Irreplaceable Bonds

We are so busy with our lives sometimes we forget to ever take the time to stop and appreciate the people who surround us.  We are so blinded by money we lose sight of the most important things.  You only get one chance to live, but so many live an life unfulfilled.  Why take the job that make you feel miserable or hang around people who don't care for you?  Do the thing you love in life and spend your time with people who love you unconditionally.  Yes there are times when we have a duty to provide, and in order to do so must sacrifice our dream job for the people we love.  But don't overwork yourself so you never get to spend time with them. We have little time to forge bonds with the people we love, so take every chance and build a meaningful relationship.

Today I was told some sad news, one of my closest friends lost his mother over the weekend. I could never imagine what he is going through.  The bonds between them were so special it would take a life time of searching to find a mother and son who cared for each other so deeply.  I was never blessed with the opportunity to meet her, yet it feels like I have known her for so long.  Every night shift we worked I always got to hear he and his mom have a short five minute conversation.  I am grateful I had a chance to speak with her a couple of times; from a few exchanges of hellos could tell how wonderful of a person she was.  One thing I know is that even though she is no longer with us physically, she will always live on inside the hearts of the people she loved. 

So take a look at your life now and really think about the bonds you have created.  Are you satisfied? I'm not. I  don't know how long I have left with the people I love. But I will do everything I can to make sure that when I leave this world I have told everyone I loved how much they have meant to me. 

"To live in the hearts of those we love is never to die."
                                                -Thomas Campbell

What do you want?

What do you want?

A simple question to ask, but possibly one of the most complex question to answer.  Some people are born knowing what their purpose in life is, yet others wander their who life unable to answer this question. I didn't know what I wanted, but I was encouraged by important people in my life to explore what I wanted.  I work with these group of amazing people and they know what they want.  You can see it when they talk and the amount of work they put out is 10x mine.  There is nothing wrong with what I currently do, but the difference between them and me is that they would die for what they are doing.  For the past year they have been asking me the question, "What do you want"?  Every time they asked me, I responded with a half assed answer and they knew it. So last week I was encouraged to stop what I was doing and really explore what I wanted.  

I have always avoided answering this question, because I didn't know where to start.  I would always think about it when I was sleeping or walking around, but I always stopped when it became too aggravating.  I wasn't born knowing what I wanted to do, but I have always felt every decision I have made helped me get a step towards the answer.  So the first thing I did was list everything I loved growing up till now; things like cooking, drawing, family, and certain memories came up. This gave me a better understanding of who I was and what I loved.  Then I decided to write about what I loved in my past jobs.  I found that all the things I loved at my jobs were the same, like building an idea, creating relationships with people, or innovating. It started to get more clear. My want was something I have been doing all along, I just had to keep thinking about what I have always been doing.  

So since then I have been reflecting on my life.  Thought about my favorite memories growing up.  I thought about the people I have admired and what they have done.  I thought about why I was so fired up to work at certain times.  Then today it finally hit me.  The thing that I want to do is create the best experience a person can have ever.  If it was in a company it wouldn't just be I want our users to have the best experience possible, but also the people I work with.  I want them to enjoy what they are doing. I know my want and even though it seems a bit impossible,  I get fired up over it and I know this is something I am willing to die for. 

So now I ask you, What do you want?

Hurricane Sandy

In the past week I learned a lot of things through hurricane Sandy.

1) Don't tempt nature, no matter what nature always wins.
TV only shows you the footage, but you cannot experience the feeling of true fear. Like a genius I kept testing Sandy, every time I did it got worse. Within the first couple of hours I experienced winds that knock trees down and when it blew you couldn't breath.  It made my heart raced so fast it felt like death was waiting.  Water that went above my waist and almost pulled me in, and the Con Ed building exploding a block away.  So don't play with nature it will demolish you, like a giant fighting an ant.

2) Wise people look for the good, while unwise people look to complain.
By wise I do not mean old, but people who really understand the value of life and unwise people who have yet to value life.  Wise people would say things like, thank god it was only the power and that their friends and family were safe.  While the  unwise would say living without electricity was hell and continue to say it was a crime for the city to let them do so. There are people all over the world who don't have electricity or clean water, so don't complain about your first world problems. We have to take everyday as a blessing and look for the good around us.

3) When a disaster strikes it only makes us stronger.
This whole week I have seen and heard so many acts of kindness.  Firemen, Policemen/women and paramedics rushing to help others during the hurricane. Restaurants, food trucks and groceries handing out free food.  The MTA providing free rides around the city.  People offering their homes as shelter to others, welcoming both friends and strangers. Stores offering their space to people to charge electronics. This wasn't the first time I experienced this in New York, but it was a sign that people really look to help and care for one another during a time of need.

4) Technology is embedded in our lives.
This week my friends, family, girlfriend and I traveled all over the city just to find a charge and Wifi.  We never understood how much we use technology in our daily lives.  The first day without phone and computer I felt restless and kept wanting to access the internet.  But by the time everything was over I felt as if I have come to appreciate everything a bit more.  I understood the importance of technology, but I found a deeper love for my notebook.  I spent so much time with a pen and paper, I felt like my brain was more creative then it has been in the past couple of months.  So I have decided I will turn of my electronics for at least an hour a week and just write and draw.

These were some of the things I experience during the week.  I don't want to say I was happy it happened, because I am not.  But I did come to appreciate more things in the past week.

Water rising above the streets on ave c.

Looking for my mom went into the water going above my waist. First hour of the hurricane.
              Door of a building being pushed in by the water that it actually was no longer embedded in the wall.
Some of the mess the next morning.
Car had a beam made of wood on top of it.

Tree Feel.

The city with no electric only cars to light the street.

Crane on 56th st that broke due to wind. 

Do What You Love

Do what you love, a simple concept we probably heard millions of times. But how many people are actually doing that? Everyday I see the people I love hate their jobs.  So why are they doing it?  For my mom its the family health insurance, without that she would never have the money to pay for insurance. It sucks that my mom had to give up on her dream to allow mine to be accomplished. But that means my time is precious and I can't waste a second.

For my mom her realization was her mom. Who woke up at 4 in the morning to prepare food for the restaurant she worked in and she got home late night.  I would never forget the image of her hands they were deformed from all the hard work she did 7 days a week having no vacation.  When she finally retired she was diagnosed with cancer. She suffered so much, yet she found a way to smiled when ever her grandchildren visited and no matter how little energy she had she always tried to cook for us.  When she passed away no one showed up, but her immediate family and my dad's friends and family.  That when I decided I would never let her hard work go to waste.  When I was younger I never knew why she would choose a job so hard and tiring.  As I grew older I understood why, it was all she knew and it was the only way she could do to take care of her children and grandchildren.  Only now do I fully appreciate what she has done.  

So I will never stop doing what I love.  I will never stop building product for people. I will do it for myself, for my parents, and grandparents who worked so hard to give he the blessed life I have now.  I never want to see anyone in my family go through the same thing. I will create something amazing so that I can see my mom and dad smile. Till then I will work just as hard as they did, so they know I will never give up till the day I die. Why, because of the people I love.

On My Own

Earlier this week I was told something that caught me off guard.  The people I have been going to for help everyday for the past couple of months, told me I was on my own.  For me to grow I would have to make my own decisions and find my skills and passion. I was always saying how I want to grow on my own and be the best possible me, yet I was always clinging on to them.   

For me this is the second scariest leap I have taken since graduating a couple of months ago, but it has been an amazing two days.  I have done more on my own then I could have imagine.  I have learn how to process information and come to a solution without help for the first time.  Everything I have learned with your guidance has made everything easier and less scary. 

I know I have a huge amount of growth left to do, but I am excited and ready to conquer to world.  So to the people who gave me the courage to step out of my comfort zone; thank you.  Sometimes you need to be pushed in the deep to learn to swim. I know that you guys will always be guiding me in the right path, but its about time I start trying things and learning more about what I can do for the world.

Be Anyone On The Internet, Just Avoid Stupid.

We have the option  to be anyone we want on the internet.  A clean slate to start over and become the person you always dreamed of being.  You can choose to be a confident person, a mentor, or even a comedian; but why choose to be stupid.

Lately I have been watching/reading from people talking about their problems. Some of these post are from people who have experienced something painful and now they are looking to help others going through the same situation.  Other post are about people who are suffering and looking for help or just looking for a place to vent. They are saying something important and we should be listening to what they have to say.  Instead many have chosen to go under an identity of someone stupid, we don't think before we say something. What possible value are you currently adding to your own life when you tell someone to kill themselves or judge them for their look?  What if every response you posted affected that person and if you told them to kill themselves they would.  How horrible would that feel? But what if instead you told them "you are beautiful" or that they were loved and it saved them.  

So no matter what you think your words can have an affect on someone.  One word has the power to destroy or save someone. I bet if you were given a second chance to be anyone you wanted you would not choose to be stupid.   So then don't choose to be that person on the internet when you have the opportunity to be anyone.  Be someone you can respect. 

Thank You and I Miss You

Dear Uncle Reggie,

You have done so much for me in my life and I know I had so much more to learn from you, but you were taken away from us so soon.  I wish I had more time with you even if it was for one hour more.  I just want to learn what you thought it meant to be a man.  Some how you got it right, when ever I think of the type of man I want to be, you come to mind.  

You treated me as if I was your son and to me you were a second dad.  In the 16 years I had to spend with you, I was taught so many things.  You never sat me down and told me what a man was, you showed me.  A real man puts family first, a real man looks for the best in people, a real man laughs in a tough situation and deals with it, and a real man doesn't give up no matter how hard it got.  Thank you for the lessons you taught me.  

If you could see me today I know I would have made you proud.  I kept the things you held the closest safe. We all did; your children, your nephews, and nieces.   We remembered one important thing family comes first and no matter how big of a mistake we might have made there was always a plate of food waiting for us.  I never got to tell you thank you for everything because I was young and naive.  So thank you, a great deal of what I learned from you gave me the courage to make so many key decisions in my life.  So if i have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

Miss you,