Lets Get Vulnerable

“I changed a lot. I became more guarded. I never wanted to be attached to something and get that taken away again. I never wanted to feel that feeling again.” – JAY Z on his father’s departure from his life

I’ve been on a JAY Z binge lately. With the release of 4:44 and then beginning to understand the lyrics and message in his past work especially the critically acclaimed Reasonable Doubt , I picked up Empire State of Mind: How JAY Z Went From Street Corner To Corner Office. This book is not backed by JAY himself but author Zack O’Malley Greenburg, carefully researches and interviews individuals who have shared experiences with Carter.

Two chapters into this book and I’ve not only learned more about JAY Z but I’m able to make better connections to his recent 4:44 album.

The above quote is from an interview JAY did with Rolling Stone. I read the section multiple times before closing the book and start to laugh.

This quote describing how JAY has operated since his father decided to go on a journey to find the man who shot his brother which ultimately led to a life of drugs, relates to my life since graduating from college in 2012.

I remember when I knew basketball would no longer be apart of my life on that scale anymore.

The NCAA tournament was over for us, we lost. We have our final meeting to discuss the future and sort of send off the seniors. Coach hands out the post-season schedule to returning players. Although I’m a senior for some reason I thought I’d be given the opportunity to fulfill my final year of eligibility with my comrades.

In front of my face lies nothing.

Standing up and walking out of the meeting was the initial reaction but making a scene ain’t my thing. I just sit back.

As the meeting concludes and I gather my things to walk back to the apartment I told myself I’d never give my all to anything ever again out of fear of having it taken away.

Even though I felt like I could have done a lot more to progress as a player I still believe I put in a ton of work and demonstrated that during practice. That dialogue I had with myself included me telling myself that I put in so much work to have nothing to show for it but garbage minutes and an all net three pointer from the left wing on senior night.

Like JAY, I did not want to become so attached to something ever again. I figured at some point during that process it would be taken away or the outcome would not be what I envisioned.

I’d say between 2012-2015 I didn’t even want to become attached to family members or relationships with women. Again, I figured that at some point I’d lose that family member or the woman I’d currently be dealing with would randomly call/text me and say “this isn’t working”.

My mother got a dog two years ago, I told myself I wouldn’t get too attached to it because I figure at some point the dog will die or we’d have to get rid of him. Fast forward to now, thats my homie. Shoutout to Chase.

I’m guarded more now than ever. People are revealing their true colors unconsciously. It seem like people enjoy being messy. The game is lacking integrity and I’m unsure of who genuine and worth investing time and energy into.

I haven’t healed.

I’m very much attracted to not feeling. I’m attracted to not having to feel that huge blow of having something taken away.

At this point I’m fine with limiting my emotional output.

In the words of Nina Simone, “working & working but I still got so terribly far to go.”



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