I am joined on the show by Jimmy. He is a native New Yorker, born and raised in the Bronx, a former lean addict who used cooking and painting to heal and recover from addiction. He's also my partner in crime -- so I'm happy he's joining us.
In this episode, we talk about:
There was so much courage and wisdom in his story. I wish I could have shared it all but it would have been a LONG episode but I plan to release the unedited version one day soon!
Stay safe out there, friends! Here is the link to some online AA meetings.
If you're looking for a black therapist or resources, check this out!
And as always, thank you for listening to my lovely show. If possible, I would love for you to review me on iTunes, Google, Stitcher -- anywhere, really.
If you have comments or suggestions feel free to hit me up via the ways below! And sign up for my mailing list. I do like to do giveaways from time to time.
Hello, my name is Cynthia, welcome to the latest episode of getting together a podcast where we discuss what it's like to get it all the way together, or at least attempt to one day at a time. Hi, everyone, this is Cynthia, welcome to the latest episode, today's interview, I am talking to James, aka Jimmy Jackson. And we're going to talk about recovery, we're going to talk about just life growing up in a major metropolitan city, and how he's used art and cooking as a way to heal himself. So I'm very excited to talk to him on the show people that read my ID, he's my, my bluebay. But I'm really excited to have this conversation with him outside of that as well. And I think a lot of people will enjoy it, too. Thank you. Thank you, for honor. Thank you. So typically, how I like to start it off is like for the person to tell me their addiction origin story. So it's typically when you started using why you started using when it wasn't manageable for you anymore. If there was like a turning point for you and where you are currently. Okay, well, so my addiction was lien and the origin story behind that was you know, I was molested as a kid and I needed something to take away the pain. So I'm from the Bronx, obviously, I guess how I sound how what's hot. I mean, it is what it is, you know, people from the Bronx want to shed but also be sure from the Bronx born and raised. I do have family throughout the world, but me and my family are really close, which led me towards my addiction. My mom was very abusive, my dad, she drove my dad away. She had a hard upbringing as well. Where do you know now that I'm older understand that it's hard to be like a teen raising the kid and then be a young adult raising the kid and you know, live in the street, right? So I forgive her for a lot of things. But besides that, uh, yeah, so my addiction is lean. At nine I started drinking lean. Lean is basically cough syrup with you could use day quote, but the fact of the day quill is not going to make you as drowsy as if we were with NyQuil. So it can be dayquil and NyQuil. Use pray, or, in my case, I used to use Dr. Pepper to take every Jolly Rancher, you put it aside there, and it's basically got an opioid, but when I got older, I was mixing now, I started out with coke 45 and I started mixing back in and for majority of the time, I was, I wasn't there mentally. And, you know, I felt like I needed an escape vn I don't black man, and you know, being sexually confused, being mentally physically and verbally abused, being told that you're never gonna be anything. You know, the one person that you need to care and show you love and affection, is more worried about herself or her party in and put in reality on you. When you're supposed to be a kid, you're supposed to understand the word you're supposed to grow. You're supposed to focus on your education. And, you know, it was just the thing that was around where it was in everyone at the time. When I was growing up, where I grew up at in the Bronx, it was cocaine and was weed but at the time, I wasn't comprehending like how to smoke weed properly. The only time that I did cocaine as a kid was when my mom she had like the empty coke packets and had some cocaine in it. And when I was a kid I would look at which probably led towards you know my very active personality So did you use your your addiction or your vise was because stemmed from just your upbringing and being like you said, like, molested at a young age and then not feeling comfortable with expressing yourself or feeling like people believed you are trusted or are trusted your story was more of I wasn't comfortable with myself and I was hiding the pain. Because when you're a black man, there's a certain perspective, there's like a certain view on you. Like people view you a certain way. Like you have to be this type of person who has to be emotionless. You have to be like hardcore and gangster and everybody's human. Sometimes most men don't want to be like Most men just want to you know, have like a regular life, you know, like you hear like magic. But being around certain people that I grew up with, you couldn't express all Yo, I like d&d. Yo, I like anime, certain people will look at you as and you know, you're less than a black man because you like those certain things. And when it came to like my sexuality, that's a big no no. Well, when I was growing up that was a big No, no, in my community, you had to either be a straight black man, or he was gay, or bisexual In my case, you had to be in jail to express that. And if he was in jail, and you were expressing that you will still look down upon. So you know, it was it was hard for me, because I know like girls, and all that boys, when I was molested, it was like, oh, okay, well, it's just normal, loves getting older, always kind of normal, but it's more of a taboo. But now it's like, you know, everybody accepted now. So now it's, you know, it's like our trainer. Yeah. Now, you know, it's better. But when you are a kid and attain, I think it's very important to know, what you like sexually, and on who you are, who you want to become as a person. And I think, I believe that was the main motivation for me to constantly keep drinking lean, because when I was drinking lean, I could numb everything. And I could become the sort of person who wasn't fully there, and could just be somebody who was just going with the flow of things being in this person, or you're with someone naked, on and on and on and on, you know, as opposed of how I talk now, which is like, you know, do what's up. Know, very relaxed, very normal, very comfortable. And, you know, it's just, it's a lot, you know, a lot of people drink lean, because it's in the music, but there's not understand and that it's, it suppresses your emotions, it stops you from drinking, I mean, it stops you from feeling sorrow, it stops you from feeling emotion, it just makes you want to be more active and be more like bad people. And probably, like more risky, you know, like, you don't really have a barometer for what's good or what's right or what's best for you. You're kind of just spill sinking. Yeah, yeah, that was drinking a type of that, that it's you become a different person, you'll become good diction. Once when you start dabbling with like, lean and drink, and you just become a shell, you're not really there. It's just you know, it's just a body just operating on What's the hardest thing now what you know, where people think you should be and what you want to be, it kills your soul kills your spirit. So how many times do you feel like you like How many times have you tried to get outside of the stunt? I want to say like you've been recently celebrate two years of being clean. Yes, yes, it happened so quick that I don't, that I can remember. Like, I still remember that time when I was drinking it and how I felt but the two years go by like that, like it was just so quick, where I feel so good. I drink in it. But how many times do you feel like you try to stop and what made you go back prior to this time, and what made you decide you wanted to stop for real this time, compared to the other time, the only time that made me stop was when I was in jail? Was it I didn't have access? I could have like, if I tried harder, I could have had access to the things I had for it. But when I was in jail, stopped for nine months, when I got out of jail. And when my dad basically saved my life, and the only three years that I had to spend with them, and I got to know him as a person. That kind of made me stop drinking it for a bit. And then once when he passed, I started drinking heavily. And then I had a seizure The day after Thanksgiving. So Thanksgiving, I was working in kitchen. So my co op took over this ship, and I worked from 7am to 8pm. So I was drinking it throughout the whole day of me cooking. I worked from 42nd Street all the way to the Bronx. I was living by a Freeman so I worked from one second streets of Freeman. I went upstairs, it was around 12am I couldn't sleep, I was up, my heart was racing. My heart was beating out of my chest. I tried to lay down I remember like making weird sounds and my eyes kept flicker and I felt like I was going below. I felt like I was gonna die. And then from where I you know, looked at after that had a seizure. And that film of me dying like the film of me dying and Having the mindset of if I died in a room by myself with nobody there, you know, it's it's, it's tragic. It's a tragedy. So after that day I stopped drinking lean and have that stop drinking in my body had to adjust to it. And that was that was a hell in itself. It was I would sweat and eat properly during an accent. Yeah, my body's feeling we're detoxing, you know, feels like my fingers are shrinking, My heart feels like it's gonna pump out of my chest. And when I was walking, since I was working, my body was fighting it. And then when I get to work, I took me a lot of water, you know, crack been cut in and get ready for service. I'm Sartain stuff, move around. And it caused me to to not acknowledge the pain that I was going through, because I was in a high stress environment. So you work up to? Oh, yes, definitely. You know, cooking from what I told you. Cooking is what saved my life as well. Because, you know, after my dad died, always, when I was a kid, after I was molested, I always wanted to be a chef. I Oh, Applebee's, watching ringside started, Lydia, and always, you know, had this idea of, you know, maybe one day, I could cook now that, you know, in the field of culinary, it changed. Like, it changed me It changed me a lot. So I had that whole ordeal that I went through, which, you know, it's it's held, you know, it's even now, I still feel the effects of it, where, you know, my mental state is not where it used to be when I was much younger, but you know, to old age and avoids no and towards, you know, just my addictions in the soap. And so you found cooking, while you were going through or your addiction, and then detox while you were cooking, you kind of found yourself, I guess in a new way through cooking. Yeah, in order to keep yourself engaged are clean and sober. You kind of formed a little family there. Yes. Yes. I also want to talk about like, the fact that it's very interesting that you were drawn to cooking or the culinary arts, or are you guys want to call it because from what I know about chefs, like a lot of chefs come from like a troubled background. And it kind of don't shy away from it in that field. People go to a or 12 step programs to kind of be around people that understand them. Yes. And then I feel like you found that even though you didn't go to like a post up program or rap, but you found that type of community, because I feel like people just want that solidarity. And that bonding from people or people that just learn or like, even if they don't have that same issue or problem, they're like, they know somebody or whatever. And they're like, I get it, like you know, as long as you're good at your job, and they respect you. They're very forgiving people that have like records and addiction and everything like that, as long as you don't do anything to like mess up, I guess service or the restaurant or any Yeah, so I feel like you found your sense of community to which is something that you want people to really see you and understand you. Yes, Yes, that is correct. And the covenant of field, it's mid spreads, you know, not everybody could sit down and work in the office, not everybody could be around people be sociable. And the covering every field is where, you know, you have people from all different types of backgrounds, you have people who came from or who come from, you know, a lavish lifestyle, you know, to have butlers and maids but they don't have any type of love or any type of understand of what does it mean to empathize or have sympathy for another human being but when they work in a kitchen is a family you know, you're working next to the same person for eight to 12 hours, sometimes 16 hours a day, you know, you get to see them we work holidays, we work weekends, we work weekdays we work early weekends, you know, it's it's it's like a military, it's like it's like I'm saying working on like anything like it's a high rat high risk is different from I would say how I would like it, or compared to from the stories and stuff that you told me. It's sort of just like working, maybe innocence, like the medical field. I know it's different. It's not like a direct comparison. But it's just being able to like you have to rely on each other. Yes, you have to rely on each other because from the dishwasher to the head chef, everybody have to work in unison. So if the dishwasher is not there, which happened a few times, sometimes, you know, me being me, I go when I make a few dishes, and then I go and clean the dishes and then the sous chef would come You know, they'd be like okay, well go ahead and make them After the dishes, the sous chef will do the dishes. And then the head chef will come, the head chef would be like, Okay, you go back, the head chef would do the dishes. And then the head chef would cook. It's it's a, it's a community, it's you know, everybody has a common goal, I would phrase is one team one dream. And you know, you could be somebody who had nothing in their life, find cook, and be good at it, be great at it. And then you have a restaurant, that's good. It's something that created, this is something that you took blood, sweat, and tears and years into learning that one technique, and you're able to show people like okay, what I've done it So now, let me take all of the other misfits, who felt like me or who want to understand yet is paying the forward that's cooking is cooking in is paying the forward in this or so, tradition of cultures, because every cuisine that's out there has a history towards it, cooking is very unique, you had to be a certain type of person to work in that field. Yes, I do agree, you do have to be a certain kind of person that work in that field. But I also find it very cool that you found your sense of family and community, which is something I know that you've always wanted. But also that people there that are close to you, they know, you feel like you've like a fair bit of people, I don't know, like the exact number you've never said, which is not important. Know your story. Like you don't really shy away from stuff necessarily, which I find interesting. Because as someone who works corporate, I don't talk about the fact that I can drink and all this, I don't really go into that. It's very much like I go to work, and then I leave. And then there, I feel like you found your your group, or your family or your community that you can really show up and be your authentic self with Well, just depends on the kitchen itself. Because I've worked at places where, you know, when you go in there, there's no family, there's no community, it's just, I'm here for a paycheck, let me get paid. And that's it. But that's usually like the lower tier restaurants. You know, I want to give a shout out to Daniel blue because I work at his restaurant and his restaurant, which I worked at DDB stromal dawn, it's a it's a community because everybody there loves cooking. Maybe occasionally, you might see two or three people, that's just a chat. But, you know, nine out of 10 times, you know, you have people that's there that you know, that understand you have people that stay at that are alcoholics, you have people that stay or that are recovering alcoholics, you have people that stay that's been doing, you know, heavy drugs for years, and now they want to be sober. And, you know, it's like I said, when you work in next to somebody's foot, eight to 12 to 16 hours straight, you get to understand them, you get to understand that family, you get to understand why they cook, you get to understand their story, you get to understand them, and you get to see them become you get to see them grow as a person, because you could be one of those assholes, chefs that's like, I'm the best. I'm the greatest, which I used to think like that only because, you know, I was going through my addictions. And I had a horrible upbringing. You know, you could be someone like that and you can influence the person next to you to emulate that. And then it goes into a kitchen and they Emily and everything that you've done because you're giving them attention, and then they don't have that tension at home. Maybe their wife beats them, maybe their wife don't love them. Maybe their boyfriend beats them, you know, maybe they go home and it's just was a small TV and a couch. You know, so it's teaching you you teach them how they want to be perceived. Okay, so do you see somebody that wearing dirty jeans dirty sneakers and dirty shirt? You show them love you show them compassion? You show them you know, you know you might be a man that you feel like this might be a lady but you could feel like this you know this how do you feel on the inside? Maybe you show them love you show them affection. And then two, three years from now, they leave they go somewhere else? You see them again? You look at them like Oh shit, I can't believe this person. But you know, they could do it. But in your mind you I can't believe this person actually did this. And they became a professional and that they're happy. Yeah, so I almost feel like it gives you guys it like humbles you guys and with you. Would you say that? You didn't really receive that until you decided to become you know, give up lean and really focus on being the best chef that you can be. Yeah, because lean and just drinking like heavily. Like that was holding me back from becoming who I am and who I want to be in the future. Yes, no. I know that you have a lot of goals and you're very driven. Yes, as you can tell. Yes, I know. And I know that you also took to painting yes a way and I'm I actually had quite a few people on the show recently. And we talked about it being like a creative and how people have used alternate therapies, I guess, in order to work through their stuff or their shit and heal. And I'm a big believer in that some people may go the therapists route. But you know, I'm a big believer in some people may go through the 12 step route, which I did for a while and or try something else. Like for me, I did a lot of different things, as you know, but I'm a creative person. So I do a lot of things when it comes to like my writing and dancing, and I started drawing and stuff again, but I know for you painting along with cooking has been something that you've really gravitated towards to kind of work through. Yes, everything that's happened to you. Yes. And was painting something that you initially thought would be something you want to explore, like what made you want to pick up painting, I was suicidal. The last lady I was working. I was with her for three going off for years. And she wasn't really showing me any type of local support. Maybe was the lien and alcohol. But you know, my dad died at the time, the room I was living at the landlord was being an asshole. He kicked everybody out. He You know, he shut off the lights. I lost everything in that room. We have no lights, no border, it was like a squat, like a squatter situation. Yeah. And then from there, I was homeless, it's hard for me to get a place while I was working. And I was just drinking and drinking lean, snorting cocaine. And then from there, you know, I finally have a place. And I was just drinking heavily drink heavily for like, was the purpose of my life. Because my only friend, my best friend, the only person who understood me for three years, he passed the SEC, I got close to him, and he died. I wanted to kill myself. And then one day, I was talking to to one of my co workers, and he was telling me, you know, I should try painter, painting is good. You know, painting is a great way to express yourself. Cuz at that time, I wasn't talking, I was very, like, quiet, very angry, you know, somebody messed up or something, I will curse at them. I would say that worthless, useless. I was just ruthless with, you know, how I was expressing myself. And then I went to blit. And I asked the lady who was working there, I told her, you know, I just want to try painting, I want to try something. She gave me the pack of, I think five canvases. And acrylic set for I forgot how much I took it home. I was drinking clean. I started painting. I was so that I realized that I painted like a picture passed out. The next day when I woke up, I serve it. And before I went to work, I started painting. And then when I went to work, I noticed that I was very happy. I was a big, I had like, I was excited to talk to people. And then from there, I learned that painting helps me. And then once when I stopped trying to lean fully, as you could tell with my paintings, my expression came back. I'm very in tune with my emotions. Now. I'm still a little angry. I still have anger, anger. Everybody has anger. Yeah, you know, I still have that. But at the same time, it's like it's not as it used to be. Because you know, I paint painters, my favorite piece is that it's about rehabilitating yourself. And you're always a work in progress. There's always things you need to do. But it's up to you to implement them and incorporate them into your life. I'm a big believer in like, the onus is on you to really execute, because I'm therapy for years, and I didn't do shit. And it was just me going and talking. And I wasn't really even talking about things I shouldn't be talking about. So it was like a waste of time. But once I started really being serious, I didn't get serious about it until I was in recovery early. That's when I could really see like my growth when it comes to like how I and I'm still working progress, you know, but it really changed. Yeah, true. But that's when I started. But that works for me, you know, but it's awesome, because I didn't really like to talk and I wanted to work at being able to talk about myself and talk about my feelings and boundaries and stuff. And that helped me a lot. But I also had to do work on my own, too. But I also understand that therapy is not for everybody. Yeah. But I also think it's really great because art therapy is the thing. You know, there's art therapists and stuff, dance therapist, there's all types of different weight therapists out there and that you found what worked for you to help you kind of come to terms and be at peace as as much as you can be. Like I said, working in progress with what happened to you and kind of, you know, finding what balances You out on what you mean? Yeah. Which I think is very cool. Because from your upbringing and where you come from, that's not necessarily something that is taught to you. Yeah. Or you probably weren't even made to feel like that's something you should strive for. Yeah, speak up on that. When I was in elementary school, it was this guy named Mr. Jaeger. I hope he's still alive. He's like, one of my inspirations. He was this real heavy set, I want to say, Italian guy, but he taught me how to play the piano. And I learned how to play the piano, me going into while I was going through, and I was a mess with anger. But you know, Mr. Yeager, always told me, You know, I COVID play the piano, always, you know, after school, if I need somewhere to go, I could stay there and learn a few things, like you say was frowned upon to do something like that. So I think even if I was introduced towards art at that age, I think just because of the environment itself, it would have never been beneficial to me. So I just think, you know, it's, I think we just need to change certain things in the community where it's okay to have feelings. It's okay to cry. It's okay to leave, you're black and explore other places. I grew up around people that only know their bubble, and their bubble is what matters to them the most. It's destroying them, and they'll realize it. That's very true. So now, you have two years under your belt. Yes. You are not cooking right now, because of everything that's happened with Kobe, which I know is very upsetting for you. Yes. But you plan to go back once you're able to Yes, yes, yes. But you're still painting? Yes. And then. But I want to just ask you, as a person, like, I know that when we got together, I told you that I was in recovery. So how's it been dating someone who's also in recovery to me? No, it doesn't really doesn't matter to me. You know, if somebody drinks to drink or somebody, don't drink, don't drink. I prefer to not to drink because I understand you more as a person. Because you're more vulnerable. You could tell me, I don't like this, or I want to do this. Why you like this? And this. And third, understand you because we're communicating is no numbness towards it. So do you feel like it's been beneficial to your your recovery, then? Yes. Okay. Yes, that's good. Yeah, that's good. What do you do for like self care? What do you do to make yourself feel better? I've also been asking, so what is one thing that you come to discover about yourself during this pandemic, that you weren't expecting? How much I truly do enjoy cooking. When the pandemic first Well, when we first had issues at the pandemic in America, and you know, I was forced to leave because of, you know, the closures or whatnot. The first two weeks, I felt great, I was like, Oh, I'm gonna cook, you know, I feel good. I'm gonna cook for people this then third. Then after the month after that, that initial, you know, vacation time was over. I started realizing that simple things like hearing the Pat Blake hit, like, hear a pat sear something or like hear around the dishwasher, scrubbing dishes, playing his music hairpin blunder, like going off here with somebody sharpening a knife or cutting something like I missed that I miss just the new answers about it. Simple things like and, you know, I truly do enjoy being in a long term relationship. It's better to give yourself to somebody and if things work out, things work out, if things don't work out, you know, it's not meant to be it's better to do that. Rather than be in a situation where you're always looking for the next person to give you 1520 minutes of joy and you will not receive in no type of real love. more stable Do you feel are you still have concerns at the back of your mind, I still have a bit of concerns in the back of my mind only because I know that I've been doing it for so long that my mental state is different but also accepted the fact that we're not going to think the same way that you think and when you was younger, like every two to three years you think different colors. If you choose not to grow as a person, and you know, I have a lot more. I have a lot more stability when it comes to just being me as a person. You know, I feel a lot more free. I feel you know, a lot more energetic. I was suppressing my energetic and you know me being talkative I suppress the drink alene and no people be like, those are gonna be tough, angry emotions, you know, so I got rid of all of that. I'm happy, not drinking lean, I'm happy, you know that feeling like my heart is going to explode out my chest. You know, I'm happy knowing that I could just, you know, be myself and for 2021 you know? Yeah, you're gonna be turning 30 Oh my god, we'll get some great hits. And but yeah, for 2021 hopefully, I'm hoping that by the summer Oh the for some hoping that I'll be able to cook by then. As long as vaccines work, hoping to you know, keep painting spend the time with you being with you selling some paintings, you know, being able to cook and just travel. My last question, which was like, do you have anything to say to like, I know, we talked about like, being a black man blink, and being one from the Bronx and then dealing with a lot of that stuff that comes with living in that environment, which is something I can't understand. We get shitted on because we are we had the most realist culture because obviously, we started hip hop, we started a lot of things people think Brooklyn is diverse. Oh, this No, the Bronx is very diverse. The Bronx has, I believe every race every except for the people that's like that's like isolated from the rest of the world. But I believe the Bronx have every race live in is very diverse. But you wouldn't know it because purpose. steriod Yes. Yes. Because, you know, it's the Bronx. Oh, but the Bronx is the only Berber that's connected to America. So, you know, we are we are, you know, the Bronx, you know, the Bronx is, you know, number one, but people it's only because I Okay, I'm gonna do you know, my black man speech. But it's only because the Bronx has more poverty. And people refuse to build infrastructures for you know, for people like us, like, that's why I believe my thing. And cooking is to teach people that look like nice one day, like if we have kids, or if they have kids, their kids could go to a store and not see a liquor store, chicken spot deli store, they actually see like a black owned vegan store or like a black and vegetarian place or like something where it's not just designed to kill us, but something that's designed to make us grow as a people and make us grow as a community. So you know, that's why people show on the Bronx, but everybody else would know. But that's also like your goal, your aspiration is to give back to your community to you. And help help things there that you wish you saw growing up? Yeah, of course, because I don't, I don't believe in leaving the hood. And then making so much money that when you go back to her, you look down on everybody, or I don't believe and you know, which I used to when I was struggling. But I don't believe in buying like the latest jeans, the latest sneakers by like putting yourself in debt by looking rich, and you can't give back to the community or you can't get back to you know, your family, because you're looking rich, and then you open your fridge and it's not in there. And then when it comes to like, doing real stuff, like real shit, y'all want to do nothing about it, like unbelieving that I believe in. But do you feel like there's a reason why that made a lot of stuff is systemic, right? And then there's also people, a lot of people probably depressed and don't have hope, you know, just because of how things have shaped up for them what they've seen in their family. And I feel like a lot of people feel like they don't deserve better, are nice things because you know, what makes them better than the other people that are around them, which I think is something that definitely needs to change. Yeah, yeah, that you can better yourself or figure out ways, but I think they also need to have the exposure to that or have the resources readily available. And I don't think that's often the case. Yeah, it's like, it's like, you know, AIDS not a big thing for black people, because we don't want to talk about emotions or feelings. But at the same time, I feel like if you do talk about it, it will make you realize, okay, well, why do I need to drink what's causing this problem? And then it could be around other people who have similar ideas or similar feelings and you're able to heal because of it. That's why I don't believe in you know, I hope I don't, I'm just a guest on here. Hope I don't offend anybody, but I don't believe in like the church because I feel like a church is supposed to the purpose of a church is to help the community and what I've seen as a kid growing up, I've been in church As a kid, a church is only designed to make you look down on on other people. Yeah, but that's similar to what I said about therapy. It's like you have to find the right community and the right vibe for you. You feel like that's the issue. And I always say, like spirituality. I'm a religious spiritual person, but also say that it's not necessarily the bad part of society. I think people the wrong people take it and latch on to it and taints it for other people. Yeah. And then that's what you, that's what your impression of it is. Yeah. You know, I think how we approach and who we put into, like power and, and all that other type of stuff should definitely be looked at, for sure. But I do think there's pockets of people or groups that are trying to be more open to alternative ways of thinking, and it's very much about the community and upholding and changing and things like that. So still have work to do there. But I do love that you touched on our talk about just of ways of bettering the community and, and instilling like a sense of hope, and pride. And, of course, because you, and this is not a race thing, but you as a human being, you shouldn't walk past another human being feeling jealous because somebody is doing something different than you, you as a human being should look at yourself and say, Okay, I'm in the situation. Okay, I made this decision. Now, do you live with the consequences? Or do you try to better yourself? And most people just live with the consequences? Because it's easier for them? As you can tell them a little nervous? I don't know. But it's fine. It's okay to be nervous. I mean, it's pretty much it. I appreciate you being on the show. I really wanted to have a perspective of someone who's from the city. Yeah, I was born and raised in a city whose and I feel like you've had people in your corner that wanted to have you succeed, but I feel like you took a lot of opportunity for yourself to kind of try something different for you, which I think is very commendable. Yes. And I'm in the country, that's fine. It's just like, you know, the people that want to me that want me to succeed, I'm not gonna lie, most of them don't look like me most. And they want to see me flourish in certain fields. Because it's to show that, you know, it's not about your skin color, my first walked into into a kitchen, and how to hold the knife and know how to cut and you know, it's cool, all type of niggles and whatnot. I was getting yelled at, I was getting so down and water, I was getting spit poor, my food. And then when I went to the next kitchen, were Francis Derby, work with him. And I started understanding that it's not about your skin color, at the time I was to drink in and drink your lean, which, you know, cloudmile do you feel like there is an issue with grace in the culinary world? Because a lot of the big people like I mean, I know more chefs now know through knowing you, but like the most of the people that I know, are outside of market Samson. Which, you know, I'm a fan of because of you, but there's not that many. It's not that many like the big names of like the Anthony Bourdain, who he recipes, but he didn't really even like to people to call him consider him a chef because he thought that he wasn't as good as people like to think that he is not just that it's, there's Gordon Ramsay, there's your Daniel blue, who I'm a big fan of now because of the things that he's done for you and your I guess, family, your family? Yeah. The all the other ones I know, are like white guys. Yeah. It's, it's because I there is some racism and that that's just from tradition, but not is not as heavy is not as heavy as it used to be. Maybe 2030 years ago, if I would have worked in the kitchen, it would have been a lot more hellish for me, but it is true. Dr. So do you think that they respect people that just really want to have the passion? wants to cook? Yes. Because you could be you could be somebody who worked in the greatest Michelin star restaurants. But when it's time for you to do what you want to do, and I feel you can be somebody who's just like, you know, what, I'm just going to practice is easy for me. I'm just gonna own a chicken spot that says easy for me. Or you can be somebody who you know, or you could still be a dishwasher or whatnot. You could be somebody who you know, could be Monica perfection came from nothing, worked at the greatest Michelin star restaurants in the world and use that and understand that you got to wake up every day to gather repetition, repetition, repetition had to be you had to go outside of your paygrade you have to go outside. side of understanding justice, one technical and a different technique at once. When you get to that point, you're able to say, Okay, well now I've done it. So let me build this and let me do this is your drive and passion because even, let's say if a landlord is racist, and the landlord don't want to sell you a spot for a restaurant, sense commentary, the commentary art is so much of a community, you can just let one chef know oh, well, you know, station Yes. Proceeds. Yeah, yeah. And you could like one chef know, like, Oh, well doesn't sell me. That's because he's being racist. They could talk to a lawyer or you could talk to your lawyer have it handled, or you could get a different restaurant from a different chef, who some who summoned the police because he want to spend time with his family. It sounds like you get out what you put in pretty much pretty much what's so interesting to me about the culinary world. I feel that it everyone, me, I'm sure there's nepotism and favoritism and stuff like that. But I feel like for the most part, it seems like everyone, like you can't just I mean, I'm sure there's exceptions to the rule, people showing up and they're like, a chef, or a sous chef or something. right out the gate. For the most part, everybody has to start from the bottom. Yeah, depends on the kitchen. Depends on what you want to get out of it. But I also think that it's been a very fruitful and awesome experience for you with someone who's, who's come from where you are. And now look back on. I mean, you still have ways to go but looking back on where you are currently what you've accomplished. I think that's very awesome. And the two year sobriety baleen, especially since you've been at it since such a young age. Yeah, starting at nine. Yeah, drinking it for 18 years being to your spree, now. Still working on getting back into the kitchen working on your painting still and enjoying supposedly the vegan lifestyle. You were told me when I was 18 that this would be my life where I'm at now. I wouldn't like that. But now that I see it, it's just you know, it's it's attraction you put in what you want to get out. believe that the universe is obviously is real, but it has a soul. However you treat people in your universe, the universe will reciprocate. Yeah, I agree with that too. Well, I think that is everything. Thank you for being on the show. And everyone that's listening. I hope you enjoyed the conversation and learn something new. If you have any questions or anything, always feel free to reach out to me, share it out with your friends and your network. If you feel like this was something that would that would be beneficial for them. And then until next time, my friends, take care. Have a great one. Soon and bye