Who Knows…

I eat, sleep, and live basketball. #ballislife is what folks typically see when I make a post relating to basketball on my IG. The grit and grind of the sport is something I’ve always took an appreciation for. Sometimes I wish my dad was like Jo Jackson; the father of the Jackson 5; a teenage musical sensation. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad I didn’t get the treatment of beatings because I missed a lay-up or didn’t use my left hand when I should; but sometimes I think about it. That push probably could have changed my whole life… who knows.

rim outside

Just think pops… maybe a contract somewhere, maybe some overseas. The blacktop days are done for me though. #badknees 

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What is my purpose with work? What will ultimately be my career? Once again, something I look back on and wish I tackled differently. Would I have stayed in Tennessee and studied for my MBA? At a young age I was chasing money more than positioning myself to make better moves 2,3,4 years down the road; or when I’m just ready. Something tells me I moved to quick, put all my ducks in a row (By the way, I hate that saying). Counting the chickens before they hatch. I always said “God if you let me win the lotto, I’m going do right about this money.” However, I haven’t won yet. So maybe it’s not my time to be blessed with $200 million; but I also haven’t played the lotto in 3+ years… So… who knows.

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I always had a thing for fashion. Not the fashion most folks are accustomed to today. I’m still a very basic man when it comes to clothes. Two main things about me with fashion were:

  • Simple styles with superior material
  • Finding the median between “baggy” and “skinny” jeans… even some “slims” are too tight.
  • People with height
Tracy-McGrady-Suit-Pants

Honestly, what the hell was T-Mac thinking.. I use to wear his shoes smh. 

Even with me being 6’5, the struggle is real for my clothes to look like they are a “perfect fit”. Either the pants are too wide or the legs are too short or skinny. So I’m going to pitch this to my friend who is already a fashion guru and understands the struggle…. who knows.

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polo

the way they described you was nothing but the truth…every detail. You’re Polo now though!

2013 was year I adopted a sweet, loving, energetic day. He was originally named “Marcos”, and at 4 months I just knew we would be a great team, alongside my girlfriend at the time. Matter of fact, the reason I went to the shelter was because she wanted a dog. I just knew she would be excited to see you once I sent her the pic. And she gave him the best name ever… Polo. She enjoyed Polo for all of 3 months before she tucked her tail in and ran, similar to a dog but no pun needed. Me and Polo have been at each others side for years now and he is just as happy as the day I picked him up. All the car rides, the planes he has been to, the poor bird he killed, the accidents in the house; You’re worth it. So what’s next Polo?… who knows.

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Don’t mind me everyone. I just wade the waters with everything in life… period. Times like these it is o.k. to reflect; to see your errors and your spoils. Every life has its own book, with its own author and its own chapters. How do you want yours to end?

~1~

c river

wade the waters…. the light is on the other side. 

MESSAGE!!!

Lately I’ve been coming into my own more and more. The longing to be accepted by most has dwindled to a few; mostly family. As I continue to work on things such as patience, communication, even smiling more. I’ve also realized people who I have let in my life are the reasons patience issues… what gives?

Fun Fact: Most of the problems you encounter are constructed by you. You can truly be your worst enemy.

But what if it’s a mix? You know what grinds my gears; People who want me in their life but do the bare minimum to interact with me. But a “Good Morning” text is supposed to make me more open to you or is it the “How are you” text, that should make me engage with you more? Don’t get me wrong, I love the thought of even being on someone’s mind. But let’s be real, ain’t shit to gain with dry messages like that.

Another thing that grinds my gears are “run-tell-that” people; especially folks I deemed to be close to me. Someone I could trust and speak in confidant.

Example: Let’s say I heard something about you that was said amongst two individuals… once again heard something, not engaged. I considered myself to be pretty close to you… I thought. So I approach you about something I heard; simply requiring a “Yes” or “No” answer. Yet, you go to the people that were talking about you, mention me, and then all hell breaks loose… When I told you this in confidence, thinking that you would keep it between us. Stuff like that really shows people your character. How can I respect our trust when you didn’t?

Bottom line: Folks will talk about you till they die; then their offspring will continue the cycle… so why lose sleep?

message

Let’s add these “woke” folks to the group. I def get it and applaud the efforts of minority and white folks alike. Therefore, what are you doing with this knowledge besides sharing it via FB, Twitter, or IG? Honestly, I chose to unfollow a lot of my FB friends because:

  1. You update your status every hour
  2. Some of y’all post some of the wild videos
  3. You’re basically talk and no show

Let me see you out here in the field, spreading wisdom to the kids; not to some 30-40 year old adult who probably isn’t as motivated as these millennials (and not too stuck in their ways). Preach to the youth, they are OUR FUTURE and they are awesome little people. So Dear Black People, let’s point the “awoke arrow” in the direction of the youth. Not to mention some of y’all were not this “woke” in college. And I attended an HBCU, so let that sink in.

A few other I shall mention but are self-explanatory:

  • Tic for tat… you start doing this with me, we WILL have issues. I’m not here to compete with you
  • Subliminal… we are all grown
  • Stand for something… we tend to fall for ANYTHING if we don’t

So yes, in summary I’m still a work in progress like most you humans. Just don’t disrupt my growth; while you’re still worried about what Sandy said to Tim… about you. Address it and move on. All you “woke” folks, I urge you to keep the fight, continue to read and gain knowledge; then let’s bring our youth in and get them to comprehend. If you want to speak to me… Do it! Want to call me… Do it! It takes two to tango, I get that. So let us all reach a better understanding or common ground. People communicate with me telling me to smile more, so I am. They want me to communicate better; so my family and friends have been supporting me and working with me daily. I thank you. Patience is STILL a struggle; I won’t even lie. But the love I have around me I know I can wade the waters.

To my family and friends, I love you all.

~1~

sunset pond

Past Thoughts…

They say love never boasts or brags

Love doesn’t desire riches nor rags

Jewels or Jags… things like that

Love wants loyalty; camaraderie

So where’s my love at? And everything I want it to be?

Love clapped back, ran away from me

It’s cool, I’ll see you again

It’s our destiny, you my best friend

You’re the one who turned me into a man

Type of love make you feel like you have a 100 grand

In the stands, rooting for ya boy

With confidence, your love you did deploy

Yet my pride, at that time, wouldn’t let me bag a dime

But now the lights on and the music starts to chime

Letting this brotha’ know that love is not a crime

Hell, Jigga and Beyoncé are doing just fine

Tattoo on her thigh; a feline

And she getting better with time like red wine

Beyond the surface, and she still fine

So what we waiting on baby girl, I mean my Queen

You make everything serene… hell mad surreal

And I’m mad for real, no contract required, you’re my deal.

Hold my hand baby,

This ride will def get shaky, and other times wavy

But what’s good without the bad?

Love missing any of that is flawed

Basically, I need me a real lady… I need it all.

Love and Peace..

sunsent pic wtw

Wade the waters always…

I Love Bacon ;-)

In 2005, I swore I was Dead Mike from CB4 (If you’re not hip to this movie, check it out, guaranteed laughs). Which meant by my standards, I was cleaning up my eating habits; becoming more in tuned with who I was as a man. As a black man. I gave up hard liquor, exercised more, digested more fruit and veggies; and less pork… which included bacon…

Obama-sad-face-450x278

just the thought…of NO BACON… what kind of sense does it really make???

I stared finding alternatives for bacon since I loved it so much. Bacon, egg and cheese, a bacon cheese burger, bacon wrapped shrimp! Bacon is the God… so what did I swap it out for?? Turkey bacon….

nick-young-confused-face-300x256_nqlyaa.png

Turkey bacon??? Really???

Man what the hell IS turkey bacon matter of fact? I mean I get it…Turkey…Bacon. But it’s still Turkey…Bacon. And coming from the “OG Bacon era” (the Thick Hickory Bacon… country stuff), it was just a slap in the face to me AND my taste buds. The audacity to put that in my mouth… pause that.

To not completely slander turkey bacon, it does have its benefits over pork bacon. Reformed from whole turkey pieces to resemble bacon; Turkey bacon is low in fat content. A decrease in calorie intake is another key note; especially if you want to slim down and cut calorie intake. You might ask yourself, “Well what’s the downside to turkey bacon”? In terms of nutrition value, Turkey products in general have twice the amount of sodium as opposed to pork products. In terms of product choice turkey bacon doesn’t compete with “OG Bacon”. Here are my personal reasons why:

  • Turkey bacon is TOO thin (even the “thick cut” turkey bacon)
  • Turkey bacon tends to stick to the pan…every time
  • It is very dry…
  • Doesn’t sizzle like real bacon; I want to shot by the grease (so I know it’s real)
  • You can’t put it on the grill as you would with regular bacon (Bacon wrapped shrimp, Filet mignon wrapped in country thick bacon…Lord)
pharrell-600

Bacon helped me see the light!!! Because I’m happppyyyyyyy….

In all seriousness, I was focused in 2005 when I tried to give up bacon and go the alternative route. And in 2008, after 3 years, I had my first ever piece of bacon at my grandma’s house and I knew the error in my ways… This was “Bae”

Turkey bacon for me, is a thing of the past. Even though my parents might remind me of the days I ate zero pork. Don’t get me wrong! I STILL don’t eat pork for the most part. Majority of my love for pork has since left my body… I’m just in a “situation-ship” with bacon… and I’m personally content with it. Will I ever give up bacon? I can’t say that I will. The smell, the taste, the look… speaks to me.

But I draw the line with the bacon products America tries to push on us bacon lovers:

  • Chocolate-covered bacon
  • Bacon Lollipop
  • Bacon Beer/Pop
  • Baconnaise
baconnaise.jpeg

Baconnaise…just in case you thought i was lying..  “I’m disgusted”

I’m fine on products such as these. Bacon from the frying pan is all the joy it can provide for me. Hell, I once used the bacon grease to scramble my eggs. It took me 3 years to wade the waters and solidify my passion for bacon….and damn does bacon deliver!!!

~1~

Love and Peace

Peace be with you…

“Peace”- Freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility

In other words, “easier said than done” … or is it? Sure, I find “peace” in my hobbies and various activities I participate in… Basketball and its related counterparts have always intrigued me and brings about that “tranquility” many individuals strive for. Yet, am I truly at peace? No, I am not. It’s more of a state of agitation than a state of peace.

peace pic

Look at this man.. you can tell he is at peace. Coffee in hand dressing carefree. Almost envy him…

To be real with myself… as well as you, I’m probably the reason there is so much strife in my life.

From things such as finances, basketball injuries, trying to build a brand on the side, as well as juggling a full time position, let’s just say it’s a demanding and challenging experience… of which I love and hate; the dilemma. See, the thing about “the struggle” is God will expose you to be exactly who you are… as well as the peers around you, if they are true friends. It takes grit, serious grinding and impeccable networking skills. It also reveals to you the highs of success and the lows of failure. Then again, God will reveal to you the person you are when these dilemmas occur.

How will you counteract?

Will you give praise to the “Most High” (whatever religion you practice) for your blessings? Or are you going to act like God had no parts; but seek him only in hardship?

And then you wonder why you have no peace…

Peace isn’t about being rich, balling, “making it rain” … none of that shit. It’s a prime example of many iconic proverbs:

  • Mo money, Mo problems”- Notorious B.IG.
  • A Fool and his money are soon parted” – Granddad (and I’m sure many of yours as well)
  • Health is better than wealth

Peace is internal, and I’m grasping that concept more and more. I myself struggled to find peace and tried to find other outlets to cope with the frustrations of everyday life; and not basketball. My end result still left me empty and without a true calling, or feeling like I missed mine. That’s when I had to take a long sobering look at my reality and adjust my game plan:

  • I put things away hindering my growth, which in-turn hindered my peace
  • I started saving more and putting my money to positive use
  • I sharpened my networking skills (as the saying goes “Closed mouths don’t get fed”)
  • I prayed…a lot…and faith works wonders
peace be with u

Life gives you so many signs… and they are by words..

Today, I’m still nowhere CLOSE to where I want to be financially and even emotionally; but I’m aware. However, I have learned to not let that cloud my mind or control my actions since it has (in the past) interfered with my peace.

“This too shall pass”

And to my friends who do read these crazy blogs of mine. This is for you! Keep fighting that fight and don’t let money, a woman, a man, a crappy job, court dates, ANYTHING disrupt your peace! Wade the waters because there IS a light at the end of that tunnel…to tranquility. Just make sure you “peace” is there to enjoy the ride with you.

Mine is…

~1~

 

SIDENOTE: check out “The Little Book of Peace of Mind” by Susan Jeffers, Ph. D

peace book

Great Read!

GAMETIME!!!!

Time is almost up and I finally can begin to hoop again…

Wuz up world!!!

Sorry it has been a minute since I last wrote to y’all… About 3 months ago (and 3 games into my basketball season) I sustained an injury to my right middle finger. A torn tendon that makes me unable to straighten my finger properly (mallet finger). And since this is my DOMINANT hand, these past 3 months have been a challenge to say the least.

mallet finger

It may not look bad..but this finger has been a HASSLE..

I quickly knew what ambidextrous was and how far I was from being that…

To sum it up, these past few months I have:

– broken 2 drinking glasses, 1 dish

– manage to fall in the shower (doubt my finger was really the blame though)

– can barely clean the house (breaking those dishes kinda hindered me from touching much else)

– my splint has slipped off my finger 3 times…gotta keep an eye out for that

Doctor told me if I reinjure this finger during the healing process, I would have to start from square one, which would mean another 2 to 3 months. NOT HAPPENING… hell I’d tape my Index finger to my Middle finger, use that as a splint, and return to hooping. However, this injury has also reminded me how much I NEEDED some rest… I can’t take that for granted… For people that know me on a personal level, know I have a lot of energy; even the Energizer Bunny would be slightly jealous. So you could imagine my mental when the doctor told me “No Basketball”. But I found other outlets to channel my energy to.

Running has been my go-to-outlet since my injury. Takes little to no effort to put some shoes on and just go (even though TYING my shoes has been a task with this finger). Another thing I do is work more during the weekend. While most folks rather relax and not do a damn thing on their weekend; I’m not really wired like that and choose not to. Granted we all need periods of rest; but I’m a “go getter” by nature. And since I can’t play the game at the moment, I might as well work around the injury and explore other avenues to this basketball world; it has been rewarding. #BallIsLife.

splint

Good the good news from the Doc…time to go to work. 

But now the time is here (kinda), and in two weeks my splint will be coming off for good! However, I am slightly hesitant about returning to the hardwood. No lie, I’m scared to get hurt again or reinjuring my finger. And since basketball is a game of “majority” hand use, I’m a little skeptic. I’m not so worried about my own play per se; but the play of others. All it takes is the wrong move or a bad rebound or a pass for something to go South… That’s not what I want on my return to the court.

What I plan to do is take my time and not be so anxious to get my spot back. I now know the role I play in the grand scheme. The truth of the matter is NO team is perfect with just one man and one man cannot bring a team to victory. Team is everything; that’s why it’s 5 players your team; not just you against 5. I need all kids to know this… LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), are great players but are INFERIOR when matched against 5 NBA players; hell I’ll even go as far to say even 5 NCAA Division 1 players… INFERIOR.

jim buckets

I don’t see 5 Jim Carrey’s beating Lebron or Steph tho.. lol.. 

 

Wish me luck and many blessings as I step back out there! I’m optimistic that by beginning of summer I’ll be around 95% healthy… enough time to gear up for the Goodman League. I just know these next couple of months will be nothing but basketball training and dedication. And since my finger is finally back to being “normal”, I’ll be sure to update y’all in the coming months. That way we can wade the waters together. Who knows, you could be having a similar issue as well…. I’m pulling for you!!!

Now excuse me while I go drop some buckets…

salt dre

OooooooOOOoo…Kill ’em

~1~

Love and Peace

Define “Happiness”…

Often, and I mean OFTEN, I get asked two questions. First, “Damn Dré, how many more years are you going to keep playing ball?” Easy. FOREVVVVVVVVVERRRRRR (in my Sandlot voice). Even though I’m currently dealing with a broken finger. The second question usually derives from conversations about relationships and the troubles my friends are going through…

dating

How many women think this is true???

 

So, when are YOU going to get back out there and date? What’s taking so long? You want kids don’t you?” … tsk tsk tsk… This level of talk can get both irritating and overwhelming for us single folk. Sometimes it makes you ask yourself, am I EVER going to be happy with a significant other again? To feel the same feeling I had when I was first “In Love”? (JLO doesn’t count) Well, as I have approached 30, my outlook on dating has changed tremendously and has even led me to ask myself, “Who said I need to be married or even have a woman by 30?” Of course, when we were kids we had a pretty cool idea what we thought our future wife/husband would look like. I always thought I’d marry a woman that resembled Jennifer Lopez or Tyra Banks; can’t lose with that!!! However, I have neither but a dog name Polo,

polo

Say hi Polo…

who stares at me every morning as I put on my robe and head downstairs to cook breakfast. Some folks might say I’m old or “washed”, but I’m ONLY 30 and for once in a long time I’m actually happy.

This isn’t the eating ice cream watching NETFLIX everyday “happy” …

I am legit happy with my life and how things are evolving. I have more of an understanding that I can only control what I do… everything else is in God’s hand, even a woman, that’s reality. People who know me know I have dated some great women… and some pretty shitty creatures (and that’s being nice). I have lost some great women on the account of my selfish actions and immaturity; and I’ve lost some women who were too selfish for me.

Nobody’s innocent…

The fact is we as humans make mistakes in life; some more reversible than others and “Thank God” we can live and learn from them. The kicker to dating at age 30 is that:

  • You know what you want
  • You know how the “love” feels, because we’ve all had a 1st love
  • You know what you don’t want

And the honorable mention: You don’t really “need” anyone…. [But yet you really do. For I am a firm believer that companionship is one of God’s true gifts. Try not to abuse it…]

Me personally, I struggle with not needing anyone (or thinking that) and knowing what I want. I’ve been in love three times my entire life, and they know who they are… I’m hoping me striking out those 3 times DOESN’T mean I’m out of the game…but rather changing my approach to the plate…  That feeling of love from a woman and it be reciprocated is truly a blessing from God…don’t abuse it. My struggle with knowing what I want in my future woman has been a true downfall of mine… Most of my friends say I’m “too picky’. But how do you know if you are being too picky? I mean, we all have a preference right? We are all entitled to desire what we feel we deserve; am I right? That is something that battles my mind and heart on a daily basis. Because when I’m turned off by something you said or did, it becomes a challenge to not view you in the negative light… and yet the SAME can be said about me…. and as humans, I have to learn to not be so judgmental, because that is a true downfall of mine…

And maybe that’s my “Karma”; finding a unicorn knowing damn well they don’t exist. Is it my fault for having high standards on what I deem to be “happiness” and “love”? By no stretch of the imagination am I Jesus himself… just ask my family and friends. They will keep it 100 with you; which is why I value all of them… “I thank you” … And the same thank you goes out to them for showing me that love is deeper than the surface and also any petty issues that may fester.

Facts: Petty attitudes and fights can disrupt any relationship. The ones that do survive turmoil denounce petty acts…they win and they get it.

holding-hands

I don’t know them personally, but it can be safe to say…”they get it

To all my exes (none of which are in Texas, ha!), I pray you do what’s best for you, same breath, don’t be too selfish with the ones you love. Speak up if you need to address something, try not to hold grudges and understand we are all humans… something I need to practice too… FACTS. Always stay focused on your goals and leave anyone in the dust if they try to clip your wings. I still want to see you soar…so fly high!!!

Wade the waters as always everyone

~1~