Reaching For the Stars from the “Fil”

#52EssaysNextWave 8/52

This morning, I had the opportunity to listen to Astronaut Jose Hernandez speak. We are from the same area and, while I knew about him going from farm worker to astronaut;  I confess, I never really knew his story. Now granted, I have never had aspirations of working it as an astronaut, but, as he spoke, I found that I could totally relate to his advice on the importance of having goals and making a road map to get you where you want to be.

I really enjoyed his storytelling as well. I’m always looking for authors whom I can relate to, who can tell my story. Just as I search for authors, I always listen to any Latinos who speak to see if they tell my story. I’ve heard many many many Latinos and Latinas speak yet no one came as close as Dr. Hernandez did this morning. He was funny without really even trying, he broke out the Spanglish as many of us do, and proceeded to talk about the important things we all share: familia, education, goals.

Familia is key to keeping you safe, on an emotional level, as you pursue your goals. Who else can you trust enough to tell you straight-up truth, keep it real, and support you at the same time?  Hearing the stories about family as he spoke in Spanglish were hilarious, heartwarming and they hit home for me.

As in his house, for us, college was not an option but an expectation. Our parents told us to try college for one semester and, if it wasn’t for us, it wasn’t for us. Part of Dr. Hernandez’ plan included putting in the work, no excuses, to get what you want, no matter what you are trying to accomplish.  I kept thinking about 2 or 3 unfinished life goals that I am now inspired to revisit and ‘get on it’ to make these goals a reality.

My father only needed to take us to work the fields very few times before we knew that it wasn’t for us, and that, like both our parents, we were destined to study and earn a living another way, not in  the fields. I’ve learned, thru my education, that my job is what I’ve worked for…radio and events are not for everyone and there is no way that I would have known that I could make a living at it had I not gone to college, university and got all into clubs, campus radio, events and taken the classes. I always joke that I get now get paid for what I had always done for free since I was a child.

Our world today needs role models.  Role models are not just for the very young or those young people who are just starting out; they are also very important for those of us adults who tend to get stuck in our ways, in the way it’s always been done, living in “I can’t”, “I don’t have time”, or “I shouldn’t” mentality, who need an attitude adjustment along with a kick in the ass to get moving.   The most important thing I learned was that we never stop learning and, if we can work through our fears and insecurities, that we can achieve more than we ever imagined.

At least, that’s how I want to do it.   Once I get out of my own way.

I’ll have to thank Dr. Hernandez for this much needed “patada” the next time I see him LOL.

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Just My Imagination? O que?

#52essays2017   28/52

“You will never leave where you are until you decide where you’d rather be” –Dexter Yager.

Great quote. Once I read it, all I could say was ‘yup’.

I spent so much time moaning and groaning that I wanted to make a change in my life for so long and that’s where it ended. I decided to open up my mind a little and imagine what my life could be like. There’s no way that I was going to be destined to feel as if I were a failure because of bad judgement or stupidass decisions.

I’ve been reading “Imagine Big” by Terri Savelle Foy. I really like her exercise for starting your new life. Live as if you already have everything you want, write down 20 things that you want to do, be or have. I’ve only gotten that far in the book 🙂

Last night, I decided to write down my 20 things…it turned into 30 and, even then, I thought of a couple more as I was on my drive home. It’s funny, I started out very brief, ‘I want to pay my bills’ and at the end I had such detailed descriptions of what I wanted. It was very liberating to write all of this stuff down and, as I looked back on it this morning, I saw that if I changed the order a little bit, that I could see a road map for my life.

For so long, I could not visualize past my own four walls. I was existing and letting life happen to me – well, regular readers of this blog know what a straight-up disaster that turned out to be. I’m grateful that I have been able to get back into the driver seat of my life.

You become 42% more likely to achieve your goals and dreams, simply by writing them down on a regular basis. –Dr. Gail Matthews, Dominican University

Writing goals down is so powerful.  Thinking about them can overwhelm and sometimes leave you stuck.  Writing starts the ball rolling, opens up your brain, and moves you into action by setting goals.   I journal a LOT and, from time to time, I go and read past entries, and I’m always stunned when some of these goals actually happen!  It’s like I write down what I want or need and GodJesusVirgenOfG and the universe conspire to help me fulfill these dreams.

Try it.  For the next 7 days, find a journal, laptop, piece of paper, and write down your goals/dreams in 4 key areas of your life:

  1. Health & relationships
  2. Love & relationships
  3. Vocation
  4. Time & money freedom

Remember to think as big and bold as you like, write down what you would love to happen, not what you think you can have or what seems possible now, open your imagination, no matter how crazy it sounds.

Things may not change right away but the one thing that WILL change is you.  You will have a clear set of goals and dreams and you begin to have a stake in your own future, you start being aware of opportunities in front of you, your focus starts to get more serious than just randomly thinking about what you want.

I noticed the difference RIGHT away, so many opportunities for me to think about that it’s almost overwhelming.  I know that I will not be able to do everything and that it will be hard to let some things go but where, only a few short months ago, I was hopelessly stuck in ‘whys’ and ‘what ifs’ and ‘I can’ts’, it is great to know that there is life after sadness and that it’s up to me to do my part to make it happen.

I just wrote down my goals last night so it’s too soon to share them with anyone but it will be fun to look back at my journal and see that I have finished what I started!

 

Happy New Year 2016

feliz ano nuevo

Happy 2016! As I reflect upon this past year, I realize that it has all been about one thing: taking a step back to breathe.

Mama’s passing took it out of me in many ways and much of the year was spent dealing with the fact that she would not be here anymore and that I no longer had to caregive at the level I had done with my dad and siblings for the past few years. For many many weeks, I still woke up at every noise and every few minutes to “check” on Mama. I didn’t really know how to fill the hours when it was “my” day to take care of her.

Carmen was a woman who screamed and shouted for much of this time about how “I want my life back” and how all I did was live out of the boxes…so once I made the decision to STAY at the Ranch and take care of my dad and familia, I even shocked myself. Somewhere along the way, my priorities not only shifted, they completely changed.

My former life had no room for family, friends, or even me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my work and all of my activities and was shocked when this work could no longer sustain and motivate me. In my business, aside from knowing your stuff, you really have to have the drive to push yourself forward to work it, if you want to succeed. Anything less is not enough. I’m sure that it’s like this everywhere but broadcasting is different, the stakes always feel higher, it’s a very small world and the ups and downs in our industry are dramatic to say the least!
6 months into the year, I parted ways with my stations and, instead of feeling devastated, I felt a little bit of relief. I needed something and I needed to find out just what that was.

Now I realize that the past 6 months have been about taking care of me, something I haven’t really ever done. I’m finally listening to my mother and all of the times she used to tell me to take care of myself and to let others help me. This new attitude has made me much stronger emotionally and I make better decisions these days. Family is who is there for you when you cannot be there for yourself; the family foundation is what grounds you as you try to find your way.

There is no room in my life for negative drama; there is no room in my life for anyone who is out there trying to disrupt me by harassing my friends and family. I intend to keep moving forward from this madness that has nothing to do with me anymore and everything to do with how this person deals with, or doesn’t deal with life’s challenges. I can, and will, have my life on my terms, not on anyone else’s. It’s all about standing up for myself, my peace of mind and keeping the important stuff close to my heart and more private for now.

2016 will be about embracing the important things in life: hanging out with Daddy, being with my familia, enjoying all of the #TorresBabies, working out (we finally brought in the exercise bike LOL), getting back to church, being around positive people, situations, and projects in that order.

My wish for you in 2016 is that you find and embrace all that will make you laugh, make you happy, healthy, and successful.