The More Things Change…

When I wrote my first post, some three years ago, I was at a perplexing point in my life. I was in my mid-thirties, working for a Fortune 500 company, married, and living in a humble little home outside of Chicago. If I were to compare my life, to the usual standards that so many of my family members had set for themselves, I would have considered myself a success. And yet I was not at all happy.

I hated my job, I was afraid of becoming a father, and I was feeling overwhelmed with the responsibilities that come with home ownership. Then there where the anxiety attacks. I would get them once, sometimes three times a week. If you have never suffered from an anxiety attack, let me tell you, it is overwhelming and draining. The feeling of my own heart beating so hard that it feels it is desperately trying to break through my ribcage to get itself free, while this overpowering sense of impending doom consumed me, left me feeling both drained and a little crazy.

I knew I had to make some significant changes. I couldn’t stick with the status quo because it apparently wasn’t making me happy. I was going to need to be proactive and do some things that I found intimidating. But I felt I had no choice. Because I was getting too comfortable just always feeling down.

I guess this should be the part of the post where I tell you how I managed to do miraculously a complete 180. Well in some ways I did succeed in turning some aspects of my life around. I went from not being able to picture myself as a father to loving almost every single aspect of fatherhood. My son will soon be two years old. And to my great surprise, I have found that fatherhood suits me. I love spending time with my boy, and playing with him, and making him laugh uncontrollably. My boy is this little adventurer who makes life so much fun and is the most charismatic person I’ve ever known. He fills our life with more joy than I could ever put into words.

I still work at the same crappy place, but after nearly a ten-year hiatus, I went back to school. I am currently halfway through my senior year at Southern New Hampshire University. And if everything goes well, by this time next year I will be working on my MFA. So hopefully, I will be making a living doing something else sooner than later.

My anxiety attacks have decreased significantly. I suffered my last attack a few months ago. I get a bit anxious from time to time, but thankfully I have been able to keep myself from going all freakazoid. The trick is not to fight the anxiety. Now anytime I feel the wave of panic coming, I simply let it wash over me, and pass. I accept it. Because Anxiety is about the realization that we have so little control over things.

So yeah, in many respects, my life had changed a lot since when I first started the blog. And yet I still find myself asking old questions disguised as new ones. Are we financially ready for baby # 2? Will I find a job once I’m done with school? Do I have any idea of what I am doing?

I don’t have any clear answers at the moment, which makes me feels both uneasy and frustrated. It is exhausting to always be worrying about something. Especially things that are in many ways out of my control. And I still find myself asking if there will ever come a day when I can live in the here and now, and not allow myself to worry obsessively about the future. Hopefully, I will get to that point, sooner, rather than later. In the meantime, I plan on reviving my old blog and post here more often. I probably don’t have time to write one to 4 thousand words post, like I did back in the day (I write enough for school), but it may help me work through some self-doubt while honing some of my creative nonfiction skills. Anyway, allow me the opportunity to welcome you back to Lost Around the Block. I hope to be seeing you all more often.

Tom

Being Mindful and Giving Thanks for Another Thanksgiving

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I read a news report from a reputable business publication that the company I’ve been working for over 7 years now will be making another significant reduction in its corporate workforce. A spokesperson for the company was quoted that the company is always looking for ways to “optimize” its operation. I can’t help but crack a cynical smile at the way they the spokesperson tries to lessen the psychological blow of mass firings by rebranding it as optimization. Which really is just corporate speak for handing out pink slips like Tic-Tacs, trimming their idea of unwanted fat, and spreading the work that still needs to get done to outsourcing companies. And for the rest of us corporate sharecroppers that managed to avoid the axe, we get to look forward to having the company dump even more responsibilities on our laps with very little if any compensation. Our only reward being that we got to avoid the unemployment line for just a little longer. But you know what, I understand that I can either allow myself to grow bitter and angry; and feel nothing but spite for people in suits that don’t even know of my existence, or I can be mindful that it is the Holiday season. That Thanksgiving is almost here and that I have so much to be thankful for.

For starters I have a beautiful and caring wife that is “with child”(God I love saying that!). A woman that has, for reasons that still eludes me, has decided that she was OK with putting up with my wondering mind, and moody musings. A lady that willingly holds my hand in public, even though I am nobody’s idea of an Adonis. A woman that kisses me gently on the lips and sweetly tells me that I have the saddest eyes she’s ever looked into with the tenderness and love of a merciful angel. Are things always perfect and hunky-dory between us? Off course not. We argue more than I would like, and after all these years it is rather easy for us to get on each others nerves. But our “aim” much like Elvis Costello‘s had for “Alison” is as “true” as it gets.

I am grateful for the little child that is growing within Jess. That little person that was conceived by love and not lust, has sparked a new sense of awareness that I was sorely lacking. The realization that I am going to be a father has slowed down my thought process in some ways. It has brought me a sense of hope that I have not had. It gives me added reason to keep working on myself and keep trying to move passed all my shortcomings. Am I sure I can overcome them all? No. But I have all the motivation in the world to keep on trying.

turkey-prozac-funny-cartoonI am thankful for my family. My mother, my brother, even the sister that I’m not in talking terms with. I am grateful to them because each of them have touched my life and have helped mold me into the person that is writing this today. Are we the ideal notion of family? Unfortunately no. But I still love them with all my heart. Because in the end they are, and will always be, my family. It’s taken me a long time come to terms with that realization.

Since I feel it is relatively safe for me to assume that everyone that is reading these words of mine are in varied states of being alive and kicking, then let us then take a moment to be thankful for the air in our lungs and the rhythmic beating of our hearts. It’s important that we never take the life that we have been given for granted. We should also take a moment to reflect back on those who are no longer with us. Folks like my friend Angel, who has been gone for almost 15 years now, or my other buddy Marlon who died in Iraq, and my father Tomas Gonzalez Jr., whom I had the bitter sweet honor of spoon feeding him the last Thanksgiving meal he would ever have. Each one of them passed on much too young, and it is their memories that remind me to embrace the passing seconds and relish them.

Travers in his most memorable role, as Clarenc...
Travers in his most memorable role, as Clarence Odbody in It’s a Wonderful Life (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is it realistic to sings life’s praises 24/7? Hell no. I mean if we were just marveling at all of life’s wonders all the time we wouldn’t get much done. Plus we all have our George Bailey moments when we wonder if the world would be better off without us; when life feels more like a burden than a gift. But it important that we don’t lose sight that even though life has it’s fair share of painful moments, I personally can attest to that, it also holds more beauty than our scattered brains and modern lives will allow us to appreciate.

Am I my feeling nervous about all this uncertainty that seems to be surrounding my life? Off course I am. Last time I checked I wasn’t an unfeeling machine like the Terminator. In fact I probably feel it a whole lot more now that I have a little baby on the way. But I also know that I’m not alone in feeling that sense of unease. That I am just one of probably millions of lost souls who so happen to be on the same boat. I would also be telling you a bold face lie if I told you I didn’t feel a twinge of anger every time I hear the CEO gleefully touting about the companies record profits, and sales, and how their innovative leadership has managed to make a significant boost to their shareholders portfolio, while those way down the corporate ladder spend sleepless nights wondering how the bills are gonna get paid if they are deemed expendable.  After all, I don’t have the inner peace of an enlightened Buddhist. But I am also trying to reconcile with the fact that life is long and unpredictable and that we can’t put all our energies and focus on possible but unfulfilled future events. Be mindful of them? Off course. Ignoring it completely is just asking for trouble. Be obsessed with it, until it starts affecting your ability to live in the now? Never.

black-friday-memeFor that reason alone I will put to rest, at least for a few days anyway, any lingering thoughts of what if’s. I’m will not brave fighting through an unholy berserker horde that will be foaming at the mouth in search for that perfect Thanksgiving\Black Friday deal. I won’t bitch and moan about having to work most of Thanksgiving day. I will take a moment to reflect on those that are no longer here with us. And when I finally get around to sitting down to enjoy my warm Thanksgiving meal later in the evening, I won’t fret over calorie counts or carb content, or any other things that will rob me of the joys of having a delicious home cooked meal. And above all else I will be extremely grateful that I got to spend the time that was allotted to me with my wife, her family, and our unborn child. At the end of the day that is really what the day should be about.

With all that being said I hope you all out there spend the day taking part in whatever family traditions that makes the day enjoyable and memorable for you. May the turkey or ham, lechon, vegan platter, or whatever it is you choose to eat on Thanksgiving day be moist and delicious and plentiful. And if the meal turns out to be a little dry don’t be too bummed. Just enjoy the day for all it’s worth. I want to wish you and all your loved ones a very Happy Thanksgiving. Salud.

P.S.

For those who have been frequenting my little blog here from across the pond and other parts of the world, I wanted to take this moment to thank you for reading. If you ever feel inclined please drop me a line and let me know a little about yourselves. I would love to hear from you. Thanks. 🙂

A Change is Gonna Come: The Baby Edition

A Change is Gonna Come: The Baby Edition

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“I’m going to be a father.” That’s the thought that keeps running through my head over and over again,  ever since I stumbled upon the news during Labor Day weekend. There isn’t a spot on my arm that I haven’t pinched just to reassure myself that I’m not experiencing some elaborate dream. Me, a super sized dork that loves comic books, and playing video games, among a multitude of other things that probably are best left to pimply faced weed smoking teenagers, is going to now be responsible for a little life. It all feels a little freaky, a little surreal, and at the same time, oddly reassuring.

I was almost convinced that I was going to have the luxury of several months to mentally prepare myself to the idea of me being someone’s father, before Jess and I actually managed to conceive. I figured that since we were both over 30, I wore tighty whities, and tended to stand way too close to the microwave, that it would have taken us several month of charting solar cycles, taking countless body temperature measurements, and a series of unromantic, clinical, love making sessions, before we managed to  archive maximum baby making conditions. Funny thing is that life, or destiny, or probability, or whatever you want to call it, doesn’t care one bit about our plans. Life does what it feels it must, regardless whether we are ready for it. I guess that is why after about a handful of tries my little soldiers manage to hit the bulls-eye. Which, I would like to take this moment to add, is an accomplishment that I am rather proud of. It made me feel like quite the alpha male.

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Since I’m a sucker for symbolism I will take the speed in which we managed to conceive as a good omen. I like to think that the little soul that is shacking up inside the wifey’s belly was probably in a big hurry to get here. Maybe our kid is in a rush to do some good in this world. Then again the child could be the Antichrist. Although I kinda doubt that. I don’t think we have too many anti-Christ running around in our family history.

As I mentioned before, I feel oddly calm about this pregnancy. Which is totally unlike me. I don’t really do calm. I’m a stressful, anxious, worry about a billion things that are beyond my control kinda guy. Calm was never a part of my skills sets. What makes my Zen like tranquility more puzzling is the fact that I am well aware that there are a whole slew of things that can go horribly wrong over the course of the next few months and years. I understand all too well that our kid could develop any of what I am sure are any hundreds of defects or disorders. And that the birth, as safe as they are today, with all the advances in medical science,  still reserve an unspecified amount of danger for both my wife and our little baby. But I’m not worried. There is no sense of fear. I’m feeling pretty chill about the whole situation. Everything that is happening right now just seems right to me. I can’t explain it.

I keep getting flashes. Little images. Snippets of moments frozen in time. I’m holding my kid in my arms. Holding this small, defenseless baby, close to my chest. The kid’s almost lost upon the canvas of my oversized frame. I see another image of me walking along side the wifey, with the little one between us; we’re holding hands as we walk on the tree lined side walk. I’m saying something, looking down at this little one, but I can’t hear what I’m saying to her. Yeah that’s the other thing. I keep thinking it’s a her. I don’t know why I think that. It’s not like I have a preference. Boy, girl it is all the same. But for whatever reason, in my head, I keep seeing a girl. I see her, and the wifey and myself laying on the bed, watching as our two, none human girls, Pixie and Dory, peek over the bed with great curiosity. I know that all this is nothing more that figments of my imagination. Images of a desired tomorrow. But that doesn’t matter to me right now. After spending what feels like my entire youth just picturing the worse case scenario, after years of hearing my inner monologue speak so many dark and depressing thoughts, I find it refreshing and rewarding to finally be thinking about something that is hopeful and reassuring for once. This baby is granting me the opportunity to recalibrate my thought processes. I feel like I’m granting myself permission to come out of the shadows. Maybe now I’ll just linger under a shade.

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I do feel real bad for the Jess. I see how her morning sickness last all day. How sleepy and lethargic she is all the time. I remember how in the beginning she couldn’t help but worry about the pregnancy. She didn’t even want to say she was pregnant until the doctor verified it. And she was adamant that I didn’t say anything about the pregnancy except to our immediate family, until we passed the first trimester. Which was really hard for me to do, because I wanted to announce the news to the world from on top of the Willis (Formerly known as the Sears) tower. And all though I was risking suffering grave bodily harm at the hands of Jess, I did leak the news to a few close friends. But it wasn’t until we both heard the babies heart beat that I saw a sense of relief come over the Jessie’s face. Which only served to give me even more encouragement.

I’m doing everything in my power to make things as comfortable and stress free for my wife as possible. I don’t want her feeling any crappier than what I’m sure she already feels. It’s important to me that she has a nice smooth pregnancy. I’ve heard the horror stories about what my mom had to endure while she was pregnant with me. I want to make sure that Jess doesn’t experience anything remotely close to that. That’s why I’m trying to be mindful of her feelings at all times, and doing my damnedest to let things slides, when she’s feeling a bit moody. I want her to feel as much at ease as is humanly possible under her present circumstances.

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I find myself praying. Something that I don’t do with much regularity. I pray to whomever is up there, whether it be Jesus, or Allah, or a conscious universe, that they keep Jess and the baby safe. That they keep both of them strong. That they keep me in mind while they are at it.

All of this is all so new to me. To us. I’m sure that in the coming weeks, and months, we will be confronted with things that we never quite imagined. I know for better or worse my life has changed in a way that I cannot predict. I got a feeling I will have plenty of material to keep me writing consistently for the foreseeable future. But I can say with great confidence that whatever is coming our way, it couldn’t have come at any other time except now. This was the time. I find comfort in that, as hokey as that may sound. I’m as ready as I was ever going to be for this. The next few months and years will be the most exciting and probably frightening period of our lives. I don’t ever use this word, but for this instance I feel it is rather appropriate, it all feels like quite the blessing.

Sweet Home Chicago: “Part IV – Family Reunion”

Love Love Love
Love Love Love (Photo credit: Gregory Jordan)

I have never thought of myself as hopeless romantic. I don’t think that I fit that billing.  I may have some romantic tendencies or leanings, but I would not claim that I was the kind of fool that believes in love above all manner of reason. Perhaps I’m a bit too jaded to think that way. Damaged goods, such as myself, are too bruised up to achieve that level of romanticism. To be a hopeless romantic I think its necessary to have a level of naivete that can only come from the comforts of a relatively sheltered life. It requires a certain amount of suspension of disbelief. To trust in the inherent good nature of your fellow man. And you have to genuinely believe that when you meet that someone that makes your little cynical heart skip a beat, that they will forgo their own sense of self preservation, and dedicate their entire existence to you; just because they see something in you that goes beyond anything you ever saw in yourself. I’ve met many wonderful souls in my life. People that are good natured, hard working, loving, and compassionate folks. The proverbial salt of the earth. Yet in the 35 years that I’ve been flying on Spaceship Earth, I’ve only known one person that have ever looked me straight in the eye and made me feel like they had forgone their own sense of self preservation because they thought I was worth it.

When the future wifey and I started talking on the phone over a decade ago it felt like the entire world had come to a complete stop. Nothing else mattered. I didn’t care about current events. There was no war on terror. There was nothing going on in the realm of pop culture that was remotely more interesting than what the wifey had to say. Hundreds of hours were spent on the phone just yapping away. My brother would sometimes leave for work early in the afternoon and would come back several hours later only to find me in the same position still talking with her. We would call each other every night, right before we would go to sleep, just because we wanted to make sure that the last thing we heard that night would be each others voice. Jess would often fall asleep while on the phone, and I would whisper to her good night. She would then wake up and plead that she was still awake and not to hang up. We spoke 9 hours in a row once. We shared so many great laughs. We shared so many painful memories. It was if we had been ignored by the world all of our lives and now all of a sudden we had found someone in each other that wanted to hear what we had to say. And now we couldn’t shut up.

I couldn’t get enough of Jess. Every conversation made me yearn  for her all the more. And knowing that she was 805 miles away ( I know this because I had Mapquested it) just amplified the feeling all the more. Naturally the more we spoke the more comfortable I felt opening up about my family and its rough past. I remeber sharing with the wifey some of the painful experiences I had gone through with my father. About the drug addiction, the arguments, the ugly confrontations, plus the occasional humiliations. It was not at all out of character to hear Jess sniffeling and blowing her nose after recounting some of my personal horror stories. She never quite knew what to say. That’s never been her forte. But she would always say in the saddest voice that she could muster, with what I often pictured being tears streaming down from her beautiful face, how sorry she was that I had to go through that. I would laugh it off and say that it was no big woop. Just something that happened. That I was a big boy and that it no longer phased me. Off course I was lying.

But I didn’t share just sad stories. I would also tell her about some of my fondest memories about my father and mother and the rest of my siblings. Pleasant memories that ebduced big fat smiles on my face. Memories that I had not bothered to think about for years because I had grown so comfortable focusing on the bad ones. Jess enjoyed my happy tales. Especially the ones that dealt about my misadventures as a kid. Like the time when I was 12 years old, and I punched my dad so hard in the groin, after one of our wrestling matches, that my dad had to get one of his doctor friends to do a house call and check on his badly bruised family jewels. He wasn’t able to go to work let alone walk straight for about a week.

She laughed at my ridiculous stories. I think that was when Jess started to hear something in my voice, something that I either had not realized was there or that I had chosen to ignore. She heard the affection that I still had for my dad. I recall the wifey asking me, “You still love him don’t you?” I guess I did.

Don’t you think it’s time you forgave him?” she once asked. I forgave him a long time ago I told her. I just rather not deal with him, that’s all. “I don’t know Tom. I think enough time has passed for you two to make nice.” I would tell her, “look luv I get why you would say that. And I appreciate what you are trying to do here. But you don’t know my dad. He will find a way to fuck things up. And I honestly rather not have to deal with it. It’s not worth it. Some people can’t be helped. My dad will just find someway to screw me over. I rather not have to deal with another let down”. That was really my reason. It is madness to go through the same song and dance number time and time again and to somehow expect different results.

But Jess would not be so easily swayed. She felt deep down in her heart that if I made peace with my dad that it would all somehow work out. Perhaps she sensed that I secretly wanted to make amends with the old man after 3 years of silence. Or perhaps she just felt that if she managed to get my dad and I back together it would make her feel really good about herself. Whatever her reasons where she made sure to insist that I reconsider my stance.

If anyone had suggested something as hopeless as me and my dad making peace, I would have laughed right in front of their face. I knew the man. I knew his nature. I knew I couldn’t trust him. Not because he was evil man beyond redemption. But because he was sick. And sick people can’t help themselves sometimes. But I ignored my own sense of self preservation. I allowed myself to suspend disbelief. I threw out 23 years of personal experience. And allowed myself to trust in the inherent goodness of my fellow man. All because of her. I wanted to believe what she believed. I wanted to make her happy. And by making her happy I would be making myself happy. And who knew. Maybe this time things would actually work out for the best. Maybe it was time for me and my dad to bury the hatchet. Maybe we could let go of the past and start a new. Yeah, maybe, just maybe this might be good for me.

On a warm sunny day in July of 2002 I saw my dad coming up the block with my sister. He was dropping my sister off after a weekend visit. I went downstairs and met them at the door. My dad was somewhat surprised to see me standing there. I smiled and asked him if he wanted to come upstairs for a bit. He hesitated. I think he was wondering if I was going to ambush him in someway. I smiled some more. I assured him that it was ok. That I wanted to speak with him. My dad nodded and followed my sister and I up the stairs. It had been 3 years since I had last uttered a word to the man. You would think that we would have had a books worth of material to talk about. But oddly enough we were both not quite sure what to say next. After a few minutes worth of awkward small talk I grew the cojones to tell my dad why I had invited him up. I told him I was ready to let go of the past. That I was sorry for the way I had treated him the last time we had been in the same room. That I was ashamed that I got so out of control and that I had pushed him. I also told him that I forgave him for everything that happened. That I knew he wasn’t a bad man. That things sometimes we allow life to get messed up. And that I was willing to let it all go and make a brand new start if he was willing to do the same. My dad smiled. He told me there are things that I will not understand until I am a father, but that he would love me and always be there for me for as long as he lived. We hugged that day. We tried to do our best to let go off all the baggage that we both carried. It wasn’t so easy. There were times when I could hear hints of anger in both our voices when we we talked about specific events. But we were able to keep our cool. Anytime one of us got a little heated we were able to defuse the situation by either changing the subject or taking a nice deep breath.

It felt good talking with my dad again. For a split second I imagined that maybe, just maybe things would be different. I remember thinking how wonderful life was. I had this great girl in my life that was crazy about me. And my dad was back in my life. Everything was falling into place. I was allowing myself to breath again. For the first time in years I was feeling optimistic about the future. And I had the wifey to thank for it all. I called her up that night and told her what I had done. That I had spoken to my dad just like she had suggested. And that surprisingly it all turned out pretty well. I even told her that my dad and I had agreed to go see a movie together. There was a new Tom Hanks. It was called Road to Perdition. It was a gangster flick. It looked cool. He had seen the commercial and wanted to see it too. So we were going to catch it the following weekend. Jess was so happy for me. She couldn’t help herself and kept saying  “I told ou so. I knew it would work out.” I smiled. Yeah maybe it would.

To be Continued: Sweet Home Chicago: Part V – On the Road to Perdition

Motivated to do Nothing

I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some unashamedly enthusiastic individuals. Folks that are driven to wake up every morning and dedicate their waking life to pursuing the passions that move them. One or two aspired to guide the next generation of Latino leaders. Other’s get fired up about social and economic injustices. And do everything in the power to spread the word even though for the most part their message falls on deaf ears. Then there the many friends I have who have chosen education as their profession. I get tired just by thinking about the the amount of energy that they bring to a sometimes thankless job. There are those that dedicate every waking moment to their family. They sweat and toil at what mostly turns out to be dead end jobs with very little prospects  because they aspire to afford their children the opportunities that they themselves never had. Or how about some of my artist friends. They spend hour after hour working on their craft. Then they spend the rest of the time trying to get their art noticed so that they can make a meager living at it. And yet when they see those tiny returns, it is as if someone had handed them a convoy of trucks loaded with all of Fort Knox gold. Lastly, there are all the great blogs that I’ve come across since I started my own here. So many of you out there commit yourselves to the things that move you. Sometimes it only takes me a few minutes of browsing through WordPress or Blogger in order to feel both humbled and terribly inadequate. People place so much of themselves into these pages. I swear reading some of your stuff just makes me feel ashamed of myself because I know that I have never been one to work so tirelessly at anything ever.

Cover of "The Royal Tenenbaums (The Crite...
Cover via Amazon

I can’t bring up a single instance where I felt like I truly gave my all for something. As far back as I can remember I have always been that guy that does just enough to get me by. I’m not sure if it is a direct result of possibly having ADHD or if I’m just simply not cut out for hard work. Yes there have been plenty of things that I have dug and enjoyed greatly. Things that served as a means for some desperately needed escapism. I can enjoy a great show like Game of Thrones or genre defining films like the Dark Knight and The Royal Tenenbaums. I might even speak about them in excited tones and show an almost fan-boyish devotion. But in the end they are just someone else’s hard work that I happen to admire. Same thing with music. I listen to music every day, and spend maybe a couple of hours a week actively searching for new hidden gems. Yet music only moves me for those few minutes a track is playing. It doesn’t really linger in my head, haunting my thoughts. The same can be said for comic books, and concerts, and books, and video games, and anything else that captures my short attention span.

I’ve never felt impassioned about anything I’ve ever done. I never been dedicated to any of the jobs I have ever held. I mean I do the job I am supposed to be doing, but I never have been one to go that extra mile. To chase after that raise or promotion. And I wonder why is that? Why do some folks know exactly what they want to do with their lives from the get go. Almost as if they were born  just to serve that one purpose in life. While others just wander around trying everything but doing nothing.

My father was a great Respiratory Therapist. He may have been a rather questionable human being at times, but the man was an artist with a respirator. And I can only imagine how many life saving procedures my father was a part of.  His other passion was radio. He took a number of classes. He even recorded several audition tapes of his studio work and sent them around to a number of stations in the city. I remember accompanying my father to the broadcasting school’s studio a couple of times just to watched him work his magic. I’m not saying this because he was my father, but I honestly thought he was pretty damn good at it. He had a fantastic voice for radio. It was deep and booming, but yet smooth like Carvel ice cream.  If it hadn’t been for all the demons he was dealing with, plus the fact that he was seeking a radio announcing gig in the largest media market in the country, he might have had a future in the radio business.

My mother was also incredibly passionate about her job. Being a nurses aid for 20 years exposed her to all manners of horrors. She applied pressure on gaping wounds, washed the corpses of burnt children, she comforted deeply disturbed psychiatric patients, and she helped deliver probably hundreds of babies. And when I would sit down with my mother and ask how she could stand working in such a chaotic environment; her eyes would come alive and a smile would suddenly come across her face. Each time she would give me the same answer. She was never more alive than when she was working in the hospital making a difference in the lives of people who were probably too out of it to even notice.

Yet for some reason all that passion that my parents possessed seems to have eluded me. I can get myself motivated to do things for more few months if not less. Eventually the laws of diminishing returns kicks in and I just abandoned whatever it was that had captured my attention. Is passion something that you are born with? Or is it something that you discover within yourself as you grow as a person? If it’s the latter, then I guess I still have a whole lot more growing up to do. I just really hope I can get it together soon and figure out what I wish to do with the rest of my life. I think this whole drifting aimlessly has grown quite old if I do say so myself. Personally I hope my rediscovery for the joys of writing will be the passion I have been searching for my whole life. Guess only time will tell.