The Next Step

I have talked about omens and how we need to learn to see them and act upon them and yet this is hard to do for some of because the possibility of failure. However, I think what makes it really hard for people to follow their gut feeling because of success. It is hard to imagine that one can be afraid of success but it does happen. Fear has a funny way of making us change directions.

I think about the emails that people send me about writing opportunities for money and I think to myself, “can I really do this?” Do I have what it takes? This blog started out so humbly for me and yet I take great satisfaction on writing right. I do not nearly have as many followers as other blogs do, so I am not sure how anyone can really measure how good my blog is. After all, I really have not published anything. Sure, I have written over 50 poems and over 300 blog post in my time, but how do I really know that I am ready for the big time?

The answer is that I do not know, but that does not mean that I cannot take that chance anyway. I have applied to places that are looking for writers to either enhance a website or contribute to a larger blog. I have wondered what it would be like to write to a larger audience. Most times, I do not hear anything back and it is ok to me. When applying to positions for writing, I have to feel it. So this last opportunity I was asked to write in 2 paragraphs as to why my voice is important. Here is what I wrote:

One thing that I really had issues with as a kid was silence. I needed to make sure that there was some sort of noise around me. Even at night when it was perfectly silent I would be afraid, not just by the darkness, but by the silence. I was often soothed by my dad’s voice when he got home. Even if he didn’t say anything his presence was what made me feel safe. Sometimes, I would hear him late at night talking to the dog and just knowing he was there made me safe.

As an adult, I have come to realize that silence is a very bad thing and I have lived through rough times in my former marriage, I felt that I lost my voice somewhere. Once that part of me was lost I felt just like a scared little boy waiting for dad to come home. That is why I started my blog. I need to get my voice out there. I needed to be heard because the voice of a single Latino man in his 30’s, struggling with life, women, and the lack of a child is something that is not heard very often in this day an age.

I felt so good when I wrote this. If I get any type of feeling that my voice is being stifled I get so upset and angry. Even in a relationship, if you cut me off or feel that my opinion does not matter…we will have a serious problem. Needless to say…I am the newest member of The Printed Blog!

I am so very happy and honored for the opportunity. This is a publication that prints selected blogs from selected bloggers. I have never had any of my work published before and I am certainly on my way to that. This was a long term goal that I set for myself and I had no idea that this could possibly be met this soon. So please visit that site. I encourage you all to subscribe to this not just for me but for the vast amount of talent that will be featured on this publication. The website explains everything.

I wanted to take time to thank my dear and darling friend Michelle for forwarding the ad to me on Craigslist. She is one the few people that believe in my talents so much that they forward me writing positions. So to all of you who look out for me…thank you so much.

I am so very humbled. I can see the changes have been fighting for coming to me. I will not change how I write. I will remain the same writer that brought me to where I am right now. In the next few days I will make a few changes to this layout that will cater to The Printed Blog. I have seen it and it a great publication. I guess it is true what is said… “Good things come to those who wait”

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The Pursuit of My Dream

So the real question for me is…What is my dream? What is it that I wanted to do when I was a child? The only thing that I really wanted to do was write. As a kid, I used to create characters and superheros with elaborate histories and complex stories. This used to be my fantasy. I am not sure where it stopped. But, I was under the impression that comic book writers did not get paid much, so before college, that faded.

Let me mention again that when I was a child that I used write horror stories that involved my classmates. I would let them read it and listen to how amazed they were about how I used my imagination to scare everyone. Of course, as much as I tried to impress the girls that I liked, the guys I perceived to be better looking and less intellectual seemed to get all the attention in the end. So I stopped doing that.

In high school, I used to write sexually charged stories about women I met on the street. Many of them included teachers that have taught me.This is one tidbit of info I have never shared with anyone. I got to the point where I had a note book filled with chapters of, what I would consider now to be, smut. In the end, I felt ashamed that I was 15 and writing thinks about sex that I had no knowledge of. I ended up throwing out the book because I did not need my mother finding any of this.

Once I got to college and realized that I really should not be a History Major, I was looking to do something that I really wanted to do. So one of things I also thought about doing is being a screenplay writer or a play-write. So, in order to transfer to schools within Syracuse University I need to have a certain GPA and I needed to write a 5 minute script. My attempt was to join the school of Visual & Performing Arts because there was no way I was getting into the Newhouse School of Public Communications. So I wrote this script called “Call Your Mother” which was very emotional for me to write. It is about a son and his conflict between his divorced parents. Consequently, I didn’t get in due to my GPA and not the work.

I have actually kept that script. It is just sitting on my hard drive. I have tweaked it from time to time. I was thinking about adding to it, but I wrote it in such a way that is perfect the way it is…to me anyway. Poetry was never really on my mind. I didn’t care for it and I avoided classes about it. However, and again few people knew this, I loved hip hop in the 90’s so much that I used to write rhymes because I was so inspired (talk about lying to yourself)!

Finally, I became an English Major because it only made sense. I loved to write so much that I would correct other people’s papers. Even in high school I made some money doing this. Writing was the only thing that came naturally to me. I would often joke in my 20’s that I would write a book about my life because of some of the things that I have encountered. But, of course, when I graduated in 1996, all I hear is that English Majors do not make much money. So once again…I scraped this idea of being a writer of any kind.

In 1999, I found myself working in Corporate America and feeling very underutilized. The pay was great but I was bored. So I tinkered with the web and created a website. I posted pictures and just did dumb things, but it wasn’t until I read a blog from a woman, that ended up being a good friend of mine, that I began to understand what I blogging was. Her writing was such an inspiration that I had to get to know her. At that point, I create a blog and even had my own domain. (Currently she is re-branding her blog and if I am really lucky…she will guest blog *waving at Nakia*)

However, my writing was amateurish at best. I knew it then. I had nothing worth saying and it showed in the way I wrote. I would talk about my daily life in NYC and Subway stories and while they were funny, that wasn’t the person I was trying to present to the world. I would keep another version of the blog after I moved back to Syracuse on a site called Xanga, but I just wasn’t happy with it. I didn’t know how to find my voice and I didn’t know how to deal with writers block. However, every now and then I would write a blog entry on Myspace..so clearly, I could not let it die.

It wasn’t until January of 2009 that I started this blog and found my voice. Once again it was because I was inspired by a blog that a woman wrote (a different woman, *waving at Brooke* and I am friends with her too!). I had not written anything in 2008 and it showed. I wrote every day until May. Once I really stopped lying about my life and confronted my fears, is when this blog had really taken shape. Now, I manage 2 blogs, the other one being on tumblr for more creative work.

My dreams have shifted over the years and I still very much want to be an author. I also want to be a public speaker as well. There are obstacles in my way and they do slow me down. But after reading The Alchemist, I now know that those obstacles are objects that are placed in my way to make me appreciate my life and all the efforts it is currently taking for me to get where I need to be.

I still have that screenplay and I still have some short stories that I have written. There is also the poetry that seems to pour out of me. My dreams are very much to make an impact on this world. I love working with students and who knows where my Higher Education background will take me…but I do know that this profession pays the bills. Perhaps when I reach my dream…I will pay back all the karma I have spent just to get there.

Omens (The Alchemist)

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams.”

The funny thing about life is that sometimes things happen right when they need to. I think about the numerous amount of times that something happened to me at the right moment. I never really had a phrase for them until now, Omen. Under the recommendation of a few friends, I bought the book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I read this book in 2 days.

I am not shocked with how good this book is but how much I needed to read this book at this moment of my life. I have always believed that things happen for a reason. I was even told to read this book last year, but I wasn’t ready. But due to a series of good omens, I was able to read this book and soak up everything that was written inside of it.

Simply put, the book is about a boy and his quest to follow his dreams. He is taught to understand the language of the world and how to listen to his heart. In so many ways I feel that this is me. I have spent 36 years of my life searching for something that I am not sure how to find. At times, I am not even sure what it is I am searching for. When someone asked me what I want, I would say I want to be happy. I know that I am was put here on the planet to do something. I can really feel it.

I just never really thought about looking at the world around me and seeking out the omens in my life. However, I am all about listening and following my heart. Many times I heard people talk about how illogical it is to follow your heart because what it wants sometimes is impossible or doesn’t make sense. The problem is that the heart is where all are dreams are housed. We do not follow what we really want because of that fear of failure or rejection. But like the quote said above is so very true…the fear of suffering is worse than suffering itself. THIS is why people fail!

But, it is ok to fail because we can all get back up and continue to search for our happiness. This book puts so much of what I have been feeling about my personal journey into words. We have our paths laid for us and we just need find it and if not then we will always wonder “what if”.

The thing about omens is that they may appear to us everyday and we are either too blind to see them or simple do not know how to read them. Very my much like “coincidences” we may encounter. Everything we do influences the outcome of our fate in our daily lives. Think about what I wrote in the previous post. Had my dad not called me when he did…I would have made the 6:30 movie showing and never met up with friends thus having dinner alone. At the same token…my friends bought tickets to the 6:30 movie but it was too packed to find seats for them so they exchanged their tickets for the 7pm showing…where I was.

Life is interesting and God works in mysterious ways. I do not believe that our future is written, although I think there is a measure of fate in terms of being on earth to do a specific thing. However, it is us alone that determines whether we find out personal treasure and fulfill whatever our destiny is. It is those tiny omens that we see along the say that renews our faith that things will be ok.