What We Knew Then…..

I drove by the old neighborhood last night. Went down the street that held so much of my memories, when I was trying to figure myself out. Just graduating high school, I thought college would’ve been the logical choice, but I felt unprepared. And mom wasn’t ready to let me go, asking that I stay home for a year before leaving. I guess pleasing her was important back then. Like I said, I was trying to figure myself out. This was before I concluded that my mother just might not love me. And even if she did, my love language dictated I needed to hear it, and she was incapable.

Smoking Blacks on the corner with the fellas. Pretending I was cool enough to be “one of the fellas” yet hoping one of them noticed me. Not knowing how to respond when one of them actually did. Feeling out of my skin because in this moment, being cool was easier/better than being myself. Because no one had told me otherwise. Behind the curve in knowing who I was, not wanting to do the work to get it together. Scared of what I might find if I actually did.

But let’s drink these St. Ides, and smoke these beedies. Just far enough to pretend, without falling over into “actually” becoming a smoker, or a drunk. Knowing I’m on roller skates and my house is at the bottom of a hill. It’s not gonna be a good look, halfway buzzed, on roller skates. Hell, I’ll take off the skates and walk in my socks, because I’m dizzy, and I gotta get home. Hopelessly waiting for Charles to offer me a ride home, or hell, I’ll even take his brother Shawn, because they’re both cute, and not all of us knew the rule of not flirting with both brothers. Them being cute is what matters the most. I have a weakness for dreads, and I’m out of high school now, so I’m grown.

I remember my neighbors from across the street, two teenage girls and their older sister. Their mother didn’t like me because sometimes the fellas came over my house and we’d stand outside. She said I was “in that way.” Playing Super Nintendo and getting dressed up to walk to the corner store. Because at any moment, one of the guys could drive down the street, and it didn’t make sense if you didn’t look cute enough. Knowing somewhere deep within me that I didn’t like being hissed at, something left over from a middle school trauma. I’d rather be on my roller skates, not trying to walk with that special “peacock twitch.” Locking your knees when you were waiting to check out because that made your booty sit just a little bit higher. It never really worked tho, because I was too busy looking at the ground, trying to shrink just a little bit smaller. Notice me, but not for my body. Another side effect of that damn middle school trauma. I know that now.

But you couldn’t tell me anything. I had my own room with my own door! I left the house at all hours of the night. To do what, I don’t know. Because I surely could smoke these Black & Milds in the daytime. I guess it was the thrill of it all. Trying to get a special taste of what it might be like when I actually left for college.

Doing things out of spite, “cuz I don’t trust these hoes.” I became “that girl,” because my best friend said she only hung around me because her boyfriend once said I was cute. So she “wanted to keep her enemies close.” And now, I’m 17 yrs old and in that phase of “every girl I know is a hoe, don’t trust em.” Goodness, those were confusing days. I can hardly read these sentences without drawing a diagram to remember how everything connected.

“Fast” is how I would describe that phase. I’m only referring to myself.  That surely wasn’t used to describe the passing of time, which seemed to go soo slowly. 

“Damn, I can’t wait til I’m 21. Everything will start then.”

The sentiment seems so silly now.

I have no idea of where the guys that used to hang on the corner have gone. Getting their acceptance seemed so important back then. Getting everyone’s acceptance seemed so important. Feeling like an outsider in my own home had me wanting  a place to belong. “Yes, Biggie bumps harder in the car, but I really want to listen to Hall & Oates.” Wanting to feel like it was alright to be just a little…. bit….. “left” without it being “uncool.”

It seems like a lifetime ago. I don’t often pause to think about the ways I’ve changed since then, too busy lamenting over the ways I want my life to change now. But these thoughts/memories go past my mind everytime I drive past the old neighborhood. I stare at the house and the ways it has changed since I was there. And I know that everything changes, whether we want it to or not. But I also realize how small my thinking was. 

Now I know I knew nothing….

Then. 

Sorry..Is all that you can say.. (then)

I don’t even know how to start this story.

“I don’t like that nigga..”

“somethin bout him ain’t right”

” He just doesn’t care.”

I’ve had dreams where I’ve strangled him. Dreamt of slapping him. Wanted to sell his stuff on Ebay. I can tell you about this level of my ugly, because I’m not perfect. I’m supposed to have Christ in me, but that dude has me round here wanting to lock him out the house in the middle of a hurricane.

And then wish Final Destination would happen to him.

Selfish

Inconsiderate

From the first time he snitched on me to moms, I knew our relationship wouldn’t be the kind I saw on the tv. As he stole money from me and caused my computer to crash I knew it was gonna be a cold day in hell before my brother and I would get along.

This went south very quickly...

This went south very quickly…

All these years, I’ve walked around with a quiet hatred toward my brother. I can call it hatred, because yes, that’s what it was. He got by on stealing from me because he wasn’t yet 18. I was waiting, for the moment I could press charges. Because if mom wasn’t gonna teach him a lesson, then I would. Several million “I’m sorry” no longer meant anything because if you were gonna do it again, then just save your breath. He would say “I’m sorry” in the same way Martin proposed to Gina.

“DAMN! are you HAPPY NOW?!”

He ate my food, we fought.

He didn’t consider me, we fought.

He stole from me, we fought.

No one punished him, I got mad at the world.. Then…. we fought.

He did something to my mother, she didn’t demand respect, I got mad at her.. Then we fought.

I couldn’t understand why “family” had such a different definition to him. Why you would steal from someone that would just give, if you’d been kind enough to ask. Why he was so selfish, and why my mother let him. I wanted to distance myself as far away from him as possible. Because Heaven forbid anyone look at me and think I’m the way he is. I don’t like that nigga. And that’s the realest shit I ever felt.

Then I took several seats. While watching the world from my bedroom window, I started watching him. I’m not sure where it came from, but I did start trying. I wanted to understand him. I wanted to know where his head was at, and if we had to co-exist, then something was gonna have to change before you see me on the news.

“Be the change you want to see in the world”- some smart dude.

I’ve tried this before. I’ve been nicer to my brother and we seemed to make progress only to get slapped on my other cheek  right at the moment when I thought we could be friends. So I was scared. I was scared to try again because this dude wanted to keep me at arm’s length. But I also knew that I needed my home to be my place of peace. I was also sure he felt my flesh-searing rays of anger whenever he came home. The initial thought being “why is he here and when is he leaving again?”

Now that I think about it, maybe that tension was why he never stayed home for very long, always finding someplace non-important to go. Jam packing a schedule in order to limit his interaction with me, my attitude, my disdain, and my fighting the demons that wanted me to ram his face into something one good time.

It was January, 2013. We had that ONE GOOD FIGHT that seemed to spring from nothing. That seemed to go from 0-60 in light speed. Before I knew it, I was yelling, cursing. Mom tried to intervene (“because the neighbor’s might hear”) and I kindly told her to go somewhere else and sit all the way down. This was the fight I’d been waitinig for. FINALLY, I could put paws on this nigga (he’s taller than I am) and get everything out, in one. fell. swoop. 

Dial the 9-1-1 and put your finger on “send.”

Me: “YOU DON’T F***** CARE BOUT ANYONE BUT YOUR DAMN SELF!!!!” (by this time, I’m the kind of angry that involves a shortage of breath..) YOU ROUND HERE EATING S**T THAT DON’T BELONG TO YOU! I CAN’T STAND YOU!

Him: “When did I do that?! You’re bring up things from last year! Stop doing that!

and in that moment, I realized he was right……

*to be continued*… 

Peace and Love, Nick

PS. Ya’ll think I forgot about the contest, Nah.. I like to keep my word. Soo, because all 3 ideas were good ones, I’m announcing all 3 participants the winners. Sope, Shon, and WU.. Email me yo addresses, (nick.notnikki@gmail.com) and I’mma send a lil sumthin.. Emphasis on “lil.:

Shon, I have your address already… Lol.. 

That didn’t read like 849 words, but I swear it was…. I’ll be back with the rest soon.

 

The Accent Challenge..

So.. I sat back and realized that the last time I wrote anything was on Valentine’s Day.. I looked in the mirror and said, “NIGGA! You been ‘thinking about writing’ for over 2 months!?” and I realized I needed to get my life together..

This isn’t what I originally wanted to post, but the other post wasn’t rockin right, so I’m doing the accent challenge. I was gonna do the challenge in a British accent, but that would negate the point..  For the old heads that know me, and the few new people I picked up along the way, here you go…..

I plan on doing more video posts, because honestly.. some of these stories, you can’t read about…. 

Thank you, for being here with me… 

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and see if you can pick out my grey eyelashes making an appearance…

See you soon… Nick

 

The Tenth Commandment…. (A contest)

Seems like everywhere you look, everyone is in the habit of re-writing ish. It wasn’t until recently I found out that your work becomes public domain 30 yrs after your death. I mean, ALL THIS TIME I thought someone continuously had to pay Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s estate for making so many versions of Sherlock. NOOOO.. such is not the case. I feel some kind of way about that and I haven’t even written anything for anyone to stiff me on royalties for.

Well anyway. Considering who I am and the way I was raised, it was all Bible everything til mom realized forcing me to go to church was not the move. It was the Job and Esther stories. It was the Ten Commandments and I knew at a young age that I was gonna need some extra help in that department. Even though I understand the parallels, “coveting thy neighbor’s ox” always felt antiquated to me. Now, “coveting their neighbor’s oxtail” might’ve been more appropriate. But I get what God was trying to say. I like knowing what the rules are, but I don’t like being told what to do.

like, “who YOU!?”

A: “I’m God”

Well alright, you win this round.

Anyway, I was on Twitter (as usual) the other day and @whippedqueen simply dropped a tweet that said “Make your own 10 Commandments. They show a lot about you” or something like that. I really shouldn’t have put that in quotations since I can’t remember the quote, but I did. Sue me. I thought it was a great idea. I told her I was gonna use it on the blog. Honestly, I’m surprised I hadn’t thought of it before, but I don’t care where the good ideas come from as long as they come. So I present to you…

Nick’s 10 Commandments..

mosesHeston2703_468x611

1. Be Better- All The Time

Always strive for more. Always search for more. Never stop learning and always know you can be better than you are right now. Don’t confuse this with never being complacent. You can be complacent, yet know that there’s more out there. More to discover, more to become. If at the end of the day you can say “I could’ve been better” then tomorrow make it so…

2. Two Ears-One Mouth

Listen. You can filter out the trash, but make sure you listen. Stop talking for a minute and actually hear what people are saying. Don’t get so caught up in the messenger that you forget the message. Even a dunce might have something to say. Sometimes feeling like someone has heard them is the difference between someone feeling helpless and someone feeling hopeful. Sometimes, someone says exactly what you need to hear at the moment you need to hear it. 

3. Really Communicate

Talk. Speak. Embrace your emotions and actually talk about them >_<. Don’t get lost in being by yourself that you don’t speak to anyone. 

4. To Thine Own Self, Be True.

No one really needs to understand you, but you. It’s nice when someone “gets it” but don’t change who you are and what you believe in order to not get the “crazy” stamp. Someone, somewhere will meet you and the lightbulb will go off. Until then, remember who you are and don’t waver from it.

5. There is always hope.

The minute you stop believing this, it’s all over. 

6. Take care of you first….

It’s not selfish to make sure you’re emotionally, physically and mentally well before tending to other people. Don’t be so caught up in helping others that you ignore you. Don’t ignore what might be going on with you to give the illusion of having it all together. You can’t always be available to everyone, and that’s alright. It’s okay to take some oxygen for yourself before trying to save someone else.

7. … Unless it isn’t about you

Know the balance between taking time for you and becoming apathetic. It’s easy to say “I’m not available for your problems” because it’s inconvenient. You can’t fix everything and everyone, but you can sometimes be the ear they need. Come out of your own little world once in a while. It sometimes is bigger than you. 

8. Give people a chance.

Stop “waiting for it.” The other shoe won’t always drop. People aren’t always out to get you, give them the benefit of the doubt. The wall that’s built keeps people out more than it protects. It’s alright to give a little. Let people surprise you. Yes, there’s some lunatics, but by now your skills should be honed enough to weed them early.

       (I cut people a bit too quickly)

It’s exhausting waiting for people to let you down, and you know it. Holding your breath so that you’re always prepared for the moment they fall thru isn’t fair. You can’t really let people in if you think they’re like lions laying in wait for the moment to strike. 

9. Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it. (yet)

Leave yesterday alone. Nothing can be done to change it. Decisions were made and today is the reward (or consequences) of those actions. Brush yesterday off and start each morning new. It’s so simple, yet so complicated.

And that’s all I have.

I know I said something about a contest, and here it is…. There are TWO chances to win.

1. Come up with a 10th Commandment. Even though I wrote these down over a week ago, I know I’m missing something. Come up with a 10th commandment and drop it in the comments. It can be something you apply to your own life that you think might work all around. I will choose the one I’ve decided to adopt and that person will receive a prize.

2. Come up with a better title than “Nick’s 10 Commandments” Something catchy that has some kind of poetry (or at least some thought) to it.

And lastly, what are your commandments? What are some mottoes that you have realized govern your life? Drop a comment below. Please don’t tweet me as I won’t be able to check it and I might miss your response.

I’ll announce the winners on Tuesday. And if only 2 people answer, then they’ll be the winners, just because they took the time to comment.

Ya’ll be trippin sometimes..

I love you.. Be good to each other and don’t get salty if you’re single on Valentine’s. If you are salty, I don’t wanna hear it. 

Peace, Love, and Light.. Nick

 

To The Ones That Came Before…

A couple things before the post…

1. This was the post I pulled last week, after the weekend I had, it now seems SO DAMN APPROPRIATE!!!!

2. I’m having my first contest on Thursday!! I didn’t even dawn on me that it’s Valentine’s Day, but who doesn’t want a contest!? So, make SURE you come back on Thursday, read the post, and be eligible to win a prize (a little sumthin, I’m not rich)

Now on to the post……… Love yall..

This is the note I’ve wanted to write for a while now. It’s for all those that came before the one that will be “the one.” It’s taken me a while to get to this point, but better late than never. Please understand, I say this with no tone, or sarcasm.

“Thank you.”

You see, with every fail, there’s been a success. For each fight, each tear, each angry rant, there’s been a part of me that’s gotten closer to where I want to be, who I feel I should be. I know I’m always late, always playing catch up, so some of the things I had to learn the hard way were common knowledge to some. But I also know that for the teachable moments I needed, since I couldn’t hear them, I had to feel them.

I realize that I let you get away with the way you treated me. Never asking for more because I was taught not to disrupt the status quo. I was taught (by way of omission) that I should take what I was given. Society told me if he really wanted to be with me, then he would be. If he wanted me to be his, then he would make it so. People work for the things they truly want, and since you didn’t work, either you really didn’t want me, or you didn’t think I was worth the effort. Both realizations used to sting, but they don’t anymore. There was a devil and an angel on each shoulder, and they both cried out the same thing, “why doesn’t he want me?” “Why can’t he be faithful?” “Why can’t he understand how good this could be?”

For all the times I asked these questions, the answers never came. I sank deeper into the feelings of “I’m not good enough.” Showed him my best side, my more caring, nurturing parts of me and still…….

nothing.

However, to the one that cheated on me, the other one that kept me at arms length til I met the last one that told me for 4 years that he wasn’t ready.

“Thank you.”

I thank you for what you did, all of it, every part of it. I’ve seen some get better once I left and others get worse. I don’t smile and smirk often, although I figure one day the letter I’ll receive will be similar to this one. By telling me “no,” by showing your ass, you’ve brought me closer to knowing what I’ll take. I had to be taken to the brink of “I can’t believe this is my life” to know the awesome pleasure it gives to be able to pull myself from the clutches of emotional stupidity. I had to make myself available for the possibility of something better, something greater, something with more potential. And I appreciate you doing what you can to get out the way.

Please know, my desire to not be friends doesn’t rest on any love that’s leftover. It’s based on the fact that if you come around me with a boo thang, it will possibly thrust me back into feelings of “I didn’t make the cut” and I ain’t got that kinda time.  I don’t want you to see me and not know your limits, not know how to determine the things that “just friends do” separate from what we used to. I don’t want you to look at me and share private jokes, those are done with.  I don’t want you to look at me with remembrance. Look at our pictures and remember me from afar. I want there to be no confusion about your place, so right now, you have no place. Maybe one day that will change, however, the more I don’t concern myself with you, the more the space that was allotted to you will be filled with something I think has more potential to make me happy. It’s why I changed my number and you don’t have it. It’s why I see your updates on Facebook and send you nothing but love and light with your new relationship. It’s why our phone calls are stunted and neither one of us knows what to say. I would have never been open to the possibility of something bigger than you if I hadn’t had the strength to let you go. Thank you for making the hard things, easy. All because I made the easy things, hard.

“Thank you.”

Peace and Love, Nick

A Quick P.S.A., (no R. Kelly)

I had another post scheduled to drop this morning. I pulled it because I wasn’t feeling it anymore. I’ll drop it some other time. After Tuesday, I thought something light was in order.

I woke up feeling a certain way this morning and I wanted to pass it along. It’s so simple.

“Be Great Today.” That’s it.

The other day, I asked my mom what made her happy and her answers said something like, “when you and your brother get along.” and various other answers that all depend on the actions of someone else. I told her that’s not the way this happiness thing works. You can’t be dependent on other people’s actions to determine whether or not you’re happy with your life. How does THAT work!?

It’s the same concept here. I plan on being great today. I know my boss is gonna be up my butt like a wet thong and her boyfriend is gonna say something inappropriate (like why I haven’t been bred yet >_<) but I won’t let them monkeys stop my show. Because at the end of the day, when I’m walking those 3 miles and my shin splints have kicked in before I clocked mile 1, all I have is me.

Seriously tho, does anyone have a cure for shin splints?? #TheyRude

And yes, I need this just as much as you do. Too often, I let my boss’ actions, (or my brother) ruin my day/evening/night.  Mind you, I’ve only been at this place for maybe 4 weeks and she’s already in a post >_<.  But that’s cool.

Because today, I plan on being great. 

Now, I understand the devil might have other plans for me, but I’mma tweet thru it. I’m actually getting sick, but I’mma tweet thru that too. 

I mean, it’s Thursday and Scandal comes on. And if you don’t watch Scandal, then it’s the day you get to pick on everyone that does, so it’s a win/win situation. It’s also the day before Friday. 

So, if anyone is starting to Gangnam Style on your last nerve, tweet thru it. Facebook it. Pretend you have bubble guts and go sit in the bathroom for 15 minutes (I do this, don’t knock this technique) Play a song you like,

on loop

THE.WHOLE.DAY!

Foreign Exchange, Ying Yang Twins, Tears for Fears, shoot, I’ll even allow you to play some Plies (eye roll) if that’s what’s gonna get you thru.

But get thru it. 

I’ll see you on the flip side.

Be Great. Peace and Love, Nick

(you know that Tears for Fears is for me, right?)