With Veterans Day just over, and his 30th birthday just a month away, Brandon James Singleton has been thinking a lot about respect lately — No. 7 on his checklist of accomplishments before the big 3-0. Here’s the latest Tex’n the City.
All my life I’ve been taught to show respect. Towards my elders. My fellow man. Really, to everyone I interact with.
As you get older, it seems to get harder. You throw in people with anger management issues, and some people’s personal beliefs and prejudices cause that respect to fly out the window.
But I gotta take my checklist serious, and No. 6 is “respect.” How do I get that in my life?
Ever seen a personality color chart? For the last few years I’ve structured my life around ‘em. The one I learned from has four basic groups: Red, Green, Yellow, and Blue. They all represent something different: “Reds” react without thinking. “Greens” have a logical explanation for everything — in their heads, at least. “Yellows” are always prepared.
And finally, “Blues.” Whereas Greens are all facts and figures, Blues are completely thoughts and feelings. They utilize empathy well. They adapt how they’re feeling to suit the energy of those around them. Plus side: It’s like having a mama or papa bear around. If you’re sick or hurt or feeling down, leave it to Blue to do whatever to make it better. Down side: They allow themselves to easily get taken advantage of. And sometimes, if there’s a lot of Red and Green personalities around in a conflict, Blue won’t be the one backing you up when you need it. Only because they don’t want to make the other party feel worse.
I’ve charted almost everyone I’ve come in contact with the last few years. I don’t necessarily tell them that, but I do it. That’s how I went from being a dominant Red to a practicing Blue. Before I knew it, since I was starting to notice traits and characteristics of certain personalities from the beginning, I became a Blue without realizing it — just always trying to keep everyone happy and in good moods. Never wanting anyone to feel unhappy or uncomfortable.
Problem is, in my goal of trying to show everyone else respect, I sort of lost a little for myself. I’d let things slide that maybe were a little disrespectful. Or allowed myself to be inconvenienced one too many times as to help.
Some would say that’s not really a bad thing to put others first always. But I’m currently under the impression if you don’t take care of yourself sometimes, then there’s no way to take care of others.
Respect and self-respect go hand-in-glove. You can’t have or show one without the other. And you can’t grow as a person without both.
It’s hard to believe I’ve been out here in L.A. this long already. It feels like it’s only been a few weeks, and at the same time, I feel like it’s been years simply from how much I’ve evolved in the past months.
The way I’m interacting with people and my working style has all seen an amazing change. For the better. I mean, call 911, cuz my mom would probably pass out. I never believed it would happen, but I may just officially be an adult now.
Whoa. Somebody turn on Jersey Shore before I start knitting or doing my taxes early or something.
I can go back to junior high when everyone came back from Christmas break with a new pair of Air Jordans. But we couldn’t afford stuff like that. Especially for me who’s birthday was a week before Christmas. And I remember making up some sort of crap story of how I had gotten some Jordans as well, but my mom wouldn’t let me wear them to school and mess them up. I mean, clearly they all saw through my lie. And I remember hating myself after — not for fibbing, but for even feeling like I had to. It’s one of the earliest memories I have of losing self-respect and recognizing it.
I have a friend whose parents live in Beverly Hills. I managed to pop in the other day to say hey. Before I left, his mom mentioned how confident I seemed. I took it as a compliment but didn’t think too much of it until now
I can’t help but feel it’s the self-confidence beaming. I am definitely in this mode to grow and settle into my own, but it is nice to sit for a second and realize that, well, I like me. Life is nowhere near perfect. And I’m still not feeling 100 percent ready to say goodbye to my twenties just yet, but I definitely feel more ready than I ever have before.
Besides, if all else fails, I’ll just claim ‘83 instead of ‘82 as my birth year when people ask, and give myself a little extra time. Worked for the cast of Glee. That group’s pushing their 40s and still rocking miniskirts and faux hawks.
God bless L.A.
Peace out xoxoxo
@The_HugoBoss (Twitter and Instagram) #TXNTC