Family Matters…and not the show…

(yes that is me in the front)
With the constant changes in my life, I have found myself thinking about family. It is amazing how times of change and stress can connect you to family members. I know many times I have felt the need to speak to family when things are not going well. However, sometimes we find ourselves pulling way from family because of issues. Let’s face it, no one knows us better than family and they can be our biggest critics as well as our biggest fans.
Of course I could talk all day about how good family can be but, it becomes hard to do that because I am not really sure what a normal family is. I know what I have seen on TV. I know that the Cosby Show and Family Matters are not real to me. Harmony is something my family has never had. However, we still manage to remain close to certain family members.
I come from a pretty big extended family that is on my mother’s side. My father’s side of the family is not as big. When I take a step back and I look at both sides, I realize how jacked up both families are. I am not sure that I have heard of a more dysfunctional family than the two I belong to. I wont get into specifics but lets just say that I simply do not communicate with many family members and much of that is due to circumstances beyond my control.
There are so many things that I have heard and witnessed when I was a kid that simply make me shake my head. But, because I was so young when much of the issues happened, they do not really effect me as an adult. I just look around as the different family members squabble and complain over things that don’t really matter in the end. As an adult, and not to mention the youngest in both families outside of small children, there is this sense that I am still a kid in all this. Perhaps I do not understand the issues that everyone else seems to be fighting over. Oh how wrong they are!
I will say that I love my family. I have a some unique individuals, most who are women, that I call cousins. Despite the issues, I have felt so very grateful to connect with them through Facebook. I once considered myself the black sheep of the families. On my mother side, I was my father’s kid. The one who told my mother that I would rather live with the man that (allegedly) destroyed their marriage. He brain washed me and I was never going to amount to anything. One my father’s side. I was simply…black. Sure, I was a cute flaco kid. My cousins would take places, but I simply did not feel as if I fit. Hence my need to be an individual, yet always having abandonment issues because I felt like the nomad relative.
One thing is for sure, what I have learned from family, is Gossip! I mean, wow. I could tell you a million stories of my entire family and none of which I saw or heard personally. However, one thing that never seems to considered how stories get twisted and the object of concern always gets hurt, but hey…it is family! What I want to see is a family show about real jacked up issues. It can still be a comedy, you just have the add some Budweiser and some Sofrito.
I do smile when I think about my issues with women considering that I have so many female cousins. When I do move back to NYC, I plan on connecting with them. See, I do not consider myself the black sheep anymore, but more like the prodigal son…(or cousin)


The last time I wrote a blog (sorry for the delay but the students came back last week), I talked about how a friend of mine said I overthink. Well, it turns out that my number 2 problem is that I make assumptions. It makes me smile because he is absolutely correct. I do make way too many assumptions about all the things that I overthink about. Of course, my dad would say to me, “You know what happens when you assume? You make an ASS out of U and ME.”

I think that my assumptions are a bi-product of me overthinking. When I overthink, I tend to imagine the worst possible outcome. The reason for this is because I just don’t think that life is all peaches and cream. I do not believe that everything has a happy ending because the world does not work that way. I have learned that not everyone has the best intention and not everyone can be trusted, so why should I assume that any situation I am in would come out good?

Now, with that being said. I do believe that in the end, everything will work itself out and not in the fate type of way. I do not believe in fate because things don’t just happen, especially in relationships. Everyone has a choice in what happens to them. It is because of that, that I assume the worst because (again) not everyone has good intentions.

Then there is the fact that I can be so emotional that I think things are essentially about me when they really aren’t. Assumptions can be particularly bad when it comes to this age of social media. It is very easy to think that a status message on Facebook, AIM, or Myspace can be about us. We project this because quite possibly we hope that we are being thought about even if it is not in a nice way. Not to mention the numerous amount of “tweets” that go around these days. It is very easy to get caught up in the hype.

The best assumptions are the ones that are completely baseless. I think about my family on this one. I will tell you all right now that my family is jacked up…on both sides. You have people not talking to each other because this person said that. There is animosity on so many levels that I am willing to bet all of it is based on assumptions. Miscommunication and overthinking breeds assumptions. We all assume that when a loved one doesn’t call it is because they are not thinking about us, not realizing that this may be the furthest from the truth. In fact, I have had many discussions with family members about why I don’t call them…meanwhile the phone works both ways.

Someone asked me why do I always assume the worst. The answer is very simple. When the worst happens, I am prepared for it. So, if the best case scenario were to occur it is a welcome surprise. Probably not the best way to think about things, but I make sure that I do not fool myself when the shit hits the fan. This type of thinking does me very well at work (of course). I am never caught off guard when it comes to a situation because I am generally prepared to handle many bad situations. Why not apply the same principle when it comes to love and life?

I know that I am talking mostly about bad assumptions and worst case scenarios, but do I really think about the best possible outcome in a given situation? Yes, I do. It tends to be a quick thought of what could be, but I never prepare for anything good to happen because I tend to roll with the good times. Besides, assuming the best of times can be just as bad as assuming the worst times. Alas, my issue.

So now what? Well, I was sitting in my bed the other night, just looking at the ceiling. The TV was on and at that time it seems to just look at me. During that moment, when it was just me and my thoughts (and my dog), I made a promise to myself that one day I will be happy again. With that said, I reflect back to my overhthinking and my assumptions and I ponder the advice of that good friend: “You just have to roll with things and go with the flow”

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.

My Nephew

I wanted to write something quick tonight. I am busy watching the Big East Championship with my brother. Hopefully SU will pull out more big win.

So yesterday and today I spend some time with my nephew and Godson, Justin. A very cute little boy that eats nothing healthy and plays video games all day long. So, I guess he is just a normal boy. He gets just about anything he wants. His grade warrant it, which is always good.

This boy is going to be 10 this year and I cannot believe how much times has past since I saw him the hospital. He will always be a reason why I come to NYC. I make sure that I see him as often as possible. Justin as finally gotten used to traveling to Syracuse every summer to visit. I laugh when he shows his amazement of all the trees and green grass.

But, boy, does Justin love video games. I think he can actually get me tired of playing video games. He does this thing where he cannot sit down while playing a game. He needs to keep moving as if he has way too much sugar in his body…which he probably does (e.g. he had waffles with ice cream when we went to eat at the Cross Bronx Diner). So when he plays games like wrestling or even madden he is kicking and running in place! Thank good that my brother puts him in sports like Football and Baseball because this little kid can run.

The only bad part of me visiting here is leaving. He gets sad when I leave. but, hey he will see me again in May.


Social networking seems to be the way to go nowadays. There was a time when Facebook was supposed to be for college students and now it has blown up to point where parents are now hooked. There are so many sites to choose from if you want to network of just meet people. The choices almost seem endless (I am still trying to figure out what twitter is). It seems that when it comes down to it you either like Facebook or Myspace. I haven’t met someone that likes booth, although they can have accounts on both.

I started on Myspace. I thought it was a hot site that allowed me to keep in touch with people I knew. I could send messages to alumni that I knew or just meet interesting people. The Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas graphics were always something to behold. I actually started a blog there as well. But, then something started turning me off to Myspace. I am not entirely sure if it was the random spam messages from web hookers or the numerous amount friend request from web mistresses…I dunno. Either way I became bored.

At the same time I was on Facebook and this was strictly to keep in touch with students, particulary the ones I advised or employed. This was a great way to do that. What makes me laugh is how all the educators and administrative heads of higher education felt that Facebook was this big threat. You could go to any of the Higher Education conferences and you would see several presentations and panel discussions on the dangers of Facebook. I even remember attending meetings on what we going to do about this site. I would at my co-workers like, “Are you serious?”

Then the creators of Facebook became really smart and decided to open up all the networks to include people who were not in college. This is where the flood gates have opened for me. I have been in touch with so many people that is just hard to fathom. There are people I have not seen in over 20 years that I talk to as if no time has passed. Then when I thought it could not get any better, my family starts to join! What makes that crazy for me is that it is the family that I don’t see all that often. So, it has been such a joy for me.

Sometimes I do think to myself what did I do before Facbook? The answer to that is clearly not keeping in touch with people.