Navigating People

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This is the last week of this year and I find myself wrapping up somethings before the year closes. While, I haven’t laid out my goals for 2016 as of yet, I’m still very much thinking about them. I currently have more time to write some blogs and I wanted to free write.

It’s been an interesting year indeed. I could get into all of the societal and political trash that has occurred but this one is about me. This year has been a year where I had to really figure out my place when it come to people.

I feel like I navigate people everyday. I navigate my family, my friends, and co-workers. I also navigate my twitter peoples, blerds, fellow writers, and trolls. Through this, I makes me wonder what I actually do each day. How did I get where I am now with all this human navigation?

I feel that this year has put into perspective that most friendships are not as archetypal as we think. In fact, in the grand scheme of things, friendships can be fleeting. No matter how much navigation can be done, all relationships are more or less the same. People love each other and they trust each other until they don’t.

Life goes on and new relationships are made and voids are filled. We spend so much time thinking about how we ever had those voids in the first place. The navigation of nouns (persons, places, and things) continues like it never ended as it was a ripple in water only disturbed by a stone of a broken connection.

I think back to a passage from my own book (which I try not to quote myself due to this being a bit self serving):

Everyone in our lives is there for a reason, regardless of the length of time. No matter if they love us or hate us, no matter if they break our hearts or simply hold open the door. I really believe things happen for a reason. I can’t say I believe in fate, but rather I believe that we all play a role in each other’s lives. It’s up to us to decide what that role is.

Fleeting relationships is what life is about. If you have old friends cherish them.

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The Book of Isabel #NaNoWriMo

Book of IsabelI started writing my second novel a few weeks ago but it wasn’t until a few days ago that I really got into it. I knew after I was done with the first novel I was going to have to figure out what I needed to do in order to get this second one started because there was no question in my mind that book two was going to happen. I’ve already figured out the theme and the time in which all of this is taking place. I wont confuse anyone so I will just say that the book is about friendships and the strain people put on them.

The Book of Isabel provides some unique challenges for me. The time frame is actually in the present and the past, I wont say that there are flashbacks but more like two stories going on at the same time. Then there are returning character from Hanging Upside Down and having to delve deeper into them than we’ve already seen while introducing some new and crazy characters that will make shit very interesting. I also have the challenge of not making the same mistakes I did with the debut novel. (By the way, this is just a teaser cover…it wont look like this when it’s all done)

It’s not lost on me that this is National Novel Writing Month. I find it interesting that as many times as I’ve tried to write things in past Novembers, it’s only now that (being one book into the game) I know how to focus myself and write. So at the very least, I figured that now would be a good time to start this process again.

I also set a goal that by the time I hit 50, I should have at least 4 books to my name. It is ambitious goal but totally doable. So now it continues and with this book, in which, I had a hard time really getting into in the beginning because I was thinking too much about my current novel that came out last month. Why am I thinking about it too much? Because I am over it already. lol

What I mean by this is that I know in my heart, I’m not cut out for marketing. Sure, I can sell the book one on one. I can promote it on all my social media but I cannot make people buy it. So what should I do? I should write another book. This way I can just concentrate on what I can control. I will still work hard on promoting to people that I don’t know but for the most part if you follow me or even visit this page for the first time, then you know that I have a book out. To be honest, becoming an author was the first goal. Maybe one day something I write catches on but who really knows? I have stories I want to tell and will continue to do so.

There was also a thought that I do have a collection of poems that I have all set to publish. It will need some formatting and some direction (as well as editing) but that is something that is always out there for me. I’ve talked about this to a few people saying that it could be something I just drop in 2015 but I’m really not sure. The problem is that I do not consider myself a poet.

With all that said, I am proud that of what I’ve written thus far. I think I will be taking a emotional look at how men view friendship with men and women alike and what it means to be a true friend. While, Hanging Upside Down deals with love and sex, The Book of Isabel will go beyond that to deal with love and friendship. I personally did not know how to tell my friends that I loved them until after 9/11 but should it take something that drastic to tell someone how you care?

I dunno. I guess I will figure it out as I write it.

My Year in Review

It seems like when we get to the end of every year we talk about how fast this year went. It makes me wonder what everyone else is doing because the last few years have been anything but fast. This past year is no exception and I am okay with that. I feel like I had too many losses this year, however, the successes that I did have outweigh all of that.
I started out the year figuring that I knew what I was doing. I made some resolutions that did not come into fruition. I started on what I felt was a great path into grad school. I chose to put all my eggs in one basket and put in my application to Sarah Lawrence. The Application process included bios, transcripts, and recommendations that lead to my ultimate failure. I am not sure why I was not accepted but I took it all in stride.
This year I gained some friends and I lost some friends and in some cases I regained some only to lose them again. It was not a particularly easy year for me in the friend department. I wonder if I have been misunderstood in certain cases or perhaps I cannot be friends with every woman I meet. There is no coincidence that I lost most of them when my girlfriend came into the picture. Some things can’t be helped eventhough I believe that some friendships are repairable. I do realize I need to do more for my friends in the future.
There have been some affiliations that I very happy to be a part of. The November Media Group made me take my name and my persona on this blog seriously enough to consider myself a brand. So I did a photo shoot in March in order to have some head shots for publicity later. I thought this was a good investment and I am not opposed to doing this again in the future, it was indeed a great experience. Another affiliation that I am really proud of is The LatiNegr@s Project: Being AfroLatino. I was able to bring to together 3 other individuals to form a teams that is completely committed to education of the Afro Latino experience. Together we can do more than I ever could through our sites and on twitter.

Speaking of Twitter, it was a big year for me tweeting. I was able to get a company like Pep Boys to hear my gripes about them and their service. I finally met Frankie Negron when he came to Syracuse University to perform for Fiesta Latina. The best part of this was when I picked him up from the airport and the first thing he says to me is….”You look just like your Twitter pic!” He is an awesome dude and I hope I get to work with him again. I was also nominated for a LATISM (Latinos in Social Media)  Best Latin@ Micro-Blogger award. I didn’t win but it was nice to just be nominated.

I also found what it meant to be truly single. I never really got into what my life has been since the divorce but it is not cake walk. Sure, I may have hinted at things here and there but those who have been through a divorce know that struggle becomes synonymous with surviving a broken marriage. I am not even referring to the institution of marriage, I am talking about dealing with people always asking about your ex-wife because somehow they are the last person in the world to know. There is also the fact that bill collectors give zero fucks that divorce happens.
Being truly single means most of those things you hear about bachelor life that has not been glorified. The fast food diet, the single man laundry day (thank God I do not use a trash bag to carry my clothes), the unshaven beard, the piled up dishes, and other things I wont get into because this is a family show. Needless to say being a divorcee is not a fashion statement and I have learned to deal with everything and to be as open and honest about things as I can be. Surviving a life that was once a two income life is a challenge when it become one. After a full year, I can say that I am a proud survivor.
My truly single days did not last long when I started seeing my girlfriend in July. This is the woman that I wrote all that poetry about. While I will not go into detail about this whole thing since I do enjoy a bit of privacy when it comes to this part of my life, I will say that things are going better than I would have ever imagined. I always take time to reflect and realize that I am a different person than i was years ago and will continue to learn from my past mistakes in relationships
The job prospects always seem bright when they appear, especially since I completed my 10th year at SU. I made it a habit to look at all the job openings I can find each Sunday. I was so confident that I would find a job this year that I bought two suits from Men’s Warehouse not only for work but for some potential interviews I had lined up. In June, I had two interviews with Yeshiva University in Washington Heights. This was following a phone interview I had several weeks before. I was 90% sure this was going to happen. I kept it quiet because the whole thing with Sarah Lawrence made my parents believe that not everyone is on my side and can toss negativity out there into the universe. Needless to say, It did not work out at Yeshiva and neither did it work on at Columbia University when I interviewed there in November. 
Overall, I wanted to write more and complain less. There seems to be a surge in popularity of this blog that I am humbled by. I look at the stats and page views only to see that this year has given me more hits than ever before. In fact, November has been my most popular month. Much of it seems to be past posts that have led to me getting paid a small amount of money for something that I wrote 5 months ago.
More importantly, I still maintained the ability to be creative through either poetry or writing a short story. I am still committed to pointing out racism and injustice where I can, as well as calling out men or boys out on their crap and showing the world the true colors of people or magazines. I look forward to year 3 of this blog as I try to expand myself as a brand and as a writer. 

Friendships or Just Ships?

I feel like I have no choice but to keep saying that I am not perfect, because really I am not. But, I find myself in interesting situations this summer. I have always considered myself somewhat lucky with the relationships I keep with the people I know. I feel that I knew a number of people that I can call friends in one way or another. I do not mean it in the Facebook way, in which everyone befriends us. I mean it it more a bonding type of way.

I am a true believer that everyone is put in our lives for a reason, whether it be for a short time or for a very long time, people play pivotal parts in our lives. We also play roles, sometimes in ways we do not comprehend, in the lives of others. Its the way the universe works. I have been fortunate enough to bond enough with some people that I would consider friends in a very real way. I consider myself a selfless friend who will do just about anything for his friends. I love to talk, laugh, and socialize, so I am always entertaining at the least.

However, there was a time this summer in which I took a break. Sometimes I do that from time to time in which I take time for myself. This wasn’t just a break from friends and such, it was also a break from this blog. I needed to think about my life and about my employment situation. I will say that during that time I did have two interviews for a University in Manhattan and it looked promising at the time. While, I did not get it, I learned a lot about myself and my resolve. Other things changed for me as well that I am not going to get into at this moment, but point being, I was not particularly looking for anyone and some people took exception to that. I did my sincere apologizing to an old friend, but apparently that did not work and I cannot beg someone to be my friend, so be it.

Then there is another person that I hit it off with a few months back. I began to think there was a good friendship emerging but as my life continues to change, things turned sour. When a friend crosses a line more than once then you have to evaluate whether or not there is a friendship there. Many do not seem to realize that for how nice I can be, I can cut a person off if I need to. Lately, it has becoming easier and I am almost sad by this fact. So that is another friendship that has seem to perish in a short life.

The final scenario is a situation of an old friend that I cannot seem to get along with for long periods of time. Not really sure how this happens. We get along great. When this person needs to vent I am there. When I need encouragement on writing…this person is there for me. It is a back and forth type of deal where there are certain hot button topics that will send us over the edge. The funny thing is, we will probably still be friends from years to come no matter what.

So what is my point? Well, do I have friendships or ships that pass in the night? I am not that difficult of a person. I love my friends dearly. Some I talk to everyday and some I talk to every few months. My college friends are people that I adore. No matter how much time passes without communication, it always like no time passed at all when I finally do see or speak to them. But, it saddens me that it seems I lost a very good friend. There is nothing much I can do about that fact. I feel that all relationships are a two way street and while I make mistakes, I do not feel I need to pay for those mistakes all the time. More importantly, friends also forgive each other. If I can forgive my friends for the dumb things they do then why am I the one that seems not to be forgiven? We are either friends or not.

I am a loyal friend. I have always been, at times you cannot get rid of me. I am the type to text someone after weeks of not hearing from them. I care about the people who come into my life, even if it just for a short amount of time. I would like to think that most people are like ships in the night that pass each other, but with friends…those are ones that should want to sail with you through good times and bad.

Friendships 101

I posted the video below on my Facbook page about a week or so ago. This is very powerful message on friends and the people who care about us. I feel this is a great segue from my thoughts on projections and how we tend to project our own insecurities on to other people. This is about an 8 minute clip of a larger sermon, so please take the time to view this before you read further:

This is a lesson in Friendship 101. It really does not matter if you are into religion or not, but what this man is saying is so very true. However, you can expand this definition when it comes to loved ones as well. We can all look at members of family and sort them into these 3 basic categories. However, when it comes to friendships the preacher and I differ a little. I think that there is only one type of friend…the rest, as my father would say, are associates…

Confidants, in my opinion, are the only true friends we will ever have. These are the people that love us no matter what goes down. I consider myself lucky to have a few of these. I can tell these individuals everything without real fear of being judged. With the way I am, these are the people that will laugh with me, cry with me, and go to war with me. I look for them as much as they look for me. These are also the people in my life that distance and time mean nothing. I have friends that sometimes I have not spoken to in months and sometimes even years and when we do finally speak it is like we never stopped talking. There is bond there that is very hard to break because they are into me as much as I am into them.

Constituents are people that love to hang out with us and party hard, but at the end of the day don’t really care about what is going on with us. That does not make them bad people at all because we need these type of people that will help us getting things done in the purpose of a common goal. Think about the cool ass co-worker that will help us out of a jam but you wont really see outside of work with the exception of networking type of gatherings. Some of these people can be so cool that we may end up projecting the confidant type on to them. I know so many people like this and while they are cool they are not into me they are just for what I am for…whatever that may be.

Comrades are people that that we need to keep our eyes on. They serve the purpose of fulfilling a common goal like our constituents but they also may be the haters in our lives. I think these are the ones who we mistake as friends but really don’t care about us. They care about what they care about and we might cross paths based on need but wont think too much about us at the end of the day. They will leap over or go around us to get something they want…and chances are if you are in the way or have what they want, they will disguise themselves as a friend.

I think that our true friend are our confidants. The other 2 categories are not even close to being more than associates, people we know and will actually “friend” on Facebook. It is our insecurities and lack of confidence that allows us to not recognize who really are for us. I cannot tell you how good it feels to hear from someone who has been in my life for a long time tell me how much they care for me because I was always there through the trials. Most of the time, these are the people that I may not spoken to in a long time for whatever reason.

As for me, I have no problems telling any one of my friends that I care for them and love them. After 911, I  realized that we can all be gone in a blink of an eye. I have said before that people come and go, in and out of our lives. They all serve a purpose, some for the good and some for the bad. We just need to do a better job of not only recognizing our confidants, but keeping them as well.

The preacher never talked about what happens to the confidants we lose…or maybe we never really lose them. Something to think about.

Ulterior Motives

Last night I was watching Carlos Mencia, as evidence by the clip above. Every so often I wonder what is going on with the women in my life. Nothing ever seems like what it is. There always something extra that I cannot figure out. Or better yet, maybe there isn’t anything extra but I am being lead to believe something else. Whatever the case is, none of this is new. This has always been the way of the world. As a man, I have never understood women and I am not sure that I ever will.

I will be the first person to admit that men are assholes. I will say that men think differently than women. We think linearly and never really think about what we do and how it effects people around us. Women think circularly, which means they think in all different types of ways that men just never can.

Despite how funny this skit above is, the message is true. Women have ulterior motives when it comes to men. This is something that I have to remind myself constantly and as I write this it makes me angry because it means that my trust in women has to be evaluated. Now, before things get out of hand, I have to say most women and not all women in my life have to be looked at by me.

I do not have many male friends. I have a few because quite honestly because most guys I know are not on the same emotional level as I am. Do not get me wrong, I have very good friends who I can hang out with and talk lot of shit with. However, I cannot be real with them as I can with the women I know. But then I get into trouble because my perceived lack of character judgment. So if that is the case, then I have to look at everyone.

But my real question is, why is it that most women cannot be real? What is with the ulterior motives? Are you truly afraid of the judgment of men? Or are you looking for that one perfect human that may enter your life. I understand that women will ask a question wanting to get an answer they want to hear. I understand that if they do not get this answer that this must mean something. I also understand that this is crazy. When are we going to stop believing that everything that happens in movies are real?

I believe in the human spirit but I am not so sure I should anymore. I am still thinking that if I become the untrusting asshole that I know I can become that this will make my life easier to deal with. Not just deal with but lets think about it. How many assholes do you know that are chilling with all the things they want in life? It is that unrelenting lack of caring that makes them dominate their environment. That is why people who truly care about the welfare of other people do not make that much money.

Bottom line as I have been told by many women I know that women are ruthless. Right now the only thing I can control is myself and the situations I choose to be in. Honestly, men are dumb because we cannot see some of things that women want us to do. We cannot see the writings on the wall when they want us to. I can admit that much, however, some times it is just better for women to say what they want rather then have us figure out the mystery.

Broken Trust


Funny how life works. Last night I spent much of my time asking myself why do I do the things I do? Why do I place trust in certain people? Am I a bad judge of character? I would like to think I am not. I would like to think I am a trustworthy person who has made a numerous amount of mistakes in which I can learn from. Yet, it seems that I am at a point in which I have to evaluate my relationships with people because quite frankly I do not know whom to trust in my short circle of “friends”.

Which makes me wonder if I in fact place my trust in the wrong people. I will sit here and tell you right now that I do not have many real friends. My trust in people does vary from person to person. While my life is an open book on this blog, I do not share every intimate detail of my life or my job. I keep many things private and as a matter of fact, people will tell me that their first impression of me is that I am a guarded individual.

I am very much a person who believes in give and take. However, due to my nature, I seem to give a lot more than I take. This does not mean I trust more it just means that I have no problem being a nice guy in general. I think it takes a lot for me to consider anyone a friend. I think it takes a process of several years in order to really know someone well enough. There are rare occasions when this process may be sped up due to chemistry. This is where you meet someone and you get along so great from the start.

What my problem seems to be is that I am a great listener. If anyone I know, has an issue or a problem I will listen. It comes to a point where I become the person that people come to. The great thing about me is that you can tell me anything and I wont repeat it because in about a week I will have forgotten it. I know that sounds funny, but most times it is true.

To prove that I have a hard time trusting people, I will use Facebook as am example. As things with my separation starting becoming final and the situation between my ex-wife and I become more tense, I felt I needed to draw back. So I took the times to sort the list of my friends into groups. I already have my facebook set up with security settings, which means the average person cannot access my page the way people I have “friended” can. Essentially, I took the people who I felt that were questionable in my mind or who seemed to have a decent friendship with her and put them in my partial access list. So they could only see what I want them to see. This upset certain people because they felt that I should be able to trust them more.

What it comes down to right now is the my trust in someone was recently broken. I am not happy about it and I feel I need to evaluate. I am not so sure that I trust as easy as other people think because I don’t like many people in general. However, I do have faith in the human spirit which leads me down a path that ends up with me thinking I can trust those who I ultimately cannot. So who knows? I am angry, sad, hurt and right now bitter all rolled up into one. I do not like proving people right when it comes to whom I associate myself with.

I am losing faith in people. I get myself in trouble because of this faith. I would love to think that people would not be stupid enough to do the things they do. The funny part is I talk to people about how dumb other people are in general as if I couldn’t possible know any dumb people. Maybe my faith in people makes me dumb. Perhaps I am the dumb person that I talk about.

I am not happy right now. People suck and looks like I need to stop trusting people which goes against who I am.

Can We Be Friends or What?

I was just watching Billy Crystal on the Jay Leno show and it reminded me of this blog I wrote as a guest on Brookey’s Cafe Blog. Enjoy!

“What I’m saying is – and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form – is that men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way. ” – Harry Burns

Best part about When Harry Met Sally is the whole debate about on if men and women can be friends. I struggle with this topic because I can give a different answer depending on the day of week. But I will preface all of this by saying that I believe that depending on the situation, mean and women can be friends.

First, let me just say that I am very glad to be guest blogging again. I know that I have been MIA for awhile, but if you ended reading my blog you will kinda now that I have a lot on my mind. Thank you Brooke for having me here. So…

I will be real with you all, I have many female friends. If you go on my facebook you will see those are the people who respond the most to me (besides Rameer, who called me gay…but i got you son). Women are the ones who I tend to talk to the most about…well other women. So, I wont lie if I told you all right now that out of all the women I know. I would sleep with 98% if I had the chance.

This should not be alarming. The 2% that I wouldn’t sleep with is because I view them like sisters. They are normally the ones I have either known for along time or more importantly, female students that I have mentored. Of course, the problem is being a guy. We look at all women who are not family as potentials. Nothing is wrong with that to me, but that is what we do.

I laugh because I was talking to my dad a few days ago and he told me that he noticed that I have alot of females talking to me. So I just shrug it off because I have always been more comfortable with women than I have with guys. Maybe it is because most of my family are women, so I know what they go through with men in general. Of course I try not to make those same mistakes, I find that I have to learn the hard way. So, my dad tells me, “I am sure one of those ladies wants to give you some”. This is why you have to love my father.

The issues is not weather or not women want to sleep with a guy, the issue is: will it happen. Lets take my lovely friendship with Brooke for example. Her and I have become fast friends over the past year. We have called each other, discussed ideas and problems. But, I have told her that I had such a crush on her in college (and really? who didn’t). Of course she is that 98% I am talking about, but will it really happen?

The one thing I have learned for sure is that sex changes everything. Good friends can become f*ck friends really quickly and then from there anything can happen. A relationship could start or a friendship could end. So the the real question becomes: Is having sex with a good friend worth the risk? Keep in mind, that if you are friends, you will know each other’s bad habit and lies. So all that stuff that worked with the ex you could not get over, will not work with this person. Plus, let us not talk about what happens if someone catches feelings while the other person does not…

What about if you have had sex with your friend and have moved past it and remain friends. Then one or both get into a serious relationship with another person. Will there be a level of secrecy there? Would you tell your partner that you slept with your best friend? Sure it meant something at the time but now you supposedly moved past it. Now what? Right there is the key. What if the person’s partner does not want to trust your best friend? I mean lets face it, men and women can be pretty bad if the sex was off the hook.

However, in most cases that I have seen, a true friendship can get past that. True friends just care about each other and the other person’s well being. So, it is possible to be friends through thick and thin.

So, I am going to need some help here…can we be friends or what? I think we can, but of course if you in the 98% it might difficult…lol

Summer of Pain?

Maybe it is in the water or maybe it is all the rain we seem to be getting in the North East. I just seems that everyone is going through something. Of course, I don’t really mean everyone. But, most of the people I know are dealing with pain in someway. Particularly this summer. Most of which has to do with a break up or friendship, marriage, or any relationship in general. My question is, What is going on? Where is the summer love?

If no else has noticed it, then that is ok. It doesn’t mean that these things are still not happening. I have come to realize that people front all the time. They put up this barrier that is pretty convincing. So, the happy co-worker that you have come to know, may not be very happy at all. What sucks is that most people feel they need to put up a false image of what their life is. I should know because I was one of them. Personally, I put up that good front because I just didn’t want people in my business. I hate having to explain why I look a certain way. But, generally there are people who front because they care too much about what people think.

Regardless of all that, there seems to be many people in my life that are hurting for one reason or another and that is sad. I get the same responses all the time. “Men are dumb” or “Women are stupid”. I think it is time to face the facts people: We are all pretty much stupid. We all go through periods in our lives in which we make dumb ass choices.

I guess what I am trying to figure out is, why is all this happening in the summer? I thought summer time was a time to have fun and enjoy our lives? Just like that, as I am typing this, it hits me: Summer is the time of new beginnings. For some people, it the ending of school and the bargaining of a new job (if they are lucky). For others, it is just time to shake off the baggage and burdens that other people have. It sucks really, but in general…people suck.

To those people who are hurting: Just take things day by day. The pain will subside. Do not act like the pain is not there, it will only make it worse. Look for the little things in life that may make you smile. Connect with family (unless they are the ones pissing you off), usually family is the one thing that may ease the pain. The more importantly, forgive yourself for whatever part you feel you played in this. Once you can do that…then you can forgive the person who hurt you…and that might be the greatest release of it all.

Summer is not over yet. There is still enough time to enjoy life before winter gets here…

MyMindIsRacing

It has been a very long month. I cannot seem to focus on anything. I have tried to come up with a decent blog today, but it is just not happening. I also did not want to skip today either. I need to write in order to express myself. I know I am at a crossroads in my life and I am finding it difficult to take that next step.

This goes beyond moving on and letting go. This has to do with stability, that is so hard to come by in this recession. I am really starting to see how all this stuff is starting to effect me. Gas is getting too expensive again and that is making it hard to just make trips to New York City. Of course, once I get there, it would be hard not to spend money. I find myself shopping at the dollar store (which, I should have been doing all along). Things are just so tight lately that I feel constricted.

Personally, I am dealing with so many things. The loss of a marriage. The loss of a good friend. The loss of Michael Jackson. It seems like this month has been a total loss for me. I wont mention becoming 35 and the fact that the New York Mets cant seem to get a win when I need it the most. This also seems like the month that everyone is dying in, so that is never good. I am trying to find the little the things that can keep me going.

There are things I am looking forward to. I am going to Florida in 2 weeks. This will be a treat for me and I hope to have fun with my parents. I will definitely blog about them and the heated pool (my father doesn’t like the water to be too cold…yet I sweat in the damn water). I have my grad school classes to look forward to. I will also say that I miss my students. They tend to give me more energy than I give them credit for.

The point is…I need June to be over..