A love letter at 40…

So this is 40 huh? I gotta tell you, it’s not quite what I expected. As a millennial (yikes, I can’t believe I’m embracing that moniker!), we’re born invincible. Which is to say, ignorant like every generation. It’s only been through the growing pains of life, marriage, and fatherhood that I’ve learned just how fragile this life really is. I’ve aged well, if I say so myself. But only because as I’ve aged, well, I’ve learned and unlearned a few things along the way.

In my youth I learned how to survive. I had to build walls around myself for my own mental and emotional safety. I learned to protect myself and the ones I loved. That’s where my most cherished values, discipline and loyalty were forged. Things didn’t just happen, you made them happen through grit, determination, and sheer persistence. Whenever chaos threatened to engulf my life (and boy did it threaten a lot), I learned to wall myself off and stay focused.

Little black kid, coulda turned out to be a statistic. Instead winning scholarships, holding down two jobs, helping to take care of my family, making the people who matter proud. Stoic. Dependable. I was all about beating the odds at all cost.It took me a while to realize that there were in fact costs. But that didn’t come until later right? What drove me then was fear, fear of failing to live up to expectations, fear of not making it out of my circumstances.

In my twenties I met the one. She saved me more than anyone or anything else, because she saw me. It seems that we were both running from or towards something. Thank God we ran into each other (almost literally) in our freshmen dorm room. This year marks 20 years we’ve been running partners, 18 married. I could fill a book about everything this relationship has taught me I’ve the years. The most important thing she’s taught me as my partner, is how to extend compassion towards myself. Find a partner who can be a mirror while holding your hand as you discover what you see.

Then came Riley and Olivia, rounding out my twenties as I headed into my thirties. By then I’d thought I had it all figured out. I was way ahead of “the plan” at that point. But still, something was missing. Actually, a lot was missing. I was climbing ladders at work, but I wondered if they were leaning up against the wrong buildings. Now I had a family to feed and multiple mortgages and pressure starts to build. What am I doing? Am I doing any of this right?

Welcome to my mid thirties. London and Sloane join the crew, rounding out our family. But in typical fashion, nothing comes easy. We lose an election when I run for office, a life long dream that will have to be deferred. I question most of everything I thought I knew. It’s a lot on my health and our family. We lose a child. What a gut wrenching experience. Sloane is our redemption baby. She comes at a time of rebirth for me professionally. Finally things are looking up…

But, same old change happens. I begin to wonder and wander. Taking on new projects. Exploring new ideas. Deconstructing and rebuilding my faith. My faith had always been a constant, suddenly I’m lost with more questions than answers. Things that I don’t want to end, now I can see the horizon. No problem for the kid who went to 5 elementary schools and 3 middle schools. I may not always choose change, but I’ve learned to navigate it well.

Now, here I sit on the other side of 40, with a life greater than I’d imagined. Let me brag on your boy for a second… you remember sitting in a coaching meeting nearly three years ago laying out a vision of what you wanted to be doing with your life? You remember how strange it seemed that at the time, you weren’t really even in that arena? Now, fast forward and appreciate how much heaven and earth had to (and did!) move to get you from there to here. My mantra for the past few years everyday has been, help me be open, flexible, and gracious to myself and others. Little did I know how much growth was in this intentional reset.

I’ve had to unlearn a few things, while appreciating how those old habits served me once before. I no longer equate my worth with what I can accomplish or produce for others. I’m still healing from those scars. My body isn’t just a slave to hustle and grind culture, it’s the site of my liberation, and rest is my greatest reparative tool. I love me some rest. I’m still working on forgiveness, for myself and others. God ain’t through with me yet. But if these past 40 years are any indication, the best is yet to come.


I still got a little swag
Still going strong. Our favorite pastimes now are day dates while the kids are in school. Obviously at Target lol.
My baby girl snapped this of me in Mexico a few weeks ago.
Daddy and his girls

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