If you could go back in time to actually “have a discussion with yourself,” what would you say? I took a walk yesterday and actually pondered this question. Of course, no one can rewrite past history, but we can always continue to learn from it. I do remember when I was 10 years old I never wanted to grow up to be an adult. I thought that being an adult was going to make me “too square” or too “nerd-ish.” I couldn’t wait to be old enough to drive and I planned on being a “professional basketball player.” I would wake up at 6:00 in the morning and go across the street to play basketball ALL day long. My mother would have to come over to the courts at sunset to get me and bring me home. I didn’t care for girls much, if at all. They were too mushy for me. I wanted to go outside at night and play with the older boys who were roaming the streets and forming gangs, but my parents would not let me out of the house that late at night. At my present age, I see why and I thank them so much for guiding me in that way. It is difficult to remember all my feelings at that age, but I really wished back then that I could have had a discussion with a much more grown up version of myself. If that could have happened, then what would I have said to me? The older me probably would not have divulged much to the younger me about the things that were going to happen in life, because if you could change one small thing in your own past it just might have an extremely adverse effect on the person you are now. You see, all of our experiences (whether good or bad) combine to make us the people we are today. If you are brought up around hatred and violence, then that becomes your world. No one who is born can survive without the help of someone to guide that life and those people influence how we are. If I could talk to a much younger me, I would simply say that while the world may not always seem fair, it is what you put into your life that determines what you get out of it. I would tell myself to “not worry” about other people who don’t care about you or hate you for their own personal reasons. I would let myself know that God may not always give us what we want but he will often give us “what we need.” Finally, I would let myself know that even though the future will NOT be perfect, it will at least be good enough to warrant making the journey. If there is anything that I would guide myself on, it would be one small “directive.” That directive would be to “Thank your parents for a job well done…” You don’t have to be rich to be successful. You don’t have to be famous to be loved. To make it in this world you only need to be “true to yourself.” THAT is what I would tell myself if I could go back in time… I realize that I will never be able to go visit the past, but I also realize that life is “by no means over.” With whatever time I have left on this realm, I will continue to strive for excellence in all I do. You get one life… Make it count for “something.” Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought today, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer today.
Rapper Chuck D (from the hit rap group “Public Enemy” featuring Flavor Flav) and Brett Jolly in concert
Of course, I am a musician, and being a musician I normally play for “artists who sing.” I know firsthand that most rappers apply their artistry to the aid of a track when doing live performances. Of course, some rappers, like Jay-Z and Eminem, will have musicians onstage who will actually “play along with the track,” but that’s about the extent of it. A couple of years back I had heard that I was going to play for some kind of award show, and when I asked about the artists I was to play for the name “Public Enemy” came up… For any of you who are into the “vintage” rap scene, Public Enemy delivered hardcore lyrics with substance and told it like it was from their perspectives. Chuck D, the main rapper, was straightforward with his lyrics while his partner, Flavor Flav, was the filler man. Well, during this time, Flavor was riding his own wave of success and was involved in some hit TV series entitled “Flavor of Love,” which featured many single women actually vying for the love of this rapper. So basically I had to play for the one main guy from this dynamic duo, and that was Chuck D. Now I had some experience before playing for a rap group. Once there was this other hardcore group called “The Lords of the Underground” and they needed a band to play along with the track. It was the most “uncomfortable” gig I ever had. You see, rappers have their own vibe about them. They rarely ever get dressed up to perform onstage and most times they have to display a certain nasty attitude to exemplify their music. I was dressed up onstage, and these guys were rapping with tattered jeans and looking like they wanted to rob me rather than perform with me. One guy was about 7 feet tall and looked extremely thuggish. Anyway, I played the song while these guys walked all around me onstage. I will never forget that experience. As for this particular gig with Chuck D, it was the exact opposite. I figured that he would have been one of those ignorant rappers who had to maintain the thug mentality no matter what, but I found Chuck to be anything but. He was very mannerly, knowledgeable and sophisticated, and we talked a lot about different things. I asked him how it felt to be performing without his partner and he just said that he was glad for the fame that Flavor was getting. If you were to meet this guy and have a conversation with him you probably wouldn’t even think that he rapped at all. That was how pleasant he was. The funny part was, I asked him if I could take a picture with him (even though I cannot find that picture today). He was smiling and seemed almost nerd-ish, but when it came to taking the picture he immediately put his “serious” rapper face on. I loved it… When it was time to perform, we did his hit song “Fight the Power” and even without his companion it went “great.” My experience with Chuck D showed me that you don’t always have to judge a personality by the surface alone. It was refreshing to meet and work with him, and I hope you don’t mind me sharing my experience with you today. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always, I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Chuck D and Brett Jolly in concert performing “Fight the Power”
Dear Brett Jolly. We have a supervisor that is relatively new and doesn’t have much of a clue as to how things work. She came in throwing her weight around telling us that she was going to get this unit working properly. Well, there never really “was” a problem with the unit. All of us have always worked hard and did our jobs the way we are supposed to do them. Our recent supervisor moved so they brought in an outsider who thinks she knows everything when she really doesn’t know anything. We try to accommodate her but she is really starting to get on our nerves. We already know what to do, and her way is nothing but confusing. We have been here for years before her. How do you think we should handle this?
A great leader is only as great as his or her ability to “listen” to the people that he or she leads. If a boss has the disposition that it’s “My way or the highway” then he or she will lose credibility fast (as well as personnel). If she acts as though she doesn’t want to hear what you have to say then I strongly suggest that you start documenting “everything” that she says and does. “Someone” in a higher authority than her had to hire her, and those are the people who need to know about her misleading ways. You may need to record her through tape or video to have proof, because a supervisor like that is one who will take ALL the credit when things go great, but NONE of the blame when things go wrong. Since you have been there for many years you should already know how things are supposed to be run. All of you can request a meeting with her (but it has to be a meeting with everybody, otherwise she may feel as though you are the one being personally insubordinate…) Staff meetings are ways to improve the quality of the atmosphere in the work place, and if you all come at her with your concerns then she “should” take heed (and hopefully discover some of the things that she really doesn’t know about this job). In many workplaces bosses are often hired who don’t have a clue as to how things work. They start throwing their weight around because they “have” to do “something.” If you leave this behavior unchecked then chances are it “won’t” get better anytime soon. If you can get a staff meeting, that would be a “great” start. Good luck to you, and have a great day.
From the rap group “Public Enemy,” lead rapper Chuck D and Brett Jolly doing “Fight the Power” in concert
Dear Mr. Jolly. I have been in a two year relationship with a wonderful man. I know he loves me. He takes care of everything for me. He pays for my hair, my nails, and he does so without asking. He takes an interest in everything I do and will buy me gifts all the time. I couldn’t ask for a better person to be with. There is only one problem though: I don’t love him. I want to love him with all my heart, but the more I try to force myself the more I come to the reality that I don’t. He is so nice to me, and I don’t want to hurt him, but I also can’t see myself being with him either. Am I wrong for feeling this way?
Love is an emotion that you feel from within. No matter how hard you try, you can’t just “make” yourself love anyone. At least you are honest enough to admit it. However, if this man has invested 2 years into you then there is no way he can avoid being hurt if you should now reject him. Even if you married him, at some point he is going to realize that your love is just “not there.” I believe there is only one element that “may” help you, and that element is “time.” Right now he is doing so much for you that you probably don’t have any “breathing room.” It is the equivalent to being at the movies and sitting “way too close to the screen.” In order to realize his value, it just might be in your interest to “take a small break.” You see, a LOT of us never realize what we have until we are “separated” from it. Men go through it all the time, and that is why when women break up with them they cry, beg, and scream to get back into the picture. By no means am I telling you to break up with him, but I do think you need just a little bit of “time to yourself” for reflection. I would suggest that you be up front and honest with him (but you don’t have to tell him that you don’t love him… that would only hurt him). Let him know that you need a little time for yourself to “sort out your heart.” It could be 3 weeks, a month or whatever you determine (However, I would strongly suggest you “not” try to make it more than a month). During this break time, you need to reject “any and ALL” benefits that he normally provides for you. In other words, he cannot be allowed to pay for “anything” you want or need during this time (I mean that). In order to miss him, you need to miss “ALL” the services and small special deeds that he does for you as well. I am sure there are “many” women out there that would love to have a good man like him, but right now he is probably doing “way too much” for you and he just might need to “ease up.” Time has been known to heal many hearts, and while I cannot guarantee that your situation will be “any” better when you come back to him, it “should” help you to have a clearer mind as to how you feel about him. Sometimes in life we may not always get what we want, but hopefully through trials and tribulations we get to recognize “what we need.” NEVER try to force love, but there is nothing wrong with giving love a chance to “set in.” If you decide to take a break, do not break off all communication with him. He needs to know that you are not trying to exit from his life, so periodic phone calls will help him “keep the faith.” Remember, if you reject him right now, you may not be able to get him back “later.” Right now you need to find “yourself” and when he asks you why you are taking your break that is exactly what you need to tell him. The move you make at this juncture could alter your life and happiness significantly. Take the time you need, but make sure to utilize it well. If it is meant to be, then you two “will” be together, but it is important for the both of you to have the “same” vision. Good luck to you, and please keep us posted.
Rapper Chuck D and Brett Jolly in concert
I just met up with someone and at first everything seemed like a nice fit. However, I keep getting the feeling that I am being stalked by him. I had not told him the address of where I work and yet he was there afterwards to greet me the other day. Recently he has been questioning me about things posted to my Facebook page even though I had not accepted him as a friend yet. Whenever he calls me and cannot reach me he repeatedly calls back within minutes and always wants to know why I couldn’t answer his call the first time. What do you think of this, and how should I handle it? Thank you.
Behavior left “unchecked” is often considered behavior “condoned.” I can’t say for sure that you have a stalker, but you definitely have someone with a “stalker mentality.” His behavior will only get worse unless you “check him at the door.” No one should want to feel like they have to be accountable for “everything” they do and no one should want to feel like constantly being interrogated over “every small thing.” As long as you let him get away with this, it will only get worse and NOT better. This man has a problem with “insecurity” and that can pose problems for your relationship down the road. You NEED to let him know that he is making you uncomfortable with his actions. It sounds as though he has been through past relationships where the other party cheated on him, and that baggage is now being brought into your new relationship. Sometimes it is difficult for someone to discard the bad things that happened in a prior relationship, and if this man has that problem then he may need to seek help. If your lover cannot trust you, then your relationship will always be “strained.” You need to let him know that his way is not working for this relationship and see how he responds back to you. If he gets even more excited and suspicious of you, then you might want to consider this to be a “serious” red flag. Men who are “insecure” about themselves have been known to be manipulative, controlling and sometimes abusive. Make sure you take heed to the warning signs “now” rather than “later” and be prepared to “stop him before he gets started.” Facebook is one of those media places where people can post anything they want, whether it be right or wrong. If you are going to be continually judged by a “Facebook lover” then you will find yourself to “always be on the defensive.” As long as you have voice mail on your phone then there is “no need” to continually “blow up your phone” if you don’t answer the very first time. Stalking you at your job is a definite “no-no.” A lover can only get away with what you allow him or her to get away with. Unless you are enjoying his “controlling issues” then you need to take a stand now. Good luck to you and please enjoy this amazing testament from the Phantom Poet:
I started a new relationship and in the beginning it was a source of much enjoyment
That is, until he started stalking me and showing up at my place of employment
I try to ignore his actions and often I don’t want to put a lot of thought in it
But if he can’t reach me the very first time, he calls back a lot within a minute
I may not have a stalker but if I look at this situation in reality
I think I do have someone that has the stalker mentality
He questions me all the time as though he doesn’t believe me to be true
And he behaves just like someone who is considered a stalker would do
And then, he gets furious and really starts to go into a rage
whenever someone posts anything “suspicious” on my Facebook page
This relationship is getting strained and I think we are now at the border
It may be about time for me to think about getting a “restraining order”
His wild accusations are upsetting and I need for his wild behavior to cease
Because right now I find I can’t even go to the ladies room in peace
To him everything I do is suspect and it appears he will always have doubt
So I told him that I went to police, and now he needs to check THIS out
I presented him with this retraining order and told him to read it in its entirety
And make sure to abide by it, and stay at least 500 yards away from me
“Don’t ever approach me and don’t ever try to contact me again
Unless, of course, you don’t mind doing five to ten”
If you feel like violating this order, then know this to the contrary
You will be allowed to check my Facebook page… from the prison “library”
“Rousing applause, please, for the Phantom Poet”
Got a topic? Feel free to contact me via email at Brettjolly@aol.com of send me a friend request on Skype at username Brettjolly1. Thank you and have a great day.
Rapper Chuck D (from Public Enemy) and Brett Jolly in concert
Mr. Jolly. My husband’s best friend comes over periodically to see him and they always appear to be very good friends. I was glad to see that he had male friends that still come to see him. His friend and I have talked several times and we have had some good discussions. However, my husband has a bowling night on Tuesdays of each week and ALL his good friends know about it. Last Tuesday someone rang our door and it turned out to be my husband’s friend. I informed him that this was my hubby’s bowling night, but for some reason he wanted to come in anyway to speak to me. I started to feel real uncomfortable with this, because I could tell that his intention wasn’t to talk to my husband at all. He started to tell me about the problems he is having with his own wife and he kept repeating to me that he is lonely. He kept complimenting me on how beautiful I was and how lucky my husband is. I wasn’t sure what was on his mind but when he finally decided to leave he asked me for a hug. I didn’t know how to tell him no, so I did hug him. He would not let me go for a long time. His intentions were very obvious and I don’t know if I should tell my husband about this or not. He said he may stop back next Tuesday to see me again. I don’t want any trouble and I am a good woman to my husband. How should I handle this?
Do what you would expect your husband to do if this situation were “reversed.” For this man to sneak behind his back and try to get close to you is totally disrespectful to you both. If you do nothing about it, then this man could possibly start to believe that you like him back, and that could be disastrous. You OWE it to your husband to tell him the truth and the “sooner the better.” While it is great for your husband to have male friends, he most certainly doesn’t need a male friend like “this.” As long as you are truthful, your husband should “appreciate” you for bringing this to his attention. Since this man already has a wife, he is disrespecting her as well. Once your husband knows about this and confronts his friend, I can pretty much tell you what this man is going to say. He will probably tell your husband that “you” led him on. If he is cowardly enough to try to sneak time with you behind your husband’s back then he is cowardly enough to blame you instead of himself. I can not tell you what to do about this specifically, because the answer to that should come from you and your husband. However, I will say that it would be nice if you both set up a little “sting trap” to catch this man in the act. Maybe you can hide your husband’s car next Tuesday and have him wait in the house for this man to come back over. For the record, just remember that some men will only try the things that they “think” they can get away with. If this man believes that he can be secretive with you then he is prone to believe that you “secretly” want him back. It is up to you to give him a “firm NO.” Show your husband that you have his back and report this to him immediately. The longer you wait the more uncomfortable it could be later on. Good luck to you and please update us on this situation.
Got a topic? You can contact me via email at Brettjolly@aol.com or Brett@Love-notes.co. You can also send me a friend request on Facebook or Skype (username: Brettjolly1). Thank you and have a great day.
Rapper Chuck D (Public Enemy) and Brett Jolly performing “Fight the Power” in concert