Things will get Better

Uncanny X-Men 203

A few years ago I felt that I was beginning to sound like a broken record. I talked about fate many times and how everything happens for a reason. I still believe this. No matter what happens to me or no matter what dumb things I do, I know that some where down the road I will be in a better place.

I am not talking about death. I am talking about being able to deal with things that occur and moving on in a positive way. There should always be a sign somewhere in our line of sight that we see everyday that will say “things will get better.” Clearly this is a statement that can be meant for those going through rough times, but I think it serves a purpose for those going through good times. Thing will get better can represent anything from getting better grades, to getting a better job, or finding a soul mate.

We all have the capacity to get over ourselves and our own bullshit. The universe has a way of letting us know that we are not a smart as we think nor are we as dumb as we may appear. Mistakes are always supposed to be made. That is how we get through life and become better people. Regrets are for those can’t seem to forgive themselves. Not all mistakes are regrettable and not all regrets stem from mistakes. The real issue is when does regret stop you from moving forward.

I suppose a better question is, what is moving forward look like? Every 7 years our bodies regenerates itself..or simply put, it takes 7 years for our bodies to renew itself. We basically shed our skin, our cells become new and we go through a metamorphosis that last 7 years and then starts all over again. We become our personal Phoenix. But does moving on mean we have to become different people? I think that depends on the paradigm shift that happens in our personal lives. (Ironically, it is not lost on me that 7 years seems to be big thing…like 7 years of bad luck for breaking a mirror or even worse…it takes 7 years for bad credit to leave your report)

Yet, every bad thing we experience and how we handle it, defines us. We may think that our personal world is coming to end but what we do not see, is how good most of us have it. There are people in this world going through worse than us. Our lives of privilege can become pretty laughable when comparing it to the problems of some else, especially when we take certain things in our lives for granted.

Things will get better because more often than not, they do. Its really up to us to recognize when things are getting better. Life may have a way of throwing a monkey wrench into all your plans but life also has away of rewarding you. We may be our own worse critics and we may come down on ourselves hard but there is always an ending point when we can remake out selves and renew our sensibility.

Hopefully that will not take 7 years.

Dr. Inspiration PhD

Commencement is finally over. The Class of 2011 has left and the campus is not empty. I am left to reflect on my thoughts about how the school year played out and how this calendar year is shaping up for me. I think that I finally have my life back. April has always been a hard month but getting through it is always a challenge and an experience. So when May comes, it is a surreal feeling of finality. This is my 9th graduation and this particular year was bittersweet.

This year I have seen many ups and downs and despite it all, I still seem to be very good at my job. My lows consist of various failures that I have refused to let stop me in my ultimate goal of leaving Syracuse and return to my friends and family in New York City. That leads me into my second goal of getting my Masters Degree and going back into the higher education field on the academic side through teaching college courses in writing. I take this all into account because I feel that I have found my goal but have also found obstacles in my way of achieving this.

Interestingly enough, one of the first events that I end up having to handle is the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony. This is where the PHD program¬†candidates¬†walk across the stage and get their hoods to declare they have indeed become a doctor in their field of study. I watched as a dear friend of mine, Dr. Paul Buckley walked across the stage and I thought to myself…that could be me. Why shouldn’t it be me?

The rest of the weekend was filled with ceremonies and convocations that sort of blurred into together. Seeing various students in their gowns and meeting their families in a time of happiness are always great to see. But, in the back of my mind, I was asking myself that question. I know that I do a lot of talking on this blog, this forum that I give myself, where I put myself on blast and let the world know how I am feeling and what my dreams are. This forum that has gotten increasingly hard to write in by the minute. I have been talking to talk, but not walking the talk. I need to change this.

So once again, seeing Dr. Buckley (because I have that much respect for this man) at a reception just for him, I listened to everything he had to say about the life and family and how he had people to get him through it and inspirations that he had to look at. I can see that he had an inner peace that I am not sure I have seen in anyone else. It is the kind of inner peace that one has one they reached something that was so hard and so worth it.

Perhaps this is what I have been looking for, an inner peace, something to accomplish. Will getting a Master’s Degree be enough? Maybe not, can I imagine someone calling me Dr. Otero? Yes, actually, I can. I need to fight for this dream, but what will I a doctor in? Well I have some ideas that will be for a later post. But, I feel that I have spent so much time and energy in thinking about love and my lack of woman when I should just improve on me. I thought about a slogan that just made me laugh when I thought about. This is not to offend anyone, but more to motivate my desires and me: Fuck Bitches, Get Degrees. ūüôā

I am not content with my place in the world and now that I have carve my niche, but you know what? I am done talking about this. I am done writing all this down. I need to do. I have my plans that I have not told many people because I feel that I jinx myself and I am just tired…so very tired. But, this weekend reminds me that there is always hope in the inspiration of others. I can find that inner peace in the things that I accomplish. I have often wondered what the universe has in store for me. I hope this is it.

As for Dr. Paul Buckley, he will remain the inspiration, that bar that I need to hold myself to. That example of inner peace I will need to not only obtain, but also accomplish.

Inspiration is Fuel

I realize that I have reached the age (not that I am old) that I can aspire to inspire. With the fact that I work at Syracuse University, I know that most of the things that I strive to do is looked at by many in either a good or bad light depending on the perception. Although, I do realize that my actions have impacted students in a more positive light. Don’t get me wrong, I do not live to inspire people. I think that I have far too many things to still learn in life.

I know my strengths and my weaknesses. I try to capitalize on those traits that I can while learning to improve on the others. Being that I feel that at times I am far from a role model, I try my best to stay as humble as I can because life will always be a struggle. No matter how good we think we have it, life has a way of throwing curve balls that completely changes our approach to life. There is also the fact that I have mentioned that we also do not have it as bad as we think either. Everyone deals with adversity differently thus the perception we normally have toward our troubles is negative.

However, I have always found that getting inspiration from people or things around me has helped me get out of any funk that I have found myself in. I have come to realize that most of my inspiration come from writers. I have mentioned in the past how my blog has come about and who I can thank for that. But, there are other people who have given my the inspiration to keep writing. I have named Juno Diaz in the past as man I have met and came to understand though his books. There is also Willie Perdomo, whom I also met, that has lead me to believe that I can write a poem at anytime and anywhere.

Lately the person who has really put many things in my life into perspective has been Paul Coehlo. I really didn’t know who he was until a friend of mine point some books out to me, namely The Alchemist and Eleven Minutes. For that, I thank Zulay¬†for putting his writings out there to me. Having read three of his books (The Devil and Ms Prym¬†being the other), I have been told by some that a need to check out The Fifth¬†Mountain.

I have never been one to outwardly say someone is complete awesome (unless you are Alicia Keys), his writing has done something for me that others have not. It is the ability that he has a good story to tell that makes me think about life from an inward perspective. I have been able to find a common theme and a connection with each story. Believe it or not each book seems to connected in a very small way that I will not discuss here because, honestly I think people need to read these books for themselves.

Now, he is not the only author I will ever read. As a matter of fact, I am currently reading Eat Pray Love. However, I think that I now look at books and novel differently because I am now looking to be inspired in someway. Whether it is making me think about life or just making me feel that I can be a better writer.

To be honest, I think that we all need to find something that can inspire us to be better. When we get older we tend to just fall back to our old ways in either being lazy or doing the things that we think will get us where we need to go without asking for help. That is not the way to go. We need to make sure that we are always on our game and the best way is to find our inspiration.

Artists thrive on inspiration to make art. Musicians use is it to compose songs. So why can we not use inspiration as our fuel to get through life and meet our goals? I just hope I do inspire some of you the way I have been inspired.

Preach on Black Man…

It is days like these that I realize that having a Black President is the greatest thing that has happened to this country. President Barack Obama’s address to congress is so polarizing. It is still going on as I write this. I am not sure when the last time we have heard such roars and applause at a presidential speech.

This man is awesome. I love the fact that finally we have a president that I can cheer for, that I can joke about without any sense of disrespect, that I can look up to. He makes me want to be a better person and a better leader. When I watch the President speak, I only hope that I can speak in public half as well as he can. Actually, he kinda reminds me of a preacher who has his congregation on the edge of their seats. They get up and applause so much, that it seems like church!

I never thought, and I guess I am still in awe, that I would see a Black man addressing the nation like this. I have seen several speeches from Barack Obama, but to still be able to inspire people is just amazing. At one point he speaks about a young black girl from Dillon, South Carolina who wrote to Congress about how bad her school is. He quotes her by saying “we are not quitters”. Michelle Obama stands up and hugs this young black (and I mean black) girl and you just want to cry.

The change that this man is making in this country will not be measured. I am not talking about the economy. I am talking about the minds and hearts of the young people in America. Obama makes me want to watch politics. This is a black man that is hot hitting home runs, or catching touchdowns, or dunking the ball. This is a black man that is not wearing a fitted, or rhyming about niggas and bitches, or smoking weed on TV. This is THE black man that is running our country. He is not hitting his woman (thank you Chris Brown). He is the man that we, as men of color, can finally look up and aspire to.

Let’s face it, Barack Obama is changing the perception of what the Black man can do. He makes all of us relevant. When I walk into meetings, i know that every person in that room will understand the I belong