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I know I've said this before, but every week things within Simplex Minds and my life are beginning to feel more and more aligned. It's still something I'm not used to and I'm grateful for it. I've been so used to having my hopes for certain things and then for things to not happen. I'm not used to things to actually work out.

Now I'm not sure things will work out for sure, but it feels a lot better than in the past. I've been talking and catching up with old friends and just talking about vision, values, and ideals with life in general. Normally I wouldn't be talking to people about these things because they are pretty serious conversations. But now since we've been separated for so long and we are all transitioning into more career and life development focused mindsets it's something we mainly talk about.

I go into these conversations just to talk and catch up with my friends. Then when catching up, we get into Simplex Minds simply because this is all I want to talk about when it comes to my life lmaoo. Simplex Minds has become my life. So I'm going to talk about it when people are asking me what I'm doing. It's tough to talk about it to certain people because a lot of people are just listening for the income portion of it. (I mean rightfully so lol). When they say, "what are you up to?" it's more of "what are you doing to make money?"

I tell people when I'm explaining Simplex Minds that there is not going to be any income for at least a year. It really just depends on how they respond as to whether I transition the conversation to something else or I decide to dive deeper into it.

But going back to alignment, I was talking to my friend David about Simplex Minds and what I'm doing with it, what I want to do with it, and what the goals are with it. I also talked to him about how it's getting tough for me to want to commit to a job where I see myself quitting once Simplex Minds becomes a sustainable source of income. He listened and we saw eye to eye on a lot of different things. He's in digital marketing and has a lot of experience working with new companies and said that he'd be down to help me grow this. He even offered me some side gigs if I needed in order to get income coming before this grows. That's something I just wasn't expecting. What a homie.

It's still wild to me that people would be willing to help me out with things for free. I don't want them to work for free, but they're willing to do it. I'll compensate them when I can, but man it's a different feeling when someone is willing to help and get involved just because. We're all trying to make money. We all want to get paid. To skip that and volunteer your time to work on a project that I've been dreaming of, it's something I don't think I could ever put into words with how grateful I am for that. Like you really have no reason to be helping me out on this. I truly am not expecting anything out of anybody when it comes to this. To have people in my life who see this project's potential and be willing to help me out with this is humbling and makes me want to do this so much more.

I didn't think that going out to kick it with the homies again after over a year of quarantine would lead to anything. I was there just to catch up and see some familiar faces. I missed everyone. But man, the more I talk about Simplex Minds. The more I discuss it with the people I trust, the more it feels like something that can really be something great. It may not be great for everyone, but to the people who it does reach and to the people who do connect with it, this can be something great.

The timing of everything feels just too crazy. It feels like everything is falling into place when it should be. I'm not used to this. I'm used to coming up with something, trying it out, not getting to where I want it to be, and just giving up. Then having that project come back as a point of conversation with someone and telling them that it just didn't work out. I just don't feel like I will be having that kind of conversation with this. I really don't think this isn't going to work out. The idea is solid. The premise is solid. The way we are going about it feels right. If this doesn't work out, it still won't be that same conversation. I'll at least have something to show. I'll be able to say I went for it, I did what I could, and it just didn't work out.

Honestly, this is more than likely something I'm always going to do. It may not work out initially. (But what does it mean for it to not work out?) The scale of it may be different than what I'm viewing in my mind, but I feel like there shouldn't be a reason to stop this. Sure, we may not build a community in the first season. We could not get any eyes on the things we are writing about, but at the end of the day we are doing this for ourselves. We are doing this to learn. We are doing this to put out work we are proud about. We are doing this to push ourselves. We'll always be doing that, so why stop this?

This is the one thing where I feel like it's going to work out eventually. Then when it does work out, the sky is the limit.

I'm getting more and more people I trust in my corner, willing to work with me. I want to do them right and do the best that I can with Simplex Minds so they know they aren't wasting their time. I want to be able to reward them later down the line and be able to help support them when I'm able to.

I'm in a spot right now where things with Simplex Minds are truly getting fleshed out. I'm getting more people involved to where they can help bring in new perspectives to help bring this to be where we know it can be. I'm so excited and so grateful.

I know that I couldn't be doing this at any other time. Everything that has led to this moment was needed in order to get me to this point right here. Season 1 is on the horizon and that's so surreal to me. There would have never been a season 1 if I tried to pursue Simplex Minds at where it was at even at the beginning of this year.

If you have an idea, take the time to understand it. Truly take the time to understand it. What you think it is today, might not be what it actually is. This goes for me too. In a year, what I want to do with Simplex Minds can change too. That's the beauty of tomorrow, it's not written. Develop a relationship with the idea you want to build. You'll be able to create something with much more depth just by holding off on it, letting it develop, and building that deeper understanding. If it's not ready, it's not ready.

Simplex Minds finally feels ready as a platform with depth and true value. It finally feels ready to start its journey. Everything is beginning to align and man I would not trade this for anything. Fuck a quick buck, we're going to do this correct. The money will come eventually. Community comes first. The people around me come first. I'm not going to take any shortcuts. I'm not going to sell them short. We're going to do this right. We're going for longevity. Who knows, maybe in 10 years we'll be helping make the next Emmy winning show or Grammy winning album or Oscar winning film. We're in it for the long haul.

Excited to share with y'all all the work we've done and excited to see what kind of work develops from this. The road ahead hasn't been paved and I'm excited to see where it takes us.

Can I just say how excited I am with this project?! Like legit, whenever I am given the opportunity to speak about my aim and drive with this project it just cements itself further into my mind that, if done well & correct, this is what I want to and can work on for the next 20 years. Building this platform and community is what I want to do.

Earlier today my uncle who is always doing something new visited. He asked me what was new with me and I decided to tell him about this project. He's like right in between my parents and me age-wise and is genuinely curious. So I told him what I was doing with this project, why I was doing it, and what's vision I see with this.

I spoke to him for a while just going off on what the big vision is. What our goals were for the initial season. What we are doing for the first season. What my aims are for 5 years, 10 years, and so on.

I legit could've talked about Simplex Minds for hours non-stop. But, I tried to condense it since we were also with the rest of the family.

But, when I spoke about it to my uncle it just kept clicking in my head that this is what I want to do and that going for this is actually feasible.

Simplex has been a word that has been very close to me since 2013. In 2013, I came up with the word just trying to come up with an apparel brand. Simplex was more about aesthetics than anything else. Ended up not getting into clothing (glad I didn't do it) but stayed absurdly connected to the word.

"Make the complex look simple."

That is what Simplex meant to me. That's what I aimed for. That's what I wanted to do with every project of mine. When I do something, I want to make the complex look simple. I even got an interview at Complex for writing a short bio that talked about that simplex mindset. (Choked the interview).

Where am I again?

Oh yeah, Simplex has been with me forever. I'm glad I finally got to a point where it fleshed itself out and didn't pursue it as an idea until now. Simplex for the longest time to me was only just: "Make the complex look simple." That was it. Just some statement telling me to do something fairly difficult lol. It felt kind of empty. It's like if on the first day your boss tells you to do something complicated without any roadmap and expecting insane results. Like wtf am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to make the complex look simple? That statement also got me really frustrated so many times when I would be working on a project and the ideas I had weren't translating. Like I want my projects to look top notch, but how? Then once I actually had the time to take a step back and reassess, I finally took the time to truly understand Simplex and realized that I had to "understand the complex" first.

Can I just take a moment to say that depending on your perspective what I just said could either be really interesting or just showing how stupid I am lmfaoo. Took me 7 years to figure out that I got to take the time to learn shit if I want to make the complex look simple. The shits... complex. Like wtf was I thinking that I'd be able to get there right away. Anywaysssssss

I'm glad I got to this point of understanding. Like I never had the time to understand the complex. I never had someone help me learn. I was always a 1 man team. I just had to wing it and hope I'd learn on the way, while also producing a strong product.

I really do think that a good amount of people get too caught up in their results. We get too caught up in not feeling like we're good enough yet because we honestly probably aren't. Like it's tough to want to do something to a certain skill level in an "entry level job" but not be at that level yet. You get that opportunity to go after what you want straight away, so you don't want to fuck up. It could be your only opportunity. This is the opportunity that if you do it correct, it could set you up strong for the rest of your career. You can't fuck this up. But like, if you aren't ready you aren't ready.

That's fine. You just aren't ready. Doesn't mean you won't be able to kill it in the future.

I wasn't ready when I got my first opportunity... or my second... or my third. I was trying to make the complex look simple when I didn't even know what I was trying to simplify. I didn't even have an idea of what "the complex" even was. I had to reset and understand that. I didn't know that I had to understand, not learn, what I didn't know. You can't simplify what you don't know. You were just lucky.

You can follow a tutorial all you want to get to that end look, but if you don't understand what you did you can't fully take advantage of the knowledge in front of you. When the results is all that matters, you don't take the time to understand the journey in front of you.

I'm everywhere with this post right now lmaooo.

But yeah, I'm so excited for this project. I just want to be able to give a space for creatives to understand that it's okay to not be where you want to be. We don't need to figure this shit out ASAP. We have to take the time to just understand our own journey and know that you aren't racing against anybody. Your creative journey is yours. There's no cookie cutter way to do this shit. Take the time to understand your craft and develop yourself creatively.

I'm hella excited for all the creativity that could potentially blossom from this. Creating a platform where development and growth is the product, gives so much creative freedom to the people we work with. Do you have this wild idea that you want to go for? Dope, film your thinking/creative process while you're working on said idea with the ups and downs. I'll fund the project.

Simplex was never just "Make the complex look simple". It is also everything before it. The true value is in the journey to making the complex look simple.

Will this project get any funding in the next year? I highly doubt it. Will this project get some income within 2 years? I think that's a strong possibility. Then once we get some cash flow in, we can start funding projects and take this to the next level.

Every time I talk about this and the more I flesh it out the more excited I get. The thought of this being just a dream isn't there anymore. It's beginning to feel tangible.

Am I prepared for the ups and downs that are going to come with this? I don't think so.

Am I prepared for this to absolutely tank and not do anything? Yes.

Am I prepared for the possibility of this to actually turn out how it is in my head? Absolutely not. But, I'll learn on the way.

This shit is all theory right now. Fleshed out theory. Like I'm about a few minutes away from pressing the render button of a 3D model. Like I'm a few lines away from finishing my code.

The potential is crazy with this. The things I want to do with Simplex Minds is pretty out there. Some ideas I won't be able to implement for years. If you ever get the opportunity to sign up for a "Test Group" mailing list, sign up for it. Y'all will be our guinea pigs.

No matter what happens with this upcoming season and how everything turns out, at least we went for it. At least we pushed ourselves to try and learn something new. At least we pushed ourselves to understand it enough to try and communicate it to you. That's really all we can control and all we can do. We can't control anything else.

I wrote this at 3AM on May 17th, 2021 just because I can't sleep because this is all I think about. I'm so excited to see what happens.

Season 1 is coming. Holy shit.

Today is April 15th, 2021.

This past afternoon, I went to Barnes & Noble with my brother and we picked up the book Unlearn by Humble the Poet. I've been wanting to read this book for quite some time now. I was first introduced to Humble through the Jay Shetty Podcast. Specifically this episode.

I highly recommend listening to it, if you have the time to let the podcast play. There is a lot of really insightful anecdotes and observations that Humble and Jay speak about throughout the pod. It's a great listen.

But this post isn't about that podcast, it's about the fourth chapter from Humble's book, Unlearn.

The Gift of Fear.

"What you fear isn't the roadblock; allowing the fear to keep you from moving is the real obstacle" (14).

My relationship with fear has been something that has held me back a lot and currently holds me back a lot. The fear of failure. The fear of embarrassment. The fear of being misinterpreted. And so many more.

I've always let fear control me.

When I was 6, I asked my dad to sign me up to play baseball because I wanted to play with my cousin who was the same age as me. I ended up loving the sport and played until I was a sophomore in high school.

I loved playing the game but, I didn't like hitting. How can I not like hitting? Isn't hitting half of the game?

I didn't like hitting because I was scared of getting hit by the baseball. Some of these kids didn't care where the baseball landed. They just wanted to throw the ball as hard as they could.

Getting hit by a baseball hurts, but more likely than not I wasn't going to get hit by it. But, there was always that chance.

14 year old me in freshman baseball held onto that small chance. I went into each plate appearance expecting myself to get hit. I'd flinch. I'd close my eyes. I went into each plate appearance with the wrong mindset. I set myself up to fail each and every plate appearance.

Safe to say I didn't get many hits. My freshman year I think I got a total of maybe 2 hits. One being a bunt single lmaooo. At least I was fast.

That fear didn't let me to develop. I probably would be on an MLB team right now if I didn't fear the baseball. Yup, that's the alternate reality that would've 100% happened if I didn't fear the baseball. I probably would be on an all-star ballot right now. Missed opportunities smh.

Wow, you feared getting hit by a baseball. A lot of people fear getting hit by a baseball. So what?

I mean yeah, it doesn't seem like something that unreasonable to fear. But because I always had that fear, it didn't matter how much practice I put in at the batting cages. It didn't matter how many hours my dad would spend with me in the garage tossing baseballs for me to practice my swing. I could practice all I wanted, and I did, and I didn't get any results simply because I feared what was out of my control.

I'll admit that's a pretty easy fear to admit. Hence why I led off with it. (Baseball pun initially unintended, and then purposefully intended). I just wanted to give one physical example of fear holding me back. One that isn't too deep. One that doesn't leave me too vulnerable.

But what's the point of trying to speak about fear if you don't allow yourself to be vulnerable?

So here's a semi-recent vulnerable story that took me a long time to heal from.

In college, I had a huge crush on this girl I met sophomore year. We became good friends quick and were really really good friends for the rest of my college career and post-college career. Our relationship was really hard to read and understand. (Mind you, we both feared uncomfortable situations, so we always did our best to avoid them.) We end up just labeling our relationship as really close friends.

Besides being uncomfortable with the subject of our friendship/relationship, we were open books to each. We would talk to each other through our lows and be first person we'd contact when we hit our highs. We would hang out for hours on end just talking in a car at some place until the sun came up. We would be able to help each other and make each other laugh no matter that situation... and I fell in love with her...

I would do my best to convince myself otherwise, because in my mind I would rather have her as a close, best friend than lose her.... right?

I didn't want to tell her. I tried my best to not even acknowledge it myself.

I feared for what the truth could be.

I feared for potentially losing someone who made me feel seen.

I feared the confrontation where I could potentially hear her say the words that I didn't want to hear her say.

I feared I would lose someone I wanted to be in my life forever.

We've always avoided that conversation.

I was 19 when I first developed my crush on her. I was 23 when I finally had the courage to tell her I truly felt. And by "tell her how I truly felt," I mean writing and expressing my feelings for her on a private tumblr in an extensive blog post to make sure I got everything out in one go. I really feared that confrontation.

I sent her the link on a Friday because I knew she didn't work weekends and said "When you have the time can you read this." I threw my phone 20 feet away and needed to calm myself. I grabbed my baseball mitt, headed to my backyard and began to play catch with myself to ease the anxiety as best as I could. I was dreading the thought of what could possibly be sent back. Mind you, this post had 4 years worth of feelings in it. 4 years.

I didn't get a reply back.

A couple days pass.

I finally get a text back.

My fears came true. She didn't see me the same way. She didn't love me how I loved her.

I was crushed.

We never met up to discuss what I sent her. In the post I said that if she didn't see me the same way that we couldn't be friends anymore. I got a one paragraph text back after I spent the previous week on an essay and that was it.

We haven't spoken since.

That mutual fear of that specific confrontation and conversation caused me so much heartache and so much trauma that I'm still trying to fully recover from. Don't get me wrong, I'm doing a whole lot better now like 90% better, but it still lingers.

That fear from having that in person conversation robbed me of just understanding what happened and what I misread. It created anxiety within me where I would dig into different scenarios from the past and try to understand what she was feeling at that moment. Was everything I thought about our relationship false? Was I being dragged along this whole time? I really have no clue.

We still haven't had that conversation. I don't want that conversation anymore. It's not fear that holds a tie on that conversation anymore. It's just not worth my time and energy anymore.

Would I take back what I said to her? Absolutely not. I finally said what I needed to say.

I just wish I didn't let my fears control me for that long. I wish I had the courage earlier to confront her on the feelings I had. But there's nothing I can do now.

I have a horrible relationship with fear. I get too caught up in my fears.

It paralyzes me from moving forward.

I have a fear that my name will become synonymous with failure. I like to talk a lot about the things I think of. I like to talk a lot about the ideas I come up with. I don't really speak of these things to anyone, besides to the people I'm close to.

I start telling those people these ideas and then depression hits. I start telling them these ideas and then fears begin to hit. I start telling them these ideas and I just don't pull through. Did I intend on not following through with those ideas? At that moment, I wanted to do those ideas. I just didn't end up doing them.

Most people I know don't know about this project right now. Many people I know, I won't tell about this project. Is this me letting fear control me again? Is this me trying to hedge against the skepticism that will come from if I say anything? I'm not sure.

What I do know is that I have done a lot more with this project than I have with others. What I do know is that I am taking the correct steps in order to put myself in a better situation.

Since that girl, I had the opportunity to date someone who wanted and pushed me to communicate. Someone who wasn't scared of confrontation. Someone who forced me out of my comfort zone to speak my mind. She helped me learn more about my fears. We worked on our fears together. We supported each other's aspirations. We called each other out on our bullshit. I respect the hell out of her.

I respected her and loved her so much, that I had to call her (long distance relationship) once I realized my feelings for her weren't mutual. It was nothing against her. It was nothing against our relationship. A certain thing in our relationship just wasn't clicking for me when I wanted it to. I really wanted it to. But it just wasn't happening. I didn't want to hold her back. I didn't want to waste her time.

We mutually decided to end our relationship. She helped me grow a lot and I hope I've helped her grow too. Because of her that fear doesn't have as strong of a hold on me anymore and I'll be forever grateful.

I have grown from the person I was, and I am becoming someone that's understanding these things better. I don't think I'll ever fully understand myself, but my relationship with myself and my fears is a lot better.

If this was me even a year ago, I wouldn't be posting this anywhere for anyone to read. This would be written on a different private tumblr page, saved in the drafts to never be seen by anybody.

But now I believe that speaking about these things and allowing myself to be vulnerable to you, that's reading this, is valuable. It's speaking on topics people don't talk about because it is embarrassing. Do I want the whole world to know that I spent four years of my life scared to make a singular move? Do I want people to know I was petrified of confrontation? Absolutely not, but there's value in it. We don't hear about these things from other people, so I want you to hear it from me.

I don't have any answers. I am still trying to understand my own fears. I am still trying to get myself to not let fear cripple me. When fear controls you, you don't get to make the choices you want.

When fear controls you, you don't get to make the choices you want.

Just wanted to reiterate that. A wise man said, "anything worth saying, is worth repeating." One more time for the one time.

When fear controls you, you don't get to make the choices you want.

I will work towards making the decisions I want. I want to understand my fears and to allow them to just be fears and nothing else. I will work my hardest to not let my fears dictate my decisions. Fears will never leave, but my relationship with them can be and will be so much better.

The next time a fear stops me from progressing, I will do my best to understand that.

The next time a fear stops me from being able to feel what I need to feel, I will do my best to understand that.

I will begin to overcome these fears. It won't happen today. It won't happen tomorrow. But when I come to terms with my fears and I don't give them the strength that I have been giving them, I will be better.

"No one is fearless, but the bravest people I know are those who are most in tune with their fears and phobias and have decided not to let them get in the way of their happiness" (15).

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