Rants & Raves IX

The most important thing is honesty, integrity, hard work, 
Family; never forgetting where we came from. 
See, you are what you are in this world, 
That’s either one of two things: 
Either you're somebody .. or you’re nobody. 
- Frank Lucas

DevriVelazquez.com Blog Review

But ALL of the time, I am grateful. 
I am strong. I am a walking testimony. I am a survivor. I am beautiful. 
I am a warrior with a purpose much, much bigger than myself. 
I am ready for battle and I will conquer, like I’ve done before.
- Devri Velazquez

Let's take a second to talk about one of my favorite people & bloggers in the whole entire world, Ms. Devri Velazquez.

You know how you hear about those people that come along in life that are labeled, just so likable? Well that's Devri. My first interactions with her came through tweeting, we chit chatted and it became apparent that she was a very insightful young woman. Then came the news that she had fallen extremely ill. I didn't really know the reasons as to why she was sick then she confirmed that she was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune vascular disease called Takayasu’s Arteritis (See her post on it here). I'm not going to even front for you guys, I was extremely distraught because my first inclination is to not want anyone to be sick, let alone anyone I could talk & have intellectual conversations with. My first reaction was to pour out the support for her & join in with others to let her know she wasn't alone during this time.

But then something funny happened.

She demonstrated in essence what the human spirit is capable of at the darkest of hours, she let her hope & love shine through. Before I met her, I thought as myself as one of few people that had the higher mental level to deal with various things such as death & bad times. But like anything in life, you can learn a thing or two from someone else at all times. She showed me how important it is to never stop having the courage & belief that things are & will get better in due time, as long as you believe so.

Her blog is riddled with posts that I love. from the various pictures that she posts to the topics that even I have to sit back and think "why didn't I write about this as well". She's not a "one trick pony" either. Her blog topics deal with things that can relate to your life, nostalgic topics that will have you remembering good times & things that can educate you on to make you have a better understanding of the world. Her blog literally has it all. I visit her page routinely because there is so much depth to her posts that it makes me stay on a good foot as a blogger. If you're an up and coming blogger or just someone that wants to get a feel of how blogging is suppose to look. Then this is the page for you.

There isn't a bunch of clutter that would prevent you from moving around the site to different posts. It's rather easy to navigate and it has that personal feel to it. I think the fact that she has the pictures and the tweets on the page adds a nice touch of both keeping it constantly updated whether it be by post, picture or tweet. It also has a lot of detail that catches your eye such as her banner, the color combinations and the fonts.

Also, she's the junior content editor and writer for NaturallyCurly.com. I know I have a lot of natural haired readers here, so there's a lot of helpful information there.

In short, this is blogging at it's finest. When the blogger puts the time, effort, and personal involvement behind every post, it makes for great and compelling reading. If there was ever a person that I would defer my better blogging judgment to, it would be Devri. Don't be afraid to leave a comment or ask a question via twitter because she interacts with such elegance and poise that she makes you want to keep coming back after you research more on what you asked. Support her blog, and follow her on twitter @DevriVelazquez & Instagram at DevriVelazquez.


"I embrace all of my flaws and quirks, as we all should. Who made up what ‘perfect’ means, anyway? Indulge in my shortcomings. I do. Why? Because God came up with the idea of ME. No one else here on Earth did. That makes me perfect by default. We all are, and I think it’s important to always remember that. Instead of focusing on what makes us ‘not enough’, spotlight what makes us beyond worthy. Each day that we are alive is another day that God granted us to be made into perfect creatures for Him and for His divine purpose." 
- Devri Velazquez

Rants & Raves VIII

Ye' told me to kill ya'll to keep it 100 - Jay-Z

Life is a strenuous process sometimes, regardless if you have it all or you don't. It's never an easy outlet to happiness. Whether it comes early or it comes late, that struggle will come. You will know when you life's defining moment comes and you have to make that decision that will either make you great or make you an absolute failure. But failure is defined differently when you ask the person. I tend to think that failure is also winning because without it, you can't define success. Plus losing is never losing in my opinion. You can always find a way to succeed, it just might take you down a road you don't want to really go down, but you're going to go down it. There aren't a lot of people in this world willing to do what it takes to succeed. They look at the people that just have opportunities and people helping them at every turn. When in fact the vast majority of us don't. We have some help but we don't have all the help in the world, we have what we have, ourselves, and the faith in the big man upstairs, if you believe in that kind of stuff. BUT, in between the bad and good times, you have to deal with life's little nuisances. Those little nuisances in my life are usually very, very annoying. I don't outright say something about them but I do come here and I give you some solid posts about them lol. With this being the 8th entry and second of 2014, (the first being in January, so I'm doing good on not being too annoyed these days). 

But you know it's always something or someone doing something stupid at all times, and I just so happen to be in the vicinity of it, how unfortunate.

I have this new found beef with "personal trainers". I'm not talking about the ones that are certified and all that other stuff. I'm talking about the ones that aren't and are aspiring to be one or the freshly minted ones that have too much motivation coming out of their pores. Those are the ones that don't really sit down with the people that come to them to get them in shape and listen to each one of their stories and make a unique plan for them. Instead they want to bash their skulls in the treadmill and tear their bodies up even more. For instance, I'm trying to get my life back together. Now while I may not be the typical fat boy, I am none the less, now I'm different, I got hurt jumping out of airplanes in the Army. I also worked 12-14hr shifts for about year together if you add it all up. Now I'm not complaining or making excuses, I'm trying to let your dumb ass know why I can't just up and run 10 damn miles on the first day. I have a serious back and knee problems. I am a former athlete, I know for a fact that you have to do more than just run, you have to do strengthening exercises and I have to learn proper stretching techniques. Now I will be damned if you think you're going to guilt trip me into thinking that running is life. Bruh, I hate running, so if you try to make me run all the time, I will hate you. I am no longer in the service, I know for a fact that I don't have to run anymore. Hell I don't even want to run, I don't really want to lose too much weight, I just want to get rid of my beer belly because it really bothered my ex for medical reasons from a past situation of hers. Like I had to go before I punched that young man's face in the back of his skull. Don't be fooled by the pictures, I'm actually in more shape than most people realize. But anyways, if you're a personal trainer reading this, take the time to get to know your client and ease them into the process instead of trying to go hard or get your money worth in the beginning. Because at the end of the day you're job is just as important as a doctor's, you have to take care of those people that come to you in confidence. They need you to help them with their confidence, not me, but you know there are some people that actually need it, so don't be a dick head.

While we're on the topic of dick heads ..

Some dudes need to get their life, and when I say life, I mean the whole damn thing. I know people live different lives, have different upbringings, and learn different life lessons. I get it, I really do. But some shit is just common sense. Ok I have not shied away from my own personal struggles in my blogs, that's what they're based off. I'm currently trying to get my whole life together, like every aspect of it, and it's coming along quite nicely I must say. But it gets really annoying when the people that I perceive to have their life together from the outside, do the dumbest things. Right now I'm going to speak on the guys who have nice jobs, or in school, and have a whole supportive, down to earth woman at home doing all the right things. Now usually I could give two shits about what people do unless it starts coming over into my own personal life, which it has. I am not one of those type of guys that go to the club or bar every weekend looking for love and cheap dances to get my angus excited. No, I go out to enjoy my homeboys and chit chat it up while hearing songs that I like and just trying to dance. If anyone has ever seen me in the club or bar, it's more along the lines of what Ace Boogie did in Paid In Full, I come in, see the people that I know, go to my little spot and laugh it up all night while doing stupid dances from 2007. I really don't understand why a dude who has something special at home is asking me "where the hoes at". Bruh, even if I knew where they were, I'm not telling you because I'm not about to be involved in your murder case when she finds out about the dumb shit you're trying to do. Plus dudes are almost 30 and they're still trying to do the same thing we did back in college. I would really like to see people take that next step in life. But today isn't set up for dudes to be thinking long term, instead in the world of easy access women, they'll forever be on that level of life, and the dudes that think like me at this age will slowly, but surely become phased out. Like I'll never get that, maybe it's because I actually lived my life and I've done a lot, so therefore I know there's nothing out in the streets from me. Hell I know I'm ready to take the next step in life, and I know who I want to take it with, but ya know, that  whole getting my whole life together thing is kind of keeping me from being great. So now I have to deal with the headaches and annoyances of being single. Man, being single is some ass these days, especially when you know who you want.
But that doesn't stop the foolishness from rolling in.
So with being single comes a lot of headache for me. I'm not particularly keen on jumping into things so I do a lot of chilling. Those were the circumstances at which I lived my life before my most recent breakup. Now that I'm in a situation where I'm single and actually not looking, it's worse than before. I honestly hear a lot of dumb shit in my direction from females trying to make themselves look good or sucker me into trying to talk to them. I don't know if it's true, but I've heard from multiple female friends that they can sense a man who's ready for the next phase in life, aka marriage & children. I for one will admit that I am completely oblivious to women and their attempts to flirt with me. I honestly think that women are just being nice when they speak to me. I don't think I'm unattractive by any means, I just feel like I'm not really the type to get approached or whatever you want to call it. But as I said, I'm not looking so I'm in this position where a lot of females make subtle comments towards me, with me noticing it now that it's been explained to me, and I think they can sense my not wanting to be messed with and try a little harder. Well the one instance that really annoyed me, and kind of irked my nerves was this young lady saying to me that I would be more desirable if
"You actually let it be known some of the things that you own, women love shiny things and that attracts them like a kid in a candy store."
Now I have a couple of problems with this, one being I don't own that many things in this world and I'm currently trying to get rid of the unnecessary and bring in the things that I personally want in life. The second being that the type of women that showing off those shiny things brings, I do not want around me in any capacity. If you follow blog, you'll note from day one that I do not mess around with women who aspire for the materialistic things of this world. I love a woman with some substance, and goals in life of her own. So the fact that she even uttered that statement towards me turned me off from even finishing the conversation. But I was courteous enough to let her finish what she was saying and at the end of it I told her simply "God Bless". Now that threw her through the loop, she started yapping off at the mouth about how I must think I'm better than those women and blah blah blah. I'm not going to share with what I told that young lady after she said that to me because I feel as some of that may come off as condescending, but she got my drift, and I proceeded to leave it at that. Like I always say now a days, that's how some folk choose to live their life, and that's fine, I don't, so I distance myself greatly from that with no judgment. I really feel sorry for the dudes dating these days though, seems like there's a vast majority of women looking for the come up rather working to acquire their own. But that's another blog topic for another day.
While I'm on the topic of women folk ..
I understand the process of changing and becoming mature and genuinely changing for the better. Well there are always those who change for the worse, and now that we have social networks, it's kind of an annoying process to see because they have the outlet to just say whatever the hell they want to say, and usually it's a lot of hoeish stuff. Them and those women that are "feminist", twitter has just exploded to be very annoying most of the time. Now no I don't have a problem with true feminist because I actually understand where they are coming from, but it's the ones that actually use the word feminist to hide their hurt ass feelings and try to hide that hurt behind a wall of unnecessary commentary about how women don't need to do this and that in a relationship and blah blah blah. I'm one for women being equal and all that shit, hell I want my wife working just as hard as I am for the sole purpose of having her own money in the event of my death or other tragedy, a safety net if you will. Now while all this is cured with a simple mute of keywords or the unfollow/block/spam combo that's so often deployed in extreme cases, and I'll add that it is their page and they can do whatever they feel they want to because they it is THEIR account. I just feel like a lot of people can learn a thing or two about knowing when to shut up and take some notes, instead of spewing all the retarded shit that they think is the right thing to say.
Which brings me to my final point.
*Inhales, Exhales*
Man I don't know if it's a new thing that came into effect in the last ten years, hell the last five, or it has been around for ages and social network only helped bring it about to a more significant platform, but I feel like a lot of people started off as saying things just to get people riled up, aka trolling, then I personally think those people said the dumb shit they said just to fit in with the crowd, then now it comes full circle with people actually thinking that trolling comments are actually the right comments to make. I don't know man, it's really a sad thing when people all join up together to be a team of misinformed group of individuals instead of having some sort of couth, listening to the facts and making educated decisions. I have seen a lot of bad decisions recently, and when I say a lot, I mean A LOT of bad decisions. But I think it's one of those things where people just don't care anymore. Whether it be the older crowd who continuously point their fingers at our generation as the ones who messed it up, our generation for not taking onus of how things are and leading the change like we're suppose to be, or just the younger generations being so damn smart with the advancements in technology and easy access to information on the net that they aren't smart enough to put it all together and make better decisions that the previous two generations before them, (three if you count the elders still around who no one wants to listen to because they think they don't know shit, but really they do because they lived full life's, and rougher ones that we will ever know). Either way, the more the way things become, the more I'm inclined to detach myself from a lot of people and make my life more and more private. Now I am going to vote, and volunteer more, but as for day to day functions, man the stupidity and unneeded comments as to why I should think like other people think, I will forever be good on. You know that old saying, "Ignorance is bliss"
But if those are wondering what my train of thought is, then stop, you won't ever come close to what I'm actually thinking or feeling, because usually people are going left, when in fact, I'm all the way right. So until next time, take a gander at the Dalai Lama's 18 Rules For Living, that's what I'm into, no I'm not a Buddhist, it just makes sense, don't have to be another religion to adopt good ideas into your life to make better decisions.

Dalai Lama’s 18 Rules For Living
1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three R's: Respect for self, Respect for others, Responsibility for all your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

Right On Time, His Time

You know in life, when you're on one knee and you've given everything you have inside of you to try and win whatever problem you have. But in that one instant where you pick your head up and you look at what's keeping you down, and you rise, you rise to the occasion and you push that obstacle over with one great big shove. That last little ounce of effort, is your greatest ounce of effort. That moment where you dig to the deepest parts of your heart, soul and will to make something happen. I like to attribute that to God & his will. He gives us the strength we need to succeed in the times that we need it, now when we want to. He gives us obstacle after obstacle to teach us important lessons that pertain to that particular person's life. Basically he knows what each of us needs to quiet our minds, and humble our hearts, all while teaching us an important lesson, trust in him.

Basically since the start of the new year, a lot of good, hard working people have been running into a lot of problems. Whether it be financial, not being able to move on to something better because of the job market, or timing just being off. I had a few discussions with people and they expressed how they just wanted to start doing new things so they can live and enjoy life. They tried so many different ways and nothing ever seemed to work. But after having conversations and reminding them to not give up because the first thousand ways didn't work out for them, all they needed was that one. My mother told me something that made sense, "Keep doing a whole bunch of things, eventually one of them will come out of it, and that's what you're going to do. Don't ever settle though, you're too young for that." And that's exactly what I didn't do, settle. So after fighting and making some very big decisions that would have taken me away from where I am now, God stepped in and said "nah playa, this is where I want you to be right now, so here, take these jobs". Just like that, I'm back and in better business.

The thing is, we never know exactly when it's our time to do something, only God does. He gives you situations where you think is too much, but really it's not. He may show you a situation that you want to be in badly, is over, but it's really not. Sometimes he wants you to wait things out, or he wants you to come back to them after being away, either way, only he knows when it's time to do something. I made a crazy high goal of saying "this is what it's going to take to keep me here", and he turned around and gave me that and much more. It's significant what he did because I had so many plans that I was giving up on that I didn't want to and he turned around and made it happen. In our darkest hour he will always be there for us, he will be the light to the end of the tunnel and nothing, and I mean nothing that has happened or will happen, would not be without God's love and insight on what is best for me. So with that being said, I thank God for making me learn a lot since the start of this year, and teaching me to not give up on things that I want to be included in my forever.

Later guys, keep your head up, remember, there's nothing you can't handle without him, so trust that things will get better, in due time. I'm going to leave you with the Yolanda Adams performance from the 2014 BET Awards, Jesus Is Love, for the Lionel Richie tribute. Man I just have to say that I've listened to this song and it just put me at a greater appreciation of how he always just knows man, he really does. If you sit back and look at all the things that goes on in your life and where you could be, and where you could potentially could head, then you just know he's real. I look back at all the struggle and I'm just that more grateful man, I've came a long way in life. & it's all because of him.