Carmen Milagro

How silly to think I would actually take someone’s negative comments so much to heart that it just broke me in two. Snap. Right then and there. It was almost an audible break! But I
did and right now I guess in a strange sort of way, I am glad it was such a
clean break! Like waking out of a deep sleep with a jolt.

There was only one other person of any significant importance, once upon a time about 25 years ago that did just that. Perhaps it was arrogance on my part to think I would never allow this to happen to me again…but I was wrong.

Words are a person’s strongest weapons and the sheer magnitude and power of negative words are astounding to me, especially when the words come from someone you work with and

supposedly cares about you. Someone to whom you looked up to, admired and
relied on for guidance, knowledge and talent. Someone in whom you had placed
tremendous trust. Someone who you THOUGHT was the co-manager of your collective
& collaborative dream. Someone to whom you bared your inner most thoughts,
raw open wounds and your soul to in music. Someone who told you “Trust me. I
believe in this project. I believe in you, I got your back” in the business of
music.

But in the heat of the moment words of little hope, little confidence and even less vision were purposely meant to disarm and derail me, perhaps to “put me in my place” or

simply a case of “I’ll show you.” Was the intention was to break me once and
for all or to teach me a lesson? Whatever it was he knew exactly how to do it
with these words:

“Who do you think you are? Who do you think you are to have such LOFTY GOALS? No one can ever measure to the expectations you have. Everyone will always end up disappointing you” That’s what I was told just a few days ago.

At first I immediately thought of a rare and magical tree when an inexperienced gardener chops it down it down all the way to the core, all the way to the root of its existence. By all appearances and to the rest of the world that tree is dead and perhaps even to the tree itself it seems to be the case

But after a while, something magical begins to happen. Slowly, ever so slowly and sometimes imperceptibly and so subtly that no one notices the tree’s roots begin to stir under the soil under the weight of all the damage. After the shock and dismay something else begins to stir inside the soul and come back to life. Then miraculously something beautiful rises out of the devastated shell that the careless gardener left behind.

I’ve been down this path once before as I mentioned earlier…it happened to me some 25 years ago and to be quite honest I had all but forgotten the pain inflicted on me by another man, the first man I ever set eyes upon. He was a man that I also admired, respected and believed in.

I was just starting out on my 1st career in the hospitality business, with a 3.98 GPA but no money for university, only some college; I decided I would make my mark in the world in the hospitality business. My plan was to climb the ladder of success regardless of the challenges. I’d do it anyway, it might be a little harder but certainly not impossible. Within 6 months of entering the business I was promoted to a mid-level management position and I was quite frankly pretty proud of myself. I had only just turned 20, I was one of the few women in management and I was the only Latina.

One day, I was excitedly telling my mom all about the trajectory my life was on and all the plans & goals (yes, LOFTY goals) I was making when my father stepped into the conversation.

When my mother turned to tell him all about my success and my lofty goals, my father who had worked as a dishwasher in a hotel nearby when he had first arrived in this country 27 years earlier turned to me and said, “ How are you going to do that cleaning hotel rooms? Who do you think you are? Don’t you know
we can’t do these things? What makes you think you can?”

I hope you understand these words were merely a question. They were not filled with malice there was simply no understanding, no comprehension and no vision behind them. You see, based on my father’s life experience he couldn’t even begin to imagine what I was talking about. It never crossed his mind that I was already in a management position that I was not a maid.

My eyes filled with tears. I turned and walked away, not in anger but in such deep deep anguish and sorrow for my father that I couldn’t bear to look at him or let him see the pity I felt for him…THAT would have killed him. And so I chose to leave the room. Quietly, without a word only a glance at my mother to let her know I was fine. In a manner of speaking I was broken in two because I knew I only had myself to rely on. As much as my father loved me he could not help me because he could not even imagine that I had the audacity to reach for such lofty goals.

Although, I understood all of this I was also torn in two because after that day I knew that I would never look at my father in the same way ever again. I would never feel the same towards him. I also knew I would travel so far and away from him that he would not be able to protect me or take care of me as I might need him to do. I was on my own, all alone and I would leave him behind because he didn’t want to know how to travel with me and share my life. He would never understand my lofty dreams or accept the way in which I chose to move ahead in the world…funny how history can repeat itself.

It’s time for me to make myself “unbroken” again. No one else can help me.

I spent these last few days, this past weekend celebrating death and rebirth. Not necessarily in the religious sense as this was Easter weekend (ironic no?) but in the sense of how I began mentally changing the course of my life. Death to the old way while simultaneously creating a NEW way.

In the past, I was relying on some people who in actuality NEVER truly shared my musical OR my vision for success. I realize they too are simply incapable of doing so. So now it’s back to basics…I rely only on myself to lead, to accomplish and go forth. It is my dream and I’ve now learned no matter how much I want to share my vision and all my successes, I cannot force, beg or reason with another human being if they simply cannot see or understand my lofty goals. They are simply incapable and unwilling of walking with me towards the goals I have made up my mind to accomplish. It is up to me to go forward in my faith that I will make it. And I will. I have decided to become a millionairess in the next 5 years….that’s my new direction. I have the passion, wherewithal and determination to do so so that I may take care of my family who needs me and complete my musical “to do” list.

On a side note, there is a good side to all of this profound stuff…most all of my songs are pure emotional personal experiences and this is no exception…the song I am now in the process of writing will be one hell of a song ~ again (if I do say so myself)!

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