— Cecile Anthony Bryan

Let me clarify, when I refer to “Offset”, I am not referring to the rapper, but the man who is still a boy a/k/a “Offset!” When a boy becomes a man and is ready to be a man, then he is Onset. When a boy is old enough to be a man, but still has not grown up and is ready for the responsibilities, he therefore, is considered an “Offset.” Let’s go back in life and try to analyze the “Offset.” Here we have a boy who was born into a situation that neither he nor his parents were ready for. Unfortunately, at a young age, he did not have much choice. His parents and/or his mother had choices but chose to bring this baby in the world, although not ready for adulthood. Babies having babies. A cycle that can be broken, but a lot of society choose not to break. Growing up, this boy is not taught by the people in his home, he is schooled by the people in the street. He is not raised by the person who births him, he was guided by the neighbor or maybe a grandmother. 9 out of 10, his father did not bother, and on occasion, neither did his mother. In return of being born, but not being loved, he grows up not knowing

how to love. He grows up not knowing how to be a man, but instead a boy who has to raise himself. Grateful for a Godmother and a Grandmother who took him in, but that was usually after being unattended by his mother and ignored by his father, that he sought refuge in the home of others. Raised being told he was cute, but not shown how to be a fine young man, he grows up to ignore his inner beauty, but focus on the looks outside that everyone adored. He tends to have multiple women, because since he did not know love, he thought he could find it in many, instead of looking for it in one. This boy has now entered manhood, but not given the rules to survive, how to love and to combine his street smarts with book smarts, he uses hoodnology to get by and to make it. Sure he stands tall and dominating, but inside this man is still a boy wondering where his mother was and why for some time he did not even know who his father was. After several bad relationships, uncountable one-night stands, he meets his match in a woman who was not like what he was accustomed to. Something about her stood out and made him take notice. He wooed her with his charm, she was not impressed.

He tried to take her to dinner, she instead offered to pay. Now the Offset is challenged but knew he would not get anywhere with this woman until he decided to become an Onset and an Asset. She had been through enough liabilities, enough broken hearts to share with the world and definitely not looking to be with a street guy, show her something else. This boy said I will be the man she needs but he did not understand the difference between Offset and Onset. He thought because he was on the scene and she went out with him on a few occasions, he was Onset. Yet, this woman realized his moves and his scenes were meaningless and said nope, you are still Offset. Over time, she showed him what the world had to offer, how to love and be loved, how to share and not always have to give and he soon realized that he was ready to be Onset. Little did he know the responsibilities of being with a real woman and the responsibilities of being in a real relationship, let alone

being a real man. Not one you saw in movies, nor one you heard about in the love songs, but one who was real to the eye and the touch. The pressure was too much, so he cheated. She thought it was a defamation of who she is, but she soon saw it was a blueprint for who he was. Had nothing to do with her, because she did everything possible to make him happy, but when you do not enjoy your own company and you do not learn how to love yourself first, you tend to look for love in all the wrong places and sometimes happiness will never come, even when standing in your face. She knew it had nothing to do with her being a homebody and him being a street person, it was an insecurity in him that he never dealt with that made him feel like he was not needed by one, but wanted by everyone. That happens when you have bounced around from place to place and never settled. That man was still a boy looking to be loved. That boy was still fighting to become a man in a world that will chew you up and spit you out with no regards. That woman still exists and that man is still surviving, but no longer as an Onset or an Offset, but now an Onset. Through faith she made his house a home, his lust turns to love, his void full and his groceries into dinner. So for all you hopeless romantics, sometimes when you see something good in someone, but that person was dealt a bad hand as a child, have faith and God will show you the way.