I recently gave a speech for our local National Guard unit. I was speaking on toughness, or as the Army calls it, resiliency. In my view… toughness is something that has to be developed. Merriam-Webster’s calls resiliency “the ability to rise above adversity”. How many of you consider yourselves to be tough, or resilient? How many of you honestly can look down at your life and say unecquivocally that you have that trait? In my eyes, we all have it, but in varying degrees. In my case, I had to grow into this. It was painful and took almost 35 years. This is something near and dear to me. I love seeing people “get over”. I am all about “putting people over”. Toughness is a whole hell of a lot more than using curse words, talking loud and being overbearing. Some of the toughest people I ever met were under 5 feet tall, under 100 pounds.
I am sure a lot of you are reminiscing by now, looking at your body, looking at the tattoos, the scars, memories. If you grew up in my era (late 1990s/early 2000s), you can attest to a shift in the overall consciousness of Americans.Seems to be a less confident, less resilient people now. More groupthink, less “rugged individualism”. More victimhood rather than a “can-do” spirit. I will leave you all with this: Do not be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid to be hurt. Never fear anything.
It’s been a while. So I am back with some new stuff to tell ya. Recently I was made privy to some stuff about some close friends of mine. One of them, and old Army buddy, is basically Norbit. So much so, he was called out on it by his section sergeant (2012) and was laughed at for it. I got love for dude, but he allows this sheboon in his life to walk all over him. It’s disquieting to say the least. Another friend, who I met along the way out West, is in a bad way. On one hand, he is doing great things in his life. On the other hand, seems as if his personal life is falling apart. Bad times, bad people, bad things happening to a good dude. He feels alone in a lot of things, since he is a newcomer to a major West Coast city. I talk to him a lot. He comes to a consensus that he is going to change his life in a major way. With his work, he isn’t settling for anything. He wants to work multiple jobs. He wants to date again (he is out meeting, greeting people through his work anyway), plus he understands that life is nothing nice. I applaud his courage, because change doesn’t just happen. Besides, he’s too smart to just allow things to happen to him and not challenge/overcome them. His attitude has undergone a facelift, as he talks of personal branding. He’s even talking about writing a book and self-publishing (or getting it on amazon). Seems to me buddy is basically having a second coming-of-age. He is in his early 30s, yet experiencing life as a twentysomething would. I’d say my friend is just finally coming into his own. To hear him tell the tale, he was an outsider of outsiders. With much advice, insight, prayer and relating my story to him, he sees that he wasn’t so bad after all. Just he grew up around a lot of fools in a foolish time.
In closing, I must say I have seen a lot of people like this- amazingly enough, most of these achieve a lot later on in life.
I was driving down the street the other day after my workout… I got to thinking all the “what ifs”, etc… I got to thinking about women I was involved with… and what life would be like if had married each woman as opposed to my current wife. As some of you know, I like my women curvy… not skinny as a rail… and they have to have a mind of their own. With that being said, I was riding home and was reminiscing of past relationships. I have been a man who never discriminated in his dating choices. I have dated Black, White, Spanish, Asian women. I got to thinking about all of them. Thinking of them, got me to thinking about my evolution as a man. I went from wanting big-breasted, wide-hipped, big butt having sluts to marrying a pretty average young woman (I am 9 years older than my wife). Nothing wrong with average, come to find out, things can be very adventrous (in the bedroom and out). In so many ways, I saw myself growing from a sex-crazed youngster who wanted nothing but big titties in his face and rough sex into a man who loves his family. Realizing that, even though I am 37, it’s humbling. I see quite a few guys my age and older still trying to play the field. Not something I want for my life… I am not judging those guys, just illustrating the differences. My younger brother, who is 35, is still living by the Players’ Code. In my opinion, it is time for him to hang it up and move on to the next chapter of his life. I am not perfect, I just have learned from a lot of the stupid crap I did when I was younger. Thanks for travelling down memory lane with me.