I am a firm believer that you are never too old to learn. I am not a traditionalist. I question everything, including myself. I am not a perfect man, nor do I expect perfection from the people I know. However, I do expect people to be real. I love to laugh and to make people laugh. I have come to realize that the truth hurts, but in truth comes freedom. We all know it hurts to be free.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
It turns out the the new me that I have been talking about the last couple of posts has decided to throw himself into his work. I have been so busy at work that I am very tired when I get home and struggle to just be productive. However, I have been thinking about Valentine's day that is coming up in a few weeks. I am not sure if I am going to be writing much about it this year due to Black History Month, but I have been thinking about my personal history of this day.
This has traditionally been a day that I have loathed because this seems to be universally celebrated as the day we profess our love (or like) to another person. For people who are not that lucky, this is a day that could not suck more. As I have gotten older and wiser, I can say that I do not feel either good or bad about Valentine's Day. Perhaps it is that lack of expectation and yearning that I once had that maybe I will be someone's valentine. It could be that once I had a girlfriend or wife that this day was further marred by mishaps and plain old apathy. There is a point when you are married that you start saying things like... "well we don't celebrate Valentine's day because you should tell that special someone you love them everyday"
Not to say that this statement is not true, but that day for me personally has always had some negatives to it. I remember not liking this day as a child. I would ask different girls around school if they would be my valentines only to get a resounding "no". As a kid, it is hard to deal with rejection of such because often times I thought it was me. Then I got used to it and never had a valentine all through High School.
I remember a time when I was roaming the halls in High School after classes were over ( I would often stay late because I was always involved in many extra curricular activities) and seeing this huge bulletin board that had cards or hearts posted up from all these girls sending in valentines to the school. I was in shock because I went to an all boys school and I had no idea that girls from other schools could do such a thing. Needless to say that I had none and I just walked away.
My first real valentine was in college. I remember that day fondly. I took a friend of mine to see Dreamgirls and had a pretty good meal. To do this on a college budget is amazing and I felt that it was well worth the wait. I started thinking that the days of bad Valentine days would be behind me especially since I had a girlfriend for the next two, neither of which were all that memorable for reasons I will not get into.
After that, I didnt have another valentine until I dated my ex wife so many years later. This was when 1 800 Flowers was making it big on the internet and I was doing what every man would do, order flowers to your woman's workplace. Well, after ordering the flowers well in advance...they never show up. Imagine having to explain to your girlfriend that you did indeed ordered flowers that never showed up. Not a good night, however, when they showed up the next day even after I called back and canceled the order, she believed me. So, of course this could not happen two years in a row right? I mean they contacted me saying that I had this crazy discount to make up for the previous mishap...yeah well...lightning does strike twice.
So as I said, there comes a point in marriage when many things stop and valentines gifts are one of them. I cannot help wonder if that is a good thing or a bad thing. But, as much as I can sit here and say that we should not wait until 2/14 to show someone how much you love them, there seems to be something stuck in all our minds that this day means more than what we let on.
It is just a hard day to figure out because the perception is that the man has to be the one to do all the flowers and candy type things. The woman does not even have to accept nor do she have to reciprocate. Many of my male friends will easily tell me that this is a woman's day and all we get is like christmas (haha). Perhaps I am just jaded and I see things from a very narrow view and if that is the case then I accept that. Maybe I am just used to being treated a certain way or not being treated the way I want. It is hard to tell, but I will say that very few women have generally surprised me on this particular day and I do not see that changing anytime soon.
I think the only thing that has changed for me is expectations. I do not expect anything from anyone. So if I do send flowers chances are I am not expecting anything in return. To me, it is better this way. I have learned that life is not fair and I am ok with it. I am not saying this in a depressive way, I just think that things will happen when they happen.
However, I would like to to stop being what I have now dubbed a "Valentine's Dud". There will come a point in time when the stars will align enough for me to have memorable 2/14 and if not, well, I will always have something to write about!
Saturday, January 22, 2011
“Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.” - Wayne Dyer
The journey continues. I myself cannot believe that it has been two years ago today that I start this blog. I have witnessed myself change from a man who was not sure about his life to a man who is now certain of where to go. I very much consider this blog to be the reason for it all. I have found the courage to admit to myself all my fears and frustrations while turning them into motivation to be better.
Personally, I think that I have been on a great ride. Good or bad, I feel alive. I can admit that I have feelings and emotions that I am very sure that I was not in tuned with a few years ago. Someone mentioned to my that I was pretty much a closed individual before I started writing everyday. That is so very true. I cannot express how much of a release it is to put words on paper (or type them on a screen - semantics, I know). I have learned to channel my emotions in written form so that I can share it with everyone.
I cannot be the only one that has seen the change not only in me, but in my writing style. Over the first year, I feel that I was so wild and undisciplined. I would write on just pure need to release. I think my second year was harder because I wasn't sure where to go, but I developed a craft that I am hope will launch me forward into year 3.
I was concerned that my addiction to Twitter would effect this blog, but that is so not the case any more. I really believe that they now both go hand in hand. While I express my deepest desires and fears on here, I can really be myself on there. Without realizing it, I have developed an online persona that I am very ok with. My plans are to use all this as a stepping stone to something larger.
I still plan on doing something for Black History Month in honor of Afro Latinos. That is just a given. I am still debating doing another month of 30 Poems in 30 days in April. Of course, there is the anticipation of getting into Sarah Lawrence College and the possible move back to the greatest city in the world. Lastly, there is Latino Heritage Month, I will definitely being doing something special for that. My new journey is just beginning and documenting it have been a blast.
I feel like I am always being sentimental in thanking everyone for reading, but it is your words of encouragement that shows me that I am doing exactly what I need to be doing. I am also very humbled by the fact that people have been telling me that I have inspired them to go back to school. We are NEVER too old to go back to school and make ourselves better. We are meant to evolve and change. It is not about money to me anymore because I cannot take with me when I die. It is about knowledge and the quest to fulfill that destiny that I was meant for.
My apologies. I do not mean to get all existential right now. I have a feeling I may have to write more about that later.
In any case, let me dedicate this video below to my blog. I recently fell in love with this song I feel that at this would have been my theme at some point over the last two years. Enjoy.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
I was talking to a fellow blogger the other night about life and I mentioned the word legacy. The conversation itself stemmed from the fact that most of us seem to just get by living paycheck to paycheck. I am reminded how hard that can be when you are not sure if you are going to have power or a phone from month to month. Those day seem to be another lifetime to me. Not because I have it like that, but because money does not concern me the way it once did. This when I said to him that legacy is more important than money to me.
Sure, I would love to have a lot of money only because that would make life so much easier. However, I have been so used to not having money that living paycheck to paycheck has become an art form. Since I got the roommates, I have been able to have that flexibility I needed because I will be honest, there were months last year that I was not even sure I was going to make it.
Yet, living comfortably is what I would like to do. I think I have gotten close to that and now I can focus on my legacy. I want to leave my mark on this world and the time seems to be right. I may be a little young to be talking about leaving things behind before I die, but I think that you can never be too young to work on a legacy.
I talked a little bit about acceptance in my last entry and one of the things that I have come to accept is the fact that I may never have kids. For some, that is the best way to ensure some sort of path to the future; some semblance of immortality. The whole kids thing is something I have no choice but to leave up to fate. So, in the mean time, my creative work will have to be my child...
...and yes I know that I am too young to be thinking this way but it is what it is. Most women my age already have or are having kids. Some do not want anymore and others have baby daddy drama that I am so trying to deal with. Older women for the most part want no more children, which leaves younger women and that is a whole other animal indeed. Needless to say that I have thought most of this through and to avoid any lingering disappointments, I have come to accept that being a father may not be in the plans.
The good thing about all this is that creativity only seems to get better the older we get. I am not sure that it is something that wrinkles like we do. Being creative only helps the brain to further reach it's potential an since I constantly thinking about everything in my life, it is safe to say that I can bank on my legacy with shear brain power and creative merit.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
I do not know what it is. I feel different this year. Dare I say that I feel more mature.Writing that bio has really made me look at my life, even if it was just a synopsis. I do not feel comfortable enough to claim that I have been through a bad life, but I will say that I have been through some challenging times (haven't we all?). I am just wondering if I became this wise man when the clock struck twelve on New Years Day.
The last two years have been really tough and I am proud of myself for having endured it. As sit here and type this I wonder if I can say that I have been through a metamorphosis of the psyche. Yes, it is true the a divorce is a life altering event. Things that I took for granted in the past are simply not so anymore. I think I can enjoy life's little pleasure's because I am lucky to have endured. There are now things that I simply do not stress anymore. I just do not feel the need to.
I find it remarkable that I can say that if I do not get accepted to Sarah Lawrence that I will be OK. I know that there will be more opportunities and that I will simply have to wait for them. Essentially, I leave it all to fate. This is a line of thinking I would have had an issue with two years ago. I may have even been against it a year ago. Now, all I can say is that if it is meant to be, then it will be. Let me tell you, that is a statement that I once hated.
Perhaps there is merit to thinking that once you have nothing to lose you are free to live. I have come to accept many things in my life and I am not ashamed of it. Acceptance is apart of being able to live life. I cannot hold on to the grudges of old. Now, do not misread me, if you done me wrong and it caused me great pain then chances of me inviting you back into my life are slim and none, yet that does not mean I have harbor ill will or negativity. I will also say that in many cases the person I should have a grudge against is myself for the many things that came from wrong decisions...but you live and learn. I am a better person from it.
Someone asked me how I can just freely admit that my mother disowned me before college and my answer was very simple and to the point: that was another lifetime. This has been my answer for so many things in 2011 when it comes to my past, it was simply another lifetime. I am a different person. I can hardly recognize myself in old pictures. Maybe this is why I take so many pictures of myself. I can see the change.
I just feel more mature, more serene. I just worry, in some small way, that is leading to me not caring anymore about things in general. I just feel that I have the power to make better choices and that I can walk away from the wrong ones. More importantly, I feel that I have to ability to shape my social circle. I know all the talk about how hard it is for a man to make friends as he gets older, but I think that all depends on how open men are to the changes in their life. A broken ego is not something that men bounce back easily from.
I don't know. There is a lot of thoughts than occur from solitude, which is not a bad thing. Perhaps I have become mature enough to appreciate my time alone so that when I do share my time with others it becomes more meaningful...
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Why Sarah Lawrence College?
During this process of me applying to admission for graduate school, some people have asked me the same questions. One of them is Why Sarah Lawrence College? Well, in all my submissions of writing samples and bios, I was asked the same thing by SLC. Here is my response:
There came a point in time when I decided that I need to move and leave Syracuse. My divorce was just about final and I reached a point at my job that I could go no further. I was doing a job search and came across a position at Sarah Lawrence College. It was a development position that I felt I could do really well in. So, as I was applying, I decided to take a look at what Sarah Lawrence does for its students.
As I searched the website, I noticed the graduate studies program in Creative Writing. I found myself very intrigued by this. I heard about a Masters degree in English, but not writing. I decided to bookmark the site and keep it in the back of my mind, just in case I get the position, perhaps I can take classes part time.
As it turns out, I did not get the position but I did speak to a fellow writer who lives in White Plains, New York. She informed me that I should really look into Sarah Lawrence and that it was one of the best schools in the country for Creative Writing. I began to look further into it and looked at all the alumni who passed through. Once again, I put in on the back burner because I had to deal with my divorce.
Last October, Syracuse University hosted a graduate school fair. This was an event that I was working. I had to make sure the tables were set up and that the organizers had everything they needed. Once the fair started I started looking at all the schools, walking table by table and I came across Sarah Lawrence College. This was the only school that I actually stopped and talk to the admissions representative.
She was a nice lady that told me she had just graduated and wanted to go on this particular college fair to let people know how great this school was. She mentioned that it changed her life since she was an older lady looking to start over. I do not remember this woman’s name but she won me over. The idea of starting over in order to something you love just did it for me. Coincidently, she was graduated from the Creative Writing Program.
I took my curiosity a step further and visited the campus the very next month before the Thanksgiving break. My friend, who spoke very highly about Sarah Lawrence, met me for some coffee in Bronxville and showed me the town. After seeing how great this town was I ventured to the campus. I had no idea what I was doing but I found my way to the admissions office where I was able to take a tour.
On my hour long tour, I fell in love with the campus and the atmosphere. I began to imagine myself writing on the many benches on the campus and doing some real creative work. I am not sure I could have found a better place that will be better for me to do work. The campus seems very quiet and yet very welcoming to ideas and to people.
I want to peruse my dream at Sarah Lawrence College because I feel I can belong here.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Pursuing Graduate Work
First let me just tell you that I am so excited to be at this point in my life. I never thought I be looking forward to going back to school, but you know what? This is just the beginning. When I clicked submit and all my materials were sent, I realized that I am at a different point in my life. I am not going to let anything stop me from what I want. I need to do this for myself.
Last year was rough but, I set myself up so well for this year. I have so many things in the works right now that if I play my cards right I may be able to attain the happiness that I have been craving so much for. Every obstacle that has been in my way has been a test of my resolve.
I also want to thank those who have always believed in me. Those who always tell me that I am brilliant writer even if I did not believe it myself. No matter if I get into Sarah Lawrence or not, this is just the beginning for me because I would have done this just a year ago. I stay humble because I am not perfect in anything that I do. There is always room for improvement and while I may roll my eyes when someone points out a spelling error on any of my blogs (and trust me there are quite a few), I appreciate the love and the critiques.
So sticking with my theme of just letting it all hang out on the blog, here is another bit of writing below to a question that Sarah Lawrence asked... "Why do you want to pursue graduate work...?"
I am current working at Syracuse University and one of the things that I have come to understand in the nine years of employment is that we ask young men and women from the ages of 18 to 22 to make a decision on what they want to do for the rest of their lives. The problem is that most people do not find themselves until they are about 30 years old and by that time they may be at a job they do not like and a marriage they cannot believe they are in. That is very close to my story.
I went to school at Syracuse University and I had no clue of what I wanted to do. I knew that I could write but I could never forget people telling me how much of a bad idea it was to be a writer particularly if I was not going into journalism. I chose to be a history major because that was something I excelled in really well in High School. But, once I started taking courses, I began to really dislike it. I was having a cultural awakening that made me take African American and Latin American History courses. I considered myself at an impasse because I did not want to be a history major anymore.
I tried switching to another school within the university but my grades were not good at all. I looked back at it now and I know that I did not apply myself. I was dealing so much with my parents’ divorce and the social pressures of just being a student in a predominately white institution. I found some of my courses to be uninspiring and thus I had trouble focusing. The courses I did well in were course that had to with culture. That changed when I became an English Major. I found that I really enjoyed reading and it only made my writing better.
When I graduated in 1996, I was stuck wondering what I was going to do about a job. Grad School was not an option for me at the time because I took the GRE and I didn’t do very well. I always had trouble with standardized tests and quite frankly, I felt I was done with school. I wanted to try my skills in the real world.
I bounced around several jobs and found myself back at Syracuse University as an employee. Of course, of benefits was taking courses for free. This time I felt that if I do take classes I would be ready. I originally chose to go the route of business degree to enhance my job skills, so as an introduction to the School of Management, I had me take a graduate Economics course. Even though this was just one class, I knew this would be the hardest thing I had to do. Math was not my subject and I also worked 60 hour weeks.
With all my hard work, I passed the course and proved to myself that I am ready for graduate school; however, I didn’t want to do business. I made the decision to try courses in the higher education field since I worked for Student Affairs, it made sense. I took two courses and I absolutely loved it. It combined the things that I liked: culture, writing, and reading. My grades further proved that I can handle graduate work. However, something was missing.
Once my marriage crumbled, I started my blog called “Inside my head”. I started writing so much that I could not stop. I found myself writing poems, short stories, and just about anything that came to mind. So, I have decided to take a chase and do something that I really love which is creative writing. The divorce has put my life into perspective and in a sense, I have found myself. Now, I just want to go to school to improve on a craft that I have been doing for years.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Me in a 1000 Words...
Below is my autobiography in exactly 1000 words. This took me 4 drafts and massive editing in about 3 weeks to complete. I just submitted this today. Please...be very candid with me and tell me what you think...
I was born on June 12, 1974 in the Bronx. My parents are both second generation Latinos that grew up in New York City. Both were in previous marriages before they tied the knot in 1972. My mother already had my brother from her first husband.
I grew up in the 1980's, where I witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall, the birth of the Hip Hop culture, and the emergence of the era of greed. The fears of a nuclear war were real to me. I sought refuge in comic books as an escape from the world and my parents failing marriage.
I attended Holy Cross Elementary School where I discovered that I enjoyed writing stories involving my classmates. My love for comic books gave me the inspiration to write. In 1986, I saw my parent’s marriage end. My mother took me and left the house I grew up in. My father stayed as we moved across the Bronx three times in six years. I attended St. Raymond's High School where I grew conflicted with their divorce. Writing became an outlet to get away from the pain.
At sixteen, the divorce court judge asked me to choose which parent to live with. I ultimately chose my father. This decision was based on struggles of boyhood and masculinity. My mother eventually disowned me before my admission to college.
I enrolled at Syracuse University in 1992 as a history major. I was told countless times that there was no money in writing and I gave it up. After the first semester, I wanted to do something different and took an opportunity to change my major. I made several friends that majored in film and joined a club that did television skits while showing hip hop music videos. The show was called “The Rhythm.”
I enjoyed being creative and wanted to transfer into the College Visual and Performing Arts for film. The two requirements necessary to gain admission was to write a five minute screenplay and have a 2.5 average. My grades were not as good as they should have been, but I did write a screenplay entitled "Call Your Mother". It was about a boy and his relationships with his father and estranged mother. I was never able to transfer colleges, but I did finally change my major to English.
College was where I discovered my identity. While I always identified as Latino, I never knew what that really meant. My dark complexion would make anyone think that I was African American. I realized that my identity was fluid in nature since I can live in both worlds and not be accepted in either. It would take me years to figure out my place in the world.
I graduated in 1996. After working in Syracuse and dealing with a bad break up, I found myself back in the Bronx in 1998 dealing with my father having cancer. He was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer from working with asbestos in gas mains for Con Edison. Interestingly enough, he was able to take an early retirement and moved to Florida where he lives currently.
During my time back home, I moved into my own place. I started my first blog in 1999 called “A-bomb's World.” It was an amateur's attempt to write about life in New York City. I wrote for a few years and took it down at some point. I began to repair the relationship with my mother. Since I was not having luck with women, I felt solidifying our relationship would bring closure to our past.
I met my ex-wife in 1999. We dated for a few years and she helped me get a job down on Wall Street. I was there during September 11, 2001 during the World Trade Center disaster. I was lucky to be uninjured and it was then that I chose to leave New York City. A week prior, I was interviewing for a position within student affairs at Syracuse University. I was offered the job and I moved, taking my girlfriend with me. We married in June of 2002 and decided to follow every couple’s dream of owning a home in 2003. Soon after, life seemed to repeat itself as my marriage began to fall apart like it did for my parents. As we began to grow distant, I created the current version of my blog entitled "Inside My Head" in 2009. I realized that I stopped doing the one thing that really defines me: writing.
I came to terms with my identity. Being one of few Latino administrators at Syracuse, I became an advisor to many Latino students. I also helped create the Latino Heritage Month celebrations that still occur today. I took graduate courses in Cultural Foundations of Education because I wanted to further my education. I finally understood that I was Afro-Latino after soul searching through research papers.
This new found awareness is seen in my short stories, poems, and blog entries that were based on pent up emotions that I have had for years. I expressed myself in such a way that words poured out. It felt like my mind was once closed and writing opened it up. My blog has been a tale of my journey through marriage to divorce and identity that I call "the road to personal redemption".
After working at Syracuse for 9 years, my desire is to move back home. The job market is not good and I want to expand my passion for writing. In October of 2010, I went to a graduate school fair in Syracuse where I met a woman from admissions. Her love for Sarah Lawrence fueled my interest. I always felt that my style of writing was missing something and I want to explore that. I chose Sarah Lawrence because the reputation of the writing program is unmatched. In December of 2010, my divorce was finalized. I now have the power to look into the future a wiser man.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Dating and Coupons!
Now that I am single, I cannot help but wonder about the art of dating. Sure, I am in the middle of trying to get into grad school and I have been on a few dates, but it is always good to wonder all the do's and don'ts of dating. So, yesterday morning I read this article about what is considered a date and what is not. I then asked a question to my followers and I got more than what I anticipated!
If you read the article then you will notice that it is all basic stuff. I know that the combination of things my dad have taught me, my step mom had said to me, and just growing up with a lot of women that has made me realize certain things that a man should do on a date. This doesn't mean that I was all that good at it, but I wasn't horrible either. So when I scroll down the list, I notice point number 3: "It’s not a date if: he whips out the groupon (coupon)"
I found this statement to be strange. I know that we are living in hard economic times. People are hurting for money and I cant help but wonder why would a coupon to a restaurant be viewed as a negative thing? It is not like the guy who is using this coupon is making his date pay for the meal nor is he asking her to go dutch. I would assume that as long as two people have a good time and the bill is paid it shouldn't matter. Apparently, I am wrong.
Now, in their defense, perhaps they do not understand the dating rules and roles. Perhaps they do not comprehend words like elegance and chivalry. In any case, I think that by saying that coupons are a bad thing on a date leaves women open for criticism by many guys. Of course, I had to ask the women who follow me on Facebook thinking that perhaps they would give me good explanation of all of this...
Well...maybe after the third date. Lol. Depending in the types of girls your into, either way it will say more about you then the girl your actually taking out. And there's no such thing as an expensive restaurant with coupons discount. You either have it or you don't. Good luck! Lol.
Sometimes discretion is key to keep sexy alive. For instance, your girl shaving a hairy armpit in front of you... Not sexy, right? Okay, times are hard and most of us are basically screwed in the butt by this economy. So, if you take me on...
If it's a first date, don't do it- your better off taking her somewhere in your budget- if you can't afford the place dont make her think that you can - that's false advertising , like if she had a padded bra that made her 2 cup sizes bigger... Same thing
Needless to say this is topic that these women are well versed in. I also want to say they made my day yesterday. I laughed so hard because they make some good points here. I mean, if any man asks a women out, I would think it would be his responsibility to make himself look good. Of course, it depends on the woman who he takes out, which means that there has to be a conversation to get to know your date beforehand. I am not saying to ask if coupons are acceptable, but I think guys can get a sense of the type of woman they are dealing with by listening! (imagine that?)
However, not all women thought coupons were a bad idea:
I have to disagree w almost of all of you. I believe it takes a great woman to understand that it's not about the coupon but it shows a man who is financially conscience and that is a GREAT quality in a man. I find that too many women are more concerned about the kind of restaurant they're being taken to and how much he'll spend on them. Well, take this advice from a woman who is writing a book on just this subject and also from a woman who pays for all of the 1st dates. Break out that coupon sweetheart!
Look, I don't really know what the exact rule is, but I will say that to date a woman is expensive. A dinner and a movie will run about $150 if the guy is not careful. Think about this (and I am using NYC prices): 2 tickets for a 3D IMAX movie will cost $36. Dinner for two can be about $80. Take into account that I did not add snacks and popcorn from the movie nor did I add in drinks from dinner. I personally think that if a coupon is thrown in there somewhere it is not a terrible thing. Now, of course, he could purchase the tickets online using a voucher and she would never know. It is totally possible he could take care of the bill with a coupon while she is in the restroom. But can a cost conscious individual be all that bad?
Thursday, January 6, 2011
I kinda have a dual topic today only because I have two things floating in my head and I would really hate to try to spread them in to two different blogs when in reality I just want to write. In the background in my life right now I have been cultivating my bio for grad school. I am about to start a 4th draft and I think writing about something other than my past is called for.
The other day I thought about what would I do if I won the lottery. The $330 million jackpot for Mega Millions was something so tempting that it seemed everyone wanted to play. I personally did not play, but I wonder what if I decided to and I won. Let's not even think about the fact that the odds are so against anyone winning that you have a better chance of getting killed by a vending machine.
What is up with world today? Did I read correctly that a publisher is currently making a version of Huckleberry Finn that takes out the N word? I find this to be so incredibly insane. This is worse than censorship to me, this is more like rewriting a literary work. It is almost like editing history because we want our young readers to be able to stomach the harshness of the past.
I do not need $330 million to make me happy. However, I would love that type of money to establish a legacy for myself. I find it odd that most people who end up winning these lotteries end up blowing all their money within a few years. I would never do that. I do not need to live a rich life because all I want to do is live comfortably. Sure, I would pay off all my debts as just a starter, but I would help those that I care about the most too.
Huckleberry Finn uses the word "nigger" 200 times in the book. I can hear that word the same amount of times on a drive from Syracuse to New York listening to nothing but Hip Hop. I am not saying that I should be hearing this world, but that is the reality of the world we live in. Besides, it is important to keep that word within the novel because of the context of the story as well at the time period. Are we supposed to let children believe that slave owners were nice to their slaves?
Clearly I would pay off my house. I would pay off my dad's, bother's, and mother's too. I would also pay off my tia's house. I would set up a college fund for my nephew and I would definitely go to grad school with no worries at all. I would start up my own business that centers around the art of creative writing. What I find funny is that I am not sure how much material things I would own. I have no need for a huge mansion nor do I need a new car. I would be practical and use the money to enjoy life. More importantly, I would continue to work in some way.
What kills me the most is that Mark Twain is classical author and to change a single word of any of this literary works is an abomination to the art of creative writing. That is like editing Leonardo da Vinci's art work because it is some how considered offensive. Yes, I am taking offensive to this because a writer produces work the way it is intended on being read regardless of the text. There is no need for "radio edits". If you do not like the word then cross it out. Changing it is not acceptable.
I often think about the song "Billionaire" by Travie McCoy and Bruno Mars. Sure, I would love to buy all things I never had, but I would love to make my mark on the world. I would love to have a building on the Syracuse University campus names after me. The Otero Center for Afro-Latino Studies. Now, tell me that does not have a ring to it! Alas, I think money just makes us a large version of ourselves and I am not sure the world is not ready for me yet...lol
P.S. If I did win a ridiculous amount of money, I would buy that publishing company destroying Huckleberry Finn.
Monday, January 3, 2011
Over the last couple of days, I had to really look back and ask myself what do I really want for this new year. Before the years was up, I really did not think about 2011 and what I may have in store of it. Alas, I did not want to get to a point where I felt I was just coasting through life. I need to make sure that I do everything I can to ensure my happiness even in times when I feel the most lazy.
I could have done many things better last year. I know that my biggest enemy is myself. It is like that for so many students that I see who come through my door. We tend to be our worst enemies because success is not an easy thing to attain. It is damn hard and many times it is easier to make excuses rather than battle through whatever obstacle is in our path. I feel that I have been lazy last year. I was so busy waiting for things to happen that I lost sight of many goals. I cannot do that anymore. Even as I type this, I know how hard it is to stay motivated.
So for the sake of my sanity, yesterday, I created a list of resolutions that I need to work on for 2011. These are not superficial things. These are things that I need to do in order to get back to the essence of me. I have always been able to look at the potential of others, now I have to look at my potential. I have struggled to recognize my worth for the longest time and now that I have gotten a sense of that, I need to figure the perimeters of my potential.
I want to start by clearing my credit card debit. Now, my debt as whole is larger that just credit cards, and a lot of that is due to owning a home, but I want to concentrate on this seemingly small portion because I need to put my money to better use. I think that by doing this I can afford more and worry less. Now that I have three roommates, I think that I can fulfill this goal fairly easily. Do not get me wrong, I am not paying them all off and then discarding them, I want to pay them off and continue use them responsibly. Now that I am fully living the single life, I need to live a little more and have my money work for me.
Although I have been in relatively good health, I feel the need to get back to the work out regime that I had in 2009. I need to start running 3-4 times a week like I used to. I would use just about anything as an excuse to not run. I need to stop that. For months now I have been concerned that perhaps I started putting the weight back on that I lost 2 years ago. I have attributed my lack of soda drinking to my weight loss so the least thing that I have done is to continue to stop drinking it. However, I still feel that I may gained some back.
The funny thing is my pants still feel and look the same. So I do not feel a tightness, however, I feel like perhaps my shirts can be too small. Granted I am probably thinking too deeply into this because I am still relatively slim but, as I get older, things like diabetes and blood pressure may become an issue. In any case, I had to face whatever this feeling was that perhaps I am gaining weight back. When I was in Harvard last week, I weighed myself. I am 167 lbs and I was shocked. I am still relatively the same weight. Maybe my shirts are shrinking...
...the next day when I was having dinner with 2 of my paternal aunts, one mentioned that I am not as slim as I was last year. I heard that and I said to myself. I need to run.
I then thought about how quickly the 2 year anniversary of this blog is coming. I feel that I have at times neglected this site as well as my writing due to my laziness. I need to always make sure that I am on my game. Which is why I have decided to shoot for a goal of at least 175 blogs for 2011. That is about 15 entries a month until the end of the year (I rounded up). I need to push myself further so I make this be happy about what I can do with my writing. I know that I have used my tumblr account strictly for my poetry...but that may not be the case anymore. I think that site has become a whole another animal entirely.
With the thought of increasing the number of entires per month it is only natural that I think about broadening my audience. I would like to get more followers. I am not sure how I am going to do this. I feel that this blog is a product of me. I think that I share my stories and my journeys because I want to leave my mark on the world. However, I still know that I write for me and not for others and yet I want more people to follow me. I think that is just the nature of being a writer. I want people to read what I write with the understanding that I am not here for anyone in particular.
However, I am enjoying so very much the interactions I get on Facebook and I would love to continue that. I feel that I can get ideas from the people who read me. Often times when I am thinking about what to write it can almost be like a conversation and in many ways the Latinegro page has allowed me to have that conversation. So, I want more followers because I feel that I want more people to join into whatever conversation that I am having on here.
The final goal has been an on-going goal since 2009. I need to move back to NYC. I think in many ways I have been lazy about that to. Not that I have lost the desire, but more that I think I lost a little bit of hope last year. When I ended my last entry for 2010 I said that I wanted to hope more and dream less because I think I thrive on hope. While dreams are something we all have, I think people can spend too much of their time dreaming and less time living. I plan on getting back on my grind and getting back to NYC as soon as possible.
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