Excellence cannot come easily, nor without cost. Life, my friend, is not easy. If you haven’t discovered that yet, you are in for a very harsh realization. From crying excuses to protesters on Wall Street, we are in the midst of a time that is beginning to create social separation. No, it is not separation in ranks of income; as I have seen many dirt-poor individuals maintain a smile on their face even as they see their utilities being shut off and creditors banging on their door. I have also seen many of the rich complain and cry about minor issues, such as not being able to find a lover or spouse.

Complaints are universal; regardless of your socio-economic background, racial diversity, gender, or sexual preference(s).

And here I stand, wondering what side of the fence I’m going to jump into. Do I join the ranks of those who believe the burden of life should be adjusted to their starting blocks, or do I want to be one of the individuals that completes the race with my head held high, even if my ankle has been broken along the way?

These past few weeks have been, in my personal opinion, a living hell for me. Yes, things could be considerably worse for me. However, I have been facing several internal giants that are glaring at me with eyes that have yet to be blackened. They point fingers that remain yet to be broken. And they sneer with teeth that have yet to be knocked out. These giants are all inside of me, while I decide whether or not it is time to stop the self-despair and saddle myself to rise to the occasion of life and do something to change my proverbial stars.

While I remain a very positive individual, there have been countless moments where I’ve wondered whether or not I’m going to ‘make it’ in life, or find true love, or become somebody that I can be proud to see in the mirror. And old roommate of mine, Kelly Bowens, seemed to encounter the very same issues and he hated me for the fact that he somehow imagined that I never encountered these same issues. His reckoning was that I was somehow already accomplishing these goals because I drive a BMW, am good looking (let’s be honest, I’m not ugly) and have had moderate successes in life (at times). However, what he never understood – nor do I believe he was capable of realizing – was that I, too, go through these same doubts on a very regular basis.

I maintain a very good vibe when holding a conversation; I can uplift those around me and encourage them to pursue their dreams. They often take this motivation and go chasing after them, while I personally feel as if I’m doing little more than limp after my own.

This must stop.

For the love of my family, both present and future, something has got to snap within me that rises to the occasion of life. It’s a show that will go on whether or not you decide to participate in its many acts and sequences. I believe that one day I will have children who I will tell them about these times in my life, and I will want to make sure they are given a story that had a turning point; a moment where they can internally cheer on their father as he tells them about the time where Daddy decided life must turn around.

That moment is today. That moment is right now. That moment is every second between now and the time where that story is told. The moment continues after the story has been said and the lights turn off for bedtime.

Meet the bell, kid.

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