“If you’re not willing to work hard, let someone else do it. I’d rather be with someone who does a horrible job, but gives 110% than with someone who does a good job and gives 60%.”
WELCOME TO PENNSYLVANIA: STATE OF INDEPENDENCE
Philadelphia. City of Brotherly Love. Who came up with that nickname? What love are they talking about? It definitely depends on who you ask, what day of the week it is and the area where you live. This is the same with “Los Angeles: City of Angels”. Ha. Even Angelenos laugh at that nickname.
I grew up here for close to half of my life. Pre-teen years to college graduation. It’s always nice to come home to Philly but quite honestly, I can only spend 3 or 4 days here at a time. Most of the friends I grew up with have settled down and have families now. Trying to meet with people is tough. So, I come home, chill with my family and then go back to my life in the sunny City of Angels.
It’s so hard to digest the fact that many of the amazing friends I had in middle school, high school and college have just disappeared over the years. It hurts a little. My stepmom and I had a deep discussion about this and she mentioned that it happened to her as well. Best friends she had in New York withered away over the years. People grow up. They have lives. They have kids. Families. Wives. Husbands. New friends. Life happens.
A few years ago I used Facebook and tagged 4 0r 5 of some old high school friends to try and have dinner in downtown Philadelphia. I picked 3 different places, 3 different times and 2 different days. The post started out very positive and then all of a sudden, there was nothing. Everyone stopped responding and the meeting did not happen. Ever since that day, I made the decision that if folks wanted to see me, the ball was in their court.
I have about 2 or 3 friends left who I do see every now and then when I come home. I focus on them and give them my time when we can catch up. I’m not hurt anymore. I’ve wised up and accepted the fact that people have their lives to live. My stepmom is one of the wisest people I know and I definitely thank her for helping me to understand how that works.
With that being said, my friend Marylou and I went to see, The Secret Life of Pets at the Plymouth Meeting Mall. The movie started out super slow but all of a sudden, it turned into a funny and cool ride. Man, Kevin Hart killed it. When you see the movie, you will see what I mean. Either the bunny character he played was perfect for him or someone wrote it tailored to his personality. I was dying with laughter.
Marylou was one of my best friends in college and we lost touch over the years. She got caught up in her life and I got caught up in mine. But after reconnecting a few years ago, it’s like a continuation of the college days. Great conversations. Cool times hanging out. Great dinners. I’m glad she’s back in my life. Our friendship will last forever.
As usual, it was beautiful to see my family. We had a small get-together for my brother’s birthday celebration and it was filled with delicious food, laughter and silly banter. My family is simply the best. I love them dearly. They make me laugh out loud like crazy. My brothers are my gems (Junior and Patrick). I helped raise them. I was the first to go to college in my family and they followed in my footsteps to obtain college degrees and live happy lives.
I’ve always been torn with the city of Philadelphia. Growing up here, people used to start fights with me because I had a Caribbean accent. Weird, right? At one point, I walked to middle school with a huge stick in my hand determined to battle whoever wanted to fight me. I grew up in the days when folks held you up at gun point for your Michael Jordan sneakers and snatched your gold chain while you were waiting on a train platform. Ignorant behavior. Still happens today. Even while I was writing this blog, my manager posted an article about an asian man getting robbed and beaten up in the Fern Rock area for his valuables. What the fuck, man?! 2016 vs 1992. No freaking difference.
I know Philadelphia is a great city. I’ve lived here long enough to know that and of course, I’ve seen greatness and love aside from all the crime and negativity on the news. It’s not the place for me though. I love to visit but it stops there. My life now resides in Hollywood as an entertainer.
I do thank Philly for giving me some edge while growing up. It can be a tough, little city and I carry all the lessons learned from my past experiences with me wherever I go. See you on my next visit.
Happy Birthday Patrick!