Breaking the Habits

Heh, This is my 200th post and it’s about my 26th birthday.

Studies have shown that at the age of 25, the human brain completes its maturation cycle, so I guess this means that I really don’t have any excuse to be immature or act like an idiot.

But one thing, I’ve started to notice about myself is, at this point, I’m growing tired of putting things off, of seeing things left unfinished, or work left undone. Something has stirred in me to go out of my way to get it done. Usually, I wouldn’t even notice these things, but now, it’s on the corner of my eye, and with nearly no hesitation, I get to work. The TV show isn’t as important as picking up these random articles of clothing, or as sweeping something that has fallen to the floor.

My years spend as my Father’s assistant, is starting to itch as I keep driving my car without proper┬ámaintenance. I’m seeing more and more opportunities to get things done, and lately, I’ve been taking them, seemingly out of nowhere.

Now I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but it’s rather shocking, exciting, but most of all, interesting… My youthful habits of letting things slide is diminishing and now I’m taking actual pride in the things around me, the idea that if I live here then I should make it as best as I can, because I live here. I simply cannot turn a blind eye, these are the actions of a child, not of a man. I’ve always wanted to prove myself as a man, yet it’s only at this point that I realized that, I’ve done nothing that brings me closer towards being a man, save for living this long.

I have so many opportunities to prove myself and these remain at the wayside, everything that life would demand of a man is right here within my grasp, and I’m not reaching for it, for practically no reason. I need to Man up, quite literally.

A Man doesn’t complain about the work, he doesn’t let things slide when he has the ability to do something about it, he doesn’t try to find the blame, he just fixes the problem, he’s willing to get down and dirty to get the job done, regardless of what has happened during his day. A Man does what needs to be done, no questions asked!

This is the habit, the main habit that I need to develop, the habit of success that will cause the rest of my life to be successful, and ironically, the reasons for it are not to achieve success, but to achieve personal satisfaction of a job well done. A Man doesn’t boast about himself, he merely does what’s necessary.

So, I will now break the habits I have of sleeping in, watching TV, checking the internet for random things, doing childish things. I will replace these with the habit-building productivity of a Man.

Of all of the gifts, I shall receive for this birthday, This shall be the one I shall strive to treasure.


Tears from a Man

We were all sitting in the living room waiting for the call… When it came, my Father picked it up, in Spanish, he spoke to his sister. The conversation was short, but when it had ended, my Father put the phone down slowly, my Mother was sitting next to him, and the rest of us were sitting in a circle, I was in a chair across from him, but facing diagonally.

“Tu abuela muri├│” (“Your Grandmother Died”)my Mother announces to us.

We all remained silent, and my Father puts his hands to his face and quietly sobs.

The first and last time I’ve ever seen tears of sorrow run down his face…

My Father was a hard man, solid like a rock, yet gentle and kind towards others. In terms of emotions, one can argue that his was skewed with the early passing of his own father, forcing him to take on a leadership role early in life, so he hardly was able to express himself truly, in terms of displaying anything but strength.

I shed tears for my grandmother, mostly because I had lost a world of wisdom due to a language barrier. But that’s for another time.

Heh, I’ve seen my Father cry due to onions or dirt in his eyes, but this, this was the only time in my entire life that I had seen him sad, shedding actual tears of sorrow and loss. It was so strange to see that, well, not strange, it’s understandable, I mean, the man’s not made of stone, but my Father was always a pillar of strength, always smiling, telling jokes (albeit awful ones), one would forget that it was possible that he can get sad.

But I suppose that it was merely childish idolization, the classic, “my Dad is the strongest man in the world!” What I had failed to realize is that every man is capable of crying, but what defines whether or not a man is still a man is the circumstance in which he cries for.

If a man sheds tears for his own inabilities or shortcomings, then these tears lessen him, for every man should strive to overcome his own limitations, no matter how difficult the demons, if you shed tears in front of them, then they will feed off your weakness and grow stronger. Thinking about this, I remember the Godfather movie, when the godson of the Don, who was an actor, was asking for his help, and was crying because he didn’t get the part, and didn’t know what to do. The Don told him that he can be a man and stop crying.

There is nothing wrong with shedding tears for lost loved ones and death. This is a life-changing event, and a permanent one at that. Tears here are both welcomed and expected. A man crying over losing an important person in his life, is only observed as nothing less than a man because, Death is a matter of severe gravity and to not shed tears shows that there was no bond between the deceased and the man.

I also remember this phrase, that I often think about when it came to my parents and time spent with them: “The harshest tears are shed for things left undone and words left unsaid.”

I know some of my siblings had some tension with my Father, and following his passing, things were obviously left unsaid between him and them. I remember them more sorrowful than I was despite the strong fronts and forced smiles.

Once I learned the phrase, and after some time, I finally accepted, after some more time, that I had to bury my parents someday. So whenever my Father went anywhere, I was right behind him, his little assistant, and I always made sure that I told him everything that was going in my life, I ate breakfast with both parents, when I woke up on time, I’d be helping my Father cook breakfast for the 3 of us, learning all that I could from him.

… Heh, I guess I was trying to take away as many tears as possible. It helped only in speeding up my time in accepting his death…

But as my tears fell, I knew that they were not tears of regret, sure, I’m not even close to being done with my Life’s journey, there are still SO many things that I’m planning on doing, so I will want my Father to be there when I do them, but he won’t, and that’s something that I’ve accepted, there’s a strong possibility that I’ll be sad remembering that fact, but I withheld nothing from my Father, despite the fact whether or not he knew what I was talking about, I told him everything.

I don’t know what sort of tears my Father shed when his mother died, if they were of pure sorrow or of regret and loss, what I do know is that my Father has only shed tears, actual tears, once in my entire life, and that tells me that he was a strong man, that wasn’t so easily ruled by circumstance, nor by pain, nor even by emotions, he always kept his wits and never broke down for anything, not even for Onions… well, maybe a little.