Well, in about 13 hours, your boy will be officially 25 years old, and I'm starting to warm up to the idea even though I still have these fears of being a college graduate working the cash register at McDonalds and these feelings of depression and lonliness where as my social life is concerned. However, I'm going to try my best to come up with 25 things for each year I have on this planet that make me happy, that I'm grateful for having, and I guess a memory or two thrown in there.
1. My mother. Even though we've had our moments where we don't particularly get along or see eye to eye on certain things, I know for sure that she's someone I can always count on no matter what. Aside from being the only woman I've known to treat me like I'm actually a human being, she's always been good with advice and just small stuff that mothers do.
2. Journalism. This field has been good to me so far. Granted my worries about not getting a job straight out of school are as real as can be, I still feel like I can be successful and will be successful in sports journalism, mainly because this is all I want to do. Anything less in my life would be failure. Period.
3. I'm alive. I guess this should be first and foremost, but I was reminded at the end of this week that some folks haven't even made it to 24. Even though I think my life is terrible, the important thing is that I still have a life.
4. Sports. Naturally this would be in the top five, mainly because for as long as I can remember, sports has been a part of my life. I played in at least one football, baseball, and basketball league growing up, and the allure of competition, game preparation and just in general being active appealed to me. Now I've gotten lazy and just prefer to be a paid observer with a pen and notepad. But yet and still, sports will always be an important part of my life.
5. Music. "I love Music...any kind of music/I love music/Just as long as it's groovin..."
- The O'Jays, "I Love Music," 1976.
Definitely describes to a T how I feel about music. I can identify memories and certain points in my life by the music I listen to and the songs I remember. Whether it's shower singing, rehearsing the dance routines from "If it isn't love," or just singing to sing, music is always going to be something that I'm thankful for.
6. Delaware State University. Yes, I'm coming out of the closet (no homo); I've come to love DSU and what it stands for. Even though it's an unorthodox tradition, the HBCU tradition at DSU does stand strong and proud, despite the best efforts of the establishment to bring it down. As I said in an entry long ago, no one can be sure if I would have the opportunities that I've had at DSU as far as my field goes. An NCAA tournament men's hoops team, a rising football team, and to work with some pretty cool people in athletics...who could ask for more? Although socially it sucks if you're not part of the in-crowd, DSU is definitely a school with a style and pace all its own.
7. My car. Even though having a car is in limbo right now, I'm grateful for the opportunity to have owned and driven a car, finally! If you only knew what the first 23 years of my life were like before I had a car. I hated being on other people's time when I wanted to go somewhere and get things done, and when I had Champ (my 1994 Mitsubishi Diamante), there was nothing like being able to come and go as I please. Whether the good times will continue remains to be seen, but I guess they don't, I can at least say I've had my first car and begin working on the second.
8. Then again, there's nothing really terribly wrong with walking. Walking around this campus has gotten me off my lazy streak, I've rediscovered walking as something fun to do and another way to work off some of the negative stress and energy that I deal with in my life on a daily basis. Besides, a co-worker of mine with the Hornet said to me on Thursday it looks like I'm losing weight. That definitely works for me.
9. Poetry. Granted I haven't written anything in months, and haven't written consistently in at least two and a half years, but writing poetry got me through the tough times in my late teens and helped fuel my drive to become a sports writer, so the gift of writing has been long a part of my life, and if I'm feeling it, I might post something for you guys one day...or not. I like reading other people's writing better than I do my own.
10. Stevie Wonder. Why he isn't higher is beyond me, but considering this is in random order, so he's probably right up there in my mind with my mother and journalism. The man has a song for every occaision you can think of. Crushes, falling in love, falling out of love, wondering what the hell is up with the world (See "You Haven't Done Nothin" from 1974's Fulfillingness First Finale...you'll think he's talking about Bush but the time says it's about Richard Nixon), and of course, something to get you out of your seat and moving. Some folks I know and I agree that if something happened to Stevie, Black America is taking anywhere from a week to a month off. He's that important.
11. KING magazine. Surely this has about as much redeeming social and moral quality as "Flavor of Love" or any video released by West Coast Productions, but KING takes a look at black women who aren't size zeroes or are mixed with Asian, Indian, or anything other than black. You can definitely find some sexual chocolate in that mag. And as a brother that digs chicks the same complexion as me, Datwon Thomas and the gang gets props for that alone. Well that, and the revealing pictorials of sistas who sing and act.
12. September 25th. Surely it's just another day on the calendar to most, but that is my day of birth, and it's unique for several reasons. I share the day with so many famous folks, such as Will Smith, Chauncey Billups, T.I., Scottie Pippen, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas (how in the hell are two Libras co-existing like that?). Also, on the very day I was born, Sandra Day O'Connor was sworn in as the first woman Supreme Court Judge in U.S. History. September 25th is great, is it not?
13. The above date makes me a Libra, the only inanimate Zodiac sign, according to astrology-online.com. Also further research shows that Libras are charming and romantic while also prone to indecisiveness and insecurity. Those last two? Perfect descriptions of one Chris Stevens.
14. The 2005 MEAC Men's Basketball Champion Delaware State University Hornets. Words can't really express what that team, their story, and their play did for the University as well as the sports editor for the school paper who covered them. I've got to remember to thank those guys for giving me something of significance to write about and allow me to write at my best.
15. The Philadelphia Phillies. This team is REALLY playing with my emotions. As I'm writing this entry (and for those wondering, I started at 1:05 and it's 2:43 now), Jamie Moyer gave up four runs in the first, and the Phils then score seven in the bottom half of the third. Talk about a roller coaster. Oh yeah, they're a half game up on the Los Angeles Dodgers in the wild card race. Of course this game and this season is still in progress. It would be nice for a Philly sports team to make a postseason for a change, and I won't say any names *ahemPhiladelphia76ersahem*.
16. Wheels. Cars, Trucks, Trains, Subway Trains, Trolleys, Els...love all things transportation related. I still aspire to own an original VW Beetle, which might be my next step if I don't get Champ back. I used to make house cars out of my mom's chairs and random wheels off of different toys and bikes that were in the house as a youngin'. She used to think I was crazy. Memories.
17. NABJ Indy. Yeah this is low on the list because I just thought of it, but of course that goes up high as well. Although my fellow NABJers seem to think I didn't show my face as much, the fact I was IN Indianapolis in general was a miracle. I had to get over my fear of flying, only to be told by recruiters and editors alike that I needed more feature stories, but the fact is I was there. Baby steps, people. I promise Vegas will be a different story *wink*
18. Comedy. Laughter definitely is the best medicine, which is when when you dig through my DVD collection (if I don't break your hands), you'll find In Living Color and Chappelle's Show prominently displayed, along with my Richard Pryor boxed set of CDs, probably the best medicine ever.
19. My Grandmother. Even though she left us almost three months ago, Susie Stevens was an incredible inspiration in my life along with my mother. Like when I mentioned the times that mom and I didn't see eye to eye, she was the one who would bring our eyes together in the only way she could; great story telling. I know so much about my family history and what my crazy ass cousins and aunts and uncles used to do back in the day thanks to her. But most importantly, I keep doing the right thing in life. That's all she ever asked of any of her children and grandchildren.
20. Reading. Reading definitely does make you smarter, I don't care what anybody says. Just picking up a newspaper daily is better than just saying "I don't know what's going on in the world or anything." I love reading anything from Baldwin to DuBois, to Langston/Zora/Richard Wright, to Omar Tyree, to even Zane, the Brown Sugar series, all kinds of stuff to satisfy my hunger for vivid imagery...even if it is sex.
21. Sex, I may add, is a helluva drug. That is all.
22. So is food. Good cooked food. Granted I'm a fast food demon, but I can really appreciate a home-cooked meal, since I've missed out on a lot of those during my longer than expected stay at DSU.
23. History. I love reading and researching things that happened in the past, especially in this country where black folks couldn't vote without intimidation until 1965. Think about that. My mother was in 5th grade, Dr. King was still alive, even though we had just lost Malcolm X, and the Panthers were another two years away from scaring white people even whiter. Wanna talk about a year I'd like to go back to if they ever invent time machines? 1965 would definitely be one of them.
24. The future. This world is already a screwed up place, but you can't help but think brighter days are ahead, even though the Bible says otherwise. Personally, I feel like once I get my degree in my hand, my life will get somewhat better, so I'm looking forward to what is to come.
25. Me. The saying goes "I'm Me and I'm O.K.," even though I really don't feel that way most times. I can honestly say that everything I've ever gone through, good bad or indifferent, have helped to shape who I am, and I'm appreciative for God giving me the chance to see 25 (Lord Willing, it's still a few hours left, LOL). Hopefully my next 25 years will be as much of a learning experience as they will be years of happiness.