Keeping it 1000

Focus.

You can only catch one chicken at a time.

and my favorite…

Jack of all trades and master of none.

A person who is multi-talented or curious is often considered to be “flighty”, “messy”, “lacking focus”, or a “dreamer.” These are your liberal arts majors in schools.  These are your subway singers. These are your “professional students.”  They are always “finding themselves.”  What I’ve noticed is these people are exhausting to their loved ones.  Are you one of the aforementioned?  Well, have you ever been asked any of the following?

So what do you want to do with that?

Oh! So you’re a _____________now?

What are you going to do for money?

The questions are fielded towards you and what do you do?  Do you get defensive because they don’t “get” you?

There isn’t much I think believe I cannot do (thought and belief are different but that’s a separate post.) I’ve tried it all.  I’ve done personal training, martial arts, I took security guard training, I played tennis, I played chess in college my freshman year (although I wasn’t very good)…you get the idea.  The only two things that have been constant in my life are music and literature.  They pacify my inner baby.  When I enter that space, I am in another world.  I am in a safe cocoon of calm.  I am invincible.  I am untouchable.  There is no high like that of creating something and seeing the effect it has on others.  That connection is remarkable.  It’s a human relationship that allows you to alleviate someone else’s pain or share in their happiness. Although those are my constants, it doesn’t mean I am not capable of doing something else.

Your ambition is your double-edged sword, Shaun.

Currently, I am in a place of self exploration.  I am taking an acting class. It is freaking amazing!  I wanted to sharpen my stage presence as a poet.  I signed up for the class and it has opened doors of opportunity that I couldn’t have imagined.  I’ve met people who have been in the industry for decades.  The networking, the experiences, the tips, the tricks, the progression I’ve made is priceless. Now, I can create monologues with my free verse poetry and I personally know actors, playwrights, and venue owners who can bring my writing to life. The excitement I feel is so juvenile.  It is a childlike hope.

It is a childlike hope.

Sometimes people say, “let me keep it 100 with you.”  That means they are going to tell you the truth.  They are giving you 100%.  When someone is really trying to bring it home they may say, “I’m gonna keep it a thousand!”

They’re keeping it real.

Well, I’m going to keep it a thousand…

Do what you do, every day, to the best of your ability and with no apologies.  If you’re a genius, no one will understand what the hell you are doing.  You may be judged.  You may be called names. God willing your loved ones will support you and love you even in a state of confusion.  You can reward them later when you are successful.  You can write in a journal so they can read your thoughts when you’re dead. Whatever you decide to do is okay as long as its authentic.   Do not use monetary value to bring legitimacy to what you do.  There are people crying in mansions.

Check out what I found randomly googling one day:

3. A jack of all trades is a master of none.

This saying got cut short as well and originally said “A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.” Unlike what our version would lead you to believe, having multiple interests but not being an expert in anything could actually prove advantageous.

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/7-phrases-youve-been-misquoting

If you’re good at everything…do everything!  Kick ass at it.  Bust down doors instead of waiting for them to open. Make it hard to be ignored.  Surround yourself with people who believe in you.

The only way you can fail is by second guessing yourself and listening to the voices in everyone else’s head.  You can do this.

-Shaun Liriano

 

 

 

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Don’t Complain

I remember when a good friend of mine was pregnant with her first child.  We are college buddies.  We were at an event for another friend of ours.  We’re standing by the bar (of course she wasn’t drinking) and an acquaintance looks at her blooming belly and begins a conversation about childbirth and the woes of being a mother.  This was a lengthy talk.  Our eyes grew wider as we listened intently.  This was many years ago but all I remember are the forewarnings vividly.

Oh you like to be cute! I see your nails are done. You won’t have time for that.

You’re lucky if you get a chance to eat!

This happens all the time.  Right?  A group of “seasoned mothers” with a “mother-to-be.”  We tell them about the hours of labor, the pain, what color your body part turned, what new smell you discovered…

When my cousin was pregnant with her son, another family member and I were “bragging” about the happenstance of being able to shave and shower in the same session without interruption.  Pregnant Cousin promptly responded, “You two sound like refugees!”

She’s right.

Today, I laugh about the awkward conversations amongst the mommy crew.  Its honestly all in comradery.  I don’t think anyone ever wants to scare the new mommies.  Motherhood is something to celebrate.  It is never dull, you are always learning, and you are consistently responsible for the experiences and growth of another human being.

One of my favorite quotes is by Kahlil Gibran:

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

There are days where I am completely exhausted from work.  Then it’s time to put on my “mommy hat.”  I have to do homework, clean, prepare food (or at least take it out the fast food bag,) run bath water, make lunches, read, pray with the kids, and then finally collapse and try to take care of myself. Like any human I get overwhelmed but I love my children.  I love doing arts and crafts with my step daughter, watching movies with my 3 year old, and having crawling races with my son (I always let him win.)  There are challenges and there are tests that I in no way could have been prepared for so now I just stay in tuned with gratefulness.

I read an article (http://nypost.com/2017/04/23/several-dead-after-house-fire-breaks-out-in-queens/)  the other day that floored me.  I had just finished arguing.  I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and it was too late to go back to sleep and try again.  I woke up an asshole.  I can admit it.  It happens to the best of us but I was saddened by the article.

Four children died in a fire.

I kept seeing the words flash across my mind like a scrolling LED message. What a sobering moment.  It was like God screamed “STOP COMPLAINING!”

STOP COMPLAINING

What would you do without these “little headaches?”  I have another cousin that calls them “freedom suckers.”  I am eternally grateful for the blessing of being a mother.  There are other titles that I am so proud of but that one has to be the best.

Finally, when I was pregnant with my daughter I remember a co-worker saying, “One day you will be alone with the baby and the baby will be crying and you will be crying and you two will just cry together and soothe one another.” Whoa!  I felt depressed but that isn’t necessarily a sad moment.  I know several mothers who have experienced that and it is a tremendous bonding time with your child. You both want to be heard.  You both probably don’t even have a specific reason for crying.  You both will provide comfort in a unique way.  Crying isn’t an expression of weakness.  Crying is how you bathe your soul.

Take a bath today.  Try not to complain. Enjoy every part of who you are.

-Shaun L

 

 

Dear Toni…

Dear Toni,

They say I’m dark. My writing is too sad. Yet you found a way to create beautiful art from ugly reality. You’re not afraid to discuss all the grotesque fragments of humanity and imagine the results. You remind us that being a parent is an honor as well as a responsibility. God controls the falling action of our children’s story . We control the rising action together. They gave you awards for your vision, your eye, your creative mind but I think it is mostly for your boldness. Your writing is bold, confident, and authentic. Thank you for loving your subject matter, US. Thank you for creating stories where we win after we lose. Where we rebuild after we’re destroyed. Thank you for not being afraid to make us cringe. Thank you for making us appreciate every second of being parents and guardians. Thank you Toni.

-Shaun L

Swindled (32 Word Challenge)

Happy day.  Her special day. Naked as the day she was born.  Tears of joy. Booty smackin’.  There’s always a clown in the room, right?Watching the balloons lift off. To her planet.

By Shaun L.

 

Thank you to my readers for  following me on this journey.  Thank you for the emails and text messages of encouragement.  The 32 word count challenge was a a content commitment and a creative build up to today…my 32nd birthday!  Thank you! You give me wings. xoxo

Please continue to view my videos on YouTube under Shaun Liriano and follow me on Twitter @shutyamouthnow.

Thank you!