Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Little Bit of My Family History Part I

As some of you may know, I was in South Carolina for Christmas with my extended family. I must say this was much needed in my life at the right time. I cannot express in words how wonderful it was to be around my family as I believe family is everything to me. I know we all have our ups and downs with them but I would not change anything in the world with mine. Being as though my grandmother just passed away in July, it was still on my heart. We went to her house to clean some stuff up and my mother wanted her cedar chest. I just walked around and got this warm but sad feeling over me. Later on that day we were all just sitting around talking and I started to ask questions about my great grand parents and my mother, aunt, and cousin knew a lot about them so I wanted to do more. I must say Google is an amazing thing and I cam across a website that my second cousin had out there. Come to find out, she had been doing research as well and then the information just started to come out. I got as far back as my great great grand parents. Wow! Good stuff! I will do more research to find out more but I wanted to share this with you all. This is on my mothers side. My fathers side is soon to come as I found out from my dad that my great great grandpa was white and my great great grandma was a native Indian. Check out this about my moms side. Sarah-Moultrie Graham is my grandma and I was am a part of that branch.

Zannie Graham and Phyllis Barr-Graham came from a section of Williamsburg County called Indiantown.  The history books and census books are scarce regarding Blacks.  We did find, however, that white masters with the names Grahamn, Barr, and Wilson were prominent in Indiantown and they gave their names to the slaves.  We believe that these slaves were our predecessors.

Zannie Graham was born February 11, 1891 in St Mark.  Little is known about the family of annie except that his father's name was Dairy Graham and he had two brothers, Samuel and Julius (Bubsy).  Zannie was raised by a white family.  Zannie's father was married twice.  His second wife's name was Bennie.
Phyllis Barr was born in 1892 in St Mark (according to a historian interviewed).  It was also noted that Grandma Phyllis was born the year of "The Big Shake" which was 1886.  Phyllis was the daughter of Tensil Bss and Ben Barr.  Ben Barr was born around the Civil War.  He was a farmer and owned 20 acres of land on which he grew rice and wheat, had a cane mill, and raised cows and hogs.  Tensil was his first wife and the mother of Phyllis.  Ben's second Wife was Elizabeth who became the mother of Ben's three youngest children, Mattie, Rosa and George.  Elizabeth was a farmer's wife and owned 40 acres of land.
Phyllis had 5 brothers:  Washington, George, Henry, William and Jacob Barr and 8 sisters: Mary (Honey) Wilson, Margaret Rogers, Lena Cooper, Fibby Barr, Tara Barr, Rosa (Plum) Burrows, Mattie (Flossie), Russia dnd Sally Barr.
Zannie and Phyllis were married November 18, 1913 at Trio, South Carolina.  Zannie was 21 years and 9 months old and Phyllis was 21 years old.  They both resided in Vox, SC.  They had a grand wedding with a horse drawn carriage and a big celebration after which they made their home in Hemingway, SC.
Over the years, they became the parents of 7 children, one of whom died in infancy.  There children were: Minnie Graham-Hawkins, Daniel Graham, James Graham, Sarah Graham-Moultrie, Zannie Graham, Jr., and Christine Graham-Coo[er.
Zannie departed this earth August 20, 1972 at the age of 81.  Phyllis joined him 14 years later on January 12, 1986 at the age of 95.

Have you ever researched where you family is from? What did you find out? Did it shock you? Where you proud? Let me know your thoughts.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Going Into The New Year

The year of 2012 is fast approaching us and every year I am pretty sure we make up New Year's Resolutions right? Do we stick to them? Some of us do, some of us don't. I think the beginning of the New Year is a time to reflect on the past year, the good, bad, and the ugly and also look towards the future.

How often do we reflect before we move forward? Every year I tell myself to let go of all these things to make room for the new things in my life that will come. I think to myself, am I really reflecting on the things I plan to let go and why am I letting these things go. Sometimes when that happens, those same things that you try to let go, creep back into your life because you never really knew the real reason you wanted to change. Sometime we just can't go by it just feeling right but he have to really know why we want to change these things.

I consider myself to be extremely generous and every year I tell myself that this needs to stop. Most of the people I am generous to don't deserve it but yet I continue to be that way. Puzzling right? I ask myself the same thing. Is this action in me that much of a part of me that I can't let up? I really don't know. I have been hurt so many times by giving so much of myself because that's all I know. I am a caring person and if I believe I can help someone I will. This does not just include financial things, but time, feelings, trust, support, and the list goes on. Not all of these people are bad but some people just don't know how to take generosity. People think its fake or I do these things just to gain something in return and that's the furthest thing from the truth. I give because I love to give. It brings me joy to help others in need and because I have been blessed with a huge heart, most people take it for granted or use it for bad.

When something is so much of a part of you, how do you let it go? I don't know how to do things half way. I go hard all the way or I do nothing. There is no in between for me. Where does that leave me? Questions I ask myself every single day. I get all the time these same reactions "Kevin, your too nice", "That's so sweet of you", "Thank you so much for this", "Are you doing this to get something back in return?", "Why are you doing this for me?", and sorry to say ladies it mainly comes for you. Why can't I just be a nice guy, want to do nice things for you to smile. I ask myself who are people associating themselves with that kindness is not in the equation? I look at my closest and best friends and one thing we all have in common are that we are all giving people. We are not perfect but we are generous in everything we do. I choose to have these people in my life because we have this in common. A man can still be a man by being generous, you just have to open your mind to the idea. And what I mean by generous, I mean not having everything at your feet because that's crazy but doing nice things to let you know we care.

With that being said, what would you do? Are there things in your life that you try to let go and they end up back in your life even though you thought you let it go? Are you paying attention to the company that you keep? Do they have similar feelings about the same things? What are you guys wanting to let go in the New Year and how do you plan on keeping it away? Let me know your thoughts. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Counting Your Blessings

A couple a days ago I was invited to a friends place in Delaware. He has been trying to get me to come down and visit for the last month. I finally made the 40 minute drive to their Condo. Although I was just down their to chill out,  it meant more to me than I expected. I realized how blessed I am . I am really and truly blessed with so much that words cannot even express it. I think sometime when we are dealing with adversity, we forget what has been given to us.

As we were watching sports on TV we started talking about the situation we had just been through, how we are in the same boat with the economy and employment and just life in general. Although he is younger than I, he is very wise for his age. As we are talking , his daughter was running around playing and just as happy is she wanted to be. Watching him interact with her was a blessing to see as he is a wonderful father and she loves him to death. I started to play around with her as well and at first she was hesitant but I think she remembered me. She has to be one of the smartest 2 year old's I have ever met. She knows most of her colors and even knows some words when she sees them. Amazing. His other daughter had awoken from her nap and she let us know it by crying. We are all just hanging out having a good ole time while just talking about life. I just happened to zone out for a minute and just watched how my friends daughters interacted with my friend and all I kept saying to myself is that is truly a blessing. Although he is going through a difficult time, it doesn't stop him from being a father and a husband. Hours went by and his wife came home from work and the one daughter ran to the door yelling mommy, mommy. It was such a blessing to see her running to the door with the biggest smile on her face. Kids are so amazing as they let their feelings know all the time whether is happy or sad. Throughout this whole visit, my friend was so supportive telling me things are going to turnaround, have you done this, have you done that, what about this, what about that, let me get my laptop.

His wife decided to cook dinner and the soup that she made was amazing that I had seconds. Just talking with them and seeing how supportive they are to each other and to me. As stated before, we all just went through something but it doesn't stop them from being husband and wife and parents to their daughters. That alone is a blessing by itself. I thank them for the opportunity to spend time with them and the kids because it opened me up to think more about life.

Have you ever sat back and thought about the things you have in life? He you really realized how blessed you really are? Even through trials and tribulations do you see the light at the end of the tunnel? I have a roof over my head, food to eat, clothes on my back, and people that love me. It could be a lot worse than it really is. Sometimes I loose sight of that but moments like I had a couple of days ago put me right back on track. I am thankful for everything I have and everything that will be provided to me in the future. As a man, sometimes pride gets in the way but I am thankful for everything. During hard times lets be thankful for the things we do have instead of the things we don't. There is always someone out there that has it worst than you. Lets be thankful.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Is Retail Taking Over The Thanksgiving Holiday?

Over the last couple of Thanksgiving Holidays I have notice a trend that has become overwhelming over the last couple of years. Why are retail stores open on Thanksgiving? There was a time when I was a kid that no stores were open on this holiday. The government has given us a day to give thanks for the blessings we have and spend time with family and friends. With that being said, why would anyone want to be open on the 4th Thursday of November every year? Don't the retail stores have families and friends that they would like to spend time with? I just think this being open on thanksgiving and opening up at midnight on black Friday is starting to get out of hand.

I work part time for a retail store and I had to work black Friday from midnight to 9 am.  Being as though I had to work overnight, I slept for the most part of the day so I would be awake for the midnight rush. I barely spent time with my family on the day we are suppose to give thanks. I woke up to eat and went back to sleep. Not having those normal traditions in my family like watching football all day with my father, going to church as a family and smelling the good cooking going on from the kitchen from my mother. I was robbed of those traditions for the first time in my life and I don't know how I felt about this.

I was never a black Friday type of guy and have only ventured out only once a couple of years back for a midnight sale at the outlets and I told myself I would never do it again. First, i was missing the Eagles game and the only reason I went was to take my former fiance up there. I left my house around 10 pm and had smooth sailing until I got 1 mile to the exit where I was suppose to get off at. I sat in traffic for 2 1/2 hours just to reach the exit off of 422. Then it took another 1 1/2 hours just to get to the entrance of the outlets. Then it was no parking whatsoever so I drove around for 2 1/2 hours trying to find parking. Finally parked and walked to the coach store to get a purse only to wait in line and hour just to get into the store. After in the store, picked the purse for my mother and her and waited in the checkout line for 2 hours. Meanwhile I am looking outside and it looks like the sun is about to come up. I got home at almost 7am and I saw my dad and he said you are just now getting home and laughed at me. Never again.

As I walked into work around 11:30pm there was a line around the corner with people waiting to get in. People had lawn chairs and coolers like they were out there all day. I am saying to myself, don't these people have families? Why are they out here camped out and not at home resting from all the fun stuff you did all day with your families? I know that these sales are really good and tempting but waiting in line all day is it really worth it? Does anybody remember when stores use to open at 6 am and not midnight? I think 6 am is good, why did they push it back to midnight? Before you know it, black Friday will be black Thursday and and Thanksgiving will not be a holiday anymore and just a shopping day.

Have we lost the value of family and friends on Thanksgiving? Are we just waiting till we can pack up the car and wait in line to get a sale? Is that the priority now? Don't get me wrong I think Black Friday is a wonderful idea and lots of companies profit so much on this day alone but what's the difference in 6 hours? Open up at 6 am instead of midnight. And the places that don't close at all why? Give those employees a chance to give thanks on the day they have been given to do that. How do you guys feel about it? Where you camping out in lines since 6pm on Thanksgiving? Did you cut your family and friend time short just to catch a sale? Let me know you thoughts. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Moving Forward

Are the words "I will forgive you but not forget" sound familiar to you? What is the meaning of forgiveness- the attitude of someone who is willing to forgive other people. What is the meaning of forget- to be unable to think of or remember or to stop thinking or caring about. If that is the case, then why does this statement always be said? Something really to think about. Can you forgive without forgetting? Are you honestly forgiving if you don't forget about it?

I think this is a very interesting topic. We all go through trials and tribulations in life and us as society come across people and certain situations where we face these same questions. What should I do? This person hurt me and I can't forget it. I won't forget it. I want to make sure this never happens again. All things that are relevant when you come to a situation where decisions have to be made. Really, what do you do?

The past will continue to haunt your future by things that we will not let go of. How can you move forward without letting go of what happen in the past? Too many past situations hinder our progression in life because we allow it to. Moving forward means just that. The past is the past and you can no longer control that, your future, you can somewhat control with the decisions you make. Being hurt and disappointed is no walk in the park and somethings are very hard to get over. There is no time limit to how and when you can get over things but you are doing yourself an injustice by holding on to things that you can no longer control.

New Beginners try and look at moving forward as progress. I guess what I am trying to say is forgiving really letting go of the situation that hurt you or letting go of the emotions associated with what hurt you. If you still carry all those emotions that you felt when you were first hurt then have you honestly forgiven that person? Let me know your thoughts people.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Until It's Gone

I was watching television the other day and I came across singer Monica's latest single "Until It's Gone" video. I caught it at the end so I really didn't catch the words. I like the beat and everything and I told myself I would look it up on youtube. So I watched the video this morning and I was amazed by the words and the plot of the video. Normally when you look at videos, most of them don't really have any real meaning. This one was very deep and I was drawn in more and more as the song played. I think this is the first video that I actually had to fight back tears. I know what you are saying, its just a video but I believe it is a very powerful one. All these emotions just came over me just like that.

Have you ever thought about having something or someone in your life that's good and you took it for granted and didn't realize it until its gone? I know I have and I have had females that I have had past relationships with tell me that they missed me and no other man has treated me and loved me the way I have. Apology after apology I got saying I didn't know what I had till it was gone. I can say to myself that I helped contribute to a breakup of a wonderful woman that I have loved very much but it just didn't work out.

I think about this in all of our relationships in life with potential mates, family member's, and friendships. I took my relationship with my grandmother for granted a little because I always thought she would be there. I would say to myself I will go visit her is later on in the month and then that month turns into 6 and then in July she passed away. I knew she was sick and I took for granted that she would pull through and she didn't. I really wanted to say goodbye to her before she passed and tell her how much I loved her. I know she is looking down on me now as I am writing this and she knows what's in my heart, along with my other loved ones.

I ask of my New Beginners that we mend all those relationships you have had that you took for granted. If you really love something, you will work hard to keep it. If not, its really not worth having at all. Don't have the person saying to you "your going to miss me when I am gone". Cherish those moments with your loved ones and don't take it for granted because they can be snatched out of you life in a instant. Just like that they could be gone. Accidents can happen along with tragedies. Tell those special people in your life that you love them and show them as well because its really hard to do when they are gone.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cleaning Out Your Closet

This weekend I gave myself the wonderful task of cleaning out my closet. Putting my summer clothes away and replacing them with the fall and winter clothes. Every year we do the same thing, putting clothes away and washing the one from last season so we can wear them. Sometimes, this is a task that we try to avoid as much as possible but should we? Should we throw away or donate the clothes that just doesn't fit right anymore?

In life, I believe that this task should not be taken lightly because there are things that change in our lives from season to season. Cleaning out your closet should be a task that is a New Beginning from one season to another. Out with the old, in with the new right? In life I think we need to clean out our closets from time to time. Get rid of the things or people that are holding you back and replace them with new things or new people that are on the same page as you. Donate those things and people that you no longer need to someone else who might be looking for those things. Wash your hands of that season and start a new. Reevaluate the company you keep, the values you have and make sure it's the best you. You owe it to yourself.

Next time you decide to clean out your closet and put away the summer clothes and bring out the winter clothes or vice versa, think about your life and see if you need to do any cleaning. Make sure your not wearing a mask and its the real you! When was the last time you cleaned out your closet? Do you do it often? Do you not do it enough? Let me know your thoughts?

The Friendship Zone, Nice Girl Nice Guy

Have you ever fallen into the category of "The Friendship Zone"? Nice men and woman fallen into the category all the time in the dating world. What puts you into this zone with trying to find potential mates? Can it be that you are too nice if that's such a thing? Can it be the space that the potential mate is in? It could be a number of things right?

When finding a mate, don't we look for the same qualities and characteristics that we do in a friend? Kind, loyal, dependable, loving, caring, trustworthy, honesty. Who would not want that in a mate? I do understand that there has to be some kind of connection, a connection deeper than the one of the friend. One that makes you want to "be" with that person. What is it? I know its different for everyone and everyone's situation is different and it might be different for men and woman.

After asking some married couples including my parents what makes a good marriage/relationship with your mate, the majority of them said, I married my best friend. Trust, honesty, caring, loving and all the stuff that we look for in friends turns out are the main qualities in mates. Not saying that this is the end all be all but it gives you something to think about right? I know that there needs to be some kind of physical attraction to the potential mate but does the physical attraction make the relationship last? Eventually they way that person looks will run out and what do you have left, all the qualities that you would want in friendship right?

Had a conversation with one of my friends today about how single men always say "there are no good woman out there" and females say "there are no good men out there". This statement is completely inaccurate and I have no idea why people say these statements when they are. That's the problem with society today with these preconceived notions about potential mates. Men and women need to change there mindsets and statements about this topic. Just because you have not run into "the right" person for you, that doesn't mean that there are no good guys or good women out there. It's crazy how they never get the shot until the person has been in a bunch of relationships that did not last for whatever reason. Well it seems that way to me. Only my opinion.

Nice woman and nice men are not weak but they are strong. Strong enough to continue to be the person they are no matter what or how many times they have been turned down by a potential mate. They are strong enough emotionally to be there for you when times get rough because they can be your friend as well. They are strong enough to hold you down because they truly care for your well being. They are strong enough to show their emotions and let you know that they care for you. Nice guys and women get passed over all the time and all of them have so much to offer but never get the chance. How and why is that? My best friend hit me with an equation today that I believe is very powerful and makes you really think. Here it is:
Love-Lust and Money=X. Solve for X

Talk to me ladies and gentleman. Let me know your thoughts.

Monday, October 31, 2011

First Impressions

I know everyone has heard of the expression, "First Impressions are everything". People put so much pressure on themselves when we think about first impressions. Society as a whole puts so much concentration on first impressions. How do you feel about them?

Lets think about it. When you go for a job interview, you wanna wear the perfect suit and tie match for guys and the ladies want to wear that dark power suit with the matching shoes. None of this includes the actual qualifications you have for the job your interviewing for. We want to make that first impression to the company we want to work for. It's the icing on top of your qualifications, personality, etc. Have you ever thought to yourself that companies might actually turn you down because they might not like that suit you are wearing or your outfit. If you dressed the part it shouldn't matter right? Are you to go that much into investigation to find out what your future boss likes as far as clothes, hairstyle, haircuts, etc. No because that's impossible. What about personality? Are you suppose to figure out if they are laid back, comedians, serious, etc? There is no way of knowing.

What about in the dating world? Guys want to have the fresh out the shop look for that first date and ladies want to look good as well. But is that really the first time you are meeting them? Unless it's online dating right? Think about it, some people meet the opposite sex while they are working at their jobs, working out at the gym or out at the market. There is no way you can be fresh to death sweating it up at the gym, working on a construction site, or rocking the sweat pants and sweatshirt at the market. How do you find that person attractive. Really that's the first time meeting them so what's the first impression? Is it the persons smile, do they have that certain look that draws you in? What about meeting your mates parents for the first time? That's important right? You are probably picking at your mate for tips for what they like, what they don't like and is my outfit appropriate. Really think about it.

The point I am trying to make is, how about being yourself? That's the best first impression you can give. Don't worry about what society will say. This is you, this is who you are. You are giving everyone an injustice if you are not being yourself. It's takes so much pressure off yourself and you are giving that person on the other side who you really are. Isn't that a great feeling? Try it and let me know how that works out. Not saying you should be a slob but be who you are.

First impressions, any thoughts, comments, ideas and concerns? Talk to me...

Friday, October 28, 2011

The List

Okay, I have to get this off my chest. One of my good friends and I were talking the other day and we were discussing relationships. My father told me a long time ago and he said "Son, don't even bother trying to figure females out because you can't and you won't. You have to pick and choose your battles wisely. I believe him because he and my mother have been married for 41 years strong. 

Anyway, on to the meat and potatoes of this. In this conversation that we were having the subject came up about "The List". Apparently, some females make a list of qualities and characteristics that they need to date someone. Now at first when I really thought about it, its not really that bad of an idea until I heard what goes on these list. I believe there is fantasy and reality and most of the things on this list were just not realistic.

I get that everyone has there standards and no one wants to compromise on them but can you really find true love based off a list? It seems like you would be dating the list and not the person. There are so many more intangibles that you cannot get off a list. Keep in mind that I am not speaking to all women and I am only going of the list that I saw. Speaking of that list, some of the things on there are as follows:
1) Has to be 6 foot and above
2) Has to have a master's degree
3) Has to make 60,000 or more in income
4) Can't have any kids
5) Has to have good hair
6) Has to have a certain skin complexion

There were other things on this list that were beyond reality as well. So as a female, if you met a nice guy that didn't have all the qualities on a list that you wouldn't date them? You would wipe out a whole group of men because they are not 6 feet tall? Again, not speaking to all females and only making references to the list that i saw. I just think that you are doing a injustice to yourself by only dating people that have the qualities of a list that most guys will not be able to achieve. Is the list fantasy or reality? Not saying that you should lower your standards but really take a look at the list and really think about if these things are achievable.

I just believe that the intangibles are so much more important that all those things you put on a list. What if the guy you met was really nice, had a good job, had a kid and was 5'9 and treated you like a queen, you would give him a shot? You can't really believe the man of your dreams will be put together by a list. How about growing to know someone by giving them a chance, you never know that man could be your husband one day as you realize that this man gives you everything you need and realize, this is the man I wanted in the first place.

Do you have a list? If so what's on it? Are there things that are available for compromise? Are the qualities achievable or fantasy? What is the reason for the list in the first place? Talk to me.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Beauty Without A Limit

Everytime you grace me with your presence I see beauty,
Is it your smile that can light up a room,
Is it your confidence that brightens up the sky,
Can it be your hair, the way it perfectly lays,
Can it be the way you dress, so sophisticated and sexy,
Is it the dreams that you have I know you will achieve,
Is it the way you can carry a conversation and not loose attention,
Can it be the tone in your voice, so soft and sweet
Can it be your big heart, so kind and giving
Everyday you wake up, you uphold beauty without a limit.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Things That I would like to do but have not gotten the chance to

I was reading Chasing Joy's post on 22 things that she would like to do but not have done yet while chasing joy. I thought this topic would be great for me to do so here it goes. Also, please check out Chasing Joy's blog @ . Amazing writer and very inspiring. Chase Joy with her. Here is my list: I am 33 and I have never:

1) Never been to Disney Land (want to see if its any different from Disney World)
2) Learned how to swim
3) Been to Miami
4) Been to Las Vegas
5) Cooked a five course meal
6) Never been Sking
7) Visited the Mid-West
8) Been to Hawaii
9) Been on a cruise
10) Saw a show on Broadway
11) Jet Skiing (need to learn how to swim first)
12) Ran a marathon
13) Been on a hot air baloon
14) Recorded a song
15) Driven across the country
16) Been to Ground Zero in New York
17) Successfully driven a stick shift
18) Been to a pumpkin patch or harvest as an adult
19) Been to Greece
20) Been to any of the Caribbean Islands
21) Scuba Diving  (again, need to learn how to swim)
22) Been to every single Major League Baseball field to see a game!

Can you guys come up with your own list?? let me know !!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Letter to Grandma, I miss you

I had a wonderful time with my niece yesterday. She is just a joy. While she was playing around with my mother, it reminded me of my grandma. She yelled grandma so many times yesterday that it made me think of my grandma that passes away this summer. I really miss her a lot. I miss the traditions that she instilled in us as a family. Seeing my niece interact with my mom, it think it brought a joy to my mom and more healing to her getting pass the passing of her mother.

Growing up for me, there was nothing better than spending time with my grandma. She would always spoil us as kids because she could and give us back to our parents. There was a time when my niece asked "Grandma, I want to sit on your lap" and she just climb on my mothers nap with this big smile on her face. My mother's face lit up as well and she just sat there asking questions and relaxing. I had to take a step back and think that when i was a kid, i did the same thing

Grandma, I am doing fine, I really miss you a lot. I miss your wisdom, your cooking, your guidance, your smiling face. I am sorry you did not get a chance to meet your latest great grand child (my niece). You would have loved her. I know you are looking down on her and us right now and just shining your light on us. Your grand children are doing fine and your children are still arguing but I know you know that. You are the glue to this family and I will not let those traditions die. I wish I had one of your homemade biscuits and plate of ox tails, rice and gravy, and string beans, and you famous punch that you use to keep on the washer in the cooler.

I know that in life that you would not always be here but I was not ready for you to go just yet. You didn't get a chance to meet my children that I have not had yet, meet my wife that I don't have yet. I just know that all the in laws to the family love you and you have showed them love from the minute you met them. Towards the end, I wish I spent more time with you. I know you lived in South Carolina and I lived in Philadelphia but I miss you. I miss the phone calls on Sundays when I called. You are an amazing woman and I am glad that you were in my life. You taught me so much and I will continue to keep those values. You will always be in my heart Grandma Sarah!

Your Loving Grandson,
Kevin Charles Jones

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Gift and Curse of Having A Master's Degree

I still remember to this day my graduation from grad school. I was so proud, felt so good, know I did the right thing. Did I? In this market that we are in, you would think employers would be banging down your door because you have a master's degree but is that really the case?

All throughout high school we were taught, you have to go to college, you have to learn more to succeed in this world we live in. We go to undergrad, take out student loans, do all the financial aid stuff and get your degree because society says this is the best way to get ahead. Once your out of school and land that entry level job, the job tells you if you work hard and go back to school and get your master's you will be able to move ahead even more. Okay so you go back, take out more loans, and get your master's. Now your thinking I am set, raise should be coming at work or other jobs would call and ask me to work for them. Your phone doesn't ring nor do you get that raise at work. What do you do then?

Everyone wants to live comfortable, get married, have kids, get a dog, and everything is all good. What happens when that doesn't happen? I know we are in a recession right now but the whole point of going to Grad school is suppose to separate you from the other competition that do not have one but there is always a catch.

Living in the city of Philadelphia, we have a lot of great schools in the area that offer master degrees in almost every field. Temple, Villanova, Penn, St. Joes, Drexel, etc shall I go on. I graduated from the University of Phoenix, Philadelphia Campus. I did not go online, I took all my classes in front of a professor. In theory, I am receiving the same education that the students are getting from the other schools but I believe the employers don't look at that. Names can bring you a long way and sometimes it is worth it to pay the extra money knowing it would look more attractive on your resume. There is so much competition out her for jobs that someone like myself with a master's degree will get passed over for some of the bigger named schools. is that fair? not really but do you blame employers for selecting people from those schools. Not really.

That's why i believe there is a gift to have one and a curse to have one. In my circle of friends and family, I am really the only male with a master's degree as i believe more woman are in school than men. All my close ones have good jobs whether they went to college or not but what about the people who do give up everything to make themselves better and once its done, there is still nothing out her for them.

Society makes us believe that they are telling us the right things that education is the way to go but there are a lot of fine lines in those statements. Is there anyone else out there that feels that having a master's degree in business is a gift and a curse? Let me know why employers will take someone with a lesser degree or not having a degree at all over someone with a master degree? I know school is not for everyone and that we all work hard no matter what we do. Tell me your thoughts.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Who Am I

I am a 33 year old man that's working on becoming a better person everyday of my life. Am I a good person? I think so. Have I made mistakes in my past? Yes I have, who hasn't. Am I perfect? Far from it. Learning is all a part of life that we all go through as we grow.

I was raised in a two parent household along with my brother. My parents are still married and this year just celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary. My father was and still is a complete gentleman to my mother. That's where I received my romantic side, and received my generosity, kind heart, and personality from my mother. i wasn't a bad kid at all, never been suspended from school or got in trouble in school accept failing 9th grade English which I had a very hard teacher. Can you imagine bringing a report card that said all A's a couple of B's and one F? I was so ashamed. Going to summer school was an embarrassment for me because I knew I was a good student. Never went to summer school again after that year.

Went to college the non traditional way, freshman and sophomore year stayed on campus and jr. and senior year worked full time and went to school at night. I can tell you i really appreciated college more after these years because I knew how hard it was going to school and working. I honestly took school more serious and my grades were proof. I never took anything like that for granted again.

Graduation day from undergrad was amazing, having all my love ones there and when my name was called, i can hear my love ones cheering and it almost made me cry. Being as though I worked for the school, it was weird having the president handing me my degree and shaking my hand and i have been in his office talking to him about work stuff. Very funny feeling. To this day most expensive piece of paper I own. I gave my degree to my mother being as though graduation was around mothers day and that was my gift. Looking into my parents eyes right after the ceremony and seeing how proud they were of me is something I will never forget. It meant so much to me.

During these times I gained new friends and lost them as well including one of best friends deciding to end his life. I had a couple of relationships with females ending and starting a brand new one. To this day, the longest relationship I have ever had. Although that relationship ended, I learned so much from that experience and realized that we both made mistakes and I have grown from it. I decided to go to grad school and get my MBA in 2009. Hard work is an understatement on how difficult it was working full time and going to school in grad school. Totally different from undergrad. There were many times when I want to give up, saying that I was beat and I didn't have the energy to on. Thanks to my mom and dad and my new born niece was my motivation to keep going. I love to learn so that was motivation as well. I wanted to fulfill a promise made in high school to my father and grandmother that I would obtain a master's degree. As I sit back and realize the support system I had, It made me do even better. I can honestly say that I really didn't have a social life for two years but I think in the long run, it will pay off. Walking across that stage and being hooded after they called my name, I felt like cloud 9. Nothing could take that feeling away. I almost think I was addicted to it because I had the same feeling during my undergrad graduation. I gave my grad school degree to my father being as though I walked in June, it was his fathers day present. I really don't feel the need to have my degrees because I know i graduated. I always wanted to give them to my parents.

Growing up, my dad taught me how to play sports. We would play catch with the football, baseball and he taught me how to shoot a jumpshot in basketball. I knew I was going to be a sports junkie because I always wanted to do everything he did. I can remember since I was two, sitting next to my dad watching sports. Phillies winning the world series, eagles loosing to the raiders in the superbowl and the sixers winning the finals in 1983. Philadelphia sports is in my blood and is a huge part of me. Sunday's in the Jones residence during the fall, we glued to the tv watching the Eagles, no matter how bad they were during those time. Even my brother, although he is a 49ers fan. My brother was the weird one 49ers, lakers, yankees, were his teams. Shaking my head!

I am a man that loves romantic things, movies, writing poetry, learning new things, sports fanatic, loves to drive anywhere, and enjoys the beach. All of these things became a part of me while I was growing up. Do you know who you are?

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I am connected with you like no other person that I have grown to know
You know me the best, better than the horizon knows the sunrise and sunset
One look from you and forever you will know how I feel
I never take a day for granted and as the wind blows, you still remain in my heart
I can’t imagine my life without you in it, Please decide to stay
Take my heart and place it inside yours because that’s where I want to be
Being with you, sleeping with you, walking with you, speaking with you.
Butterflies still are in my stomach within every site of you or the sound of your voice.

Touch Me

Touch me like you want me to be here, look at me like you want me to stay,
Hold me in your arms and send all your love this way
Feel my heartbeat as I want it to be connected with yours
I want to be on the same page as with you through thick and thin
Help me become a better man, help mold me to the man I am suppose to be
Touch my soul with your love; help me take my passion to the next level
Hold me down like two best friends since childhood
Protect my heart like you belong in the center of it
Lift me up when I am feeling down, take my breath away with the love you have inside
I am only human and we all make mistakes, please forgive me for what I have done
I am a better man because of you, please help me understand
I want to take ownership of that heart that beats through the veins of your body
Protect it with honor and never let it drift away
These are the reason I reach out and always want you to stay.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

To Seal (Letter to my future wife)

To seal is to keep something inside safe and tight,
With you I want to seal your heart and hold you through the night.
With that, our souls unite and both of our hearts take flight.
The next level we go where many have been before,
The love is sweet and kind and it opens up the doors.
Feelings are shared like no one has ever known
My mind, body, and spirit has grown.
The words in this poem I seal with a kiss,
Every time you read this I hope you reminisce.
What could be with you and me,
The feelings are so strong the naked eye can't see
A feeling that is drawn unlike no other
A feeling deeper than one of a cousin, sister, or brother
Missing each other more even when we are in each others arms
We keep each other safe from fear and harm
My destiny awaits to open those gates
That deep burning inside, I always sallow my pride
Those feelings even you can't deny
Imagine these feeling being expressed on a breezy autumn day that will connect our souls on a level supreme to all
I will always be here whenever you call
A feeling that you can never stop giving yourself to each other
Passion, hurt, and tears but you still can't stop
Feelings you hold on to and will never drop
The point of no return as the fire in our heart burns
Slowly melting on each other as we live and learn
The give and the take, all the love we will make, hand and hand there will be no mistakes
I seal this poem with all of my undying love from me to you
Now tell me do you feel the same way I feel about you!

One Step At A Time

One step at a time to make and break all the dreams planned and fulfilled,
One step at a time to make and perfect your skills.
One step at a time to let your feelings explode at the right time and place,
One step at a time to grow with another.
One Step at a time to find our more than you ever wanted to know,
One step at a time to let your feelings show.
One step at a time to give and show your love to the one you adore,
One step at a time to love more, more, and more.
One step at a time to let everything fall into proper order

Friday, October 7, 2011

Guest Post on Chasing Joy

Hello everyone! I recently did a guest post on another bloggers page. It will be posted at 1:00 PM 10/7/2011. The blog page is Chasing Joy is a amazing writer and person and one of the main reasons I started to blog. Please do the honor and read Chasing Joy's journey in chasing joy. Absolutely amazing!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Little Things

Has a woman ever told you that "the little things are the things that counts" Did you ever think what she was talking about? Is this a hint? Do us as guys ever get it right? My dad told me a long time ago that its the truth, no need to research, just do it. What is this "it"? I know ever female is different and this woman's little things might not be what the other woman's little things are.

Opening the car doors so your lady can sit down, opening the door when she enters the building, pulling out the chair for your lady when she sits down to eat. Are these the little things or things we are suppose to do? These are the things I have done for the majority of my life in courting a significant other. What are the little things?

Sending a text that says I am thinking about you, how is your day going? Flowers on occasion and not just a special one? If you do all these things as the norm, than are the little things covered in this? Not saying that I am perfect because I am far from it. We have and will all make mistakes. This doing the little things continues to be a mystery for me.  As a guy when a woman tells you "the little things are the things that count" honestly ask yourself what does that mean. Take time to find out the woman you are dating, its worth it in the long run. Are you meeting her needs with the little things? Do you have a list of little things? Hows that going for you. Let me know.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Concentrating on being who you really are vs. who you think you are

I have been taking a free poetry class every Thursday night through the organization I work for. We offer free dance, music, vocal, and poetry classes to the community and as employees, I get to sit in on any class I like. Well, this weeks assignment in class we had to write about being the person we are instead of the person we are trying to be. Have you ever really thought about that? I would say more than half of us in this world are pretending to be something we are not.

Growing up, I had a moment that I wanted to be like everyone else. I wanted to dress the same, tell jokes, treat woman the same as my counter parts. It felt good for a moment to be fitting in with everyone and getting attention from the females but something within me just said that this isn't right. My gut feeling inside was telling me that something wasn't just right. The moment in live I will never forget was when I tried to talk to a female and I looked like a complete block boy. For those of us that don't what that is, white tee shirt jean shorts, and some timberland's. I proceeded to say come here shawty and she looked at my like I was crazy. She proceeded to tell me that this is not even you. You don't even have that swag. I am saying to myself, what is she talking about? I have seen guys do this all the time and walk away with the female. She continued to say, be who you are and stop pretending.

I use to think that if you treat females a certain way that they would show you attention. I was so mad when she turned me down but from that day on, it seemed like a huge light started to shine on me. I knew inside my heart that I was a perfect gentleman and that I should never address a female as shawty. Growing up in my household, my dad was a perfect gentleman to my mother and at first, that't they way I would treat females. Opening car doors, buying flowers for no occasion at all, and just being very supportive. When I acted like this, I never got the attention of girls because they thought I was soft and not a real man. Well the girl that turned me down to this day is still a good friend of mine and she told me long ago that my day will come. Girls just don't see what they are missing now but when they get older, they are going to get tired of dealing with the jerks and want to deal with a guy like me. Just wait and see.

I fought being who I was on they inside to get things that I wanted or that i felt society would accept me. I am a gentleman, romantic, hold doors open, buy flowers just because, preppy dressed guy and I am not afraid to say it or be it. One of the worse things you can do to yourself is be something you are not. Lets stop pretending who we think we are and start accepting who we really are. Don't be afraid to let your true colors shine through. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Finding your purpose and passion

Some people spend their whole lifetime trying to find out what your purpose is. Some people run from it, some people accept it, some people just flat out ignore it. I for one have found my purpose in life and I believe that I have been placed on this earth to help people. Growing up, I realized that I always wanted to help my mom and dad do things around the house. I always was the helpful person in school to my classmates and later on in my lifetime now, my friends use to call me Dr. Phil because I would help them out in their relationships. Never could figure out why I never followed my own advice in that department but that's another topic.

Just looking at all the jobs I have had, I was always in a position to help people. Being a cashier for the PPA, helping customers and giving them advice on if they should fight boots, tickets, and towing charges. Running Arcadia University's Mail room, making suggestions on certain things to help the school save money. Working for Enterprise and helping customer pick out the right car for that important trip or business meeting they had to attend. Now I am working for a non profit org and helping people in every way I can. I love every minute of it. I might not have liked the hours at some of these jobs but I always felt fulfilled going home knowing that I have helped someone in some way every single day.

As long as I am helping people, I think my purpose is being met every single day. Have you ever thought about your purpose, your passion, your desires? Have you ignored them because you are afraid? Take time you listen to your heart, your mind because it is always telling you something. Don't run away from your passion or purpose, accept it and see how much your life changes