Almost Made It

Okay so this year I put in a mighty effort to fast from food this Ramadan. I tried. I really did. My body just wasn’t as strong as I thought it would be. I didn’t prepare well enough, I guess. I lasted for 16 out of the 31 days so that’s sort of a win. I think this is the longest I’ve gone so far before having to break. I normally cheat though and drink water or tea, but I tried to go without during fasting times for a few days towards the end before the break and it was too much for me. I became dizzy, I was having headaches and just not feeling great. And my blood sugar levels were way out of control. Ya see, I technically get a pass from abstaining from food because I’m a type 1 diabetic and need to eat. I can always fast in others ways. Fasting is just abstaining from something during those specified hours. It doesn’t have to be food. While many use food it can be anything. Similar to Lent.

So for the rest of Ramadan I’ll be abstaining from social media and the like. No Instagram posting, Facebook liking, though I’m rarely on Facebook noawadays anyway. I will only use social media to post my podcast links. Dassit.

I’m gone until June 15th after this. See ya soon!

Ramadan Mubarak

Ramadan Mubarak or happy Ramadan! This year I am going to try my hardest to adhere to Ramadan for the entire month. I’ve tried before, actually just about every year, and failed after the first few days. I think the longest is a week. This year Ramadan takes place from May 15th to June 13th, 2018.

I am a Muslim. I converted later in life but I’m not as devout as I used to be or even should be. I relate it now to catholism for some Catholics. Like, yes I am a Muslim but don’t ask me when was the last time I went to prayer and I love gummy bears. Okay so let me explain. Muslims don’t eat pork but gummy bears are made with gelatin and that has pork in it.

I need to get back on track so I plan to use this year’s Ramadan as a way to do it. Next year I plan to take a hajj aka pilgrimage to Mecca that Al able bodied Muslims are supposed to do at least once during their lifetime. We’ll see…

Anyway to my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters, I’d like to wish you Ramadan Mubarak and let me know if you are planning to take part in this year’s fast or nah?

Sincere Chats – News You Can Use

This week we touch on the 3 detainees being released from North Korea, Trump gutting the organization that protects student loans, Janet Jackson receiving the Billboard ICON award, Kimmie Schmidt returning for the 4th and final season, and Donald Glover’s This is America song and video. I got tired of re-recording so you get what you gon’ get! LOL but seriously, subscribe on itunes, soundcloud, google play music and don’t forget to tell a friend to tell a friend!

Happy Mother’s Day

First, I have to say happy Mother’s day to All the Moms out there. Love and respect. Today is one of the 3 days every year that is really tough on me. I lost my mom at a young age and never really got over it. I don’t think you can ever ‘get over’ a loss though. I guess a better what to put it is that I haven’t been the same since.

I don’t know how to explain how I feel but I’ve been told that it’s good to write it out as a way to cope. So here I am. Writing out how I feel.

I miss my mother on most days. Especially certain days like Mother’s day, her birthday and the day she passed. These are those three days I mentioned earlier. I miss the good times. Yes, we had our fair share of bad times but the good outweighted the bad.

Social media makes it worse. I open up Instagram and all I see are these beautiful pictures of my Friends and their moms out and about or my Friends and their kids just enjoying life. How can I be mad at such a beautiful sight? I mean these pictures are lovely and they all put a smile on my face. Then the depressive thoughts creep in. Like, I wish my mom could be here now, or they are so lucky to have their mom around… I have to shake off these thoughts so I tend to do things to keep me busy and motivated.

As soon as people find out that my mother passed they have all types of solutions on how to deal with it. The fact is that everyone deals with grief and loss in different ways. Me? I just fold it up into a nice little square and stick in deep down into the bottom of my bag. This bag is getting a little full and eventually I’ll have to deal with it. Just not right now. Right now I just want to make it through the day without breaking down or undoing all the work I’ve done the past month to bring my mental state back to a reasonable state.

Anyway, happy Mother’s day to all the mothers. I’m off to do some yoga in the park and find something to eat.

Difficult Takes A Day Impossible Takes A Week

It’s the simple things in life that are often the hardest to master. Seems crazy, right? I mean the simplest things should be well… Simple. I mean, it hard things are considered to be hard because they are difficult or take some time, thought and energy to complete. While on the other hand, something is considered to be simple because it is easy or doesn’t take too much thought, time or energy to complete. Simple reasoning and logic right? Wrong. You see, people are wired differently. You may see something and interpret it one way and yet I can see the very same thing at the very same time and get a totally different perspective on it or the situation. This is what makes us unique and different.

What I’m getting at is that social media and other factors have somewhat taken away that free-thinking, different perspective having mentality that we once had. Now I can’t blame this all on social media. This has been happening way before the digital age. I believe it’s referred to as the mob mentality? Don’t quote me on that. Actually, hold on, let me google it right quick. Mobbbbbb Mennnn taaaaa llittty…. yep, its the mob mentality. According to Wikipedia; herd mentality and mob mentality, also lesser known as gang mentality, describes how people can be influenced by their peers to adopt certain behaviors on a largely emotional, rather than rational, basis. Remember the Salem witch trials? Mob mentality. Let’s take it all the way back. Remember Jesus and nem? Mob mentality.

It’s especially easier to whip up a frenzy en masse with this generation. Because of the internet and its ability to literally reach people worldwide, what you say does have power. For example, right now there is someone in Sweden or Japan or the Netherlands or Turkey or Cleveland or wherever you are right now that is listening to me as I drivel on and on about whatever it is that I’m talking about right now. My words have power. And so do yours. Use them wisely. Like my Man Uncle Ben told Peter Parker; with great power comes great responsibility. Coincidently Jesus told a certain Peter this same thing…Look it up. Luke chapter 12 verses 41 through 48. 48 in particular.

But anyway, back to the simple things. The simple thing for me that seems to be the hardest for me to do is meet new people. It is like so nerve racking for me to go to a complete stranger and be all like “hey, how are you? I’m Will. What’s your name? Do you want to be my friend?” Sounds and feels weird as hell. It’s crazy because I’m a grown ass man that can’t is afraid to simply say ‘hi’ to someone in the elevator. Shit’s scary, B.

All of these crazy scenarios play in my head like what if I sound like a wacko? Or what if they ignore me, then I’ll be stuck here staring awkwardly off into space trying not to make eye contact as this elevator slowly creeps it’s way to the 22nd floor. Or what if, God forbid, she’s a chatty Kathy and *gasp* by me saying hello I’ve just opened the floodgates and now she’ll talk me to death? Just stay quiet… So that’s what I do. Keep quiet and try not to make eye contact by playing with my phone, counting the ceiling or floor tiles. Anything.

Then I get off the elevator and more scenarios run through my head like “ why didn’t you say something when she smiled at you? What If she wasn’t some wacko chatty Kathy? *gasp* what if she was the one and you squandered your chance? Crap.

The point is that In life we don’t get many do-overs or second chances. You must seize the moment when it comes. That is what I aim to do. Seize the moment and live for the day. I hope this wasn’t too jumbled or discombobulated. I’m just trying to get the thoughts from my head to this page as quickly and seamlessly as possible. Not sure if it’s working or not though…

Hey…

Yep, I’m still here. I’ve been gone for awhile dealing with this craziness called life.

I let life get the best of me and found myself in a bad place. I needed to step back and reassess some things. Thankfully my tribe and framily recognized the change in me and quickly contacted me and basically said, in the most lovingly way that they can, get your shit together because we care about and love ya!

So I’m getting my shit together. Y’all already know about me seeing my therapist for anxiety but it just wasn’t enough. Depression crept in and started messing with things. Moving around emotions and putting stuff in places that they don’t belong like they live here. Nah, depression. That ain’t how this works. You can’t just come up in my space and change stuff without asking first. Nah, bruh. Go on somewhere with all that.

I’m trying something new and hopefully this will work. I should see results in 6-8 weeks… We’ll see. In the meantime in-between time. I’m meditating send back to exercising oh and writing.

So just a quick update; I’m back, on some new meds for depression and trying to live my life to the fullest.

Okay, bye.

Yeezy Taught Me

Yesterday, well the past 2 days, I was in a funk. I needed to get out of it and quick. I can’t live like that. I was doing too well and feeling too good to revert back.

I had to shake this feeling so I turned to my favorite activity. Listening to music. Music gets me out of the bad place. Specifically Kanye. For some reason I feel a connection to his music and vibe. I understand him and he understands me.

People talk bad about Kanye and call him crazy but to me he’s just misunderstood. When I feel misunderstood I can listen to some Kanye and know that someone else gets it. If there’s nobody else that gets me, Kanye gets me.

Now that I think about it, I could be in a bad place because I missed my last 2 therapy appointments. The first one was on me and my poor scheduling but the last one was on him… I’ll get back right sooner or later. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

I think I just exerted too much energy this week and last week. Went to see Black Panther on last Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Then I went to see my dad (in my head) Spike Lee’s School Daze on Monday. It’s all catching up to me now and I’m crashing. Too much extroverting.

Just Win The Day…

Sigh… I have to repeat this to myself everyday. Just win the day. Not the week or month. Just the day. Sometimes the hour…

Dealing with anxiety and depression is a daily struggle. Some days are better than others but everyday is a struggle. It’s especially hard when the people around you don’t really understand what’s going on or even how to deal with it. Struggle. Being around young extroverted frat boys all day is exhausting and draining as hell. I did say I wanted to step out and be more engaging. So I guess that’s what I need to do… It’s just difficult when you feel like nobody understands you but you.

I was feeling so good, y’all. I was on a high. I went out like twice this month already and had a great time. Then today it hit me like a ton of bricks. I just felt like I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I’ve just been in a bad, depressive mood all day. I’m sure it’ll wash over.

Sigh. Gotta remember to just win the day…

Welcome To Wakanda: My Black Panther Experience

So I decided to take a trip. I grabbed my passport and headed out. Where am I going? Why Wakanda, of course! Yep, I went to visit family on Thursday, Saturday and again on Sunday. It felt so great to connect after all these years. Okay, for those of you that have no clue as to what I’m talking about I went to see the new Marvel movie Black Panther!

Quick heads up. This is not a think piece on the film itself, the Marvel Comic Universe, or any other topics that may have been touched on, like the Africans vs African Americans things etc, that have been touched on by the numerous other talking heads out there. If you want to read that then I implore you to go to our friend google and let her search. I’m sure you’ll find that and then some. I’m not here for alladat! At least not today. I’m just here to give my opinion on the film and stuff.

So as part of my ‘stepping up and stepping out’ this year I went to see the new Marvel movie Black Panther. Who am I kidding and why am I trying BS y’all? I was going to go see this regardless! And numerous times at that! I’ve been a fan of T’Challa ‘nem and have read the comics off and on since I was a kid. I was super excited about the possibility of a full length movie for some years now.

Anyway, I went to see it and was blown away! The acting was superb and well really excellent considering this is a super hero movie. Let’s be real, super hero movies tend to lack ummm… depth in the acting department. It’s mostly about the action with the dialogue typically taking second to push the story along and the acting taking last place. Who cares if they can act if there are explosions and big fight scenes, right? I do, but of course I’m probably in the minority.

Let’s talk about the fight scenes. I love that it was mostly all hand to hand combat. None of that throwing a grenade from a plane and flying off with the explosion happening a million feet behind while I safely drink a glass of something. Nope. This was in your face, I can feel and smell what you had for lunch type combat and I loved it! In 3D it was even better. Of course there were some scenes with guns but the hand to hand combat scenes were some of the best I’ve seen in a really long time. I’m talking the last time I saw some Jackie Chan or Jet Li movie type level here. No exaggeration.

The mix of traditional/cultural reference with modern/current day technology was prevalent throughout the film. I love that aspect. Mixing the old with the new for a nice little mash up. The ceremony to proclaim T’Challa as the new king was a great way of showcasing this mesh.

Now, let’s talk about some of the characters that did the damn thing:

Chadwick Boseman – T’Challa/Black Panther – Represented South Carolina to the fullest! If you aren’t familiar with him than you probably haven’t seen a biographical movie about a prominent black figure in the last few years. He’s played them all! Jackie Robinson to James Brown to Thurgood Marshall and now Black Panther! That boy good *Clarence from Coming to America Voice*

Michael B. Jordan – Erik Stevens/N’Jadaka/Killmonger – Okay so He’ll always be Wallace from The Wire to me. He killed it as well. I actually kind of felt bad for his character because what he was saying and wanting to do as far as liberating and helping African Americans with their fight against their oppressors and getting to a better place in life is commendable but his actions of doing it were wrong. In my opinion. He was a villain that you could root for.

Winston Duke – M’Baku – This man stole every scene he was in, effortlessly! Now every woman is fighting over him in real life.

Danai Gurira – Okoye – Badass!

Lupita Nyong’o – Nakia – I think Lupita is such a great actress and she was the perfect choice for this role.

Letitia Wright – Shuri – Smart, witty, powerful with a touch of that teenage angst. The future of Wakanda.

And of course Forrest Whitaker, Angela Bassett and Sterling K Brown did their thing as well. Taking nothing away from them but this is getting a little long. So much black star power!

Okay, so about the movie. Honestly, it was a typical Marvel superhero movie on the surface. It hit all the Marvel points or moments so that it ties into the franchise and leads you to the next film. Great job on that. What made this different, or at least for me, was that I felt a more personal connection to the characters. Could be that the cast was predominantly black so I saw myself on the screen in a a positive light. Could be that the director was young and black. I don’t know but this movie resinated with me and hit me in a way that no other Marvel movie has done before.

One thing I would like to point out. Sure, we’ve had other black superhero movies before and this isn’t even the first black Marvel superhero (Blade) but what this movie does is that it comes along in a time when we need to see a young black superhero. We need to be able to look on the screen and see something that black kids and even adults can aspire to be. No, I don’t have a flower that can give me the strength of a panther or live in a place with vibranium and all sorts of other technology that is far superior than the rest of the world. What I can do is be a beacon of hope and inspiration like T’Challa was for his people. Show mercy even to those that try to destroy me, aka let my haters be my motivators, and also embrace change.

The dialogue in this movie will hopefully open up discussions in our own communities and families. I know I said I wasn’t going to make this into a think piece but the tension between Africans and African Americans is a real thing. Not in all but enough for it to be brought to the forefront. If you don’t feel it’s that way, you can also see it as tension between the black haves vs the black have nots. I’ll save that rant for another day though. Either way it has to stop. We can’t go forward together if we just keep pushing each other back or apart. Divide and conquer is the game and we are losing badly.

If you haven’t seen Black Panther yet what are you waiting for?

Wake Up! I went to See School Daze

So I did another thing. This time I went to see the 30th anniversary screening of School Daze at the fox theater tonight and met none other than my dad (in my head) Mr. Spike Lee! Yep. That happened.

It was such a great event! The first thing he said before the movie started was that if you’ve never seen the film before than you were “shit out of luck” and he wanted us singing along with the wannabes and jiggaboos, reciting the dialogue and dancing to “The Butt”!! So when my dad tells me to do something, I do it!

It was great being out and trying to be amongst other people without feeling weird about it. I was able to secure an aisle seat that gave me optimal viewing but still if I needed to dash out I could. I didn’t. I stayed for the entire thing and got to me the man, the myth, the legend that is Spike Lee.

I would say I’m on a roll with this “stepping up and stepping out” thing. What will be my next adventure? Hmm…

Oh, and by the way; It takes a real man to be a Gamma man ’cause only a Gamma man is a real man. G Phi G!