Marcus Browne: A Moment To Show Some Sibling Love…

I’m sure my brother would like to tell his own story so I won’t be going too deep but there comes a time when credit has to be given where credit is due.

As an athlete myself, it was easy to see Marcus’ dedication from the very beginning of what would become his football career. Our mum spoke to me on the phone one rainy evening, as I sat on my bed, while based at JSU Northwood, complaining that he wouldn’t apply himself. I took the moment to explain that self-application will always be personal the individual applying themselves but consequence of this application will always be common. Also, it is impossible to be bad at something you love. Even if the end result is not be as good as another, by comparison. He may have been lackadaisical at times and he may have moaned at others but the simple fact was, come rain, shine, last minute changes and cancellations, Marcus would be on a grass pitch, somewhere, kicking a ball. Not just as and when required but pretty much ALL the time. You can’t teach passion. You can only tap into it and act accordingly.

Watching my young brother make smart decisions, regarding his future, with our mum’s dedication (A true ‘soccer mum’, by the way!) brought a raised eyebrow from time to time, as I began to share in his passion and allowed it to develop into expectation of him and his success. Seeing him execute his craft for 90 minutes, on a TV screen, and replaying THAT moment he almost scored against the world’s biggest football club, on YouTube (View from 9mins 45secs), just can’t do justice to the hard work he has put in to get where he is now. I know, first-hand, it hasn’t been a walk in the park. But that’s his story to tell.

This moment, I just wanna take some time out to salute my little bro, Marcus Browne. The potential for a footballing great is in his heart and the ability to get there is in his head. He may never be able to test me in the squat rack (tongue in cheek!) but the machine is definitely in good shape! Expect great things!

SALUTE!

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President Donald Trump to publish weekly list of crimes committed by immigrants

You can read the article, from the U.K.’s The Independent newspaper here.

I would like to pose a question, regarding this article.

According to an article I read last year, most ILLEGAL immigrants come to the States and end up going into farming and slave labour in the agricultural industry. A large percentage of the remainder find themselves working as slaves in the construction industry, as they do in the UK. As an illegal immigrant, it is virtually impossible to cheat the welfare system, without the help of a citizen (Usually the employer) and, having seen how some of these guys are kept on the tightest leash (first-person perspective), unable to ‘roam free’, I would say that crimes against citizens form such a small percentage that it would be almost unrecognizable when compared to all crimes committed by citizens, including crimes of frauding the State. After all, a little rational thinking allows us to see that no employer/owner of illegal immigrants wants them wreaking havoc among the local populous, do they? Gotta love the media for motivating the sleeping mind…
As a LEGAL immigrant, I can assure you coming to the States was one of the hardest processes I’ve ever had to traverse. A disjointed system, designed to make you jump through hoops, make you feel somewhat less than human as you hand over cash. In fact, if I hadn’t been studious, I’d have been out of pocket by between $1500 and $3000 but that’s for another conversation.
When I came here, in good faith, I was presented with the fact that, as a LEGAL immigrant, it could take between SIX MONTHS TO A YEAR to find stable employment. My first job was filling freezers in a commissary and then as a part-time security guard. It took me 6 months to find my first stable job. I came here with education and extensive employment history, including 8 years in the Royal Air Force. That’s the reality of being an immigrant. Not the open arms and handouts many believe we get.
Keeping in mind the millennial generation now entering employment, other than a massive rise in fresh produce, where can you see this going? What man/woman from the millennial generation, is going to leave education or be able to pay a student loan by working on a farm or in the lower levels of the construction industry? And for the “Yeah but we can now focus on ‘us’ movement”, why not focus on ‘us’ now, seeing as ‘them’ form such a small percentage?

I also want to pose these questions to those in the UK, who blame immigration for collapse and a reason for Brexit. How many of the complainers out there are going to be willing to roll up their sleeves and fill the spaces left in cafés, construction, cash registers and the quiet corners of Commerce? Or are we all waiting for $/£50k jobs to fall in our laps?

*catches breath* Rant over!

Pets or Humans. Who do you trust?!

The lesson, first and foremost is, when you volunteer to give your opinions on the questions of Facebook friends, expect ANYTHING! LOL! Ric Anastasi, this one is for you!

You know, as much as the answer is going to be humans, I can’t help but see the relevance of pets. Why? Because, succeed or fail, they always try with you in mind. As a standard, that is genuine Love. You can’t beat or teach that!
Granted, I’m not necessarily going to rely on a pet to rescue me from a burning building, the robber at the ATM or being attacked by a monkey at the zoo but I can ALWAYS rely them to make me feel loved during those moments. You can feel the Love while obtaining 3rd degree burns. You can feel the Love while being robbed at gunpoint and you can feel the Love while an orangutan pounds you into a pulp. Strangely, in today’s society, this can actually be valid as a good state of mind. The world could be coming to an end but while Mincy purrs on my lap, I can pretend it’s not happening. Does this mean that pets can love us to death?! LOL!

I would say that the ultimate trust receptacle would be a human pet then but, I dunno. Those are also known as gimps and the idea of owning a gimp just doesn’t do anything for me! I’ll stick with humans and rely on being loved to death, by a pet, when it all goes wrong!

Hope that answers your question, Ric!

Legacy

If I died tonight, how would you feel? What would be your lasting memory of me? The real truth is, tomorrow is never promised.

If I died tonight, how would you feel? What would be your lasting memory of me? The real truth is, tomorrow is never promised.

Your political argument cannot follow you beyond the grave.

My Facebook news feed slowly dries up of Ex-President Barack Obama and, to an extent, now becomes saturated with President Donald Trump. What I find ever so interesting is that, while debate begins over President Trump’s current policy, there is still discussion about Ex-President Obama’s relationships with his family and with his Vice-President. Having been in the world’s leading seat of power for 8 years, Ex-President Obama has left a lasting impression on the world, not of his policy, but of his relationship with his wife and his friend. Such a powerful message.

I’ve sat back for the past few days and watched how ‘friends’ have bickered and argued. I’ve heard of ‘friends’ parting ways in the virtual world because of disagreeing views on what is happening in the real world. A crazy fact is, though, 4, maybe 8 years from now, we’d have turned full circle as President Trump’s relationships with his family and with his friends become paramount conversation and his policies become a thing of the past as we herald in a new round of debate and debacle.
Thinking back, I can’t tell you much at all of past Presidents’ policies, excepting from a factual perspective. But I can tell you that Ex-President Obama loved his wife and I can tell you that Ex-President Clinton cheated on his wife, while convincingly lying to his voting supporters. Alongside his assassination, I can tell you that there may have been a little more than singspiration between Ex-President John. F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe. In a nutshell, the only things I can tell you about Presidents past is in regard to their character and their relationships. Even though an immigrant, I believe I can speak for most Americans in this respect.

I know a gentleman that threw himself off an apartment block. In fact, I know two. Taking this information, we can delve into deep debate, as to whether suicide is right or wrong. Something we tend to do this day and age. We jump on actions, as opposed to trying to understand intent. Listening to to the madness of universities, wanting us to refer to each other with gender-less titles, I see a society that, for some reason or other, sees a necessity in seeing ourselves as something other than what we are (Reverting to our spiritual base, maybe?). Not wanting to differentiate between right and wrong but always seeing ourselves as right. Because of this, we are confused by passion and confused by actions of extremity, good or bad. Why? Because we cannot rationalize the act. Why? Because it isn’t us. We have lost the ability to develop relationships and have become a society that lacks empathy and Love. Love has become a word of convenience. Void of passion, void of empathy. As hollow as the persons that often use it the most.
I know a gentleman that threw himself off an apartment block. In fact, I know two. Both were acts of passion and cries for help. Because I have come to appreciate the importance of relationships (I haven’t always seen the importance.), I can appreciate how they felt. I can see what drove them to bring their lives to a close. It wasn’t a statement. They honestly believed that the better outcome would see them removed from the equation. Relationships last beyond the physical end. As does character, which drives intent.

In the ‘developed’ world, using ‘developed’ in the most sarcastic sense, and in the world where said ‘developed’ world is the standard of life, we are taught that legalism and politics dictate legacy, even though it is so easy to see that merely being right and wrong isn’t something you can take beyond your last breath. We are taught that if you have more than the person in front of you, you are the set standard and we are prompted to being convinced that our legacy will be of more significance. But let me ask you this. For all the wealth the Rothschild family possess, what keeps us intrigued? It can’t be the wealth. The wealth is on show for all to see and, if you can’t physically see it, Google will always be your friend. The truth is, we’d all like to see how they live. Their character and their relationships. A Google search for ‘rothschild wealth’ gives us 1.14m returns. ‘rothschild family’ give us 3.33m returns. So much for us to know so much for us to find out. So much opportunity for us to solidify the greatness we have heard about. Relationships and character form our legacy and legacy is what we leave behind when we are gone. It fuels our children’s lives and inspires those that know us. On a personal tip, my most read blog is a short and sweet note I wrote when I lost a good friend last year, Hamim Lubega. Many knew him for his abilities on the track and how he was in a track and field environment. Many knew of his love for travel but ALL of us remembered his friendship and his kind heart. THAT was his legacy.

Don’t clasp your relationships. Embrace them with your character. (Please read)

Imagine, if we spent as much time genuinely complimenting each other as we do debating. Imagine changes in your life if you were to, right now, start grouping your phone contacts into ‘Family’, ‘Friends’ and ‘Acquaintances’, making a phone call to one person from each group every day. Imagine if we were able to disagree without having to give a disclaimer, because it was already understood that our relationships are more important than our opinions. Imagine Love…

I’m venturing on a journey of Purpose, Love & Happiness. I’d like to think that, the further I venture, the more these things become the base of my Character and Relationships. My Legacy to inspire those that know me.

God Bless.

Relationships. Embrace, Don’t Clasp.

To operate in an embraced relationship is to be vulnerable. It is to take the deepest parts of yourself and put them in the hands of another. It is the ultimate expression of ‘actions speak louder than words’.

As I drove along Pennsylvania’s Route 276 this evening, I glanced over, on several occasions, to see Billboards advertising easy divorce and easy injury claims, along with potential lottery winnings. Remembering that there are no ‘hit or miss’ marketing investments by the corporate world, I wondered why anyone would want to promote divorce, injury claims and the lottery on a highway where the average speed was 70 mph. The answer didn’t take long to come to me.
Moving at 70mph along a vast expanse can seem like going nowhere. Driving, in an automatic car, is done on auto-pilot. Anything, aside of black asphalt, marked with white lines and speckled with reflective ‘eyes’, catches the eye. It dawned on me how industry plants, alongside roads and highways, don’t use much lighting. They only use required ‘low-level flight’ lighting and their company name in big neon lights. Usually a name that has nothing to do with polluting industry but that’s another topic.
These billboards want to be seen and, knowing that there is zero accidental marketing in such a forum, I came to quick conclusion that there must be a valid marketing audience. The audience that flies by day after day after day after day. I reminded myself of my days studying Communication and Media Studies. Billboards that were on the drivers side were generally plain, easy to read, logically laid out. The billboards on the passenger’s side were more colourful and required a little working out. Even the divorce billboards, on the passenger’s side, were more colourful and eye-catching than the billboards on the driver’s side. Why is that?
The answer is pretty simple. The area of Pennsylvania, where these billboards occur, is very Puritan. Amish. ‘Old Skool’ Bible. However, if you’re on Rt. 276, you’re generally not going to be from that area. You’ll be passing through and, more than likely, be from a more ‘liberal’ origin and probably headed to a destination of the same category. The driver of a vehicle is more than likely going to be male, if partners are travelling, and he would be more focused on the road. Your average driver is going to be looking for instruction. Passengers, on the other hand, are more likely to be bored. In need of entertainment. Bright colours, as they stare, aimlessly, out of the window are attractive and seemingly scattered billboards bring a change to the monotony. Messages that bring definitive end help, as you hurtle across a state, at speed but with your destination still so far away (You’ll notice billboards are mostly on long straightaways and not near destination points.). The ending doesn’t matter, just as long as you get it. Whether your definitive end is to make money from the lottery or to quickly, and easily, divorce your partner. First world culture. The definitive example of ‘clasped’ relationships.

Growing up, my mum couldn’t keep me in the house. At the age of 2, I’d be outside the front door with my oldest friend, Martin, making noise, exposed to the playful ways of the older kids. From toddler, to infant, child and teen, I learned a lot of life from the older guys and girls. I learned the basics of climbing trees, hierarchy in friendship groups, where I stood as a mixed race child, how to play all the games we played, in the absence of games consoles and other visual entertainment. Tag, Bulldog, Tim Tam Tommy. A favourite was Knock Down Ginger, where we’d run along a landing, knocking every door and then hide, laughing as curious adult faces and figures emerged, lost, wondering who’d roused them from adult slumber! Some of us, more brazen than others, would walk back along the landing, under the suspecting glare of said adults. Youthful, high-pitched voices could be heard, “Nah, mate. Dunno what you’re talking about…” I learned, quickly, from example, with a still-existent obsessive compulsive personality.
With mum unable to afford a TV, I grew to love reading and, by the time I left Primary School, aged 10, I could pretty much read any book put in front of me, with the ability to express an opinion regarding its content. I developed humour from The Beano and Dandy comics and delved into dark worlds, reading graphic novels and comic strips like Nemesis, Rogue Trooper, Judge Dredd. For another blog, I was introduced to pornographic magazines at a young age. Stealing it from a nearby printers, for the older guys, who’d give me money to buy candy. I’d get lost in Disney movies. To the point I couldn’t hear my own name being called. From the earliest of ages, I learned introvert escapism. Something I still turn to today. Isn’t it amazing how old habits die hard? Especially old habits we didn’t even know we had… The power of example.

Practicing what you learn is to create and develop your character. It’s important here to remember that you can only learn what you are taught. Not just through teaching in a classroom but more so at that really basic institution we don’t really consider at times. Our senses. Sight, taste, touch, hearing and smelling. Five things we probably take for granted the most are the foundation of the very person we are. These senses are honed through our experiences. This is why we have ‘acquired’ taste and ‘selective’ hearing. Our experiences dictate how we see things and how we respond to the sensation of touch.
Coming from a broken home, dealing with it and fighting to escape it has played a bigger part in who I am than I can possibly imagine. Relationships are the basis of human existence and the very first step in our learning lives. Whether we like it or not, the lack of relationship example is also the very first step. I want to point out here that I’m currently talking of relationships in the generic sense. The interrelation of two individuals. Not necessarily the intimate relationship of two people.

I love my mum and dad like you might never believe it. Sadly, because of how I’ve become through my life, based on example, my ability to show them how much is limited. In comparison to how much I love them and appreciate them, my ability is non-existent. I do know that, one day, as I learn relationships and continue to grow in Love, I’ll be able to demonstrate.
It’s with all due respect to my parents and love for them that I want to share the fact that I come from a broken home. At a pretty young age, I began life with my mum and my sister. It was this single-parent institution that formed my very earliest examples of how to enter in to relationships with females. It was this single-parent institution that found me repeatedly hurting others and hating myself for it, unable to stop a vicious cycle that charged through my life like a runaway train. I’m glad that I have changed. I’m glad that I was able to spot the problem and bring about a change in myself but the honesty is, Reader, I’ve forgiven myself but not forgotten. I still see the tears of those that I’ve hurt. I hear the questioning of ‘why?’ Why it is I was being how I was being. Understanding how hearts become fragmented when there is longing for someone, or a physical tying to someone else, I’m still humbled, to tears at times, when I think of the hearts that I have broken. Example, clarified by first-world culture, taught me that one should never embrace a relationship and so I never did, until now.

So, what is it to clasp a relationship? To demonstrate my point, clasp your hands, as though you had just caught a butterfly and hold the imaginary butterfly to your chest. If you are with your partner or close friend, have them do the same and then stand as close as you can, clasped hands touching. This is the first world relationship. It’s safe, it’s controlled. It’s even possible for the hands to remain in contact when the arms are extended but the bodies separated, at arms length. With the hands in contact, there is still almost-full functionality of the body. The head can swivel, the spine can still mobilize, the hips can move, as can the legs. “I’m in a relationship but I’m independent. If it all goes wrong, I’ll be alright.”

First world culture has told us that we are solely for the system. We work through Communism, promised the idea of Democracy, and so we’re always focused on what is to come next. We lose sight of now. We lose sight of those close to us. And it doesn’t matter, as we can always call an attorney real quick. He’ll take our money and see to it that we are in a different relationship as soon as possible. No hard work necessary. All you’ll need to do is let go of the hand of the one you say you love. I’m reminded of the periodic movies that come on TV, where dancing partners are shared. Never an embrace. At most, a holding of the hand, hiding faces behind masquerade masks and moving to the next partner, simply as a matter of process or at swift command.

There is so much wrong with the clasped relationship. In fact, if you imagine holding a butterfly, the idea of a clasped relationship takes on full reality.
The butterfly in your clasped hand cannot be seen in its full glory. It can only be peeked at through gaps in the fingers. Nothing gets in and nothing gets out, unless we say. When we do this with our relationships, the relationships quickly become stagnant. There is no growth. There is frustration. Think of the joy experienced when a butterfly lands in the palm and stays there. Colours on display but most importantly, it’s the fact that it CHOOSES to stay where it is which fuels the joy we feel. THIS is what real Love is. It’s choice. The satisfaction in a relationship, when partners choose each other, is beyond measure and this goes back to creation. God created us with choice because a real Love is demonstrated this way. THAT is why there were two trees for Adam and Eve to choose from. It wasn’t simply about testing or temptation. It was God allowing Adam to choose Him for himself. It has been so hard for me to come to this point of understanding and acceptance. When experience says relationships can’t last and that I won’t be chosen over circumstance or other persons and when society says I don’t have to be thoroughly tied to someone else, operating in real Love, allowing myself to be chosen has been the hardest step of faith I’ve taken to date. I’m still learning.

With clasped hands, there is still a ‘safe zone’ between us. That safe zone that we believe will help us when it all falls apart. Where we feel we can turn our backs and move on to the next one with little issue. The truth is, though, it leaves us with an unsatisfied want, and need, for Love. There is always a feeling that something is missing. This prevents a moving towards 100% trust and, in return, we filter our feelings that flow from us. Because there is a lack of embrace, the disconnect allows others to get in. Distractions, temptations. The ‘get out of jail’ cards that never really die away because the clasped relationship we are in may require a back-up plan. With clasped hands, we can tell each other “I love you” while looking the other way, at arms length. The movement allowed means we are free to look wherever we want. Whether it be looking at another person, possible escape routes from the relationship or to something totally abstract that fills the void left by the lack of complete interconnect. The clasped relationship always presents the glass as being half empty. There is always something wrong. For me, I simply refused to trust and, as soon as I saw something amiss or something that reminded me of failures past, I strayed and bolted. My walls would shoot up like sheets of ice and I’d hate myself for it. But it was all I knew. I’d switch off and become emotionless. I didn’t want to be that way but I didn’t know how to stop it. When you’re exposed to hurt as a norm regularly, and from a young age, habits are formed and coping mechanisms put into place. For me, my introvert escapism was my way out. I could be in the middle of the most passionate crowd, having the best time, and yet seem distant and totally disconnected. Not necessarily unhappy but sometimes, even now, I disappear into my own thoughts and emotions and try to find solace there.

Clasped relationships are simply emotional motels. They’re cheap and never last long. If they’re entertained for a length of time, it is a lengthy period of frustration and unhappiness. Usually tolerated for a particular reason. Often because nobody knows any better.

I’m learning to embrace relationships. I’m not even going to make it sound like I’ve now reached this great point of deep zen and peace. Life experiences, especially since immigrating into the States, have made me a control freak of my own life and environment. The idea of letting go, letting God and allowing someone to choose to be with me strikes fear into the heart. Actually going through the process reminds me somewhat of learning to roller skate. In order to learn, motion must happen. When it does, I’ve seen that I’ve been presented with the choice of going with it, totally, learning to guide the motion or, quite simply, going nowhere. Leaving myself in a position where growth and development in a relationship are mere ideas and dreams, never goals.

I feared embraced relationships because it meant that I might get hurt. I feared embraced relationships because the flaws I have, that I try to keep to myself, become exposed. The safe environment I have created for myself is now compromised. It isn’t totally in my own hands. This is learning to Love. Not that love, where there is a constant glossing over of what’s real, to create warm, fuzzy feelings. I’m on about Love where one is left to feel vulnerable. Where you are held to a standard and an expectation that isn’t your own. It’s a space where you learn to trust someone with your deepest emotion, as you enter a space where you tentatively feel around, knowing there is a risk of failing and a risk of being disappointed, even hurt. It isn’t always pleasant. Yet, in some strange way, it is both exhilarating and fulfilling. Just like training for the 400m hurdles.
You never know how you are going to perform on race day so I spend countless hours, on the track, in the gym, reading books, researching online, in faith that, cometh the hour, cometh the man. I know that the best thing I can do, before stepping on the start line, is do my part and do my part to the best of my ability. The standard is the clock. The reality is my competitors. The reward is satisfaction, sense of achievement. Day, night, rain, shine, I embrace what I love. Which really raises the question. If real love is to embrace, can we honestly say that we love our partners? I know I do. It’s new and the learning curve is exponential but I’m still training to perform.

To operate in an embraced relationship is to be vulnerable. It is to take the deepest parts of yourself and put them in the hands of another. It is the ultimate expression of ‘actions speak louder than words’. It is to honestly put yourself in an ‘all or nothing’ environment. To choose to love is to experience life for what it really is. To choose to love is to find out who you really are. To choose to love is to discover where you really stand in the eyes of someone who tells you that they love you. Outside of an intimate relationship, to choose to love will, without fail, show you your purpose in life and where you stand in the lives of those around you.

When you embrace, you are as safe as the protection given by the one you hold. In this, though, there is a completion. A feeling of total safety, as you watch each other’s backs. You only need to see the confidence of someone in a happy, embraced relationship to understand this. Understanding Abraham Maslow’s philosophy of Self-Actualization, we see how an embraced relationship fulfills all basic human needs, beyond the physiological. The safety, the intimacy, the friendship, the feeling of accomplishment and the need to achieve full potential. Clasped relationships just don’t provide this. Indeed, shying away from embracing life will always leave us wanting more. Ever living the life of an unsatisfied appetite for completion.

They say that the hearts of lovers, in embrace, beat in sync. Desires, ideas, love become common and shared from their root. Fragmentation and brokenness begin to wain and disappear. The environment is created to share love from 100% of one heart to 100% of the other. In my clasped relationships, I’ve only ever shared from 100% of my safe zone. It’s a weird phenomenon but the average human knows, sub-consciously, when they are not receiving all of someone. My past relationships have been fraught with mistrust because of this. Yes, everyone has a choice in how they react to a lack of complete love but I, without doubt, raise my hand to plead guilty of not conveying unreserved love. I’m not proud of how I’ve been in my previous relationships and I have reasons for putting myself on blast but, as tough as changing has been, I’m glad I’ve chosen to change and stay changed. In a somewhat masochistic way, just as with my track training, I look forward to my lessons in real Love.

There is strength in unity and this goes really goes without saying. With hearts beating in sync, as we both head in the same direction, life takes on a different perspective. Yes, it takes time to develop cohesion, just as a pair would work, and practice, to learn to tango together. But once that movement has been learned, goals can become bigger, potential can increase and the dynamics of the relationship carry that much more power than any clasped relationship, where the contained energy and love flow cannot truly become. There is a difference between contained energy and harnessed energy. We also have the problem, in today’s society, where we feel the honeymoon should last forever. We feel that Love is what we deem it to be, just as I did. I believed that Love is what I made it but now I realize that the opposite is actually truth. Love should make us.

It’s hard succumbing to Love, real Love. Letting go. Allowing myself to be chosen instead of choosing, controlling and dictating. Putting myself in that vulnerable space where there is risk of hurt. It’s the knowledge of the greater good, though, that gets me through.
You see, in letting go, I decrease the workload, the worry and the stress. In allowing myself to be chosen, I can focus on being the best me that I can be and don’t need to see myself through someone else’s eyes. Love does that for me. In putting myself in that vulnerable space, I can learn, very quickly, who stays and who needs to go. When you operate in genuine Love, it takes a deliberate act of spite to hurt you so who goes and stays becomes a very quick and easy decision. Embraced relationships are cut and dry, with very few areas of grey. My workload has decreased, even though in this early phase I learn to deal with change. But I’m learning that, with change comes growth and growth, in Love, leads to my own self-actualization, which can only serve to keep my partner on a pedestal, as men should do. An actualization I continue to work towards as I grow in Love and learn to embrace, not clasp, relationships.

What, Why and Where do I write?

I’m asked these questions fairly regularly and, to be honest, there’s no set answer. I’ve been writing for many years and, for the most part, I write well but this isn’t down to me finding my ‘zen’ place, time or subject matter. I believe it’s because I put my heart out there in a readable format.
In that I put myself out there, as opposed to put myself out there to entertain an audience, I find that readers can resonate with what I have to share on a more personal level. I think this is more important than simply trying to manipulate emotion. I feel like there is a certain level of ‘fake’ in doing that.

My upbringing hasn’t been perfect. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth and, growing up, I was definitely the one to learn things the hard way, often willingly! I have grown to learn, understand and attempt to live according to a standard of Love, that is Christ. It’s definitely an ongoing process but the learning curve and the lessons, I feel can benefit anyone going through the same situations I find myself in, thus helping others to live a better life, possibly avoiding the hardships I’ve had to face. This keeps in line with Gandhi’s idea of being the change I’d love to see in the world. I’d love to experience a world where everyone loves the next person, with Love as a set standard and not just one’s own warm, fuzzy feeling, and everyone expresses themselves truthfully for the betterment of others. This social media culture we live in dictates that we can live our lives in a fairy tale, filtering out the hard truths. An act that, in the long run simply makes us an island, being eroded by the harsh lessons life can often throw our way.

When we look back through history, the best authors were some of the most gritty people. Or were they?
In honesty, I see ‘good’ writers as people that express their lives without filter, just as I see good artists. There’s a certain level of peace you need to have with yourself, along with a little detachment from the rest of society’s filtered presentation. An ability to take what’s ‘real’ with a pinch of salt, if you like.

There are some who have said they find themselves touched by my writing, to which I think to myself, “You’ve actually been touched by my life then…”