Family Business

Curtis the Creator

In our lifetime there will be one that loves us and teaches us how to stand, but then we separate and learn how to manifest the love within to stand alone. Eventually we find the one we love that tells us where we stand, compounding into loved ones that remind us what to stand for. I mean we all stand for something or fall for everything, it’s impossible to be infallible and there’s no time to bask in sorrow. As a son, husband, father, and mentor accountable to his word why would he dole out advice that he cannot even follow.

Established a foundation so great that even if the levees break there would be no time for him to wallow. Raised in Louisiana East and West Bank, in California Stockton and the Bay, settings shifted suddenly due to Momma’s Air Force service. Fleeting took a whole new meaning with the ever changing tomorrow, temporal housing and friends set morals and standards of taking nothing for granted. Later on in Baton Rouge building blocks at Southern U, inability to assimilate with his associates left him feeling surrounded yet stranded.

A vagabond feeling all but abandoned, couldn’t identify with those full of excuses and malice, no delusions of grandeur to constructing the next Crystal Palace. An aspiring architect designing homes and plotting prints out of his car after the hurricane landed, with altruistic intentions on par with the classics. An outlier unwilling to be reprimanded still he climbed towards the rep he demanded. From living the fast life Maringouin and NOLA, to slowing things down in Orizaba and Cordoba. Time abroad devoid of luxuries that most usually glance one over, broad windows widened his vantage point to see less is more.

A mind bound to succumb to the strain will complain life ain’t fair, you don’t need to see through the pane to see life ain’t been no crystal stair. Sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom to view the only way is up, once knocked out of the comfort zone you’ll notice that you’ve been in a rut. Although abrupt, he found a gift in convincing the youth that they’re more than enough, easy to find their glass half empty and fill in their cups. He never planned to be a counselor, principal, coach, but some people come into your life to remind you what aspects need attention the most. From selfish times alone to mentoring those who don’t know, most are blind to their evident growth.

Being son to Lynette taught him the true value of support. He saw a role model, like a fleur-de-lis symbol of unity and pride, recovery from back when debris were piled high. Being a man meant for him to celebrate his wins and own up to his mistakes. When times are good be grateful, when times are bad be graceful. Being a husband to Jess brought gave him the confidence to believe in another’s dream, like players on the same team. Never despondent or prioritizing people that made him an option. Being a father to Jayla and Pharaoh gave him plans larger life, set clearances for the right line of sight, and to sustain beyond cradle to cradle. Provide more than just food on the table, with a higher standard of care, as an instrument of service that will always be there.

Curtis is an Architect, Campus Director, Camp Counselor, and Football Coach. I met and befriended him at my first architecture job internship in San Mateo. Immediately I sensed his independent nature, hunger for growth, and maturity to adapt in difficult situations. His forward progress in his goals to becoming a sustainable independent architect despite responsibilities and setbacks inspired me to take my professional life to the next level. He’s taught me how to make the most of my situation, and how in life you get what you negotiate for, not what you deserve. 

Family Business is about how important the company we keep is when it comes to shaping who we become. We are the sum of the closest people in our lives, and in this case Curtis is shaped by his mother Lynette, wife Jess, daughter Jayla, and newborn son Pharaoh. The first verse reflects over the many ways we give and receive love throughout a lifetime. The second verse summarizes the early development years of his life traveling back and forth between Louisiana and California while trying to find his identity. The third verse confronts his adversities through others doubts, his call to adventure doing freelance architecture after Hurricane Katrina, and his awakening through the minimalist lifestyle he found in Mexico. The fourth verse shares the lessons that he’s learned and the lessons that he’s had the opportunity to impart to others. Finally the fifth verse reflects over the many roles we play in our life as a family member and what can be learned from taking each role.

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