I honestly don't know where to start. My mom asked "why?" and I simply replied "because I liked it". It's much more deeper than that but that's my mom and that's the only answer I could give without getting a lecture or having to answer multiple follow-up questions lol. Setting aside my gender and my sexual preferences I truly and honestly believe that the African [American] female is one of the most BEAUTIFUL things ever created on this Earth. Have you seen an elderly African American woman lately? She is BEAUTIFUL! I'm 24 and my peers are now having children of their own, have you seen an African American female child? They literally look BORN to be a queen. They are all queens! Whether their hair is natural or lengthened with extensions the brown skinned female is simply a site to see. From the crown of their head to the slightly lightened soles of their feet the African American woman is a person to be worshipped. I'm convinced that there are distorted mirrors in the homes of some of them. I often see women of color walking around with their heads down because they feel as if they don't look as "attractive" as the next queen. It's frustrating to know that my compliment won't be enough to change that opinion of them self because society or [social] media has corrupted and sculptured their mind into what the "ideal" female looks like. 

While in AIT (Advanced Individual Training) I was stationed in Fort Lee, VA. One of my battles showed me a documentary/mini series entitled "The Book of Negros". I was glued to the screen the entire time. I don't want to make this post too long by explaining so you'll have to google it on your own. Looking back on scholastic years I realized I was deprived of learning about MY history. Rarely did I see anything in school books about where I am from. Rarely did I learn how my ancestors were brought from thousands of miles away to where I call "home" now. My latest tattoo is to never forget where I come from. Through the generations we basically have to educate each other on what happened before we were born. It's not in books, seldom will you find it in movies so all we have is each other. My tattoo is a "reference" (for lack of better words) that I won't forget where I come from. Nor will I forget the place where EVERY African [American] woman is a queen. Don't be brainwashed by television or by what these models look like in the magazines. Look at your mother. Look at your Grandmother. Look at your sister, your niece, your daughter. THOSE are the Queens we have today. They are just as beautiful as the woman who went through multiple auditions, hours of make-up, and photoshopped bodies! In the past I've wished that the person I dated not wear make-up. I personally felt she was beautiful without it. She was born beautiful. No need for additives. I already accepted her for what God created her to be. I embraced it, I wanted to her to do the same. To see what I saw when I looked into her eyes which made the rest of her physique glow. 

If the lord blesses me with a child of my own I hope to have a daughter. I want to raise her to realize that she comes from a place of queens, not presidents. A place where she is judged by character, not by how large is butt is and how big her breast are. Where she is praised by her qualities and not how easily she opens her legs to intercourse. That's what I want my daughter to know and never forget. I also got the tattoo on my side, over the rib for biblical reasons we should all be familiar with. But in closing, every "Black", "African [American]", "Colored" female is a Queen and should be treated as such. 

Soundtrack: "Black Women and White Men" - Malcolm X

Addition x Subtraction

It's December 1st. If you are a government employee like myself then it's PAYDAY! If you are a home-renter unlike myself then rent is also due today! Take care of your responsibilities people.  With that said, it's almost a new year. Yeah it's that time again. You know what I'm talking about. Those "new year, new me" posts are on the horizon. Everyone is out to convince others along with themselves how the next 365 days will be different from the last. Whether you just got offended because you are one of those people OR you feel my pain reading those every December, it's time to check yourself. Not anyone else, YOU. How is your 5 year plan holding up? How much have you progressed? How close are you? How far are you? What do you seriously need to focus on that will get you back on the track you unnoticeably got away from? Those are serious questions WE need to ask ourselves. I say "we" because I'm right there with you. Maybe these questions are a little premature for you. If you don't have that plan written out I am PERSONALLY challenging you to get that done by December 31st 2015. What good does it do to type that LONG, drawn out "New Year, New Me" post on Facebook that only you read completely just to fall short and forget what it said by January 2nd. These plans are important to track your progression on getting to where you want to be in life, rather than an app or Facebook give you a "flashback" memory to post lol. 

All that wasn't in my mind when I created the title for this post. I just started typing and it kind of turned into a self-check and expression on how much I dislike Facebook rant haha. Those are the sides to the main course. "Addition x Subtraction" is to be read "Addition by Subtraction". Addition, add, increase, on top of. Subtraction, take away, lacking, deduct. Going into 2016, which is a lot closer than you think, we need to let go of dead weight. That friendship going nowhere. That relationship that isn't progressing. That job where you see no promotion nor growth in site. Make room for what God has in store for your successful life. 

You are making it more difficult for yourself who may be in a stressful situation pertaining to any of those subjects to be happy. How can you expect to get that dream job when you are busy working yourself to death over this one. You want that dream husband/wife but you are still hanging around this dead-end relationship that just gives you another grey hair at the end of the day. Your current "friend" doesn't support your aspirations. Your goals. This person always seems to find the negative of any situation instead of highlighting the positive points. "I got a new job!" "They make you wear THAT??"..."Finally paid off my car!" "I don't know why you bought that ugly thing anyway". PLEASE let these toxic people go. Make room for the greatness you deserve. The greatness God has in store for you. It can't be added until some things are subtracted. Addition by subtraction. Don't drag into 2016 with this dead weight attached to you. Subtract the weight. Add the happiness. It's not going to be easy but when you reach that point when the addition starts coming it'll make it well worth the risk. Take away, increase. Lacking, on top of. Subtraction, addition.

Soundtrack: "Trials of the Past" by SBTRKT


We Don't Change, We Simply Evolve

Fresh into this new age bracket of "25-30" I expected to just magically be "old" lol. I still feel youthful. Youthful in creativity. Youthful in being able to adapt to situations with ease. Youthful in imagination. In contrast I have also slowly witnessed my change in thought process. Change in attire. And change in music selection. It wasn't much of a change at all though. More of an evolution. With my thought process I learned to be less selfish. Realizing your decisions aren't just about you anymore. Realizing that your choices can directly have an impact on the people around you. People that mean a lot to you. People you care a lot about. The last people you want to disappoint are the people that support you the most and want to see you do great for yourself. 

As I type this post I've been listening to Erykah Badu's latest release "But You Caint Use My Phone". The way today's music as a culture has shifted its hard for me to find music that I actually enjoy. Lyrics, rhythm, overall sound. I've discovered a huge appreciation for neo-soul. Erykah Badu, The Internet, Bryson Tiller, Alina Baraz, Sam Smith, Jill Scott have all been in my ears the past few months. I got asked the other day "what new music you listening to" by a friend and it was hard for me to answer. I knew he wouldn't understand me breaking down The Internet's latest tape or how Erykah has something dropping in a couple days. I can't keep up with today's music. There's a new mixtape in rap every week! Don't get it confused. I still play my Fly U, Dom K, Migos, Drake, Jay, Ye, Cole and Future when it's time to brighten my mood but I find myself wanting to have my mind at ease after long days. 75% of the time I just want something soothing to listen to as I smoke my cigar and drink my Crown Black. I just want to relax. Neo-Soul puts me in that comfort zone. 

The clothes I wore about 2-3yrs ago are getting throw out the closet. I would call it a spring cleaning but I can actually still fit them. They just don't represent the person I am and the places I want to go. 3 years ago I was a manager at Journeys and a key holder in Huntsville's first street wear boutique. Believe it or not Diamond Supply, Pink Dolphin, Stussy, 10 Deep, and all your other favorite brands that are hot now were almost sitting on the shelf for weeks then. The trend of streetwear now was what I wore in 2010. It all repetitive and lacks originality. After my closet cleaning I only own about 3 graphic tees. Mostly Stussy and Obey. Nothing obscene with wacky colors. Classic and clean cut. Though I am still an avid sneaker lover I haven't been making the same purchases I did years ago. I don't buy the Jordans every weekend. I'm not up all night waiting for Yeezys. I have had my eye on this one particular pair of brown double monk strap Aldo's though! Being in the army my wardrobe has downsized dramatically. I don't have to worry about what I'm going to wear tomorrow. It's the same ACUs (Army Combat Uniform) as yesterday and the day before. I can't wait for the weekend or some type of event to actually wear clothes. I only purchased 4 sneakers ALL of 2015. If you know me you'd think I was lying because I used to get 4 pairs in 4 weeks. Progress. Evolution. 

"Now Showing..."

Due to OPSEC I'm unable to go in depth of my current setting but I'm in the rain, under a net behind a 50cal (just got bit by a mosquito too smh) it's 2am and it's my birthday. Never would have thought in a million years I'd be bringing in my 25th birthday in these conditions, in this occupation, doing what I do. Couldn't have told me. I honestly didn't see life past 23. I was wondering what people did after you can legally drink and do all these other things that as a kid you couldn't wait til you were old enough to do. Smoke, drive, drink, have sex. Done, complete, accomplished, marked off. Now at 25, what's next?

Can't explain how much I've heard "my life is like a movie" or "we making a movie tonight". Well, I agree. But in a slightly, less party savvy way. 

Our life consists of "X" amount of years, days, and hours. We're told to make the best of each day, you should. Not knowing how long you will live in this life is all the push you need to make sure you are creating the best of each day, creating experiences and highlights for your movie. Life. When you are no older and can't do the things you used to and/or physically unable to do the stuff you want to do, the movie is over. When you relive your life through story, your movie, what type of audience will you attract? What genre will it be, who will you inspire? Will it be rated R? Filled with violence, drugs, sex from opening credits to the last scene. Or will it be PG-13? A little good here, a little good there and some rough patches in between. Would your parents want to see your movie? How about you kids? Would it inspire them to better themselves? A lot of questions to ask yourself, I know. It shouldn't be a repetitive movie. Smoke, drink, work, sleep. Smoke, drink, work, sleep. Who would actually stay in their seat to watch that?? It's a waste of time. Your movie must continue to be worth watching after you can legally drink, legally drive, and had sex with multiple partners. Create experiences. Go places. Do things. Educate others. Feed minds. Imagine telling your kids or grandkids one day how to went all these places, did all these things and inspired them to do those things and more to better society. Better the people around them and ultimately better themselves. The intro is over. It is now time for you to create that blockbuster movie of a life that is worth watching over and over again. Would you buy your movie?!

Soundtrack: "Street Lights" by Kanye West


If you go to your iPhone "maps" app and type in "Nowhere", I'll be smack dab in the middle. Currently in the middle of nowhere North Carolina. I was expecting to be out here for one night as support while Bravo unit test fires their rockets on the HIMARS. That somehow turned into a 3-day event smh. So I packed food (snacks) enough for a day and a half tops. NOWHERE close to 3 days. So while you are enjoying your nice, comfy bed. Flat screen tv. Steak out delivery. Wifi connected cellular device. I'm in 25 degree weather. Sleeping in the back of a truck. 4 layers of clothing. 3 cold meals a day. No entertainment. Environment. I just measured my "bed" and it is the width of my hands one on top of the other. Not wide enough for my back nor chest, both of my hips are giving me every word of the dictionary lol. They'll be fine. I haven't lied yet. Which brings me to this post's topic. "#SmallVictories"

I originally got the phrase from one of my favorite musical groups, Fly Union. Though the group has disbanded I still carry the phrase with me in my mind. On my sleeve. Vocally. "Small Victories". There are two parts to these two simple words with each taking little to no effort. The only thing required from you is to believe in yourself whole heartedly. Without that, they are just 13 letters of the alphabet strategically placed together sounding out two words. This is how I apply the phrase to my life...

Everyone accomplishes something during their course of the day or week. Whether it's a test at school, handling situations at work, or getting the baby to sleep at a decent hour we all go through something. We all accomplish a goal. I find it very important to celebrate those wins. Those are wins. They are small victories. Knocking down barriers. Those are wins. Doing the unthinkable. Win. Accomplishing what they said you couldn't. Win. Celebrate those wins. You deserve it. I have researched that people in today's society are sad. Naturally. Just everyday sad. Lack of friends. Lack of motivation. Lack of support. They have good news but no one to share it with. I've found myself in that position multiple times. Did something great, who do I call? Oh, no one to call. If that's you I want to be the one to tell you, you don't need anyone. Celebrate your wins! Even if it's just you. People are so shady in this day and age that they don't even want to hear your good news. They didn't do it. Didn't happen to them, why should they care? It's so hard to get any type of recognition here in the army. You must be aware that you don't need any one else's validation to tell you that you are doing well. You work every day working towards God's satisfaction, not man. And if you are rewarded with another day above soil, you have been granted the opportunity to do better than the day before. Celebrate your wins. Yes they matter.

Soundtrack: "Hard Sell" by Fly Union

Excuse Me, Got The Time?

There's something we are all limited to. Something that once it's gone, can never be replaced. It's one of the most precious things someone can give you. And reversely it is one of the most valuable things that can be robbed of you. You decided to use some of it to visit this site. Seconds, minutes, hours, and often years. Time. We all love our time don't we! Whether it's all by our lonesome trying to figure things out about life or using it to teach our children how to put "I before E except after C". There's a million and one things we use our time on. What makes this thing we call "time" so special is that we have the PRIVILEGE to use it as long as we can doing whatever we can. Which raises this question. Are you a responsible user? Similar to preparing to indulge in that thirst quenching beer reminding us to "drink responsibly" what if EVERY morning just seconds before God decides to open your eyes, he whispers in your ear "Time, use responsibly". Just as your time is limited on this Earth, so is mine. 

We all own an hour glass on the top of our heads that will soon run out. With that being said, are you using your "oh so precious", "very limited", "soon to be gone" time in the right places? Are there moments when you think you are throwing it away? Find yourself killing it? Or complaining that it was wasted? I was recently reminded by a friend that there is no wasted time. Precious things don't get wasted. What's so unique about it is that only you put a value on your time! The fact that it is in God's hands means that NO ONE else can take it away from you or tell you how to use it. Just simply realizing that gives me an inner joy. When you ever start to think your time is being "wasted" just remember who's in control of it. That relationship. That job. That friend. That situation you can't shake off. Pick one of those topics I just stated. Now, let's go on a trip. Let's fast forward to a point where you have escaped those times or overcome that person. You've made it in the clear. Congrats! Not so fast, this new person, this new situation approaching has the same characteristics of something you JUST got out of! Realizing this, what will you do? Walk down the EXACT same path? Go through the EXACT same troubles, the EXACT same problems? NO! 

Remember, our time is in the hands of God. That time you THOUGHT you were wasting before, was actually time spent learning a lesson. A lesson on what's not the right thing for us. What we don't want happening. What isn't healthy to endure. Who we don't want to be involved with. Don't make the mistake of not seeing the characteristics. Be observant. Be alert. Pay attention to details. Because it's when you don't do those things is when you start to put time in the wrong places. Why go through the same thing AGAIN!? Take something from the first experience. Store it. Memory lock it. As long as you leave with something in mind, that time was never wasted. He put you in those tough times once. It was to build you up, learn the lesson, and never go back down that path. Don't be a repeat offender. 


When was the last time you taught yourself something? When was the last time you went out your way to pick up a trade, learn a new hobby, or invested time in a new skill training? Honestly, I can't even tell you the last time I did. It was when I was placed in front of a computer learning my current job for the military when I noticed I forgot how to teach myself. My classmates and I were placed in front of our personal computer screens and told to learn the material in front of us. In the beginning I thought "okay, this should be a breeze, I'll learn the stuff, test on it and be out of here in no time." A couple lessons later I realized this wasn't as easy as I originally thought. I was so accustomed to an instructor telling me what to do and how to do it that I forgot how to teach myself. 

We're so used to only learning what's necessary and getting by with doing the minimum that venturing out into unknown territory is daring. Is it because you are scared of trying something and failing? Is it because no one is there to hold your hand and answer every possible question you might have? Or is it even that you'll get "bored" too easily/quickly with new things? What is it that is keeping you from expanding your mind to be even more dangerous than you already are? Truthfully, as for me, it's none of the above. My problem is (was) that I'm just flat out lazy. No excuse for it nor any way around it. This may be your issue too. I'm not looking for a raise of hands nor a comment below, only you can look inside yourself and say "hey, get your stuff together". As for me I always feel like I can be more social. Be able to broaden my topics when conversing with other people. I don't want to be the person talking about the new show on tv or what happened in the game last night. I want to be able to hold a conversation outside of that. 

What can I tell someone that they didn't read on Twitter, Instagram, or see on television? It's a process though. And just like everything else, it takes baby steps. I recently downloaded the CNN app to my iPhone. When I have spare time I have the habit of unlocking my phone and checking social media, but as of recently I haven't been doing it so often. I can actually open Instagram and be 2hrs behind on posts (that's progress for me lol) Instead I will check different outlets on CNN to see what is going on around me. Catch myself up with news going on in my country, in my state, even down the street. Through experience I can tell you that when conversing with an elderly person they don't care what's happening on Love & HipHop, Scandal, and Empire. And if you notice those 3 shows that MAY be your favorite shows are targeting one type of audience. Now I'm not saying don't watch them because some of them are award winning shows. I'm saying don't let that be all you can speak about. Expand your mind, your vocabulary, your skills and talents. All that talk is cool in the barbershop and hair/nail salons but what will you talk about to that business man/woman or CEO that chose YOU to spark up conversation with? Don't be left behind. Don't be just another clueless person caught up in the hype. Learn something today that you can teach tomorrow that will make a difference in the world of the people around you. Make it start with you. 

Where's Your Focus?

I am fresh off of doing my time. To translate I just finished a 6hr CQ shift for being FTR. Let me break it down again. I was late to a formation just last week due to setting my alarm to the wrong time. In my company, as punishment for not being 15min early (FTR - Failure To Report) to the formation, on the weekend you will do (2) 6 hour shifts of CQ with no electronics in your vicinity. It is total torture and should be ruled as "Cruel and Unusual Punishment" (joking). But I bet you I will never be late again!! Well sitting there with nothing in front of me but a book and my thoughts of course my thoughts took over quickly. A lot crosses your mind in 6 hours! Even things that you shouldn't be thinking about at all. Even things you said you'd never think about again, which lead me to this post.

It's been some years since I first heard one of my favorite proverbs but it states "There's a reason why the windshield is bigger than the rearview mirror. The most important things are to come in front of you, not what's behind you!"  I can't recall where I was or who was speaking when I first heard it but it has never left my mind. All too often we find ourselves regretting things we've done in the past, questioning those decisions and subsequently downing ourselves because of them. I think about my past. People I have encountered. Things I have done. Lies I have told. People I have betrayed. Words I have spoken to damage others. The list could go on. I'm not proud of those things in the slightest bit but I know they are things that I can't change. Because they can't be changed I refuse to dwell on them and become internally damaged by the experiences. How would you define the word "experience"? I define it as an event that has occurred to be studied on and used as a reference for future situations. The key is to not focus on the past. Make it a glance.

When you are driving in your vehicle you spend more time focused forward than behind. Apply those principles to your life. Keep your head forward. Only glance in the rear view (past). In comparison it's very dangerous to spend too much time focused on the rear view (past) than the windshield when you are constantly moving forward. In a vehicle it's deadly, in life it's damaging and can cause internal death to your future. Think about it. You move forward A LOT more than you are going backwards. One reason is because it is easier to drive down the interstate looking at your windshield than your rearview. Another reason is that the windshield is obviously larger than the rearview. When travelling in reverse the mirror is only so big. You cant see everything around you and not to mention the car is much more difficult to control. You ultimately see your destination in your windshield and not your rear view. That alone should tell you that if you're looking in your rear view looking for your destination, THATS THE WRONG PLACE!! It's ahead of you! Life moves forward, so do you. The past only calls for visits, not residence.