Back when I was a kid, I had this fire inside me, when I wanted to achieve something nothing stopped me, there wasn’t a thing anyone could do to deter me from my course, and when my mother met her supposed dream boat, that changed. I didn’t lose the fire, I lost the direction, my world was turned upside down by physical abuse and molestation, by his children and my mother turning a blind eye to what was happening with me (at least that’s the way I saw it). But my determination and resolve never went away, it just was refocused to escaping the hell I was living.
Once I escaped, I was resolved to become a comic book artist, a movie poster artist, an illustrator, a painter, I wanted to use my talents, but that resolve was overshadowed by the voice of reason, and the woman who I perceived as my mother figure, Grandma, set me on the course of a ‘real job’… “You’ll be a starving artist” she said, and those words rung in my ears for years… but my resolve and determination didn’t waiver, they were just refocused.
I was now determined to make it the financial markets, real estate, commercial finance, business finance, but without a college education, and no High School Diploma, where was I going to go to obtain such success? How was I going to do it? Truth is I started where any self respecting financier would start, I lent money to degenerates and wayward people who were desperate for a quick buck… yes, I was loan sharking, which caught the eye of some very interesting people, but that part of the story I’ll omit by choice. Fast forward a couple of years and I caught the eye of another more legitimate character which started me working in the field of small business finance.
From that moment on, despite all the problems I faced in my marriage, I was determined to achieve success both in the field of real estate finance and in the field of entrepreneurship, so much so that I did both, and added art back into my life. I had partners in a comic book and hobby shop, we owned three. I opened a small printing company which unfortunately I lost due to a bad lease deal I made, I continued in real estate finance as well and made attempts at selling myself as a free lance painter. I was determined.
At some point, my tumotulous marriage infected my partnership in the hobby shops and I closed my store and was kicked from the partnership, and some where along the line the support for my art wained to a point of disdain as my supposed spouse reassured me I wasn’t good enough and to stick with the real estate business. Ultimately I did and for several years I worked diligently to reach my goals, which I did.
It was at that time that the world came crumbling down, the economy collapsed, my then business partner decided he didn’t want to remain sober any longer and I began the death throws of a divorce process that would take several years to finalize, and it was ugly. Somewhere in all this my resolve and determination was refocused, but by this time I also believed I wasn’t good enough for anything anymore… somewhere along the line I believed all the bullshit I was fed and ended up becoming a former shell of who I was and wanted to be.
I lost everything, my art career was in the toilet, my finance career was all but on life support, and my direction was lost… I was what I deemed an “Afterbirth” of who I really was. Mind you, I was forever becoming more jaded as the years went on, I wouldn’t call it bitter but I was certainly beyond realist and knee deep in pessimism. My determination and resolve was to get custody of my children, nothing else mattered at this point and my desperation to keep my businesses (both art and finance) were merely distractions from my only goal… Win at all costs. And that I did, I won custody and it cost me everything.
It wasn’t until a year and a half ago that something gave, something snapped in me… I was resolved to find Mony and at the very least tell her I loved her all my life and never could replace her, ask for her forgiveness for breaking her heart and… well, if there was something that could happen between us, great, but I created no expectation simply because I didn’t know what to expect. And I demanded I find her, I tried so hard to find her, and on the last moment when I was finally going to call it quites, I found her! That was the beginning of the inspiration that she would become and the path that would bring me back to that youthful determination and resolve I once had… that fire that said, Never Gonna Stop Me.
Mantras I always believed that had turned merely to words, I once believed again, every day brought me closer to the me that was buried deep inside. I started to believe my words again, words that became mantras, mantras that became doctrine and doctrines that were law… my law. I finally felt indestructible again, and as time went on, I started to believe nothing was going to stop me, and with more time passing, I always win didn’t seem like a hollow statement anymore. Mony helped me find the me I was supposed to be from so long ago, that fire driven, hungry person that doesn’t take failure as an end but only a step in the right direction. That kid who wasn’t going to let an obstacle stand in his way, he’d go over it, around it, under it or straight through it… She helped me find me again, and after her stay here or more than three months, I know that I am once again the me I was supposed to be, she inspires me and it is that inspiration of youth and excitement that some people lose and other’s hold onto… I am no longer the afterbirth of who I was.
In fact there is a cliche’ that is often said “if I can go back to then with what I know now….” (you fill in the blank), well, I feel that way, and I feel as if I can go back with what I know now, making me smarter, making my chances of success greater and knowing now as an adult that I can do whatever I want how I want means I can reach for all those goals and dreams I had then without concern or hesitation, without fear and with the power to know the success I achieve will actually be easier to attain because the fire and hunger in my belly and the knowledge of 20 years will make it so.
She inspires me, because I am afraid that without having her in my life, without spending the last year and a half with her, Mony, I probably wouldn’t have found it again, and even if she were to say that isn’t true, I know me and the path I was on better than anyone else and Mony deserves the credit for reawaken the hunger inside me. I knew something was missing these last few years, she found it. She inspires me.
Thanks for reading.