I’m not a doctor, psychologist or professional counselor of any type.
I’m just a man. Regardless of my success or failure in life I feel lucky and blessed to be able to live my life.
What I’m sharing is nothing trivial or easily dismissed. I try to speak to young boys of color but for this subject, I want to speak to anyone that is considering suicide.
I don’t care if you’re adopted, an orphan, poor, rich, on drugs, pregnant, failing in school, don’t know who your father is, don’t have any friends, smart, pretty, popular, funny looking, acne faced, disabled, deaf, blind, getting bullied, fat, overweight, lonely, or just confused, you have no reason to give up. When you give up, you give whatever was bothering you, victory. You let it win when you give up, and maybe right now, you’re feeling weak cause you’re thinking about it. Don’t think about it…take a nap, rest, and if you’re still thinking about it when you wake up, I guarantee that the problem won’t be as big as it was before you went to sleep. I’ll tell you why…because the more you suffer and overcome, the stronger you get. Whatever problem you thought was big is only going to get smaller. At the moment you get past this, you’ll feel stronger. You just have to get around, over, through this small problem. Sounds crazy I know, but stop focusing on the problem, stop focusing on the obstacles or hurdles…focus on your life and living and what you’re going to do with it.
I never talked about this, ever, to anyone, ever. It was such a brief thought I guess I want to block it out but it did happen.
At 13 years old, my imagination was limited. I came from an environment where I was the only black kid in my entire grade and now it was the opposite. I was living in Philly, I had just moved from New Jersey and wasn’t adapting well to an all black middle school. I was nerdy and I didn’t fit in. I wasn’t cool or popular. I was funny looking, I talked proper, I didn’t have any cool tennis sneakers or clothes and was awkward around girls…and on top of that, I actually like playing tennis. Black kid, in the hood, nerdy, and could barely play basketball.
I considered giving up.
My mother’s boyfriend had a pistol and I thought about it. Not seriously thought about it but wondered what would happen. Then at that moment I realized that there was no way I would know what would happen afterwards because I wouldn’t be here…duh! I guess I was too nosey to give up, I wanted to know what would happen in this life of mine.
I had not experienced enough of life to understand how much fun life will be later. Yes there have been some challenges but those challenges make you appreciate life’s journey.
When I say I hadn’t experienced enough of life I mean I had not done the following…
Learned how to drive
Go away to college and be completely poor all through it until I graduated.
Went on a cruise with my uncles to the Caribbean
Met the bestest friends a man could have
Marched in the Million Man March
Golfed in Cancun, Mexico
Touched the Will Smith walk of fame, “Change the World”
Visited the Giddy House in Kingston Jamaica
Bought a house, then bought another house
Drove my mother to an outlet mall and said, “Happy Birthday ma, get what you want.”
Witnessed the happiest times with my favorite family members
Became President of the DC Chapter of Concerned Black Men, Inc. and then the Vice Chairman of the National Organization.
Skied down a black diamond course on a mountain.
Stayed in Bermuda at the Premiers house and partied with him and his wife on New Years
Learned how to sign language…well
Witnessed the election of the first black President…
Who happens to be cool
Probably the craziest activity I’ve ever completed…
Zip lined over a rain forest from mountain top to mountain top in Puerto Rico(Horizontal Superman style), I looked really busted in this video…it was a crazy night salsa dancing in Old San Juan, think my teeth look bad too, who cares, that much wind in your face can’t allow you to look presentable.
Went to a baseball game
Rescued a dog …see picture!—>
Bought my favorite sports car
Treated my friend to a trip to Amsterdam
Raced a motorcycle 155 miles an hour
Bought a Range Rover…it’s old, but it still a Range Rover
Met, instructed and certified by one of the most experienced black scuba divers alive, Dr. A. Jose Jones.
Scuba dived to 95 feet, and pet a shark at a depth of 60 ft
Went to Vegas
Learned how to fence…sword fight!
Wrestled the 5 time sumo wrestling champion BYAMBA…kinda. He was seriously just playing with me.
Held my newborn sister or my friends first-born son.
If it sounds like I’m bragging, I AM!
I could talk about myself all day and you would not be bored…my life is fun! I could not say this at 13 years old. I didn’t even know who I was, and you probably don’t know who or what you could become. You have your whole life to define who you are…get it wrong or right, you have time. Give yourself some time. This is my point, give yourself something to brag about, your life is just beginning why put an end to it because you are having a small problem. No matter WHAT your problems is…it’s small….tiny…itty bitty compared to what’s going to happen in your life. Let it happen, give it a chance.
I was able to experience so much happiness and see different parts of the world because I didn’t give up. It’s not about money, fame or wealth, those things are nice to have but it’s the experience of life. If you ask anyone just after a trip or an experience how much something cost, I bet you they may not be able to tell you, but I promise you that they will remember how they felt about it. I’m a product of North Philly and proud of it. That’s where I started but that’s not where I’ll finish. I didn’t look for the easy way out. I’m not saying that life is easy, but it gets easier. The harder you work the easier it becomes…trust me on that fact. I can’t even remember why I thought about killing myself, I was about 13 years old and whatever the reason was so meaningless to the massiveness of my life now, it’s like comparing a mountain of a life to a grain of sand of a problem. I honestly don’t remember who that person was or what was the issue…I don’t seriously.
Remember I started stating I’m just a man. That’s all I am…nothing perfect about me, I have debt, worries, anxiety and problems but I’m still living my life. Even with all my problems, I wouldn’t trade MY life for anything or anyone else’s life. I wouldn’t trade it for a bullet, a celebrity or any amount of money. I plan on making it better every step of the way. My best days are still ahead of me, marriage, and children are still to come. Your days are just beginning, you can do some many great things. I want you all to be BETTER than me and fill your life with so much more.
Your life’s journey is just beginning. PLEASE don’t consider stopping it before it gets started. Please comment or email if you’re having any problems…I will help you out of the space you’re in, you’re bigger than that space, get out of it.
“Faith is not about everything turning out OK… Faith is about being ‘OK’ no matter how things turn out.”