2017 Goals

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As much as I would love to stab 2016 in the eye, I should be happy to say goodbye to such a horrid year. I actually went to a Thesaurus to look up synonyms for horrible so I don’t have to say the word so much in describing 2016.

Anyway…

I’ve barely had time to go over goals for 2017 but I’m satisfied with what I came up with. You may know that I don’t do resolutions so I create goals instead. I set 10 goals that are totally achievable and while some objectives are harder than others, these are promises that I make to myself and thus I have to hold myself accountable.

As per usual, I looked back at the past year to see how well I did. I noticed that I’ve achieved less than half of the goals that I set last year. The more important goals surrounding The Book of Isabel were achieved but I fell short on my overall targeted intentions in 2016. This a first for me so that might explain why I have been so somber over the last few months. I need to do better and hopefully these 10 goals will set me straight.

While I don’t put these goals in numerical order, finishing book three is at the top of this list. I feel like I slacked in overall writing this year and the only way to bounce back is to hit the keyboard hard next year. Chapter One is almost done and from there it should be smooth sailing until I’m done with the first draft. The only problem is that I don’t know how long this book will be.

This makes me think about the my failings in blogging this year. Not one Huffington Post article and I failed in posting 50 posts on this site. I usually put out something on the Huff but I just haven’t been feeling the whole part of blogging for another platform and not getting paid for it. In any case, I need to blog more on my page. Sure, I revamped my webpage but I lacked the commitment to give my readers more material. I would like to change that.

Since I’m talking about my failings in writing, I really need to get on my short story game. I’m my worst critic and with all the stories I wrote, I’ve released three of them on Wattpad. I was not ready. I still think my writings and my stories are amateurish at best. I need to believe in myself more. If I can do that, I can feel more comfortable in marketing myself more. Both things need to happen.

Although, the one thing I absolutely did in 2016 was read. In fact, I read more books in 2016 since college (when I was assigned reading). I loved most of the books and that only means I want to continue to read more. More importantly, I want to get back into comic books. I feel like I took 2016 off but I want to get back in the saddle. Thankfully I have Comixology for that.

 

This one is a long shot but… I think I want to get into Podcasting. I love listening to Black Girl Nerds, Black Comics Chat, Fan Bros, and Nerds of Prey. I think I can offer something to the conversation when it comes to Latinxs and comics. I will look into this one. It might be time for this.

Of course, no list is complete without mentioning that I need to move. Yes, this is like the 3rd move in three years but hopefully, this will be my last one. I need a new apartment that is hopefully close to work that will also allow me to get back to my running routine. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been establishing routines and running was definitely something that was broken when I moved to Mount Vernon (I know, I never wrote about it). However, my current residence has allowed me to reduce a bit of my debt and that is something that will always be a goal.

 

 

That’s it. This is my last post of 2016. I can tell this year to go fuck itself for taking 90% of my childhood.

Happy New Year everyone. Be safe out there.

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2016 Goals

2015-16

I’ve finally had time to mull over all the goals I want to set for this coming year. I don’t like resolutions because they lead to a false sense of ambition. That is why so many people flood to the gym in January only to give up by March. My goals are achievable and some are harder than the others but they are promises I make to myself.

As usual, I looked at the past year and noticed that I’ve achieved 60% of the goals I’ve set last year, which always seems to be the case.  This is not something that I set out to do. Life has a way of making us veer off course, but in any case, here we go…

I feel like I’ve been really slacking in my blog writing. I know that anyone would tell me that writing a second book as well as a bunch of short stories is understandable but the past few days has shown me that I simply need to blog more. Not just here, but on the Huffington Post and The Commons. It gives me a little more focus on what it is I do. Even after all these years, I still feel like I’m building more of an audience which I hope will lead me to getting a press pass at the NY Comic Con.

I also need to be mindful that I have indeed set a tentative date for the release of The Book of Isabel. I really need to make sure that I make that date. It may sound simple enough but there’s so much coordination in getting this book out that I want to make sure I don’t repeat the mistakes I made with Hanging Upside Down. While doing that, I want to take the plunge into the short story world and actually try to get some of my work published. I’m not exactly sure all the details but I did open up a Wattpad account so I can begin exploring that process.

All this writing makes me want to continue to work my craft. I don’t take any of this lightly and I feel that I can get better at it. This is why I will continue to make an effort to read more. I’ve read more in 2015 than I have in quite a long time. I’ve also gotten into audio books which helps me catch up on books I should’ve read a long time ago. Of course more reading leads to more writing and I also feel I need to do a better job at really getting into writing workshops. I would be a fool to think that I cannot improve.

The other thing that I’ve done more is travel. Seeing the world is essential to any writer. Seeing more of America is crucial to any American writer and while I do plan on traveling in 2016, the goal is to visit more sporting stadiums or arenas. I will keep it real, I would much rather to the baseball stadium thing but, I will include football and basketball just in case I travel to a place off season. There is something about seeing how other city’s celebrate their sport that I find interesting.

Switching gears, I’m quite sure that I’ve made it quite clear that I’ve changed my dietary habits. I’ve been a pescatarian for about 6 months now and I don’t plan on changing that but it does lead me to think about my health in general. I’m not getting any younger and I know that I need to start taking better care of myself. I’m already scheduled for oral surgery in January and I know I need to see my doctor for the routine check ups. For some reason I feel that I need to put my medical well being into the forefront.

Every year I put debt reduction to the list an every year it remains there. I suppose this is a long term goal that will remain on this list for the foreseeable future. Which brings me to the last item on my list. As my girlfriend prepares to graduate from business school there is a distinct possibility that I will be moving out of Harlem. Not sure where to yet, but I have some ideas.

I think 2016 will be another big year. I hope you set some pretty big goals and I thank you for indulging me to share mine with you.

2015 Goals

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I have to admit that I needed this year to end. While this was a great year for me personally, there was just too many tragedies that I cannot readily ignore. Thus, any Facebook celebratory “year in review” isn’t something I was going to do.

As stated last year, I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions but, rather, I set goals to accomplished by the end of the next year. Unfortunately, I only completed 50% of my goals this year but what I did accomplish, changed my life. 2015 will be interesting because of the nature of the 10 goals I’m setting.

I’ve always believed in doing the things that got me in the game. I love to write and the writer in me feels that I don’t do it enough. So, blogging more is something I have to do. I made that pledge last year and I wrote two less blogs this year than I did last year. At least, I’m not writing much less especially considering that I came out with my first novel this year. (Although, I DID write two Huffington Post articles…so technically I wrote the same amount…but whatever) However, it’s even more important that I finish book two. I’m already five chapters deep and once this holiday season is over, I plan on hitting the “pen to the pad” at full steam.

Hanging Upside Down is more of an accomplishment for me than I’m willing to admit. I’ve found it hard to celebrate with everything going on in my life and in the world. I need to be willing to put myself out there more and step up my hustle. I will not be satisfied until I sell 500+ copies next year.  I know I have my work cut out for me because I’m doing this all on my own. However, I do have family who will always help and because of that I need to go to Georgia to visit some long lost familia.

Which also brings me to my next point, spending more time with family. The death of a family member makes things difficult all around and yet it seems to instill a sense mortality in all of us. This has made me realize that I need to cherish my time more with the people that I care about the most.

Outside of all the personal issues, I need to read more. Again, this is another goal from last year that I bailed on but I feel that it’s important to try again. This time I have a little bit more of a motivation. This year, I have either met some authors or come to the realization that I have many friends who are authors. Not matter what the case is, it is my job as a friend and fellow author that I support and read their works.

I also need to focus a little bit more on my health. I wont go into how I’m facing oral surgery in January, but I do need to get a check up so I can get back to running. I would like to do more than just one 5k this year. Of course, part of my problem over the last few years is that I can be a bit of an insomniac. Lack of sleep is a problem for me that may have been halting my productivity. So basically, I need more sleep.

Finally, I’ve made a big decision that will help me with debt reduction. I’m moving out of Washington Heights. I have a long term goal to get my credit score up by the time I’m 50 and part of that is being able to save money. The move is a financial one with me being able to have extra money to pay bills. I roll my eyes because it just seems that no matter what my goals are, I am paying bills at one point or another.

So that is pretty much it. I assume this will be my last entry for 2014. It has been an interesting year. I hope you all set goals rather than resolutions. Happy New Year.

Getting it Together

20140625-142704-52024098.jpgBeing an adult is hard. I’m thinking about this as someone types the exact same thing to me. It’s a general feeling that I’ve had for the past week. This probably has everything to do with the fact that I am now 40. I have all these preconceived notions of what 40 should be and I can say for sure that I am not there.

I have been evaluating my life to figure out exactly where I am. As a person who has lied to himself on several occasions during my 30’s, self evaluation has become critical to my ever growing development as a person and as a man. It’s not easy to really admit one’s faults but I’ve come to realize that is a young person’s game. At my current age I should have my shit together and its sad to say that I don’t.

I guess you can say that I’ve been “Faking the Funk” when it come to certain portions of my life. I think life can be divided into sections like work, love, family, and financial (to name a few). For the most part, the majority of my life is good and I can’t complain about much. I’m so fortunate to have people that care about me. I’m grateful for my friends, family, and a wonderful job. Yet the financial part of my life is in shambles.

This has nothing to do with whether or not I get paid enough. This has everything to do with a problem I have of ignoring my issues. I can’t even explain why I do it. I will only guess that there is a fear of numbers. I feel like I owe money to the world and it can be a little intimidating. Which is why, at 40, I’m starting to feel that I need to get my shit together. I need to stop pretending that these bills will magically go away because they wont. In short, I need to start acting like a grown up.

blogMaybe I had a little bit of Peter Pan syndrome where I would just fly around shit and just enjoy the things I wanted to do while ignoring the fact that the real world exists. I cannot do that anymore and for many men, that is the crux of the problem. We ignore shit thinking that perhaps things will go away. For many guys, it’s a doctor they avoid and for me it’s my finances (dentists are a close second…smh – don’t worry I have an appointment tomorrow). But, I realize I cannot do this anymore. Forty year olds are supposed to have all this figured out right?

Even if they don’t, I need to get my shit together. I sat down last week in a panic mode trying to figure out how to improve this part of my life because I know I can get out of this mess I created for myself. In order to do this, I need to improve all aspects of my life as well. I created some reminders that go off everyday on my phone such as, creating and checking my daily to-do lists, create an additional budget plan for debt management, going to bed early, and being on time. These are just small things that will lead to larger goal management since, clearly, what I was doing before was not working so I have to try new things. It is very easy for me to NOT do something and it gets easier to be complacent as I get older. So it is all about being intentional to do things outside of my comfort zone.

The sad part about this is that I know that I’m not the easiest person to deal with. I can be defensive and dismissive when people who care try to tell me about my bullshit, but in the end they are absolutely correct. I do need to get my shit together and it has to happen now. I have to start thinking about life as an older man and that requires the type of planning I wasn’t willing to do when I was in my thirties.

2014 Goals

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In many ways, I feel like this year has gone by so fast. For the most part, it’s probably because I’m really enjoying my life and time flies when you’re having fun. I looked at the goals I set for myself this past year and I didn’t do all that bad. Some, of course, I didn’t even come close to accomplish and others I nailed.

So the disclaimer in all this is that I do not do New Year’s Resolutions. I set goals so that I can feel a little bit more accomplished by the end of the next year. I only completed 60% of my goals from last year but I suppose that is better then zero. I will try to do better for 2014. I will set ten personal goals and move from there.

The absolute number one goal for next year is get this novel published. I can’t stress that enough. I have put a lot of work into this book and I’m looking forward to this process being over. There are so many things that will go into this (like designing the cover, getting an ISBN, and getting an editor) and I’m ready for it. The one thing that I cannot let interfere with this process is fear. Trust me, I have a lot of it but I’m pushing through it.

Despite all my novel writing, the change in websites, and the multiple Huffington Post entries, I still think I do not blog enough. I have so many unfinished blogs that it is not even funny. Lately, I have gotten either easily distracted or have been too damn busy. My former life in Central NY was not like this. I just need to blog more.

Writing is one thing but reading more is also another goal of mine. For some reason I fell off with this and I need to get back on my reading habit. I really felt it after seeing Zadie Smith talk at Barnard College a few months back and than it was solidified after seeing Junot Diaz speak with Toni Morrison. Now that I have an upgraded Nook, I will be taking reading more seriously. I think I will try to read about 14 books next year.

I ‘m also getting old. I turn 40 in June and I have no idea what I’m doing. I would like to do something awesome for my birthday but I just can’t fathom what that would be. Perhaps a huge celebration? Who knows? What I do know is that I need to continue to exercise. I fell off that wagon too. I have always said that a 5k is in my future and I think in my 40th year, I should just do it.

This past fall, I started going to church again. Much of that had to do with trying to be the god father to my niece, Maya. I found myself getting up early on Sunday and going to mass and it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Of course, once Maya got baptized, I stopped going so I think it would be a good idea to start going again. Maybe not every Sunday but maybe twice a month.

The reason for wanting to go back is that I did feel at peace when I was in church. This was more about my own faith with God rather than the church itself. It has also made me think about volunteering and donating more to the neighborhood or just in general. Of course donating is always a little hard but as I continue my debt reduction things will get easier. I’m just happy that I paid off my car this month.

I have been in NYC for almost a year in a half now and I’ve returned to my old ways as a New Yorker, which means that I don’t visit other things unless food is involved. I feel like I need to explore NYC more. I was in the Williamsburg section Brooklyn a few weeks ago and it surprised me how nice certain parts of BK can be (yes, that is the Bronx in me talking). I also went to the Linkedin office a few weeks ago and they are in the Empire State Building which made me realize that that was the first time I’ve ever been in there. Yeah. I have to do better. lol

Finally, I need to visit my dad. I have not been to Florida in years and I need to go back. It just so happens that I will be heading to a conference in Orlando in April. Plans are not finalized but I look forward to the confernce that will turn into a family vacation. Disney is calling my girlfriend’s name.

I hope you all have some goals to set. Once you set goals then you are ready to achieve them. The picture above is from the article Life: Why Should You Set Goals for 2014? Read it. Happy Goal-Setting!

Goals for 2013

I will have to admit that 2012 was really good to me. I dare say it was one of the best years that I’ve had in a very long time. While it had it’s up and downs, I attribute my changes in life to the fact that I set goals for this year. While that might be a bit cliche-ish in the realms of Higher Education, it does indeed work when a plan is laid out.

If you read last year’s post, then you will know that I no longer set resolutions for the New Year. That whole business is done. I will set 10 goals as I did a year ago and try to accomplish as much as I can. I completed 60% of my goals for 2012 and I will try to do better in 2013.

One of the things I am most proud of this year is joining the ranks of the Huffington Post. However, I haven’t written anything for them since May and it has been very noticeable to me. I need to refocus and write more Huffington Post Articles. While I personally feel that I have no excuse for the drought, I know that May was the beginning of all the major events in my life.

In general I need to write more. I have been very passive about writing for many different reasons and yet I also feel limited in the venue in which I present my blog in. I have decided that is it time for a change in websites. I plan on doing a site switch early in 2013. In the effort to gain more exposure for myself I created an additional site on wordpress that has remained unused. I will follow up on details when it become ready. I will still keep this site however.

Writing remains important to me and when my Macbook crashed, I felt very fortunate that I backed up all my writing before the hard drive had to be replaced. One of my goals that I failed to deliver in was to self publish my poetry. To be quite honest, I never had the money to do this. While I was investing in myself, I had to sacrifice a few goals. Now I need to put this back on the table and get this done.

Speaking of money, I believe I am in a great position to finally get my financial life in order. I’m making debt reduction the highest priority in 2013. All those years of owing people are done for me. I am not saying that I am making crazy amounts of money because I’m not, but I am finally comfortable with my income. Now, I can get rid of bills that have been plaguing me for awhile. One thing that a divorce does is really kill your finances and now after 3 years, I am ready to put myself in a better position.

With putting myself in a better position financially, I also have to find an apartment. My situation has always been temporary and now that the holidays are almost over, I can concentrate on this very important goal. I love Washington Heights and remaining here would be ideal, but who knows where this search will lead me. I do not want to be too far from Barnard College so being on the west side of Manhattan is critical. At the end of the day, I can live someplace that is quaint and affordable. I would like the neighborhood to be decent. I think I can manage that.

My health remains very important to me. I need to find a PCP and a dentist.  I already replaced my glasses so I can check that off the list. However, the most important thing to me is to lose 20 pounds this year, preferably by the summer. This is not as vain as it sounds, while I want to plan to go somewhere warm, the idea is just to be as healthy as possible. I will admit that clothes seem to fit better on me when I do not have a gut blocking the way. I have several things planned to main my health including a 5k run.

I also need to go to some games in 2013. I am not just talking about Met games or Knick games. I am not adverse to going to Yankee games. I have not been to the new Yankee Stadium. I have not been to the Barclay Center either. I think going to sporting events is a crucial part to being a New Yorker. There are tons of things to do in this city and going to games is one of them. I am also looking forward to the All Star Game in Citifield in July and the last Big East Tournament that Syracuse will play in March.

Some how, with all this going on, I would like to start the Master’s Program at Columbia University in the fall of 2013. I am waiting for the fall because I am not sure how busy this upcoming spring semester will be. This also gives me more time to research what I need to do. I am still aiming for sociology at this point but, with all the programs that CU offers, I need to look closely at my options. I am not going to forget my ultimate long term goal of getting a Master’s Degree.

Finally, the one thing that Christmas as reenforced with me is that I need to spend more time with friends and family.  I have always been that person to get caught up in what I am doing. Sure, I can multitask all day, but sometimes I seem to forget what is important. In many cases, I have a bad friend to many people or a bad cousin to others. Overall, I think I need to recalibrate the way I spend my time and with whom. I am grateful that I am with a woman who understands my need to sort of be everywhere with my family and I think there is going to more times when it seems I am spread thin, but it is family so it ends up worth in the long run. In terms of friends, my mission is to reconnect. That will mean lunches, dinners, drinks, and possibly parties…clearly this is not a bad thing.

My goal is to do 90% of the list above. That may sounds ambitious since I really want to do a 100%. However, I know from experience that life changes and shifts from month to month. I am ready for 2013 and everything that comes with.

New York State of Mind

I don’t think it has really hit me yet. I know that I’m leaving but it just doesn’t feel like I am leaving yet. I guess because my end date for my job at Syracuse University is more that 3 weeks away and it just seems so far away. The funny thing is I want to pack but I really can’t yet. Instead I end up doing a mental tally of everything that I need to do to before hand.

My living situation has ben solved. I wont get into it much for the sake of a story I don’tt want to tell that involves family. Let’s just say that I am glad that I am able to take just one train to work everyday. In NYC, that is important. I could really careless about long commutes to and from work. I have done it before and wish not to do that again. In any case, it is a very beneficial move for both me and my dog. Rocky is very important to me and his return to New York is as just as significant.

The benefits of selling the house means that I do not have much stuff to move. This is why I am really beginning to think that all this was meant to be because the transition from the house, to this apartment, to NYC is becoming a very smooth process. While, the act of moving is something I really don’t care for, all of this will be worth it. I have decided to not take my bed or much of my furniture. I will return to New York with somewhat of a clean slate mentality. Sure, I will have my clothes, books, and electronics, but the things that might have some unpleasant memories will remain in Syracuse.

As I receive information from my new employer, I realize that I must change my mind set. Syracuse is such a laid back city in which you can become complacent because everything is so easy going. That will not be the case in New York City. Everything will be faster and more up tempo. There will always be something to do and I will have to re-acclimate myself to this life.

I do have an advantage that I may not have had before. I now have the advantage of experience. Coming back home with a career that has been well crafted gives me such confidence that I can achieve more of my goals. More importantly, I have the support of friends and family. I do not have to worry about fitting into the area or the city itself. I’m excited to really get to know my home in ways I didn’t in the past.

I am putting myself in a New York state of mind. I will have to think about the train rides and the newspapers. I will finally have the coverage of the sports teams that I seemed to have missed so much. I am thinking about the unlimited places to eat no matter the time of day and endless amount of options when it comes to shopping. These are just some of the things I’ve come to miss about my home. I feel like I’ve done myself such a disservice by not blogging about any of this in my earlier years. I get to do write in a city with endless inspiration.

I also breathe a sigh of relief knowing that my mother is doing well. Her heart attack was minor and there was no damage to her heart. It gives me the belief that perhaps my time has truly arrived to begin a newer life which is really a continuation of my old life but in a different volume. Perhaps this will end a serious chapter of me or end a book in this journey.

Maybe it is time to really think about changing the game some much that I will need to start a new blog when I get to NYC and simply call it, “Volume. 2”

The Vague Truth

The truth of the matter is that many of us spend to much time talking and not enough time doing. It is very easy to list out goals and things we would like to do. In fact, there are movies, blogs, and books just dedicated to the pursuit of dreams and what to do in case of the “what if” becomes reality. The question is when do we start to walk the walk that we happen to be talking about?

I have grown tired of the talk, so tired that I have been really slacking in the amount of blogs that I have been writing. I cannot get into, yet another blog, about my dreams and goals because it is not getting me anywhere except for one way ticket to Inception. At least in there you can live out your dreams in an actual dream, but this real life where many people do not seem to dream anymore.

My reality is based on haves and have nots. I know what I have and I know what I do not have. I know what I can live with and what I can live without. There is a measure of sacrifice that we all must have. With sacrifice comes humility. I can be truly humbled by what opportunities come my way because despite wanting to be recognized and revered on some levels, I never come to expect that. With humility comes the ability to connect with others. Sure, people can respect your gangsta. They can respect how you get things done and how you go about climbing the ladder of life, but if you cannot be humble then people will always try to bring you down a peg.

I look at this year so far and I recognize that I have placed all my pawns on the board in front of my real intentions. I have been calculating to a point of being ruthless because I have leaned to be 5 steps ahead and anticipating all the things that may happen. I have been strategic with my decisions with no apology. I have gotten to an age where I cannot care what someone thinks about me, however, I have not given anyone the opportunity to think anything but the best of me. Yet, if they do think about me in a negative way, I am willing to bet money (that I don’t have) that they have either misunderstood me or failed to comprehend the situation.

There are actually four sides to every story, your side, their side, the media distortion, and the truth. When I say media distortion that can be the actual media or a person’s distortion of a Facebook post or Tweet. The truth is always a vague one. I feel sorry for those who see the world as Black and White because in reality we are all various shades of gray (no pun intended).

Boston Bound

It is not often that I get excited for business trips but for this venture out of Syracuse, I am totally pumped for. I am going to the ACUI National Conference in Boston. For those who do not know, this is a conference for student union professionals to get together to share ideas and best practices. What makes this exciting is that I get to network with people who do like minded work.

This goes with my motto this year of Investing in Myself. It has been a long time since I haven’t been to a conference since 2008 when I took 3 Latino students to the second annual AAHHE Conference in Miami. I did some networking there but not a lot because my life was different then. Regardless, I’m still happy to be able to be in a different environment learning new things.

Networking is very important because it all comes down to who you know in the job market. When you can put a face to a business card or a resume then chances are that person will get at least a longer glance at your job application.

It reminds me of something that happened to me 2 years ago when I was looking to hire a Graduate Assistant. The hiring process is pretty complicated for these graduate students that need to apply to get into the Higher Education program and then try to get an assistantship through a series of interviews. Before the big day there was a reception that allows departments to mingle with potential GAs. I went to the reception to see what the pool looked like because this was the first time I was in charge of this hiring process for my office. As soon as I walked in and got settled, she found me. With a plate a food in my hand, this woman comes up to me and introduced herself with a good handshake and tells me that she is looking forward to our interview. We had a great conversation that left a great impression and I remembered her the next day which lead to me eventually hiring her.

My point is, we never know who we can effect with our presence. The plan is to go to Boston for the educational sessions and mingle those people who can help me be a better professional. The other plan is to get a good feel for other schools as the potential for me to leave SU is always there. I need to make my own contacts and connections. I was commenting to my girlfriend that I have been here for 10+ years and barely know anyone outside of this place, so that needs to change right away.

I am also totally aware that I will be in Boston during St. Patrick’s Day, a fact that has not truly hit me yet either. I have never been the one to celebrate it so that means I am up for some good times. That is also why I went ahead and bought the shirt pictured above. Furthermore, I have some family in Boston that I would love to see. This will be my chance to connect and see the city.

If you follow me in my other mediums then expect to see a lot of pictures from my Instagram app. If you know of any places I should go see…please let me know!

Limitless

Last week, when I had some free time I saw a movie that I had been wanting to see for a while. I saw Limitless starring Bradley Cooper. For those who do not know, this is a movie about a guy who takes a pill that expands his brain function and capacity and thus unlocking his true potential. With this new heightened state of awareness he is able to do things that no one but real geniuses can do.

There are few things that I found to be very interesting and one of them was that he was able to really focus. Once he took the pill, he was able to cut out all the distractions in his life and do what he needed to do. The first thing he did was clean his apartment which makes me laugh because I struggle just to clean my room. The second thing he did was write a book in fours days. This was something that he was trying to do his whole life and he knew how to do it and got it done.

The rest of the movie was good but for the purposes of this blog it is not that important. I felt that this movie spoke to me in regards to the fact that I cannot seem to focus because I allow my problems to dictate my life. While I do not need a pill to realize that I can be lazy, I have pretty much been able to deduce what one my problems has been over the last several years of this stagnant life I have been living. I lack focus because I worry about everything around me and thus I make excuses for not doing something that I need to be doing.

I have already determined that I am done with excuses. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have already made a list of things that I need to do. What I did not say is that this list has made me feel overwhelmed and I had to convince myself that I do not need to complete everything thing on this list right now. What this list had done is let me visualize everything I have to do and things that I should have done for years. This is basically drawing a very vivid picture of my failures.  However, it has not stopped me and by the end of this blog I will prove it.

The other revelation that occurred to me last week while I was having drinks with some colleagues. There are not that may people of color that work at Syracuse University so we tend to stick together and hang out every once and while. One of my friends, that I have worked with for the majority of time that I have been here, asked me if I am still taking classes. I was almost embarrassed to tell him that I was not. He is currently working on his PHD, so you can see why I would feel a little ashamed. I told him that I stopped because I was job searching and I really didn’t think I would still be here and I didn’t want to be in a program if I was leaving…

…and then it happened. I realized again that I was making another excuse. I wish that I could have pulled the words back. He told me that I should not let this stop me from learning. Even if I were to get accepted into the program I want, it is ok to leave as long as I still take the classes. He followed up by saying that I could put an “Expected End Date” on my resume so that potential employers know that I care about my education. I thought about this for the rest of the night and the weekend.

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Turns out that I have been talking a lot of shit to myself and to everyone and I have had enough. I did two things this past weekend. The first was that I cleaned up my room. This is something I just normally do when I am expecting company but this time I really cleaned it, which includes dusting and throwing many things in the trash. I still came to the realization that I need to care about the things that I do not care about so I can get rid of them and not let things pile up.

Junk mail would be a good example of this. I get so much shit from people who want my money that I cannot stand it. Not to mention that what is not junk mail is a bill of some kind. I have become one of those people who just does not open his mail unless I can recognize it is not either one of the two things I just mentioned. So, no I do not open my bills because I have this thing called a computer. I know how much I owe.  Before you can tell me to click the paperless option, when something is overdue, they send a bill through the mail anyway.

The second thing that I did was dedicate 3 hours of total silence on MLK day to writing my novel. I wrote 3 chapters in this book that I hardly ever talk about because in the back of my mind I do not want to disappoint people nor myself if I do not finish this. But of course, the beauty of talking as much shit as I have is that I can say anything and not prove it. Well, I sent it to my girlfriend, who barely knew I was writing a novel. I needed her to see that it was real because if I do not, is it real at all?

Which brings me to my ultimate point here. There are no excuses this year. I cannot be allowed to make a single excuse for not being able to get the things I need to get done. I also cannot expect me to think that everything on my list can be done right now. This is a process that will take time. This is my new journey to reach my ultimate potential. I do not need a pill to see the limitless possibilities of this.

Here are the things that I have done so far this year in the effort to invest in myself. I have ordered new windows for the house, I have written two short stories. I paid off a credit card, I started going to the gym everyday, and I started reading again. Yet, the one of the most important things that I just did today was register for class. This is the first time I will be in class since 2008.

No More Excuses.