Social Changes: Connecting With “@LifeWriterCam”

#Change is the best word to describe the last few weeks since my #writing has picked back up. So many #aspirations and #emotions have been released and it feels good to #connect with people by just being me. The connection has been so real that I don’t really know if it is wise to continue on as “CamQuotes” anymore.

CamQuotes was a media persona based on something I do naturally. Remember and deliver famous, humorous of thought provoking quotes. I like the ring to it, but that and the content I was pushing out doesn’t really stick the way I want it to. End of day as a media personality you have to put something together that connects with the people. Something they want to support and definitely buy into. I can honestly say that not many people have bought into “CamQuotes”. At least not in the way I envisioned. About 5 years ago I was selling CamQuotes Tees. Made a little noise, but didn’t become the phenomenon I wanted. I then started an interview series turned podcast called Cool Conversations with CamQuotes. Again, sounds good and made some noise, but outside of the vanity, I didn’t feel my work connecting.

That brings us to present day. I’ve soft launched the “Pen Pimps” website and opened the door to my world, which I call “Life Writing” and I can see and feel the connection. I get more comments and praise than I do feedback and opinion. I see new followers and likes from people who I don’t know. I get text messages about the content. I get into more honest conversations and the energy is different. It feels different from @BehindTheRhyme. It feels different from @CamQuotes. That different feeling is so good and I think it is giving me the one thing I’ve always wanted my work to do; connect.

There is no brand without a connection. People want to feel, understand and believe. Me as myself in a vulnerable, emotional and creative state is building that connection. I love it! I feel that I have finally arrived and that the work is not going in vain, like I felt it did so many years prior.

Who knew Cam writing about his life and feelings would get an overwhelmingly #positive response? Definitely not me, but I’m glad it did. So, with all that being said. It’s time for a “Social Change”. I want to officially welcome you to the “social life” of @LifeWriterCam. My Twitter and Instagram will both be @LifeWriterCam. I tried to change my snapchat user but the username can’t be changed on that platform. I don’t need to go as far as deleting the account and starting over. However, the name you can search to find me is Life Writer Cam.

To all of you that I have connected with; I appreciate you and thank you for embracing the transition.

My Life Is Like Camouflage

I have what may be deemed an unhealthy obsession with camouflage print and patterns. I love it equally if not more than the colors blue and black. I’m going to try my best to explain it all right now.

Although I’ve never considered joining the Army seriously, even after I was recruited, I always have been a fan of Camo. You can thank East Coast Rap for that. Specifically Queens, New York along with Nas, Mobb Deep and CNN [Capone-N-Noreaga]. Watching their videos and seeing pictures of them in green army jackets and fatigue suits looked like the coolest thing ever to me! Then they would rock the bandana with the wheat Timbs and it capped off what to me would be the quintessential hip-hop thug look. I think back on the days when I had my black, white and grey army fatigue suit that I would wear with my black Lugz because I couldn’t afford Timbs. You couldn’t tell me I wasn’t the man with that on. Over time I would cop other prints and styles of camouflage. I’d get shirts, thermals, pants, jackets and bandanas. I’m actually looking for my Camo Bandana right now and I’m a tad salty I can’t find it after just having it 2 weeks ago.

As a quick sidenote; The only thing on my Christmas list this year is “Anything Camouflage” and Wheat Timbs. I definitely need a fresh pair. It’s been about a decade since I’ve had my current pairs. If you would like to be a blessing in my life and hit me with some Camo, I would love you like the God in the Heavens.

I also like the metaphor that Camo print represents. It’s originally mean to be unseen, yet it’s a stand out print. It’s used in times of war and hunting, but is also a popular fashion statement. It’s for a rugged or clean-cut look. It’s a solid match for anything and can be worn by anyone without a definite stereotype being attached to it. When you think about it. We all are descendants of Camouflage print. We can be all of the above as we change and go through different phases of life. Some people can see us for who we are and love us as we are. To others we remain hidden or concealed. Passed by without knowing or acknowledgement.

In our bouts with life, sometimes we would like to disappear. We would like to blend in with the surroundings. Not to be like everyone else, but just to not be bothered. To be isolated and contained within ourselves. When our aura and self-esteem is at a high we want to be illuminated bright and beautifully for the world to see. Much like the yellow or orange based camo print. Those are the moments when we want to add color to this black and white world.

I’m a lover of Camo because I see a great amount of me in it. Maybe after this, you see more of yourself too.

Reflection During The Rise

As I get out this borrowed car and get ready to use some of this borrowed money to fill half this tank. One thing is on my mind. Never being in this situation ever again. To lose what you felt wasn’t much has been an eye opening experience. I now know the value of my previous blessings. No I wasn’t balling. My disposable income wasn’t that great. However, if I needed something, I had it. Even it was my last. I knew where the next was coming from. That’s not really my reality today. But you know what? I’m extremely thankful for this lesson.

I don’t think I’ve been this hungry to succeed at a high level in my life! It’s because I know the humbling experience of sleeping in car because you don’t want to make the hour plus trip to a home that’s not yours. You also sleep in that car because you know you don’t have that much money for gas to fill up 2-3 times a week. I know the humiliating feeling of having to ask someone to ask someone to spend the night just to make a job interview that’s close by. All you need is warm water because you have your entire bathroom and closet in the trunk of that borrowed car. I know what it’s like to technically not eat once a day. To use a restaurant or a cafe for air conditioning or just a different scenery. To go hard and create something for nothing but hopeful exposure. Only for that exposure to seem non existent. Having a misguided anger towards people that say they want to help, but can’t or won’t introduce you to a person that really can. For those of you that know me personally. Understand that I went this route on my own. I didn’t want to bring anyone down with me. Maybe it was pride or me not wanting to be the ultimate burden to anyone, but I did all this alone and by choice. Did I take help? Yes. When I needed it most a handful of people were there and delivered ten-fold. I love, respect and appreciate all of them for that. I hope none of them read this and say “Damn Cam! WTF!?! You could have hit me if it was like that!” This was just apart of my journey. A journey that I am just now starting to understand. Hitting any of you up everyday for a need, want or an ask, just isn’t me. I couldn’t do it. Don’t feel a way. I made my own choices.

It’s these types of things that have shaped me. It’s letting me know that I can not and should not depend on anyone. I’ve learned survival on a whole new level. I know what it takes to get by for days or even a week at a time with maybe $20. That’s something you learn when you think and live like you never appreciated what you have and had. It’s what you learn when you take for granted your haves because you are so focused on your have nots. It’s the storm that will make you appreciate the calm in your life. Sincere joy would fill my heart and tears would fill my eyes for a world of calm right now. I’m getting there. That’s why I’m sharing this.

When I become wealthy. I will help. I will help for all the times no one could help me. I will offer because I know what it’s like to lack simple things or decide whether or not you are going to pay this small bill or get gas and lunch for the rest of the week. The generosity will come because I know what it’s like to hop on gofundme.com and start an account and pride will scream loudly in your mind “what the hell are you doing asking for help like this!?!? No one is going to help you this way!” So you log off in anger thinking of a way to make it the rest of the week. I’ve lost, made sacrifices and seen no end in sight to my pain. That’s why it’s important that on my rise I never feel these things again.

I’m going to ball! Be appreciative and never take another blessing in my life for granted. You can find just as many people with more and less. So be gracious when you rise. Because a humble stumble is inevitable. I blame no one but my own mind. I had so much more around me than I realized. I see that clearly now that most of it is gone. I’m thankful cause I know all that and more is returning.

The Overdue Life Evolution

Late July, I started a challenge with some of the homey’s. The goal was to not eat meat for 30 days. No Beef, Pork, Chicken or Fish. On paper it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.What it turned into was one of the easiest ways to prove “I can do anything if I want to.” and that made me really want to. Some days I thought about “having some wings and starting over” or “Getting this fish sandwich real quick” because people say that’s not a really a meat. I didn’t do either of those scenarios.  I just turned it into a greater mindset challenge for myself.

I decided to name it a “Discipline Challenge” and have this be the first test in the evolution of me. In the midst trying to find work and be working, I haven’t really taken the much needed time to take care of myself. When I went 30 days without eating meat. I felt accomplished. I felt good about me. I also seen that I can get through days or weeks with a greater set of options for food and that meat didn’t have to be eaten everyday. So now, I’m just going to do more discipline challenges. It’s all about the real steps to an overdue Life Evolution.

For September, the challenge is to lift weights 10 times this month. Cardio Days do not count. Why this challenge? Because for about 10 years, I been saying “I’m bout to look like Ravishing Rick Rude on you heauxs” and to be real, his corpse probably still looks better than me. I’ll start, but I’ll also finish. See a few cuts, pose down in the mirror then stop. Lose 20 pounds, compare that day 1 shirtless selfie to the progress selfie and then stop. It’s got to be apart of my lifestyle if I’m really going to make it happen. 10 days of lifting doesn’t sound difficult until you put it in perspective. LA Fitness gives out 3, 5 and up to 2 week passes and people still don’t go half the time before the pass expires. If I can lift weights 3 times a week that would lead me to meeting my goal with days to spare in the 4th week. My goal is to exceed the doable goal. My first day was September 4th. With discipline, I could be on day 6 by Saturday.

The Discipline Challenges is all about the action it takes to be the man I want to be. I’m making it public because people love train-wrecks and triumph. I’m pretty sure I’ve accomplished wrecked online in great fashion before, so let me give you some inspiration now.

It’s also a reminder that I need to start taking better care of myself. I need look better. I need to feel better. I’m really going to research and find a therapist, even though writing has been great for me the last few weeks. I’m going to dress better. I will master the clean but wild look. I will do things I love and concern and surround myself with only people that love me. Things that I didn’t know I wasn’t doing until it felt like I was literally doing nothing with my life.

I’m pumped! Discipline Challenge number 2 is on deck! follow my IG @CamQuotes to see the process. @PenPimps probably don’t want me posting half naked selfies this fall anyway. ha!

Lessons: Passion Makes Money

I’m fresh off of one of the longest work days ever! Or so it seems. I am unfortunately working a very unfulfilling job just to get by. I didn’t want to end up here, but it’s honestly my own fault. A little over a year ago, I got tired of fighting to be accepted and appreciated in an environment that wasn’t great for me, personally. That environment made me question if I really liked the industry I was in. Did I really care to stay in media and entertainment or could I do “anything” and be happy as long as I made decent money? Those questions were burning holes in my mind a year ago. I took the chance on walking off that job, for various reasons and thought I could start my own media company and “do anything” in route to making money not only to live and provide, but to also fund my upstart company. 12 months removed from that ideology and plan and I can tell you that I was dead wrong.

I should have taken the option of a transfer. Went to a different market and remained in the industry that I truly do have a lot of love for. I know that would have been a difficult conversation for my family and fiance, but I should have at least had it. Then again, it would be difficult to have that conversation when your own mind is doubting you, your situation and your purpose where you currently are.

Sometimes where you are and who’s around you can jade your reality. I doubted myself in my previous surroundings. I had no clue why I would get so much resistance or feedback or sometimes just flat out ignored. I didn’t understand why my passion and willingness to try and fail or excel and be great was never matched with the people I needed it to match with the most. That made me think that I needed to leave. That “this wasn’t for me” and I need to find a realm of likeminded individuals who wanted to prosper. I was right on needing to leave that place. But leaving the game was officially a big mistake. A mistake I hope to rectify before this year is up.

I’ve shut down my media company because I can’t afford the resources or the outsources. I figure before I get in way over my head, walk away and maybe pick it up in a better place at a different time. That leads up to right now. As I search for an “in” back in media and entertainment and receive rejections for other “regular jobs” I’m reminded of many lessons I’ve learned over the past few years.

Everything that has happened in the last year keeps telling me to “Make My Own Door”, but it’s been a battle acquiring the materials. Everything cost. Time truly is money. I’m currently only rich in time so I have a frame built, but it may be time to put the hammer up until I can afford the hinges, deadbolt lock and nice shiny doorknob. Probably need a peephole too.

I’ve learned that passion makes the money. If you don’t love the task you will under perform. Could I be great at this current job and climb the ladder like they want me to? Yes; If I actually liked being there. I can do anything when I sincerely want to. That’s the problem though. I don’t want to to do this. I don’t want to be here. I complained about my compensation quite a few times at my last stable gig. What would ease some of that conversation would be me saying “Well…At least I got a full time job in the industry”. That was enough for me for a long time. Looking back, that would be enough for me right now. This last year has put many things in great perspective for me. I just hope to make good with the new knowledge that I’ve retained.

Live your passion. Work your passion. Your passion will pay. I won’t say how much, but it will. If you can wake up and want to punch in doing whatever it is you do and go home content. You’ve won. I can’t wait to start winning again.

 

 

Throwing My Life Away

Today was the epitome of bittersweet. Only problem is I’m not sure what to define as sweet. I spent the bulk of my day throwing away a lot of time moments and memories into a dumpster. It was like saying “Cam. You’re life was trash. Let’s do away with it forever.” Maybe that’s an extreme stance to take, but it’s literally how I felt. I may be a hoarder or a “pack rat” but to a degree, I think it’s cause of how I grew up. I definitely had enough, but I was also raised to take care and hold on to things. You do that because it’s not money to “just go get another one” if you lose or break the one you already have. I was in a “this gotta last you” household. I have clothes and shoes that are decades old. They would be used to “get dirty” or cut the grass in.

Looking through the boxes, I had basketball and wrestling cards in mint condition. I had VHS tapes in their original cases. I had CD singles in their original paper case. Some still had the plastic on them. I found my copy of NBA Live 95 with the instructions in the original case. I just couldn’t throw some of those things away. It really meant something to me to have these things. Some of the things I had now 22 years later.

I found old pictures, letters, yearbooks. I literally was going through my entire life and deciding what to discard forever. It made me sad and angry. Can’t explain it, but it did. I couldn’t afford the storage, so I got everything out to avoid a fee. A lot of things I sent to Goodwill. I’ve made at least 4 trips there in the last month or two. I’ll be making another one soon as I slowly but surely part with more of my possessions.

I know they are just “things”, but it’s the memories for me. You ever see an object, or a piece of clothing or a picture and remember exactly where you were, what was said and how it all ended up being. Well that’s how I felt every two minutes today. From first girlfriend to first mixtape. From recent tragedy to my pride and joy, Layla. I experienced it all just looking through things.

I got plans for a lot of the stuff I now have crammed in this car. I want to make a scrapbook out of all of Layla’s artwork and cards she made for me. I want a blanket or two made out of all the radio station t shirts and shirts from when I was performing and doing shows. I want a Sega Genesis so I can play the games I found. I’m sure the Nintendo games didn’t work so I just let them go

I guess the silver lining is, it’s time for new things and new memories. Can’t live in the pass, but I must admit I do love to visit. Not sure why else I would hang on to so many things, but if anyone could give me a psychoanalysis, I’d greatly appreciate it.

Removing the old to make way for the new. The physical may be gone, but the memory never fades. Oh well. It’s just stuff right?