Future Hero

If you could write a letter to yourself some time in the past, what would you say?

Hey 15 year-old hero,

Now if I write this letter from me to - err, me - wait, I mean if You write this letter from you to you - no no, ok - if I write this letter from me to you, will I, in the present, all of a sudden remember the exact moment when I read this letter? It boggles the mind! Ok thought I'd put a little joke in there to break the ice - but not like there would be much ice to break, considering that I'm basically talking to myself, or you're talking to yourself. Anyways, I know that you've sat up at night wishing that some body could just lay it all out, and tell you how everything's going to be. Well, here that is that "some body".

So here you are ready to start high school. Savor it there man, because you'll be transferring to another high school by the end of semester. Get ready and strap yourself in, because life only gets bumpier from here on. But hakuna matata, you're not going to go through it alone. You make some pretty cool friends along the way; friends that really help you get over those bumpy patches of life. Learn to savor those friendships, because in the end you'll only keep in touch with literally two of those friends. Yeah, it sounds kind of sad, but they're good people.

By the way, flannel shirts are cool, i mean it is your thing, go with it! But sooner or later, you're going to come off looking like a lumberjack.

Everyone who's normal goes through an awkward phase. You - you're going to get real anti-social, especially with the people in church. If you can, don't do that - you grew up with these people, and this will only deteriorate you're friendships with them, friendships you've had with them since you were five years-old. Don't do it - but don't sell out who you are just to fit in with them. You're a special kid, you should let people enjoy your company - not push them away. Ego trip? Don't get cocky.

Don't get cocky! I know right now, you may not exactly be the coolest kid ini school - but that'll change in a couple years when you hit college. Don't change that part of you. Don't be the jerk. Be the good guy you were meant to be.

It's ok to to cry for your grandpa. Your doing everything you can do to make sure he'll never alone in that nursing home. You know that. He knows that. And when he's gone, you can cry. You can smile, because you know he's smiling at you. Don't let him down.

Braces. The big glasses. The I-don't-know-what-to-do-with-my-hair look. They'll go away, and actually before that happens, some people will see through all that and see something amazing, the kind of something they want to show other people. Oh and by the way, PLEASE wear your retainer. Stop getting lazy and jsut wear it.

On September 11th, during 5th period, you'll see a girl crying - pray with her, you'll be glad you did.

You got ideals. That's good, but real life will kick you in the teeth sooner or later, but don't ever lose what you believe in. Take the beatings, you'll survive. But never stay beaten. And never ever stand idle watching the beaten. Pick them up, it's what you were meant for.

Take all of life in. The good. The bad. You'll get come out on top some days - and really screw it up on others. But take it all in.

Be honest with yourself. Respect others. Don't get cocky. Be responsible. And don't smoke.

Well, I guess that's about it. Oh, and even if you don't do all that - it's alright. Life's still pretty damn good on this end.

~23 year-old hero

The End of the Beginning

Tonight, after three hours, I finished my New York State Emergency Medical Technician exam. I'm a perfectionist when it comes to circling those little bubbles - and I freak out if my erased bubbles don't fully disappear! But as I walked out of the room I worked so hard in for four months, I shook the hand of my instructor.

He smiled something of warmth and pride. He smiled a smile as if he had something to say. He didn't.
But I smiled right back and thanked him for everything.

It seems like a blur since I first made that call while teaching science to elementary school kids in Long Island, telling him about my interest in the program. But after four months, I'm done - moving on to the rest of my life.

This moment right here - is the end of the beginning...

Sleepless in New York

It feels like forever since I last sat down and just write. I think it's about time I did.

Last night, was one of those sleepless nights. You know what I mean, when you just lay in bed and just not being able to turn off your mind? So you lay there, tossing and turning until you see the blue sky creep up in your window. I tried everything. Sleeping on my side. Sleeping on my stomach. Flipping the pillows to the cooler side. Sleeping with the blankets over my head. Nothing. Maybe my music was on too loud for me to turn off my head. Whatever it was, I just couldn't turn my mind off. So I just lay there sleeping with the ghosts of my past.
Here's a chunk of what blitzed through my mind last night...

2007 was a roller coaster. It started about a girl, like most things in my life. And ended it ended about a girl. Yeah, I became a "scumbag", but I found something that made me happy. And that "something" I didn't get anywhere else. It was a fun distraction. But in the end, maybe that's all it was - a distraction. I don't know. But the year did carry a few good things, like getting close to a good group of friends. And I am on my way to finding out my calling.

It's 2008 now. Another new year. Another new beginning. Another fresh start. How many fresh starts will I get until I finally get my act together. "Get my act together"?! Honestly, I feel things ain't that bad. My life is actually picking up. Somethings, like my career and my family life, are falling into place. Sure there are still debts to pay. And I have to finish getting my degree, but all in all. Life is looking pretty good.
There are some things that are still kind fo sour, but they've been sour for years! For example, I still don't have a girlfriend. I'm beginning to think that maybe there's some great defect that stops me from getting on. I don't know - maybe? But since my best friend has bounced back into relationships since his break-up this past spring THREE TIMES. I think it's about time i stopped dragging my feet and genuinely tried to foster a relationship, don't you think?

All in all, it's a brand new chapter to the story of my life. And sure God will sometimes yank the rug out from under me, but I still can't wait to see what he has in for me this time around.

After wrestling with my covers and my thoughts last night, I was up and out again by 7:00 AM for more EMT training. Today we went to the junk yard and worked with the NYPD Emergency Service Unit and worked on rapid extrication in a motor vehicle accident. After a restless night followed by trudging through muddy ground carrying student-patients in awkward positions out of cramped cars again and again and again, I made my way to church. My home church. Somethings seemed to change. And something didn't. It was nice to have a sense of dependability with a splash of variety, kind like Lucky Charms (What is it with me and that cereal?! I'm really more of a Cinnamon Toast Crunch kinda guy).

With this year, I'm hoping to kick out a few bad habits. And also trying to be more honest, not just with others - but with myself too. I got this feeling that something good gonna happen. I can just feel it - like God's got something up his sleeve just for me. I hope so. I pray so.
So listen to my story, and we'll see what happens in this chapter.

Cheers - to a brand new day!