Life

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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#40Days – The Home Stretch

I had no idea what was going to happen when I embarked on this journey of total submission. All I knew is mentally I was hoping to take a large leap forward. I was having doubts in a few areas and I wanted to set new standards for the people that were  in and would come in my life. When I’d heard the message on that Sunday, it was a necessary instruction to stop and chill.

So that’s what I’ve been doing. Today, is the 30th day.

Yesterday, I woke up feeling “off”. I couldn’t explain why and couldn’t even convey the feeling into words. Physically, I didn’t feel the best either. I’d had a rough boxing session with a client that literally kicked my ass.

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It took a few hours for me to key in on what was up. I’m writing this on my way to Cali, taking a few days for a well-needed vacation. Going through this last month, I noticed how even the smallest decisions can change your life so drastically. And sometimes you have to catch up mentally to where God leads you spiritually.

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The Post About Nothing And Everything

When I sit down to write for the internet to consume – whether it’s 1 reader or 500 – I’m deliberate with word choice and execution. However, today is one of those days where I need to let my heart speak. I have things that I’ve been wanting to share but have been waiting for the right moment or rather, the proper post do so.

I’ve grown a decent readership in the past few years so by all means if you’re expecting eloquence, you might want to ignore this 1 and head over to Medium for my latest piece.

So I’m currently embarking on a 40 day fast where I’m spiritually cleansing my life. It started after my pastor delivered a message where he spoke about reaching the point where you feel like you can’t take it anymore. If you’re interested in checking it out, you can watch it here. (Fast fwd to about the 15:00 mark)

There are parts of my life in need of a hard reset and purging. I don’t want to wait until the new year. I don’t plan on doing a recap or one of those “year of review” style posts so here it goes.

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5 Things I’ve Learned While Not Having Sex

It’s been a long time that I’ve written about my sex life in great detail. The reason for that is there wasn’t much to tell. However, this year I’ve been struggling with my celibacy.

Around my birthday, a woman offered to cook dinner for me. It seemed innocuous enough but I still had reservations about it. The truth was I didn’t trust myself around women. It had become increasingly more difficult to not be overrun with sexual thoughts. My heart and mind were in one place but my body wanted to respond the way a human body naturally responds to pleasurable stimuli. Not only was it a conflict of emotions, it was a conflict spiritually.

I didn’t wake up one day and decide to be celibate. I gradually made the decision to stop viewing sex as an automatic expectation in a relationship, though. I also decided to stop using sex as an escape.

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Photo Post #11: Getting Out Of My Head

This summer has seemed particularly long. I’ve been working a lot and haven’t had much time for anything else. It’s paying off though because I recently came into a job promotion that was unexpected. As a contracted opportunity, it’d put a few extra thousand dollars in my pocket. The problem is agreeing to it would inevitably pull me away from the career that’s always been my passion.

Earlier this year, my mind was made up professionally. After my trip to IMG, future plans were clear and financially, everything was starting to align as well. With my second job, I was able to save the money needed to pour into my passion. But when my contract was up and the review went well, what was supposed to be a short-term gig turned into a viable career option.

With any decision that involves money, I weighed all possible outcomes. Along with some personal things that happened within the same week, I was emotionally drained. It was as if divine intervention had taken control since my boy hit me up with dates for a group trip that had been on the table all summer. Given what I was going through, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

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The Outer Banks in North Carolina reminds of certain parts of the Hamptons, except much more affordable. My boy’s family has owned a house there for about 30 years and recently did a ton of renovations on it. The house and the neighborhood was pretty amazing! What I appreciated was how normal it felt. Even though it’s a vacation home and the beach was literally in the backyard, everything about it felt like being at home. I didn’t feel out of place or uncomfortable. That helped immensely with the anxiety I was already smothered by

What was funny is I’d gone to Vermont with this same group back in February. I’d had a conversation about career plans then because I’d recently graduated. When the same person asked for an update, it was nice to have good news to share. It wasn’t about impressing anyone. It was solely about having confidence and peace in the direction I was moving in.

Sometimes, getting out of the house is exactly what you need to re-focus your thoughts.

 

We Could Never Appreciate Muhammad Ali in 2016

America’s relationship with sports, more specifically sports heroes, is one of convenience and greed. Our memories of the greats are often served in palatable bits and pieces. This sentiment has been all over various social platforms since the untimely passing of the beloved Muhammad Ali.

It’s hard to say that the loss of Ali is sad because he lived a full life. But his death certainly calls attention to the collective conscience of America.

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Ali spent nearly a third of his life suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. To watch the champ — whose physique was truly a marvel in his prime — slowly deteriorate over such a long time is gut-wrenching. When I look at how this massive personality of a man shrank into relative seclusion, it’s reminiscent of how we tend to treat our legends after the sport they dedicated their lives to end.

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Now Is The Time To Overcome What’s Holding You Back

The first four months of 2016 have been busy. Some of the recent changes have been abrupt; forcing me to change gears almost overnight. Other changes have been more a slow burn. I’m currently doing a devotional that is focused on the calling – hearing it, knowing what it means, and how to live a Jesus-centered life.

Doing the devotional has given me some details to look for in my prayers and in my daily actions. I decided to dive a little deeper into what it means to have God call you to do something. We often see God’s purpose for our lives as singular. Although, our anointing has the power to affect those around us now and the people we’ll meet along the way.

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