Who Brought the Fire and Brimstone to the BBQ?

Normally, I try to keep things positive, sometimes serious, most of the time I try to bring the humor, but I’ve had things weighing heavy on me as of late. With that some thoughts that haven’t been so good, have been crossing my mind, so I think that I want to get these thoughts out, and let you decide.

Nobody is perfect, except one man, Jesus Christ. I know not everyone believes in him, and I can respect that, but he also brings a beacon of hope to so many people in this world. The scriptures talk about angels and demons at least a couple of times, so that’s where the lead off comes in….

Demon’s come in many shapes and sizes. Maybe an unhealthy addiction to food, I’ve been there…several times over. I’ve used food to cope with my feelings of inadequacy. I’ve used it to drown my depression. I’ve gained so much weight because of certain events that have gone on in my life, but I realize that food isn’t the answer. I’m trapped in several sizes too big, and that’s my fault. I don’t body shame anyone, because I know what it’s like to be teased about being over weight, Yes, I’ve gotten the side eye in judgement as well. No, you’re not cleaver, and yes making comments about being fat makes you an asshole, but there are some with genuine concern in their voice. The first time weight was a real issue of concern was in 2011. I got bit by a bug at work, and I went to get it checked. I was around 394 lbs at the time.

I did really well getting the weight off, I joined Weight Watchers  and I was working out several times a week. By the time I was done, I had lost 56 lbs. Man I was so proud of myself, I felt better, I looked better, and I moved better. They say exercise helps relieve stress, and I’m not sure if that was what was going on. I slept better, but it didn’t stop my depression from causing a melt down at work. I ended up taking 17 months off of work because of it. I didn’t want to deal with the world…food comforted me, and I gained all that weight and then some back. My therapist stated that he thought that my weight gain might have been a form of me trying to slowly kill myself. He was right, I wasn’t dealing with things in the proper light. I was making preparations of a life outside of the job I was suspended from, and I didn’t expect to go back….

I started working out this week, as I’m trying to gain my life back, and I will…just slower than before. I’ve got a bright future ahead of me and I can’t wait to reach that point.

Back to the subjects of demons, I’ve seen alcohol ruin a young person’s life. I’ve seen drugs ruin someone’s life. I’m blessed to have never had to deal with these myself, but I’ve family that has. I hope that the have or can find the help they need to over come that.

One of the demons that I’ve been dealing with is anger, I’ve gone a bit over board with it a few times, and I can’t take back the hurt it has done, but I’m working on it, because it needs to go away. It peaked with my ex and her father. I was so angry for so long that I was a ball of rage for the longest time. The worst part is that we tend to say the mean and nasty things when we are angriest. Some times, they may be more true than one would want to admit, the hurt remains, and I see the scars in the people who I’ve personally hurt.

I’ve been on both sides of the wall for various demons, and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m cautious about judging anyone about whatever might have gone on. So, I think that everyone should hear the whole story before condemning someone. I know that I’ve been on the wrong side of accusations before. Just some food for thought.

This is the Director, and that’s a wrap.

 

Messed Up Parenting, and Experience is a Bitch!

Some people try to be a perfect parent…. I mean it should be easy right? Television and movies make it look…almost too easy.  I think the most interesting experience is raising yourself, also called the parents curse.  Remember when mom and dad said, your child is going to be just like you?  Yeah, it’s happened, and it is frustrating.  All we can do is try our best to raise our children with love and care, and then get told we’re wrong, just to be proven right….later.

I’m not a perfect parent, and although it’s a learning process, the best we can do is try and do our best, and hope that we didn’t fuck up enough in the end. Don’t get me wrong, I might miss times when they were younger and innocent, but I feel the best goal is to raise decent people and hope they succeed in the world.  That’s all a parent can actually hope for.

So, I think I’m funny, and I thought having little people with my sense of humor would be hilarious, instead I realized that I raised assholes. Not that they are the kind to steal lunch money or beat someone up, but they mess with people. The sad part is that as a parent, I feel guilty of the fact that it is kind of funny, but at the same time it make me reflect on the kind of person I am. Sadly, the kind of sense of humor I have, does make me an asshole. At least I’m somewhat likable, then there’s the grey area of as you get to know me, is that humor worth it?

I want my kids to grow up and realize that I love them with all my heart, and though I’ve made mistakes, I hope they know that I’ve always wanted what was best for them. Sometimes, I don’t think people appreciate what family they have. I for one, don’t seem to have the best relationship with most of my family. I get along with my parent’s just fine, but I have a very different perspective on life then my cousin’s and grandparents do. I guess that makes me a black sheep, but I’m not afraid to be different.

The hardest part about being a parent is watching another version of you growing up before your eyes. The same depression, the same frustrations, and with things different with today’s society.  You can’t give the advice that got you through those tough times of bullies, and self loathing. You want to help, you want to make it better, but nothing you do is right, and in the end, you just can’t seem to relate.

This brings the most frustrating part of being a parent to light, the child knows everything, and the parent doesn’t. God, I remember when I knew everything and when I was invincible. To be able to have that mindset again, but then you gain the wisdom of not knowing everything and pride be damned, you’re not always right.

“No  child, I don’t say this to make you feel bad, or stupid,” “I do this to enlighten you, because I care, because I don’t want you to make the same mistakes that I made.”  That’s all anyone can do, be there for their children, and support them. At some point, you can’t protect them forever. All you can do is give them tools to work with and hope that it’s enough to get them through this cold and cruel world.

Sometime remind them that you love your child, but also remind them that the world has no love for them.  While you’ve protected them, warn them that the world isn’t there for their protection. This place is ugly, and all you can do is try and be that piece of beauty in this place.

For my children: Autumn, Christopher, and Lily, I love you and hope that I’ve taught you something that you can use as a torch to light the way.  You are good children, and I’ll always support you.

This is the Director and that is a wrap.

Sixteen Years and How the Hell Is This Working?!?

So, yesterday was my sixteenth year being married to Sarah, and instead of the usual love note of how great I think she is, I think I’m going to reflect on the experience on how I survived the same person putting up with my mischievous ways. I hope this shows a how our bond works, and helps show others that it’s possible to do.

First on the list is communication, yes it’s cliche, but it’s also the truest fact in making anything work.  If you’re not going to talk about what bothers you, then how’s it going to get fixed?  All the bottled up feelings do is cause bitterness, and that’s not positive progress.  Honest communication is the only way to go.  If you don’t like something, say it. If you do like something also say it.  Too many people are negative in this world as it is.  Showing your partner that you appreciate the things they do, is a great way to say I love you.

Secondly, have a sense of humor. I realize this might sound strange to some people, but laughter is the best medicine and a great way to enjoy each others company.  Sarah will say that it’s my fault that she has all the laugh lines on her face, but I guess that’s what you get when you marry someone with a strong sense of humor.  Besides laughing’s always a fun time.

Third in this list is sex.  There is a bond between a couple who enjoy the physical contact that they share.  I’m not going into the science, but there are plenty of articles about the benefits in sex.  Yes, it feels good, and yes, it does help you relax, but it’s always great to bring you and your partner back together as one, maybe that’s why orgasm’s also referred as the big O? One, orgasm…something to ponder.

Now it gets to the more tricky parts of a union.  You’re going to fight, and do it many times throughout your journey, that’s just a fact, people have opinions, and sometimes those opinions are assholes about it.  At some point if you look at the arguments, you realize that most of the time, their over petty little things, but they do generate the most heat.  It’s the bigger fights that get concerning.  I know that there have been times that I’ve wanted to call it quits, but if you can endure the rough times, you can make it.

When being in a relationship as  long as I have, you really do get to know the person, and in my case, I know my wife, inside and out. Sad part is that isn’t even a cliche or a joke.  We went through some rough pregnancies together and I’ve seen her insides.  Ultra sounds, X-rays, you name it, and I’ve seen it.  I’m thankful that we made it through those times, and have two great children. They are a pain in the ass, but I love them regardless.

Speaking of children, this will move on to the next point.  You have a partnership, either marriage, civil, domestic, etc… and some times you have kids. When child rearing, you really need to be on the same page, or total chaos. Mom says no, dad says yes, then you have kids swinging from the ceiling fan in total anarchy.  Really, get on the same page, then the kids don’t get away with their evil ways, which also doesn’t lead by to my point from two paragraphs ago, about fighting.  And yes, there will be plenty arguments about the kids along the way.

A convenience that should be on the list of things you should have, two bathrooms.  I know that not everyone has that, as we don’t currently, but I live with three girls, and with my son and I, dude, we could use that extra bathroom.  With bathrooms, people also start to see the less pleasant habits of the partner.  The tooth paste being squeezed from the middle(you monster), hair in the sink, clothes strung everywhere, the list can go on.  I’ve learned to leave the toilet seat down after I’m done, as not to get into an argument.  It makes life easier to give that one to her that way.

I hope you’re finding things insightful, or at least entertaining so far, because there is so much more to talk about, like responsibility.  When you have a relationship, mine being close to seventeen years together, you learn that the best way to work is to help each other. Build your partner up, support their passions, in the end they chose you to spend their lives with. I don’t know how the hell this woman, who is beautiful, supportive, caring, strong, and talented, would ever pick up this average, egotistical, loud, foul mouthed person to want to stick around for such a long amount of time.  She builds me up, and supports my crazy ideas.  I try to support her, but I faulter in my own arrogance.  I do try to support her. She like photography, and wants to do that for the rest of her life, and I try to support that.

The other ugly truth, nothing is equal.  Truth is, she has physical things that calls on her demand, remember the rough pregnancies?  They took a toll.  I have mental illness that also takes special demands.  Then we have kids that have their needs as well.  So nothing is equal, and you have to just except that.  Cliche- mother is care taker and father is disciplinarian. Where’s the equality in that? Mother stays home and takes care of the kids, and father works, where’s the equality in that?  Just except that having a relationship and family isn’t something that ends up being equal.  Sure there are times that the dynamic changes a little, but in my family, mom is needed for everything, and dad is the protector.

One more thing, that I forgot to mention earlier- if you find someone that you might want to possibly start a life with, don’t rush the family part.  Sarah and I got together, and Autumn wasn’t that far behind, so almost our whole relationship has been as parents. I wouldn’t change it, and to be honest, I’ve got the most awesome parents who’ve given us the chance to have time so that we can just be a couple. So, spend time being a couple, learn each other, see if that’s who you truly want to spend the rest of your life with. Once children come into play, everything changes. I know couples who rushed into the family part, and as the kids have grown up and moved out of the house, the parents don’t know how to be a couple.  That’s why communication, honesty, knowing that person is important for a successful relationship. While children are a blessing, they become the main focus while they are young, and sometimes people forget how to be a couple.

This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

 

Finding Experience

About five years ago, I was invited to a local writers club meeting by my father’s co-worker.  It was a day during December and the club was having a guess speaker, Ted Lange(imdb.com). Ted’s most known for his character on The Love Boat(1977), as the friendly bartender Issac Washington, and I really paid attention to what he said.  He was funny and personable, but his message was that he became a writer to give himself work.  He said that it was hard for a black man to break into the business and that’s why he became a writer.

I took that to heart, and as I write this tonight, I keep thinking that everything that I’ve been doing for the last several months, and more so now since my last months classes, is that I’m creating that experience.  I’m starting to grasp the concept of marketing myself on social media,  I’m learning programs that I will need to have experience in to get jobs in the field that I want to get work in.  So, that’s my advice to anybody frustrated in searching for work, or getting experience.  It might take time, but find a way to do it yourself.  We live in  world that doesn’t want to give most people a hand, and that’s why reading books, researching, and doing are the keys to getting the success that you want.

I remember not that long ago, that was my thought process, “how am I going to get another job without the experience they’re looking for?”  It’s a scary thought, but as I’ve grown in knowledge and determination,  I’ve discovered that there are ways too find a way to learn those skills.  A good start is looking online for classes, or workshops for gaining that knowledge.  Another thing is too look at the local employment agency.  They should be able to point you in the right direction.

I’m adventuring into the world of owning my own business, and I’m blessed with the people who are involved with the process. They will keep me grounded, and we work well together.  The scary part is that I know that there will be failure along the way, but that’s the other way to gain experience.  As I’ve seen stated in books, magazines, and various other places, failure is a teacher, and if you keep failing, you learn how to not fail as bad.  It’s also a great way to teach you what works and doesn’t work.

The best thing to do is be cautious, but don’t be afraid to succeed, and don’t let failure stop you either.  We as people tend to be our own harshest critics, and in general, we also get in the way of our own success.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I messed up something because I got into my own head, and had self doubts.  That’s why we tend to sabotage ourselves.

The other thing I have to say about this is do what makes you happy.  As cliche as it is, there is a reason for that.  I listened to everybody else for so long and I was miserable for doing what I was “supposed” to do and it almost cost me my life.  Wouldn’t you rather feel happy about chasing your dreams then be stuck in the same spot in life?  Yes, I won’t lie, it would be much easier to just do what I love and not be concerned about anything else, but I have a family to provide for, but I was given the motivation to prepare for a different life when opportunity came and gave me the chance to go for something I had want to do for most of my adult life, and most of my life in some way that, evolved into wanting to make movies.  Remember that survival is the most necessary part, but going for the dream is important too.  While it might seem crazy, the skills that I’m learning in film school, are things that I can apply to the “safe” jobs as well.  So there is a back up plan in place, and it would still involve what I want to do in life.

I will leave a final note before this thought train leaves the station:  Be kind to each other, there are too many negative energies out there wanting to bring you down.  they want people to be down on their levels and can’t stand other people’s success.  Don’t add to that problem.  Try to be positive, and keep that mentality.  If you wake up and look in the mirror in the morning, tell yourself that you’ll have a good day.  Positive affirmations work far better than I ever thought, and it generally keeps me going in a positive direction.