A Minute, An Hour, A Day, A Year Older…For Me Yes, Not So For MJ

VA-MJ Pic

Michael Jackson as a child/DJ Vince Adams as a child

This is my first blog posting for THIS blog.  I say THIS, because I have written several blog entries.  Some public, most private (which is more of a private journal, but still the same concept of getting things off of your chest.)  This is now the dusk of my birthday and I knew that I wanted to start “consistently” blogging and what better time than my birthday to get started.   In case you see a pattern, the use of the words “THIS” and “consistently ” is a direct implication that I have not always kept up the habit of blogging or journaling.  Anthony (Tony) Robbins has stated that if your life is worth living, then its worth documenting.  This is my attempt at one form of consistent documentation.

I’ve always been somewhat of a “deep” thinker for as long as I can remember, so I am pretty sure that my blog will be long and tedious for many and not “made” for everybody.  For those that prefer short bursts of information, feel free to follow me on twitter.com/djvinceadams.  This is not Twitter, therefore my thoughts probably will not be “micro-blogs”, they will be more thought out and heartfelt expressions of what’s going on within me or just observations about the world in general.

It may strike some people as odd that shortly after the midnight of my birthday passing that I’m not out in a club (as a well known Chicago DJ) or possibly on a “hot date.”  I very specifically planned to spend this evening in reflection and take some time to get my thoughts together on entering the final year of my 30’s as my next birthday will mark the big 4-0.  I planned a lot of things out for the day.  What I would eat, what I would drink, what I would be doing.  It was all laid out perfectly.  The one thing that I didn’t plan was the passing of music legend Michael Jackson, that certainly wasn’t part of my plans.

I think that for some people the feeling and/or thoughts around your mortality are normal around the time of your birthday.  I think that it may have accelerated for me a bit after the passing of Farrah Fawcett (my favorite angel from Charlie’s Angels) and Michael Jackson on my birthday.  That means that as long as I am blessed to continue to celebrate my birthday, I will be consistently reminded of the passing of one of the most important (if not the most important) musical influences of my life.  I have a million and one favorite Michael Jackson moments, but that’s not exactly what this “entry” is about.

As I reflect on my own life, this is not where I pictured my life would be.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve lived a great life, done things that I’ve never thought I would have the opportunity to do, etc.  However, this is not where I pictured myself.  At the age of 39, I am divorced, no kids and though I make my own living working for myself – I’m not satisfied with where that has gotten me.  I, like many people in 2009 have been forced to take a step back today with the promise of hopefully taking two steps forward tomorrow.   Examine that last sentence.   Is it me, or is there an oxymoronic tone to have a “promise” to “hopefully” do something in the future?  I don’t think that it’s a false promise; it’s more that the biggest commodity that can be offered in today’s world is “hope.”

“Hope” means a lot of things to a lot of people.  To the person with an illness, hope is a potential cure.  For the citizens of Iran, hope is a potential for freedom.  For the unemployed, hope is the potential to gain employment.  Thank God that I am in great health, free to the greatest extent an African-American male can be and I am blessed to be working.  So, what does hope mean to me??  What am I hoping for??  Luckily on June 25, 2009 I was given the blessing of being a minute, an hour, a day and thankfully a year older to figure that out.

So, again, what am I hoping for?  I could get into specifics as it relates to finances, but that could bore some.  It’s always fun to talk about relationships (great source of debate), but I have been rather unlucky in love.  I have always dated wonderful women, for some reason, receiving the optimal behavior, maturity and application of relationship “best practices” hasn’t been in my favor.  By the way, that’s the very P.C. way of saying that I typically have received the short end of the stick in relationships.  There are many aspects of my life and of your life that we can point to and say that we “hope” that something moves more in our favor than it has in the past.  However, there is an old Teddy Pendergrass song called “You Can’t Hide From Yourself.”

Lyrically, the song says “You can’t hide from yourself, everywhere you go – there you are.”  Conceptually, I think that’s what makes hope such a powerful thing.  If you place your hope outside of yourself (besides with your God) you’re pretty much doomed.  On this 39th birthday, I’m really beginning to understand that if I put my hope in my government, my promoters that I work for, party goers, any business opportunity, the type of music being made, my “if I had a” girlfriend or anything outside of myself – I have essentially lost hope.  For me, refocusing my “hope”/faith/attitude on me and my actions is the key to bridging the gap between where I am and where I want to go in any aspect of my life.

Stated simpler – no matter what situation I am in, no matter what is happening, focusing my energy outside of myself and my God is an exercise in futility.  It’s as simple as the final two lines in the poem Invictus “I am the master of my fate/I am the captain of my soul.”  In an even simpler form, it’s the four words shouted by “He-Man” when it was time to wreck shop “I HAVE THE POWER!!!”  That’s really it – I DO have the power.  The power for everything that I want and will achieve is within me.  That doesn’t mean that I remain oblivious to the relationships or environments that I am currently in.  It is important to “design” your environment to incorporate the things that are most beneficial for you, as well as rid yourself of those things that are not best suited for you to have the peace and serenity needed for your own progress.

Again, it was part of the design of my birthday for me to spend this day with and by myself for reflection.  If you find that it is difficult for you to spend time with yourself, it may be difficult for others to spend time with you as well.  This is not a sweeping generalization, more so a generic statement.  The fact does remain that knowing yourself, better yet, being in tune with yourself is the first step to “hoping” for the right thing.  It’s amazing how many people “hope” for the wrong thing because their minds and bodies are so scattered and active that they have not firmly assessed how the acquisition of what they “hope” for will affect their lives.  Its unfortunate how many people seek, “hope” and work hard for the perfect mate, perfect job, perfect situation, only to attain it and find that it’s not a fit and actually this new “thing” makes them unhappy.  The new acquisition of a noun (person, place or thing) can’t make you happy until you are happy with yourself.

That is why this moment means so much to me.  I have been given another minute, another hour, another day and another year to have a better application of “hope.”  The refined approach brings all the hope home.  That means that it is within me – again, I have the power.  I will continue to focus my energies on me, not on how certain promoters handle business, not how opportunities may seem very different today than they were years ago or not how I may not receive in a commensurate fashion to what it is I have given.  These things matter and are worth noting, but at this time I have re-discovered true hope comes from within.

Note – it is possible to believe in yourself and simultaneously put more of your effort, energy, expectation and purpose in others than you do in yourself.  My correction is to refocus that effort, energy, expectation and purpose back to me while I continue to believe in my capability of doing/having whatever is on the other side of my “proverbial bridge.”  Many people use their energy to correct the actions of others (i.e. family, co-workers, spouse/mate, friends, etc.) as opposed to firming and moving on their own constitution and conviction.  It is not possible to have others create the reality that we want for ourselves – that reality must be created within us first.  That is the renewed focus of my hope.

To paraphrase words from Esther Hicks regarding the Law of Attraction, we will not begin to be able to control how things around use are happening until we are able to control our feelings about those things that we can not control.  It is once we have control of our feelings that we can then focus our energies in a way that will attract the people and occurrences to us that most benefit us.

This doesn’t mean that we don’t get mad, frustrated or flat-out pissed at times.  It simply means that when we feel this way we are more aware of what it is that we don’t want.  As we become more aware of what we want (through experiencing what we don’t want), we then channel that “hope” into a greater acknowledgement of what we want which improves our ability to move closer to it.  As long as we have a minute, an hour, a day and a year more – we have the opportunity to “hope” responsibly (within ourselves) and not “hope” recklessly (outside of ourselves.)

God bless my pre-teen crush Farrah Fawcett and my musical hero Michael Jackson on this day – their last day with us.  They were taken to a better place and “hope” is no longer part of their reality.  We are still here and as long as that bridge remains where we are on one side and the places we want to go, the things we want to do and the people we want to be with are on the other side of the bridge, it is our responsibility to take the minute, the hour, the day and the year more that we are given to channel our energies internally to do what’s right and continue to “hope” for the best within us.

Much love, peace and blessings to you.  “Keep hope alive”…VA

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12 Responses to “A Minute, An Hour, A Day, A Year Older…For Me Yes, Not So For MJ”

  1. J Payne Says:

    I cannot go in to specific detail right how as to how much this blog entry touched my heart. It’s funny that something that in one person’s expressions can profoundly speak to, and touch another person.

    All I can say for now is that you are truly blessed! And it is amazing how many people you touch through just being you EVERYDAY! You are blessed with the THIRST for knowledge, discovery, kindness, motivation and passion for so many things. That is evident through knowing you (the little that I do know), reading about you, and listening to you speak and write.

    It seems Vince, that we are on VERY similar paths of discovery about ourselves, the world around us, our different “situations” (as many as those may be -ie; work, relationships, etc.) and how to “experience” and “accept” the challenges and rewards in our lives.

    I am definitely on the path of discovery of “hope” deep within myself. And though I have lived what feels like a thousand lives of fun & despair, ups & downs, losses, marriage & divorce, good news & bad news, successes & failures…I am LEARNING how to EXPERIENCE each and every twist and turn in life and APPRECIATE them. Now, my HOPE is to accept the rollercoaster that is life, UNDERSTAND the every hill and valley is ENERGY that is there to teach me and I have to see that it’s GUIDING ME. I HOPE to continue evolving and learning to “BE” right where I am!!!

    I have been told very much as of late from mere strangers even, that my “energy” is great. I’ve been told that I seem to have a “spark”. I will tell you Vince, that in my book…I understand now what they mean. I see (or sense) the same in you. There is a POSITIVE energy about you, and my “hope” for you is to continue to grow! All that you will achieve is being written EVERYDAY! And you are so right…it is up to YOU to guide yourself to your true destiny.

    I applaud you for writing such a personal entry! I happen to think that if more of us communicated freely, that we’d find a great deal of commonalities among one another. I think that we’d grow closer as HUMAN BEINGS relating to each other, and in the world.

    Well, VA…just know that I have much love for you, hope WITH you that all that you experience and desire you WILL receive (and you will), and understand that there are SO many of us on this same path of greater understanding WITH YOU! I’m one of them.

    All my Best!

    Jen P.

  2. Angelique "Angie" Mayes Says:

    Wow. I really enjoyed thi Vince. When I read on FB that you tend to write long, that made me want to read it more. As someone that loves to write and that can be quite longwinded myself at times, I can appreciate a well thought out blog that expresses more than one sentence about what’s going on in your life.

    I love reading blogs because I get to know people outside the “scene” – that scene being work, kickin it or otherwise. I really enjoyed hearing your thoughts and perspectives on a lot of things. Your a pretty deep thinker which is awesome fam!
    Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your world. Ill def be back. I’m typing on my phone and now my thumbs hurt lol. Be well but most importantly, always BE you!

  3. Like you, I spent my 39th birthday in reflection, including the days before and after. Also like you, morality was a major part of that reflection. I lost my oldest brother just days before turning eight years old and my grandfather went quietly during the early morning hours of my 28th.

    I was wow’d by “ I, like many people in 2009 have been forced to take a step back today with the promise of hopefully taking two steps forward tomorrow”; your observation of the many definitions of hope; your references to TP’s “You Can’t Hide from Yourself”, Invictus’s last lines, and He-Man’s “I have the power”.

    I’ve already added these to my FB Favorite Quotes as they are now a part of my own daily reflection: “It is important to “design” your environment to incorporate the things that are most beneficial for you, as well as rid yourself of those things that are not best suited for you to have the peace and serenity needed for your own progress.” AND “The fact does remain that knowing yourself, better yet, being in tune with yourself is the first step to “hoping” for the right thing. It’s amazing how many people “hope” for the wrong thing because their minds and bodies are so scattered and active that they have not firmly assessed how the acquisition of what they “hope” for will affect their lives. Its unfortunate how many people seek, “hope” and work hard for the perfect mate, perfect job, perfect situation, only to attain it and find that it’s not a fit and actually this new “thing” makes them unhappy. The new acquisition of a noun (person, place or thing) can’t make you happy until you are happy with yourself.”

    Your strong conviction of hope is like the one I have of gratitude. In the midst of my current challenges … lengthy unemployment and it’s effect on my life … I am SO blessed to be where I am right now. How? Because while I’m not where I want to be—or even where I was 15 months ago—I have life, love, health, strength, the strong support of family and friends, an extension on my unemployment benefits, and the opportunity to fulfill a professional goal on Major Daley’s dime. If that’s not blessed, I have not one clue what is!!! So trust me when I say, “I feel you.”

    Is it me or does Esther Hicks’ take on the Law of Attraction bare a glaring resemblance to the Serenity Prayer? Hmmm …

    Much appreciation for you sharing you with us.

    Much love, peace and blessings to you, too, VA.

    ~Dana

  4. Oh wow … forgive the typo … I meant Mayor Daley :-/

  5. Kim Brown Says:

    Vince,

    I absolutely love this blog entry. The interesting part for me about this post is that you echoed some of the same feelings and issues that I am struggling with and it is nice to hear the male viewpoint on this.

    In the grand scheme of things I am truly blessed. I have a job, a home, and I can pay my bills and have a great family and friends. But the place that I am at now, it totally not what I envisioned for myself. And I surely did not think I would claim the title of bridesmaid or Auntie Kimmie instead of wife and mother. As you can see I can definitely add my unlucky in love stories to the heap and you will have to do another entry on that subject so that I can throw my comments in 🙂 But on a daily basis I keep coming back to the feeling that I am not doing what I am supposed to be doing in any aspect of my life. And what frustrates me is feeling as if I am wasting the talent and energy that God has given me. I believe that when you find what that talent is that you should be using and focus in on that you will be successful. But getting to that point is more than a notion. If I look at Michael Jackson, there were a whole lot of things that he was not good at, but his strength, his power was in his music. And he spent his whole lifetime focusing his energies on this talent. And even though his death is truly sad, I can help but smile as I think about all of the people that his music has touched, and how his use of his special God given talent will continue to live on forever.

    Now as far as your discussion on hope. Hope is a funny thing to me. I think you need to have it, but I also think that in today’s society we throw out the term “you have to have hope” as a way to comfort people when u really don’t have anything else to say. I can’t tell you how many time I have been struggling with something and people throw out the proverbial hope trump card, which then lets me know that they have not really heard a word I said. I think that u have to have hope, but along with that you have to do all that you can to make things happens, but more importantly you have to prepare yourself that in spite of everything that you do, somethings are just not meant to be for you because God simply does not have it in store for you. Which may sound somewhat pessimistic, but I think that we get so focused on hope that we ignore reality. We keep waiting for someone or something to rescue us from a situation instead of reaching down within and doing all that we can do. But more importantly sometimes we have to mourn the loss of what is not going to be. It is only when we do this, that we can truly move on and focus on what can be.

    So when I get up each day, I try to be thankful for all that I do have, I try not to focus my energy on all of the things that I don’t have, and I leave some room for hope.

    So Vince, I thank you for sharing your birthday thoughts. You have inspired me to share some of my thoughts(which as a scorpio is not something I do to often) and it also has me thinking again about writing a blog. It is always nice to see your thoughts on topics as they always get me to thinking…Not to mention it is always nice to learn more about your friends…And although you definitely could not have imagined that the events that happened on your birthday would take place, I can’t help but think that if things didn’t happen they way that they did, that we wouldn’t be having this dialogue. So even in death MJ and Farrah have given life to new conversations, new thoughts, and new actions.

    Much Luv,

    Kim

  6. Catherine J Hughey Says:

    Let me start by saying…AGAIN…Thanks Vince.

    Even with this being a reflection of your thoughts, you have inspired me and many others to reflect upon our own. More times than none, we get so “caught up” in life and do not take the time to pay attention to something as simple as “ONESELF”.

    As of late I find myself thinking mostly about my future and how I made it to this present place that I am now. I am in my thirties, separated, raising a special needs child, working like a Hebrew Slave to make someone else rich and this list could go on. I most certainly am not where I want to be in life but I am grateful to be here and I continue to be motivated to press on and Keep It Moving! Truthfully speaking, I look inside myself for the “hope” of what my next venture will be and start putting my plans in action to get it going, but most of MY hope comes through my desire to show and give a better quality of life to my daughter. It used to be when I was married I would hustle until it was going out of style! All I could think about was making money, which property we were going to purchase next and not that I wanted to have “swagger” but my husband definitely did, so we pulled it off. Now that we are no longer together I have found MYSELF again, I look back and say, DAG GIRL you were so completely LOST! I have accomplished a lot and I am proud of those accomplishments but when you are somewhat financially stable and you have not even scrapped the bucket spiritually or emotionally, you are actually pretty confused! I know that I lost my inner hope because I poured so much of it into my marriage and my job. I realized that while they were important to me, they would not sustain if I could not put that same hope into myself. First I had to find trust within myself and my feelings and let my guard down and be Cathy again. When you spend so much of your life with the one person you have given yourself to completely and they are no longer around it is hard to find that place of comfort even in things as simple as friendships.

    So with me residing in my new “selfness”, I have seen somebody that I definitely love, and I want to really share this person with more people. I want to start opening up myself to more opportunities, I want to laugh more I want to live more and experience more things. I am coming out of this place of CRAZINESS and into PEACE. That is exactly what I prayed for, PEACE. With that peace has come my “hope” for my life, my daughter’s life and our future. Your blog has inspired me on many levels. I thought to myself, WOW…Vince is deep! Well, I always knew that but there is just something about having the ability to articulate it through writing. Years ago, before I first moved to Chicago, I wrote poetry and I too kept a journal. I lost that part of me when I got all caught-up. Chicago is much more fast paced than little ole Mil-Town. Over the past few days I have been trying to dig up my old works, calling my mom BEGGING her to go to the attic and get some of my stuff. I am such a stronger person today then I was years ago or even yesterday. I know that I can truly only thank God for that strength. Additionally, I may not have always understood the experiences that brought me to this place but I am so grateful for them.

    Just to touch quickly on the loss of Farrah Fawcett, I LOVED Charlie’s Angels, now… I did not have a crush on her…but she was a BAD GIRL! I wanted to be just like her, unstoppable, AND she had all the guys stalking! LOL. As far as Michael Jackson, it probably goes without saying, he was an amazing artist and being a little black girl growing up and seeing such a positive influence of music coming from one of our own was like breathing fresh air each and every time I would listen to his music.

    I am so grateful to you for sharing your thoughts. That takes a lot of courage to put personal feelings out there for the world to see. For Me…this is the first time I have ever done anything like this. Now folks are going to know a piece of my business!!! HA! You know I am a very PRIVATE – HOPELESS – ROMANTIC! Well, I will just let this be another one of those experiences that I just spoke of. I am definitely still growing even at the tender age of thirty-something! Life is good, Vince and it helps when you surround yourself with positive people that continue to nurture you in their own unselfish ways.

    So you continue to do you VA, you are a blessing to all of us.

    Love,

    CAT WOMAN

  7. Cathy, stand tall girl. This was very well written and I give you kudos for putting yourself out there! Life is a journey.

    Sandra

  8. Leah M Jeffers Says:

    Hi Vince. I am so happy that your link to your blog on FB led me to read your special first blog entry. Bravo for your following your heart and sharing what many of us may be feeling but may not have the words to say it quite the way u chose to. I will mos def be a reader and actively respond with an opinion to share. Thank u also for reminding me to begin to chart my lifes next journey by daily jorneling. U be blessed Vince and continue to be used for one of ur true purposes to encourage and motivate people through your lifes journey be it ups or downs but true lessons learned.

  9. Reflection and hope. Two very powerful words as you turn 39.

    Life gives us so many opportunities to reflect, to seek, to understand. Most of us go thru life and never take inventory of ourselves. We look to others to be the cause and the reason. I truly believe that life hands us circumstances to make us better and grow to be the best we can be. Those circumstances vary to hurt, hate, love, laughter, peace and death. I say this to you not as a belief but it is what I know to be true.

    When I found out I was pregnant and at that time in a relationship, I was the happiest I could be, everything was in place and then
    ..9/11 happened and my sons father passed, he worked @ the World Trade Center. My life changed in that very instant. I remember nothing after that other than hugging my stomach and wondering what kind of world I was bringing my son into.

    My life has never been the same since that day and thats ok. Im at a place in my life where now Im thankful, now I live outloud and love and laugh and press repeat.

    Dont get me wrong its not always peace and bliss but because Im not where I thought I would be at this point..Im aware that life has something in store for me that is far greater than I imagined.

    My son always says to “mama your my hero” but truth be told, he is mine. I know that indeed he was meant to save me because thru his eyes I see who I was meant to be.

    So we may not be where we want to be at certain junctures in life but the beautiful thing is we have the ability and hope to let the universe give us the opportunity to find that place that each one of us want to find.

    Your blog, reading it a second time inspired me to just share a piece of me and my life that I just have started to feel comfortable to speak about.

    Thank you Vince for that beautiful gift..It is I who am grateful for and too you.

    Happy Birthday

    live, love and laugh then press repeat.

    S

  10. VA- Great blog…thank you for candidly expressing your innermost feelings to everyone. It will inspire others in one way or another. It has touched me and I can definitely relate to some of the items discussed.

    We all go through trials and tribulations, it’s apart of our existence. My belief is that it prepares us for greater things and our purpose in life. I’ve had many challenges and have made some bad decisions, but I keep it moving.

    I’ve been fortunate to have a loving family and friends who are supportive in whatever I choose to do and I am forever grateful. I completed college and have a decent career but I persistently have this feeling that I am suppose to be doing something else.

    I found myself going in circles when it came to my education, goals and aspirations. My attitude of trying to “save the world” was literally setting me back. I would take on so many projects that in the end I feel overwhelmed, stopping everything and back to square one. I recall my brother always telling me, “You can’t save the world, Nita-focus”. It’s my nature to help those in need whether it’s a teenage girl (or grown woman) suffering from low self-esteem or a starving child. I had to stop and focus, instead of trying to do everything, just do something that would make a difference. Mind you this was a recent revelation since I’ve been in my thirties. 🙂

    I carried that same “save the world” attitude into my relationships. I am 34, no kids and had many long-term relationships, but never married. My last and longest relationship of 5 years was a learning experience. It’s one thing to date an athlete who played b-ball overseas and it’s another thing to be dating the family as well. He and his family were so dependent on me that it became a hindrance to my own well-being. I will spare you the details on this, but you get my drift.

    As I go through this journey of fulfilling my life’s purpose. It doesn’t mean that I will not struggle at times but I know that the struggle is only temporary and put in place to make me stronger. I will make mistakes but it’s what you learn from them that matters most. Thanks again VA and others for you have played an influential role being on the path of my journey. Much love! 😉

  11. VA,

    Wonderful, well-written blog. When you said you were thinking of blogging I knew I would not be disappointed. I love the emphasis that you put on yourself and what you were going to do to become a better man as you approach the next decade of your life. I try to live by the same rules but am sometimes pulled down into the quagmire by people who just don’t get it. My desire to nurture doesn’t help matters and often leads me to focus on others and not myself.

    Reading your blog has given me a renewed focus on improving my situation my improving myself. Needless to say, I will be emailing your blog to a few people I know who would benefit themselves by following your lead.

  12. Andrea Horton Says:

    Vince,
    Wow! I have been reading your blogs kind of out of order, so I just finished this one. I am sitting here nearly in tears. What an introspective, well written entry. I am almost beyond words. You have done something here that has fightened me away from blogging – you are laying your self bare, and opening yourself up in a way most people (especially black men) don’t. This piece was at once moving, and motivating. I understand how birthdays can often make you pensive, contemplative, etc. We should all be on a daily journey to examine and reach toward our ultimate purpose. It is a shame that it often takes death to wake us up and shake us into reality. I turned 33 three days before you turned 39. I am not where I thought I would be either, but at about 25 I realized that that is the beauty of this thing. We almost are never, ever where we think we will be when we think we are supposed to be there. You have to know that you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Trust God, talk to him, tell him what you want, ask him to guide you, then be still and
    listen.
    I know we haven’t spoken that much in person, but I feel like I am getting to know you through these entries.
    I think this one is my favorite so far.

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