VEGAS NIGHTS: What Happens In Vegas #GoesOnMyBlog - Kenyon's Blogversation
It was the Summer of 2006. I can remember it like it was yesterday. Ya boy went to Vegas for the very first time. Now, a sixteen-year-old boy has absolutely no business in Vegas, let alone a teen boy with a pornography addiction, raging hormones, and a desire to "stay holy before the Lord." Lol. Yet, there I was. Sixteen, raging with fever, and ready for my dreams to come true.
I was in Sin-City for an entertainment convention. Believe it or not, I did more than preaching in my teens. I was also an aspiring actor. I was well on my way to Hollywood baby! Vegas was just one of those stops before I got there.
Long story-short, I was staying at the Venetian Hotel on the strip as I prepared to dazzle over 10,000 people who had shown up for the convention showcase. But little did I know that I was in for more than just my show. Let's just say an unsolicited peek show was right around the corner for me.
One night--between performances--me and a friend was invited down to the room of two young ladies that were also performing in the convention showcase that week. Gullible me (or Curious Me, the jury's still out on that one. Lol), I'm thinking they just wanted to talk and perhaps watch a movie. BUT WHO WATCHES MOVIES IN THEIR VEGAS HOTEL ROOM? I know, right? I'm much more wiser now. I promise, I make better choices. Lol.
One of the young ladies suggested a game I had never heard of before. Strip Tease. It's a card game. Okay, so apparently the loser of each round would have to take off an article of clothing until one team is completely naked. It was guys against girls. Now, I should've known this wouldn't end well for me. My "contretto" self (that's country and ghetto simulatenously) had never played a card game over the level of Uno or GoFish. The bottom line is, I thought I was in the money. The guys were actually winning! But to spare you the details because of decency, I'll just say it all ended with one of the naked girls on me and the other one on my friend. Right before we got to the point of no return, I chickened out.
There I was, running up the Venetian Hotel hallway, half naked with my shirt in hand. I couldn't do it. I just couldn't go there. Until that night, I had been saving myself for marriage. Aside from my pornography addiction I had never even been with a woman. I wanted to save that part for my wife. At least, I had that level of purity to give to her.
But something strange happened to me as I laid in the bed of my own room that night. All of the voices of my uncles, male cousins, and male friends came rushing into my head. Let's just say they were all disappointed because of my decision to run from a perfect opportunity. For years, that night haunted me. And from that point on--when someone would question me about my virginity, my sexuality, or my sex life in general--I would spiral out of control into insecurity, more of my addiction, and such. No one knew it because I saved the spiraling for when I got to myself. Remember, I was a drug addict (Read my last blog: CONFESSION: I Was A Drug Addict). It wasn't until I hooked up with my wife when I started to actually feel proud that I fled the scene that night.
After marriage began in 2013, I realized that I was actually glad I hadn't given up my V-Card that night to a total stranger. That was something sacred that I wanted to give to the Love of my Life. And I was able to do so.
Now, this blog is not to boast or brag on a measly accomplishment like keeping your virginity. No. It's much more to it than that. I want you to think of all the times you've been pressured into something that you really didn't want to do. Think of how you regretted doing it afterward. Think of all the emotions you felt because of it. It could be the fact that you invested in a car that you really didn't want, but that car salesman did a heck of a good job selling you. It could be the college or university you attended. You know that wasn't your dream school, but because your parents insisted, yet there you ended up. Or perhaps it's that guy you're dating right now. You know in your heart-of-hearts that he's not the one, but because you two share a child or every-other-woman around you seems to think he's a nice guy you've decided to stay.
What is it that makes a person do something or accept something that they really don't want? It's more than mere peer pressure and FOMO (the fear of missing out). Emotionally, the problem is that you don't want to face that insecurity inside that says you've got to do it everyone else's way but your own.
Listen, I think it's high time you've addressed your insecurity. That is what's getting you in rut after rut. You're afraid of looking a certain way or seeming like a certain something. So you oblige to the pressures of people.
But today, I call you Leader. You do NOT have to follow the crowd. You do NOT have to do it your parents' way. You do NOT have to be what they said. DO IT YOUR WAY! Do it the way that God has given it to you. And if you're afraid. DO IT ANYWAY! Just LIVE YA LIFE! Live it exactly how God directs you. Our big brother Jesus shows us this example over and over again as he consistently walked in Truth. God is the only voice you should yield to. All of the others are mere options.
Now am I saying don't take advice from the humble and the wise? NO! Don't miss the point. The point is AUTHENTICITY. That's a word I learned all-too-well at 27. I didn't know I had it all along. C'mon Whitney! I DIDN'T KNOW MY OWN STRENGTH! For years I cried in the privacy in my own room or car because I thought I was missing something. The world and people around me made me feel less than who I was called to be because I chose different. But I'm here to let you know that it's alright to choose different. Be different. Be authentic. And watch what comes back at you. A Life full of blessing by your design. God cannot bless your facade. So rip the mask off today and choose authenticity. My Life means so much more at this stage because I chose to be truthful about what I wanted and what I didn't want (especially in my Love Life). I just can't tell it all. But maybe one day I will. (Meanwhile, the rest of my Vegas story is in my book Finding Courage to Live Free). That one choice on that one night in Vegas was worth it all.
P.S. You're a natural-born Leader. God says so!
Stay tuned for my next "Kenyon's Blogversation..." And don't forget that I've updated my website! Go on over and have some fun! Become apart of the movement of Globeshakers & Innovators! www.kenyonrdudley.com