yet. They even see people their age making life decisions, going in the right direction. Yet they are still not there themselves. So they find any reason to avoid people they know out of shame. Why, well because we always compare ourselves to people that are around our age.

But what happens once people younger than yourself start making moves in life beyond you. That’s when you really start to feel uncomfortable. Seeing a new younger generation making moves that you feel you have not made yet. And what’s crazy, that young age group will feel the same once they reach my age. See, in the end, we don’t want to live with the failures. But we also don’t want to live with the idea of people saying I told you so. Trying at something and constantly failing at it over and over again. But I remember reading a quote by Thomas Edison which stated, “Many of life’s failures didn’t realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” But the real question is, how do you know when you’re close?


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YOUR LIFE, YOUR PATH: HOW TO NAVIGATE YOUR WAY THROUGH ADULTHOOD

Man Standing on Brown Rocking Mountain Under Blue Sky and Yellow Sunlight

“Navigating life can be so tough.”


Living in real time, becoming an adult is seen as such a stretch in life when you’re a young kid. I still remember the days when my mother would walk in the house from work. I would be sitting in front of the television as she walked through the door. She’d head straight into the bathroom and get changed into her joggers andWoman in White Shirt Sleeping on Gray Fabric Sofa t-shirt. Coming back into the living room, she’d sit onto the couch and start to watch television as well. In that space and time, I knew my day would come to embark on my own journey in life. Yet at the time, I didn’t seem to quite know where that journey would lead. I just knew after age eighteen I would be out into the world.

 

 

Upon leaving high school, I went off to undergraduate school out of state, then transferring back home at the end of the first semester. After returning back home, I still didn’t quite know what I wanted to do in life, yet the timeachievement, cap, celebration was still ticking. My senior year was approaching and I still didn’t know what I wanted to do. But, I did have plans of going off to graduate school after undergrad. And then, May of 2011 was the year I would graduate college. I walked across that stage just as my two sisters had done in the past. And it would be just a few months later that I would be moving on. Moving out to New York City to attend graduate school for my MBA.

Now, did I really want to go off and work for an organization. Not really, so why did I attend graduate school for my Masters Degree? Well, coming out of undergrad, I started to write my very first screenplay. It was entitled, “Wood Road,” and would later be changed to “Retribution.” Not realizing Image result for screenplayhow hard it would be to write, it took me two and a half years to complete. Why, well for starters I didn’t attend film school. And second, I was so discouraged, I quit the first time writing for about one and half years. I just didn’t think I was good enough. Yet, I kept coming back to the script, time and time again. My mind could not focus, unless I was thinking about the script. Then I came back to the script, and finished it.

As I was writing the script, I started to write down all these ideas I had for screenplays. And the more I wrote, the more I realized this is what I wanted Railroad Tracks in Cityto do in life. So at the age of 24 years going on 25, I made the conscious decision to pursue a career as a screenwriter/filmmaker. And here is where
the path to success becomes quite murky. Because as a writer, there is no real path to take in life. It’s not like leaving med school, taking up a residency at a hospital. Or leaving law school getting recruited into a firm. There is no real time limit, nor a real guarantee of it working. All I knew is that I was new to this, don’t know if I’ll succeed, but I like it.

And from that point of liking it, I continued to write. Even writing and shooting my first short film, self-publishing two books, and starting a blog site. At an age where a lot of people are hanging on weekends at the club or Asphalt Road Near Trees Under White Sky at Daytimefocusing on a monogamous relationships, I am producing film, writing my books, and contributing to a blog. What’s tough is that who knows if I’ll succeed. And that is the scary part. No one wants to work toward something just for it blow up in the their faces. We work hard with the hopes of things panning out. And as much as you’re taught that your best may not be good enough, it still doesn’t sink into the mind. Not until you actually fail.

And in the end, that’s the hardest part about life, is the failure. The majority of people go to work, get their checks every two weeks, and live like this for life until retirement. Yet when you step outside that box and try something, you don’t want to be the one people laugh at for failing. You don’t want to Person Doing Cliff Diving during Daytimebe the one people said I told you so. What’s funny is that sometimes those people as well as others secretly wish they were you at times. Throwing yourself off a cliff; taking that leap of faith. But the way I see it, it’s better to jump and see what happens, than to never jump and wonder what could have been.


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ARE YOU REALLY THE ONE AND ONLY: HOW MUCH DO WOMEN REALLY LOVE US

Close-up of Couple Holding Hands

“Am I your first choice or last result?”


Comedian Chris Rock had a very funny joke directed at men. He said, “You ever catch your woman looking at you, but not saying nothing.” “It’s because you aint her first choice.” That joke resonated with so many people in relationships. But is there something deeper to that joke that we are not looking at that we should? Are we hearing a joke as men that makes us feel a little more uncomfortable the more we listen to it? I myself developed a theory as to why this might be more disturbing than funny the more we read into it. And the disturbing aspect of the joke is a pill that is hard for a lot of men to swallow.

Men have this stoic, fearless, unemotional, unapologetic aspect to us. We are supposed to be so big and strong. Then when we experience hurt from a woman, the real human element that is us emerges. We never want to think of another man with the woman that we are in a relationship with; must less her actually doing it. We think and at times we know that we cannot be replaced until we are replaced. And that’s why Chris Rock’s joke about us not being first choice kind of stops us in our tracks. We want to believe we are the first choice since she is in the relationship with us. But here is my theory.

My theory starts like this; if a woman dates nine six foot four guys, nice body, beautiful hair, amazing smile, and highly viral, then switches it up. She now is in a relationship on number ten with a guy who is five foot seven, average body, rugged looks, and average sex drive. What was it about those other guys that brought her to this one man? There is something about this five seven guy, that those other guys didn’t have going for them. So she settled for the five seven because what he has that is stable trumps the other nine.

Now, here is the idea of not being first choice. Sorry Mister Five Seven, but you are not her first choice. Those other guys are the first choice, but what you have she needs in her life. But those nine guys were her wants in life. She really wants Mister Five Seven to be Mister Six Four, but Mister Five Seven isn’t. So she must make a decision, be with what is stable, or what is not, but her wants are met. The needs are from Mister Five Seven. So now she has to stare at what could have been if only Five was born Six.

And in the end, that’s what the stare is about. I wish you were what turns me on naturally and not what I have to learn to love. Learning to love takes times and it is a long arduous path. What is natural is instant. What’s crazy about the universe is that what you need in life is not always what you want. And what you want is not always the best thing you need in life. But if you can find your needs being met, and above average wants, you’re talking a great relationships.


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SO UNFAIR, YET OH SO FAIR: WHAT DOES LIFE REALLY MEAN?

Image result for LIFE

“What is your meaning of it?”


Life is unfair! I finally got life figured out! Life sucks! These are the statements that people make when asked about life. So many say that you have to live your whole life to actually figure it out. But do you really need your entire life to figure out life. But let’s be clear about something regarding what really is life. Are you talking the living or talking just life in general? Because we use this interchangeably, but both have different meanings. The word life is existing, it’s what I am doing in this moment typing. Or it’s what you’re doing in the moment reading this topic. But the idea of living on this planet is a whole other ball game. So what is so tough about life on Earth?

Well, for starters, let’s observe what life is. As a life form, we are Carbon based that has taken just over one million years to fully evolve. We’re still evolving, but the change is something we can’t take notice to in the present state. Our life expectancy is 40 years of age, but due to scientific research we live to be 78 years of age.  So to say that life is not fair, just does not resonate with me. What is so unfair about the idea that humans only have a one in seven million chance of life anyways. And if you don’t know what I mean by one in seven million, only one sperm will fertilize an egg in seven million. With those odds, life is a great existence. Now, on the other hand life is hard and life is unfair.

But let’s observe what it means to have a hard life. You wake up every morning, and go to your day job. After work, you come home eat and watch television. Monday through Friday is your routine, then Friday evenings you hang out. Saturdays are lounge or errand days, while Sundays prepare you for Monday. The majority of people on Earth will live like this until they die. So to them, an existence might be rather mundane. But that only tells me the their daily regimen. What about if they have utilities piling up, rent to pay, mortgages, loans, and personal expenses. The average person struggles financially, meaning you’re more than likely not working a job you like. And this is where the saying life is unfair comes into play.

But let’s pause for a second. This in itself only tells me people’s hardships. It does not explain why life is unfair. That’s because in reality life is not unfair; life is very fair, too fair to be real about it. What is unfair is the aspect of dealing with people. If every human on Earth vanished and you were the only one left, what would be your hardest struggle. A lot of people would say survival. But you now have unlimited fruits, vegetables, water, resources for shelter and clothing. How can life be a struggle? Because people regulate food and water. I live near the Atlantic Ocean, and if I were hungry and needed food, it would be a crime to fish from the water. So most people would say life isn’t fair. But life is the waters, life is the sea life. There is nothing unfair about that. It’s people who established a gaming commission so I can’t fish.

In the end, we feel that so much around us is unfair. Yet the Earth has an abundance of resources. The fact that you don’t have the access is not that life is unfair. People have created means of making it virtually impossible to gain access to those resources.  So the way to thrive throughout life is not to think of life as unfair. But if you can manage to navigate the minefield that is us, humans on Earth, then you’ll be fine.