Often I write a little bit about what’s going on with me or what I’m thinking about but today I’m going to take a little bit of a different slant. I’m going to tell you about me. See, my cousin Christelyn Russell-Karazin runs a great site called www.beyondblackwhite.com and she asked me to write a little something about ME. For some reason I’ll figure out in another post why I always procrastinate posting to my blog and forgot to look at the instructions while I’m away from home right now but here goes a glimpse at what makes me… me.
The computer guy that sits before you is a long story of a whole lot of work. Work on career. Work on marriage. Work on family. Growing up as a black man my father always taught me that if you work hard enough and smart enough it wouldn’t matter if you were blue. Also, that if you do what you love you would never work a day in your life. I am the absolute contridiction because I’ve worked extremely hard but yet have never worked.
As a kid I was really into computers and thus my dad being an electrical engineer helped feed me books. I was the kid that was always reading, talking and playing sports. By the time I finished high school I went to Cal. State L. A. and knew exactly what I was going into. Electrical engineering. Just like my dad. That’s where life got a little shaky. It was in my first month of school that I met my now wife. It was by my third month that she was pregnant and with all my unfocused college behavior that I decided I wasn’t taking all these hard calculus courses. I changed my major to Computer Science but was still just a little too overburdened by the time my first son was born.
I am not typical in anything and definitely didn’t want to be a typical dad. Now in many cultures this may be different but in the black community unwed fathers were unseen fathers. As I worked through college I was the opposite. I kept my son as much as humanly possible and had girls in the dorms watching him while I went to class or when I had to take tests.
School wasn’t the path I’d choose for many reasons. I ended up dropping out of school by my third year but not dropping out of my plan. My plan was to buy a house by 30 and be the Information Technology (IT) director of a company by 35. I’m pretty open about the fact that I wasn’t feeling too much support in any direction except for my dad with what he could.
I won’t bore you with the Abraham Lincoln stories of reading by candle light but suffice to say there was a lot of it. Fill in the years with 3 more kids (all by my wife), a lot of reading on buses, metrorail trains, in parks, and late at night. Add in a lot of time helping develop my wife and kids into whatever they wanted to be. Sprinkle in a lot of mentoring to kids, family, coworkers and whoever wanted to listen and be the best they could be with me and whole lot of time with my family and you have made yourself the Phillip you see today.
The timeline worked out just right by the way. By 29 years old I was the IT director at then one of the countries biggest Post Production companies and also bought my house.
Easy? Not at all but like good exercise the pain in your muscles you feel is a good feeling because of the results. Mine is a story I tell to all men and boys because I juggle a very social life with all this work and family and it’s never that easy. It’s just what needs to be done the way I see it.
Combine as much as you can where you can. My kids have been regular faces at every place I’ve ever worked so that they’ll raise kids like my dad with me.