Hello ladies and gents!
If you didn’t already know, I am your friendly neighborhood purveyor of debauchery, Smitty The Brawler.
However, in this article, I will be reviewing the Life of Michael in 2017.
That’s me sans the bravado, durr.
The Pretty Decent…The Effed up, and The Turrible.
I will be sure to include some of my favorite things from the year as well.
Get your Orville Redenbacher ready, shawty.
The Pretty Decent
“Are you concerned with the lack of urgency versus the lesser teams in the NBA?”
..and with that, I officially made my debut as a journalist.
That was my introductory question to Coach Scott Brooks following a 113- 99 loss of the Washington Wizards against the Dallas Mavericks.
Little known fact, I went to college.
After racking up a 1.7 cumulative GPA (Swear to gawd, no exaggeration) at world renowned Forestville High School, I decided I would defy the odds. I studied, and prepped for the SAT two years removed from high school. Nailed the SAT and voila, I got accepted to most universities that I applied to. I decided on Coppin State. Why? Because I knew that 10-plus years later that Juan Dixon would be the basketball coach there so I wanted to be a part of history.
What major did I choose, you ask? Well it was Journalism/creative writing. My dream was to be a sports columnist. November 7th, 2017 was basically that dream coming to fruition. It was quite an amazing moment to cover a team I’ve supported my whole life as a professional member of the media!
A 2017 highspot, indeed.
Oh, and I dropped out of college after one year. Kanye’s fault. CITLR is in the building, baby!
Unbeknownst Futbol Prodigy
My now 8-year old son goes to a heavily Latino influenced escuela. I know he plays soccer recreationally, because that’s just what’s hot in that demographic. So when he asked to join the school’s soccer team, I was all for it.
Always up for my kid playing a sport (add this to flag football, basketball, boxing, and karate).
Little did I know the legend I had cultivated. My black son was the clear cut leader of his soccer ballclub. He absolutely led the team in goals! In five games, my guy dropped five buckets (sorry for turning basketball slang into futbol slang). He was named team MVP, a no-brainer after scoring more goals than the rest of his team combined. His Latino teammates dad’s would all come to me and tell me how great my son was at soccer in broken English.
It was EXCELLENTE!
My child being a Boss Don at soccer was the most pleasant surprise of the year for me.
Two of the most liberating words in all of the English language when used properly. I had my opportunity to use these two words in late June.
No I wasn’t playing Madden…
I was at my place of employment. I woke up that morning, and those two words were were pre-registered in the forefront of my brain. I had grown frustrated and disgruntled in the workplace. Quickly became the stereotypical “Angry Black Guy” in the building. I had a part time job, which I could turn into a full time job set-up. Had multiple months financial obligations set aside in my nightstand, as this day was as inevitable as your new gym membership you signed up for this week. I went to work, after an hour, I took my destiny into my own hands and quit on the spot. I went home, put on a sweet leopard print shirt, and did hoodrat stuff with my friends. I sure showed them…..
The Effed Up
About That Resignation…..
Welp, a month went by, and I was in a good place. Setting up my next career move, enjoying the extra time with my children, you know, just hanging and banging. Then “it” happened. You know what”it” is. It’s when the worse possible thing happens at the worse possible time. All in one fell swoop, myself, my funds, and my car’s transmission, all blown. Signed offer letters were rescinded. Paperwork got “lost”. Bills got overdue. I went from sugar to shit. My liberation turned into desperation. Financially, things went awry. It suuuuuucked. I’ll provide my Gofundme page later.
What is this Feeling that I’m feeling?.
Desolation. Loneliness. Sadness. Anger. Guilt. Mindlessness. Aimlessness.
I’ve felt one or two of these things at a time, but never all at once. I even noticed a decreased desire to even interact with other humans.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like people that much anyway.
But there was something different about this. I lacked interest In things that I had always used to occupy my time. I’d lay in the bed for hours before Z’s became available to catch. I’d go from not eating anything one day, to eating every damn thing the next.
Even my hair started thinning out in the front.
OK, truth time. That happened 8 years ago. Sorry for almost lying.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, as a result of all of that, I did something I hadn’t done in a decade. Made a doctor’s appointment. Physically, aside from having low vitamin D, (insert tasteless sex joke) I was told I was in perfect health. By the way, no matter how sure you are, being assured that you don’t have the AIDS virus is ALWAYS a joyous occasion? Amirite? Bad jokes aside, I was however diagnosed with depression.
Admittedly, I didn’t follow up with the help that was offered and or recommended to me. As a thick headed neanderthal, I decided that I’d get it figured out on my own. Of course, figuring it out on my own is likely what got me to that place. I consciously decided to be around people that I enjoy being around. I consciously decided to open myself up to people that I trust. I consciously decided to replace my scowl with my marginally pretty smile. I drank less. I talked more. I took my heathen ass to church on purpose. I looked in the mirror and accepted accountability for my part in all of the bad that transpired in my life. As a result, things got better. As I type this, I am in a much better place.
I’m also certain I’m not all of the way out of the woods. But the self awareness helps me keep things in check. I now know that dealing with things of this nature is nothing to be ashamed of.
300 million plus humans worldwide suffer from depression.
I hope that even just one single person reads this and it helps them, or a loved one open up about depression. That is the lone reason that my private ass is even sharing this in this article. Let’s get better together.
The Turrible (say it in your Charles Barkley voice)
Gone Way Too Soon
Death is the worse part of life. Specifically death of those around you. It never doesn’t suck no matter how many times you deal with it. It’s even worse when it’s a person who, age wise, isn’t supposed to be gone anywhere. A person with so much more to offer this ridiculous world we reside in.
There was an unexpected, untimely death in my family.
The death of a person who was easily the most giving person I’d ever met. A person who brought people together in a way that I simple would never be able to do, just to use myself as a comparison. A person who had done more for my family than anyone outside of my household. A loss that I’ll have to try to make sense of to my children for years to come. A loss that has left a lot of people in shambles. A loss that I haven’t had a day yet that I don’t reflect upon.
Again, it sucks.
It was 2017’s “cherish life and what you DO have” moment. Going into 2018, be sure to unmercifully hug the ones you love.
I miss you, dawg.
Favorite Purchase of 2017: Google Home
Yeah the government records everything on it. As if you don’t already have your phone, laptop, and whatever other smart devices you have. This Google Home is LIT. I don’t even have to open my eyes to know what time it is, or the day’s weather. I simply say “OK google, tell me about my day” and bam!When I’m feeling dorkish, a quick round of trivia is there to be had. And honestly, the best feature of all, asking Google how to say diarrhea in Spanish. The time of me and the little Smithster’s lives.
The Nintendo Switch deserves an honorable mention.
Favorite TV Show of 2017: Vice Principals.
It saddened me terribly to find out it was ending after a mere two seaons. Danny McBride and Walter Goggins absolutely kill it on that show. Check it out if you haven’t. Pure hilarity.
Favorite Movie of 2017: Baby Driver
A movie that I went and saw on a whim on a solo matinee mission, turned out to be my favorite movie which i saw in 2017. It was fun. I enjoyed what they did with the music, using all songs with the word “Baby” in them. Even syncing the music up with the gunshots really stood out to me. I loved Baby Driver.
Favorite Album of 2017: HNDRX- Future
Easily the album that got the most spins on my devices in 2017. Front to back, this is a musical outing which I’ll be carrying with me into 2018 and beyond.
Dipshit of 2017: Donny Trump
My 2018 Resolution: Career Stabilization and to lead the league in smiles.
I wish unbridled happiness to every single person in the world. That’s not too much to wish for, is it?
Happy New Year, Folks.