It’s been nearly six months since my last post. I figure now is a good time to remind you that I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth just yet.
I’ve reached the one-week mark of my first semester as a graduate student in the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Department of Library and Information Studies.
We’re at a pivotal point in American history where the sexual harassment genie has been taken out of the bottle, never to return. Continue reading “Respecting Our Women”
In case you don’t notice the uncanny resemblance, they man I’m pictured beside in the above photo is my father. His name is Ricky Dove.
This picture was taken moments before my wedding.
In honor of International Women’s Day, I’d like to share the following essay on the impact that women have made in my life. I hope you enjoy:
It seems that my life is dominated by women.
As a young boy, I felt that girls were nasty. I wanted no part of them or their cooties. By the time puberty hit, they were all I could think of. Aside from a couple of church and schoolyard crushes, I never fancied myself as much of a lady’s man during my adolescence.
When I got to college I found myself becoming more drawn to women, but not in the typical way you would think. As I progressed through this crucial period of my life I began to realize that a lot of my really close friends were of the female variety. I met so many notable women in college, including my wife, who continue to play a major role in my life to this day.
Without question, there is no personal area that women have made more of an impact in than my work life. I’ve spent the last decade working in predominately female environments.
During the five years I worked at a grocery store (which really meant doing everything in the store minus cashiering), I was often the only male bagger on the front end with a majority crew of female cashiers. This job was a defining moment as it really broke me out of my reserved, quiet shell. I met many of my future best friends at this job and still keep in touch with them regularly.
I currently work as the receptionist in an office where the number of women is more than double that of men. These women range in age from their late twenties through early fifties. This job is different from any I’ve ever held in that I’m a man working in a field that is traditionally dominated by women in an office that is filled with them. In some ways it’s a unique play on the usual gender roles in the workplace. I’m the one watering plants, sorting mail, making copies, answering phones, ordering supplies, and making sure that everything in the office is taken care of.
Although I maintain a good relationship with my male coworkers, I don’t spend anywhere near the amount of time with them as I do my female counterparts since they’re constantly on the go. I’m around the women from the moment I arrive until my departure. And is there never a dull moment with this crew.
One of the things I enjoy about working with women is that they aren’t afraid to express their feelings and are willing to offer an open ear whenever I have something to discuss. If they remotely sense that something is wrong with me they’ll stop to ask the reason why. On the flipside, they all have unique personalities which means that I must know how to properly deal with them at all times. They keep me on my toes.
I’m no women’s studies expert, but a key to successful communication with any woman is to listen and treat them with respect (throwing in the occasional compliment never hurts).
While I have great appreciation for women I do need to forge some stronger relationships with the men folk. But that’s another story for another day.
Honestly, I wouldn’t be half the man I am today if not for the lessons I’ve learned from all the powerful women that have shaped my life. From my wife to my mother and sister to in-laws to church members and coworkers, I’ve come to discover a lot about myself through them.
For as long as I live, I’ll be indebted to each of these special ladies. I dare not list all their names, because they are far too numerous, but I think about them daily and if any of them are reading this then they know exactly who they are.
Thank you all.
I want to be remembered as an all-time great at something.
I don’t want to live the rest of my life as a nobody.
I want to help people.
I want to be more confident.
I want to have an excellent career instead of a good job.
I want to realize my full potential.
I want to see my dreams come true.
I want to walk with God in word and deed.
I want to see my friends’ dreams come true.
I want to be a better husband, son, brother, nephew and cousin.
I want to not be so indecisive.
I want to enjoy all that life has to offer.
I want to go to new places to see new things.
I want to be a good father.
I want to have healthy relationships with the people around me.
I want to stop being afraid.
I want to stop being lazy.
I want to be successful.
I celebrated the Fourth of July weekend with my family up in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. It was the first time that all of my immediate family had went on a vacation together in over a decade. My parents, sister, wife, and brother-in-law were present.
The weekend was even more special since today marks my parents’ 33rd wedding anniversary. My sister and brother-in-law are also expecting their first child, a girl, who is due in September, so there is a lot to celebrate.
Not only was it good to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but it was even better to do so in the mountains, a region that many of us had never been to before. More than the historical sites we visited, great food we consumed, arduous roads we traveled and breathtaking views we encountered, the biggest takeaway I got from this vacation is the importance of family. We just had a great time in each other’s company.
With the exception of your faith in God, family is the only surefire thing you can depend on. They support you and keep you grounded in all aspects of life. The weekend went so well that we’re looking to make it an annual tradition.
I leave the following bit of advice to anyone reading this: Keep your friends close and your family closer.
Sunday was a turning point in my life as a wrestling fan. I purposefully missed watching a major WWE PPV in lieu of watching Game 7 of the NBA Finals that pitted the Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers.
Not only was it the best game of their series, but it was an historic occasion as the Cavs became the first team in NBA Finals history to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the championship. Even more gratifying is that it was the first major sports championship the city of Cleveland has won in 52 years.
A year or so ago I never would’ve chosen basketball, or any other sport for that matter, over professional wrestling. But it just goes to show how much my wrestling fandom has changed.
These days, watching WWE’s weekly flagship, Monday Night Raw, has become a chore. Keep in mind that this is coming from a guy who religiously watched Raw from its inception in 1993 up until 2013 (ironically my viewing started falling off after I got married in 2014). But aside from choosing my newfound love of basketball over my lifelong love of WWE, last night’s game taught me a valuable lesson about perseverance.
Although LeBron James is widely regarded as one of the greatest NBA players of all-time, his team entered the series as something of an underdog.
After all, they were competing against a Warriors team captained by the 2x league MVP Stephen Curry, who led his team to an NBA regular season record of 73-9.
Their series was a rematch of the 2015 Finals where the Warriors beat the Cavs 4-2. The biggest difference between this year and last year is that the Cavs starting lineup was much healthier. Two of their key players, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, missed much of last year’s Finals’ due to injury.
Following an historic regular season, the Warriors tore through the playoffs, even coming back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference finals.
The Cavs had a relatively easier route through the Eastern Conference Finals before encountering the Warriors.
After being down 3-1, it could’ve been easy for them to mentally throw in the towel. A pair of incredible performances in Games 5 and 6 forced a conclusive Game 7. Against all odds, the Cavs prevailed on the Warriors’ home turf at the Oracle Arena. This was even the more spectacular since the Warriors rarely lose at home.
The Cavs would not be denied their moment. Not only did they win the championship, but they restored hope to the entire city of Cleveland.Their win in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds should be a testament for us all to persevere through whatever obstacles come our way.
So although I was desperately pulling for the Warriors to come out on top, I must give credit to the Cavs. They earned my respect and then some.
Any man can be a father, but it takes a real man to be a dad. I’d like to wish my dad, and every other great dad out there, a Happy Father’s Day. I’ve provided a list of quotes that are most appropriate for today. Please take a moment to share some of these with your biological father, stepfather, or other special father figure in your life:
“One of the greatest titles in the world is parent, and one of the biggest blessings in the world is to have parents to call mom and dad.” — Jim DeMint
“Being a father has been, without a doubt, my greatest source of achievement, pride and inspiration. Fatherhood has taught me about unconditional love, reinforced the importance of giving back and taught me how to be a better person.” – – Naveen Jain
“I decided in my life that I would do nothing that did not reflect positively on my father’s life.” – – –Sidney Poitier
“I’m a father; that’s what matters most. Nothing matters more.” – – Gordon Brown
“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” – – Jim Valvano
“I’ve said it before, but it’s absolutely true: My mother gave me my drive, but my father gave me my dreams. Thanks to him, I could see a future.” – – Liza Minnelli
“I would say my greatest achievement in life right now – my greatest achievement period is – and I’m still trying to achieve it – is to be a wonderful father to my kids.” – – Bo Jackson
“This is the price you pay for having a great father. You get the wonder, the joy, the tender moments – and you get the tears at the end, too.” – – Harlan Coben
“Mothers play an important role as the heart of the home, but this in no way lessens the equally important role fathers should play, as head of the home, in nurturing, training, and loving their children.” – – Ezra Taft Benson
“When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry.” – – William Shakespeare
“My father used to say that it’s never too late to do anything you wanted to do. And he said, ‘You never know what you can accomplish until you try.’ – – Michael Jordan
“To a father growing old nothing is dearer than a daughter.” – – Euripides
“One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.” – – George Herbert
“Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad, and that’s why I call you dad, because you are so special to me. You taught me the game and you taught me how to play it right.” – – Wade Boggs
“I want to congratulate all the men out there who are working diligently to be good fathers whether they are stepfathers, or biological fathers or just spiritual fathers.” – – T. D. Jakes
PS: The picture of my father and I above was taken two years ago on my wedding day. I get my good looks from him!
It’s almost 2 a.m. Thursday morning. I should be in bed since I have to be up at 6 a.m. to get ready for work.
I just finished watching some FBI Files DVDs and am now lying on the couch contemplating my life.
My passion for work has continuously diminished for the last several weeks. I’m working in a dead-end administrative support specialist position, which is just a fancy way of saying that I’m a receptionist. I’ve been applying to jobs left and right, mainly writing and library technician positions. The longer I stay at my job the more I feel like I’m going to be nothing more than an errand boy. It’s gotten so bad to the point where I wake up some mornings with a sense of heaviness just knowing that I have to go into a job I hate (I do love my coworkers).
On top of all this, my wife and I are experiencing major car issues. Her car has been out of action for nearly three months. Her repairs are going to cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $3,000 which is money that we don’t have. She has been driving my car, a 2009 Nissan Sentra, for the most part ever since. I got my old car, a 1990 Honda Accord, fixed so that we could both have a vehicle, but that car is now out of commission. It’s suffering from severe cooling and head gasket issues and I refuse to put any more money into such a 25 year old car. It’s a miracle that I even made it home safely yesterday.
Life has become so routine. Go to work, come home, eat, watch television, go to church, pay bills, rinse and repeat. Things would at least be a little better if I had a job where I felt like I was utilizing my true gifts and talents. I feel that life is passing me by as those around me are progressing.
As I type this I’m thinking that something has to give. Things must get better in terms of my employment and my family’s vehicle and financial situation.