Reflection: Perception is Reality

ImageI have been (for lack of a better term) gun shy.

There has been much reflection going on in the last few weeks. I have questioned who I am and my place in this world. I have also taken myself to the brink of just quitting all of this. It comes down to one thing that was said to me along time ago, perception is reality.

When it comes down to it, this is generally my fault. Life has a way of dropping you down a few pegs when things get out of hand. But essentially I made an error in judgment a few weeks ago that effected a community of people. While I cannot take back what I did back, I can only reflect, learn, and grow from such a mistake.

I have been referred to as many things. What seems to come up the most is misogynist and elitist. I have spent most of these past few weeks thinking about this. I have consulted with those who know me. I believe that my actions were dumb and came from a place of anger and emotion. It would have been best to say nothing at all and just let things be. I truly regret that blog post but alas, sometimes apologies are not accepted.

Does that make me a misogynist? Am I an elitist? This is something that weights on me. These are not words that are to be taken lightly. Perhaps my actions from that one blog post makes it seem that way, but does that take away from who I am? Does that wipe away 4 years of work? I do not consider myself as a misogynist. But then, a racist doesn’t consider himself racist so my opinion on that matter mean very little in that grand scheme.

I understand my privilege as a man affords me access to things that are not readily accessible to women. I get that I use male pronouns, I get that I love hip hop (which can be the epitome of misogyny), and I also get and understand that I cannot speak for the plight and struggles of women.

I also know that I bear no hatred for women. I love women and everything about them. They can do things men cannot do, such as bearing children. Women also think so much differently than a man. A (heterosexual) man tends to only think from A to B, whereas a woman things from A to Z. I admire the women that I consider friends because they make me see the world differently. I am tempted to add more about this, but then I am reminded about the “one black friend” arguments that white people seem to make when being called racist.

Being called an elitist is particularly disturbing because I truly feel I am better than no one. I am someone who is always humbled by recognition. I have always felt that my work is not good enough. I strive to improve myself every day. I do not have a higher social status than anyone else. I do not believe that society should be ruled by an elite class of people.

I will admit that I have met many of my goals over the past year and perhaps there is a perception that “I got it like that”, but the reality is that no one really know what is happening behind closed doors. While it is true that I show people portions of my life that I wish them to see, I think that taking a vast look at my work and what I have written is an indication of my views on life.

I think it is time that I do not let an error of judgment define me but rather learn from my mistake so that I do not make them again.

Soul Searching

“Soul is about finding something in your life that is real” – John Legend

One things about going to a lecture is that it makes me think. John Legend came to Syracuse University yesterday and spoke about Philanthropy. He also did a few songs too. He spoke very well and made some great points; the line above is what stuck out to me the most. I had to post in on twitter because I know I would have forgotten about it if i didn’t. Of course the songs that he did sing were all love songs.

To me that line says so much about the journey that I am currently going through. I wont say that I have never had anything real in my life, that would be a lie. What that line signifies to me is that I need to find something that is real to me that I can connect with. Sometimes I think am surrounded by things are just not real. Maybe it is because I feel that I am so disconnected from everything.

There are times in life in which we have to find ourselves. It is also called soul searching. I believe that we are never too young to find ourselves. I never really thought about my journey in such a way. I never thought about all this as me find myself or me searching for something real. I just felt I was going down a path of self redemption.

However, I feel like I am a new person. I feel like I can be honest with myself. I feel that I can be honest with the world around me, which is why I need a change. My realization is that I cannot change the world around me but I can change my place in the world. It is hard for me to embrace the truth when you are used to living a place that can embrace a lie. It is not healthy. That is why I need a change of scenery.

I said I feel like I am a new person! My outer shell is changing. I really do look in the mirror more than I ever have before and it is not because I am vain. I inspire myself to continue the change because I will no longer go back to the person I used to be. I used to be that person that could not admit to himself that he succumbed to all the insecurities that he developed as a child.

I find myself praying. I pray to God for strength. I am not a prayer person. I am not even a church person. I do have my own relationship with God. I have come to the understanding that the reason I have not prayed in the past is because I was selfish. I didn’t want to pray because my intentions were not true. I pray for strength because I realize what is like to be weak and have no one else to turn to.

The one thing that I have never given myself is self validation. I still struggle with this. I know I am good at what I do. I know that when I put my mind to something I can do it. But, I have become so gun shy when it comes to my feelings. I have no problems with expressing them but I have come to learn I cannot express every last feeling at the very moment I am feeling them. I am rebuilding myself to be the better man I know I can be.

I am searching for my soul. I am looking to see who the real Anthony Otero is.