My marriage argument…Part 1

In the company cafeteria, all the next generation ambitious black people would sit together during lunch talking about dating, office racism, who got fired or hired and the next happy hour or event. While conversing the fellas would give a conservative nod or silent greeting to the corporate honeys walking by and likewise the women would give some eye hustle to suited dudes and both men and women would confirm with their friends in the circle the eye candy passing by. Only when the subject was heavy all attention was inward and this was one of them.

This one dude says, “Marriage is work.”

I usually allow opinions to float over me but when there’s a right or wrong issue or an opinion that I feel passionately enough to support or defend, I welcome the fight.

I paused while I swallowed to get my response out and said,

“No…marriage should be maintenance, not work…at least not all the time.”

I knew what he was going to say and right on que…

“How do you know?! You never been married.”

I said, “Yes but I’ve bought a car before.”

A collective group chuckle, “What?!”

He dismissed, “Man you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

I said, “When I’m in a relationship I invest in it…flowers, wine tastings, Kennedy Center events, dinners, weekend trip to the islands, etc.”

As I looked at the women getting all geeked on what I just said, “Don’t get it twisted, I hope that my woman would reciprocate in some why, I’m not going to be just putting out and she don’t do something.”

Someone (female), “Something…I know what that something is.”

“No…it has little to do with sex, it has everything to do with her just showing her appreciation somehow.”

My “adversary” continued, “If you looking for 50/50 you’re going about it the wrong way.”

I said, “Not at all…that’s NOT what I’m saying, it’s never 50/50 and if you keeping score you shouldn’t even be in a relationship at all.”

“What I’m saying is maintenance has to be frequent, just like when I own a car, I detail it, change the tires, tune up, premium gas sometimes, change the brakes, armor all, hell sometimes I even shampoo the inside. I expect the car to have a clutch or some major repair once a year maybe…on a bad year twice but not every damn month. If I own a car that is repeatedly in the shop, why would I want to keep it?”

“Just like a woman…if she’s arguing, lying, not communicating why would I keep her around? What cause she looks good?!  That’s gets old quick!”

Someone joked and said, “Is it a new Jag?”

I laughed and said, “That’s my point…you buying the Jag cause it looks good but it costs more money to maintain that Jag.”

“Just like some women that are high maintenance…you choose to deal with that bullshit, that’s your fault.” (I knew that statement was a little aggressive so I backed off…the group is usually clowning or joking but I’m passionate about these black family subjects.)

I softened up and said, “Look…I’m not saying anything about your marriage or your woman bro, I don’t know her or you, but I know I’m not keeping a woman or a car that’s causing me more stress than it’s worth.

Why would anyone stay with a man or woman that is not helping you or reciprocating love in the way you recognize, why the hell would you marry them?!”

“Look I’m single and hella happy and marriage, for me, hopefully will be just as happy as my “single-hood.”

A woman in the group whispers something about perfection…or me looking for perfection. I responded, “I’m not looking for perfection…I’m looking for perfect for me…chemistry, you can’t fake that”

A woman said something serious at the end of the table that had everyone’s attention. I could tell it was serious by the body language of the group…I didn’t hear it so I said, “Say it again…I’m sorry.”

A woman was pointing her fork at me, a woman I knew to be newly divorced with 2 kids.

Holding her fork up pointing at me she said, “So if you’re not looking for perfection, how did you get to 45 and never been married or have any kids?”

All eyes were on me…

My marriage argument…Part 2.

MPM

“I don’t want to be married just to be married. I can’t think of anything lonelier than spending the rest of my life with someone I can’t talk to, or worse, someone I can’t be silent with.”
Mary Ann Shaffer

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You’re not working hard enough, get a side hustle.

LaTanya J. , a close friend of mine, had just come from her hair appointment. She said, “Man we have got to get on our hustle.” I was confused…I said, “What are you talking about?!” She said her beautician had a store that she managed and she had two Super Shuttle vans in her parking lot. “Why two?” …because if one van broke down, she could still make money while the other was getting repaired.

“Wow…and she did hair?”

“Yup…in the back of the store she managed.”

LaTanya and I were both engineers with Lockheed but I immediately thought to myself…

how I could make money if I lost my job?

Currently, I have a couple of things I’m working on with real estate but what else? I have a bartenders certificate and I’m a certified rescue & master scuba diver. I’m working on some writing projects also. I could always apply to Chic fil a…I love Chic fil a.  :o)

So, I pose the question to you, What is your plan A, B, C or D?

Another way of looking at it, what hobbies or volunteer activities could you turn into money earning activities? How could you get that second revenue stream?

Think…most latino students have one quick advantage, they’re bilingual. Do you know Spanish? Are you handy? Are you interested in an apprenticeship?  I know plenty of people that have their own business and make a good living.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I was convinced early to go to college. Looking back, I don’t think that’s the best thing…not for everyone. If you don’t go to college, learn a trade or start doing something legal that’s going to allow you to become a business owner. Even if you don’t start a business with an apprenticeship you will have the skills to get a job. My experience has been that my piece of paper (bachelors degree) helped me attain a job…but, after graduating, the 3 jobs I worked while in college helped me keep the job. Not everyone I know, after graduating, received a job and if they received a job it wasn’t always in their career field. I know one thing, all of them had a mountain of debt.

You can start your own business, possibly take a loan for truck and tools, and be working towards financial independence. A degree is banking on getting a job that might not be there after graduation.

I say this to reiterate…What is your plan A, B, C or D?

Hobbies:

Like working on cars = Get an ASE certification, become a mechanic

Like cooking = Learn to cook an entire menu, buy a food truck.

Like to drive = Get a loan for a car, drive for Uber

Like to dream =  Become an inventor

Good at lying = Go into politics (Joking)

All these hobbies are things you can do on the side. So in pursuit to become a doctor, lawyer, pilot a side hustle wouldn’t hurt. With multiple income streams, you can attain financial independence faster.

Regardless of the path you start on, have a plan and goals along the way.

To be honest, my plan A is really working out but I’m close to realizing my plan B and C…but it’s MY plan…get yours!

MPM

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“Ask yourself, what are you doing today to get you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.”

 

Shout out to LaTanya  owner of Pink Piggy Sweets ~ Organic Baking at its Best.

Historic Downtown 125 N. Center St, Goldsboro, NC 27550

 

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Blog of blogs: 2019 NYE Resolution, Almost movie review: The Green Book, Murder of Nipsey Hussle

NYE resolution…Help unite and support my brothers.  Yes I’m late…very late.

My previous New Years blogs…

https://middlepassagementor.com/2018/01/07/2018-annual-new-years-resolution-living-free/

https://middlepassagementor.com/2017/01/02/new-years-resolution-step-out-of-my-self-and-be-better/

https://middlepassagementor.com/2015/01/08/my-only-annual-blog-new-years-resolutions/

https://middlepassagementor.com/2014/01/14/new-years-resolution-self-improvement/

…have always been about incrementally getting better.

Every year we all commit to resolutions to make our lives better, eliminate bad habits, be successful, etc. Every year we either fail or succeed and every year…without fail, we make the attempt.

This year and every year forward I want to be about helping promote any positive black endeavor…help my brothers out. There’s been a consistent deliberate conscious and subconscious negative narrative about black men and women for that matter…just about us as a whole. We’ve been smothered with all the negative stereotypes and unfortunately, it seems we’ve come to embrace them. It’s almost like we now believe what people show us about us…like we are cooler or stronger because of the bravado. Our music is gangsta, our behavior is ratchet, our life is thug…all of it doesn’t make us cooler or stronger, it makes us week as a community and weak as a people. I’m just tired of it. So…I’m going to fight it with just my positive…wherever it may occur. That’s my NYE resolution.

Movie Review: The Green Book

Ok…so I saw the Green Book…good movie. I always have an appreciation for the bond or brotherhood between men. Like the movies, “Life” with Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence or “Uptown Saturday Night” with Sidney Portier and Bill Cosby or even “Bad Boys” with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.  Green Book, as with all those movies, transition the friendship through the forming, storming and norming. That was corporate speak, what I mean is you meet someone, you assess them, they assess you, you assert your position, then you respect and protect each other. Now…he’s your homie, anyway the story is based on…

Wait…

I just did a google search and they don’t even list the black actor in the 15 cast members listed on google…wait he WON the supporting-actor for his portrayal and he’s not even listed?! I’m talking about Mahershala Ali who portrays the real-life jazz pianist Dr. Don Shirley.

Wow…maybe my algorithms are off.

Anyway…know your history, the Green Book is a real book that detailed where blacks could travel safely in the south during segregation…it’s an actual book. It’s displayed in the African-American History Museum, I saw it.

So…search on Mahershala Ali and Dr. Don Shirley but don’t go see the movie…apparently Mahershala Ali wasn’t in the cast according to google. Dang…threw my whole review off.

The murder of Nipsey Hussle…why him?

I don’t even know where to start. I’m so sick of this $%@#!

I mean when Nipsey got killed, I was like, So what…next week another black man killed over something completely stupid.  It might even be something serious but again NOT worth a life.  Oh he’s a rapper… ex-gang dude, whatever, it will be someone else next week…but let’s get mad at the cops first. I mean come on, what makes Nipsey’s death any different. Someone will get killed next week over something like an almost gold chain, Nikes, my girlfriend likes you, your phone…some stupid s#1+.  Shoot…we don’t have to wait until next week…tonight I bet money, some black male will get killed TONIGHT! What?…you don’t like what I’m saying?!  I bet you won’t bet me. I make that bet any day of the week in any city. What…?  You didn’t think the same thing?! What US city do you live in where we aren’t killing each other…where do you live? I wanna move there.

You don’t understand…this is what EVERYONE sees us doing to ourselves…but “Black Lives Matter” right?!

Then I actually listened to Nipsey and got even angrier…Nipsey was a positive dude…about to get married…talking about investments…Yo this dude was making changes. That’s why I say, “Why him?”  Why is it that when the positive influences come and get snuffed out almost immediately…why is that?  Why is it that our beacons that challenge us to get better get snuffed out. I don’t know man but something has to change.

Rest in Peace Nipsey….really sorry I assumed those things about you.

Anyway…if anything is going to change, it has to start with me.

…that google search really put me in a foul mood.

MPM

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Leadership Profile: Tony Dungy

I thought I would choose Colin Kaepernick as a profile to identify for leadership…but I believe Colin’s story is still being written.

This is not to say this profile is complete but I felt compelled to bring light to such an example that really needs and deserves its due.

I just received the book, “Quiet Strength: The Principle, Practices, and Priorities of a Winning Life.” by Tony Dungy. I sent his book on marriage to my uncle…damn you Amazon Prime :o)

Wait let me back up…

I had the privilege to attend a speaking engagement with Tony Dungy as the keynote speaker.

You think…yeah Tony Dungy the old guy on the NFL panel, first African American Coach to win a Superbowl, author, Hall of Fame…yadda yadda yadda.  I knew he was a special dude when Michael Vic referred to Tony as the man the helped him out of the prison situation. Mike said, “Tony is my inspiration…” I knew there was something a little different…unique about Tony Dungy but I had no idea how great of an individual he is…and that wasn’t by accident.

There was so much wisdom coming from that podium…I was overwhelmed. To identify one key thing Tony stressed…humility.

Humility is one of the words written on my mirror and this man is just that…humble, but he gets it honest. Tony stressed “Humility is the most important characteristic of leadership.”  That statement, philosophy made me select Tony as a profile to write about. Did you know Tony Dungy’s father was a Tuskegee Airman?! Well…apparently Tony didn’t either, until his father’s funeral and they were running down all of his father’s accolades.  Lonnie Smith and his father talked everyday, and Tony was completely unaware. All of Tony’s life he never knew his father was a Tuskegee Airman. Tony’s belief in God and his mantra of humility obscures him limelight, but that’s by design.

In this selfie world where everybody is consistently trying to impress their friends and followers poppin’ bottles or pontificating, Tony Dungy comes with a level of humility that’s refreshing to witness. We all have people in our circles who’s lives are “Facebook Fabulous” but Tony’s life is just amazing or should I say, how he lives his life, his example… is just inspirational. I had only known Mr. Dungy as a SuperBowl coach…I was so glad I took off work to see this legend, he really is fabulous.

Other quotes Tony mentioned…

“What are you going to do today to make the situation better tomorrow?”

“If you’re going to be a leader, you can’t be out of control.”

Tony’s definition of success:

“Taking what God has giving you and use it to the best of your ability.”

I had a chance to ask Tony a question and I prefaced it with mentoring…I asked,

“Tony what would you tell kids that are between the age of 13 – 18 years old?”

Tony’s answer…

Do what YOU want to do, don’t follow the crowd, MAKE the crowd follow YOU.

MPM

Ps. There is so much more to write about Mr. Dungy but someone said my blogs are too long. LOL

https://coachdungy.com/

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