The Middle of My Life: My 35th Birthday


So this is it? I’m glad I made it here, but at the same time I really am asking myself, “What the fuck happened?” My best friend from high school now has a PhD and is married, travelling the world. My high school sweetheart is married, with a degree, and thriving as an Air Force officer. Last my internet stalking told me anyway. My list of realities as mentioned in my blurp are lacklustre, at best. I say lacklustre, simply because I enjoy using the word, but they’re literally depressing.

I’m certain my mother would tell me to count my blessings and focus on the positive things going on rather than the negative. In the grand-scheme of things that only takes a split second. Because the only good thing I have in my life right now are my children. And I have ALWAYS looked down upon those who use their children as a crutch for their self-esteem. Our children are not here to make us feel good about ourselves. That’s not their burden to carry.

However, as I’ve started writing this blog nearly two weeks before my birthday, they undoubtedly have planned and executed something unforgettably thoughtful for their dear, old Dad. I’ll stop here and continue after I know what it is…

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20 Sept: Well, that little Jaidyn… her mother and I say we can always count on her, and it’s true.  Seeing as how all I want for my birthday [as far as my kids are concerned] is to just do well in school and be respectful.  I don’t know of any parent who would tell their kid they want something for their birthday.  However, through the years they’ve seen it fit to do special little things for us and their grandparents and I think it speaks more to who they are and not to what we request of them, or what they think we want. With that being said, I pulled up to Ansley’s house just before what should’ve been bedtime and I could see through the front window that the kids were eating dinner.  Which means showers hadnt been taken and chores hadn’t been accomplished.

My soon-to-be ex 350Z has a pretty loud NISMO exhaust, so I can see Mr. Obvious [Reilend] peeking out of the window.  Next thing I know, before I step out of the car onto the steep driveway, the lights go out.

A surprise and utterly adorable rendition of the traditional “Happy Birthday” song is offered by my four oldest children when I step inside, while the youngest stands there beaming a smile at me bright enough to blind the sun. Hugs. The swelling of my heart, and the bittersweet disappointment of how incredibly messy Ansley’s house was came next.  Jaidyn goes to bring me a big pink box which read “Daddy’s Memory Box”.  While one of her brothers tries to take partial credit for the gesture, Jaidyn’s look towards me said otherwise.  She’s so thoughtful.  I get caught up on the day and leave after grabbing a bottle of water and kissing all the kids goodnight.

I get back in my car and play this song over and over. As I think back over my day.  My life.

 

On September 18th, Farrah… a person who I’ll be mentioning several received_10157440936080511times during this blog called and told me she had a hotel room that I could stay in, in Ft. Worth.  She could either stay there with me, or I could go there alone, but it was essentially for me because… well, I’m homeless. LoL.  She cares a lot more for me than she should, and she wants to do much more for me than she can.  It’s admirable. More than I can express with words I’m afraid.

It seems like every year, I meet someone who surprises me with how much they care for me.  In the same token, it’s always a surprise how much they can let me down.  It’s up to me, of course to decide which side of that coin I want to focus on.

It’s kind of hard to focus on the negative though when this girl did the two things that I announced I wanted for my birthday.  Out of all the people who say they WANT me, or LOVE me, or want toreceived_10157440936270511 be with me or WHATEVER, yet find themselves doing absolutely nothing for me.  Bitches these days [sorry… I just felt like I haven’t cursed enough in this blog] seem to be into all the new-age relationship ideaology.  Like “Love languages”.  Well, if I were into that bullshit, I’d say mine is ACTS OF SERVICE. Anyone who knows me, KNOWS that.  If you say you want something, or love something or need something or WHATEVER, SHOW IT!  DO SOMETHING! I don’t think it’s worth it to you if you don’t.  How could it be? If I want a woman, I work for her.  I don’t wait for signs.  I don’t wait for… anything, really.  I go to work.  I expect the same.  So, this particular woman, on the day before my birthday, put in some work.  She also gave me a gift… The shirt that I told eveyone on Instagram and Facebook that I wanted.  She didn’t make excuses like…

Well, you didn’t call/text and tell me directly you wanted it

Well, we aren’t together…

I’m broke…

I don’t like ordering things off the internet

 

No… she got me the fuckin shirt. She saw also that I wanted cheesecake factory for my birthday.  The woman took me to the cheesecake factory.  I think often times women believe during courtship they’re the only ones who need their needs catered to.  Or their wants even.  They’re supposed to get everything they want, while a man is supposed to be satisfied, just because you’re giving up some time or some pussy… or whatever it is you naturally have to offer.  Naw, bitch.  Do some work.  I’m not talking about me in particular, because as far as what I feel I deserve at the moment… she does too much for me.  But it’s what she wants… so she works for it.  Same as anything else in life.  Anyone saying/doing any different, is just full of shit, and really doesn’t want you/it.  I know of several women who will take this very blog as a reason to give up persuing me, simply because I’m talking about another woman doing shit for me.  It’s just a copout, from a woman who didn’t plan on doing those things anyway.  That’s why you bitches are single.

OK.  That’s enough cursing.  Back to the story, We left the cheesecake factory, and as she knows, I want to go do Karaoke.  Just like any other day.  We meet up with Cliff, MY best friend, and we head for Yupp’s!  Our lovely little karaoke bar in Ft. Worth. I walk in, strutting to the music as  always… look up and see this.

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So, I’ve never had a birthday party before. Like… ever.  I’m pretty sure she knew that.  And even though, my initial party started out with 3 people, myself included, it was the most special thing anyone above the age of 12 [excluding my parents] has ever done for me. So, I’m not certain if we are going to become an item at any point, but she is going to be stuck with me in her life in some form or fashion forever. The surprises kept coming.  There was a cake with my name on it… the whole bar sang happy birthday to me. It was a whole… planned out thing!  For me! It was beautiful. My table even had a purple tablecloth!   Then she got up there, and sang karaoke… to me.  A song by Leela James.

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These two things: my children singing, and Farrah singing for me… I couldn’t bring myself to even try to capture on video.  The most beautiful moments in life… I think are too important; should be enjoyed organically, in-the-moment, and to be seen only in your thoughts, and shared only by the beholder’s tongue. Cliff got up and sang one of my favorite tunes.  It was just a great night.

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Thanks, Cami

The next day, I got up and watched Jerry Maguire, while I ate my leftovers… yes, my tradition was a bit soiled… but I don’t waste food.  Whether I’m homeless and broke, or living-it-up and thriving, I don’t waste food.  I really really try not to anyway lol. Especially slices of cake sold at $7.50 a pop.

And I’m 35 now. What my long-lost sister, LeVaughn told me was the middle of our lives. And what do I have to show for?  After all this.  The niceties of my birthday.  I, Robert Lovelle Rooks am incapable of simply ignoring the fact that I’m not where I should be [by my own standards] by this point in my life.  Matter-of-factly, I’m not where ANYONE should be.

 

A few weeks ago, I was speaking with someone at the Texas Workforce Commission [the unemployment office] explaining to me what the difference was between my situation and being “Legitimately Homeless”.  It was quite enlightening.  And if I can be frank with myself, I’m not even good at being homeless!  I’m not homeless enough! LoL.  This motherfucker told me that I really wasn’t homeless because I spent the night with a “friend” the night before.  Apparently a homeless person is one who has no place to go, and is living in a homeless shelter, mission, or who sleeps on benches, or under bridges.  The fact that I could sleep with a friend or in my car, meant that I basically wasn’t homeless.

Here I was thinking it simply meant I didn’t have a home.

When I got back from Iraq, legitamtely going through my divorce, I spent literally 49% of my money getting Ansley and the kids a place to live. Paying up the bills and another 30% on my vehicle.  I figured since I was giving her the two paid off vehicles we had that I’d need one just in case I wanted to go get a job or… to the Waffle House. Whatever.  A new associate of mine explained to me that boundaries are important in a divorce.  So I gathered that continuing to cohabitate with Ansley was probably not a good idea.  Seeing as how that was the reason she convinced me to pay for this divorce in the first place. Since she got a job which she works over night 4 days a week, I offer to watch the kids.  I want, need and deserve first right of refusal, and the kids I like to believe, like to see me every once in a while… and furthermore, I’m their fasther so… yea, I do that.  But when I’m not there, I’m… illegitimately homeless lol.  I don’t tell people these things for pity or help, I do so because it’s the truth.  And the whole truth is, I’m disappointed with where I am at 35.

Divorced, unemployed, overweight, broke, battleing insomnia, homeless and I can’t bowl over a 200 to save my fucking life! It’s embarrassing.  Walking to a bowling alley with all my shit one would think I’m like the tallest black dude on the basketball court… about to dominate.  Nope..  I’m hitting 150’s and 180’s and other bullshit like that.  And if you’re wondering if I’m seriously disappointed in that, you’re right… I am.  May sound ridiculous, but I’ve been bowling since I was like… 7.  My dad was a good bowler and I’ve always aspired to be one.  My ability to bowl well and my ability to consistently do so without getting frustrated are two very different things.  But no… it’s not nearly as important as the other things, just another peice of kindleing to add to the rather large stack in the fire which is my life.  At 35,  I feel like I should have done more.

Could you be more optimistic? Yea!  Sure, I could.  But it seems like a lot of the same things I was disappointed about when I was 30, I’m still disappointed about 5 years later.  How many times do I have to go through this?  Is adulthood really supposed to be one disappointment after another? And I don’t mean from life… or other people, you can’t control that.  I’m disappointing MYSELF!

I’d like to think I was a good father, but this very divorce, which most would look at as a good thing, to me is an extreme negative in the parenting department. A failure.  Yet still, she pushed for this divorce and made me look like I was dragging my feet because I still wanted to be with her.

No, booboo… I just didn’t want to rip our family apart, and leave our children solely in the hands of someone who has never reached the rite of passage called adulthood.  Never been able to fully sacrifice the things she wants to offer the kids what they need. There’s a huge difference in keeping kids alive and being a good parent. Of course, I’m not the best parent in the world, but I do know that I need to teach my children to be better than I am.  That includes continually stepping my game up and being a good example for them! Not setting them back for my personal gain.  To make myself look or feel good.  We’re both in our 30’s!  We’ve had enough time to feel good.  As I work on trying to set boundaries, I see the slippery slope her household is ALREADY ON, and how she is incapable of doing this. Even the most simple of daily tasks, much like when we were married. Incapable of staying awake during the day time to watch Olivia.  Incapable of paying for all the things that need to be paid for.  Incapable of even helping the kids with their homework as it becomes more and more complex. But still finding time for Yoga, hanging out with ‘friends’ and family, bringing random guys around the house and our kids and generally just NOT being at the house where they all live making it more livable. The mother of my children wasn’t raised very well, and I have to suffer letting her raise my children without me being there.

Perhaps this is what this is all about.  I’ve tried to be accomodating, helpful and all that.  But at the same time, I haven’t left enough for myself to offer my children a healthy alternative.  A home which revolves around cleanliness, timliness, rountines and fun and respect.  One which everyone understands their respoonsibility, and doesn’t think that weekends are meant for sleeping all fucking day.  That in life you’re to strive to DO what you say you’re going to do.  Not just talk about shit. This, the situation I have our children in right now is something I also see as a personal failure.

Anyway… That’s it.  I’m disappointed in myself. I’m not a pessimist, I’m not an optimist, I’m just honest, and realistic. I could be fatter, I could be more in shape, but the fact is, I’M OVERWEIGHT.

I could be selfish and keep most of my money for me and get that 5 bedroom 3 bath, 3116 sq ft. home in Desoto, and I could be legitimately homeless, but I am homeless… I generally don’t have anywhere to lay my head or shower [til I bought my family -including ansley- that membership at the YMCA last week].

I am a published author, and there are people who like my books and blogs.  I’m not an accomplishged, best-selling or well-sold author… but I COULD Be!  One day!  See what I mean?  There really isn’t any point to being optimistic to me, and being pessimistic is being down-right negative.

But the facts are these.  And I’m at the middle of my life. Wondering how much longer…

 

But foreal, thank you to everyone who text me or called or sent me goofy pics and shit for my birthday.  These things I do appreciate, and it is nice to know that I’m on the minds of a few of you, and it means a lot.

Calls: Mommy, Constance, Farrah, Fallon, Cami, Jeanele

Facebook Postings: Mary, Rita, Christine, Cliff, Farrah, Laura,  Devon, Jeanele, Benjamin, MeghAN,

Texts/Pics: Tina,  Jaidyn, Reilend, Aniyah, Cliff, Fallon, Farrah, Kim, Ansley, Brandy, Deborah, Cami, Noelle

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thanks, Deb!

Skype: Sheila

All the people on IG, Mark and Yupp’s and others in-person.  Thank you.

I like my small circle.

 

Scream at me

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22 thoughts on “The Middle of My Life: My 35th Birthday

    1. Farrah says:

      The middle of your life… even though you are not be where you want to be or where you think you should be, in the grand scheme of things, that’s O.K. That’s the beauty of life…it’s NEVER too late to begin again and write a new ending to your story. Take where you’ve been and where you are now and use it to decide which direction you want to go from here. Like I’ve said countless times before, one can’t go back and change what one has done or didn’t do. It’s silly to dwell on the past (or even the present) and let it bring you down without doing something about it. Instead, USE those bad experiences and negative times to make better decisions starting NOW. Let all the bad/ negative motivate you to work that much harder in whatever aspect of life. If you want that 3116 square foot home, to be in shape, to be more well-known as an author. KEEP WORKING!! Don’t get discouraged. You know success doesn’t come easy and you know what you need to do to achieve that success. Like you mentioned, it’s one thing to talk about handling the business, but actually DOING it and putting in the effort and work it takes, that’s what we need to be focusing on. You have been given the greatest blessings of all, and if nothing else, you owe them the best YOU. Your children look up to you and need you more than you know. They need a father who strives to be the best he can be and doesn’t stop until he achieves that. You may not see or realize it now, but one day you will know how much they appreciate you and all you have done for them.

      As for the birthday celebration, I don’t know what to say other than I’m honored to know how happy and appreciative you are. The small gestures I made won’t ever be able to express how much you mean to me. I can’t believe I built up the nerve to actually get up there and sing for you! My hands and voice were trembling as I was trying to not to break down while I sang our special song. The look in your eyes and the way you gazed at me as I sang will be a moment I’ll cherish forever. I know we don’t exactly know what the future holds, but as long as I have your crazy self in my life in some way, I’ll be grateful. Thank you for being a part of my life, Rooks. ❤

      P.S. If Jerry Maguire can turn his life around at age 35, so can YOU!!!!! Keep the faith, keep up the dedication you have within you, and conquer those bitches aka goals 😛 😀 ❤

      Here's to the rest of your life!!! Make it better than the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Fallon says:

    I’m not going to be long but I just wanted to encourage you a little bit. You are not a failure in any way, shape or form. What I see is an awesome and loving father who would give every last penny he has to make sure his kids are well taken care of. A man who will give his time, love and energy to instill love, values and morals into his children. Even though you are not where you want to be in life right now, that is only temporary. Things will get better, they always do. At least you can recognize that this isn’t what you want out of life, that way you can continue to press on and move forward. 35 is still young and you have a lot of life to still live. God’s got you, love!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cami says:

    I couldn’t have said it any better than Farrah. You won’t accomplish anything with a negative frame of mind. So, it’s awesome that you aren’t one to give up or settle. Even if your kids were the only blessings in your life, then that would still be more than enough. But, guess what, they’re not. You have a few special people in your life that you can take what qualities or accomplishments you admire and mimic them until they become your own. Take their advice, their help, their love, their compliments. People won’t help you for very long if they truly don’t want to or have an alteror In the grand scheme of things, it’s all about everyone helping each other up. You’re a special person Rooks…. This isn’t your end all be all.

    Like

    1. Robert Lovelle Rooks says:

      You think I’m special? Thank you! Having kids as a blessing is one thing… but a parent still has their own life to lead and to continue excelling in or else what is that child looking up to? Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Like

  3. Jim Fish says:

    Hey Robert,
    Cami asked me to check out your blog today (I’m Jim, her dad). Man, how the sentiment you expressed in it reminds me so much of me and my life in the mid-1970s. I was in my early twenties but still suffered losing my dad at seven years old and my mom bringing one of the most sinister men into our family. This man indulged his ire and sexual proclivities on me and I had no recourse for fear of what he said he would do to my mom. Then, there was the tumult that was my mind after two tours of duty in Vietnam and the drugs they gave me to deal with PTSD. So, I can relate to the absolute desolation you conveyed in the story of the state of your mind.
    There is no way I can say anything that will make anything right for you in your life. I don’t even know you. Besides, I’m sure you’ve heard it all before and have already memorized rebuttals to any positive advice, anyone might share with you. Yeah, I was there, too,
    I can share with you a ‘mustard seed’ of my recovery, a bit of the experience that changed my life and more importantly, how I finally realized that I created the reality of my life, not the tough times and not the assholes. In the short bio that follows your blog, it mentions you had an appreciation of poetry. I’m a poet and would like to share a very real experience that for several years afterward, I kicked myself in the ass for not following up on a liaison that, I felt, should have turned out to be an immediate “happy ending”, if I had done things differently.
    The poem was written by me, for me, several years after the fact; when I finally realized the profound significance of the experience and I wanted to hang onto that as a reminder of my part in my life.
    Go here now:
    View story at Medium.com
    While it was not apparent to me at the time of this event, Kay had unwittingly implanted a seed of my own self-worth which may never have germinated had I not realized first that… shit happens. Secondly, Shit is what it is and only awaits your final disposition. You convey whatever good or bad qualities the shit may ever have. Its all beliefs and has nothing to do with the truth or what the uviverse is trying to present to each of us, every instant of every day.
    The only thing that turns a non-truth into the truth is your belief in it. The truth will stand all tests of time and trial. Beliefs won’t. The more faith you place into a belief, the more it will ‘feel’ like the truth to you; until time or trial proves it otherwise and at that point, it simply ceases to exist.
    We are the one that attaches all the good and bad qualities to the experiences and events in our life. We can reinvent them and ourselves as often as we like, by changing how we fit them into the foundation on which we stand and from wich we draw strength and wisdom. Or, we can choose to carry them around as burdens to suck the very energy from our souls and fill our minds with self-pity and the gravity of our woes.
    Let’s not concern ourselves with what we cannot do but let’s concentrate on what we can do. The world at large is impersonal and offers itself to every living soul daily. It’s up to you to receive it in the spirit in which it is intended.
    I have gone from a cowboy, to and Army sergeant, a ranch foreman, and petroleum production operator, a maintenance engineer, a jailer dispatcher, a multimedia marketer, a health coach and caretaker, poet and newspaper columnist. You, you have done the same. Everything you need is already within you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brandy says:

    I’m just glad u have people like the lovely Farrah in your life. It’s nice to see that others go out of their way to make you smile. Happy to see that you had gotten everything u wanted for your day!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Climmie Rooks says:

    Robert, everything happens for a reason. Live now not in the past. Learn from your mistakes or short coming (whatever you want to call them) and make it right. Change what you can and accept the things you cannot change and learn to accept the difference. I will say it a thousand times, stay on bending knees, stay prayed up because no one knows what tomorrow holds, but whatever it is know that with God in your life all things are possible.

    Believe, have Faith, Stay true to yourself, Treat others the way you want to be treated, Love yourself, and last an truly not least, take care of those wonderful children God has blessed you with.

    You can fix the fat thing, you can handle the divorce thing, you have 5 adorable children that looks up to you, you can do this I have faith in you and here for you and them. Just don’t let the devil get in your head, maybe you should have done somethings differently but no one is perfect, life doesn’t come with instructions, we make mistakes pick yourself up dust yourself off and give it another try.

    You have a big heart, I know this first hand, we can always improve on things in our lives, just don’t forget you morals and values. You have so much talent, talents you have not even tapped into yet, but first thing first, they need all of you.

    Love you, proud of you and believe in you!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Shell says:

    I so love this blog because i to have felt the same about my life. The things we go through in life usually makes us stronger and thank God for good people in your life. Your mom said it best stay prayed up God will pull you through anything.

    Liked by 1 person

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