Year One

“I’ve been travelin’ on this road too long, Just trying to find my way back home. The old me is dead and gone dead and gone” Dead & Gone – T.I. Featuring Justin Timberlake

As I sit here in NYC again, I almost find it hard to believe that it has been exactly one year since I started this blog. Last year at this time, I knew that my life was about to under go a drastic change. The writing on the wall was pretty clear in terms of my marriage and I just needed an outlet. I needed something to get my mind off of all the things that were around me. So I started to write.

I wrote every day for 101 days. I spoke about anything that came to mind as if I never had a chance to have my voice be heard before. My original plan was to give a voice to Afro Latinos. I wanted to write a blog from that point of view. Perhaps give people what they have been missing.

As I spat out blog post after blog post, it became harder and harder to find a topic. Once that started happening, writing became less fun for me. I felt almost superficial in what I was saying. I looked at my blog and felt like a hypocrite. “Inside My Head” sort of became a joke to me because I wasn’t really writing about what I was feeling. I contemplated just quitting the blog all together.

Once May rolled around, I decided to just let it all out. I wanted to really face everything head on and take my readers with me on this journey. I was a little fearful that people may not read as much because I was getting personal and I was writing less. However, I noticed that my writing was getting better and in the same regard I was actually feeling a release of energy with every blog entry.

The blog began to really help me mentally. But those changes were really not going to be complete if I really did not start running. I can say that I must have thought of a great deal of blogs when I was on the treadmill. It is rare that someone has a change to change mentally and physically at the same time…and I seem to still be losing weight.

There were times in which I really felt that I was arguing with myself. Several blogs about fate and destiny have lead me to a different conclusion about my life than when I first started. The rest…well it just seemed to be about love or a variation of it. I wanted have this blog to pave the way for me to gain self redemption. I have made many mistakes in my life that I have paid dearly for and at times continue to pay for. My journey, through this blog, has and continues to help me look in the mirror.

Which bring me to what seems to be my new passion on the blog, my poetry. Please do not ask me where this came from because I do not even know. There are times when I have an idea and I need to write it down. Most times it comes out as a finished poem that I simply retype on to the blog. In the late summer, I felt a real need to find a different and more creative way to let what I was feeling out…without just saying it. The poem about Rocky was supposed to be poem that I just wrote and nothing more. But, as time passed, I just felt the need to just write more. When you are an emotional writer like I am, it is almost like a drug to get write every raw emotion down.

I have scanned my poetry. Someone indeed gave me a journal for Christmas and I am using that journal for strictly poems. I know that I have written most my poems out of stress and sadness. However, I do have some love poetry that I am not entirely sure I want to post. I will have to think about that.

So, for your viewing pleasure (and mine too), I am listing what I believe to be my top 10 blog of this past year. Maybe you will get a chance to read some if you have not done so already:

I am looking forward to Year 2 of this blog. I still think I have plenty to say and I just hope that you will all continue to walk along side me in my journey.

“I turn my head to the east, I dont see nobody by my side, I turn my head to the west still nobody in sight. So I turn my head to the north, swallow that pill that they call pride. The old me is dead and gone,the new me will be alright”

Saying Goodbye

“How do you find the words to say, To say goodbye When your heart don’t have the heart to say, To say goodbye…” – Alicia Keys “Goodbye”

Time to get a little personal here. Although I think I have done that already, I have always been very vague about many of the details that surround my personal life. However tomorrow I have to do something that will prove to be very tough indeed.

Most of you know how much I love my dog, Rocky. He has been in my life for such a long time. He will be 10 years old this summer and he has literally been a rock in my life. Ever since he was a puppy, he has brightened my day. Rocky is very bright and has some serious personality. I am not sure any other animal, human or not, has made me laugh as much as this dog.

I have to say goodbye to him. As part of an agreement that I have with my ex wife, she will take him. Rocky is very much her dog. He was given to her as a gift in 2000 and while I have been there for him, Rocky does belong to her. Tomorrow will be the last day I see him for sometime. While I am saddened by the fact I will not see him for awhile, Rocky will be ok.

Usually it is better to not have a long goodbye. I know that will see him again so I will promise myself not to make this harder than it needs to be. The funny thing is, he will just look at me with his eyes and want to play. He will probably bark and then I will have to bark back at him. You know that a dog has touched you when you have a pet name for him. I call him “papa”.

I am not sure if I will ever get another dog. I have had several in my life since I was a kid, but Rocky has had the most spirit. He is a dog that does not like to have his ass smelled by other dogs but will definitely smell theirs. He is a small dog with a big dog attitude in which case I have seen me stare down a Rottweiler. He loves human contact. If you walk in a room and you do not pet him…he will let you know. Let’s not forget that he is only dog I have ever written a poem about.

Saying Goodbye is always hard. I am not very good at it because I have had trouble letting go. However, in this particular instance I have no choice. I am ok with this because she loves him as much as I do, so it is not like he is going somewhere that is unsafe for him. The best thing, however, is that I have tons of good memories and pictures.

Rocky has touched my heart in so many ways. He has seen me and my best and my worst. This dog has proven to me that I can be a very gentle and loving man. When I was at my darkest points, he was there for me.

This is not a goodbye forever….just a goodbye now. Goodbye papa, I will miss you… 😦

What is the Point of Looking?

Let me preface this post by saying that these are thoughts in my head that I am toying with. When you drive 4 hours from one place to another, you have time to think about life.

This year I will be 36 years old. I am getting closer to 40 and I start to see many things in my life clearly. I looked over my past battles over the idea of fate and it has left me with one question: What is the point of looking?

Bear with me here. I am going through a divorce in which I was married to her for 8 years. Before her there were years of me being single in which, I was looking for someone to love me as well as someone to love. My prior relationship ended badly and I was thus single for about 3 years. I didn’t really date, although I tried. But, I always felt I needed something or someone.

I do not feel that way anymore. Not really sure what has changed or how I got here, but I do feel that I do not need a woman to make me happy. There is the realization that I am talking about need and not want. I not going to say that I do not want a woman because of course I do, but I do not feel that I need the love of a woman to make me happy.

I think that we get in trouble in relationships because we constantly want to look for someone who is perfect for us. Why cant we just let fate decide? I know myself. I know that I will be single for a while. The difference between then and now is the simple fact that being alone no longer bothers me. I have a certain freedom of being able to do what I want to do.

The other things is… I am just not interested. Before I open those can of worms, I will say that I know who I want, but sometimes things are what they are. Outside of that, I am not interested in the drama. I am not interested in the getting to know someone well enough to realize that they are not for me. I am not a person who goes to the club to meet a woman. At this point, I am just going to live my life and let fate decide what is going to happen.

So, what is the point of looking? Ever lose something in your room and cannot find it, then you find it when are not looking for it? Same concept here. While it almost sounds that I am looking without looking, it really isn’t. I am too old for many of the games that I see other people go through. Right now, I am just trying to survive this month so I can deal with the next.

Plus, I am a guy and more often than not I seem to run into so many women that will actively preach that men ain’t shit. I dig it. I have made my fair share of mistakes and blunders thus, I am now a single man. I still do not see how any woman would want to deal with some of the very real issues I have right now. I am not saying this because feel bad about myself, I really don’t. Perhaps it is better this way, I can finally focus on me.

There was a point where I had a fear that I may die alone. Interestingly enough, I do not have that fear anymore. Not to say that I will or that I wont, things happen for a reason. If it meant for me to get another girlfriend it will happen regardless if I look for one or not. So why look?

Trust me, I have heard many things. I am still young, single, and have no children. So that some how qualifies me to be this object that women should go after because after all, women are ruthless. I have been told that everything a woman does is calculated. All I can say is…eh. Solitude is not a bad thing. I have family and friends that will keep me quite busy if I let them.

The point is, I need to get my shit together.

If I had to do it all over again, I would…

“I am a guy…when do we ever get anything right the first time?” – Hitch

About a week ago, one of my friends on Facebook posted this on her status: “If I had to do it all over again, I would…” First, I was amazed she got 38 responses. It was an interesting topic that had people thinking about regrets in their lives. It made me think about if there is anything that I may regret in the 35 years of being on this planet. My response to this status was simple: Everything happens for a reason. I am not sure I would be the person I am now if I made different choices…

As you very well know, I am the first person to admit when I am wrong or when I have made a mistake. Life is full of mistakes and we should learn from each one, I am just not so sure we should go back and reflect on them for very long. Of course, I am not talking about a life altering mistake in which someone goes to jail. In those cases, people have nothing but time to reflect on the choices that have been made.

I think about all the things that have led me to where I am today. All those decisions, to either take advantage of an opportunity or bypass one, is at the heart of who I am. I do not reflect on what could have been for too long because that is just not healthy. I will also go on record to say that I have no regrets. However, that does not mean that I do not acknowledge any of my wrong doings from the past, it just means that I am learning from the mistakes that I have made in both love and life.

I have come to realize that if there is too much regret from the past then it will be hard to seek happiness in the future. I know that I tend to be hard on myself. I tend make myself pay for all mistakes. I think it is human nature to blame ourselves for things and it may also be that same nature to harp on the things that we wished could have been. The problem is being able to stop myself from overthinking the past, which I do tend to do. Sure, it is easy to just say “It is what it is” and move on, but we tend to stick to certain points in our lives that just stand out.

I realize that overthinking the past simply means that I may have not let go of everything yet. We try to hold on to ideals. We try hold on to the memories because in certain cases that is all that we have. The concept of letting go is deep on so many levels. I have gotten to the point in which, if I am dealing with something that has to with a past issue and I feel hurt or stressed by it, I take a step back and tell myself that I have not let this issue go. I let the idea of letting go become a barometer for how much I have or have not moved on from a particular issue.

I consider regret as another way of not letting go. So, that is why I can firmly say that if I had to live my life all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. I am who I am, mistakes and all. Could I have done better? Sure! Could I have been a better husband? Absolutely! Could I have been a better son? Yup! Could I have been a better friend? Of course! But, I cannot regret all of that. I really cant. Because I know that through each phase of my life, I have had things that I was constantly dealing with that have made me question myself.

Now, I get to start all over again. A true clean slate. I choose who is in my life. I choose what I want to do. I now have a reference in which I can look back to and say, “I wont do that.” I know first hand consequences of bad decision making. This all comes back to what I have always said: things happen for a reason. In many cases, things happen so we can learn to be better people. Mistakes happen so we can learn to better ourselves.

I had a discussion with a friend about 2 weeks and I said to them: I have a new number 1 in my life…and that person is me.

The Precipice of Solitude

I have been thinking about ways to write this blog all weekend. I found a need to say so many things and I am not sure how they will come out but I am just going to let it all come out today. What really has me going is something that I have said for a few weeks now, everyone I know seems to be going through something. I realize that we all deal with adversity in our own ways. But, for the most part, it is hard to deal with pain and broken dreams.

I have dealt with my own issues the best way I can, which is looking inwardly for all the answers in my life. There has been a time where I have actually prayed for guidance and strength because sometimes my thoughts betray me. I am not going to say that how I am going through things is the way everyone should, but one thing I will say is that no one should let their pain rule them. I seen too many instances where people have let their pain beat them. I am one of those people who refuse to let that happen to me…but I admit, it is a struggle.

Pain can make our thoughts go sour…and depending on the person, they want nothing more than to share their misery with the person who created that pain. I completely understand this reaction but it isn’t the right one. I have witnessed instances where someone can become very vindictive because of another person’s deceit. The problem is that you cannot battle deceit with vindictiveness because no one wins. Karma dictates that what comes around goes around. We can never force this. If anyone of us were to be vindictive to another person we may find ourselves at the end of karma.

Which brings me to my example. Many people want to know why my mother and I have not had the best relationship. As I once again stand at the precipice of solitude, I look at my past in order to see where my future may lead. One of the things that I did not want was for my marriage to lead to divorce because I lived through the very painful and damaging divorce of my parents. My mother left my father when I was in grammar school and the divorce was not finalized until college. Here is where I realized being vindictive does not work.

My mother was not happy with my father and wanted to make sure he paid for their failed 14 year marriage. When she moved out she took me with her. The nomadic period of my life began here, where we moved 3 times in 5 years. When I was 16 I had to make a difficult choice of which parent to live with. I chose my dad, not because I didn’t love my mother, but because I wanted to become a man. My social awkwardness up to that point in my life was not working for me. I didn’t know how to speak to a girl much less have the chance to hang out and meet one.

Clearly this upset her and a messy divorce ensued. As a result of my decision to choose my father, my mom disowned me. She took me out for dinner one night at Willie’s Steakhouse and told me that I am no longer her son. Thus my first break up from a woman, the one that seems to haunt all of my relationships. This is where I link my issues abandonment. This is where I feel that every woman I fall in love with will eventually leave me because if my mother can do it, what is going to stop anyone else? Trust me, it has happened 4 times so far…

Her vindictiveness also lead her down the path of making my father pay. As you know, women are entitled to half of a man’s assets, so she wanted half the house, which forced my father to take a loan for 90k. When the time came, he asked her to pay half tuition. She said no..and he took her to court and made her pay half of all my tuition. At one point we talked and she cried to me saying that my father was being unfair and taking all her money…but I was reminded of the Lexus that she drives (and still does…it is a pretty hot car too).

My relationship with my mother has been very shaky for years. We have made attempts to repair this relationship on many occasions. Every time I experience a break up, I am forced to think about her. I wonder if I had a healthy relationship with her if I would be where I am now. Maybe there is a part of me that inherently does not trust a woman for some reason because I know I will give them a reason to leave.

My point is being vindictive solves nothing. You end up hurting yourself more. The best way to “get back” someone is to be the best person you can be. I know that sounds kind of spiritual but it is what it is. For anyone who is done wrong, eventually things will look brighter. Turning the other cheek against those who have wrong you will be the best thing you can do. It will be easier to move on and live your life.

Feeling Good

Last week and this past weekend has been very interesting for so many reasons. The fact that I have been feeling really good has proven to make my life so much easier. I will admit that I am not entirely sure why I am feeling so good. I am thinking that perhaps it is a delayed reaction to my trip from Florida. All the the sun must have done me good. Perhaps it is the running that I continue to do. From what I am hearing the endorphins from exercising is what makes us feel better.

Regardless, I feel that I am returning to my cheerful ways. I feel that I have always had somewhat of a positive outlook on life. However over the last several months I think my view on love and life have been darker. I have become this person that can give great advice but has difficulty following my own. I am not sure why that is, but in any case, I need to have a positive look on life.

I am very amused by the people around me. I am not saying I take my impending divorce lightly, but seeing people react or at least not trying to react makes me laugh. It seems that my situation has sparked conversation at my work place when I was on vacation and I am ok with this. This essentially means I don’t have to talk about it to people I rather not talk about it with. So if they want to me shocked by the news while I am not around then I am good with that. However, there have been a few people who have been very supportive and that goes a long way with me.

It all pretty much started when I put “single” on my Facebook. Before I went to Florida my father calls me and was very concerned that I may not be moving on since my wife has put single her status. I was more shocked about him calling me about this (I mean really? is it that deep?). I didn’t update my status because I just wasn’t paying that much attention to it, but to appease my father so he does not worry about me, I change it.

You would have the thought the “Bat” signal went up. I am getting texts and emails asking why am I single on Facebook. Some have not been so discreet by asking me on my page why am I single (but we wont go there). Most people thought it was a mistake! That perhaps Facebook in the many version it keeps updating to, changed my status. I just smile and tell them that it is no mistake. Once they pick up there jaws, I inform them that we are ok. Sometimes it is better to be friends then to be married. Of course I am amazed how Facebook has played a role in my social life. I even gave my parents a tutorial when I was down there.

I was asked to take down my picture from Facebook by my mother in law because I looked sad. This was a difficult conversation with her. She is very much a mother to me and she is having a hard time dealing with our break up. This did upset me but I told her that once again, we will be ok. Speaking of family, I was talking to my niece from my wife’s side of the family. She too noticed the news on Facebook and asked me if I am still her tio. This broke my heart. I love that little girl and she is the closest thing to a daughter that I can get. I told her I would always be her tio.

I am feeling good because there are so many possibilities in my life right now that it is hard to decide what to do. Couple that with the fact that I have been able to accept our decision to move forward.

Women are Ruthless

All women are basically in competition with each other for a handful of eligible men. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966

It is amazing what people will say when they find out that I am getting a divorce. I know that many people really do not know what to say when they hear about it, but there are those who know exactly what to say. From what I can tell, those who are still married and have never been through a divorce (or never witnessed one with their parents) never know what to say. It is those who have been through a divorce of any kind that have the most to say.

A few weeks ago, I had a buddy of mine talk to me when he found out that I was getting a divorce. After making sure that I was ok, he begins to tell me how different women are from when we were single. Of course, I am thinking, “have I been married that long?” Seriously, did something happen that I don’t know? How the hell are things different? He tells me this one line that I am not going to forget: Bitches are ruthless. Whoa.

He explains to me that women will do whatever is necessary to get what they want. His point is that I am good catch and women these days will sniff me out and “sink their claws in me.” He had a general concern that I may not be ready for this. I have told him what I am telling everyone: I am not trying to date anyone. I need to do me. I need to make myself happy. He is response that I can use women to achieve this goal…again, whoa.

So, like I normally do when I encounter such information, I seek the advice of my female friends. Imagine my surprise when they agreed! There is something that I never really thought about and that is the fact that there is a man shortage. Women out number us, which give men the ability to have options. Women, particularly in my age group, that are looking for a good man will make sure they will do what they need to to achieve this goal. I found this to be very surprising.

See, I hated dating when I was in my 20’s. In fact, I didn’t do it much. Why? because women did not pay much attention to me. Now, maybe you can blame that on the fact that I was looking in the wrong direction when it came to women. However, it seemed to me that women in their 20’s are looking for something I do not have. Most, times they seem to be looking for thugs, and I am far from that. Maybe times have changed, but I cannot say for sure. So the fact that women will try to get their claws into me is something I am not really ready to accept.

It was then explained to me that their are certain qualities that I posses. I am educated. I have a good career. I can take care of myself. After that, the two most important things: I am (or will be) single and I have no kids. Whoa. I find this all to be very interesting. I can understand what people are telling me, but all I can say it that I am still not dating anyone. You cannot “sink your claws” into something you cannot grab.

So, now I am in My Sanctuary, here in Florida. My parents have taken much time and effort into pulling just about every detail into what happened with my marriage. I told them just about everything. At the end, we talked about my future, and once again I was told that women can be ruthless! My dad pretty much told me that when a woman wants something she will do anything, including hurting her friends to get a man she wants. That is crazy! My step mother did not even disagree! In fact, she told me that women just do not care. Where are these women?? I am really trying to figure out who I know that is like that.

This information is something I clearly need to ponder. I mean I wont go into it too deeply, but it is something I need to be aware of. I wont lie, I have been under the impression that most women do not know what they want. However, with age this changes. I begin to wonder it is because of desperation or simply that the men they have dated in the past simply were not for them and they need a change of pace. I am not sure.

All I can say is that women confuse me and will always confuse me. I know I am not perfect. But, perhaps with the man shortage I was told about, it is difficult for a woman to make a choice on what to do.

Letting Go of Everything = Self Redemption

“Hitting bottom isn’t a weekend. It’s not a seminar! Stop trying to control everything and just let go…” Tyler Durden (Fight Club)

Today is the first time in a very long time that I woke up feeling great. I have learned to let it all go. The last few weeks I have been so bogged down about my life and how things are going that I have completely lost my sense of self. I lost who I was. I lost the motivation that made me what I am. Let me take it back to yesterday…

I was feeling like total shit yesterday. I didn’t sleep much at all. I was cranky and quite frankly, I was not feeling well. I decided to just go home and rest. I felt a migraine coming on. I get home and I nap for a few hours and I wake up feeling somewhat better. I left my laptop on, so I go to facebook. I scroll through all the notifications and I see one from am old friend of mine that just struck me: Letting go doesn’t mean giving up, but rather accepting that there are things that cannot be. This hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew at some point I needed to let go, but my view of that was me giving up on myself and my dreams.

I found myself just thinking different thoughts, but as usual. I was like, whatever. I went to look up some quotes to put as my status and something told me to look up quotes about letting go. That is when I found this site. I read this site 3 times.

Reading the information made me realize something very important. Up until this point, I was not ready to move on. I was holding on the remnants of the past. The reason for this is because I have never been able to forgive myself for the past. I have constantly blamed myself for this divorce. I have asked myself numerous times, “How could I allow this to happen?” I was holding on to the pain and anger of what was. Instead, I need to be seeking self redemption and acceptance.

I need to forgive myself for the part I played in all this, so that I can let go. This way I can examine and evaluate everything while looking into the future. I need to accept what cannot be. I made some mistakes and I cannot continue to make myself pay for them. Letting go is all about me. It is almost like a leap of faith. The future holds so many possibilities and opportunities that I found that I am holding myself back. I need to evaluate the people in my life and only deal with those who are positive.

Everything happens for a reason. I don’t say that in the sense that our fate is predetermined, because I don’t believe that. But, I do believe that everyone serves a purpose in all of our lives and we need to figure out what that is. When one door shuts, other doors open, so when something unexpected (or something I don’t want to happen) occurs, I need to do a better job in seeing the opportunity that may present itself.

I wont lie and say that I am already past everything. I will say that I am making that effort by recognizing that letting go can lead to personal freedom…and I need to be free. I need to be free to do what I want do, even if I am not sure what it is. What I need is face my uncertain future with a smile and know that I am ready for anything.

…and guess what folks? I am ready. I am not looking back anymore.

“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.” – Tyler Durden

Talk About Awkward…

I keep forgetting that not everyone knows about Josie and I splitting up. One of the things about working at Syracuse University is that you meet so many people. Between students, staff, faculty, and guests we may run into, I would say that her and I know many people. So I know that on any given day someone will come up to me and ask “How is the wife?”

It kinda bugs me out in a very amusing way. The only way that people would know is if they read this blog. I have told certain individuals personally and so has Josie. So, I am not exactly sure who knows. Not that it is a big deal. So when the question is asked, I simply tell whomever that she is fine. To be real, I do not want to always talk about it.

I think what will be awkward is when colleagues begin to find out. I can only imagine the questions. The funny thing is that Josie and I can still work together and get things done for the students because we are professional and we know why we are here. I think it will be awkward for everyone else.

The other thing I find awkward, and maybe it is just me, I feel like everyone I know who is single is getting married! It is just weird. I certainly do not want to be the bearer of bad news, particularly for those who are about to get married. It is sort of like when I hear about people I know who die. It makes me think about my own mortality. The same thing holds true for people getting married. No one wants to think about what could happen if things don’t work out.

The good thing is that when you are engaged there is the belief that you will be together forever. Which is good. So the news that they here should not distract them. Which is why I found to heard to tell my brother, since he is getting married next year.

What I have encountered, that is not cool at all, is other people feeling the need to tell my business. I have mixed feelings about this because I know people will talk, but if I tell you that I am getting a divorce and not many people know, wouldn’t that click in your head to not tell anyone? I recognize that if I tell a friend that is married he/she will tell his/her wife. I get that. But that person need to tell his spouse to shut the fuck up!

How annoying is it to tell someone who already knows and that person was not told by her or I? Of course this incident happened before I mentioned my situation on this blog last week. It makes me want to re-evaluate those I call friends.

Now What?

I consider this separation/divorce process to be very much a learning experience to me. So, it has been a very new thing for me to just put my business out there for all to read. I did tell family first. I also asked Josie if it was ok to write my last blog. Even though her and I are going through this, I still have a sense of responsibility. So I wouldn’t just put her on blast either. We had some really good times and I want to honor that.

A part of me wanted to make a FAQ list that I have encountered since I had decided to tell people individually and then publicly. There was no question that was invalid or out of the ordinary. Most are like simply: What are you going to do now? Truth be told I am talking things day by day. Some days are harder than others. Quite frankly, I have forced myself to think about all the things have went wrong. I want to say that I very much feel responsible for this.

So now what? Well, I want to focus on my career. I think that I had a very good year and I would like to keep that going. I want to get into my master’s program and I am waiting for 2 letters of recommendation (I need 3). I am a little annoyed, but I will give those two people a couple of more weeks before I search for two other people who might be willing to right me a personal reference. I am going to focus on myself.

People have asked me if I have a girlfriend. I do not have one and I do not plan to. I need to re-evaluate everything in my life. This is a life altering event and once I am able to come to terms with everything, then my next step is to fall in love…with myself. This is important to me because I am not sure if I even like myself right now. Now, I don’t want my guilt and sorrow to be mistaken for self pity. I thank everyone so much for the well wishes. Keeping my head up to me, is very much about recognizing mistakes and facing them. Once that process is done then I can move forward.

There has been no greater wisdom (for me right now) than to speak to someone who has been going through similar things. I had a cup of coffee (my first cup in a week) with a very good friend of mine that I have not seen quite a while. She offered some of the best advice to me. In addition to telling me that all things happen for a reason, she told me that I should now reflect on what I need to do for myself to make my life better. I trust her knowledge because she has been in my shoes.

I will say that I have had a good week. For the most part, I have been with family. I was able to have some of my father’s cooking which is plus for me. I went to the movies with my brother, sister and law and my nephew. Played handball with my cousin Rick. I was able to hang out with a good friend of mine as well. My vacation has been full. So I cannot complain.