New Outlooks & Appreciation

I have many things in my life that I have gratitude for, what I am most thankful for is the relationship that I have with my daughter, the awareness I am continuing to develop of who I am and what active steps that I must take in the area of critical thinking to have the ability to make the best decision for the health and safety of myself and others, lastly taking to task my health issues mainly being overweight, compounded with an unhealthy living habits. I am grateful that I have finally taken control of my life and have begun to see the small improvements with the promise of more improvements to come.

My relationship with my daughter is the thing that I am most grateful for, because often men who are incarcerated don’t have the opportunity to develop a meaningful line of communication and physical interaction with their daughter. We have managed to blend a clear understanding of her accepting that I am her father and that I will always take the opportunity to give her guidance in both her private and professional life, with a nontraditional actual friendship between a father and daughter that gives us both the space to open up to each other on a personal level that has made our connection closer than I could have ever imagined. It began with brutal honesty about the decisions that I made that were the cause of my incarceration, and accepting full responsibility for not being there to care for her as a father should. I truly believe that my daughter trusts me, cause she knows that I will always tell her the truth no matter how hard it is. My daughter is 21 years old now, I respect the fact that she needs personal space to live, experiment, fall down and get back up, all in an effort to allow experience to give her the confidence to deal with real life. I know upon my release that our relationship will get even better cause of the uninterrupted time we will be able to spend with each other.

I have spent so much of my life painting a picture of a man who possessed much knowledge. I was a good but not great student in high school and college. I have an extended vocabulary and I am very articulate. This, plus the fact that I was a good athlete along with a reputation of being tough and a good fighter, gave me popularity. That was the perception of me. The real me though was for the lack of better phrasing was a complete dumbass, I was so unaware of life being lived around me it was amazing that I didn’t get killed or that I am not incarcerated for the rest of my life. Man, the risks that I took selling drugs in the summer, the shootouts I had with rival neighborhoods that often extended to school, they say god watches over fools and babies, I am a testament to both. I followed so much although from the outside looking in I was the leader. I spent so much time trying to help everyone else establish their place in this world I lost mine. I used to think that the first rule of nature was self-preservation. I now hold that awareness is the one that if you don’t possess you will never discover who you are or what is your passion. Most important is that you will never develop necessary critical thinking skills to help you make the sometimes critical life decisions that can and will affect you for the rest of your life. The ability to do what is right and put your best interest first is what gives you the ability to put yourself in a position to really help others. So often other people tell us how our lives should be instead of us being aware of exactly who we are and how we want to be defined and where we want to be in the future. Being aware of this and discovering what works in helping you accomplish this is in my opinion what life is all about.

It has been a life long struggle with my weight. It was highlighted especially in junior high where girls would often tell me man you have a cute face just if you wasn’t so chubby. It was covered up briefly cause I begin to play youth sports and begin to build muscle, as I got to high school it was even less noticeable cause I was what I thought at the time in the best shape of my life cause I was trying to get a college football scholarship. An injury cut my playing days short and that is when the smoking weed the fast food turned me back into the chubby kid of my youth. I was never a workout junkie, the fact is that I hated exercise cause up until now all of the exercise that I was doing was grueling and in an effort to perform well on the football field. It wasn’t until recent that I discovered the probably well-known secret in that weight loss and good physical health all starts with what you eat. Also that exercise is not the grueling task it seems. I have learned drinking twenty ounces of water a day flushes out all the toxins from my body and it makes me have regular bowel movements. I have learned 45-60 minutes of exercise, light weight dumbbells, no more than fifty pounds, combined with a 500 rep stomach routine 3-4 times per week combined with walking has resulted in drastic weight loss. The fact that this is a sustainable lifestyle makes me grateful cause I will live longer because of it.

I could go on and on about the many new outlooks that I have discovered lately, I could endlessly express the new things that I have appreciation for but I am definitely thankful for this outlet that you guys gives us for the stories that we are able to tell.

Last month I didn’t write anything about breast cancer awareness cause frankly I don’t know anyone personally that this issue affected. I recently made myself ask some questions about the statistics and how I discovered just how disproportionate this issue affects people of color and I want to say that despite that I want to express my empathy to those who have loved one that have suffered and are no longer with us a result of this horrible disease. I know that a lot has been advanced as in treatments of breast cancer and I hope that it continues to the point that no one will have to suffer again.