Looking back at MY 2012

“Neo, sooner or later you’re going to realize, just as I did, that there’s a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path” – Morpheus

I always try to take one look back before I proceed into the future. 2012 has finally come to an end and I cannot help but be amazed of how I ended up exactly where I wanted to be. I will say that as much as I wanted this to be a good year, I wasn’t so confident that it would end that way.

The first thing I decided to so was to take more risks. The truth of the matter was that at this time last year, I knew I needed to change my life before I went spiraling down in a flame of debt and foreclosure. What I learned from my woman was that taking risks shouldn’t always be that scary. After a afternoon of learning how to ice skate –without falling once, I realized that I needed to invest in myself and take those risks that may turn my life around.
At the same time I realized that this blog was becoming a venue for me to complain and talk about things I would love to do but never follow up on. I was done with that. I need to stop talking and just do. The result ultimately ended up with me having less blogs than I anticipated but, the major goals I set were completed. Yet, as a writer, I did get more exposure than I ever thought I would with being selected as blogger for the Huffington Post. Yes, I feel like I keep saying this but I still find this to be amazing.  I wrote 4 articles and acquired a great deal of fans on that site.

Although, there were some bumps along the way, my second blog for the Huffington Post received some comments that I was not excited about. Looking back at it, it wasn’t that big of a deal but, I did feel a certain way about it. I craft my words carefully (which is why I was called a Word Ninja) so that people can understand where I’m coming from. Usually, there are people who take my words to mean something entirely different (I’m still getting used to that). There was also the time in which the Huff denied a post from me. That was particularly hard to swallow, but I got over it.

I still believe that this was a banner year for racism. Despite the fact that Barack Obama won a second term, I believe we have seen so many signs of racism in the country that it is almost laughable if it wasn’t so tragic. The death of Travyon Martin really took its toll on me when it happened. I think there is a lot to be said about the gun laws in this country and while I wrote nothing about Aurora and Sandy Hook shootings…I think eyes need to opened when comes to which populations are being effected by certain laws. I think more importantly it is the perception that people have that really shows how “tolerant” we are of other people. This does not mean I have strong words for just white people….my own people can be ridiculous too.

Of course with the things that I say or do, come people who have either a difference of opinion (which is fine) or people who downright cannot deal with me. This year, I have learned to take the good with the bad. Let those fester in there thoughts while I continue to move forward. I can spend a whole blog post on the telling of stories about people and incidents that happen earlier in the year that will be completely hilarious. However, in doing so, that will make them look bad. I am determined to be the better person always. I think I have succeed in that one thing before I left Syracuse.

There were several proud moments for me this year, but nothing did it more than me getting an A in my graduate course in the spring semester. Another reason for the lack of blog posts was the simple fact that I was taking a class. The reason why this was big for me is because I never got an A in any class in my college career. I think I did pretty good on this.

My, departure from Central New York involved risks has I mention above. I was lucky enough to sell my house and get an apartment for a short amount of time. There was also so much risk in just keeping the faith and hoping that my job search would find me something. I’ll be honest, there was one point where I gave up. With my last job application submitted, I told myself that it was either now or never. If I do not get a job in NYC, I would have looked into Grad School in California. I had schools already picked out when Barnard called for the interview.

I will never forget that afternoon when I was told that I was hired. With my return imminent, I thought about all the things I would do when I got back home. But, I had to ultimately say goodbye to good friend. Yes, it was hard to say my goodbyes to colleagues, friends, and students but it was the hardest to say good bye to Rocky. I still love and miss that dog. He has remained in Syracuse with the x-wife. I still think about him everyday. Sad to say that all good things come to an end…SU will always be in my  heart.

However, I did learn that everything is truly connected. In the wake of my decision to move, my mother suffered a heart attack. This required her to have a quintuple by-pass surgery that we all were very nervous about. Of course, Columbia Presbyterian is one of the best places she could have very gone to, there is was always that horrifyingly small chance that something may go wrong. The good thing is she fully recovered which made my return even more glorious.

The rest of the year was filled with apartment hunting while being broke, Obama was re-elected, Sandy damn near destroyed lower Manhattan, my Macbook broke, and I am near obesity.

I think this was a good year. Very successful. Next year will be better. I will share a toast tonight for my friends, family, and to all of you who continue to follow me. Happy New Year! 

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5 Days until the End.

Earth will not be Vulcan in 5 days.

A funny thing happened during the supposed last year of our existence, I was living life. I had not paid much attention to any count downs or apocalyptic warnings. Yet, I am wondering how much time people have put into the belief that the world will truly end. I will admit that because of my propensity to have a vivid imagination that sometimes I may get caught up in the illusion of such things. Yet, this time around I am not concerned with any of this, even if it is for humor’s sake.

However, I feel compelled to write about this because I haven’t really mentioned it since I first wrote something about this last year. The point I made then was that this could be the end of the world as we know it, (cue song from Independence Day) which was more of ideological notion of the world around us. I know that based on the changes to my personal life that the world around me has changed forever.

Now we are 5 days away from finally hearing the end of all this Mayan talk and I truly believe that the world has changed within this year. Of course, the world I refer to will be largely localized to this country but still, most of what we know about the world are things in our immediate area of familiarity. I still believe one of three things happened when it came to the “ending” of this calendar. The first being that, like every calendar, the numbers simply start over. Secondly, when the Mayans were wiped out by European Settlers much of their records died with them. Thirdly, however improbable as it may be…perhaps they were charting something bigger than this planet…maybe another Galaxy. Think about that.

In any case, the world is not same. For many Americans, the re-election of Barack Obama means the ending of their proverbial world. Many people have pointed to this as the end of the power that white people have held in this country. Personally, I do not believe that but I do think that it does mean that people of this color now have more say in who runs this country. So in many ways there has been a paradigm shift within politics that will resonate for decades to come (if you believe in that sort of thing… *waves to New World Order*)

Many people have been pointing to Hurricane Sandy as the reason for Obama’s win and also as a sign that the end is near. I think with every big storm there is a call for the end of days in which there is the expected 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse to show up. Climate change has made people really wonder how much time we have left because there really is nothing mankind can do again Mother Nature. The other side to the climate change argument has been that weather patterns have just been repeating from century to century which does makes sense in some ways considering that America is still fairly young and we have no adequate records of such (outside of Farmer’s Almanacs), but that does not address the polar ice caps melting. (I digress….)

Sadly, the death of 20 children in Newton, CT at the hands of mad man can also be pointed to the end of days. The death of innocence that has been felt all over this country for last few days has caused many people to rethink our society’s policies. Veteran politicians who have been all for the NRA have now been changing their tune looking to redefine gun laws. That would be a major step in changing the world as we know it. Unfortunately, the world at large is used to dying children. In places like Syria and Gaza, parents bury their children on a regular basis due to war. That does not mark the end of days but just how barbaric we truly are to each other. We do have a chance to really show what the value of a child’s life really is…AND that will change the world indeed.

I could go into more signs but it is pointless. The truth of the matter is that we live in a vast universe in which the cosmos is still growing and unless the sun were to go nova, which it wont for another 5-6 million years, we are fine from any cataclysmic event. Besides, if anyone remember how completely underwhelming Y2K was, then hopefully you can join me on the morning of December 22nd when I have a drink of Coquito to celebrate surviving, yet another, end of the world event.

Our Last Year on Earth.

Ray, when someone asks you if you’re a god, you say ‘YES!'”  – Winston Zeddmore
Beware! This time next year is slated to be the end of the world! They made a movie about it so you KNOW that it has to be true. The Mayans have predicted this! They are authors of an ancient calendar that ends on this day next year. Now all of a sudden people want to listen to Mexicans.

I am always amazed that every few years someone is either predicting the second coming of Jesus, the rapture, or now the unexplained reason why a calendar just stops. I have read that some archeologists have suggested that it is simply the end of an era and that the world will not end. I tend to believe this. Although, I am a little bit more practical. I say that the calendar resets or maybe they got tired of doing all that math. I do not recall the Mayans having a knack for telling the future nor is there any accounts that state the ending of “civilization.”

However, there is seems to be a religious component to this (of course). The end of Ancient Mayan Calendar (aka Mesoamerican Long Count calendar) is supposed to mark the return of the Mayan God, Quetzalcoatl. Without going into further detail, he is a very powerful serpentine deity who was also worshipped by the Aztecs. There are many stories about his true nature but one thing was for certain, it was believed he was the God of the morning star (Venus). He avatar is more like a dragon than anything else but the the most interesting description comes a blog I read about Quetzalcoatl: “Legends say that Quetzalcoatl was tall and light-skinned, with blonde hair, blue eyes, and a beard, in contrast to the natives who were short, dark skinned and dark haired. He is said to have worn a long, flowing robe. Quetzalcoatl was special because he was a god of creation.”

This raised my eyebrows because that definitely sounds like a European Cleric to me. Upon further investigation, there a people who believe that Quetzalcoatl is actually Jesus. There are some Mormons who believe that after his death he visited South America. I am not sure this is a Mormon thing because I remember hearing this somewhere in my 12 years of Catholic School. So according to some there is a link to Quetzalcoatl and Jesus Christ. Maybe all those rapture people were off by a year?

It is indeed interesting that the Ancient Mayan Calendar stops on Winter Solstice of next year. I can see why people, who probably have limited knowledge about ancient civilization, can pick on that small piece of info and think something catastrophic will happen. Never mind that cycle for this calendar is 5,125 years long. The Mayans were astronomers that studied the ways of the universe so they can map calendars and astronomical alignments. So there is no suprise that ABC News reports that “The Mayans predicted a final event that included a solar shift, a Venus transit and violent earthquakes.” Of course there is a failure to mention (which ABC News does state) that there is evidence that dates beyond 2012 were indeed recorded.

No one person or people this side of Nostradamus can predict the future and for what it is worth, people tend to bend Nostradamus’ words into whatever may happen in the world today which makes what he says ambiguous at best. What I am not understanding is what is the obsession with the end of the world? Are we not satisfied with the world we live in? Not that we should be. But, from a religious stand point, if you are just living your daily crappy life waiting for a better life in the ever after then I supposed you want that to happen as soon as possible.

But, what if the “end of the world” means something that is totally not physical. Perhaps a mental transformation. Such paradigms shifts have happened before after the atomic bombs were dropped in Japan in August 1945. Some could argue the world ended right then and there. The world that they knew was gone because from that point on the world got smaller and more dangerous. Since then we have lived under this shroud of Nuclear war up until the Cold War end. Some could say the world ended on September 11, 2001. The world we know as Amercians has changed so much since then.

So what will end exactly? Will there be a new paradigm shift? I certainly do not believe that the world will suddenly be visited by an ancient Mayan God like Gozer (Sumerian God) from the Ghostbusters, but I do think that Mayan Calendar could mean an end of an era, but for what, remains to be seen.