Friday, October 30, 2009

A Dramaless life?

I feel like my life is getting interesting again. Before I get all "happy" about it, I was just pointing this out to a friend. Some opportunities have presented themselves which are not all good and not all bad,but nevertheless they are there. Her response to me was something that I just didn't expect. "An interesting life means you will have drama." I just rolled my eyes.

See, one of my goals is to live life with as little drama as possible. I am one to believe that drama can follow people only if they let it. I do know that I do have some stresses in my life that I need to rectify at some point if I truly want to live such a life. Of course, I am not even sure if there is such a thing as a "drama less life". Think about it for a second, even Jesus had drama in his life.

When I am talking about drama I am speaking in general terms, so yes I am being vague. The question is, do I invite it? Well, duh, I think I can answer that honestly and say yes I do. Not all drama is invited, things just happen that is beyond our control. However, I think it can be minimized (although, I am shaking my head right now because I have no idea how to do that).

I am forced to think about an argument I had the other day about how people do not change. I find that hard to believe. I think that, as humans, we have the ability to adapt. We have the will power to withstand things. However some of us, myself included, do not know how to change. Which is why people do soul searching. As I get older, I think about all the life decisions I had to make at an early age. I had to make a choice between who to be with: Mother or Father, at the age of 16. While this is a choice I do not regret, think about how hard that is. Yet, in certain circles of my family I am still regarded as the same person I was when I was 16.

We expect 18-19 year olds in college to make a choice in what they want to do for the rest of their lives, yet most of them wont really decide until they are about 25-35. Trust me, I know this. People decide to recreate themselves all the time.

My point is that a lot of drama is a result of the unwillingness to change. Now the trick is understanding that many of us just have a fear of change and do not even realize it. We can fight change so much that we create issues with just about everyone we know. We ignore our current issues because we refuse to see the real answer, which is that we have the power to make the right decision. I know I often think about the possibility of making the wrong move. The question of "what if?" come up all the time. It is fear that stops us from changing anything thus allowing us to continue down the same path of bad decisions and bad behaviors.

I am not sure a drama less life is even possible. If you read about the great people in history, you will undoubtedly realize that they had drama too. However, they found the strength to move above all that. What I need to do is be able to roll with the changes happening in my life right now and pray that I make the right choices. This may mean a complete reboot of my life and in the way I do me.

This is a part of my awakening. The fact is that anything is possible but, I cannot effectively deal with the future if I remain the same person I was...

Monday, October 26, 2009


I think I had an Awakening last week. Something like an epiphany. I suddenly realized that anything in life is possible. I know this may sound like a surprise coming from me because at times I can be negative, but when it comes down to it, anything can happen.

I have been trying to do something I talked about last week, which is living in the moment. While that is hard to do during the bad moments it is great during the good ones. I had something happen to me that was pretty extraordinary. I was writing my blog when an old friend hit me up. At first I was not sure who she was but when we spoke and I finally recognized her. I was in shock. Here is a person I have not spoken to in over 20 years, basically since my early years in grammar school, and we at talking about old times.

What amazed me was that I never thought I would hear from her again. She was the only girl in school who treated me like the nice kid I was. Then she had to leave do to an accident. Never saw her again. Sounds like one of those stories you here from the movies. But in this case it was true, until last week. Come to find out that she is the same good person I remember.

Why am I making a big deal of this? Well, because at that moment I realized that anything can happen. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. People come and go in our lives and they all serve a purpose. Of course, we need to figure out the purpose. I was validated in speaking to her. See, I always thought I was like this annoying little kid that no one cared for. She proved that was not the case. I am grateful for that.

Apply this lesson for the rest of my life and I may have something to look forward to. Look, I have made plenty of mistakes in the 35 years on this planet, but aren't we all allowed to fail? Despite all this, I am still a good person. I do not have evil thoughts and I do think that one day good karma may swing my way.

This is the point of living in the moment because anything is possible. Maybe one day I will be so successful that I wont know what to do. Perhaps I will find someone that can make me happy. The point is that we just don't know. I know that I use to have a fear of the unknown and that is because of the pessimist in me. Not so much now because I have been able to let go of many things. But now, I just feel something has awakened in me.

Is it confidence? I am not sure. Maybe it something that makes me realize that I am not fuck up that I once thought I was. One thing is for certain, once I move out of Syracuse, my life will change. I have no doubt that my angst to start over will pay off and all those who thought they knew me will be very surprised for what I have in store for them...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Something I found in my Journal

Reading my old journal from High School again and I found 2 poems that I wrote. This one stuck out to me today. I originally named this poem "Love", but I do not like it. So I will just leave it untitled. I also want to point out that I am amused that I managed to rhyme everything.

Love, something I never felt
I'm not the type of guy
who makes the girl's heart melt
Yet, I wonder why

What must I do
What must I say
I have not a clue
Why must it be this way

I have much love to be shared
If I knew how
with someone who cared
like maybe a girl right now

Love is something to enjoy
Love is something to feel
not something to employ
or something to heel

The world is taught to hate
or to start war
they cannot see the gate
beyond the sky and more

beyond the gate are angels with wings
and things that will please us
the king of kings
a man named Jesus

He'll teach us how to love
from the bottom of his heart
to up above
then we shall start

the era of love and peace
when I can finally love
and war will cease
and I will enjoy the up above

Wow...I was pretty naive. I think I just said that I will have to die in order to learn what love is. I am not so sure that is far This is my second poem ever and I posted this to show the progress of my writing and my thought process. I was in catholic school so the reference about Jesus is not surprising to me...

I may just write a poem on love now that I have felt it...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Latinostereotypes in America

Ok...I get it. I get why there is a need for Latino in America. I get that CNN wants to boost viewership while giving an unbiased look at Latinos in this country. I also get that Soledad O'Brien busted her ass on this show. What I do not get is the fact that despite all there was to work with that we are still made to look like all we do is multiply and struggle with English. Clearly that is not intent but it seemed to me that Latinos were shown in a light that made it seem that are constantly struggling.

The problem I have with this is that there are so many of us that are successful, including Soledad. If you saw Latino in America than you know that there were 2 stories in particular that had to with 2 young Latinas and their struggles through life. In the end, they both end up pregnant. Of course this is only defined by the fact that at the beginning of this show it is pointed out that Latinos are the fast growing minority. You think? From the way it is perpetuated, underage sex is the reason.

My question is, where are the stories that balance the negative? Where are the stories of the successful college Latina that to 2 majors, in a sorority, has a work-study job, and still manages to make the deans list? It cannot be that hard to find. I know that I can find several of them on campus right now. Maybe that doesn't provide enough drama. Perhaps that is too real to see Latinos succeed.

I want to also add that I am not saying that just because anyone of us that may have children at an early age are failures. There are plenty examples that can made of quite the opposite. However, those are not document by this program. Both of those segments end with this feeling of...oh by the way, she had a kid.

What I also found interesting the 1-2 minute segment before each story. Those were more interesting than some of the featured stories. A good example is the 2 Mexican restaurant owners who boldly state that you will never see them serve tacos at their restaurant. Why? Because real Mexican do not just eat tacos! How amazing is that? But you not see that segment because that is way too positive.

Needless to say I am disappointed because not only do I feel a serious lack of positivity, but there wad no sense of hope. I feel like the average white person would see this and just say that the Spics and the wetbacks are taking over, as if we have nothing more to so than be illegal, fail in school, and make babies.

On a side note. I actually thought Latino in America was better than I thought it would be. So what does that say? I only say because I thought it could have been so much worse. They did show Afro Latinos which is a start, but I think they should have highlighted other people from South America. I know part 2 is tonight, so I can only hope things get better, but I know it wont...

So where do we go from here? Well for starters there are forums like this, which show examples of Latino success from their own words. We need to always remind people that we do indeed have success.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Living in the Moment

"The Secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, nor to anticipate troubles, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly." - Buddha

One of the things that I have learned, is how hard life can be. It is so very easy for anyone of us to live in the past or dream too much of the future. But, it is very difficult to just live in the moment. I think that this is something that I am slowly learning to do.

When people say to me that I have to take things day by day, I am not really sure how to take that. I understand that we all have to live life one day at a time, but I have been the type to consider my past as a part of the plan that I once had for the future. The problem is that I never really stopped to smell the roses. In fact, the only thing I really stop for is the smell of bullshit, but I am sure that is just the way life is.

I have come to learn that life is a series of little moments that I just need to enjoy. These are things that I cannot feel too deeply about. There are also bad moments that I cannot feel too deeply about as well. So no matter good or bad I just have to take everything as it comes. So the goal is to enjoy the good ones and dismiss the bad ones, while not taking either too deeply. Wow, that is really hard to do. However, these little moments that I have define my day.

I know that I can work so much that I may never go outside on a particular day to see the sky (even though it is cloudy most of the time). Many days can go by and I may not stop what I am doing to just go somewhere. I also know with all things that I think about when it comes my impending divorce, I seldom take the time for myself to do what I would like to do. Again, this is hard to do. Not only I am going through a life altering event, I am also altering my life in various ways.

There was a thought that perhaps I may be living in the past or just caught up by it. That may have been true some months ago, but I do not think that is the case anymore. I have painstakingly taken my time to go through every last issue that I think I have and analyzed them backwards and forwards. It would be foolish to say that I have addressed every issue I do have. So, I have learned to let many of them go.

Living in the moment for me requires a great deal of patience. It is a balancing act that I have to do so that I do not get too stressed or too excited about the possibility of things. I just need to take things for what they are. Through this, I see that anything is truly possible in my life. Some people has mistaken my willingness to live in the moment as me waiting for something to happen and that makes me smile. Right now, the only thing I wait for the right job to come along so that I can move on with my life. While that might be waiting in a certain is only because I put the effort into sending out my resume.

With all this being said, I really do plan out my future in terms of goals for myself. I have goals that I set a few months ago, but that does not stop me from living in the moment. I want to also point out that I am not running away from the past either, it is what it is. Thus, the balancing act that I speak about. Almost like a tightrope walk to whatever my destiny is.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Afro is Latino

I can remember the first time I felt I was different. I was a small kid in catholic school and I questioned my appearance. I perceived myself to not be as cute as the other boys my age; the lighter skinned boys. Granted, I was a very skinny kid. Being called "flaco" was not something that was foreign to me. But, what really made me think that I was ugly had to do with how little girls responded to me versus some of the other boys I had seen.

I wont even go into the fact that some of my lighter skinned cousins thought it was quite amusing to call me "tar baby". While that seemed funny at the time to them, I can remember asking God (in the numerous times I was at church because, again I went to catholic school)why was I born with bad hair? Why was I born not looking more like my dad since he can have flowing hair that women seem to be attracted to? I recall thinking why did I have to have darker skin?

I have the complexion of my mother. While I hung out with mostly African Americans, I was always told that I am not black. This lead to confusion because the mirror told me something different. So this made going to High School and College very difficult for me. It can be hard to try to fit in when you are not sure of your own place in world. Now that I think about it, this is probably the reason why I did not get along with many people in High School. I chose my friends sparingly and I think even to this day, I am not sure I can call many of them friends at all.

I always assumed that the college experience would be different for me and it certainly was. But the dynamic of not fitting in with African American or Latinos was unsettling. The funny thing is not many people really believe there is a difference in the social order, as if it were my paranoia. However, when you are a dark Latino you know that it is far more that just paranoia. I learned very quickly that people can be very color struck when it come to the appearance of others.

Just to break it down. White people have always thought I was African American. Which is why that I feel the need to represent my culture while I am in Syracuse. I use my Afro-Latino persona as a way to teach people that we all do not look the same. I bring this up because my parents cannot believe I am like this "Super Latino" when I am at work, but you know what? Someone has got to wear the cape. Most African Americans just think I am black as well, but they are not too surprised about my origin. Latinos...well they just know.

The funny (well maybe not so funny) thing is that during my college years it was just so very apparent to me that I essentially did not fit in any group for long periods of time. Of course, when I look back at it most of my good friends are black. I had always got the feeling that I was just not Latino enough for my Latino classmates (not all felt that way, but most). Was it perhaps that I did not speak Spanish as everyone thinks I should have? I am not sure, but there was definitely something because I do know that I was one of very few Afro-Latinos on campus at the time (believe it or not there were not the many Dominicans as there are now at

Why do I bring this up? Why am I all of a sudden writing about this? Yes, I know that this blog has been mostly about my road to redemption, but I want people to realize that no matter what I go through, this identity that I have will always be apart of me. I want people to understand that I am very proud to say that I am Afro-Latino. I understand why my skin is dark. I understand the African roots of my culture that includes the music, culture and religion. I also understand why people do not understand where people like me are coming from.

One of the questions I do get is why did I pick the name "latinegro". Well besides the obvious connotation there is another reason. Two years ago, I did a research paper on Afro Latinos and I ended up coming away with so much knowledge that I used this name that I found which was coined by another person. Her name is Marta Cruz-Jazen and she wrote "¿Y Tu Abuela A'onde Está?", which a very interesting article and she calls people like myself, latinegros. Clearly I loved it and had to use it.

So let me define what latinegros are in my own words that I am taking straight from the research paper that I wrote: Latino Negros can be identified as dark skinned Latinos. Often times they will be referred to as Afro Latinos or Black Latinos. In the various Latino cultures throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, they represent the bottom of the social ladder. They are normally the poor and uneducated. The term Latino Negro is a not a term that is recognized nor used, but it is something I feel best represents what I am in relation to other Latinos.

This is who I am. This is what I identify as. I may not have an Afro but the Afro has me...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Doors To Redemption

A short poem today but...I have learned that you cant always pick the length of what come from the heart:

How many times
will I have to relive the past
to discover that time heals
old wounds slowly
in fact so slow that it
is like running backwards
on an escalator
that puts us nowhere
but yet I still care?
How many times do I
have to blame myself
or show that I really
did things incorrectly
my words did come out incoherently
I have just grown tired
of hiding behind the melancholy
forgiveness goes both ways
letting go of all past days
of all the fighting and the tears
where truth unlocks hidden fears
the doors of the long hallway
are opening and it is time
to choose which direction
that will lead to redemption

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Honesty is Horrifying...

Ever wake up in a mood and not know why you are in that mood? Every feel an emotion that you thought was one thing when it really is another? I think that is one of things that makes us human is the fact that we cannot even figure out what is really wrong with us emotionally. Sort of when you talking to someone and the next thing you know you are yelling at them. Chances are you have some anger hidden inside of you that has yet to be released.

For me, it is a strange feeling to wake up in a anxious type of mood. My conscience mind just cannot figure out why am feeling this way. It usually takes me all day to figure out why. Normally the answer is in the back of my mind and I am ignoring it. It just takes some sort of admission to myself of what it truly is. Either I am mad at someone and just do not want admit it or there is a situation that is coming up that I know I have to deal with, in which case, I do not want to admit it.

Honesty is something that seems to playing very big in mind lately. It has been a banner that have been flying lately and not everyone is ready for that. I am not saying that I am ready for it either, but I have no choice. Being honest begins with self. I feel that I have been lying to myself for so many years. Not just about my marriage but about my entire life. Is it possible that I have not been the person I think I am?

I cannot say for sure, but I have come to accept many things in my life. The only thing that I can hold on to is honesty. Holding on to a lie is like holding on to a small branch while sinking in quicksand. There is no way you can get out of it. As I mentioned before, people who lie to themselves are dangerous people. I was one of them. I became a danger to myself and to others that I care about. Why? Because I did not know how much my lies can hurt other people.

The best policy for me is to be aware of my own feelings and emotions. Sometimes that is hard to do. I am sure there are times people have no idea why they are mad or upset. We tend to call it stress and it is self inflicted. It does make me think about people I may run into and they are always in a bad mood. Who is to say that they themselves are not tortured due to past decisions.

All these thoughts have to with a movie I saw this weekend, The Invention of Lying. When I say that people are not prepared for honesty, is how I feel when it comes to me being prepared for this movie. Here is one of those films that is billed as a comedy and you will walk out feeling completely changed. This movie completely validates my point on how the truth will set any one of us free. You want to be honest for yourself.

The premise of The Invention of Lying is very simple: imagine a world where no one lies at all and then in that world is one guy who has the ability to lie. Sounds like a riot right? Think again. If you can imagine no filters on thoughts, people telling you exactly how they feel about you at any given moment. Can you imagine if someone you thought loved you really cannot stand you? That is almost horrifying.

What struck me the most about this movie is that pure honesty did not bother people. It is what it is and people moved on. There was no false hope. No wondering if someone loved you. People know exactly where they stood in life. This is just unfathomable to me. Where would I be life today if I knew where I stood in person's life? However, we, as humans, have to lie. We have to play the game because we love drama so much.

So my dilemma is that as honest as I can be to myself and others and no matter how direct I can be, people will always lie to themselves and to me. It is a part of life.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Letter to My Blog...

I know. I have been neglecting you. I just want to say that it is not you, it is me. I have been so busy with work. It is not like I have been visiting other blogs. Well, that is not entirely true..yeah I have. I am sorry I do try to write everyday! I have a notebook that I carry with me! Of course, I seem to be writing more poems then blogs...but I am writing! Ok...ok! You are still my number one. I will make a pact with you...

I have noticed that if I plan my days right I can make 200 blog entries for the year. That will require only 10 blog entries per month for the next 3 months. I fully plan on making this mark. Latino Heritage Month is coming to a close this week and I have one more big event weekend at the end of this month. This means that I will have more time. However, I have been job searching as well which take up much of my time as well.

The bad part of it all is that I have even stopped the frequency of my running! I still get to exercise, but being tired really plays tricks with you mind. I will say that my diet has not changed. I am still eating pretty well so I will still have the energy to run when I get back to it. Before, you think I have fallen off the wagon, I will be working on my arms today (finally). Not to mention that I have my daily Monday night basketball practice game. What I find funny is that I am the only one who has lost weight and has enough stamina to run back and forth from court to court.

I know what you are thinking. You have been my number one thing for such a long time and you think I am losing interest. That is just simply not the case! I think about you all the time. Sometimes I just don't know what to say to you. When you are not looking I visit you but I don't sign in. I don't meant to be distant. My love for you is great. I even posted the video above to show you how busy I have been! I have even mentioned you!

I don't want you to be jealous of Twitter. I mean, she is nice looking, but you and I have a bond! I came to you when I was a low point in my life. I have cried to you and I have told you all my thoughts. You have made me a better person. Because of you I am able to face all my fears and head them straight on. Because of you I have also met some truly amazing people.

So do not think that I no longer love you. That is simply not true. I think some times you need space from things so that you can truly appreciate them. I have grown to love you more and more everyday and I have some serious plans for us in the future. I wont tell you now because you will only get excited and bug me about when these changes will take place...but just know that 2010 is OUR year.

P.S. Mike Robles is pretty funny huh?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Too Mature for Video Games?

I am not sure when it happened. Most of my life I have played video games. But now, not so much. My feelings on video games as not changed. I still love to play a good game. I love the how much the graphics have evolved over the years and I am a big fan of certain franchise games. However, something has happened to me over the last year or so.

Before I go down the road of saying that I have matured, lets keep in mind that I read comic books. I consider myself to still be a big kid. I still play games on Facebook and I rock the games on my iPhone. I just haven't played the games I am used to playing. See, when I was a kid, I used to buy all the good games and play them until I beat them. Of course, at the time I had a job at Pathmark in the Bronx and never had to worry about paying rent so I could buy as many games as I want.

Clearly games of the past are not what they are now, but I enjoyed playing games to pass the time. I made sure I had the latest Nintendo systems and Playstation models. However, I do not have PS3 or Xbox because they are too expensive. The Wii is not "mine" so I do not play at as much as I once did. Which brings me to my point, money. Because I love video games so much and tend to enjoy my experience, I have become picky. I am not trying to spend $50-$60 on a game that is not going to be that great. I can spend my money on other food.

Realistically, I think about my life changes and wonder if that has anything to do with it. One would think that I would want to escape into a different reality and play more video games. I do work so much. For example, from Thursday to Saturday, I worked more than I slept. There was no room for any life because of Homecoming. While that is not normal, I do work long hours and sometimes the last thing I want to do is pick up a controller. However, I used to do that. So, maybe I am maturing.

However, I did stop reading comic books for a few months over the past year. I would still buy them though. But, I would make sure that I had the ones I need and just put them away for another time. I knew that eventually I would get back to them and I did. There are still certain books I have not read that are in my possession. It just makes me think that perhaps I will get back to the gamer that I used to be. Yet, do I want to be that guy who sat on the couch for hours on end playing games? I am not so sure about that. When I am running I feel that I am living life and that I am doing things to help myself. I think the person who used to play video games may have died 20 pounds ago.

Then there are times when I see the commercial you see above. My eyes light up! I think about how much I want that game, yet I thank God that I do not have a PS3 nor an Xbox. I am a competitive person by nature and although I do not care for Kobe Bryant, that just makes me yearn to play this game. I have to mention the song in the background, Eric B and Rakim "Don't Sweat the Technique", is a nice touch. I have had that song in my head for a week. So perhaps there is hope for me yet for Video games.

The last game I purchased was Star Wars: Force Unleashed, which was solely driven by the fact that the commercial was so hot. That was back in March. The best part was that I traded in quite a few games in order get a good discount on it. Not sure if I will do this for this game considering that I do not have any of the platforms. Perhaps one day I will purchase one of the major game consoles, but I am really not sure.

I am thinking that this lull in not playing video games may end when I move to New York City. My nephew, Justin, is the way I was when I was a kid. He loves playing these games. When I come down, I have to make sure I am on my game because he has intentions in beating me in every game that he owns. I enjoy watching him play because it makes him very happy. He provides the type of motivation I need to move back to my hometown.


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