Author: T.L.W.

I'm a semi-weird black man on an adventure to have an awesome life, and from time to time I write things about the journey. Sometimes they're good so you should read them. Not a demand, but more of a request really. You should definitely read though, expand your horizons and such.

Lessons Learned From Sake: Giving Yourself To Your Work.

There’s a rather interesting documentary currently on Netflix called The Birth of Sake. This documentary is about one of the oldest breweries in Japan that still brews sake in the old fashioned way; through a laborious method that requires the brewers to be on site for several months of the year with only two days off a month. Watching this documentary I was deeply moved because these men really gave themselves to their work, and despite the harshness of their endeavors made something with their own hands. I won’t share any more about the documentary because I’m hoping you watch it for yourselves, but what I will say is that as I grow older and feel myself becoming a cog in the corporate machine I sincerely respect the men and women that truly give themselves to work they believe in. They tirelessly expend all their energy to the tasks assigned to them and ultimately come out cleansed from it. Maybe we’re missing something if we don’t have that same drive.

Before I go any further with this conversation let me first say this, I do not believe in working for any entity that drains your spirit, life force, or morality. I wouldn’t give myself to work that doesn’t align with what I am, not for any amount of money, though selling out is super appealing at times like when the car payment or rent is due (great times to sell out). There is something beautiful in working and believing in what you do. Now, that being said I’m not naive enough to think that our society would run without society’s “downtrodden” functioning as the cogs. Hey that’s capitalism. However, it is my humble opinion that we should try our best to buck that system. The reality is that if we all could focus on what we were most passionate about and really give ourselves to it that humanity would truly be epic, and maybe we could evolve past the social limitations we’ve created to keep certain people (Yep, you know who I’m talking about) away from access to a comfortable lifestyle.

Life is too short for ___________________. It’s this statement that has always been a cliche, but be that as it may its never lost its validity. Life inevitably will come to an end for us all one day, and while some of us are content to wait in line. I don’t want to wait for my death on baited breath. I want it to find me enjoying my life doing what I love. For me, it’s writing. I want to write with such a vigor and vitality that years from now my work ethic will be studied to give some other dreamer the permission to exceed.

Quick side note: there’s a paper on my work desk right now with a breakdown of famous artist’s creativity. When they slept, when they created, when they did work for other people, etc. It didn’t help me, but looking at does inspire me to get on my own clock.

Like the men in the documentary I want to give myself to the writing and truly face it head on no matter the consequences. So, with that being said I’ll be introducing some new things to the site. Like pictures, yep we’re shedding some light in here, videos, and a plethora of other dreams I’ve a been patiently waiting to unleash on the masses. Starting next week something new will be dropping.

自業自得

“Work of self, obtainment of self.”

T.L.

Passin’ Me By: A Lesson in Confidence & Dating.

The Pharcyde’s Passin’ Me By from the album Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde is one of those songs that most men can definitely recognize and vibe with because we’ve all taken that “L.” You know the “L” I’m talking about, that one where you may have stepped up to a woman and got the mean swerve, that one where you didn’t even have the gas to give it a real shot and you rejected the shot before it even left your fingertips, or that one where you confidently stepped up and that shot just couldn’t and didn’t sink. We as men have all been there, hell it’s a rite of passage in my opinion. If you haven’t experienced any such losses (yeah L’s are losses in this instance just in case you didn’t know. I won’t tell.) I have serious doubts about your game; you’re looking unfamiliar right now.

I too have taken shots, and Lord knows all of them have not gone in. I’ve made some down right ugly shots, I’ll admit it if you won’t. Even to this day despite the semi-woke charisma I wield I shoot and it doesn’t always go in. Such is life. Speaking of missed shots let’s talk about a massive L I took and the lesson I learned from it. Hooray, story time.

INT: Dimly Lit Concert Hall, Night

It’s Lit. Two boozy whiskeys and a tequila sangria in and I’m buzzing. My co-workers convinced me to go to a free weekday concert and it was a great idea. The liquor and the vibe had found me and invited me to chill and I wasn’t saying no. So as we head to the back of the venue a woman of cosmic brilliance graces the stage. Her voice was like Amel Larrieux, and her vibe was Groove Theory’s Tell Me on repeat after three shots of the vice of your choice and a slow dance on a moonlit rooftop. Yes, she was beauty personified… She was bad and without rivals. I was mesmerized, not just because she was attractive but because there was just something there. What can I say, I love women that can sing. Anyway, after her set she stepped off stage and walked around the crowd. Of course I wanted to immediately shoot every shot in my arsenal when she came in my direction. So when my co-worker started talking about how great her music was I was ready. I smile, open my mouth and I promise you absolutely nothing comes out. And I do mean nothing. She’s smiling back expecting words and I was dead in the water. Needless to say she says her goodbyes to my coworker and smiles again at me before walking off into the dark room.

Now this was totally a L I could return from, or so I told myself. So I stepped outside and collected myself. I gave myself the hype speech of the century and completely invoked the spirit of Liquid courage to assist. Mid speech she comes outside and starts a loose conversation with some other concert goers. Fully hyped I await that conversational lapse and I approach her, “Hey, I really vibe with your music. What’s your name?” Hella basic I know, but it was a game time decision. It worked and she smiles:
Quick side note, if her smile alone makes you think “fuck it, if I pull her I’m out the game” she’s next level bad.
Despite the game winning pep talk I’d given myself I still was flopping. I end up getting her stage name and IG completely blowing the open lay up. At this point my soul leaped out my body and handed me a glowing “L” as it walked me back inside. It was a pain to experience an a even bigger pain to mentally reenact for y’all. It gets more painful because I spent the rest of the night in the cut staring in full creep mode at her (rookie mistake) trying to find some way to make one final shot before the buzzer. When the concert is over and the venue empties I tried to make one last Hail Mary play. It’s just me and her we lock eyes. As I approach again she takes a mean Boobie Miles, Willie Beamen cut hard to the right and goes straight to this old man who’s definitely apart of the stage crew not even acknowledging the hello leaving my mouth. And it was at that point I realized there was no coming back. I leave defeated and legit regretting my lameness.

And….SCENE!

This L taught me a lot about myself, as most L’s in life do. Particularly it made me realize the level of confidence I have when it comes to the women I’m comfortable approaching. That thought alone sat me down and made me think. I can say without any hesitation that if she had been a solid 7, or hell even a 7.5 I would have been in rare form but the fact that I perceived her so much higher than me and my skills without any knowledge of who she was, what she was like, or even a tiny bit of understanding about her personality really hit me.

In the mental conversations that followed I came face to face with my own insecurities. Somewhere in my development I gave myself a level that I was comfortable with completely capping my achievement not just with beautiful women, but in life. I don’t remember the conversation or the internal dialogue but it happened and it still influences me.

Now you all may not have anchors in the same places, but I think we all have limited our potential somewhere in our lives. Think about it, what are you comfortable with? A cushy corporate job/career instead of the hard fought one creative you’ve been secretly dreaming about, your weight, your partner, etc. What have you subconsciously accepted to be your limit?

Our experiences and society will often dictate set limits on you that you can either accept silently or loudly rebel against. Don’t keep yourself grounded on Earth when there’s so much space above you. Choose your own limits and base them solely on where and when you want to stop not on some subconscious insecurity a version of you years ago decided was safe.
Remember, it’s not until humans stopped hugging the shoreline that we discovered new lands. Follow your own stars and chart your own courses.

T.L.

Savages, An Observation In Two Parts: Part I

It’s warm out and it’s only getting hotter, so you know what that means. Savage season is upon us. If this is news to you sit down brothers and sisters. Class is in session, let’s begin.

Lesson One: What is a Savage?
In our more barbarian days savages were considered to be any uncivilized culture that wasn’t dignified or failed repress their inhibitions according to British colonial standards. Of course this was based on a shoddy English culture at the time, but certain sentiments still ring true. The modern savage is uncivilized and doesn’t adhere to the societal norms that many of us have bought into. They’re hedonist and have little shame in disclosing that fact. Add in some warm weather and we’ve a recipe for a disaster. Now I say disaster not because savages are terrible (savages are people too!), but simply put they don’t give a fuck. Savages are most likely to embrace the freedom of summer love and never look back. Typically they’re the ones out and about entertaining any and all suitors without disregard until they’re no longer appealing. Need some examples? Rihanna (She did tell you she was a savage), John Mayer (the settled savage), Drake, Future, oh and JaRule (Fyre festival was hella savage, but in a more literal sense).
Savages are all about enjoying the here and now while they can, I mean you don’t know what tomorrow brings right?
Lesson Two: Discerning A Savage
Savages, like their distant relative the fuck boy have many tells that speak before shit hits the fan. Can’t pick them out of a line up yet? This should help:
1) Savages typical have pain in their wake.
Bad relationships happen, more often than we’d like to acknowledge. Sometimes it’s our fault and other times it’s not. All kinds of things can happen. A savage however typically got there due to bad relationships and rarely ever arrived there by mutual circumstances. Life and relationships took away their ability to care about most things so savagery was the only thing left to them, and they’re good at it. Ages 22-33 typically denote the savage demographic. These individuals are super down, and super ready to cause some trouble. {Disclaimer: there’s nothing wrong with that, but with great power comes great responsibility.}

Savages aren’t bad, until you challenge them
Savages aren’t necessarily bad but what they are is super cognizant that they have little to no fucks to give. Imagine for a moment that you spent your last fuck and there wouldn’t be another shipment till next week, and all that’s left is a few sparse crumbs from last weeks fucks. Think of the energy you wouldn’t spend doing things you don’t care about. You’d be in a state of semi-hedonism as time went on and with it would come a sort of peace, well until somebody tried it. Yes, your near zen like experience would come to a screeching halt because someone made the mistake of issuing a challenge; this is when a savage is most dangerous.

In any challenge scenario the person who cares the least about the outcomes rules. Morality, consideration, and caring can all be tossed if caring isn’t in the cards. So tread lightly. A challenge to a savage tends to be mostly sexual or emotional in nature. Showing interest in savagery is always acceptable and isn’t a challenge. There’s no danger in talking to the savage in attempt to soothe their barbarian soul. What is dangerous, however, is to engage them on a purely sexual level (they will engage and not a single emotional connection will be made), play around or poorly handle their emotions, or ineffectively swerve them.
When you recognize a savage, by their little to no fucks, don’t make the mistake of engaging them unless you too are down for reckless abandon.

Let it be said…
Ladies, despite the intentions of Rihanna and her music it is nearly impossible to out savage a man. I don’t mean this to say that you can’t be a savage because you all truly can, however, you cannot match the savageness of a man. The depth that men can plunge to during savage season is the reason why Adele’s 21, Beyonce’s Lemonade, any Rihanna song, and Ciara’s relationship with Russell Wilson (Future’s savagery still looms over them) are held with such esteem because behind them all was a man with no fucks to give. Pettiness and savagery are two totally different extremes, but we’ll discuss that in more detail in our next observation.
So brave souls, remember, in in the wilds don’t feed the savages.

Keeping Them Honest: An Open Letter To Readership.

Dear Readers,

Alright, it’s time to fall on my sword. I have been a terrible writer and blogger who writes here sporadically and without regard for you all. I own that. My eyes have been off the prize of being a writer, and truth be told I miss the hell out of it.

Recently I asked God a question, “what do I need to focus on?” The answer was much louder than I expected. I don’t know if you believe in a higher power, the existence of a sentient universe, or the laws of attraction, but the age old sentiment is true: be careful what you ask for. Man. These last few weeks have given me clarity and peace about everything but my writing. It’s the one part of my life that irks me consistently, the thorn in my paw if you will. I began writing because it allowed me to be a person I couldn’t be in real life: myself. I spent a lot of time when I was younger being the person everyone else needed me to be, and it was exhausting. My writing was the only place I was free to be who I wanted to be. Eventually, my life caught up and I could finally be me. I didn’t write much after that because I was too busy living the life I never had. You know what though, that nagging feeling to write never left. I remember hearing that your passion should bother you, and if it isn’t fulfilled it should nag until it’s completed. My writing, my plans for this site, and my plans for myself honestly stay on my mind annoyingly often. Add some work related nonsense here and there and you, my friend, have a recipe for a mental exhaustion.

Lately I’ve been doing a terrible job of balancing life and passion, and for that I sincerely apologize. The entire point of being a low-life never was to be a real lowlife. I started this blog because I wanted to make and show art. I’ve definitely missed the mark, so I make a solemn vow to do better and be better.

As it stands here’s the plan, feel free to hold me to it, every Thursday I’ll be posting some content. Every other day is a total free for all and I will write whatever’s clever. There’s a plan, chaotic though it be, to change this site into something. It’s taken me a while to get to this place, but for what it’s worth I’m kind of happy about it. Life moves you forward if you let it and I’m riding the wave.

I appreciate your patience with me and ask that you keeping reading. I promise to make it worth your while.

Sincerely,

T.L.

The Dangers In Looking Back

Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt after looking back to see the catastrophe she’d been delivered from. I heard that story growing up in church countless times, but now at Twenty eight it’s making a lot of sense. Let me tell you why, and yes this may take a minute.

In my post-fuckboy world I realize that I passed up on a lot of smart , beautiful, and sincerely kind women all due to my inability to understand I had some deep seeded issues that needed to be sorted out before I could really appreciate them. The prototype of the man I was building wouldn’t ever function right because I needed more work. I embrace and fully admit that now, but that didn’t stop me from looking back. Lot’s wife and I had that in common. Looking at where you’ve been is so much easier than facing forward. It’s comforting, it’s familiar, and it takes so much less work; or so I thought.

I, like other cliched villains, returned to the scene of my love crimes hoping that those same aforementioned women would take me back and let me be better. In my mind that’s what love looked like. It was leaving, learning, and returning better. I would try my damnedest to find my way back into their good graces so I could earn back lost time. Happiness I was sure would follow. But, as you can probably guess, it didn’t. Most of these women moved on and found someone who truly appreciated them. Others paid me no never mind despite my attempts, whilst the remaining patiently wait to see my soul burning on that Holy Day of Reckoning. Even facing such loathing I still looked back.

It took some years but I’m finally seeing why. Wale in his wisdom wrote a song, The Break Up Song (ha), and it has a line that’s been ingrained in my mental notebook. “Most times darling the sequel sucks.” Until hearing that I never thought about relationships being like movies. The first movie (pre-break up) tends to be much better than the sequel (getting back together after)  and it’s rare for that not to be true. Over the course of the last few years I’ve tried to apologize to some of the women I hurt. Some apologies went easier than others, but all came from a genuine place. I didn’t want to get them back, I just want to acknowledge that I learned my lesson and hoped for some form of closure (yep the simp in me won out).

From these apologies I’ve learned a lot about friendship and forgiveness. But it’s also taught me the dangers of looking back. Most relationships worked out how they were meant to. Even more so if you believe in amor fati. Life pushes and sometimes drags you forward so you can grow into the person you need to be. Looking backwards can hold up that progress. Our pasts made us who we are currently. Each mistake teaches us something that inevitably changes us, and holding on to past baggage is like an anchor that sticks us firmly in the ground till we accumulate dust, dirt, envy, and a myriad of other shit. Maybe that’s why Lot’s wife became a pillar of salt. Looking backwards and holding up our growth combine to make a slow form of death by poison. The kind of poison that kills slowly by ticking seconds off our lives. I don’t want to live like that, hopefully neither do you.

Life in its complexity doesn’t leave room for us to look back too frequently. Sure unlike Lot’s wife we can and should remember where we came from, but the caveat comes from wanting to be back there. Being a man in the midst of my hoe phase was fun, and the thought of it at times does seem rather  appealing (full disclosure giving no fucks was beautiful) in as much as being a kid again does when you think about a life without bills. But when that brief nostalgic moment is over and I come to my sense I’m happy with who and where I am now. You should be too.

None of us have reached perfection yet. Our prototypes are no where near completion but we go forward still, even if we may blindly do so. The past we survived is behind us, while right now is at the door and tomorrow beckons.

I’ll admit this post wasn’t for you per se. It was more catharsis for me than anything, but I needed it. Maybe you did too.

EP.

-As always,

T.L.

FYI: A Listing of Things Grown Men Wish You Understood

Men and women aren’t the most effective communicators when it comes to each other. Men moreso. We rather just ignore things than speak to it, but today on this glorious Sunday a group of men dare to do something different. We came up with a list for you the women around us. Hooray for communication!

 

1. Women without successful friendships with other women are red flags.
2. Sometimes a hello, is just a hello. Not every kindness should be taken as a statement of interest. Some men were raised right, go figure.
3. The worst moment in dating is when we realize why you’re single. This moment is even worse when we realize it mid-date and it’s too late to leave.
4. The best sex happens when you’re the most comfortable and relaxed. When you’re not trying to be sexy or sensual and you’re just you it takes things to a new level. Toss in some slight shit talking and you just may be onto something.
5. There’s a least one friend of yours we don’t like. The chronically single or bad relationship having one who likes to give you advice on how she thinks we should go. Yep, she sucks.
6. It still blows us when you don’t have any suggestions where you’d like to eat. Make a list of places you like and just toss one out every once and a while.
7. Waking up on the edge of the bed because you want to be close is cute, but selfish too.
8. After a certain point in the relationship, sex isn’t a gift (pretty early on if you want to be honest) anymore. If we were to just give you sex for a gift there’d be a side eye waiting. Be fair, especially if you wouldn’t accept dick in a box.
9. Women who have whole conversations with themselves via text because they haven’t gotten a response yet are bothersome. It comes off very needy and bored. We don’t have to respond to you immediately because you want it and writing more messages won’t inspire that to happen any faster.
10. I’m not here for your entertainment. Sure we can entertain you, but not be your dancing monkey.
11. A properly positioned thank you is a game changer. When and how you say thank you for basic behaviors pay off. Chivalry, while expected, is still something that deserves an earnest thank you.
12. Asking for food from a man’s plate is the kind thing to do. Grabbing food or passive aggressively hinting that you’d like some is not.
13. Quality time should be fair. We do what you like and then we switch to something you do. Pretty obvious, but hey some of you still don’t get it.
14. Men who are dating seriously are looking for a partnership, not a bill. The moment you become one we’ve already started phasing you out. If you think your conversation is a trade off for us paying for the date you missed the point. Be worth the investment by sharing your mind, spirit, and energy. You have conversations for free, so make your company worthwhile.
15. Space is a beautiful thing, and the best relationships allow people to have it when needed. When we don’t feel like being around you don’t take it personally, instead take the same time and enjoy it. Being around someone too much erodes the very thing that makes them appealing.
**This is an ongoing theme, so it’s only fair to offer a retort. Look out for the things Women wished Men knew.

Why You’re Still Single: An Honest Conversation about You.

You know there’s no easy way to say this, but I think I know why you’re single. Certainly timing is a factor, and yes the saying is true “things will happen when they’re meant to” but have you ever stopped to think that maybe it’s you that’s holding your timing hostage? Many single women I’ve met lately all seem to hold on to the belief that the right man will find them when the stars align and the moon is full. Don’t get me wrong I’m not here to disrupt that belief, but what I do want is for you to realize that while it’s great to hold on to hope, that level of faith without work means absolutely nothing. If you’re not spending your single time learning about yourself and growing you are doing it wrong.

There’s nothing wrong with being single it’s honestly one of the greatest things because being alone allows you time to deal with yourself. Some of the greatest growth comes from moments of self reflection. Look at the religious figures of our society take Jesus or Buddha for example, both men left what they were familiar with to find themselves. Jesus went on a journey for 40 days/nights into the wilderness, and Buddha left his family to find enlightenment. When there’s no distractions to occupy our minds focusing on us shouldn’t be a problem, but for some reason it is. Many people never learn to really decode themselves and deal with the depths of their minds especially when we’re single. We like to blame everything but ourselves because it’s easier and it makes us feel better. We blame the city we live in. “There’s no one here for me, I bet if I move I’ll find someone” or “this city has an unfair population so it’s hard to find someone worth my time.” I’m sure we’ve either heard or even said some variations of these things when the truth is more obvious. We don’t know ourselves.

Still reading? Thanks for forgiving me for the cliche. I can explain. You see when you go out and live your life you see everything from one perspective. You know your motivations, drives, and purposes while the rest of the world does not. That missing part that you don’t see is how you’re viewed externally. Both views are necessary if you really want to know who you are. You can think that you’re a nice person all you want, but if no one externally sees that can you really say it’s true? The part of ourselves that other people see is still a part of us, and often times it’s the hardest part to cope with. This is the piece of you that people see on dates and 9 times out of 10 is the reason you’re still single. You have all the context and backstory to explain away the things you do, but without it the rest of us just think it’s who you are.

Having an honest look at yourself and then taking the feedback you’ve received is level one to fixing your single problem, but consider this your warning it’s not going to be fun. Could you deal with finding out that the person you believe yourself to be isn’t how people actually receive you? It’s a tough thing to face, but it’s also very freeing if you think about it. Everything in life requires some sort of feedback for you to reach mastery. Dating is no different. Find out what parts of yourself aren’t aligned with the person you mean to be and fix them.

*Disclaimer
I am purposefully avoiding the obvious argument that different people like different things so what one person may not like about you may very well be something that another loves. It’s true, but that doesn’t help you get any better does it? Sure that aspect of you may not work for one person, but there are somethings like negativity that aren’t received well at all no matter the person. Work on things like that which poorly match up to the best version of you

Here’s a challenge: ask someone you care about to give you a honest view of what they think of you. Get them to share what flaws they see, and what strengths you hold as well. *Extra points if you can take it without explaining away anything. Take what they say and compare it to the person you believe you are. If they don’t have an accurate description of who you are don’t get upset realize that you’re not conveying that image to them, and work on it. Their view of you is real time without the luxury of your context to explain it to them so expect discrepancies. If you can face this challenge and not see any areas of opportunities try it again with someone new. Find something out about yourself that you’d like to work on and start on it. Honestly challenge your mind to explain your actions and behaviors. Find your enlightenment by leaving the parts of your mind you’re comfortable with. Stretch yourself by reading, exercising, or however else you can to align the current you with the image of the best version of yourself ( I recommend checking out books like /The 5 Love Languages for Singles/ or anything that can offer you new perspectives on interacting with others).

When you start working on yourself I can promise you that you’ll gain so much insight into how you actually operate and your motivators that you will be forced to grow stronger as a result. There’s an old Chinese saying, “when the student is ready, the master will appear” and I firmly believe that once you’re close to the person you truly want to be you’ll find the man or woman to test that theory for you. Be the best version of you that you can be and do what you can to continuously grow. Who can say what will happen when you do?

Being single isn’t a death sentence if you manage it well, but it certainly will be if you’ve never learned self reflection and correction. Don’t be one of those people who complain and blame everyone but themselves for the loneliness they experience. Take responsibility for the aspects of yourself that led to failures in your past and correct them so your future will be better. Do what you can while your on “the bench” so when the Coach (life/God) puts you in the game you will be the star player you’re meant to be.

T.L.

Four Years, and 21 things later.

About four years ago I started writing about relationships and attempting to give dating advice. I did this because for years I’d secretly been writing about my dating life. I was one of those kids who would escape into the pages of a blank notebook and just live there. I wrote a lot. Poems, stories, notes (of course), lyrics, songs, and would be pick up lines that I was too nervous to use. At that time I started realize patterns and connect the dots, or so I thought, in my head about how women were and how they then interacted with men.

Those were my credentials, and with them I wrote trying to translate between the sexes. Life came along later and revealed how flawed my perspective was, but I didn’t stop writing what I learned. Till it became another article “21 Things Every Man Wished You Knew’” came to be.

Now, this article was just a regurgitation of many conversations I had been having with my friends. We came up with this list after dealing with just a small portion of the young adult dating world. Taking all of our experiences I wrote this piece that at the time accurately fit the world as I saw it. Four years later, the world couldn’t be more different.

Evolution happened somewhere between then and now. I can’t really put my finger on the exact day, but I definitely know it happened. That being said, I need a new list and with it some more updated articles. The plan is to revisit the same topics but as an actual adult (at the time adulting hadn’t really caught up to me. Honest moment). So soon you’ll see another 21 things that, I, a man with some honest feedback from other men, have come up with that we wish womankind to really know. These are men who are great fathers raising awesome kids, men who are dominating the adult game of paying bills whilst still building a life they’re proud of, men who love women and unfortunately realize that they’ve caught those lifetime cooties our parents had, men who honestly just want to find our semi-best friend aside from our real best friends (who are squad, but you are too just not the same extent). Yes, those men. We’ll be rapping about it and it’ll eventually be a podcast topic (boom, totally a mic drop moment).

Life can give you a new perspective, one that really becomes apparent when you think about how much you’ve grown as a person. I smile when I think about it. Man, I had a great time back then, but I am happy to be who I am now. Just like I know many of us are when we face down our more primitive selves. We’ve evolved, and you know maybe this is how Pokemon felt (Total nerd reference. I own it.)

T.L.

Of Mice & Men: A Discussion on Change.

“The best laid-plans of mice and men often go awry…”-Robert Burns

One of the biggest things in this life that we all have to understand an eventually move past is that people change. Growth happens somewhere in our day to day runnings when we least expect it. Soon people who we pegged being one way transform into something different seemingly overnight leaving people both amazed and confused.

A truth about human nature is that we are creatures of habit and pattern. Once a pattern is established, our minds grip it tightly and expect it to be true indefinitely especially when dealing with behaviors. That’s probably where the manly tenet, “You can’t turn a hoe into a housewife.” came from.
*Disclaimer: I certainly don’t believe that’s true, but follow me for a second.
Somewhere in our past, long ago in a city far away a man witnessed a woman’s behavior over time and decreed that it would never change deeming her unworthy of the housewife role. Now we surely don’t know the rest of the story who’s to say that she didn’t impress on that man what a proper housewife could be after some time. More research would be required for that, but my point is we branded that statement to say that people’s negative behaviors can’t ever change, the current sentiment “once a fuck boy, always a fuck boy” is the same way. These last few months after many books (I’m reading voraciously; from self-improvement, to cookbooks, to race relations, to investing, you name it.) and some honest self reflection, much of which can be read between the lines on this website, I am earnestly trying to fight that mentality and be the one zebra that changes his stripes. In doing so I often feel the need to apologize for my past behaviors to the women that deserve it, and I assure you that is Pandora’s Box filled to the brim with equal parts disgust, loathing, resentment, and distrust. None of these conversations have gone like I’d expected, and it’s all due to the lasting impression my past behaviors left.

Despite what changes I make these women, understandably so, wouldn’t just take any words I say as proof of change. I’m incongruent because regardless of what they see it’s in contention with a lasting image of past behaviors that sit comfortably cataloged in their minds; A hologram of ain’t shittiness if you will.

So full disclosure, I began writing this post with the purpose of discussing what happens when a fuck boy grows up/evolves into a man, and how he must contend with his past image in the eyes of those who knew him essentially battling with versions of himself that no longer exist, but in reality that’s true of any person changing from a negative to a positive state. Changing yourself means fighting those mental doppelgängers that appear both within yourself and in the minds of those closest to you.

If the title threw you off not to worry here’s the tie in. Remember that paraphrased quote from Robert Burns, “the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry…” well it is especially true in the context of change and transformation. We plan major changes in our lives fairly often like New Year’s resolutions, diets, lifestyle changes, etc. and yet with each we have to face and defeat the exhaustless entity that is the image of our past behavior. These mental holograms we fight don’t have expiration dates remains they’re taking up valuable space until they can be replaced with something else. So it’s no wonder things go awry when we plan to change things; but despite that we can’t give up hope. Hell, if hoes can become housewives and fuckboys valued members in the community (if you think about it you probably know a lot of success stories) there’s a chance for everyone to defeat their past in mental combat, it just takes a little extra sweat to get there. All it takes is time to build new images of who you are so you can reinforce the person who you will be.

So to my fellow zebras, we can change our stripes. We can take on new patterns and design the image we wish to be. Here’s to the newer you.
T.L.