Photo Shoot

One of the good things that did happen to me in my week off in New York was my photo-shoot. This was something that I wanted to do since I joined the ranks of the November Media Group. I wanted to do it up here in Syracuse but that didn’t work out. At the time, I figured this would be great to sort of get myself amped up for my possible return to NYC since I was awaiting the letter from Sarah Lawrence.

I was told that I needed 3 outfits and I figured that would be easy since I had brought some nice clothes,  including a new coat that I bought late last year. My photographer is Sandra Guzman from I was given her name by a good friend and fellow blogger. I did check out her website and saw some of her work so I knew I was in good hands.

Originally, we were supposed to have the photo-shoot someone where in Manhattan, but the weather was not exactly what we wanted, so we pushed it from a wednesday to a friday. It was significantly hotter that day and it forced me to make a last minute decision on the 3rd outfit. I was going to go with a colder look with a coat or a sweater but the sun was blazing that day and it ended up being a Mets shirt (don’t judge me, it’s almost baseball season).

I look at the pictures and I’m almost in awe of myself. I told someone that I think everyone should do this just to do it. I think that it is a great way to boost an ego. Now, this does not mean I am getting a big head. I still think I am ok looking. I just like the color of my shirts and how it really comes out in these photographs. This one picture really shocked me because you can see how brown my eyes are. I do not recall anyone picture before this when I can really see that.

I am happy with the results because I think that it shows me in a different light. It also made me want to do it again. What is funny is that some of my friends like to mess with me and ask me: “Don’t you already take enough pictures of yourself?” My response is simple: I am just loving myself. Sure, there is clearly a professional purpose to what I am doing, but sometimes we just need to show appreciation to ourselves because none of us should wait for someone else to give it to us.

I still find myself learning about me and my motivations. I am really getting to point that I can do stuff for myself and not for others. This photos are more for me than anyone else (although, I have a feeling my dad will be asking for copies). I believe there was a total of 80 pictures and I had to pick 10. I personally, liked 5. So, I needed to ask others to help me in my decision. Between friends and family I was finally able to get to 10 photos.

I never liked pictures of me smiling because I feel it captures me in a certain way. I feel that I show too much teeth, but to be honest there is a deep rooted reason on why I do not like to show my teeth. I had braces when I younger because my teeth was just not right. It was one more thing for kids to make fun of me, so I always tried not to smile so much. The only problem with this is that I love to laugh! So, ironically enough, my favorite photos are those of me smiling. I think that this was captured very well.

I think it is interesting how other people view me because different people liked different pictures when I was choosing my 10. Of course many of those are ones I didn’t like. I think it showed me the different phases in my life. I think that my ‘serious’ look might make me look tense or angry. I simply just had my mouth closed trying to relax. I do believe that I may not have been totally relaxed during the shoot but I am satisfied with the results regardless.

Quite frankly. I want to just look back at these pictures and remember this phase of my life. I can look at my old photos on Facebook and realize that I do not even recognize myself. I just look different to me as if it was just either another life time or an alternate reality. In either case, I think these photos are the closest representation of the real me.

Fate Acceptance

This is a big week for me. I have been dealing with many things all at once and I will say that all of it makes me nervous. I think that this is the reason why I have not been posting so much. All of my thoughts are focused on this grad school app. It has made me think about everything; my future, my past, my love life, and my family. But, yet I have had the patience to deal in the only way I know how.

The problem is that I do not want to talk about the same things over and over. I can have 30 blogs just on this subject but then it would only show how neurotic I am getting about this. So, I have been keeping calm, collected, and taking each day as it comes. I try not to think too much about anything in particular. I am also spending the week in NYC to help me pass the time since Syracuse University is currently on spring break.
I have a photo shoot this week that will help promote myself on the November Group site. I am excited for this because this is something that is for me.  I have done photo shoots for work but they are not the same and I do not believe that those photos really capture me in my essence. To be honest, I do not like how I look in many of the pictures that are taken of me, however, I leave them up on Facebook because it what I look like.
The funny thing is that it is not like I have had writer’s block, because that is not true. I have been writing short stories.  I have written and edited one and I have been working on another. Many times I will write because the mood hits me. I think that creatively I am still alive but it is the cultivation that I am working on. I am very much an emotional writer and will write as long as my emotions can carry me. Of course, editing is something completely different. I can write the essence of the story with pure emotion but I do not need to be in the same mood in order to edit and add on. It has been an interesting process.
At this point it is just all about patience. I have come the conclusion that this whole thing is about fate right now. If it was meant for me to get into Sarah Lawrence then I will. I know 2 years ago I wrote several blogs on fate and choice. All of this has made me think about the notion of fate and whether our choices in life make a real difference.  I personally think that we choose the things that happen to us by putting ourselves in the right or wrong situations.
I have put myself in this situation just so other people can decide my fate. This is out of my hands, although, I made sure that I did everything I could to make all the deadlines in order to make this possible. Still, it comes down to someone else’s choice. It makes me think about job interviews and how anyone of us can work hard to present ourselves in a positive light in order for someone else to decide if we are good enough. With interviews, we have a certain level of control because I believe we can control out ability to do well or bomb horribly. This application process in not the same, I feel in less control.
I have been reading about acceptance. I think that acceptance is something that helps my patience and my entire thought process on fate. When it comes down to it, we control my own emotions and no one can make us feel anything. While situations my influence our emotions, we can control our own crazy. I have arrived to this point based on the fact that I cannot make a big deal either way on what happens to me. I cannot get upset when something doesn’t go my way as I once did. The key is always understanding what has the potential to bother us and what is that really upsets us. 
I have accepted my fate, no matter what it is because I know what I was born to do.

I am Official!

I wrote this as I sipped on some red wine and thought about my goals last Friday…

I know that I have spent a good amount of time talking about my application to Sarah Lawrence and expressing how badly I want to get in. However, I have other projects that I have in the works that will great benefit me whether or not I get into graduate school or not.

It started with my speaking engagement at Utica last year. I very much enjoyed speaking in front of an audience. It is something that I feel shaped much of my decision to go to grad school. The only problem I had with the entire process was with the contract. There was nothing wrong with it per say, but I know that things can get muddy if a contract is not up to par. So before I signed it, I had it looked over by a good friend of mine who just happens to be a talent agent.
He looked it over and told that the contract was legit, of course because it was from a college. I just wanted to make sure there was nothing there that I had to be concerned with. He then looked at me and told me that he could get me more money. During that time it was not about the money for me. I just wanted this experience to see if this was something I could do. Earlier that semester I had went to a lecture by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva and seeing what he does made me think that public speaking was something that I could do.
As expected, I loved the gig. I still think about it as a fond memory. Utica will always stick out in my mind as the first time I was able to do something on my own. However, a problem had arisen and I didn’t get paid in a timely manner and it worried me a bit. It was never a point that I thought I would not be paid, it was more that I do not want to imagine going through the lack of payment again. Sure I eventually got paid, but I knew that if I wanted to do this again, I need to do something different.
I ended up connecting with the November Media Group through that same friend who runs it. I would not consider this a plan B, but more of a supplemental plan that may work in my favor. One thing I learned from people like Bonnila-Silva and Juno Diaz is that presentation of written material is important. I have to be able to keep the audience interested just like I keep readers interested. More importantly, I think I have something to offer.

This isn’t just a favor that one friend can provide for another, this is me branding myself. I know that is kind of weird because I am so very much against the type of blogs that is all about the person and not about the writing, which is why my layout is what it is.  But, I do understand the power of branding yourself.  We are all caught in this world of social media and each of us has to carve out a niche. 

Right now, this is something I am aiming towards: getting paid for my blogging and writing. The November Media Group site just went up last week and I want to make sure I ride this wave. Sure, there are some typos and tense issues in my bio (which I am not sure is my fault, but I should have caught), but they will be fixed soon enough and I am working on getting some professional photos done.

This is the next step and I am willing to take a leap of faith on myself.  I am just happy because I feel that things are coming together. I am official! 🙂