The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. – Martin Luther King Jr.
So here it finally is. After much contemplation, prayer, and excuses of why I have not written this yet, here is my State of E Period blog that is well overdue. For those that have been reading me for the past ten years, thank you. To those that just picked up this email and are wondering, “Who the hell is Cocktails and why should I care?” keep reading and strap in. Even with my crazy self-imposed schedule I am committed to deliver this blog at least twice a month.
It is crazy how God has been steering my life and making me trust in him wholly. Since the inception of E Period, LLC three years ago, I have learned more about myself personally, professionally, and spiritually than I ever have. And I’m not just saying that in a light cliché manner. I broke up with a long time girlfriend that everyone surely thought was my future wife. I’ve dealt with numerous dating situations. I braved foreclosure on my beautiful home. I painstakingly sifted through who was really with me, and who was there for the ride. I got hired somewhere, then subsequently downsized. And most recently, I came to terms with my own personal health. That’s just the abbreviated version. Why am I telling you this? Because, ironically, unlike most, my comfort is on stage and email telling all my transgressions hoping that my lessons will inspire and empower someone else (and not in a Tiger Woods type of way :-).
Let’s start with health. In October 2009 I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. A surprise? Of course! Even though Diabetes runs on both sides of the family, and every single immediate family member has it, I still was walking around like Mr. Invincible and not heeding impending risks and health concerns. I was not getting enough rest, not eating right (I mean who can really get a Chargrilled Salad at the Velvet Room?), drinking like a sailor, and my workout was distracted (or maybe I was distracting myself) by drinking Gatorade and talking to chicks. I mean hey, I’m only 34; I got time to get my life right…right? Wrong. So this news is still fresh on my breath when I tell someone. I’m not telling you this for sympathy, I am creating awareness. Instead of throwing a pity party, I actually count it all joy. Number one, I actually had healthcare during the time (notice I said during) I was diagnosed, and found out that I have been diabetic for at least a year and a half, so I was able to stabilize it for a minimum cost. Number two, the stuff I always said I needed to do health wise I am now forced to do if I want to stay around, and I don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon. Number three, I don’t see a young spokesperson for this disease so why shouldn’t it be me? I have Diabetes, but Diabetes will never have me. **Shameless Plug** “Cooking with Cocktails” coming soon…
Business wise, God has revealed to me, I’VE GIVEN YOU EVERYTHING YOU NEED! I realize that personally and as a company I am in unique position. Between my connections, out reach, artistic rapport, and creativity it is time to take it to the next level. I am still a humble dude and thankful for everyone that attends my events and supports the different endeavors that I present to the masses. I realize that it is truly not me, I am just a vessel. However I do admit that I got caught up in the “ego” of this industry. You have to be a confident person in order to survive, or you will get raked over the coals. You also have to be well organized and have a clear vision in place or people will place doubt in your spirit, and you will be hesitant to make a decision and roll with it. You also have to realize that people have small goals because of their own insecurities and fears. I will testify that I was that person. I spoke big dreams and moves, but never moved in my favor and destiny to make it happen. That yoke of mediocrity I declare broken going into 2010. STIR @ the Woodruff Arts Center was a great learning experience for me and my staff. It showed us the possibilities of not only what could be, but how it should be going forward, and why we never can go back. We owe that not only to ourselves, but to you ultimately. E Period is the beacon for the underground artist, or the artist on the verge of greatness being able to display their talents to a larger audience. Let’s keep this momentum going.
My personal reflections are too long for this blog. They will seep out over the next few weeks. But I will leave you with this. As a youth, I would shy away from leadership roles even though they kept giving them to me. I guess they saw something in me that I could not see in myself. In college and as a twenty something man, I actively sought the leadership roles, but did not allow myself to properly be used in being the person that God placed me there for. I abused and manipulated a lot of my power and opportunities (Are the statutes of limitations over?). Now, for some reason (LIGHTBULB) I finally realize why I have been through these experiences and have wisdom from them.
In conclusion, Amir Sulaiman said, “I know more than I want to, but not nearly enough.” We are constant students; we will never know it all. I thought I knew sacrifice, but know I can give so much more. I still am not as organized as I need to be. It is still a work in progress. Maybe that is my artist side. Spiritually I still struggle as we all do. We wrestle not against flesh and blood but principalities. I know I have nothing to fear or worry about if I am rooted in God, but still do sometimes. I won’t even get into the whole lust issue. Just pray for me on that one J Hopefully I did not bore you with my first edition of Cocktails Commentary: Blog Edition. Actually, I haven’t even thought of a cool name for this yet. Feel free to send suggestions. The winner gets tickets to the next STIR event. Until next time, God Speed, do not slow down, you are more than conquerors. Stay blessed.
E. Christopher “Cocktails” Cornell
E Period, LLC