Thursday, March 31, 2011
One of the most valuable things we have in life is time. We do not think about time as a point of value, at least I didn't so much when I was younger. We give up our time to so many things like school, work, and to our loved ones. Depending on your point of view giving time to ourselves can be the better than all of the above. Time is a precious commodity that many of take for granted because they do not understand it's personal value.
Businesses and Higher Education understand the value of time. There are many programs that are offered to students that have to with time management skills. How one spends their time is very important in balancing social activity with academic requirements. Employers are very keen in looking for those students who can manage their time effectively. Work-life issues come into play often because each one of us should be able to work and live. Often enough, one seems to out weights the other.
I am a believer in a healthy work ethic and being able to get ahead by any means necessary. Many times, being a person of color means that you have to work harder than your white counterpart and even if that is not the reality, it sure does feel like it. So those of us who work hard often find that out that our social lives are effected based on the level of success that we are willing to attain.
I had a conversation with a friend of mine (and fellow blogger) a few weeks ago and it was actually a bit of an argument because at first I was not feeling what she was telling me. We talked about how busy our work lives can be and the potential for a dating life seemed low. I know that I have been adamant that I am not ready to date based on the uncertainty of my life and for the fact that I am simply too busy. Her response was very clear: We all make time for what we want.
This was a statement that took me back a bit. I was thinking that this cannot be true because I know that I am a busy person. I work all the time and this doesn't effect my...social...life (pause). Of course, my point is that anyone of us can be legitimately busy with something but then she pointed out that often times people use that as excuse to blow off other people. Not that blowing off people is always a bad thing but let's call it what it is. There are times where we do not want to speak to someone for whatever reason even if we really love them.
Time is a precious thing that we may not use to the best of our ability. Sure, some of us get paid at our places of employment but what about the time we place for ourselves? We choose to share time with others if we want. We choose to decide if we are too busy for that 5 minute phone call to our parents or friends. While those 5 minutes may seem like a burden for some, that small increment of time may mean the world to others. Time has a value that we cannot fully comprehend until it is too late.
As I get older, I feel the weight of time just in its intrinsic value. I am still a young man but, I have seem what time has done to the people around me. I have seen the effects of drugs, stress, loneliness, and crime. I have seen what happens when you settle for something that is less then what is deserved and toll it takes on a person. I personally know what it is like to make a mistake and spend years in a blind state before realizing it. We take time for granted because we think we have enough of it.
Yet, time is both finite and infinite.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Time like these we need to understand our place in this world. I think that so many times we are caught up in our own messes that we do not see what is going on around us. Japan is still suffering from a massive earthquake and tsunami (as well as over 700 aftershocks). The threat of a nuclear meltdown is still out there and that makes Japan seem almost unlivable. All this makes me very sad and forces me to remind myself of my own privilege.
I remind myself that I cannot take my disappointments all to heart because I still have a roof over my head. I still have a job for me to go to. I know that when I call my parents and my friends, they are still there and not buried under rubble some where. I cannot even imagine the level of loss that the Japanese have been through, but I do know that it is greater than any personal loss or heartbreak than I have ever faced.
I think I complain about fate and how unfair it is from me to still be here in Syracuse, but in the grand scheme of things, it does not really mean much. I think that perhaps I am still here for a reason. Maybe there is something that is keeping me here until I have completed some task. Whatever the case is, I know that complaining about my life is something that privileged people do.
My parents worked hard to make sure that I didn't have certain experiences and even though I grew up n the Bronx, I was not in the element. That could have been due to overprotection or perhaps my family made sure I was never in the wrong place at the wrong time. My father had instilled in me this fear that had I taken drugs, my ass would suffer a beating that I may never recover from. All in all, I turned out in a position that allowed me to be where I am now.
Yet, I think about how it would be to lose everything. To wake up one day and everything is just gone. I think we place so much value on things that do not matter in the end. We cannot take money or possessions with us when we die. It can be seen first hand in many of the tsunami videos how entire cities are swept way. Cars, houses, people, livestock, everything just gone in what some would call an act of God type of event.
I mentioned on Facebook how sad I was that Japan may never be the same. Sure, I have never been there but do I have to have been there to understand that a whole country is just devastated? The earthquake was so bad that the island moved 8 inches. Some people have the nerve to say that this was payback for Pearl Harbor (which is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard). Only people who do not understand history would make remarks like that. Not to mention that earthquakes are natural events that every planet has. The land masses on this world have been moving for thousands of years and nothing with stop that.
So what should we take from this? Something that I have always said, we need to tell the ones we love that we do love them. Life is short, plain and simple. Sure, maybe I am emotional about it, but those who truly love us will understand this.
Below is the scariest video I have seen. Please keep Japan in your thoughts and prayers.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
One of the good things that did happen to me in my week off in New York was my photo-shoot. This was something that I wanted to do since I joined the ranks of the November Media Group. I wanted to do it up here in Syracuse but that didn't work out. At the time, I figured this would be great to sort of get myself amped up for my possible return to NYC since I was awaiting the letter from Sarah Lawrence.
I was told that I needed 3 outfits and I figured that would be easy since I had brought some nice clothes, including a new coat that I bought late last year. My photographer is Sandra Guzman from 2DreamArtists.com. I was given her name by a good friend and fellow blogger. I did check out her website and saw some of her work so I knew I was in good hands.
I look at the pictures and I'm almost in awe of myself. I told someone that I think everyone should do this just to do it. I think that it is a great way to boost an ego. Now, this does not mean I am getting a big head. I still think I am ok looking. I just like the color of my shirts and how it really comes out in these photographs. This one picture really shocked me because you can see how brown my eyes are. I do not recall anyone picture before this when I can really see that.
I am just loving myself. Sure, there is clearly a professional purpose to what I am doing, but sometimes we just need to show appreciation to ourselves because none of us should wait for someone else to give it to us.
I still find myself learning about me and my motivations. I am really getting to point that I can do stuff for myself and not for others. This photos are more for me than anyone else (although, I have a feeling my dad will be asking for copies). I believe there was a total of 80 pictures and I had to pick 10. I personally, liked 5. So, I needed to ask others to help me in my decision. Between friends and family I was finally able to get to 10 photos.
I never liked pictures of me smiling because I feel it captures me in a certain way. I feel that I show too much teeth, but to be honest there is a deep rooted reason on why I do not like to show my teeth. I had braces when I younger because my teeth was just not right. It was one more thing for kids to make fun of me, so I always tried not to smile so much. The only problem with this is that I love to laugh! So, ironically enough, my favorite photos are those of me smiling. I think that this was captured very well.
Quite frankly. I want to just look back at these pictures and remember this phase of my life. I can look at my old photos on Facebook and realize that I do not even recognize myself. I just look different to me as if it was just either another life time or an alternate reality. In either case, I think these photos are the closest representation of the real me.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
They say that everything happens for a reason. Lord knows that I tell this to everyone that I give advice to. The problem I have is that I tend to not listen to my own advice. I never pretend that my life is as bad as other people because I know better. What I do know is that the price of experience is strength and with each experience I seem to gain tons of strength. My question is, when do I cash in on all this strength I am gaining?
Disappointments come and go because they are a part of the life we all live, very much like a stellar nebula that becomes a star that eventually dies out after burning so brightly; it is the way of the universe. The events that unfold in my life never seem to leave me with a dull moment. Mistakes are made, hearts are broken, and yet dreams are created in all the mess. You, the universe, have the power to make us all feel like the phoenix. We can burn deeply with regret and remorse and somehow be reborn with hope.
I have been blessed with many friends and I can thank God for them. They make me aware that the universe, in all it's glory, is working in my favor. Of course, I am not very sure how this is working. I thought that at times I can see you work in all the things that happen around me. I try to take heed of the signs I see and take advantage of the opportunities, but yet, each door closes.
I am fortunate to believe that everyone who comes and goes from my life are here for a purpose. Evidence of this is when I got that letter from Sarah Lawrence College. I had many people show me so much support and it made my resolve stronger. I wasn't thinking about the universe and how everything that is meant to be will be. I think about my work life, my love life, and my family life and I cant help but wonder if things will get better because this cannot be all the universe has to offer. I know that life is beautiful and I just wish I can see more of that.
When I commented that I was tired of losing, a good friend of mine who I advised at one point in my life, told me this: "You're not losing! The universe is working towards what is right for you. It's working at the right pace. You're gonna need to trust and accept that things can't be rushed as much as we many want it 'now'." In many ways, I know you put this person in my life to tell me a this exact thing so that I cannot get discouraged. Yet, another good friend told me that Sarah Lawrence was probably not a good fit for me anyway because I can be a writer without them. The universe has ways of working without us knowing it because you put her here too to fuel my fire further.
I read once that if you want something bad enough the universe will conspire to get it for you. Well, I am fighting hard to get what I want and maybe a rejection letter is a pathway to a new door. This is something that will remain to be seen.
I will continue to help students get where they need to go. I am just asking for the same for myself.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
A culmination of months of hard work was summed up in one letter that I raced home to read. I opened that letter from Sarah Lawrence College. I was not accepted in the MFA program. I simply closed the letter and placed it in with a pile of other rejection letters that I have received over the last 2 years. I am not happy but I am not sad either. Quite frankly, I am mad.
I am mad because I feel like I cannot escape this place. I know that I put my business out there for all, so it doesn't bother me that I can yell out into an open space and say "I want to go to graduate school!" I believe in my heart that I will do this. I believe that I will become what I want to be come. If anyone who knows me knows that when I get pissed off, I become determined.
I see these rejections of job opportunities and now grad school apps as people telling me that I cannot do something, that I cannot be what I want to be. This is not going to happen. I am more determined to be successful and more determined to be more than what I am right now.
I am just tired of being told I am not good enough. Let me say right now that I am better than good enough. No one has walked in my shoes and has taken the shit that I have taken. No one can understand how patient I have been with all the people and events in my life. People love to judge me and think that I am not going to make it, but I got some news for you: I am not going out like that.
From this point on I will raise the level of my game. I will apply to Sarah Lawrence again, but she no longer the only school I will apply to. So she needs to know I plan on seeing other people. I followed my heart and now my heart will follow me. I will broaden my focus and my horizon. I will continue to write and I will continue to create and I will make a list of school tomorrow to apply to. I am also not limiting myself to just schools. I am putting myself back on the job market.
As a matter of fact, I am taking that letter from the pile and posting it up on my wall. I want to be reminded of this. I want to see this everyday so I can be reminded that I am meant for something bigger. I am better than my undergraduate grades, I am better than any graduate school fee, I am simply better than what I was an hour ago when I read that letter. So, please do not feel sorry that I did not get in, feel happy that something finally got me to be angry enough to see my full potential.
It has been in my nature to take time and lick my wounds and feel sorry for myself, but not anymore. It is time to make my own destiny.
I am tired of losing. I am a sore loser and I plan on winning. I am not bitter, I am better.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
|St. Patricks Cathedral|
I do not get into religion much but it is safe to say that I am a recovering catholic. I have 12 years of catholic school under my belt and I can tell you that my thoughts of organized religion are not good. Over the rest of my years, I think I have developed some sort of relationship with God. In the end, I think that is the most important thing. I rather have that individual relationship than have group tell me how I should live my life and who are the sinners.
Although being a Latino means that you have certain belief of the spirit world. I am not stranger to this and while I wont get into them all right now, I think that there is spirits in this world that are both good and bad. But, they will only effect us if we let them. So there needs to be the understanding that I do hold those beliefs that were passed down by my family.
I have found myself praying more often than not over the last couple of years. I have prayed for my sanity and for clarity in my life. There were times in which I just did not know what to do and I have to do the one thing that 12 years of catholic school taught me to do. Since then, I think I have been able to just be me and fight hard to get where I am trying to get to.
Last week I called my mother and I said to her that I needed a huge favor from her. I needed her to pray for me. I needed her to know how important getting into Sarah Lawrence is. My cousin got into the Harvard doctoral program last year and I know they prayed for her...lol. That is not to say she is not brilliant because she certainly is. I just know that she had the support and I needed that. I think she was shocked about my request and happily said she would do it...on condition: I needed to find a catholic church, light a candle and pray with the prayer card she sent me last year.
I knew she was going to pray for me and I definitely felt that I needed to complete my end of the deal. I originally looked for catholic churches in Syracuse, but for some reason, I wasn't comfortable. I didn't feel right going to a church I didn't know for the first time. That may sound weird, but that is how I felt. So I thought that once I get back to NYC this week I would go the one of the churches of my past schools: Holy Cross on Soundview Ave or St. Raymond's on Tremont.
Turns out that I went to neither. Today I had several errands to run. I met up with a great friend for lunch and another friend who I haven't seen since we were kids. All of this in the mid town Manhattan made me realize that I should go to Saint Patrick's Cathedral. Why such an elaborate place? I have been there several times over my childhood and teenage years. I had my High School graduation there as well. For some reason, it just felt right.
So, I went in and lit 3 candles. I sat in one of the pews and pulled out my prayer card, it was in Spanish. I read it the best I could (which I think is pretty damn good). When I was done, I thought about all the people in my life. The ones I love. The ones I care about. The ones I worry about. I asked God to not only help me find my way, but to help them. The only thing I really want to do in life is to help people. My way is to help people through words. I know that cannot be too bad.
I felt good when I walked out. I know I checked in on Foursquare that I was there and I got a text from a another friend who saw I was at the cathedral. She asked me if I could pray for her. I told her in so many words: "I already have."
Monday, March 14, 2011
This is a big week for me. I have been dealing with many things all at once and I will say that all of it makes me nervous. I think that this is the reason why I have not been posting so much. All of my thoughts are focused on this grad school app. It has made me think about everything; my future, my past, my love life, and my family. But, yet I have had the patience to deal in the only way I know how.
The problem is that I do not want to talk about the same things over and over. I can have 30 blogs just on this subject but then it would only show how neurotic I am getting about this. So, I have been keeping calm, collected, and taking each day as it comes. I try not to think too much about anything in particular. I am also spending the week in NYC to help me pass the time since Syracuse University is currently on spring break.
I have a photo shoot this week that will help promote myself on the November Group site. I am excited for this because this is something that is for me. I have done photo shoots for work but they are not the same and I do not believe that those photos really capture me in my essence. To be honest, I do not like how I look in many of the pictures that are taken of me, however, I leave them up on Facebook because it what I look like.
The funny thing is that it is not like I have had writer's block, because that is not true. I have been writing short stories. I have written and edited one and I have been working on another. Many times I will write because the mood hits me. I think that creatively I am still alive but it is the cultivation that I am working on. I am very much an emotional writer and will write as long as my emotions can carry me. Of course, editing is something completely different. I can write the essence of the story with pure emotion but I do not need to be in the same mood in order to edit and add on. It has been an interesting process.
At this point it is just all about patience. I have come the conclusion that this whole thing is about fate right now. If it was meant for me to get into Sarah Lawrence then I will. I know 2 years ago I wrote several blogs on fate and choice. All of this has made me think about the notion of fate and whether our choices in life make a real difference. I personally think that we choose the things that happen to us by putting ourselves in the right or wrong situations.
I have put myself in this situation just so other people can decide my fate. This is out of my hands, although, I made sure that I did everything I could to make all the deadlines in order to make this possible. Still, it comes down to someone else's choice. It makes me think about job interviews and how anyone of us can work hard to present ourselves in a positive light in order for someone else to decide if we are good enough. With interviews, we have a certain level of control because I believe we can control out ability to do well or bomb horribly. This application process in not the same, I feel in less control.
I have been reading about acceptance. I think that acceptance is something that helps my patience and my entire thought process on fate. When it comes down to it, we control my own emotions and no one can make us feel anything. While situations my influence our emotions, we can control our own crazy. I have arrived to this point based on the fact that I cannot make a big deal either way on what happens to me. I cannot get upset when something doesn't go my way as I once did. The key is always understanding what has the potential to bother us and what is that really upsets us.
I have accepted my fate, no matter what it is because I know what I was born to do.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
I have been waiting to write this post for a few weeks now. It turns out that there have been a few changes in the NBA that has caught my eye. The New York Knicks are relevant again. Not only are they a playoff team but they now have star power. The type of star power that raises ticket prices and gains national attention without accomplishing a thing in the playoffs. Right now it is good to be a Knicks Fan.
Of course there comes the natural debate of real fans versus the bandwagon fans versus the fair-wheather fans. Once the Knicks acquired Amare Stoudemire they became a team to watch. Knicks fans young and old united to cheer for a team that has not won a championship since 1975. It is awesome to see many people on twitter and facebook talk about how the Knicks are back. However, I would see, every so often, one person or another talk about how all of a sudden the fake Knicks were coming out the wood work.
During the 80's when the Lakers and the Celtics seemed to win everything, I remained a Knicks fan. It was easy in those days to love Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers. Perhaps it was just as easy to follow Larry Bird and the gritty Boston Celtics. Those were the only two teams that seemed to matter when I grew up. But, I was stead fast with following the Knicks. I remember Bernard King, but I also remember when Patrick Ewing was drafted.
I witnessed the wars in the 90's when it felt impossible for the Knicks to ever get past Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. I watched the Reggie Miller vs. Spike Lee game when it seemed that he would not miss! I saw when John Starks went 2-18 in Game 7 of the 1994 NBA Finals. I rooted for the Knicks when the Miami Heat became a heated a rival. I watched in horror when Ewing missed that layup against the Pacers. I cheered uncontrollably when Larry Johnson completed the 4-point play....and I could not bear to see the Spurs dominated the Knicks in the 1999 NBA Finals.
Being a Knick fan is not easy, much like a Mets fan. I can get disgusted by both ball clubs. When the Mets were horrid in the 90's with Bobby Bonilla, I could barely watch. When management got serious and acquired Mike Piazza in a trade with the Florida Marlins, I knew that things were looking up. So yes, I followed the Knicks from afar for many years because I feel the Knicks did Ewing wrong and the team just fell apart as if ownership just did not care.
For more than a decade the Knicks were just bad. Isiah Thomas was a joke. Where was the heart? Not to mention that the NBA itself, in my opinion, just seemed to change with all the rule changes and it seemed a different type of player emerged after the Jordan era. The media was looking for someone to replace him. In any case, the Knicks were no longer relevant and when ownership doesn't care, the fans don't either.
So when the Knicks made a plea for Lebron James last year, I think most fans woke up because it seemed that someone in the front office may have cared that there is basketball in New York. The signing of Amare brought most of the fans back. I doubt most of us expected a championship caliber team. We just wanted a team who can compete and make the playoffs. No one thought he would be this good. An All-star starter?
Which leaves me with my original point. I am not a bandwagon fan. Perhaps, I am a bit of a fair weather fan (even though I went to some Knicks games when they were bad), but never question my affiliation. The New York Knicks had a way of hurting their fans with bad moves and horrible decisions. Some people who remember the Ewing years just couldn't deal with the losing. But, it happens....and now the Knicks are back. So are we, the fans. Deal with it.
Monday, March 7, 2011
I wrote this as I sipped on some red wine and thought about my goals last Friday...
I know that I have spent a good amount of time talking about my application to Sarah Lawrence and expressing how badly I want to get in. However, I have other projects that I have in the works that will great benefit me whether or not I get into graduate school or not.
It started with my speaking engagement at Utica last year. I very much enjoyed speaking in front of an audience. It is something that I feel shaped much of my decision to go to grad school. The only problem I had with the entire process was with the contract. There was nothing wrong with it per say, but I know that things can get muddy if a contract is not up to par. So before I signed it, I had it looked over by a good friend of mine who just happens to be a talent agent.
He looked it over and told that the contract was legit, of course because it was from a college. I just wanted to make sure there was nothing there that I had to be concerned with. He then looked at me and told me that he could get me more money. During that time it was not about the money for me. I just wanted this experience to see if this was something I could do. Earlier that semester I had went to a lecture by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva and seeing what he does made me think that public speaking was something that I could do.
As expected, I loved the gig. I still think about it as a fond memory. Utica will always stick out in my mind as the first time I was able to do something on my own. However, a problem had arisen and I didn't get paid in a timely manner and it worried me a bit. It was never a point that I thought I would not be paid, it was more that I do not want to imagine going through the lack of payment again. Sure I eventually got paid, but I knew that if I wanted to do this again, I need to do something different.
I ended up connecting with the November Media Group through that same friend who runs it. I would not consider this a plan B, but more of a supplemental plan that may work in my favor. One thing I learned from people like Bonnila-Silva and Juno Diaz is that presentation of written material is important. I have to be able to keep the audience interested just like I keep readers interested. More importantly, I think I have something to offer.
This isn't just a favor that one friend can provide for another, this is me branding myself. I know that is kind of weird because I am so very much against the type of blogs that is all about the person and not about the writing, which is why my layout is what it is. But, I do understand the power of branding yourself. We are all caught in this world of social media and each of us has to carve out a niche.
Right now, this is something I am aiming towards: getting paid for my blogging and writing. The November Media Group site just went up last week and I want to make sure I ride this wave. Sure, there are some typos and tense issues in my bio (which I am not sure is my fault, but I should have caught), but they will be fixed soon enough and I am working on getting some professional photos done.
This is the next step and I am willing to take a leap of faith on myself. I am just happy because I feel that things are coming together. I am official! :)
This is the next step and I am willing to take a leap of faith on myself. I am just happy because I feel that things are coming together. I am official! :)
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Driving home today I was just thinking about my life in general. I have gotten so used to the daily routine that I am in. It has taken a little more than a year to get where I am right now. I do not have the same worries, but yet I have new thoughts to replace the old ones. I reminded myself today that I have only been officially single for less than 3 months.
Interestingly enough I have only been living alone for a little more than a year. Well, I know I have roommates but I don't really consider that to be the same as to living with someone you are married to. My home life is not event filled. I come home late, watch some sports, read a book, and if I am feeling good I will play my Wii. I spend much of my time to myself trying to figure out food for me and making sure that Rocky is well taken care of.
I pass the time on twitter when things get interesting on television. It almost becomes a shared experience when I make comments on something that most people are watching. I go to bed late everyday. I do not want to consider myself an insomniac but I do not sleep much. Then again, going to bed early was never my thing. I think it is because I was forced to go to bed so early as a kid that I would just stay awake for hours in the dark listening to my parent's tv. Perhaps I just rather be awake and deal with reality than to be in a dream that I will ultimately wake from.
I thought about my divorce timeframe today because people have been inquiring lately as to why someone like me is single. First, I am not sure what that means: someone like me. That is to assume that I am special from some reason when most times people don't really know me. My response is always, I am chillin. I am not sure why the surprise to my singleness. There are some people who cannot be alone. They surf from person to person in order seek the someone who is perfect for them without giving a general thought that maybe the quest for that perfect person comes from within.
It would be less than honest of me to say that I did not think about having a woman in my life again. However, there have been several times in last few months that I have been reminded that being single is probably the best thing. It is hard to fight that urge to think that I need a woman. The truth be told I really do not. I am completely self sustainable. Not that this stops me from talking with women, but I have been able to observe things and learn how to be the person I want to continue to be.
However, I had been recently thrown for a loop when someone told me that despite my appearance of confidence and the wall of intellect, she sensed a certain sense of loneliness. That perhaps my routine was a simply a way of covering up something that I desperately want, which is to be loved by someone. Interesting. This, of course, left me rather speechless. I had that vain attempt to pretend that her words didn't invade my soul. So of course, it takes me days to process all of this.
While I am not so sure how true this is, I need to explain that I am the type of person who can feel alone in a crowded room. I have seen myself fade in the background in certain social situations in where I just didn't feel comfortable or confident. When that happens, I lose all interest and I would just rather be somewhere else. That sounds so very introverted of me when I am very much an extrovert. However, I think that I seem to go back and forth depending on the day (I am such a gemini).
Lonely is such a dirty word. However, I have not failed to notice that 40 is right around the corner. I am getting older folks. Soon I will be taking medical test that will make me cringe. While I am not nervous about being a single 40 year old man, I think about being in a whole new category. But, that is 3 years aways and thus I cannot think about this right now. I do think that age is a dirty three letter word. I just thank God that I don't even look 36!
I will say that I do miss many things about being in a relationship. But, I cannot use that as a reason to be with anyone. Dating is still something that I am apparently not that good at, so I guess I will have to get better at it. Perhaps it is something I need to put into my routine because Lord knows I got flirting down to a science.
I wont give a time frame on anything when it comes to finding anyone. I want to be able to be with someone because I want to there rather than feeling that I need to be there. I have been in that place where I felt I need a woman when clearly I do not.
Even Superman has a fortress of solitude.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
I feel like this is a big month for me. There is countdown clock in my head that is ticking down the days until I get this letter. It is becoming all that I think about. I cannot give myself a real reason why I would not be accepted to Sarah Lawrence College. I really feel that this is a right fit for me.
However, I look back at my undergraduate years and I think about how I could have done so much better. I was so lost in everything that was not my books. I went into college blind to how hard the environment could be. I went away to get away from warring parents. I continue to think that this was the best choice for me. Syracuse University is where I eventually found something within myself.
However, those 4 years were indeed hard. My grades certainly reflected this. I spend the first 2 years trying to figure out what I want to do in life. I took all these liberal arts classes that were ok, but there were some that I could not wrap my mind around. Math was something that always kicked my ass, but it was African American Studies classes that kept me somewhat focused.
Women were foreign territory to me. I had no idea what I was doing and they distracted the hell out of me. I got lucky a few times by fooling around with some girls here and there, but I was so convinced that I was just not good enough. I was not confident in myself despite the fact I may had a few girls who liked me. The one thing that really noticed was the fact that it was only black girls that seemed interested. I spent much time wondering why women of my own culture were not interested.
This was part of me recognizing my place in this world. I began to figure out that I didn't quite fit in either black or latino culture on campus. In the end, I ended up hanging out more with my African American friends. I felt that I connected more with them, but I was just beginning to understand my own roots. My grades still suffered because I was really not thinking about school as much as I was thinking about just surviving day to day. Sure, I went to class but, I was taking classes in things I really did not care for.
Then, by my junior year, two things occurred. I finally selected my major and I finally got myself a girlfriend. She was not technically my first girlfriend, but she was my first real relationship. In terms of my major, I finally chose English. I also became a student leader on campus and it seemed all things were going right. This is where I finally felt that twinge of confidence. I begin to love my classes and love the person I was becoming. My grades finally improved but, I ended up graduating with a GPA that is not what I call to great.
I think about all of that now and I cannot wish that I could do it all over. Everything that has happened in my past has shaped my present. I am who I am because of the path I walked. So, I have to live with the bad grades because I was just no focused enough. This is why I have such an affinity and understanding with the students I mentor and supervise. There was no one like me back then. I make the choice everyday to make sure that students know I am here and I have been in there shoes.
My grades in graduate classes are what they should be. I am averaging an A-. Although, it was just three classes, I took them while working, on average, of 55 hour weeks. I just hope that it is enough to sway the panel of admissions or whomever makes the decision that I am indeed good enough.