Tag: writer

These Days

These Days

Sometime last week, I was in my usual (these days, anyway) 3:00AM position and state of mind: buried underneath my covers in darkness snuggling with my best friend, (these days) Kindle. My second best friend (these days) is vodka, but more on that, perhaps, another time. The Kindle was loaned to me by my friend, Lindsey, who knew that I, like many others, was stuck home in quarantine and trying to not lose my ever-loving mind. Reading helps. The Kindle she loaned me was already loaded with book titles – I mean, like hundreds – so, I was going to be good for awhile.

One of my favorite things to do is judge a book by its cover. I know, I know. I can’t help it. If the cover has boats, trees, or an animal on it, or is drenched in natural, preferably nautical colors, I’m in! I don’t even need to know the storyline. I’m in. Well, Kindle doesn’t offer that, so I’ve actually learned that I love reading a book by going in completely blind – no preconceived notions, no warnings. It turns out that one thing I’ve believed my whole life has turned out to be untrue: I don’t hate mysteries and thrillers. Who knew? Who also knew that through this process I would find out that Jessica Simpson is one of my favorite people on Earth? Stay with me, now. Actually, let me back up for a minute.

I’ve been out of work for almost three months. I work in one of those big box retail stores – one that’s been frequented heavily these days, and with my history of severe asthma, my doctor recommended a leave of absence to stay away from the general public for awhile. Not knowing how long “for awhile” is going to go on, I’ve been working on trying to get my small home business off the ground, and it’s been stressful. I never thought myself to be a super social person, but it turns out, I need people around me. I was born under the sign of Cancer, and I guess that profile fits me because while I like people, I want to keep them at an emotionally safe distance. This physically safe distance, though, has caused a little bit of a panic that started as just a slow simmer inside of me, but has become too close to the boiling point for comfort. So what that I can’t spend a spa day relaxing alone but with the company of nearby people? So what that we can’t go to a MLB game? So what that the bars and nightclubs are closed? Right? So, what? So, we have become more and more isolated from each other, which has only enhanced the ridiculous political climate that surrounds us right now. So, we need the distraction of entertainment. So, we need to have the common grounds that have been taken from us. That’s so what. I do digress, but I just wanted to make the point, that I, like millions of people around the world, am feeling a little low.

Back to Miss Simpson. I’ve never been a Jessica Simpson fan, but nor have I ever been a hater. I actually liked her in Dukes of Hazzard, and, back in the day, enjoyed an episode or two of Newlyweds. The girl is funny. But, never being into pop, I’m not familiar with her music. That night last week, as I attempted to disappear (literally, if only I could) into my Kindle library where her newly released memoir, Open Book waited patiently for me, I met Jessica. I’m going to have to fight the desire here to make this a raving review for the book. It honestly was exceptional, but I’m hoping to drive a different point home. I found a kinship with Jessica through the story of her life. There were many similarities to our upbringings. We were both firstborn daughters, born in July, with younger sisters born the same amount of years later. We both were raised Baptist, and still to this day carry those traditions in our hearts, but more importantly, we both are passionate in our love for the Lord. We’ve both found ourselves, throughout our lives, struggling to find our places in the world – in a world that is so temporary and fleeting and fickle. Like me, she is a writer. So much of her music was born from entries in journals she kept throughout her life. I used to be a journal keeper. I stopped ten years ago, for reasons that are only now obvious to me, but I had always found it helpful, therapeutic. As I watched her beautiful and painful story unfold, it was clear to me the impact her writing had on actually saving her life. I’ve been feeling like I’m drowning recently. No, actually, I take that back. I’ve been feeling like I’m sinking in the muck and mire at the bottom of the sea – beyond drowning. Jessica struck a chord in me. It was as if she was saying, directly to me, “Girl. Pick up that pen, and write it down.” So, I did. Whether it was the actual words I was writing, or the act alone of writing, or if it was something else altogether, I really don’t know, but something began to happen. It was tiny, but I could feel it. The following morning, I was texting with a friend who was concerned about me. He advised me to write these words you are reading right now. “It might help someone else who’s feeling the same way,” he said. “Do it for me.”  

I’m not feeling 100% better today, but I’d honestly say 45%! And that’s something, right? My feelings of purposelessness and despair are only nagging thoughts in the background now instead of being everything to me. What is the answer, then? I think it’s that we have to almost force ourselves to do those things that we know can help us dig out. Oftentimes, I know, we have lost the desire to even free ourselves, but I made myself write when I really didn’t feel like it. What is it, for you, that can help break you out of your prison? Have you seen the video of the speech, “Make Your Bed” by Admiral William McRaven? It’s a beautiful and eloquent commencement address that boils down to a simple task: Make your bed. It sounds like an oversimplification, but truly, things are so much more simple than we want to believe.

You should watch the video of his speech here:

 

The other thing I hope you take away from this is the importance of people. I’ve always been a loner, so it’s hard for me to accept my need for others, but we all have that need. Look at the line of people it took to get me just 45% better. Lindsey loaned me the Kindle, and has since told me to keep it as a gift! Thank you, Lindsey! That led me to Jessica’s book – thank you, Jessica! My Brother from another mother urged me to write this story – thank you, Kenn! This little story may have made even one of you feel a tad bit better today, and that thought alone makes my heart sing. And just like that, I’m at about 60% – thank you, Lord.

Gun Confessions of Musician and Writer Hugh Izzey

Gun Confessions of Musician and Writer Hugh Izzey

Finding My 2nd Amendment Voice

Why Can’t I Be Quiet?

So when did I become a “gun” advocate? That’s a funny question because I think I’ve always been an advocate I just didn’t have the training and knowledge that I have now to actually be in a position to share that information.

When I was younger, I was an eager enthusiast, watching passionately as my revered icons shot up the silver screen. I idolized those camera cannons as if they were characters themselves. As much as I dreamed about what I would do with my gold plated Desert Eagle. I knew I’d probably never own one.desert eagle

In my youth, I lived a transient lifestyle, moving often as a musician and post break-up artist which wasn’t very “safe” for owning a firearm. Although, still enthusiastic, most of what I’d learned about firearms was from movies or non-legal carriers. The problem is everything thing I’d assumed and learned up to that point was wrong. I actually believed that there was such a thing as an accidental discharge.

9/11, I awoke that morning to what I that was a movie trailer for a new action movie. As I watched the news footage of an airplane crashing into one of the twin towers, I look over at my pregnant girlfriend and tears welled up in my eyes. My thought was that before my son was going to be born things were going to change drastically. Even though I was afraid, I buried my fear and continued on.
A few years later my mother moved out to the “country” and I decided to try out “the simple life”. A friend of hers decided to give me a crash course in deer hunting. I, clad, in my bright yellow parka (hunters orange was not in the wardrobe) and an aged 20ga shotgun. He handed me the long zipped pouch and walked towards the hunting shack laughing at my jacket and lack of vest. After the second shot, I rested the button against my shoulder. D’oh!!!

My first New Years celebration after turning 21. I was excited, I had planned on hanging out all night with my new “friends” across the street. I’d spent the the afternoon drinking vodka and lemonade which only led to a early evening nap. I awoke to a headache and the sounds of war from outside my window. Remembering an invitation to shoot anything that took brass, I ran (OK, I  walked to the door and as I looked out all I saw was the fast flash, from a small automatic uzi being shot loosely into the air. I wasn’t afraid to go out and stand with my neighbors. I was terrified. The sounds coming from the back yard weren’t echoes, they were the other blocks responses.

Columbine 1999, Sandy Hook Elementary 2012 and San Bernardino 2015? We’re not getting better.dylan-klebold

I, out of my own reasoning, started to wonder Why”. Is it because there are guns? Do assault rifles make people violent? What would happen if guns were banned? Would a ban stop violent deaths?     I (who, is an expert by no means) have never seen a gun fire itself, nor have I found any cases of assault rifles bullying anyone into forced discharges (they’re kinda lazy that way, I guess). The current laws aren’t stopping criminals from getting their hands on even the most rare firearms so isn’t it safe to say the gun laws only disable law abiding citizens from protecting themselves their home and their families.
I’m not saying that I think firearms are for everyone (that’s not my decision to make), but statistically, these types of criminals seek out victims. How often do you hear about a 35 year old Marine or off duty L.E.O. getting attacked? Hardly, if ever. The examples are usually, a woman with children, the small guy with his hands full the unsuspecting employee, who are accosted. Shouldn’t a  hardworking, taxpaying constituent have more rights and legal abilities than a recidivist felon who wants to challenge his/her God and state given rights?

If there were more trained (this isn’t a natural skill, it does requires training) advocates walking around then this type criminal would be forced to change his m.o. because the law of averages would start to catch up.

Isaiah 54:17, states that no weapon formed against me shall prosper,

well in my opinion neither will a family forced to accept the loss of a provider.

Btw, my first firearm purchase was a Magnum Research MR9 Eagle…my last name is Griffin and it seemed appropriate (cats have 9 lives and eagles, well they fly!!!).

Hugh Izzey

Terrell Griffin aka. Hugh Izzey. As a musician and writer for over 20 years, I have always been inspired to write about my passions both musically and as a journalist. After years of “living in fear”, I finally decided to make a conscious effort to improve not only myself and others. In 2015, I received my F.O.I.D. card yet still procrastinated in my efforts to stop being a victim. In order to fulfill, my upcoming New Years resolution, I put my “Baby Desert Eagle” on online layaway. As an actual firearm owner, I got thirsty for more gun knowledge and turned to the internet. As I prepare to update my training and upgrade to CCW, I turn to advocates like Kenn Blanchard, the Black Man With A Gun. Now, no looking back (except to check my 6).

Www.HughIzzey.com
http://www.hughizzey.com/look-hughs-talking-n.o.w.–in-other-words–1.html

Editors note: One of the goals of this movement is to find and inspire people like Hugh. Will be looking for contributors to share their stories as well. We are making history.

Check out these podcast:  Black Man With A Gun Show ,  Speak Life church , and  Indian Motorcycle radio  The Books, Kenn has written.

Thanks For Visiting