Ordinary People; a letter to my Maya Noelle on her 10th Birthday

Dear Maya,

10 years old. I’m not ready. Let me be the first to admit it; I am not ready. I thought I had more time….I thought the clock would move slower….I thought we’d ease into this moment. Instead, we rushed, we raced, time flew and here we are. 10 years old.

I don’t have a favorite child. I love all 4 equally, wouldn’t trade one for another and wouldn’t trade them collectively for anything in this world. I do however, have a child that is more naturally wired like me than the rest at this point in their lives. Unfortunately Lailah doesn’t get my influence enough cause she is 6 hours away. Tyler has more of his mother’s spirit and Kayden is the most naturally independent of the 4, she’s her own character and occasionally you see bits of her mother and me. But you Maya, you are me through and through.

imageParenting you is healing for me. It completes me. The more I grow as your father specifically, the more I fix chapters within my own life. I can be tough on you the way my father was tough on me. Not all the way identical because my father was doing what he had to do to prepare a young black male for this real world, while I am tasked with pouring love into my daughter. I am tough on you cause I want you to stand on your own two feet and know that you don’t have to be dependent on some hard head boy to make everything okay. That’s also why I am affectionate with you and your siblings. I want you to know and feel loved so you don’t go looking for it in the wrong places. I learned that from my dad too. My dad was an affectionate father. I’m 34 and I’m still not too grown for a hug and kiss on the side of the head from your granddad.

“Girl I’m in love with you, this ain’t the honeymoon….we’re past the infatuation phase”                   – John Legend, Ordinary People

Things are changing now. A couple nights ago you asked some pretty serious questions about religion and spirituality. Last week you asked me about relationships and why I’m not with your mom or anyone else in the traditional sense. A few weeks back you told me about wanting to talk to your mother about your “lady areas” and how things will change and develop in the next few years. I don’t know if I wondered about these topics when I was 10. I don’t feel old but I do acknowledge that we live in a different era and kids are more curious and have more access to mature information than ever before. It’s scary.

The most important thing for me is making sure I treat you in a way that you feel comfortable having me in your corner entering this next chapter of your life. Entering double digits and pre-teen years there’s going to be so much coming your way. I want to have imagethe door of communication between us open, I am terrified of being shut out. So many parents lose connection with their child(ren) during these years for one reason or another. I’ll admit that it scares me, but I am up for the task.

As for you, I don’t want you to rush to grow up. Be 10. Enjoy 10. Enjoy 4th grade. Finish this semester strong. Continue enjoying school, that’s one trait you carry from your mom. For me, school was one big talent show….where I went and performed my comedy routine and did just enough studying to keep your granddad’s belt around his own waist and off my behind. The fact that you truly enjoy being at school and get a kick out of bringing home good grades is a great feeling.

“Daddy you know we’re doing fractions in school right? Well I looked at all the Jordans in my closet versus the Jordans in  your closet and I have like 3/79ths the shoes you have. I don’t even think that’s a real fraction and if so it’s not a good one.”            – Maya Noelle Large

I guess I’ll adjust. Gone are the barrettes imageand bows, they’ve been replaced by trips to the salon. Gone are the sweet lip kisses. In your words.. “Daddy I’m 10 now, cheek only!” I even got a “Daddy get out of here” when I opened the bathroom door on you the other day looking for my deodorant. I used to just barge right in LOL.  But I know your still my baby cause the other night you saw I was having a moment so you gave me the biggest hug and kiss, climbed in the bed with me and said “I’m here daddy, I’m not going anywhere”.

Maybe we should take it slow.

Happy Birthday my love.

 

 

An open letter to the year that was, and the year that will be. 

Dear 2015.

There’s really no need for us to have this long discussion. We made it to the end together. All of my kids are a year older and that’s what matters most. Along the way we had some really good days, and some tough ones too. I finally learned the lessons I should have learned 3, 5, and 10 years ago. I’m a much better person having gone thru 2015, but it’s time for us to say goodbye. Let’s not drag it out. Peace.

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Dear 2016

“I’m the type to say a prayer, then go get what I just prayed for” – Drake

I’m gonna work like I’ve never worked this year. I prayed on it already, I wrote my vision out and made it clear already, I’ve even ironed my work clothes……now it’s finally time to put the work in. No more excuses. Success is out there for you, It’s time to go get it.

I have too many projects buzzing right now to be focused on anything else. Plus it’s not just about Tee, I have friends that are steps away from greatness and have chosen me to contribute towards them reaching their full potential. I feel honored but I also feel the work that is required. No more cheating it, bottom line is I am going to have to work for it. Being termed “one of the great ones” doesn’t come easy. Everybody doesn’t get to wear the crown.

There are so many things that are in the works right now. There are behind the scenes meetings you haven’t discussed with anyone. There are projects I’ve been asked to be a part of because of my creativity and skillset. Being invited to these brainstorming sessions is huge and will only expand the teeLARGE brand. In order to function on a high level in these meetings you have to keep yourself in the current space you’re in OR improve the space. No backpedaling allowed. No negative energy allowed. You cannot afford a backwards step. You can’t jeopardize what you’ve worked to build.

Be careful who you add to your life in 2016. Don’t let everyone in and more importantly you don’t need to jump into every circle. Keep your friends close, keep your acquaintances in their space too. Everyone isn’t your BFF and since you can’t check every motive, go only with what you know for sure.

Lastly but most importantly be the best father you can be. Help their mothers constantly. Don’t ever let them feel like they are in this alone. Your children are entering ages where they aren’t babies anymore. The topics get real and you have to be mature enough to handle real conversation and situations. The best safeguard is to be in their life in such a way that they have no desire to go down a road you wouldn’t approve. You’re a good dad, that’s not debated, but you know where you can improve. 2016 is the year you do just that.

That’s it. Have a good time tonight. Don’t drink too much, enjoy the football game. ROLL TIDE as always.

When you wake up January 1st just know that you are here for a reason. You have come to realize your purpose. It’s time to walk in it. 2016 is a go.

….Letter Coming

…I want to write. I need to write. I have to find time to write.

I missed my weekly “Tee on Tuesday” post but I have a valid reason why. A really good reason!

Bare with me…. I hate to go into the new year like this but this has been one of the busiest/hectic weeks of my life.

This is my mini-apology to those of you that have stayed on me about my blog this week.

What I will say is this…… you need to go into this new year UN-comfortable. No settling. No regularly scheduled life. Unlocking your dreams & meeting your goals will take all of your ambition and all of your work ethic. Those two qualities don’t function in comfort. Shake things up…then go achieve those goals!

I’m working like I’ve never worked, to get what I’ve never had. Remember you cannot do it all. Handle your business then you say a prayer and let your Higher Power handle the rest.

Open Letter to my daughter Kayden, on her 5th birthday

 

Dear Kayden Jeanelle, 

I don’t even want to believe you are actually 5 today. How does this happen? You turning 5 has me feeling like my baby won’t be a baby much longer. That, and you constantly remind me that you are a big girl now!  I wonder whimageat your mom is going thru knowing it’s now your birthday. She’s probably curled up in the bed staring at your baby picture LOL! You two are best friends, you’ve grown/changed her in more ways than I can count and she was already pretty great. I would send her a text but it’s 12:33 am and neither of you are morning people so I’ll chill. No sense getting fussed at on your big day. 

In the last year I have seen so much character come thru your bones. What tickles me the most is the fact that you refuse to accept the fact that you’re the baby. You are probably the roughest of your siblings and probably the toughest too. You scrap, fight and claw for just about everything, challenging anything your siblings do and usually attempting to do whatever it is yourself. I can’t count how many times I’ve had to grab you from the edge of danger and despair to tell you to “wait until you get a little bigger or taller”. 

It’s funny cause you’re at that crazy height right now where everything seems to bump into you. Counter-tops, car doors, dining tables, are just a few of the things
that have tried to take out daddy’s baby in the last month or so. Not to mention my baby 
is missing some teeth up front. Your mother and I think you look super cute but these are the years where youimage will be embarrassed when you see pictures later in life. I saw a picture of me the other day at 4 years old and can’t believe my head was/is that big LOL! 

Can you believe you just finished your first semester of Pre-K / organized school? You are doing great in class and you look forward to being there with your teachers and fellow students each day. The teachers say that you are a leader in the class. They give us reports of you speaking up to answer questions and making sure the class is staying on task. You like to turn that shy bug on whenever I am around the class so I never really get to see you in action. 

You are very mature to be 5 as well. It is impressive to see you grow and juggle the back and forth of multiple households and even religions. To see you adhere and accept  the Jehovah Witness principles you’re learning from your mother and then balance that with me who is not a JW is a testament to your brilliancy and heart as a child. I am so proud of you and I have learned alot about balance from you andimage you are only 5. You have proven that you can have traditions with mom and traditions with dad and no love lost on either end. 

I intend on being the best dad I can be as we move into this next year of your life. I promise to keep you connected to your siblings so that you never feel like “half” or distant and that the love you share as siblings who share the same dad is real love whether I am around or not.

This year we need to go ahead and hit this home run  on bike-riding and swimming. We made huge strides last summer but didn’t officially check the tasks off as completed.  Those are major plans for spring 2016. Hopefully you’ll be as determined to master those as you are/were to learning how to whistle and snap your fingers. You have the tiniest, cutest, finger snap ever!

Happy Birthday my love, ,my youngest…. my born leader….my little thug (because of your occasional mean streak) and my shy cutie tootie! Love you so much!!! Enjoy your day, love always, …Dad!  

Tee on Tuesdays 12.15.16

Happy Tuesday & welcome back to all my teeLARGE.com weekly readers, for some crazy reason you people keeping coming back for your weekly dose of foolishness. Special hello to all my first time readers….I do a weekly “Tee on Tuesdays” post every Tuesday at 10am. That’s my  only guaranteed post on the site. The others posts are just at random. I’m a work in progress.  

Speaking of random it’s currently 1:56 am, exactly 8 hours and 4 minutes before this post will go live and here I am just entering the second paragraph. I am super exhausted, I just walked in the door from doing a late night HangmanHsv job. I mounted 2 additional TV’s and put together a TV stand in a previous clients home. The customer is happy but dang I sure burnt the night oil on this one.

How about I do 10 random things (stream of consciousness) and then call it a night, Deal?

  1. Ahhhhhhhhhh shooot! I just remembered my big sisters birthday was last week December 3rd and I didn’t call or contact her. That was the same morning my homeboy passed. I was pretty out of it that day. No excuse though. My sis actually subscribes to my blog so Tonnie if your reading this I love you and I’ll call tomorrow! and HAPPY BELATED!! 

2.  About 20 minutes ago I thought I had lost $175. I know I’m exhausted cause the money was in my wallet the whole time. My wallet was in my pocket, on me. The whole time. I tore up the living room and dining area of my apt. That’s how drained I am. 

3. I wonder does my apartment complex think I am just a disgruntled resident, or am I the “angry black guy”. Lately they have been under my skin for the dumbest of reasons. How does an entire building get a noise notice? Why doesn’t the apartment/resident that is making the noise get the noise complaint. For all of us to get a notice and I emphatically know I haven’t made a peep much louder than a whisper is upsetting. I was fire hot when I saw that note on my door. I also got a cigarette warning. I have never smoked a single thing a day in my life. Now that I think of it,, I’m never even home! We’ll see how this thing plays out. 60 day notice anyone?

4. My dad will be in town this weekend for 2 weeks. This will be the first time in well over a decade we’ve been in the same city for that long. This should be good. He came to Maya’s first basketball game this past weekend and yelled at the head coach to bench Maya for making a mistake on a play. All you heard was “hey…..bench her”…. as he pointed to his granddaughter from the sidelines! Classic moment. I’m still laughing! I love my dad and am super thankful for his role in my life at this point in our lives. We’re both in a good place. 

5. I interviewed for a job today. I also got a couple calls/emails about other job openings in town. Looks like I”ll be back in someone’s hr/recruiting department shortly, which isn’t a bad thing. The position I interviewed for today has ALOT of potential upside. Smaller company, but growing and on track to continue growing well into 2016 and beyond. I actually enjoy recruiting, the people you meet, contacts your make. the challenges of getting someone to the interview process and then thru  completion/on boarding. I definitely should have opened my own recruiting/staffing firm years ago when I had the chance. I’ll still keep my HangmanHsv thing going. I’ll always be entrepreneurial, it’s in my heart. Never Not Working. 

6. I let the guys in the barbershop convince me to keep my beard at its current thick/full height. Next time I’ll be my own man and get what I want. I am tired of this thick. I really want the light shadow look for awhile. 

7.  In my intro paragraph did anyone get a little tight when I used the term “you people” ? I did that on purpose cause I hate the term “you people”. It’s the worst way to categorize a group. Honestly if I wgiphy-facebook_sas with a group of friends and someone rode by and shouted out the infamous “n” word I would probably just look crazy. But if some rode by and called us “you people” I would probably instantly morph into Liam Neeson’s character from the Taken movies. ——-> 

8. It’s now 2:43 am and I just dozed off for 20 minutes. Let’s knock out these last couple bullet points coming off this mini-nap when I should be sleep. 

8 & 1/2 The last time I went grocery shopping it was for Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve been on the go so much I haven’t really eaten. I desperately need a meal fixed on a stove, or an oven with helpings of love, spoonfuls of care, and maybe a few shakes of that Zatarans or Tony Cachere’s Cajun seasoning. I’m out here looking like a “sponsor a child” commercial.  

9. Continuing my my life long quest for the perfect backpack I bought  a new one today. This one is alot like a Patagonia bag (which is what I really want). The only difference is the name is NOT Patagonia, and it’s about $150 less than a Patagonia LOL.  I am a sucker for a new backpack. It’s almost an automatic buy a couple times a year for me. I don’t even know what I am looking for in a bag that will make it the perfect bag. I assume I’ll know when I finally find the perfect one. This one is pretty nice so far. It’s only been 6 hours though so….the verdict is still debatable. Man do I sound like a woman describing her latest purse of what ?!?!?! 

10.   <——- Yes Lord the tenth bullet point. I can finally stop writing and go to sleep. It is 2:51 am. I have to mount a TV for a new customer at 10am. I am thankful that I stuck to my promise to write a new blog post everyweek if it kills me. This weekly commitment is helping me dedicate myself to something which is good for my commitment phobia. I’m so exhausted right now….Jesus be a pillow. 

I’m gone. 

—– Tee.

Instagram & Twitter: @teeLARGE

 

Hangman Inc, (problems and situations)

12/10/15, 1:42am

Hangman FLIER12_8Cece created a new flyer for me and this one was perfect to get printed. (Christykgg@gmail.com if you want to contact her about graphic design needs, she’s the best in town) While headed to the printer I decided to share my new flyer on social media as well. Only this time instead of putting up a pic for everyone to “like”, I asked everyone to “share” the photo. The shares are what will get me new business because each share is like someone telling everyone they know about me. I had no clue that 90+ people would share my post. If only 10 of their Facebook friends see the flyer that’s 900 new fresh eyes. Doing the simple math those numbers alone would surely lead to some referrals or new business right? You’re right! My phone was blowing up all day today. Not to mention the email and text message inquiries that came thru. What a time to be alive!

**all pictures taken by me for the purpose of retelling this story below, I just set my camera in self mode, find a way to prop it up to capture the shot needed, and set the 10 second timer**

I’ve never been more proud of myself doing this Hangman thing than I was tonight aimaget the home of Mrs. Ervin. I had this job scheduled for about a week after Mrs. Ervin saw my flyer floating around Facebook and decide to call. At the request of her children, she was looking to mount her TV onto her fireplace. Beautiful home, and I’m thankful Mrs. Ervin decided she was finally ready to mount her TV. “Travis I been in this house for 35 years, go ahead and mount the TV, we not going anywhere “.

First thing I noticed is that the TV was a good size, and the space over the fireplace didn’t seem like it was much bigger than the TV was when you take into account the slanted ceiling. I was going to need to be precise. Fireplace mounts can be tough. Anytime your going into brick its a good idea to be smart and use caution. You have to have the right drill, bits, screws, anchors and more to hit a home-run when mounting a tv onto a brick fireplace.Everything started out well, brackets went onto the back of the TV just fine, no worries there.

imageI used spacers to give the TV a little more “sit off the wall” effect that looks great on fireplace mounts. It makes the TV look even on the wall and centered over the mantle itself. At this point I am doing just fine. I’ve got my Pandora playlist set to John Legend so you know I’m groovin. I usually play John Legend because it’s cool, calm and not overly sexual. As much as I love hip-hop I don’t like clean versions and I am not going to be in someone’s home trying to mute out words like “&$#*#*” and “*($(#(@#(@)” every two seconds.  Plus John Legend is safe r&b. Imagine if I was in your home playing the R.Kelly 12 Play album while I was doing handyman work. C’mon now, the TV wouldn’t be the only thing getting………nevermind I’ll leave that alone.

image By now I’ve got the TV all set and have  a plan of action for this brick wall. Around this time Mrs. Ervin popped in on me, gave me a bottle of water and some much needed small talk which I appreciate. She spoke with me about retirement life and then we both had a good laugh when we discovered that I have more W-2’s coming this year than she has had in her whole life! She told me that I need to get somewhere and stay put! Wiser words have never been spoken. She also told me that she was glad I found something entrepreneurial that I enjoy and of course wished me the best of luck. Then she left me to my work.

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Do you see the above picture? Let’s inspect the photo closely because ladies and gentlemen, all hell just broke loose. I have done MANY brick and fireplace jobs but for some reason this was not like the rest. I truly believe that the brick on Mrs. Ervin’s fireplace were original bricks from the Walls of Jericho or the Great Wall of China. Never in my life have I drilled into a wall and the wall didn’t do a dang thing. I tried different masonry/brick drill bits, concrete screws, and even raced to Home Depot minutes before they closed and purchased a new hammer drill. Truth be told I had been eyeing this new drill for awhile, tonight just gave me the good reason to go spend the $! But even that new drill wasn’t enough. We have a serious problem people and I had to admit I had no clue.

Frustration has set in. As a last effort I dumped out my entire toolbox looking for a 5/16 socket to ratchet the bolts to the wall by hand but still nothing. When I first got into this business a man at Home Depot told me the key to being successful as a handyman is to stay organized, be on time, and learn from every job. Organizationimage just completely killed me out. Clearly I didn’t put that socket back in its case with the other 14 pieces. They were all there but the very one I needed had somehow dissapeared. Home Depot and Lowe’s were closed by this time. I was in a jam.

I can only imagine what Mrs. Ervin was upstairs thinking. I’m downstairs frustrated making all types of racket. Trying to drill into a wall that wouldn’t budge. The wall was starting to look like connect the dots with all the holes LOl! Heck at one point I left to get a BBQ plate from the gas station up the street thinking I could work better on a full stomach. While I was waiting on my plate, I flipped open my handyman handbook and turned to the pages with tutorials on brick. No matter what, you can never be above learning and needing help. After skimming thru 3-4 pages I found a strategy that gave me a different method to try using screws and sockets I knew I had in my toolbox. I was headed back to Mrs. Ervin’s place not with a guaranteed TV mounted, but at least I had a plan!

All I could do is send up a prayer. On Facebook I was having my biggest success. Over 100 people had shared my post about Hangman Inc. My phone, email, and text had been blowing up with clients asking for prices and new Hangman jobs all day. At the same time, I’m across town in a living room dang near in tears ready to give up the business all because I couldn’t figure out a problem. Lesson in that is that you may reach success but it will not come without blood sweat and tears. You have to work at it. You cannot cheat success. Success knows how much work you put in. It knows your grind. You have to earn it. Nothing comes easy.

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Would you look at that!!!!! We have a fully mounted beautiful TV!!! I finally figured out what I was doing wrong. I can’t wait until my next fireplace job,I have a whole new technique and it came out perfect. I yelled out for Mrs. Ervin to come look at the finished work. Seeing her smile and laugh at me as I told her “…it would take Samson, Noah and Jesus combined to get this TV down off that fireplace” made it all worthwhile. Of course when she paid her invoice that made it even more worth it LOL!

I’m thankful for a job well done! Thankful for the lessons, the tests…all of it is making me a better man. I tried to get Mrs. Ervin to jump in a photo with me like my other clients and she swiftly replied “No way! It’s late and I don’t have on no makeup and you not about to have me looking crazy on the internet! Get a picture of the TV, and if anybody needs a reference have them contact me” 

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Follow my Hangman adventures on instagram: @HangmanHSV

If interested in having some work done. Contact me at HangmanHSV@gmail.com

Tee on Tuesdays 12-8-15

10:19 pm, 12-7-15

I am not a big fan of diary posts but I have had a whirlwind 7 days I think it might honestly help to vent. I’m not upset or anything, I just need to clear my mind. 


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Wearing the shirt & tie I bought the day I bumped into Austin in the mall. That was the last time I saw him face to face and he helped me piece the two together to go with a suit I bought recently. Great guy! Rest in Love bro!

By the time this post goes live Tuesday morning, I’ll be walking out the door headed to a funeral of a friend.

This guy was one of the best guys to ever be around. He was a few years younger than me, I first met him when he used to come thru Kreativ.Sole, the clothing store I owned from early 2009- late 2012. I had a lot of respect for this guy over the years watching him grow and mature. About 3 weeks before he passed we bumped into each other in Belk department store. I was shopping for a shirt and tie, and Austin being the jokester and clean dresser that he was came right over to me and said “Tee what are you doing? You not supposed to be in a suit. That’s not your lane. You supposed to have on the fresh sneakers and gear. Don’t tell me you’re switching up!”. Funny thing is that he was partially correct. I am such a novice in the suit/tie lane. It takes me FOREVER to decide what I like and how I want it to look in those departments. (Now put me in a Foot Locker and I’m in/out in 15 minutes tops with multiple purchases LOL!) Austin and I had a great laugh about it and then he helped me settle on a decent addition to my mature closet. Never in a million years would I have thought that 3 weeks later I would wear that same shirt and tie I purchased with Austin by my side to his very own funeral. Life is too short and we have NO CLUE what God’s plan is but we have to respect it. It’s tough though….losing Austin at age 26 when he brought so much joy to so many people  has left me and most of my circle asking God why.

 Last night I had the opportunity to participate on a segment of the 2nd Chance Radio show on WJOU here in Huntsville with the host Kenny Anderson
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and a group of my peers. I was thankful for the opportunity to speak on topics that are important to my age bracket an appreciate Mr. Anderson for opening space on his radio show he has been running for 20+ years. Look for our monthly piece to air on the 4th Sunday. I’ll keep everyone posted.

I also started a NEW, new, new part time job yesterday at Radio Shack. I know what you’re thinking: 1. How does Tee have time to do that & 2. I thought all the Radio Shack’s went out of business (so did I)          Believe me there is a method to my madness. Ever since I started doing my HangmanHSV tv mounting and home handyman business clients/customers have been asking me various techy, audio, sound, video questions. I want to be able to answer those questions and make sense doing so; so I picked up a few hours a week at a place that should help me accomplish that task. I can’t help but absorb some type of knowledge while I’m there correct? We’ll see. My first day went well….no complaints. 

Last Thursday I went with Unknown Lyric as they played the grand opening of the Amanda Howard Real Estate office newest location. This was a pretty big deal with no shortage of Huntsville star power including Mayor Tommy Battle. That is the 3rd time I’ve seen our city’s Mayor at an event in the last 10 days. When he shook my hand he asked if I was following him or he was following me around the city the way we keep crossing paths LOL!  

For the last 3 months I have toyed with an idea in the back of my head. Really trying to wrap my mind around the idea creatively first, and then as a viable business venture second. I think I have just about figured this thing out enough to where it might be time to write a formal business plan. We’ll see, I’m not going to rush anything. I want it to make sense and things like this take time. Please say a prayer that the creative juices that have been flowing lately in my mind and soul, continue to do so. 

I’ve got a pretty big day tomorrow. I’ll talk to you all soon.

Tee