Life Lessons, Uncategorized

Before I Fall

“What we do today matters, in the moment and maybe into infinity.” – Samantha Kingston

I love movies. All kinds, no specific genre, as long as it’s something that moves me; inspires me in some way. Whether it makes me laugh out-loud, shed tears of joy or change my way of thinking in some important way, it’s all good.  A line, a tea, a smile. A moment that awakens a feeling which can lie dormant somewhere deep inside, yet easily rekindled when reminded of our true nature, one of love an compassion. Before I Fall did this for me.

The movie stars Zoey Deutch, a modern Groundhogs Day, expect without all the Bill Murray hijacks and biting wit. It’s more of a Mean Girls version. I won’t give away too much of the plot, in case like Frank Constanza, you want to go in fresh but I will say that many times in this life, we can take our loved ones for granted and forget who we are. We lose ourselves in order to satisfy others and fit into fraudulent social contracts. And many times the change is so incremental, we don’t even notice until it’s too late.

This move awakened many things in me but one part in particular hit a nerve and that’s when Samantha (the main character) decided to spend the day with her sister Izzy. Little bare feet, pajamas and pillow head, took me back to when my little sister and I were living in those rundown apartments on 15th Street. She was the most beautiful tittle baby I’d ever seen and I was going to be the best big brother ever. Obviously, I couldn’t imagine how things would change for me as I grew older, becoming distant, until finally I faded away.

As time rolled on and I came into teenage years, I gradually became someone I didn’t recognize, losing myself in depression and an overall unhealthy lifestyle. The boy who once proclaimed that nothing was more important than family, turned his back on that principle, growing apart from them, losing sight of what was truly important in life; losing sight of his little sister.

I keep going back to this time with my sister, as if stuck in some time loop, reliving certain moments in my head. A time when I had to pick her up from school. Being 8 years older, I had to pick her up when she was in elementary school but like most teenage boys, I wanted to be anywhere else, hanging out with friends. I would walk her home in silence, lost in my own muddled psyche, allowing my demons to consume me. Never giving thought to how she must have felt walking alone behind me. The things she must have wanted to tell her big brother about her day, only to be met with a wall of silence. Most days, maybe all of them, I can’t remember; she would have to settle for staring at my back, as I stewed over whatever issue was affecting me that day.

In the past I would beg God to let me transport back to those moments, so I could pick her up in my arms, kiss the top of her head before taking her hand and asking about her day. I’m so sorry my love, I should’ve held your hand.

I know it’s not healthy to live in the past and let yourself be consumed with regret, so I do my best to keep my eyes forward. There are still times my eyes well up with tears when I think of al I missed out on, on our walks home and I have occasionally dreamed of all the things we would’ve talked about but I remember to live for today. You’re here now, with beautiful little one’s of your own and a little girls face who makes me feel kike I’m 10 again. I can’t recapture the moments, I can’t go back and hold your hand but I can live you with every breath I have left and tell you just how much you mean to me. I do find some solace in the fact that your little girl looks exactly like you did and now that I’m mindful of the little wonderful things in life, I can appreciate her every smile. There are no words for the love I have for you girls.

I feel as if this movie was made just for me, like the universe conspired to send me a message, a vision to galvanize me into action. It can be the same for you, the trick is to be aware of the infinite potential of our universe and to believe without a shadow of a doubt that this vision was meant just for you. In this way, my life has become a string of small miracles, one after another.

Just remember it’s never too late and what you do today matters. Live for the moment, cherish those you hold dear and love them with abandon.  Let every love be your greatest triumph and always remember to look on this world with compassion because, “what you do today matters, in the moment and maybe into infinity.” I see you little sister. Our shared birthdays in the park, the way you’d cry on cue to make our babysitter let me back in the apartment, how you would say motor oil to make me laugh, or the way you’d hang like a baby monkey from the post of the cloths line. I love you sis,

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Uncategorized

My Absence

Sorry for my absence. Sometimes things come up in here and it can take me a little while to get back into the rhythm. Also, I’ve been reorganizing all my notebooks, books, and research notes, for a little more structure, to easily access information. I have also decided to begin doing some audio posts and in time video. Again sorry, I’ll be more punctual from now on. 🙂

 

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Life Lessons, Prison Life, Uncategorized

Another Frequency

I’m running out of things to say in here. Over the past year, it’s been getting more and more apparent that I just don’t have anything to say. Let me explain.

In a prison environment, your stuck. There’s no better way to describe it, no way to make it poetic or noble; quite simply put, your stuck. You can’t go anywhere or do anything outside the confines of these forces and even inside, there are many restrictions. So you do your best to build a little life in here and design a routine to keep you occupied, so you don’t lose your mind. People lift weights, play cards, participate in sports, watch T.V., read books, or immerse themselves in the drama of prison politics. You’ll rarely find set goals or progressive aspirations and if you do, most can’t maintain the commitment and endurance to follow through. Mostly, people just “do time.”

I’m not trying to say I’m better than anyone, that’s not what this is about. We all have the right to choose our path in life as long as it doesn’t infringe on another’s right to do the same. I just feel removed from everyone around me.

I used to be really good at putting a mas on to better operate like everyone else and justify it by telling myself that my “real” thinking would stay positive and independent. In a place like this, its the easiest way to get by with the least amount of trouble. Like I’ve said in previous posts, it just makes for a less stressful environment. But the mask has been getting harder and harder fro me to maintain. I feel like I have nothing in common with most the guys and I’ve had to stop talking about the things I’m doing because it only seems to build resentment (read: When In Rome.)

Instead, I’ve become the “quiet guy,” who stay working. It’s not that I don’t hang out at times because that’s almost impossible not to do but if you’re paying close attention, you’ll notice that I’m not really there. I’m in auto pilot. I almost feel like that little blonde kid who plays a robot in the movie A. I. (you know, the kid from The Sixth Sense) with programmed responses and fake laughter.

At first, I was a little alarmed because I still have time to do and I can’t exactly move to a better neighborhood or switch occupations. This is me for now, the life I have to live. But with some perspective and deep meditation, I’m learning to be OK with it; besides I earned this time with my actions. To be honest, I’m actually kind of proud of myself because all my life I’ve been professing change, when in reality, the old me was just beneath the surface. Like rot you find in a loud bearing foundation: you can build a shiny new house over it but if you don’t address the actual problem, eventually everything will come down.

I wish this change would have come sooner but I can’t dwell on that now. I have to do the best with what I have and live each moment to it’s fullest potential. Regardless of how others around me may feel about it, for the first time in a very long time, I know I’m doing the right thing and hopefully making my family proud.

 

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Uncategorized, Writing

Do for Others

An enlarged image of yourself having this or that are all static goals and therefore don’t empower you. Instead, make sure your goals are dynamic, that is to say, point toward an activity that you are engaged in and through which you are connected to other human beings as well as the whole. Instead of seeing yourself as a famous actor and writer and so on, see yourself inspiring countless people with your work and enriching their lives. Feel how that activity enriches and deepens not only your life but that of countless others. Feel yourself being an opening through which energy flows from the unmanifested source of all life through you for the benefit of all         – Echhart Tolle

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My Story, Uncategorized

Hi, My Name is Alberto

I feel like I’m learning to breathe for the first time. It’s such a strange feeling because I’ve accustomed myself to certain emotions, until like a cancer, it consumed me. I normalized depression and convinced myself that this was the way I was ‘wired.’ That was a lie. An injustice, not only against myself but more importantly, an injustice to all those who loved me and supported me. Our loved one’s pay a steep price for our actions too.

It hasn’t been just one event that has pulled me from the pit of that hopelessness. It’s been an amalgamation of circumstances in my life, from the amazing people, to the important realization that this is our one shot through this life and I must live every moment. Yes, there may be other lives after this one, but this is my only venture through the story of Alberto.

I used to dislike my name. Mostly because people didn’t know how to pronounce it and there was only one person that ever sounded genuine when they called me Albert. Now I love my name, I embrace it, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m like Kramer from the show Seinfeld, when he tells Jerry about how he’s been running from his name, Cosmo, all his life, but no more. “I’m Cosmo, Jerry. Cosmo Kramer!”

I know it sounds like I just went off on a tangent but it’s all a part of the larger puzzle. The understanding, the acceptance, and the forgiveness. I’ve broken free prison, the prison of the mind.

Hello world, my name is Alberto and I’m here to help in any way that I can.

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Uncategorized, Writing

Candlebox and Brownies

How are you today? I hope you’re doing well. I’ve been good, no, I’ve been great. Things are changing, life is wonderful and I’m in love.

I think of you still. Any time I eat a brownie, watch the movie Friday After Next or listen to Candle box on rainy days. These things don’t make me sad like they used to, if anything it renews my sense of purpose and brings a small smile to my face. You know the one.

I haven’t forgotten any of the promises I made. I’m working hard, small steps, but steps towards the future I told you I’d build one day, you know me, “The world chica and everything in it.”

The family is good, my boy’s beautiful and I’m constantly in awe of his mother. I finally understand what it is to truly appreciate the blessings of one’s life and I thank God everyday for the opportunity to create new memories with them. Oh, by the way, your prayer worked. Remember the one you told me about, the one you’d say every night before bed, your prayer for peace and love? You know, “Dear Lord, guide my path, and my will for I desire peace and your forever love in my life…” Well, I said the prayer every night for years and then one day a panda bear came along and stole my heart. She is wonderful, a little jealous but what can you do, she’s a Scorpio.

So, I’m working, plodding along, doing what I can to make a difference. There’s so much left to do. I know things haven’t always been easy for you but you are strong, stronger than I think you know and there’s nothing you can’t overcome. I hope you find someone to love you as deeply as you deserve to be loved, make you laugh until you can’t breathe and carry you when you’re down. Never forget how much you love to sing, how you like to skip when you’re happy or that there are people out there with five heads instead of foreheads.

I don’t know your dreams anymore, but I hope they’re filled with laughter, amazing people and a love that cannot be contained. Also, I need you to do me a favor and remember a few things. Like it may get dark and you may feel lost on a starless night, but the sun will rise again. There is so much beauty in this world and like an orchid, it comes in so many forms. Every moment is another chance to turn it around and start writing a new chapter, one in which you’re the hero and all your drams come true. You’re amazing and capable of so much, so don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. You matter. Your dreams matter. I believe in you hummingbird.

As for me, I’m going to get back to work. Drop a line if you ever need to talk, you know where to find me. You saved me once and I won’t ever forget that. Oh, and if you’re ever down and need to laugh, just find a mirror and do the five-head salute, because you know we got German shepherds and flashlights over here 😊

Take care and let love hold you.

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Uncategorized, Writing

The Anti-Feminist

“I have also known non-feminist women who have looked long and hard at masculine society and its competitive, paranoiac rules and who say, ‘there’s something wrong here. Better to stay at home, where at least some semblance of emotional life remains, than go out there and become another emotionless flunky.’ For them the choice is based on old assumptions. Either you stay at home where you can hope to express tenderness, give and receive warmth, behave spontaneously and generously, or you enter the male world and play the game like a man: the game being central, impassivity, ends above means, exploitation.”   – Adrienne Rich

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