August 29, 2019: Today marked seven years since Single Dadventure(s) went live. Shortly after I regained custody of my daughter, Cydney, I came up with this idea to start two blogs: one as my love letter to all of my friends and family who kept mine in prayer through tragedy and another about my love of music. I never got around to the latter because honestly, the former became a hit and my calling.
But this wasn’t meant to be a congratulatory victory lap; I opted for something else. Underneath an eerily calm and nonchalant demeanor is a man who over thinks every little thing, has some-but-understandable trust issues, and wrestles daily with crippling self-doubt.
It isn’t all doom and gloom. In fact, I liken my internal cycle of cynic and self-actualization to a song by DJ Quik called “50 Ways.” Most of the song is David Blake-the man-venting all of his frustrations, darkest thoughts, and angst; only for DJ Quik-the persona-to jump in at the end and remind Blake who the fuck he really is. We all need that. We all do that. Now that context is out the way, I’ll tell whoever is reading this to do what I’ve been saying for years: Read it Because I Wrote it…
I have been in the midst of many overwhelming transitions. I’ve had historic peaks and some some valleys that may not be as earlier points in life; nonetheless, the feeling was very similar to incredibly dark days.
A few weeks ago, I began a project of recording many of my old posts to be available as mini-podcasts of some sort. The process took me through many overwhelming emotions. I looked back at things Chad Milner in his late-twenties had to say and felt a lot of things. Sometimes I thought to myself “Chad, I see why people like what you’ve written. You say some fairly profound shit!” There were others in which rereading and recording letters I’ve written to my deceased daughter’s mother scared the fuck out of me because the tone and inflection of my voice instinctively spoke how I once did to her. It felt as if God whispered to me “Chad, look at where you’ve been.”
Shortly after said statement, The Creator then one-ups His previous sentiments by piling on even more circumstances. I’ve had some pretty low days, many of them feeling depressed and no one around me knew. A couple of months from my mid-thirties, God had to show me while I’ve prided in myself in what I’ve resiliently endured, I can, will, and have no choice in the matter of handling more.
The full circle, come-to-Jesus moment occurred yesterday morning. My big brother, Barry called. For those who are just coming along for the ride, my big brother Barry is the first person I called when shit got really real in Virginia in 2011 and I was not ready to inform my parents the relationship with the family I created was permanently fractured and has become my guy over the past nine years. He’s always spoken to me from a relating-yet-more experienced perspective; but never held his tongue or punches while using it.
Barry and I chatted for about an hour. He told me “You ain’t shit. You ain’t ever gonna be shit until you realized you are the shit…I don’t mind it; but I don’t really want to hear about what you’re going through because that’s all noise. Noise designed to distract and prevent you from where you are destined to go. God is gonna get you there because He only speaks in whispers and thunder; so you gotta block out the noise or you’re going to miss a lot of blessings you could have had on the way. The Devil ain’t gonna try to distract you if he doesn’t see something of value in you. All of this noise is to block your creativity, the thing that keeps you going and your service to the world…I want to hear what you’re going to do!” Spoken like a real OG.
Barry’s redirection required some reflection. I sat on the same front porch I’ve spent thousands of hours, writing hundreds of thousands of words, and began to think about the process. At 26 years old, a newly widowed kid, with a kid, had an idea. There was no plan or overall vision. Shit, he’d rapped his ass off forever; but always kept in the back of his mind all of the English teachers that said he wasn’t a writer and “You write how you talk,” so he didn’t try. He figured out WordPress, traced a picture of himself with his daughter in Adobe Photoshop and created a logo, and just started writing. Quite simply, it was all “Fuck it…I’m gonna put these little thoughts out, grammatical errors and all. I have to do this.”
I often buoy between being scared what people will think and not giving a fuck what said “whom” out there opines. The truth is, that August day was the beginning of finding some purpose when I felt lost and in desperate need of some direction. Here’s the “aha” moment: that was me listening to the whisper.
My conversation with Barry ended with me saying to him “I know I have my reasons why I don’t; but I should talk my shit a little more. I often don’t because I don’t want it to sound as if I’m not humble or think I’m better than anyone else because I don’t feel that way.”
Barry from Brooklyn simply replied “Yes.”
I think for the next year, I want to dedicate a majority of posts “on here” to the many people who have helped me on this journey. I’ll take a little victory lap August 29, 2020.