Disappointed With How This Year Has Gone? I've Got A Few Suggestions.
Recently, while having a conversation with a friend who is currently going through the PTSD of a divorce, one of the things that they kept saying over and over is, "I'm just so disappointed in myself." If you've read my content, even a little bit, then you know that I am pretty word-specific and so I gave that statement — one that is pretty common when you really stop to think about it — quite a bit of thought. Although I think a lot of people feel that being disappointed in themselves (or someone else) means that they feel bad about something that they said or done, the word actually means "to fail to fulfill the expectations or wishes of" and "to defeat the fulfillment of (hopes, plans, etc.); thwart; frustrate."
And while, on the surface, that might seem like I'm splitting hairs, when you factor in the lead quote, I'm actually…not. Sometimes, no matter how much you tried to make something work, it doesn't and that shouldn't result in you beating up yourself; it simply means you should learn how to manage your expectations better. For instance, when it comes to a relationship that's gone sour, if you really did give your all (be honest with yourself on that, by the way) and you expected things to last long-term, you've still got to factor in things like another person's free will, changes of circumstance and you possibly not being on the same page as your partner was/is.
See what I mean? While I'm not the person who lives by the motto "expect nothing and you'll never be disappointed" (because it sounds like a jaded or bitter person made that up), I am someone who thinks that we should not get so frustrated with ourselves — again, especially to the point that we beat ourselves up — when what we hoped for didn't exactly pan out. Instead, I think there are other far more productive and beneficial ways to utilize that energy. Here are seven of them.
1. Do Some Journaling
As a writer, I'm sure it's no shock to you that I'm a pretty big fan of journaling. Aside from the fact that it's a great way to plan out goals and improve your writing skills, journaling is proven to also help you to de-stress, get your thoughts together and track your progress. That said, sometimes, when we're disappointed about something and all we do is keep going over it again and again in our minds, it can be hard to make sense of the internal chaos — it can be challenging to separate feelings from facts and what you should "own" and what you shouldn't. That's why I definitely recommend that you do some journaling when you're in this kind of headspace because it can help you to vent and then see things from a much clearer perspective after you do.
Chile, there have been many things that I've been disappointed about yet because I put the date (and even the time) on my entries, it has been freeing like a mug to look back every few months to see how all things indeed worked together for the good. So yeah, journal about what has truly disappointed you before the year concludes. It's never (ever) for naught.
2. Have the “Hard” Conversations
Anyone who knows me (and only I would know that; check out "5 Signs You Really Know A Person") knows that ghosting is totally not my style. If anything, I'm someone who is going to communicate ad nauseam, just to make sure that folks are crystal clear about where I am coming from. For me, that means that whether we decide to work things out — personally or professionally — or we choose to part ways, you know exactly where I'm coming from and how I feel about the ultimate decision that has been made. This resolves confusion and where the confusion is lacking, peace can dwell.
Whether it's from counseling, observation, or personal experience, I honestly think that 8 times outta 10, ghosting either comes out of fear or cowardice. Because it's literally running from a situation and not dealing with it. To me, having the hard conversations is actually what makes it easier to feel like something is worth fighting for or that it's worth releasing because all of the feelings, on both sides, are out on the table.
For instance, I know someone who has a pretty dysfunctional relationship with her mother. Yet she vents to everyone and their grandma but her mom. As a direct result, over the years, nothing has really changed. She keeps telling me how disappointed she is yet she's in her 30s at this point and so I'm like, "You claim your mom is not meeting your expectations while assuming she should know what they are. That's your bad." Holding someone captive because of what you trumped up in your mind without giving them a heads up is no one's fault but your own. If you're that shook up — don't run. Deal. Ghosting doesn't accomplish that. Discussing does.
3. Forgive Yourself
I don't know what it is about this year, in particular, that caused so many people to either tweet or state that a definition of self-care is to forgive someone and never speak to them again. Every time that statement crosses my path, all I think is, "Gee, I hope folks can handle being forgiven in the way that they choose to forgive others." Because, if you've got even an ounce of humility in you, you know that the time is going to come, sooner than later, when you're going to need someone to forgive you — and the way you forgive has an uncanny way of boomeranging.
Besides, the more you learn about the purpose and benefits of forgiving other people (check out "Are You A 'Bad Forgiver'? Read This And See."), the more you want to do it. Trust me. You know, folks who claim that they don't believe in forgiving other people? Oftentimes, whether they realize it or not, they are putting out on front street, just how bad they are at extended mercy and grace — not to others but to themselves. And when you're so hard on you that you can't pardon yourself for when you did what humans do — mess up — that's a pretty miserable way to live; not just when it comes to you dealing with yourself but the people who try and walk out life with you as well. Self-forgiveness is necessary for this life. Be intentional as possible about doing it.
4. Come Up with a Personal Expectations-Related Mission Statement
Honey, I'm all about creating a mission statement. Again, because I'm a writer, I'm pretty sure that some of the reason is a little bit of an occupational hazard. At the same time, though, I like them because they remind me to be concise when it comes to figuring out an overall mission that I want to accomplish. And so, if you're someone who is either trying to shake a particular disappointment or protect yourself from becoming more disappointed in the future, it can never hurt to jot down a paragraph or two about what you will commit to, moving forward, when it comes to effectively managing your expectations — what you will do to make sure that they are realistic, how much you will invest into trying to manifest them and how you will evoke self-care if things don't go as planned.
Because here's the thing — while there are many factors that play a direct role in how expectations, wishes, and hopes come to be, when they don't go as you wish, with a mission statement in tow, you actually have more control over your disappointment than you might actually think. Because the more realistic you are, the more you're aware that you become of the fact that you can only control what you can control, and the more you're willing to love on yourself when you did your best and things went another way, the easier it will be to move on from said disappointment…so that you can thrive in another direction.
5. Don’t Wait until 1/1. (That’s a Joke.)
You wanna know an underrated sign of being a procrastinator? It's when you tell yourself that next year is when you'll make some real changes in your life? Lawd, let's all release the shackles of honestly thinking that something special happens between 12/31 and 1/1 because, really, when it's all said and done, it's just another day. And since you still have a few weeks before the New Year even starts, there's no time like the present to get a leg up on doing some things that will totally change the narrative, come this time next year.
It's actually with this point in mind that I penned, "Why Fall Is The Perfect Time To Prep For The New Year" for the site last year. Oh, and while you're at it, check out "12 Monthly Self-Love Themes That Will Make This Your Best Year Yet." Devoting the rest of this year to reflecting on all of the wishes unfulfilled that you had really doesn't make a lot of sense. However, shifting that time, effort, and energy into putting some short- and long-term goals together and then working on them, right here and right now? That is the kind of mentality that will put disappointment right in its place — far, far away from you.
6. Remember That You’ve Still Got Time
As a doula, it's not uncommon for a woman in her early 30s to talk to me about her ticking clock (check out "Tick Tock: How To Get Over The Fear Of Your Biological Clock"). Whenever that happens, something that I say, pretty much every time, is I've had several clients, well into their late 40s, who've had healthy and happy babies. My point? Disappointment will have you so distraught that you'll think that there is nothing past the moment that you're in when that couldn't be further from the truth.
So long as you've got breath in your body, you've got time. Time to start that business. Time to get into your dream relationship or job. Time to make that house or car purchase. Time to be a better friend to the current or even the next people who come into your life. Time to get into shape. Time to conceive a child. Time to love yourself more and better. A great remedy for disappointment is honoring your time by not wallowing in it. This is something else that I can personally attest to.
7. Focus on the Good
Author Mike Hawkins once said, "You don't get results by focusing on results. You get results by focusing on the actions that produce results." Author Napoleon Hill once said, "Focus on the possibilities for success, not the potential for failure." Another wise person once said, "When you're focused on the good, the good gets better." Focus on your actions. Focus on your possibilities. Focus on the good. Disappointment doesn't want you to do any of this yet when you push through its barriers and choose to do these things instead, you'll be absolutely amazed by how bigger your world is than your disappointment, how much you've got to be thankful for beyond your disappointment and how much you can still accomplish outside of your disappointment.
Disappointments? They come and go to us all. Yet the more intentional you are about giving it less time and energy (than usual), the easier it will be to get through and past them. You and your time are so precious so, sis, please make sure that you do.
Featured image by Getty Images
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After being a regular contributor for about four years and being (eh hem) MIA in 2022, Shellie is back penning for the platform (did you miss her? LOL).
In some ways, nothing has changed and in others, everything has. For now, she'll just say that she's working on the 20th anniversary edition of her first book, she's in school to take life coaching to another level and she's putting together a platform that supports and encourages Black men because she loves them from head to toe.
Other than that, she still works with couples, she's still a doula, she's still not on social media and her email contact (firstname.lastname@example.org) still hasn't changed (neither has her request to contact her ONLY for personal reasons; pitch to the platform if you have story ideas).
Life is a funny thing but if you stay calm, moments can come full circle and this is one of them. No doubt about it.
Amber Riley Is In Her Element
Amber Riley has the type of laugh that sticks with you long after the raspy, rhythmic sounds have ceased. It punctuates her sentences sometimes, whether she’s giving a chuckle to denote the serious nature of something she just said or throwing her head back in rip-roarious laughter after a joke. She laughs as if she understands the fragility of each minute. She chooses laughter often with the understanding that future joy is not guaranteed.
Credit: Ally Green
The sound of her laughter is rivaled only by her singing voice, an emblem of the past and the future resilience of Black women stretched over a few octaves. On Fox’s Glee, her character Mercedes Jones was portrayed, perhaps unfairly, as the vocal duel to Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), offering rough, full-throated belts behind her co-star’s smooth, pristine vocals. Riley’s always been more than the singer who could deliver a finishing note, though.
Portraying Effie White, she displayed the dynamic emotions of a song such as “And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going” in Dreamgirls on London’s West End without buckling under the historic weight of her predecessors. With her instrument, John Mayer’s “Gravity” became a religious experience, a belted hymnal full of growls and churchy riffs. In her voice, Nicole Scherzinger once said she heard “the power of God.”
Credit: Ally Green
Riley’s voice has been a staple throughout pop culture for nearly 15 years now. Her tone has become so distinguishable that most viewers of Fox’s The Masked Singer recognized the multihyphenate even before it was revealed that she was Harp, the competition-winning, gold-masked figure with an actual harp strapped to her back.
Still, it wasn’t until recently that Riley began to feel like she’d found her voice. This sounds unbelievable. But she’s not referring to the one she uses on stage. She’s referencing the voice that speaks to who she is at her core. “Therapy kind of gave me the training to speak my mind,” the 37-year-old says. “It’s not something we’re taught, especially as Black women. I got so comfortable in [doing so], and I really want other people, especially Black women, to get more comfortable in that space.”
“Therapy kind of gave me the training to speak my mind. It’s not something we’re taught, especially as Black women."
If you ask Riley’s manager, Myisha Brooks, she’ll tell you the foundation of who the multihyphenate is hasn’t changed much since she was a kid growing up in Compton. “She is who she is from when I met her back when she was singing in the front of the church to back when she landed major roles in film and TV,” Brooks says. Time has allowed Riley to grow more comfortable, giving fans a more intimate glimpse into her life, including her mental health journey and the ins and outs of show business.
The actress/singer has been in therapy since 2019, although she suffered from depression and anxiety way before that. In a recent interview with Jason Lee, she recalls having suicidal ideation as a kid. By the time she started seeing a psychologist and taking antidepressants in her thirties, her body had become jittery, a physical reminder of the trauma stacked high inside her. “I was shaking in [my therapist’s] office,” she tells xoNecole. “My fight or flight was on such a high level. I was constantly in survival mode. My heart was beating fast all the time. All I did was sweat.”
There wasn’t just childhood trauma to account for. After auditioning for American Idol and being turned away by producers, Riley began working for Ikea and nearly missed her Glee audition because her car broke down on the highway while en route. Thankfully, Riley had been cast to play Mercedes Jones. American Idol had temporarily convinced her she wasn’t cut out for the entertainment industry, but this was validation that she was right where she belonged. Glee launched in 2009 with the promise of becoming Riley’s big break.
In some ways, it was. The show introduced Riley to millions of fans and catapulted her into major Hollywood circles. But in other ways, it became a reminder of the types of roles Black women, especially those who are plus-sized, are relegated to. Behind the scenes, Riley says she fought for her character "to have a voice" but eventually realized her efforts were useless. "It finally got to a point where I was like, this is not my moment. I'm not who they're choosing, and this is just going to have to be a job for me for now," she says. "And, that's okay because it pays my bills, I still get to be on television, I'm doing more than any other Black plus-sized women that I'm seeing right now on screen."
The actress can recognize now that she was navigating issues associated with trauma and low self-esteem at the time. She now knows that she's long had anxiety and depression and can recognize the ways in which she was triggered by how the cult-like following of the show conflicted with her individual, isolated experiences behind the scenes. But she was in her early '20s back then. She didn't yet have the language or the tools to process how she was feeling.
Riley says she eventually sought out medical intervention. "When you're in Hollywood, and you go to a doctor, they give you pills," she says, sharing a part of her story that she'd never revealed publicly before now. "[I was] on medication and developing a habit of medicating to numb, not understanding I was developing an addiction to something that's not fixing my problem. If anything, it's making it worse."
“[I was] on medication and developing a habit of medicating to numb, not understanding I was developing an addiction to something that’s not fixing my problem. If anything it’s making it worse.”
Credit: Ally Green
At one point, while in her dressing room on set, she rested her arm on a curling iron without realizing it. It wasn't until her makeup artist alerted her that she even realized her skin was burning. Once she noticed, she says she was "so zonked out on pills" that she barely reacted. Speaking today, she holds up her arm and motions towards a scar that remains from the incident. She sought help for her reliance on the pills, but it would still be years before she finally attended therapy.
This stress was only compounded by the trauma of growing up in poverty and the realities of being a "contract worker." "Imagine going from literally one week having to borrow a car to get to set to the next week being on a private jet to New York City," she says. After Glee ended, so did the rides on private planes. The fury of opportunities she expected to follow her appearance on the show failed to materialize. She wasn't even 30 yet, and she was already forced to consider if she'd hit her career peak.
. . .
We’re only four minutes into our Zoom call before Riley delivers her new adage to me. “My new mantra is ‘humility does not serve me.’ Humility does not serve Black women. The world works so hard to humble us anyway,” she says.
On this Thursday afternoon in April, the LA-based entertainer is seated inside her closet/dressing room wearing a cerulean blue tank top with matching shorts and eating hot wings. This current phase of healing hinges on balance. It’s about having discipline and consistency, but not at the risk of inflexibility. She was planning to head to the gym, for instance, but she’s still tired from the “exhausting” day before. Instead, she’s spent her day receiving a massage, eating some chicken wings, and planning to spend quality time with friends. “I’m not going to beat myself up for it. I’m not going to talk down to myself. I’m going to eat my chicken wings, and then tomorrow I’m [back] in the gym,” she says.
“My new mantra is ‘humility does not serve me.’ Humility does not serve Black women. The world works so hard to humble us anyway."
This is the balance with which she's been approaching much of her life these days. It's why she's worried less about whether or not people see her as someone who is humble. She'd rather be respected. "I think you should be a person that's easy to work with, but in the moments where I have to ruffle feathers and make waves, I'm not shying away from that anymore. You can do it in love, you don't have to be nasty about it, but I had to finally be comfortable with the fact that setting boundaries around my life – in whatever aspect, whether that's personal or business – people are not going to like it. Some people are not going to have nice things to say about you, and you gotta be okay with it," she says.
When Amber talks about the constant humbling of Black women in Hollywood, I think of the entertainers before her who have suffered from this. The brilliant, consistent, overqualified Black women who have spoken of having to fight for opportunities and fair pay. Aretha Franklin. Viola Davis. Tracee Ellis Ross. There's a long list of stars whose success hasn't mirrored their experiences behind the scenes.
Credit: Ally Green
If Black women outside of Hollywood are struggling to decrease the pay gap, so, too, are their wealthier, more famous peers.
Riley says there’s been progress in recent years, but only in small ways and for a limited group of people. “This business is exhausting. The goalpost is constantly moving, and sometimes it’s unfair,” she says. But, I have to say it’s the love that keeps you going.”
“There’s no way you can continue to be in this business and not love it, especially being a plus-sized Black woman,” she continues. “We’re still niche. We’re still not main characters.”
"There’s no way you can continue to be in this business and not love it, especially being a plus-sized Black woman. We’re still niche. We’re still not main characters.”
Last year, Riley starred alongside Raven Goodwin in the Lifetime thriller Single Black Female (a modern, diversified take on 1992’s Single White Female). It was more than a leading role for the actress, it also served as proof that someone who looks like her can front a successful project without it hinging on her identity. It showcased that the characters she portrays don’t “have to be about being a big girl. It can just be a regular story.”
Riley sees her work in music as an extension of her efforts to push past the rigid stereotypes in entertainment. Take her appearance on The Masked Singer, for instance. Riley said she decided to perform Mayer’s “Gravity” after being told she couldn’t sing it years earlier. “I wanted to do ‘Gravity’ on Glee. [I] was told no, because that’s not a song that Mercedes would do,” she says. “That was a full circle moment for me, doing that on that show and to hear what it is they had to say.”
As Scherzinger praised the “anointed” performance, a masked Riley began to cry, her chest heaving as she stood on stage, her eyes shielded from view. “You have to understand, I have really big names – casting directors, producers, show creators – that constantly tell me ‘I’m such a big fan. Your talent is unmatched.’ Hire me, then,” she says, reflecting on the moment.
Recently, she’s been in the studio working on original music, the follow-up to her independently-released debut EP, 2020’s Riley. The sequel to songs such as the anthemic “Big Girl Energy” and the reflective ballad “A Moment” on Riley, this new project hones in on the singer’s R&B roots with sensual grooves such as the tentatively titled “All Night.” “You said I wasn’t shit, turns out that I’m the shit. Then you called me a bitch, turns out that I’m that bitch. You said no one would want me, well you should call your homies,” she sings on the tentatively titled “Lately,” a cut about reflecting on a past relationship. From the forthcoming project, xoNecole received five potential tracks. Fans likely already know the strengths and contours of Riley’s vocals, but these new songs are her strongest, most confident offerings as an artist.
“I am so much more comfortable as a writer, and I know who I am as an artist now. I’m evolving as a human being, in general, so I’m way more vulnerable in my music. I’m way more willing to talk about whatever is on my mind. I don’t stop myself from saying what it is I want to say,” she says.
Credit: Ally Green
“Every era and alliteration of Amber, the baseline is ‘Big Girl Energy.’ That’s the name of her company,” her manager Brooks says, referencing the imprint through which Riley releases her music after getting out of a label deal several years ago. “It’s just what she stands for. She’s not just talking about size, it’s in all things. Whether it’s putting your big girl pants on and having to face a boardroom full of executives or sell yourself in front of a casting agent. It’s her trying to achieve the things she wants to do in life.”
Riley says she has big dreams beyond releasing this new music, too. She’d love to star in a rom-com with Winston Duke. She hasn't starred in a biopic yet, but she’d revel in the opportunity to portray Rosetta Tharpe on screen. She’s determined that her previous setbacks won’t stop her from dreaming big.
“I think one of my superpowers is resilience because, at the end of the day, I’m going to kick, scream, cry, cuss, be mad and disappointed, but I’m going to get up and risk having to deal with it all again. It’s worth it for the happy moments,” she says.
If Riley seems more comfortable and confident professionally, it’s because of the work she’s been doing in her personal life.
She’d previously spoken to xoNecole about becoming engaged to a man she discovered in a post on the site, but she called things off last year. For Valentine’s Day, she revealed her new boyfriend publicly. “I decided to post him on Valentine’s Day, partially because I was in the dog house. I got in trouble with him,” she says, half-joking before turning serious. “The breakup was never going to stop me from finding love. Or at least trying. I don’t owe anybody a happily ever after. People break up. It happens. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was terrible, hunny. I had to get the fuck up out of there. You find happiness, and you enjoy it and work through it.”
Credit: Ally Green
"I don’t owe anybody a happily ever after. People break up. It happens. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was terrible, hunny. I had to get the fuck up out of there. You find happiness and you enjoy it and work through it.”
With her ex, Riley was pretty outspoken about her relationship, even appearing in content for Netflix with him. This time around is different. She’s not hiding her boyfriend of eight months, but she’s more protective of him, especially because he’s a father and isn’t interested in becoming a public figure.
She’s traveling more, too. It’s a deliberate effort on her part to enjoy her money and reject the trauma she’s developed after experiencing poverty in her childhood. “I live in constant fear of being broke. I don’t think you ever don’t remember that trauma or move past that. Now I travel and I’m like, listen, if it goes, it goes. I’m not saying [to] be reckless, but I deserve to enjoy my hard work.”
After everything she’s been through, she certainly deserves to finally let loose a bit. “I have to have a life to live,” she says. “I’ve got to have a life worth fighting for.”
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xoMan: Mack Wilds Reflects On When He Knew His Wife Was 'The One' & The Importance Of Being A Supportive Husband
Tristan Mack Wilds is one of those rare artists we’ve watched since childhood and continue to follow today. He was hands-down one of my favorite characters on the beloved fifth season of HBO’s The Wire and continues to grace our screen on projects like Peacocks’ Praise This and the upcoming season of AppleTV+’s Swagger.
Whether he’s giving us the perfect R&B vibe to add to “the playlist” or showing off his acting chops, it’s safe to say he has a place in many millennial women’s hearts. But it’s not just his artistry that makes him xoMan-worthy. Recently, he appeared on The Tamron Hall Show with his family and spoke beautifully about marriage and fatherhood. With a quick listen to the interview and a social media scroll, it’s clear to anyone that he loves his queen out loud, and we had to get into it.
Now, I’ll be honest. One of the first elements that drew me into their story is that they met on the set of The Wire. As a major fan of the series, the timing appealed to me; he was pretty young when the show aired, so I was curious about their journey to marriage. Wilds responded by telling xoNecole, “I think in any successful relationship, you go through ups and downs. It’s just like life or career choices. Before you can consider yourself a solidified success, God is gonna put you through tumultuous downs and super-high beautiful ups so that you can feel the emotions and ride it out until you guys understand each other’s flow.”
He went on to say that while he was filming 90210, she was in college, and they were in a long-distance relationship. Later, they split up but continued to figure each other out as they went on their separate life journeys. It took time, but eventually, they understood each other and self enough to have a child. Through this journey to marriage, they continued to discover more about life and their faults but always remained present for each other. However, he knew since the day he put his jacket on her shoulders on the set of The Wire that she was the one.
"Before you can consider yourself a solidified success, God is gonna put you through tumultuous downs and super-high beautiful ups so that you can feel the emotions and ride it out until you guys understand each other’s flow.”
That one is Christina Wilds, an author, mother, and entrepreneur in her own right, and while the two are very busy, they still make time for themselves, romance, and date nights. He just finished Snowfall (which he loved), and the couple has been super tapped intoQueen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story. When he speaks about their lifestyle and fatherhood, it sounds very healthy and fulfilling. “Being a two-time girl dad has taught me to be a lot softer, not only with women but with people and myself. I'm trying every day to make a more concerted effort to be softer with my team, my wife, my family, and myself,” he explains. “Sometimes unbeknownst or intentionally, we can come off [as] abrasive. I don’t think abrasiveness solves problems, and I’m a problem-solver. I like to get things done.”
Mack Wilds Photo by Benjamin O’Dea
But the fast-paced entertainment industry has a way of not showcasing marriage and monogamy in the most positive light. There’s this narrative out there that men don’t want to pursue marriage. So I asked if he could share some advice for the fellas on commitment and settling down. Wilds says, “Well, this is not just for men, it’s for women too – especially with the summer coming in. Phones are gonna start going silent, this is the time (laughs). But I think the biggest advice I’d say for knowing when it’s time to settle down is to figure out yourself. I think a lot of people settle down too fast or slow, and it’s all due to experiences you’ve had in your prior relationships. First, figure out what you like, love, the things you like to do, and how you like to be touched. Know yourself so when you come in, you're able to give someone an instruction manual.” I thought that alone was a gem, but it didn’t take him long to drop more.
A piece of advice my father gave me years ago is to: know your friends. There are loved ones you can talk to about what you discovered in therapy, and there are friends you can talk to about the best place to grab a drink, but they’re not always the same people – and that’s okay. Apparently, this applies to marriage too. I’ve heard many individuals say that when they get into relationships, they notice they stop hanging out with their single friends. I have mixed views about this, but I was curious about Wilds' thoughts, especially since if you listen to the actor’s podcast Guys’ Next Door, you know his friends have very varied perspectives.
He responds with a chuckle saying, “There is some validity to that, but I don’t think it’s so black and white. You hang with people of similar situations, people who have been through what you’ve been through. You want to have someone that you can speak to and have different conversations. Whether it’s about children, being in a relationship, etc. You want to speak to someone who's been through it so it doesn’t fall on deaf ears. So whether my friends are single, there’s always gonna be a shift to the people that I ask for certain advice. It’s all about being around individuals that can provide the things you need. It just so happens that a lot of my single friends happen to be in this business.”
He seems to have a nice balance of it all, which must get difficult as busy as he is. But when he speaks of his recent role on Praise This, it sounds more exciting than trying. He describes it as genuinely fun. “It was amazing, we were always joking, and the music was plentiful. Everyone was cracking jokes and singing. I was glad that I could put an update to an idea of what a pastor or religion could or should be.”
Mack WildsPhoto by Benjamin O’Dea
Now he’s gearing up for the return of Swagger on Apple TV + where he plays the complicated character Alonzo. “Alonzo has come up behind the scenes. He finds his way behind the puppets to pull the strings. He makes things happen. He’s not the easiest or nicest guy. He’s the anti-hero we all need,” he says about his character.
I can appreciate the way Mack Wilds shines in his craft, but I also respect how he uses his platform to show a career in the spotlight and Black love. Both are possible.
“No one in the world doesn’t like feeling [invalidated], especially by their partner. I want to make sure my wife understands that not only am I her biggest fan, but I’m supporting her in any way I can. It’s less about my career and more about her feeling [supported] in everything that she does and that we do,” he shares.
"I want to make sure my wife understands that not only am I her biggest fan, but I’m supporting her in any way I can. It’s less about my career and more about her feeling [supported] in everything that she does and that we do."
He closed with the best piece of general and relationship advice he’s ever been given, saying, “For regular advice, invest your money. Remember it’s about assets over liabilities,” he adds a shoutout to Nipsey Hussle, Earn Your Leisure, and homies who inspired him.
He continues saying, “For relationship advice, I’d say, when it feels like you’re about to have an argument with your partner. Be quiet longer than you think you should be. Let [him] or her get their thoughts out and then respond. I promise you will have a way better conversation if you take time and don’t worry about jumping over each other. Take time, let your partner talk, repeat how you heard it, and then respond.”
You can catch Tristan “Mack” Wilds in the season 2 premiere of Swagger on June 23rd on AppleTV+.
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Feature image by Benjamin O’Dea