Have you ever felt like you don’t measure up? Check out my new song “A Feeble Attempt”. I hope this new song touches the people. -Your Neighborhood Hope Dealer
My daughter Je’we’ll and I would like to welcome you all to God’s Island! My daughter named this song, helped me write the verses, made the hook, and sang it with me all for the glory of God and to uplift people! Check it out my Vintage RetromanYouTube channel! #Godsisland #daughter #greensboro #christianhiphop #encouragement #Jesus #music #2020 #newrelease #christianhiphop
Check out my new encouraging song, ”We’ve Come A Long Way”. If you are a fan of that old school southern hip-hop, this one is for you. 🙏🏾
Thinking back to the summer of 1996. Cassette tapes of 2pac Shakur’s “All Eyes on Me” and OutKast’s “Elevators” were inserted into my older brothers boombox’s, with the bass turned up. I was 13 years old at the time. As the music played in the background, I was intensely playing the newly released Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64, thinking how amazing the graphics were! I was still playing Madden 95 for my Sega Genesis as well as a host of other 16 bit retro games, including Mortal Kombat III and Sonic The Hedgehog 3. That summer was an amazing one full of pure nostalgia. I remember the NBA finals that year when my favorite player, Michael Jordan, led my favorite team, the Chicago Bulls, to an NBA title. It was my final summer living on the north side of town with all of my friends from Mineral Springs Middle School, and may have been my favorite summer to date.
Then the fall came that year, a time of great transition. After the intense snowstorm that swept across the Carolina’s in 1995, my dad decided in the middle of my 8th grade year that it would be a good idea to move because our house on Mineral Ave. was out in the middle of nowhere. So we did and I ended up switching schools mid year. I remember first attending my new school, being such an introvert. I always loved video games, and I found myself leaning on them much more since I didn’t have many friends. That Christmas was a rough one, but I ended up getting one of my favorite basketball games to date. That game was NBA live 97 for the Sega Genesis, featuring rookie sensation #8, Kobe Bryant.
At the time I was still a Chicago Bulls fan, but I was impressed how Kobe was playing as NBA player straight from high school. I never was a Los Angeles Lakers fan, but I always saw highlights of Kobe growing up on ESPN. As the late 1990’s and early 2000’s passed, I was in college watching Kobe rise to greatness. Throughout the early 2000’s, I remember being a student at WSSU and watching the dominance of the dynamic duo in Kobe and Shaq, as they won multiple NBA titles. I remember shortly thereafter when Kobe changed his number from 8 to 24. It was as if Michael Jordan had passed the torch. Still, I had a hard time accepting that reality.
As the decade came to a close in 2010, I saw Kobe Bryant extend his dominance after the Michael Jordan era as he won championships in 2009 and 2010, in the middle of a new era where Lebron James rising to dominance. Even as Lebron James began to take the torch, Kobe continued to be in discussion for the greatest player of all time. As the years went on, I paid attention to NBA basketball less and less, but I always respected athletes that worked hard and did not quit.
When Kobe Bryant retired, I was honestly shocked. It took me a couple of years to believe it because he was still such a great player. I believe his last game he scored 60 points! Then I realized that maybe he needed to invest more time in his family after overcoming his personal failures. Kobe was human. He made mistakes in his life. He was a flawed person that seemed to have grown up from certain behaviors off the court. I may not have agreed with everything he did, but I always respected him for striving to correct his wrongs, especially concerning his wife. Fast forward to the end of the 2010’s, and there was not much coverage in the media concerning Kobe Bryant. Then it happened…
At 3:30 pm on January 26th, 2020 I was sitting in my living room enjoying a Sunday afternoon on the couch. It was like most Sundays, with church in the morning and lunch after service, then football. As I watched the 2020 NFL Pro Bowl on TV, my 16 year old daughter came in the living room. She said “Hey mom and dad, did you hear that Kobe Bryant just died?” My heart dropped! All I could respond was “What!!!? No way! No way!” As I frantically searched on my phone for my news app, I remember when I first saw the AP news report. I got emotional like many of us did on that day. I felt like I lost a brother. After all I am 36 years old, and he was only 41.
There is an old saying that only the good die young. If this is true, the world truly lost one of the most influential young ex-athletes of all time. To hear the news that Kobe, his daughter, and a host of other individuals passed away in a helicopter crash is simply a tragedy beyond measure. As a man with 2 daughters myself, my heart goes out to Kobe’s wife Vanessa and the rest of the Bryant family. I believe that this is a lesson that all of us can learn from. We have to learn to cherish every moment on this earth that God gives us. Cherish each relationship, cherish the memories. Kobe’s nickname was the Black Mamba, which I researched and found out that he achieved that nickname from watching the movie “Kill Bill” during the lowest point of his life. When you look at how much good he did later on in life outside the basketball arena, it is truly a story of inspiration. I hope and pray that as we navigate through the pain and reality of him being gone, we remember that much more than just his basketball legacy lives on. Mamba out….. 😦
The smoke cleared, the dust settled. A triumphant Link mounted Epona his horse, with the battle-tested Master Sword now resting in his sheath. It was a hard fought war in the land of Hyrule, with the evil Gannon finally destroyed and the three Triforce fragments united. Peace had once again returned to the land. As he rode across the lush green pastures of Hyrule Field, the warrior only has one subject on his mind and that was his queen, Princess Zelda, the daughter of Hyrule Kingdom.
As he made his way to the outer courtyard of Hyrule Castle, he stopped by the market and found the largest heart container necklace he could find for his queen. The man in the market asked him, “Are you sure that is the one you want Link? It cost $500 rupees!” Link responded to the store owner, “A wise old man once told me, It’s dangerous to go alone, so I’d better take this!” Both Link and the man erupted in laughter. That store owner was actually the grandson to the old man in the cave when Link first set out to save the Hyrule Kingdom.
The storekeeper said “Alright Link, I will tell you what. If you promise to always be faithful and always do right by Zelda, I will give you a 20% future king discount. After all, once you marry Zelda you will become king of all of Hyrule Kingdom.” “DEAL!” Link shouted and pulled out $400 rupees from his wallet and paid the owner. She has to agree to marry me first though! They both laughed intently as Link walked away with the beautiful piece of jewelry.
As he mounted his horse, he heard a soft and seductive “Hello Link”. As he turned around he couldn’t believe his eyes! “Wait, are you…..Sa…Sa…Saria?” She paused for a minute to give him a chance to catch his breath. “Yes Mr. Link, it’s me, Saria your old friend from the Kokiri Forest. How have you been?” Link was speechless, he hadn’t seen her since he was young and she was all grown up now smiling at him. Flashbacks came back into his mind of the time when he was first called to leave the forest when he set out on his journey to save Hyrule.
They were best friends and grew up together in the forest. “We have got to catch up Link! I heard that you saved Hyrule, and because of that, the veil was lifted that kept us in captivity in the Forest. For the first time in my life, I was able to leave that place. You were the first person I thought about when I left Link. I am so glad I found you!” Link responded, “Wow Saria, I am glad to see you. Look at you girl, you look amazing! I can’t believe it!”
Link slipped the heart container necklace he had purchased for Zelda into his pocket and said to Saria “Wow, it’s been so long! How are things in the forest? How is your family? Is your cousin Mido still as mean as he always has been?” They both started laughing. “Oh Link, everything is just fine now, thanks to you!” Saria ran up and not only embraced Link with a heartwarming hug but threw herself onto him as they both laughed together with childlike glee. She gently caressed Link’s face with her soft hands and looked into his eyes. “Thank you for being the man you are, Link.” **It is important to note that Saria was unaware of Link’s ties with princess Zelda and oblivious to the entire situation that Link was about to enter into with her.**
At that exact moment between the town and the gate of the castle, Princess Zelda watched from a distance roughly about 15 yards away. The position of the Temple of Time blocked her from view so they could not see her. “Do my eyes deceive me?” Zelda said to herself. She looked on intently. Link was embracing Saria, who she also remembered from their childhood. Zelda mentioned in her last letter to Link (see part 2 of this series) about how she felt concerning his friendship with Saria from the forest. She ran back towards the castle weeping bitterly. Since Link had just saved Hyrule, the King gave her permission to actually leave the security of the castle and wait for him inside the gate. A homecoming of a sort, that now felt like a homewrecking party. Zelda ran past all of the palace guards, into her room and sobbed by her window.
Meanwhile, back in the town after about 30 minutes of conversation, Link had a moment of reality to sink in. He was in love with Zelda. His heart sinked, his countenance changed. “Saria, I have something to tell you.” Saria smiled innocently as she waited for Link to ask her out on a date. She happily asked, “What is it Link?” He pulls out the beautiful heart container necklace from his pocket and explained to Saria “Do you remember when we were kids you told me that you just wanted me to be happy? I have a confession to make.” “What is it Link?” she stated as she looked worried. “Saria, I am in love with Princess Zelda and I am about to propose to her. I didn’t know if I’d ever see you again and…” Saria frowned and said “oh” and looked down as if she had lost her whole world. “I understand Link, thank you for being honest. I’ll be heading back to the forest now.”
“Saria wait! I never meant to hurt you!” Link exclaimed to her. “You didn’t Link, I hurt myself and because I love you, I have to do what’s right. Take care, my friend.” At that very moment, Sarah was led by her guardian ferry back to the forest. Link just stood there for a minute, shocked and still in disbelief. He cared deeply for Saria. He couldn’t believe that his desires led him away to another woman, even if it was just a conversation. Being a man, he took a moment for self-examination and then took action.
“Come on Epona! It’s time for me to go see my queen! I’m coming, Zelda!💗” As Link rode up to the castle entrance, he received nothing but cold stares and hostility from the palace guards. “Seize him!” One of the guards yelled. At that very moment, a group of the royal police officers took Link and threw him in the lower courts of the castle. Link was shocked. It was there where he was confronted by an angry and heartbroken princess Zelda.
“How DARE you betray me Link! I have waited for you through everything. I saved myself for YOU and remained a single woman! Do you have any idea how many other princes I have turned down from other kingdom’s waiting for YOU? I wrote to you when you were battle-tested and weary! What do you have to say for yourself? I’m gonna tell you right now, It will be Hell in all of Hyrule before I let you or anyone else take advantage of me! You must have forgotten who the Hell I am! I told you before I am Princess Zelda, and I am no damsel in distress! If you want one of them, you better go find that little forest tramp I saw you all hugged up with! I forget her name, but I remember her from our childhood. Now, you are allowed to address me!”
“Zelda” Link very carefully said. “Nothing happened between Saria and I in the market. It was the first time I had saw her since we were kids, and all we did was play catch up. Yes she hugged me and we embraced, but that is only because she didn’t know about us. The moment I told her that I was in love with you she backed off and went into the forest. It was my fault for letting it get that far, but I promise it is not what you think Zelda”
“You expect me to believe that sir! I’m not as dumb as you look Link! I’ll be calling the guards to escort you out and take you to Death Mountain sir. The Goron rock people can have their way with you for all I care! You don’t mess with royalty, sir. GUARDS!” As the soldiers closed in on a terrified Link and grabbed him, a voice came from the front of the room. “That won’t be necessary.”
Zelda angrily yelled, “Who are you to disobey my direct orders!” Suddenly Saria appears, escorted by the guards. Link and Zelda both looked puzzled. Zelda ties her golden locks into a ponytail and stated: “I’m about to handle this myself!” As she angrily approached Saria with clinched fists about to wail on her, Saria at the last moment pulls out a stunning heart container necklace. “Hey Link, you dropped Princess Zelda’s necklace in the market. You left the price tag on it. $400 rupees is a steep price to pay so I can tell you must really love her and don’t want to lose her.” Here you go! She gave the necklace to Link and looked into the eyes of a perplexed princess Zelda.
“Girl, Link loves you. He is in love with you. You can think what you want to think about me, but I promise nothing happened. We only caught up on old times. I know women of your caliber typically look down on girls like me, being from the forest and all. I know, you are royalty. I have heard all of the stories from people in my village. That is fine Zelda, but don’t punish Link for your insecurities. He is too good of a man for that. I’ll be headed back to the forest now. Link, do the right thing.”
“Wait!” Zelda yelled as the guards walked with Saria to escort her out. “Join us for dinner in the royal ballroom so we can talk.” Saria responded “No thanks. Not really my thing. I’m a simple girl. Goodbye” At that moment the guards escorted Saria out. Zelda was stunned at the turn of events. As she slowly turned around and looked into Link’s disappointed face with the palace guards around, she very lightly apologized to him. It was a crossroads moment for Link after all his actions were not perfect in the situation either. He realized that he needed her grace and understanding just as much as she needed his. His conscience and guardian spirit convicted him of his behavior.
“I am sorry as well Zelda. I am sorry that the container that holds your heart was for a moment split into 4 pieces. Allow me to collect them and put them together again.” At that very moment, Link pulled back out the beautiful necklace, put it around her neck, and asked Zelda, “Will you still marry a foolish, imperfect, Hyrule warrior like me?” *This type of proposal was the standard in Hylian culture.* Princess Zelda responded with a resounding “YES! Only if you can still marry an insecure, strong-willed, broken woman of power like me!” Link responded, “Nothing would make me happier my queen!”
The guards erupted in praise as they left following the newly engaged couple! They both mounted Epona and rode all around the Hyrule Castle town! The king of Hyrule ordered a decree and the Royal Guard sounded trumpets for everyone to stop working and meet in the courtyard for the engagement celebration! What a beautiful wedding that would take place in this very courtyard in a few months and the Royal Family was notified. As they celebrated, Princess Zelda whispered something in his ear and he said with a smile, “That’s a great idea, but only if you are sure………”
(Fast forward 9 months in present tense)
As Link stands in front of the Great Deku Tree, he is holding back tears as he waits for his bride to be. He cannot believe that Zelda and the King actually agreed to having a destination wedding in his home town of the Kokiri Forest, and not at the Hyrule Castle. This was a huge break in tradition and custom for the Royal Family. This meant so much to him. As he waits patiently and the wedding party is being introduced, he can’t believe his eyes! Zelda was humble enough to ask Saria to be her maid of honor! She slowly walked down the aisle, smiles at Link, and takes her place on the stage. “Congratulations, Hero. You deserve this. You have a great woman in Zelda. Like I told you many years ago, we will always be friends. Now, go get your blessing sir.”
The moment is now, Zelda is showing her dress to the forest crowd. She looks truly stunning! All of the forest people are astonished at her royal beauty. As she walks down the aisle crying, Saria is humbly playing “Zelda’s Lullaby” on her brown ocarina, the song that Link had written for Zelda back when they were kids. Link’s eyes are welled up with joy. This, my friends, is how legends are made. I know it to be true, because I, Vintage Retroman am currently at the wedding ceremony watching it all happen with tears in my own 2 eyes. They just said, “I do” and the rest is history.
The end of the 3 part series (I hope you all enjoyed it)
Wow, I’m speechless! It amazes me that despite the fact you stay so occupied from the harsh realities of battle in Hyrule, that you still make time to write me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me such a priority in your life. Your last letter was filled with so much affection, I already feel as though I am inadequate to craft a correct response, but I will try.
First and foremost, right now things are going relatively well here at Hyrule Castle. For once we feel as if some peace has been restored to the town center, thanks largely to you Link! The palace guards haven’t reported a threat of Moblin’s or those huge evil Tektite spiders in over 2 months! That is great news, considering the fact that at one time we were getting multiple reported incidents of attacks weekly. The most that we have seen recently is an Octorok or two shooting rocks outside of the palace gates, which I typically handle myself from my top window in the castle with either my bow and arrow, or your old slingshot. By the way Link, yes I still have that great aim to take them out right between the eyes, like you said in your letter. You taught me well my warrior. 😉
Anyway, my father is good! He still goes on and on about being the King of Hyrule, as if I care! He makes me laugh because he acts like such a big shot, but as soon as my mother commands anything it’s “Yes Queen, No Queen”. He is a good man though, so I don’t pester him too much. Other than that, things have been pretty boring around Central Hyrule. The king of the Goron’s did stop by last week and had a sizzling rock steak dinner with my father and they talked business. I am happy to report that our alliance with the Goron rock people are stronger than ever. We need them to help keep the Death Mountain region of Hyrule neutralized from the evil Gannon and his armies of minions. It seems as if Death Mountain is always a hotbed of resistance, no pun intended. We feel that any support we can give you in that area we will invest in, because we know the resources help you.
So in your last letter you talked about when we were kids. Of course I remember all of the times we shared together! We had so much fun at the Lon Lon Ranch and Lake Hylia! You were and still are the best fisherman I know Link! I would always get excited when you would let me try, even though I wasn’t that good at it! By the way, how is your horse Epona? I feel like she is a big part of this family. Such a splendid stallion she is! Truly a special horse you were blessed with. Please pet her a few times for me. 🙂
I think it is so funny that you mentioned your Ocarina in your letter, because I truly believe that when you first got it, you hated it when we were kids. You rarely played it at first. You said it reminded you too much of your old whistle, which played the same exact tune every time and only transported you to the entrance of dungeons, which you absolutely hated. But as you continued to practice you became better and better. I distinctly remember you playing “The Song of Time” and “The Song of Storms”, which I loved those melodies.
Then you learned my lullaby. When you perfected that song, my heart melted. It may have been that song that made me want to be more than just your friend. I started to fall in love with you Link, but I couldn’t show it. We were too young to fully understand, or so I thought. I would watch you play so intently, and I loved listening to you. It made me so happy that you found something that brought you such joy. I want to share something with you that you probably never knew. It’s hard for me to be vulnerable and open up, but here it goes.
When we were kids, I remember when you first told me about your Kokiri friend Saria from the forest. I never showed it back then because we were just friends, but I was so jealous of your friendship with her. You would talk about Saria and I would simply cringe inside Link, but outwardly I would wear a big smile because I knew that she was a nice person. The fact that you two spent so much time together in the forest bothered me, because I was royalty and she was not. In retrospect though, I am grateful for that experience, simply because it humbled me and helped me not take you for granted. Please promise me in your next letter that you two were just friends. I need to know that nothing happened. I don’t want to get my heart broken Link because I love you. I don’t want a piece of your heart, I want the entire heart container.
When I see you, I want to jump on your raft and take a ride down Zora’s river just you and I. I long to snuggle under you as you wrap your strong loving arms around me and we drift down the river under the stars. I miss our deep conversations about life, our dreams, and our goals after the conflict is over, and peace is restored to all of Hyrule. You have always been so patient with me and you listen to me, even when I am difficult to deal with. I can’t wait to look into your strong determined eyes which pierce my soul like the arrows in your quiver. I want you to gently caress my tender damp skin amidst the sweet smelling soft dew along the river bank after our raft ride. Yes link, I cannot wait for you to grab me, look into my eyes, and kiss me under the florescent moonlight. I know that it gets very difficult for you daily in battle, and when I get the opportunity I promise to help you heal every wound and make it all better sir.
I don’t want to take up too much of your time Link. I just want you to know that I miss you so much. I care about you and I love you baby. Just think Link, one day we will be the king and queen of this castle with our children running around getting into mischief. I hope and pray that if we are ever blessed with a son, that he will be half as brave as you are, with a green tunic and all! Take care of yourself my Hyrule Warrior. I attached this picture of myself just so you’ll remember exactly what you have to look forward to when you get home.;)
Until then, take care of yourself.
Zelda, Princess Of Hyrule
**Stay tuned for part 3, as this story takes an unexpected turn** Thanks for reading!
To my dearest Zelda,
I sincerely hope that this letter finds you well. Please give your father my greetings and salutations at the castle. I pray that things in central Hyrule are going well for you and the royal family. Also, please accept my deepest apologies, I intended to write you last week but a situation came up in Death Mountain that kept me occupied in battle. Yet and still since I missed an opportunity to write you back from your previous letter, I am sorry and I promise to make it up to you later.
I was thinking about you last night as I took an evening off from battle and slept at the Kakariko Village Inn. In your last letter you asked me the truth about how have things been? Honestly my situation has been a challenge. I feel as if things will never change here in Hyrule. My nemesis Gannon and his minions are relentless in their pursuit of the Triforce. Those golden triangles and the power they possess have been a constant source of conflict throughout the decades. It is an ongoing struggle, because it seems that his support is so large and widespread in this region. By no means am I giving up the battle, but I cannot show weakness in front of my people or the enemy. I am glad I have you in my corner because things can get a little lonely out here. I feel as if I am a bounty hunter, consistently acting alone in my fight to protect this land from evil.
On a brighter note, I want to share with you what I was thinking. Do you remember back when we were kids Zelda? I remember you were the best at hitting those Octoroks square between the eyes with my slingshot! 🙂 I think we were around 10 years old when I first found my Ocarina. You would sit outside the gates of the castle and I would play for you, sometimes for hours. Your favorite was a song I created just for you, and I called it “Zelda’s Lullaby”. We would snack on Deku seeds and drink that delicious ice cold milk from the Lon Lon Ranch! Let us not forget how mad the ranch owner Talon would get when we would sneak in at night and fill up my bottles with that milk! We would run off laughing, because he was so slow he could never catch us!
As we got older, I remember how you would join me fishing at Lake Hylia. Oh how I loved the crystal blue waters of that lake back then! You were around 16 or 17 when I caught that 20 pound Hylian Bass! It took us forever to reel that fish in. Then you and I would saddle up on my horse Epona, and ride off into the sunset. Things were so much simpler back then. I know we were so young, but I think consistently of the memories.
Zelda my love, I miss you so much. I long to look into your beautiful eyes. I miss your sweet perfume and how it’s scent would radiate off of your soft skin. I can’t wait to see your gorgeous smile and hear your sweet high pitched giggle. I cannot wait to kiss your soft tender lips and hold your beautiful warm frame next to me. Honestly babe, to hold you at this particular moment would heal my deepest battle wounds. It’s so difficult, because i can see you, yet you are not here with me.
Well my love, the blacksmith is almost done forging my Master Sword. After that Epona and I have to head over to the Water Palace. I received a call from King Zora, leader of the fish people. Danger awaits me there, so I ask that you pray for me that my courage and stamina will exhort themselves, and I will defeat whatever evil awaits me. Zelda, please know that I miss you. I adore you my Hyrule Princess. I love you my sweet queen. For any reason that I don’t make it back, please see the attached letter. It has specific instructions of a stash of rupees and spoils of war i have collected through the years. Think of it as my insurance policy taken out on you, but I have every intention of making it home to you alive. This is the life I chose Zelda, and I hope that you can understand. This is what legends are made of my love. Until our next communication, take this as a token of my undying love and affection.
**Stay tuned in for part 2, Zelda’s response**
Legacy…to make a lasting meaningful impact on people, spanning throughout several generations. To leave a legacy is one of the single most important experiences many of us dream about. Presidents talk about legacies, as do athletes, musicians, and celebrities. We should all make it our ambition to leave a lasting legacy for our children, family, and friends. I have heard that as important as success may be to some people, significance is held to a higher standard. To be significant is a key ingredient in leaving a legacy.
I think back to growing up in the 1980’s and 90’s. My dad on a very limited budget did his best to leave a legacy for our family. I am not speaking about money in this case. He left us a legacy of fun memories that no amount of money can buy. He and my mom sacrificed everything for the few things we did have. That is why my Nintendo NES and games meant so much to me. 1 game console for a family of 10, picture that!
When I look at my children, I try my best to emulate the same spirit my dad had towards us. I am blessed to have a blended family. Sure we have our struggles. My wife and I constantly talk about how there really is not a blueprint for all of the issues that come along with a blended family. We are doing our best to leave a better financial legacy for our children than our parents were able to. With that being said though, the most important values we are trying to instill are God, family, and fun.
Blended families many times are looked at with a negative connotation. When kids are products of a divorced home, there are typically issues and pain that traditional homes don’t have to deal with. I believe when my kids struggle with the emotional impact of their past, they strive to loose themselves in video games. My sons play Minecraft, Terreria, and Brawlhala among other titles. I believe they sometimes find peace between the joysticks. When I talk to them, the conversations remind me of my childhood.
Of course I don’t have all of the answers. Legacy is one of those concepts that is mostly subjective. It means different things to different people. But I do believe it is important to leave a legacy for future generations, regardless of wealth or prestige.
The moral of the story: What do you want people to remember you for? If you have kids, do you spend enough time with them? Do they know you? Do they only know your victories, or do you also share your struggles and failures with them? I’m only asking because these are issues I struggle with, and I want to make sure that I am not alone in my struggles.
For my situation, there is beauty in the blend. I want nothing more than to see my 4 children, 10 years from now talk about how much fun they had in their childhood. I pray that they love each other, and discuss their memories with one another. There is so much nostalgia in the phrase “Hey, do you remember back when…?” I hope and pray that you all focus on building and leaving a legacy that lasts for your family. If you don’t have children, legacy is not just limited to biological kids. Kindness to a younger sibling, compassion for foster kids, empathy for the next generation falls under the same umbrella. May we go forth in 2020 and do our best to leave a beautiful legacy for the next generation. -V. R.
As I sat playing Sonic The Hedgehog late last night, my oldest daughter who is now 16 actually took a moment to watch. A break from being the cool teenager, the varsity cheerleader, and the bookworm. I’m delighted to see her spending time with me! As parents with teenagers know, those moments are few and far between!
As she looked on, she let me know “Dad, I don’t like Sonic.” “Whaaaaat! How could you not like Sonic?” I said. He’s the fastest thing alive? She said (in her usual sophisticated teenage voice), “The game is messy, too much going on. Between his speed, moving patterns in the background, too many enemies, I can’t keep up.” Then she went back upstairs to her normal teenage routine.
As I continued to play one of my favorite childhood games, I started thinking about my life as Vintage Retroman. Could there possibly be a lesson in what she said? I believe there is. When we are going so fast in life that everything becomes a blur, life can become messy. Remember that you can’t be everything to everyone all of the time.
When running your race, focus on the goal and pace yourself. Remember that you should never run the race of others. Eliminate the background noise of busyness and focus on what is truly important. Remember that it is possible to be the jack of all trades, yet the master of none. One of my favorite characteristics about Sonic The Hedgehog is that as fast as he is, he paces himself to conquer each zone, one at a time. He never leaves his friends behind (well, occasionally tails but who’s counting😊) and he always keeps his eyes on the prize, which are those Chaos Emeralds.
I have been guilty of running the race of others. At times I still struggle with trying to do everything. When I think back to Christmas of 1991, my first time playing Sonic The Hedgehog on the Sega Genesis, pure nostalgia sets in. Back then, life was much slower. As an 8 year old kid, the only race I ran was with my friends outside in the neighborhood before the street lights came on. Times have changed, but principles don’t.
I encourage you all to run your race and pace yourself. Try not to get so caught up in the pressure that you can’t focus on your goals. Give yourself grace from time to time as you push to do your best. Remember that life is a vapor, it goes so quick. Lastly, take time to invest in yourself and your health, so you can be your best for everyone else. Signing off for now, V.R.
Wow, it’s hard to believe that this month in January, 2020 I am celebrating my 3rd year blogging as Vintage Retroman! After waiting decades in fear, in January of 2017 I decided to take the plunge as a writer. I still remember setting up my website and having no clue what I was doing. All I had was a niche, some inspiration, and a few social media followers. I know I haven’t been as active the past year as I should have been. I would like to apologize to my followers. I had been dealing with some health issues, a new career, getting my insurance license, being a husband and father of 4 growing children, and several other issues. I am working on pacing myself, but I miss writing. I took this hiatus to take care of myself, but I am back!
As I reflect back over the past 3 years, I think about how much being in a blogging community has impacted me. Reading the experiences of my fellow bloggers has encouraged me and helped me learn more about myself. Much of what I write on has to do with retro gaming, music, movies, and culture from the 1970’s, 1980’s, and 1990’s. I hope that as you read my work, they you will catch the subliminal messages of encouragement within the literary works that I have created.
Ultimately, it is my hope that if you have a dream, that you go after it no matter what the cost or sacrifice is. Never let fear of the unknown or the criticism of people make you feel inadequate. I choose to believe that God put us all here on this earth for a reason. With 2020 now here, I encourage you all to step out on faith more often. It is important to have assurance within yourself that you can do anything!
Lastly, I want my reader to know that I do this for the passion and the love of my craft. It was never about money. I am grateful to say that my 200+ blog subscribers, 300+ Facebook followers, and 1300+ Instagram followers were all attained organically. No gimmicks, no paid marketing, but only people that appreciate content. By some standards, these are small numbers for an audience. For me, I would rather have a real impact on 10 people than 10,000 paid followers simply to make myself look good. I hope that you feel my heart on this post. I really appreciate you reading.
To 2020, let’s make it a great one! V. R.