Tag Archive: appreciation


The First Girl I Ever Loved

When we all get older there will be many memories and moments that captured our hearts from the past. Regardless of the present state, those moments will bring us joy, sadness and pain just with the thought of that memory. The reason being is that we wouldn’t be who we are if it wasn’t for it. The memory that I have that is so unforgettable, is of a girl who showed me what love was for the first time. Her name was Leslie.

It was 1987 and I was six years old attending Lewis elementary school in Carbondale, Illinois. It was the first day of class in a brand new school and I was expectedly nervous. I didn’t know anyone and I was very shy at the time, so I just grab the first seat I could at an empty desk. As the kids started to fill up the class room little by little, I looked down at my folder and pulled out a piece of paper and began to draw. I would always draw on paper when I got nervous as a kid and I was very nervous at interacting with people I didn’t know, so I just looked down at the paper and avoided eye contact.

I heard the teacher calling out the names of students and ask them to say they were present. As she called out the names, I continued to draw and scribble on the paper to avoid looking up. I heard her say William Harris and I raised my hand to notify I was present and she called my name again, “Is William Harris here?” I then said, “Here” with a quiet voice as if I was whispering something to a friend. She continued until she finished the names and begins to speak in front of the class about the first day of school. The teacher then asked everyone to come up in front of class and introduce themselves. One by one, kids went up excitingly and introduce themselves to the class, as I mourned at the idea of speaking in front of people. As the kids continued to speak, a woman appeared in the doorway and interrupted our class with an announcement. She told the teacher that she would have one more student in her class and introduced her to the class. “Class this is Leslie Gamble”, she said and the students in the class said, “Hi Leslie”.

From the moment I saw her I was in awe of her beauty. She was a pretty girl with very long hair, green eyes and she was wearing a sky blue flower dress the first time I saw her. The teacher asked Leslie to find a desk and have a seat, so she walked to the back of the room and sat down in an empty desk right next to me. She seemed like a very nervous girl herself from what I first noticed. She started drawing on a piece of paper and looking down the same way I did and I was shocked, because I thought I was the only person who did that. Right from the beginning, me and Leslie had a connection before we ever spoke.

As weeks past, the kids in the class begin to start their own clicks outside for recess and I was the odd man out , so I played by myself most of the time until I noticed one day Leslie sitting alone. She looked sad and frustrated and that’s when I spoke to her for the first time. I asked her what was wrong and she told me that no one in the class liked her or wanted to play with her. I told her I felt the same way and she looked at me and said, “Why wouldn’t anyone want to play with you? You are the same color as everyone else, I am different.” In fact, she was different. Leslie was a white kid in a predominantly black school and she also was one of the first white kids I ever interacted with, as I was one of the first black kids she ever interacted with. Leslie and her family had moved to Carbondale from Iowa, because of a job opportunity her mother received with the university. She was definitely in a different element and it was bothering her because she felt the kids didn’t like her because she was white. I assured her that other kids would warm up to her if she talked more. She agreed and a friendship was made.

Leslie and I began to hang around each other every day at recess while the other kids did their own thing. We talked about life, cartoons, music and movies, something very mature for first graders to be doing at the time. I talked to her about the absent father in my life and she talked about her older brother who always picked on her. I laugh at it now, because I use to tell her I would beat her brother up if he picked on her, but I didn’t know he was in the 7th grade until I saw him one day after school when her mom came to pick her up. She was a real life Barbie doll and always looked the part when it came to clothes. Her mom looked like she was a former model and made sure Leslie looked the best.

One day our teacher asked us to partner up for a class project and I and Leslie chose to stay a unified couple. The project was to draw all the planets of the solar system and color them. I thought it was a cool project being that I was into space and all, but there was just one problem, I didn’t have any crayons. I had one box of crayons that I got at the beginning of the year, but I had destroyed those and couldn‘t afford more, so I just hoped for this situation to never happen and it did. I told Leslie that I didn’t have any crayons and she looked at me and said I could use hers. She had the double decker box of crayons that I thought only rich people could afford. She never cared about sharing, she was so nice about everything and I could tell she was raised right. There were many times I didn’t have paper or a pencil and I would ask a kid and they would tell me no, but Leslie was always there for me.

As more group projects were assigned, Leslie and I always stuck together even when paired with other kids. She would continue to let me use her things and I would show her my appreciation at recess by performing songs from the movie the Labyrinth, a 1980’s movie made by Jim Henson, the puppet master. I would sing these songs and perform them every day to her and another girl name Alisha that she befriended after a while. They would sit and giggle as I sung and sung making a fool of myself, but I never cared because I knew she was a good friend. Times were never dull with us, we’d play tether ball together and would make each other laugh hysterically by spinning ourselves on the swings until we were dizzy and try to walk it off. We did that every single day and it never got bored. What we had was special and I haven’t felt like that since about another girl.

It was around March when I received the worst news of my life up until that point. Leslie came to school one day and told me she was moving because her mother got another job. I was devastated because she was the only reason why I got up in the morning to go to school. She was my world at the time and she knew it, but it wasn’t anything she could do about it, so I had to swallow it and deal with it. She told me that she expressed her sadness to her mother and her mom assured that we would stay in contact. It was like someone taking all my happiness and flushing down the drain, I couldn’t stop thinking about what would happen once she left.

The last day of class for Leslie was on a Friday and we were told that a class party was going to happen last period for Leslie. Her mother brought cake, cookies, soda and chips for the class and we ate like it was our own birthdays. We all had a good time and expressed how much we were going to miss her and then the teacher let us go play outside for the last 15 minutes of class.As I was about to go run outside to play, Leslie leaned into me and said don’t leave the class I want to give you a present. I was wondering why she would give me a present after all she has done for me; I should be giving her one.

 As the kids darted out the class and preceded to the playground, I stayed back like she asked me and she looked around until no one was in the class and pulled out a present. She told me to open it and said that she bought it with her own money. It was a big box, so I had no clue what it could be, but I began to open the present anyway. When I tore apart the paper, there stood a brand new box of double decker crayons (You know the ones only rich kids get) just for me. She told me that she saved her money up just to buy me the same crayons she has. As I stood there in shock, she leaned in and kisses me. It was the first kiss I had ever gotten and it was from a girl who just bought me the best gift ever. I was in love.

 As class ended and the bell rung, I walked Leslie to her car with her mom caring the leftover cake and snacks and felt very sad. Her mom gave me a hug and Leslie gave me one to and she got into the car and said that she would miss me. She drove off waving and I stood there like I had just lost my home in a hurricane. I had just received my first lesson in heartbreak and disappointment and knew it wouldn’t be the last.I never saw or heard from Leslie again. The memories that I have of the first grade are all of her and that box of crayons. She was truly something special and has had a place in my heart ever since. I just hope one day that I can feel that same way about a woman that I did about a girl name Leslie, who bought me a box of crayons and loved me for me.TRUE STORY…

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Guardian Angel

 

As I lay there immovable in a comatose state of mind, you never left my side. It was months of the same routine and you didn’t distrust yourself one second. An unfortunate accident caused my life and your heart to be tested and you showed what great love is.You are the definition for unconditional.What laid ahead for me was an uncertain outcome and you still remained by my side. The doctors said it was a foregone conclusion for me, but you remained hopeful while others doubted.

Months went by and you stayed in that hospital room clutching onto me with your love and your faith. You proved to me that faith in something was far stronger than faith in nothing. I heard you speaking to God one night asking him to give me another chance, and I knew by your tone that you believe I deserved one even when I didn’t think so myself. You are so special to me and I want you to know that. The quiet whispers that you softly spoke with were heard by my soul and swallowed by my heart. Your love kept me alive even when I shouldn’t have been and I love you ever more for that.

There is something to be said about the human spirit when it knows it is loved. It can gain the strength of a thousand men in the most extreme circumstances when it knows that love is reciprocated and you proved that.I couldn’t open my eyes or move a muscle, but my heart never stopped beating, because it is forever linked with yours. As long as you are by my side, I am invincible to sadness and pain, you comfort me in a way that a mother does her first born right after giving birth, and it is magical.I am honored that you chose to be my life partner, when you could have chosen so many others to be with. I know that everything in life happens by choice and good reason, but for some unfortunate one, you choice to be by my side and I am humbled in your presence.You proved to me that love conquers all things and all doubters.

I sat in that intensive care unit unable to see, speak or move for eight months and finally awoke after so many wrote me off and it was because of your strength, your faith and your LOVE.

 

 

I want to say thank you my GUARDIAN ANGEL

My thanks to single parents

I never thought I would ever fully understand how hard it is to raise a child alone. I just thought it was something that life makes you adjust to, no matter what. I have seen women and men, raise children on their own all my life, most of the time it being a woman. I never really cared to think about how much sacrifice and heartache they go thru time after time. I thought I would have to have a child of my own, to really understand the dedication a single parent has to make, to make life normal for a child being the only parent involved…..

            I am not here to bash dead beat parents, who were too cowardly to man up to their responsibilities. That’s not for me to judge. There are many men and women who take full responsibility to raising their child even when they are separated. I am here to honor the people who do it alone and have no complaints about being a single parent…..

            I was raised by my mother and grandmother and never had a father figure in my life. My biological father has been absent 99 percent of it and the memories I do have of him are visiting him in prison when I was a child. I don’t make excuses for my life being difficult because I never had my father present. I think my life may have been different a little bit, if I would have had a father in my life to show me things. For example, how to shave or talk to girls, dribble my first basketball or throw my first right hand punch and attend my graduations. Maybe my life wouldn’t have some holes in it, but I don’t think it would have altered the way I am as a person. I am happy with my life, because my single parent chose to make my life great no matter what…..

            The unspeakable strength that a single parent has, is something that god only knows. Think about the woman who is left to take care of two twins, because her children’s father decided he doesn’t want to be with her anymore, so he leaves her to be with another woman. What about the widow of a firefighter who is left to take care of her four children after her husband tragically, dies, trying to save a burning building. Where does a single parent get the courage and strength to go on and continue life? How do they keep a smile on their face, when they know it is their sole responsibility to raise the kids? My answer, I don’t know. Whatever it may be, it has to be a special gift from god.

   I am 28 years of age and I have no children. I have lived all over the world and I have met countless women time after time raising children on their own. The interesting thing I have noticed about all of these women was the fact that I never heard excuses. No matter where I was whether it was Chicago, Las Vegas, San Diego, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Orlando, Minneapolis, Australia, Greece, Malaysia and London, women never made excuses. They took the loss of the chin and kept it moving. It was sad to hear that most of these women were raising children on their own, because a man decided he didn’t want a kid, after he had a significant part in making it. But that didn’t matter to the women I met, they were like, fuck him. My child will be ok and have the best life he could have. To me, I was like, damn, I wish I had that strength. But that’s the special gift that single parent possesses.

    So to all the women and men out there who are doing it alone, I want you to understand that I appreciate you. I respect you more than anyone in the world. You are head above shoulders over anyone else. The strength you have to raise a child go on is a joy to see. You give me courage to go out into the world and achieve anything I want to do. For it is you, that makes the world better. I want you all to know that no matter what, there are people like me out there that understand respects and appreciate you. You are the true definition of a hero….God Bless

 

Every now and then I wish I was the shadow of myself, so that I could be one second behind my decisions. I would have the capability to make smarter choices that my actual self couldn’t make. It would be nice to have a second chance at repentance if only I was my shadow.  I believe he gets a rise out of watching me try over and over again at succeeding in this tough world.

My shadow remains unobserved to the world, meanwhile my actual self, has to deal with the contemporary issues that life hands you. I am envious of the quiet lifestyle that my dark shadow possesses, he is so lucky to be without pain, yet he is present for my glorious accomplishments. My shadow is without judgments; he just cruises along being my silent associate never judging my actions.

He is there when I am cheerless, and he is there when I am jovial. It makes me invidious that my shadow has no emotion, but I understand that God has put him there just to be a sidekick. If only for a day I was my shadow, I could actually take pleasure in a bit of the world without interruption. I am envious of him once again, for the precision in which he possesses.

He is the shadowy knight of my life, a cape crusader observing my every move. It is unachievable for me to escape him, so I just deal with him following my every step.

Just once I wish he could be me, and I be my own silhouette, so I could finally see through the eyes of me………… one second behind.

 

 

The past is something we should use to pilot our future, not something that should have power over us. When we allow our past to dictate what we do now, we are no longer in control of ourselves.

You will never drive life’s highway without sometimes hitting bumps like regrets and heartache. When you do, it’s easy to get stuck there, gazing back into your rearview mirror at the past like a lost soul. That is the same with relationships and many people tend to let their past dictate their future inevitable missing out on someone great, who didn’t get  a fair chance to prove they weren’t the same guy who treated you like crap.

On the outside, people can appear to be the same sometimes, but that doesn’t mean they are. I have met so many women in my life that have accused me of being like someone they dated, without even letting me have a chance to prove that I was unique in my own way. This did not make me mad or frustrated, it actually turned me off, because here I was, a guy who was genuinely interested in a woman who I wanted to spend time with and she is reminding that I was like a past relationship and it was making it hard for her to really trust me. So I refused to be labeled and I came up with ways for troubled hearts to be mended so they could move on. I wanted to make people understand that pushing a person away is not the answer and it only alienates you from good people who want to see you happy.

For one, holding onto sullenness after someone has hurt you will only continue to hurt you more by poisoning your heart and soul. People need to understand that there is only one antidote to that poison and that is moving on. You have to decide not to allow people who have wronged you to keep controlling your life. You have to remember what people have done to you and never forget, but you must embrace a positive future and think the next person or situation that comes in my life will be positive and not negative. You can’t let the grim past clutch onto your future and stay there like plaque on teeth. You have to cleanse your mind of the unhealthy past and think that what you learned or went through will only make the next relationship or situation better.

Secondly, understanding that it’s healthy to remember your past as long as you’re learning from it and remembering how it can help your future situation for the better. But you must beware of becoming so engrossed with your past that it begins to dictate your present and future. Don’t let your past define you; that’s not healthy for you or the person that you are trying to give your heart to. You have to understand that you’re not a victim of your circumstances and that no one but yourself can tie you to the past; you decide whether or not to move on, not anyone else. Realize that your experiences in life aren’t just for your own benefit – they’re also designed to help other people. You can apply what you’ve learned about moving on to encourage others to do the same. There is nothing better than seeing someone help a person through a tough situation they also went through.

Last but not least, how many times have you heard a person say they don’t want to get involved because they don’t want to get their hurt broken again? While this seems like a reasonable outlook after dealing with such a “controlling, lying, or cheating” partner, it is really just a crutch.

When a person compares everyone in their future with the people of their past who have hurt them, they are voluntarily letting them the control their future as well. They are still attached to them in a way that is even worse than when they were together, because now, it isn’t even a real person who controls them, but a shadow of bad memories. It is up to you as an individual to not let yourself be controlled by your past’s ghost. You must remind yourself that you are not with them for a reason and they didn’t deserve you in the first place. Once you come to embrace that you as a partner deserves to be treated like a king or queen, you will then fully understand that the past is the past and it can’t control the beautiful future that awaits you.

EMBRACE YOUR HAPPINESS

Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying

If you’ve had the delight of meeting me in the past month, you will notice something very different about my state of mind and body. As far as my mindset goes, I am more unwavering than ever to pursue my lifelong goals and as far as my physical attributes goes, I have dropped about 20 pounds since March and also have brand new tattoo across my chest that stretches to both my shoulders. So if you saw just 6 months ago, I may look different to you and my thought process is very different in a positive way.“Get Busy Living OR Get Busy Dying”……My version

This beautiful quote that I have taken a liking to came from the movie “Shawshank Redemption” starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. It is also one of my much loved movies of all time. If you haven’t seen it, you have to be one of the most unlucky people on the planet, because it is truly an influential film that stretches the imagination and heart. To sum it up, Tim Robbins character Andy Dufrain was charged with murdering his wife and her secret lover. He was naively framed and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He makes friends with Morgan Freeman’s character Red and they become best friends the whole time he was in prison. Years later, while he was in prison, Andy received some invaluable information, that could get him out of prison and he went to the warden about it. The warden, who Andy was working for while in prison refused to hear the case or the story, because he didn’t want to lose him. Andy, very disturbed, became irate and ended up being sent to the hole for a couple months. When he finally got out of the hole, he was miserable and stuck between living and giving up. He had a heated discussion with Red and told him that he had to get out of prison. Knowing that he was guiltless of the crime, 20 years was enough for him in prison and he decided that you can do either two things in life, “Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying”. He broke out of prison and fled to Mexico.

Just a truly influential movie, that got me thinking about my own life in that manner. 2009 has been somewhat of a good but puzzling year for me. After all, my New Year resolution was to just spend a vacation on a tropical island alone and slim down physically for my opportunity to get into acting and television. I slimmed down tremendously, but have yet gone anywhere to clear my head and soak up some sun. I haven’t traveled anywhere this year, which is a first and the summer has been average with me spending most of the time up in Minneapolis visiting my childhood friend. So I can say it has been a simple 2009 with little advancement in life. I have to say, I really wasted the past few years of my life by avoiding things I should be doing the most.

At the tender age of 28, I have a large amount of memories to smile about, but yet I find myself displeased with where I’m at in my life. For almost anyone else I know, if they had the privilege to experience things I have done since graduating college (2004), they would be thrilled. I have enjoyed time living in Greece, a third world country in Malaysia and soaked up sun in Australia for ten months. I worked as a party promoter in Las Vegas and enjoyed neighbors like Kevin Federline and Paris Hilton while living with friends in Los Angeles. Some people would take pleasure in telling these stories, but I am not pleased with where I am at in life.

I had an impressive basketball career in high school, college and internationally, but after my knee injury in college, basketball was really a job instead of a passion. I spent the last three years, working with children wherever I’ve lived and it has been rewarding in a way, but I never looked at it as a profession. My capability to possess a childlike energy, keeps me having fun in life, but doesn’t keep me satisfied with where my life is at.

So that is why I have determined that I can do two things in life and those are, “Get Busy Living OR Get Busy Dying”. I chose, Get Busy Living, because I was never the person to give up on anything in life, I am too obstinate. I have been fortunate and skilled enough to have succeeded in everything I have tried. I have always understood that hard work goes a long way. I came from a hard working family and I also saw how hard some people I know worked to get where they were. I witnessed my mother walk three miles in the freezing snow, when her car broke down to go to work. I have seen friends of mine work three jobs with no free time, just so they can pay tuition for school. I felt the love of my grandmother when she gave me money she didn’t have, just so I could have something to spend when I was broke in college. These people are the idols of my life, not any celebrities. Real life people that I have seen work hard and not whine about anything. They chose to live……The one thing that has dissatisfied me the most, is letting the talent I have waste away.

 In college, I was an All-American basketball player that got by off talent alone. I gained weight and never really trained as hard as I could have, but still was able to be better than 98 percent of the people I played with and against. After college I didn’t want to pursue a professional career in basketball, because I never had the same affection for it anymore, so I played only a couple years overseas. As far as education goes, I graduated with two degrees from my university, but never thought about using my degrees until later in life. I received one degree in Public Relations which was a pointless degree and another in Acting & Film.

Acting, which is the thing I want to do more than anything, has been put off many times for nothing. I’ve had call backs for auditions and movie roles, but never took them serious. I’m sure I have pissed off a few casting directors and agents who had faith in me. Everyone I know in LA wants to be an actor or musician and most of them will sadly never make it. The odds of becoming of a working actor in Hollywood or a Musician have to be one in a billion. I never looked at it as a hard career choice, because it was never a dream of mine to be a movie star, it has always just been a talent of mine since I was nine years old acting in plays. I have always felt I was better in performing arts, than I was in sports and that’s saying a lot. Ever since I was around sixteen, I always said I would move out to California and pursue acting, but the whole time I have been out here in California, it’s been about the partying and bullshit. I let myself get consumed by my lust’s instead of my task to succeed. I don’t regret anything, but I am disappointed, because there is not a single reason on this planet why I am not acting or why I am not a successful person to my liking. Not one reason and it is a shame that I have let my talent and opportunities go to waste for nothing.

So that is why I have chose to, “Get Busy Living” instead of “Get Busy Dying, because I know that my life didn’t stop at bouncing a ball and it didn’t stop at clubs, girls and the pursuit of shallow dollars. I have “Get Busy Living OR Get Busy Dying” tattooed across my chest to remind me every day, to never let myself down again….God Bless

 

Have you ever been in a situation where it was too late to say goodbye? On the other hand, what about looking back on your life with absolute disgust at something you should have done but never did? That is what I am speaking of when I say, Old too soon & Smart too late. I have had opportunities in my life slip away many times because I was either lazy, or just procrastinating about what I wanted in my life. I sat back and said to myself, that those opportunities or people will still be around when I need them and the reality of it was I never was able to get those chances again.

I remember talking to one of my friends a while ago, who mentioned an ex girlfriend that he lost because of his promiscuous lifestyle. He said for many years, he took advantage of the love she had for him because he knew she was not going anywhere. He would go days without seeing her, never giving her the time that she deserved and had other women on the side. He was pure hell to the girl and finally she had enough of his shit. She left him for good and he never spoke or seen her again.

My friend truly has deep regret for his actions and blames all of his personal issues on himself. He said that he thinks of the life he would have had with his ex if he were not so selfish. He spoke of his ex in a heavenly manner. She was someone who would give her last nickel to him if he needed it. She spoiled him rotten and was rewarded with disrespect and heartache time after time. There were never any dates or flowers and those were the little things. He never got her birthday gift’s or Christmas present‘s, but she did all of those things and more. She helped finance a car for him because of his poor credit and was repaid with lies and cheating with no apparent end in sight. He understands that he lost a rare breed of woman and it was his fault. Like I said, old too soon & smart too late.

I am constantly trying to find ways to improve myself on a daily basis and every day I learn something new. With this issue, I understand that I have to seize the moment before it is gone. Maybe it is I simply calling my grandmother to say how much I love her, or perhaps telling a beautiful woman how much I appreciate her conversation and time. Regardless of the scenario, I understand that time flies by faster than a speeding bullet and before you know it, you are forty-five, fat needing to lose weight, or simply too old to chase your dreams. No matter what it is, we all need to appreciate the time we have on earth and seize the opportunities at hand before you are too old & smart too late.