The Beautiful Tornado

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There’s no question that a tornado is appealing… It can be intriguing and even be a beautiful sight from a distance. But don’t attempt to get too close or befriend it. For tornadoes are still harmful and leave a trail of destruction everywhere they go. Now that’s not to say the tornado doesn’t have a heart… It’s just the nature of the tornado to destroy everything in its path. There is a purpose for tornadoes, as there is with everything else in life. You just might not ever know it. And the tornado may not be purposely causing the damage. It probably isn’t even aware of how harmful it is. A tormented soul trapped in the form of 120 mph winds. Also beware of the eye of the tornado… It can be so peaceful that you’d swear the tornado has changed into a calm, beautiful breeze. But it will never change. Whether the eye hovers over you for only an hour or for 6 years, the tornado will eventually return full force. So admire from afar, admire from the comfort of your television. Allow the tornado to be alone so when the devastation hits, no lives are affected. A tornado isn’t so harmful when the only thing in its path is an empty field. But NEVER allow one into your life, do not attempt to save one, as they WILL bring you down with them.
– Tris The Tornado

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Is It Possible To Be Too Generous?

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Is it possible to be too generous? That was the topic of discussion during my 59 min conversation with my entrepreneur brother Sxoobie (@WhoIsVince) on Friday.
For those that don’t know much about me, I have a reputation for being overly generous and too caring. If you let my brother-from-another @Embelievable1 tell it, I once shared a single french fry with a group of 4 friends! Lol.

So Sxoob started by saying I’m exactly like my Dad. Who drives himself crazy trying to take care of others, and puts everyones’ needs before his. I’ve heard this a million times. And whether I try to deny it or not, it’s true. But my Dad is also the greatest man I know. If anything, I have his ways but I also know where to draw the line because I watched him and learned from his mistakes. Over the past few months I’ve been told by those closest to me to stop trying to take care of others when I don’t even have my life in control yet. And most of them make valid arguments. But I’ve made it this far being who I am and I know I’m doing the right thing (Actually I haven’t made it anywhere yet so that’s probably a bad reference). But that’s a whole different discussion -__-

So I basically told Sxoob, the more you do for people, the more they’ll do for you in the longrun. We went back and forth making points for both sides. Then I told him “Imagine 2 brothers. Both have $500. One is tight with his money. Never helps his loved ones and holds his $500. The other is always willing to share his money, even if he needs it himself. He loans out that $500 evenly to 10 of his loved ones who are in need, no questions asked. Over the next week, the generous one gets all of his money back. 2 weeks later, both of these men still have $500 but now they hit a roadblock in life and need $1000. The stingy brother has no one to help him, whereas the sharing man has 10 people willing to give him whatever he needs.”
Sxoobie countered with “Imagine those same 2 brothers. Stingy brother keeps his money. Sharing brother loans his out. But a career-changing opportunity arises, and a $500 investment is the only way to take advantage of it. Now the selfish brother can better his life while the other brother is stuck missing another opportunity, taking care of others.” Damn…

So we came to the conclusion there’s really no right way. Either way is a gamble. The best way would probably be to help only when you can, and when it won’t affect your own life. As with everything else in life, there must always be balance.

Diary of an “ASSHOLE”… Or a Busy Man

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I’m very aware that this is gonna stir up some controversy. But the people this will offend are the same ones that have been upset with me lately, so what do I have to lose. I gotta get this off my chest. I’m just really having trouble understanding how my lack of keeping in touch has upset so many people. Maybe I see things differently. So I’m turning to my blog to see if someone can offer me some advice or give me insight on the situation. I’m also open to the idea that I’m crazy. Lol.

Quick rundown… I can be a very social person at times. I have a lot of REAL friends. People I trust with my life. People I’ve known since elementary school. And we can go weeks at a time without talking, but when we do, it’s all love. That’s just part of life. We’re all busy taking care of our families. I’m a very devoted Dad. And I don’t put anything before them when I have them. So my true friends know not to even try to get at me when I have them. We’ll talk when we talk.

Sooo… all the #NewPeople in my life have been really upset with me. And I truly don’t understand why. I mean, they express why… but I don’t see the logic behind it. According to the hate mail I’ve received over the past few months, I’m a self-centered, inconsiderate friend who doesn’t know how to show people that I cherish their friendship. And this all stems from the fact that I apparently NEVER reach out to anyone FIRST. (I ALWAYS respond tho, I don’t ignore anyone). Now I can understand how that could bother someone. They feel like I must not be thinking about them. Or that they’re bothering me. I get it. But I’ve always been very clear and vocal about how busy my life is. And in the beginning everyone claims they can handle it. Then they realize that I WASN’T joking, I’m really ALWAYS busy! And that’s when I become an ASSHOLE. But what did I really do wrong? I don’t text you as often as you’d like?

So I went to the deep trenches of the Forest to speak to the old, wise, gray-haired @Appul_Juice for advice. Thru our talk I found that the only #NewPeople that didn’t get upset with me were those that were extremely busy as well. And we came to the conclusion that only people that are as busy as I am could understand. Jay always comes thru with the wisdom.

Now I’m aware of how many people care about me, and are looking out for my well-being. And I appreciate it. I REALLY DO! But if you’re really out to help me, your friendship shouldn’t come with the stress of me having to worry that I didn’t text you enough this week. It may seem like just a text to you, but look at it from my point of view… I have between 25-30 people text me daily. Roughly 12 people Inbox me on FB. And they all feel the same way. “Why cant you just say Hi?”. That’s about 40 people. And what conversation ends at just “Hi”… None! So I have to hold conversation with 40 people MINIMUM daily to avoid being an ASSHOLE. Lol. Then there’s the people that look for me on social networks to see if I’m on there, just so they can say “I saw you like a pic on FB so you can’t be THAT busy!” Call me crazy, but that’s borderline stalking…

Oh, and now that I’m not working I should be able to devote more time to small-talk? That’s definitely my first priority when I don’t even know how I’m gonna feed my kids the next day, or how I’m gonna get gas money to drive to pick my kids up!

Listen: I am truly blessed to have so many people that care about me and are concerned and willing to help me thru this rough time… I don’t take that for granted. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that I’m extremely stressed and busy. If I forget to text you for a few days, don’t take it personal. I do care about everyone and I wish I could talk to everyone every day, but it’s physically not possible. I’m trying to live my life productively, and the first step is being on my phone LESS. If you have so much time on your hands, why does it matter if you have to initiate conversation? I respond, right?! And when I have to worry about who I’m upsetting in the midst of trying to scrounge up change to fill my gas tank, it makes me more stressed. Helping me financially while adding stress to my life doesn’t work for me. I will remove anyone that adds stress to my already stressful life from here on. Sorry if I hurt you.  
-TrisTheAsshole aka TrisTheBarber

Parents’ Misconception of “Me” Time

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Tired? Feel like all you do is work and take care of the kids? Need a break from the family and the spouse? Working and raising a family is stressful. You need a break. There’s no question about it. Without a break here and there you would go crazy!
A little time away to release your stress is healthy. As parents we need to maintain some type of social life outside of home, no matter how small. All parents need “Me” time. But that shouldn’t take away from “family” time. If you choose to go out for the night, it shouldn’t affect the next day. Meaning… If you decide to get wasted and have a hangover the next morning, you still need to get your ass up and be a full-fledged parent! No one forced you to go out and be an idiot. The kids damn sure didn’t ask for that. So they shouldn’t suffer. Just because your toddler is SMART ENOUGH to turn the tv on by his/herself, doesn’t mean they ENJOY watching tv by their self. I understand you don’t get out that often. But when you do, there’s no need to do SO MUCH. Moderation is key to EVERYTHING in life. Have a few less drinks. Come home an hour earlier than everyone else. You can’t do what your single friends that don’t have kids can do. Accept it. Having your own time to go out doesn’t relieve your responsibilities as a parent. Remember that!
Bottom Line: Your kids still need you the morning after you’ve been out partying. If you can’t handle that, don’t go out. Again, not pointing fingers cuz I’m as guilty of this as anyone else. Just tryin to shed light and bring awareness to help our generation and those after us be BETTER PARENTS. – @TrisTheBarber

#FakeHappy

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Depressed? Sad? Lonely? Seem like you’re the only person feeling that way? You think everyone on Twitter really that happy? Why… Because we RT jokes and “Lol” all day? Cuz we have more Followers and get more Mentions and Instagram “Likes” than you? You’re surrounded by so much fake happiness that you start to wonder “What’s wrong with me? Why am I not as happy as everyone else?”. So you search for happiness in the wrong places. Lower your standards. Settle for things you would normally deem unacceptable in relationships.

But ask yourself this: If I had a great life with a loving partner and kids, a perfect family that enjoyed spending time together, and tons of REAL-life friends that I truly trust who would do anything for me… Would I be on Twitter all day? The answer is “No” because you’re REALLY happy (If you said “Yes” then stop reading here… and make sure you don’t accidently put your @Username when filling out your Food Stamps Eligibility Form next month). Now think of your friends/associates/relatives who actively Tweet and browse FB and IG all day… Chances are when they fall in love with the right person, they ain’t Tweeting half as much. And if you, by chance, know any couples in HEALTHY, long-term relationships, I’d bet they don’t spend all day & night reading Tweets and Statuses about other peoples’ lives on Twitter & FB. Coincidence?

Now this ain’t to say no one on Twitter is happy. Or that couples can’t be on Twitter. I’m just shedding light on the fact that a lot of the people on social networks that you compare your sad life to, really ain’t doing as good as their Tweets may read. Twitter thrives off of #FakeHappiness. And I think that’s cool. It gives people an outlet to forget how miserable their lives really are. Just be careful not to get lost in the smoke and mirrors.

   EVERYBODY AIN’T AS HAPPY AS YOU THINK. In fact, most Americans suffer the same sadness you do. There’s a reason anti-depressants are amongst the most prescribed medications in the U.S. Cuz people are… Depressed! Lower wages, higher cost of living, unemployment & divorce rates at all-time highs, your girl ass not lookin as fat with the growing popularity of Butt-Injections, ya baby-daddy don’t pay child support but just took his new lady (with better hair than you) on vacation to Florida. Shit… Times are hard! You’re not alone.

   And ain’t nothing wrong with acting happier than you are if it helps you cope. Shit, I do it. But comparing your level of happiness to the people you see on tv or social media is only gonna make you feel worse. The #Sneakerhead snowing off his kicks on IG probably still live wit Mom and can’t even bring a girl home… #FakeHappy The girl posting pics of her “Amazing” man knows he got side pieces so she devotes her whole life to claiming her territory. She think she could convince her people they’re doing better than they really are… #FakeHappy The single mom getting hundreds of “Likes” on her pics, who RT’s every #HeyBoo and compliment she get, is lonely and uses the attention she gets to convince herself she still “Got it”. Every nigga she gives a chance only want 1 thing, and she knows it but can’t figure out why she can’t get a GOOD man… #FakeHappy

Moral of this post is: Nobody as happy as you think. Don’t compare your life to the #FakeHappiness you’re subjected to daily on your phone & television. Embrace your sad life… and then find REAL motivation to better it! – @TrisTheBarber

A Childs’ Most Ignored Need: Attention

This weekend I learned a valuable parenting lesson. Before I share this, let me briefly describe my situation. I recently went thru a breakup so I’m trying to find a place to stay. I’m a single Father and I have my children every weekend. I’m also broke… Very broke! It’s a struggle, but it’s temporary. Luckily I was blessed to have a good friend let me use his apt for the month of Sept. He got a new job and was relocated and his lease isn’t up until the end of the month. He left me a few things to survive, including groceries, a tv and a blow-up mattress.
So I picked up my kids this weekend, feeling good that I had a place to take them finally, but still uneasy about what to do to entertain them. I mean, I barely had enough gas to drive to pick them up. So I was planning for a weekend in the house. I also picked up my mom and little sister to stay the night cuz they just got here from out of state and the kids need to spend time with them. We got to the apt and spread blankets and pillows across the floor. Everyone got comfortable, I made some Hamburger Helper, and pulled out some board games. We started with Scrabble, then Monopoly. My little sister took my daughters into the bathroom and put some make-up on them. I found my old Hanibal Lecter mask and chased the kids around the living room and kitchen, slamming them on the mattress when I caught em. When that got boring we hooked up the Wii and everyone played Just Dance 2. Soon after everyone was starving, so I went to the closest store and got 2 frozen pizzas. Had the kids shower while I made dinner and after they ate we all found space on the floor to sleep.
The next morning I made a big breakfast and we played games til it was time for the kids to go home. To my surprise, no one wanted to go home! Why would anyone wanna stay somewhere where they have to sleep on a floor in a crowded space? They have their own bedrooms back home, tv and video games everywhere, backyard, basketball hoop… It made no sense to me. But then I looked at the bigger picture. The kids had my full attention the entire weekend. Being in just one room, we had to enjoy each other. I couldn’t rest or watch my own tv shows while they played video games in their own rooms. I couldn’t send them outside to play while I sat wrapped up in my smartphone or on the internet. For them, it wasn’t about what they had, but the attention they felt from me. Something all kids yearn but are used to not getting so they learn to entertain theirselves.

   The lesson I want you to take from wasting 3 min of your valuable time reading this is: Focus less on trying to get material possessions for your children to keep them happy. I believe as parents we have gotten to a point where we spend more and more money on our kids to justify not spending as much time with them. Way too often parents tell their kids “Why are you always in my room? I didn’t buy you your own tv and all those video games and toys for nothin. Go play!” Or “Why you always askin me to play games with you? Where’s your brother/sister?” Having the money to buy them everything or having more than 1 child in the house is NOT an excuse to neglect playing with your children.
I’m nowhere near a perfect parent. Neither are you. I’m not pointing fingers at anyone because I’m guilty of every scenario I described above. I’m just sharing my experience in hopes of helping other parents better themselves. Whether you see your child(ren) everyday or once a week, spend that time with them. Videogames and internet do not replace family playtime. Thanks for reading. Enjoy your day and make your kids smile!
-@TrisTheBarber
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CONCLUSION: Social network fasting = SUCCESS

UPDATE: So if you follow, you know it’s been a week since my “fasting” trial. Of course I didn’t last the whole week (Yes, I’m human). But it wasn’t about a set time. It was about learning, which is exactly what I did. And judging by the feedback I’ve received, and am still receiving, lots of people gained something from this post. Which is my sole reason for starting this whole blog. Your comments, texts, emails made this worth it, and will keep me going. Statistics, Views, Followers mean nothing if no one is actually LISTENING.
   To end this, I just wanna say that I do NOT hate social networks. They have lots of benefits, including entertainment and opening doors for business ventures. I just hate the direction they’re steering our society. Use wisely and be honest with yourself. Admitting an addiction can be embarrassing but look at what you gain. It’s the only way to get to a better YOU. ALL of the people that went for this ride with me, even if for 1 night, said they were more productive and got better rest. I don’t say completely remove things from your life, I just suggest taking breaks. Finding a balance.

REMEMBER: Life is not a popularity contest . “Some seek fame cuz they need validation.” – Nas