My Life: Becoming a freelance writer

Hello? Is this thing on?

If so, I would like to say hi and¬†welcome you to my blog. And for those who have not heard from me in years, I would like to apologize. My life these past two years have been chaotic (and that’s keeping it simple). I went from home to home trying to find a place to call my own, changed job positions, and invested a significant amount of time and money on pursuing a Masters degree.

However, life happened and I am no longer in the right circumstances to continue.

I hope to share with you, in time, that chapter of my life. You’ll understand all of my struggles, my joys, and my pains. But for now, I would like to share something that I have not told my family. I am trying to find meaning in my life and in the process, I have decided to become a freelance writer. To tell you the truth, I don’t have a clue about what I am getting myself into, but that has never stopped me before.

When my guidance counselor told me that I would not go to a four-year college, I ended up graduating from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Psychology and minor in Counseling. When all my other brother’s dropped out of school, I applied to a Masters program and got in. And I will continue to move forward regardless.

My stories aren’t too sophisticated (trust me, I know). Nor are they grammatically perfect (that is a creative choice). But they are honest (I promise). And that’s why I want to write and make a living out of it. I want to share my story and help at least one person get through the day. Or to make them laugh. Or cry. Or make them not feel alone.

And with that announcement, I would like some help from you.

I know this may alienate the people who read my blog, but I would appreciate any leads that can help in me becoming a freelance writer or at least a place where I can make a living sharing my stories.

Here is a list of some stories that show off my writing skills. I hope you all enjoy them! ūüôā

Life: A Message To My Future Daughter

The Night My Life Changed: An Introduction

The Brother Who Left My Life

The First Sexual Encounter Of My Life

I know it’s a long shot, but it’s an attempt. Hopefully someone out there can hear me. Thank you.

 

Sincerely,

EDDY

 

 

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My Life: Please Don’t Judge My Weirdness

I made it to Post #25 ya’ll!

Instead of writing something new, I thought of going back to the past. When I first¬†started this blog and writing random posts. These¬†posts were more simple and short. Kind of like me. They were before I had an audience who seemed to care about my life. Before I started writing more meaningful and longer posts. Not that there is anything wrong with that (Seinfeld reference). But I think it is fun to look back and read all of my randomness. So here are a few of my favorite posts that just didn’t garner much views. I hope you give them a try. And please, don’t judge my weirdness! ūüėõ

My Life Through Daft Punk: All Time Views: 22

I guess people just don’t like the French. Haha. Just kidding of course. This post was inspired when I¬†was going through a rough breakdown in the summer of 2013 and the only thing that seemed to help was listening to a song titled, “Fresh” by Daft Punk. The post describes the images that go through my head when I hear that song. I will admit that the writing is a bit choppy, but I was just starting to write! Geeze, I said not to judge. Anyways, if you like Daft Punk and pictures of the beach, you will definitely like this post.

https://eddybcruz.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/my-life-through-daft-punk/

My Life In Story: All Time Views: 46

Okay now,¬†I’m¬†quite¬†proud of this post right here. Not because I spent a month putting pieces of my interests together, but because the finished story feels perfect to me. I think this was when I decided that writing could be…like you know…fun! I hope you can spot all the references.

Music: Daft Punk, LCD Soundsystem, No Doubt. Deadmu5, Les Miserables. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Books: The Catcher In The Rye, The Virgin Suicides, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Fun Home. T.V. Shows: Arrested Development, HIMYM Movies: The Dark Knight, The Matrix, Up. Places: San Francisco, Orange County, LA.

https://eddybcruz.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/my-life-in-story/

My Life Through My Thoughts: All Time Views: 44

This¬†post gives you some insight into what I thought about when I was younger. The post reads more like a diary entry, but I like the fact that it also¬†let’s you know what I was thinking about before I had a breakdown. It’s short and honest.

https://eddybcruz.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/my-life-through-my-thoughts/

BONUS: The First Relationship Of My Life: All Time Views: 62

Okay, I have no idea why¬†this post didn’t get many views. This was the start of when I started to write long and meaningful stories. And to be honest, this was a deeper reveal into my personal life. This post tells¬†the story of¬†when I was young¬†and in love (as cheesy as it sounds).¬†If you¬†ever wanted to know about my relationships, then this will definitely give you a glimpse.

https://eddybcruz.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/the-first-relationship-of-my-life/

Anyways, I hope you give these posts¬†a try and enjoy¬†reading them¬†as much as I loved writing them. Until next time my fellow bloggers. Let’s see what Post #50 brings.

My Life: The Cousin I Almost Lost

I love my cousins. All of them.

Growing up, my older brothers and I were complete opposites. They were social, fun, and rebellious while I was shy, boring, and compliant. So much in fact, that my aunts and uncles would ask me to baby sit my cousins while they went out to run¬†errands. I didn’t mind. I was happy that someone trusted me enough to let me take care of their children. I made sure my cousins watched appropriate shows on T.V., ate enough food, and stayed out of trouble. I was only five years older, but I felt like an adult. They would tell me when they were having a bad day¬†and I would try my best to let them know that everything would be okay. I made sure they felt protected under my watch. I was with them during the good times¬†and the bad.¬†They became the brothers that I never had as a child. They grew into responsible teenagers in front of my eyes, and¬†that’s something I’m very proud of witnessing.

But this post is dedicated to a very special cousin of mine. Miguel.

Ever since I can remember, this cousin of mine has had a very difficult¬†life. His mom passed away when he was around eight years old. I remember that day. And how everyone in my house cried. And mourned. And cried some more. I can’t imagine the feeling of losing a mother. But he continued on. He got retained from the third grade because he stayed a little longer in Mexico for his mother’s funeral. He had to make new friends and watched his other cousins celebrate school achievements a year ahead of him. Although he always¬†struggled with school, he kept on trying.¬†At the age of fifteen, his dad got deported back to Mexico. I¬†can’t imagine what was going through his head when he found out, but again he kept going. He kept going after his two surgeries for his bad ankles, when he stayed in the hospital for weeks because he was malnourished, or when people constantly teased him because they never considered to be smart.

I doubt¬†he even cares. See, my cousin has family that loves him. And I think that’s what keeps¬†him going. During family events he shares his stories and tells jokes that make everybody in the room laugh. He is as care free as can be and everyone loves him. So we were surprised when we heard what happened a few¬†months ago.

I was with my best friend in San Francisco when my little brother called me. I thought it was strange. My brother never called me. He asked if I was sitting down and I assured him that I was. His voice sounded different. As if he had just finished crying. He¬†told¬†me that he didn’t want to worry me, but that he was at the hospital with the family. I was confused, so¬†I asked what was wrong.¬†He didn’t say anything. He began crying. I had never heard my little brother¬†cry so hard¬†before. It was painful. Again, I asked what was wrong. A few seconds went by then I heard him¬†say, “they shot Miguel.” I don’t remember much after that. I remember my best friend walking me out to the car because I couldn’t stop crying. I remember talking to my family on my phone, asking how my cousin was doing, and crying some more. I remember crying myself to sleep¬†around three in the morning.

I went to visit him when I returned from San Francisco around midnight. There were around ten or so people¬†in the room visiting him. My cousins said that the night before around twenty people showed up. He was lying there on his bed. He couldn’t talk and he was having a hard time keeping his eyes open. Finally, he looked up and saw me. I didn’t know what to say to him. He¬†stared, smiled, and gave me a thumps up. I tried my best not to cry. I smiled and gave a thumps up as well.

The doctor told us the bullet hit near his spine. A few centimeters in a different direction and my cousin could have been paralyzed.

Over the next few weeks, my family visited him at the hospital. A few of my cousins slept over on their days off work. He was able to go home three weeks later, but had a hard time walking and talking. He lost fifteen pounds from all the surgeries and had to drop out of school for the semester. He stopped working also. His life completely changed, but his personality stayed the same.

A few weeks ago, I took him out to eat. He couldn’t remember getting shot, but he¬†did remember waking up in the hospital and seeing his family. He was thankful and happy to see us. We continued talking about life and his future. And all of a sudden I saw him as the five year old kid that I used to baby sit. And just like that, I was taking care of him again. And I realized just how short our lives can really be.

Like always, he keeps telling us jokes, makes us laugh, and¬†continues to smile through every obstacle. I really don’t know how he does it. He’s got the spirit of a champ. But I guess¬†that’s something nobody can take away from him.

 

Life: A Message To My Future Daughter

I want to start off by letting you know how¬†happy I am that you’re in my life and¬†to let you know you’re beautiful.

At the time of writing, I am 24 years old, have my Bachelors in Psychology, and working with at-risk adolescent girls. My life is far from perfect. I am single, living with my parents, and¬†only¬†working part time. Sometimes I wonder why I should keep going. Other times, I don’t want to stop. I am writing to let you know that I struggled to get you. See, at the age of 21, I realized that I wanted a daughter. But there were¬†problems. I was gay and depressed. Young and immature. And all I could think about was¬†how bad things had gotten with my family.

Back then, my family life wasn’t the best. Your grandmother and uncles had been¬†deported, one of them¬†was missing, and I was hiding my secret from everyone. So I moved to San Francisco to escape. I know. What a scary and selfish thing to do. To leave your family and be on your own. But you know what? Those two years were some of the best in my life. I was exploring a new city, making new friends, and being openly gay.

You see, I always struggled with making friends. Real ones. Ones who still wanted to be my friend even if I shut down on them repeatedly. And on those cold nights in San Francisco, surrounded by my gay friends studying, playing, or drinking, I felt accepted. And for a brief moment I was happy.

When I left San Francisco to move back in with my family, I realized that I had to become an adult. But I never was good with change. And boy did I struggle. I was jobless. Poor. Lonely. And my depression worsened. I thought about leaving this world. And how nobody needed me.

I hope you don’t think about the same things I once thought. Or I hope you would be able to talk about them with me. Things do get better. I can promise you that much.

Because when I was about to give up on¬†the world, the world¬†showed me that it wasn’t going to give up on me. I ended up getting¬†a¬†job working with at-risk adolescent girls. And just like that my life¬†changed. I actually looked forward to¬†waking up in the morning.¬†And taking care of those girls, who never experienced a loving home or were struggling to find hope in their young lives, gave my life purpose for once. And when I held their daughters, looked in their eyes, and saw their smile, I knew what I wanted in my life.

I wanted you.

I know I will have to wait a few years from now to adopt you,¬†but I can’t wait. I can’t wait to hold you in my arms for the first time. I can’t wait to stay awake all night trying put¬†you to sleep. ¬†I can’t wait to get tired after¬†running around the house playing with you. Because hearing your laugh will be worth it. I can’t wait to hear you talk and have a conversation with you. And to understand the world as you see it. I can’t wait to see you grow into the most beautiful person you can be.

So I would like to thank you. For being there for me even when you weren’t. And¬†I hope that makes sense someday. And if it doesn’t, I’ll make sure I’ll be there to tell you.

The Night My Life Changed: An Introduction

So it began. The night that turned everything in my life around. I don’t know how it happened, but in some strange way, I kind of anticipated it. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s the kind of feeling you get when you’re walking home on a quiet night after a long day of doing good and you suddenly stop, look at the stars, and you can’t help but smile. Or when you’re wandering around a big city during the peak hours of the day and you can’t help but feel like you belong. You feel good and anticipate more. I was once told that in life, the things that make an impact in our lives will randomly come. They will hit hard. And maybe, just maybe, they will last a life time. I’m sorry to say that this event didn’t last a life time.

Ten days earlier, I had spent my 21st birthday alone in my room. I don’t know why. I had a lot to celebrate. I was going ¬†to graduate with my AA degree in a few days, move to San Francisco in a few months, and live the college life for two whole years. But none of that mattered. My birthday hadn’t meant anything to anyone in such a long time. I wished myself a happy birthday and continued on with my life.

The impact of being 21 wouldn’t register until months later, for now, I was back to my daily routine of finding potential friends online. For every ten messages I sent, I would get a reply from one or two guys. The rejection was brutally painful and the process dangerously lonely.

To be honest, I had no idea of who I would talk to that night. I was only trying to cure my boredom. It’s surprising how a single message could change your life, but that’s what happened. I mean, I didn’t know it in that instance. And I guess that’s what made his appearance into my life that more special.

The Roommate Who Saved My Life

When I was 21 years old, I moved to San Francisco by myself. At that time, I didn’t realize just how lonesome the real world could be.

This is the story of how my roommate saved my life and how I wasn’t there to save his.

His name was Justin, a sailor who had recently moved from Maine to San Francisco in order to attend the local community college. He was white, short, and skinny. He often wore tight t-shirts, tight cut-off shorts, and too much makeup that made him look feminine. He fit my stereotypical image of a gay man, so I knew he was gay when I first saw him. He was flamboyant when he wanted to be and usually spoke whatever was on his mind, no matter how inappropriate his comments were at times.

We were the complete opposites, but we got along quite well. We shared details about our lives during the first days he moved into the house, and we quickly developed a friendship. I wanted to be completely honest with him, so I decided to tell him I was gay. At first, he looked at me in shock and then, very excitedly, told me he would take me to gay clubs, bars, and show me around the city. I smiled. He was my first true friend in San Francisco.

On our first night out, Justin gave me vodka to calm my nerves, but I felt more nervous and drunk by the time we arrived at the club. Once inside, I couldn’t believe I was seeing men kiss, touch, and dance with each other. Suddenly, I became part of the gay world and I felt strange and partly scared. I wanted to go back, but Justin didn’t allow me. My world had just been changed and Justin was to thank.

While inside the club, Justin warned me that the gay world was all about sex and that I should be careful because men in these clubs prey on younger guys. I looked around and saw a room full of friendly men; his comment confused me. He advised that long-distance relationships do not work because most gay guys cheat; I assured him that my boyfriend and I were happy even if we were living far away from each other. Finally, he told me that most gay guys in the community have fucked around with each other, so a true gay platonic friendship was rare. I didn’t know what to say; I had no intentions of messing around with him.

That night an older man tried to take me to his place because he knew I was drunk. Luckily, Justin found me before my panic attack worsened and we took a taxi back home. After that incident, he told me that he would be there to protect me. And he kept his word.

I can go on and tell you about the many times Justin took care of me when we went out clubbing or how he called me a prude for being so afraid to show my sexuality. Or that one night he said I dressed too “straight” and decided to dress me in a tight flannel shirt that showed some skin. Or how we spent hours in his room talking about music, our families, our relationships, and the little friends we had. But that’s not the story I want to tell.

Justin passed away in April of 2012. He was only 22.

I had only known him for 2 months before he moved back home, but that was enough for us to consider each other friends. But soon I became busy with school and we hardly talked. I last messaged Justin a few weeks before his death to tell him that my boyfriend had cheated on me throughout our relationship. Justin was right, gay guys often cheat.

I learned of Justin’s death later that month. It was ruled as an accidental fall.

Truth of the matter, Justin had been going through some hard times. He didn’t have many true gay friends he could talk with about his problems, so he¬†often took trips by himself when he wanted to clear his head. I often wonder what would have happened if I was there to talk with him during the night he fell off the tower. Truth is, I often think about him.

You see, Justin tried to teach me about the gay community, but he taught me about life. Older, more experienced, individuals can take advantage of younger, less experienced, people. Sometimes relationships just end or people cheat while being in one. More importantly, he taught me that true friends are rare.

I needed Justin during that time in my life. The gay world for a newly “out” individual can be dangerously lonely.

On the night he moved out, we were avoiding that awkward goodbye hug. Finally, after constantly checking his room for any missing belongings, he approached me. He gave me a hug and said that I was one of the good guys. He said that I shouldn’t be afraid of being myself, my gay self, and to take care of myself. I told him I would try to be more gay and for him to take care of himself too.

If I knew that would be the last time we would see each other, I would have hugged him longer and tighter. I would have thanked him for being there to teach me about the world and for protecting me from the bad guys. I would have told him that I loved him for being himself. I would have told him that he could always talk to me whenever he wanted to cry. But I didn’t say any of that.

As he drove off, I waved goodbye. I then went to his empty room and cried.

Reclaiming Love: The First Monologue About My Life

I don’t know why I said yes to presenting my story to a random audience, but I’m glad I did.

I’m a shy person with a really soft-spoken voice. You will have to ask me to repeat myself a few times before you’re able to understand what I had just said. It’s that bad. So instead I stay quiet hoping nobody will talk to me. I think that makes me socially awkward.

My public speaking skills are terrible too.¬†I sometimes leave my hands in my pockets throughout the presentation and don’t remember to take them out until the very end. I think that gives away my inexperience with public speaking. Or possibly when¬†I start talking fast, start stuttering, or begin rambling; one of the three.

One day I was asked by a coordinator of a Men Can Stop Violence program at school if I wanted to present “my story” for an event called Cocktales. The name sounded funny and I told him that I didn’t have a story, but that I was interested. He said there was something about me that made him think there was a story. I think being one of two men in a classroom of 28 women made me an easy person for him to recruit for his event. Who knows?

A few days later I received an email with details of the event. The event was about “Creating a¬†space [for men] to talk about masculinity.¬†Men can begin to hear other men‚Äôs real stories about their journey from recognizing privilege to emotional pain and ultimately finding peace within themselves”. The theme for that year was Reclaiming Love. The email listed topics about love such as: unconditional love, self love, forgotten love, love to a parent, loving the feminine, indigenous love, loving yourself, and a bunch more. I didn’t know what topic to choose, so I picked a few and met with the coordinator.

Over the next couple months we went over “my story” and began narrowing the topics down. I was excited to be writing about my experience with love even if it was limited. I was pouring my heart out into this monologue to the point where I had to stop writing because I would begin crying in the library. I had never presented a story of myself to an audience, so I didn’t know how much I wanted to tell. I was naive and told a lot more than I should have.

On the day of the event I was nervous to say the least. We had rehearsals a few days earlier, but I needed more than one day to prepare. To tell you the truth, I’m the type of person who has to remember his presentation word-for-word even if it takes me days to remember. I was so frightened to present that I kept pacing back and forth backstage trying to rehearse my lines. I kept on going to the bathroom more times than I needed and the guys kept on looking at me strangely. They told me to relax and that I would be fine. I was sweating so much, but managed to calm down before they called my name.

Here is my monologue:

By the end of the night, many people came and told me what a heart-felt performance I gave. And to be honest, it really was from the heart. I told them a story of myself that I didn’t know people could relate to or cared to hear. I surprised myself and even my friends who showed up to support me. For that night, I wasn’t that socially awkward person or that person who was scared of speaking in public. Somehow I felt confident for having the strength for telling the audience a person story of myself. I felt proud and smiled the rest of the night.

My family doesn’t know that I gave this monologue and perhaps now is the time to tell them.