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…And Beyond

I don’t get invested in horoscopes or any astrology stuff. So when I saw the NYE party I went to last night had a palm reader,  I laughed. However, a couple of my friends were getting their palms read. The reader didn’t so much tell the future but state some accurate facts about situations in their lives. Curiosity won me over.

I really only wanted to know about my personal life. It’s weird because I wasn’t on the fence but I was struggling to accept the reality of a decision that had been made. People often look to things like this as confirmation for their already made up minds. For me, it was about hearing the decision out loud and knowing that it felt right.

Instead, she didn’t see or say anything about love. No marriage. No kids. What she did see was the beginning of an old dream and the birth of a new one.

I’ve been wanting to close 30s and Beyond for a while now. I even set the date a few months ago. Yet that date came and went. I felt like I still had important things to say. I had a perspective that needed to be told. On the other end of that, it was exhausting. The deadlines of writing would cause my chest to tighten. I knew the end was near.

Something the palm reader told me was to not be afraid to extend and stretch my vision. She told me that in my life line, she saw a tendency to find comfort in being too logical and linear, which prevents me from acting on the things I want. She advised me to stop over-planning in the area of finances and my career because there it was causing a paralysis in my progress.

The craziest part was she asked if I’d been sick recently. I had a stomach virus and was recently diagnosed with a stomach ulcer. She mentioned that a career was never going to fulfill me until I stopped obsessing about worst case scenarios. This was particularly timely because of a post I shared on IG in December and some recent tweets about reaching a place where neat and perfect isn’t unattainable.


I spent a few days last week going through old posts. This space has been deeply personal for me. It’s helped me understand and re-shape opinions I had about fatherhood, family, relationships, addiction, self-image, success, and of course God/my religious foundation. What many probably won’t understand is how much writing here takes out of a person emotionally.

The hope that God would give a definitive sign about when the time was right kept me from writing this post. However, as I sit here on January 1, 2017, it’s time for me to step into the beyond.

I wish there was a more eloquent blog post queued up for this. The truth is I’m writing while sitting in my garage.

If I could offer any advice to readers for the new year, I would say 2 things:

  • Don’t wait for God to send a drastic sign. Most questions are answered in faint, tiny whispers.
  • Your destiny is directly connected to your obedience. Some of us are delayed because of fear. Sometimes, it may be because we think we’re under-prepared or undeserving. In regards to 30s and Beyond and personal stuff, I was held up by harping on feelings that weren’t a big deal. Given the reading, I have peace in both areas.

If God isn’t yelling and screaming, will you still listen for His voice? When He gives you that gentle nudge or drops a thought in your spirit, will you give it the respect it warrants? How strong is your faith that you’re willing to close the door on what’s behind and step into the destiny that’s been prepared for you?

Your life can be anything you want it to be if you commit to make it so. Define what you don’t want in the next 12 months and meditate what your needs and desires. If you feel the stirring in your spirit to act on something, trust. Then go. I promise you’ll have peace in taking the 1st step.

From now on, I’ll be writing full time on Medium so follow me there.

 

 

The Year It Took To Rebuild My Confidence

Normally when I go somewhere or experience something new, I try to do an accompanying photo post to recap it. I’m not one of those people who takes tons of pictures of everything or constantly posts on social media. However, this most recent vacation last week was a little different in terms of how the planning went.

I’ve never been to San Francisco so I had no idea how massive the Bay area actually is. Over the summer, I knew I’d be in Cali towards the end of the year anyway so I started looking at reasonably priced flights to North Cali in the summer. Apparently, flying to the Bay area is expensive as hell!

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The flight wind up costing $215. Given the results I’d found, that was cheap as it gets.

Initially, I’d planned to spend most of the daytime outdoors. But the weather was like “YOU THOUGHT”. The positive thing is that I had time to reflect about this last year.

What I’ve noticed as time goes on is that we’re all dealing with the same types of things. We learn how to get through and get over by not being scared to be ask for support.

Men need to know it’s okay to struggle with sex and coping mechanisms and suicidal thoughts and therapy. It’s okay to question God and wonder if we deserve love after we mess up over and over. We need to get real about the range of emotions that make us human. But we also need to have conversations about accountability and learn how to own up to our BS then pick up the pieces and work through it.

I hit a point where my self-esteem was low. Some days I wasn’t sure how I’d ever get back to feeling “normal” again. Well, I can say it’s taken a year.

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#30in30 Day 27: The Weight Of Taking Care Of A Parent

In the past few months, I’ve been back and forth to NY; more than I have since my college days. Now that my mom is widowed, my brother and I (but mostly me) have taken on the responsibility of making sure she’s good. Yet that role has become more exhausting as of late.

While I was talking to her doctor today, the thought crossed my mind that once you become the adult in your parent’s weakened state, your relationship inevitably changes. Much like parenting a new baby, nothing will prepare you to be a caregiver to the people who you always viewed as invincible.

Connecticut Family Selling American Heirloom To Pay Off Son’s Med School

We all have to make sacrifices to attain the levels of success we want. But could you really see yourself parting with a piece of American sports memorabilia?

The Gott family of Stamford, CT is doing just that.

With son Michael’s medical school bills in the excess of $150,000, his mother Elizabeth has decided to sell Lou Gehrig’s 1928 homerun baseball at the AllStar Fan Fest in Kansas City.

The 84 year old baseball has been in the Gott family through generations as a hand-me-down since that historic game.

When asked about its place in their family, Gott said “It has a lot of history. It’s a lot about America. To think that it’s possible the team that we rooted for could actually help my son pay off some of his medical school debt, any amount would be fine.”

The piece of sports history has thus far netted a top online bid of $37,000. Though it’s actual value is estimated around $200,000.

 

Michael Scott, The 1st Lady, and The White-out

I spent all of last spring watching The Office on Netflix. It took about 2 months to fully catch up to where the current season was. At 1st, I was kinda like “ok this show has its moments”. By mid season 2 though, it easily became 1 of my favorite shows to watch.

Over on the FB page, fans were heavily divided on the new season premiere. Steve Carell took a respectful exit and I’m glad to see him go. I think this was a great move on the show’s part. The tough thing about doing a comedy surrounding 1 character is eventually people will get tired of him/her. At some point, fans will get to the point where they know the joke (sans TWSS) and they see the set up before it’s fully complete. No fun in that! Personally, I think Dwight is a way funnier character than Michael Scott anyway. I don’t know much about James Spader (the new CEO, who replaced Kathy Bates since she has another show on NBC). I hope the writers handle the Robert California character on an as-needed basis. James Spader just doesn’t have that smart comedy type of vibe that’ll fit with the rest of the cast.

The “Nard Dog” was a perfect choice to be the manager! His goofiness and likeability is the same as Michael Scott’s. Plus I think Ed Helms will bring a more lively approach. Judging from the last season, I could kinda see how the writers were running out of funny stuff for Michael to say, which in turn made Steve Carell become lazy on the delivery.

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I hate Extreme Makeover! But I just watched the new season premiere, because Michelle Obama was in the promos. Isn’t she awesome? While Barry takes a beatdown on the political front, Mrs. O is out there in the trenches, keeping good face with the voting public.

This week they built a new home for a woman who helps homeless female vets. I remember hearing about this story sometime last year when the other O was still doing her thing. The story of how these women come home to nothing but their dog tags was both heart-breaking and moving.

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After I watched the BS Cowboys and Indians game, I gave the new show Pan Am a try. It seems like the networks are really going hard promoting these new shows. I don’t like the show itself. A positive note is it’s beautifully shot. Judging off the 1st episode, it has great potential. However, once again, there’s no black actors on ABC or any of the other networks. Even Taraji Henson got a snub in her show’s promos. It’s sad that the only black face we see on network television is the voice of a white guy.

Why I’m a Twitter Convert

On Saturday while I was in the studio with some clients, we got into a discussion about Twitter. My clients are from Greece and they were raving about how they want to market their new project on the “Tweeter”. (how they say it is comedy!) They asked me did I have any stats about the number of Greek users. Sadly, I didn’t. Not because they’re unavailable, but because I haven’t fallen into the Twitter trap.

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That has since changed. Overnight actually!

You see, I gave Twitter a try at the beginning of this year. That’s when the Beehive FM crew was poppin (Anh Vu, Live from Plutopia). Outside of the Ustream, the hosts would have questions and different topics throughout the day and drop their twitter names. So I decided, “alright cool, let me give this a try”. I tweeted maybe 60 times over the course of a few months. I don’t know what it is, but Twitter just didn’t seem as interactive as Facebook is. The whole concept of being clever or interesting enough for people to subjectively follow you just seems like too much work. On Facebook, I use it as a tool to network and discuss things with people that are on my same level. I tend to add people who went to Hofstra or surrounding schools and friends of a friend. Way more co-signage and validity than simply following someone.

But now I’m pro-Twitter. Over the past week, I realized by nature of its candor, Twitter is more of a hobby; as opposed to Facebook being like a part time job. People literally say the most asinine, hilarious, ignorant, thought-provoking comments in 140 characters. I’ve also observed people who make a brilliant point using only 140 characters. That’s a commendable feat!

For purposes that are more related to business and That 365 Life, I decided to get back on Twitter and make the most of it! So come stalk me @i_amjwood