“For the rest of the darkest nights

Shines the brightest sun

I ain't the man I used to be

I'm better than before”

After football last Sunday, I got home, did some laundry and followed up by doing the dishes. Doing the dishes and standing in the shower (ideally under the running water) are the two places where my mind roams the most, and receive the clearest thoughts.

I cried while I was doing the dishes.

Wanda, my fairy godmother, has been helping me uncover a lot of things in my life that may have been hidden in my subconscious – things from my childhood that I may have buried that could be stunting my growth. And I’m really at a place where I don’t have time for the nonsense and I’d like to see myself elevated to the highest level possible.

In his book The Sixth Man, Andre Iguodala said that situations in the earlier days of his life shaped almost every part of what makes him who he is today (paraphrasing). So instead of just pushing forward, forward, forward, I’m really trying to slow it down and see if I’ve missed any important signs on this journey called life. I’m trying to key in on things that may have shaped me, but not necessarily in the right way.

Coming up as a kid, I’ve always been surrounded by women. Between my mom, sisters, nieces and cousins, the ratio of female to male in my household always seemed to be like 47,000:1 (hyperbole, lol). While this situation may have had its pros, it was definitely loaded with cons, one of those being that I got used to interacting with females. I know that sounds weird, but hear me out.

Castel would usually ask me, “Why don’t you hang out with guys?” And my response would always be: “I don’t know” (confused emoji)! I’d never really thought about it until he pointed it out; and the only logical explanation I could come up with was the circumstances and environment I grew up in that made me lean more toward the female species. This leaning consists of conversation, comfort and overall friendship. My female to male friend ratio has to be something like 46,999:1.

Okay – before I get side-tracked and this piece goes down another alley, another good alley, but not the one intended for today – the reason I cried while doing the dishes on Sunday was because I realized that there are some really great MEN in my life and sometimes I don’t give them the time of day. It made me realize again that there are things in our lives that we’ve buried – sometimes with good reason – but we need to dig them up and deal with them in order to really grow.

I was thinking about my boy Dro (tearing up now, lol). We’ve been best friends since we were four years old. Coming up, we did everything together. I basically lived at his crib, cutting that ass in any game he’d throw at me on the PlayStation. He checks up on me on and off, and makes sure I’m doing well. And, of course, we’re adults now and life has us on different paths, but I can admit that I’ve been such a douche bag friend to someone who’s basically my brother.

And to think, if I didn’t really slow down on this journey or have people in my life like Castel to point things out, I’d probably be further damaging a relationship that truthfully means the world to me. I mean I could go on and say more, but I think I’ll hold off for now as I’ve passed my word count requirement.

I just want to take this time to let Chaendro, Castel, Nelvern, Alan and Elvis know that I love them.

Still growing…

“Siri, play The Best Man I Can Be by Tyrese featuring Case, Ginuwine & R.L.”