A Slice of Happiness 

Happy Sunday! 

I have been around or at home for the past few weeks, so this weekend I packed up my car and took my daughters to go see my dad in North Carolina. This time of year is always difficult for my father. Today is his mother’s birthday and although it has been over 20 years since she passed away, he still feels the magnitude of her loss as he celebrates her life. Our family is also still reeling over the loss of my Uncle Alonzo this past June. My dad has several siblings, but they had an extremely close bond and his death has changed him in ways that words cannot properly describe. There is a spark missing from his eyes and a tinge of sadness that permeates through his laughter and smile. Uncle Alonzo meant so much to him and to all of us and I’m sure we will never be the same. I’m dedicating my book Orion’s Chains to him and fashioning a character in his honor. 

I spent most of last night and this morning talking and laughing with my dad about love, life, friendship, creativity, music, and so much more. I didn’t realize how much I needed to hear his words of wisdom and encouragement. And, he was uplifted by my children as they told him knock knock jokes and giggled at the dinner table. He recently lost his beloved dog Tommy and he admitted to feeling lonely as he came to an empty home after work. His afternoons would be spent with his dog as he waited for my stepmom to get home. It was the last thing he needed to happen at this crucial point in his life and I was glad to bring him a slice of happiness during a turbulent time. 

I honestly didn’t think my presence could be beneficial to anyone at this moment. I’ve been caught in my own emotional storm as I battle my own mind and feelings of inadequacy. But, I have found a renewed sense of purpose and a burst of creativity and determination through spending just one day with my Dad.

This week, take a moment to pick up the phone and call or go and see someone that you love. It’s amazing how one great conversation can give you the boost you need to walk into this week with confidence. 

Love to all of ya and I’ll see you on Wednesday 💕 
-Tai Gooden 

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Support During Success: What to Keep in Mind

When you announce a lofty goal or exciting news, you get lots of likes, comments, retweets, and congratulatory texts. All the love makes you feel special. Now fast forward a bit. You finally release your song, write your book, or land a great job. You decide to have a book signing or an album release party and you send out all your invitations. This is going to be awesome!

And you wait. The people you thought would have your back are not showing up, not replying to your invitations, and leaving a bad taste in your mouth. The random friends you have made on Twitter are RSVPed and ready to go! What the hell is going on?!?!

Before you start a personal pity party, keep two things in mind. First, give your loved ones a chance. Yes, it is possible that they are simply haters, but there could be financial, time, or other issues going that you don’t know about. As you grow in your craft and there are more opportunities for support, you will begin to see who really has your back and who has a bunch of lame excuses. Maybe your sweet old Grandma Susan doesn’t want to come to the club to see your grunge band. You don’t like everything they do, so they may not like everything you do.

Second, be thankful for the surprising support from people you don’t know as well. When acquaintances support your success, its because they are truly invested in your craft, not because you are “Jane’s son”. 

Enjoy the support you have and don’t worry about the source!