Good Things Are Supposed To Happen To Me

Versión en español presione aquí

In my search for motivational stuff on the internet, I stumbled upon the quote “Good things are supposed to happen to me”. I started wondering and thinking about that, and I found it to be true; I believed it and embraced it. Did good things start happening to me? No. I looked back and realized they have been happening for quite some time. And I made the choice to try and look for the good things that happen to me.


That first paragraph is like the summary of the point I am trying to make. Let me go back a little bit and start over. I had a great childhood. I have an older brother who looks younger than me and a baby sister who looks just like me (or so people say). We grew up in a house full of love and hugs and occasional brother sister fights; nothing out of the ordinary. I had a lot of friends in school and in the neighborhood and I was a really happy child, really. I was never bullied in school and if I did I always had a clever answer for everything (still do to this day and some people hate it).

Growing up I realized life can sometimes be sad and unfair. I got to see how other people got life figured out -or so it seemed- and nothing good ever happened to me or it took too long to happen. I got through college and I met a lot of people in the process, some of which are my family now. But still, good things never happened to me. People started having great jobs, their dreams were starting to come true, and I felt stuck; like the opportunities never knocked on my door, they got lost on their way to my house.

I have always been a positive person and a true believer that making people smile is a great way to help ease their pain and lift heavy sorrow. And that worked for me and still does. But I was never where I wanted to be, where I was supposed to be. When I was a kid or growing up I never had a plan or schedule of where I wanted to be in my 20’s, 30’s and so on. But I knew what I wanted to do and since I was not doing it, I felt unaccomplished.

Friends over beer!
Friends over beer!

Two years or so ago I realized I had it all wrong, and my wife and friends – without them knowing – helped me figure that out. For years I keep a script for a stand-up comedy I wanted to make but I shelved it because the opportunity never appeared. I was looking at it all wrong. My friends helped me and I made it happen. Finally I was in front of a crowd making them laugh hard, really hard. Something I always do in front of my friends I was able to do in front of others. It was then when I realized I spent many years waiting for stuff to happen instead of going out there and making them happen.

(View video here)

I started exercising and that worked well too. My confidence started growing and so did my view of life. I looked back and realized wonderful things DID happen to me; they have been happening all my life. But it was me who stopped to wait for my dream life to appear out of thin air, to knock on my door. I realized that all I had in life, good and bad, I worked for it. And I did enjoy all the way there. Of course that being a positive person did not save me from a divorce or from all the bad stuff life threw in my face so many times. But it did help me face all of that stuff and deal with them in a better way.

Should I say more?
Should I say more?

My point is that good things are REALLY supposed to happen to you. And they have been happening. Just take a break and see it for yourself. Forget about what others have or the opportunities that never happen to you. Make life happen to you. If there is not an opportunity for you, go ahead and make it! If a door closes on you, make sure next time you kick it on your way in. Don’t quit on yourself. Start making those small changes on you and start listening to the people that tell you that there is potential; believing in what they say can help you realize is true.

You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love.
Jim Carey

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My second time (is not about sex)

It’s me again. Last Saturday I went back to Celebrate Puerto Rico to try one more time to make people laugh. The first time was awesome (still not talking about sex, even though that was the case too). This time I chose to use less jokes and do more stories of me and my childhood.

A great place to be funny...

I had a problem with time. I had to the performance in no more than five minutes which added another pressure. The first time the time provided was the same, but I just rolled and did almost 13 minutes.
So you be the judge. Listen to it and laugh if you like it. Here is the link to the page. You can listen to it there, or you can download it for you to keep. My performance is at 57:10, but remember I’m not the only one there. So listen to all of it; you will enjoy it.

My Christmas Memories

Today is the day after Christmas: Thursday, December 26. For us parents, today is still a hectic day; a day of trying clothes, running to get batteries, a lot of boxes lying around and kids running around and refusing to do anything else but play. Today is a great day to be a kid.

For us grownups, today is the day we reminisce about life and those Christmases ago, when we were kids running around the house, or in the neighborhood while our parents smiled at every little thing we did, or screamed at us because we refused to take a shower (we needed the time to play). Today we understand our parents even more, we know why they looked so tired yesterday, and continue being tired today. Helping Santa means the day will be long and the night will be not long enough.

wpid-IMG_21911577428628.jpegAs you all know, I have a big brother and a baby sister who is now 30 years old. When we were growing up we received all kind of presents: balls, bikes, skateboards, roller skates, video games, action figures, Legos, and so on. My greatest memories are not what we received, but the fun we had. When my sister was big enough to open her presents, she never wanted to do it alone. She walked to my room (I was maybe 10), and whispered:

“Franco, estás despierto? (are you awake)”.

“I am now, Frances”.

“Vamos a abrir los regalos (let’s open the presents)”

And I was up in no time. We walked really quiet making sure we did not wake my parents up, something that I now understand was dumb because the door to my room made a lot of noise and so did my sister’s. After we opened the first present we looked at them amazed that we got what we wanted or something different, but still awesome. If you ask me right now about what I got those days my sister woke me up, I would say I don’t remember, really. I remember the fun on doing that.

This is not the one I had, but I needed a picture.
This is not the one I had, but I needed a picture.

I always shared a room with my brother so that meant we usually woke up around the same time on Christmas day (I was up first, but I considered my job to wake him up). One year, I think I was seven or eight years old, I wanted an electric guitar; it had no strings, just buttons with different melodies. I woke up, woke my brother by calling him. We checked under our beds and THERE IT WAS… the guitar. I was still dark outside, but that did not stop us. I was able to turn it on (all the way up) and just pressed one button. Can you imagine someone playing a guitar at four in the morning when everything is quiet? The noise was incredible. We were scared and we knew my parents along with the whole neighborhood, were awake. The same way I turned it on, I turned it off. I pushed the guitar under the bed and my brother and I pretended to be sleeping just when my father opened our door. That is still a funny story in my house to this day.

Spider-Man and me!
Spider-Man and me!

We grew up, and 11 years ago my brother became a father, and so did I four years later. Now it was our turn to help Santa during this season. Different times, different types of presents, and new ways to make it unforgettable. I remember when my oldest son opened one present around five years ago. It was a Spiderman suit, with muscles and all. His face, the joy I saw on him and his happiness made my day. He wore that suit all day long, and the day after that and for some more months. He grew out of it, and to this day he still asks me why did I give it away, he says I could have come up with a way to fix it so he can still use it.

Christmas was a great time for me and I know now that my parents had a lot to do with it. I try to make the same for my kids, so does my brother and my sister. What does this post has to do with being Boricua? Nothing. Today I just want to ask you to make this Christmas season a special one. Make it special for you, your family and the kids. They will never forget the happy times, and they will pass it on to their children. Until next time, cójanlo suave!


We all have family. Parents, brother or sister, uncles or aunts, and cousins (even those you only see in funerals or weddings). I’m sure that many of you reading were taught to respect your family and to address them in a good manner. That’s where the word Bendición comes in. When I was a kid, my parents taught me that when I saw one of them or my uncles and aunts I had to ask for their blessing; that’s the meaning of Bendición. Usually after that “asking for a blessing” the answer we got was “Dios te bendiga” or “God bless you”. In my parents’ case, we were required to ask for that blessing in the morning, before we went to bed and, in case we were not together during the day, whenever we saw each other. In Puerto Rico, at least while I was growing, that was a normal thing. We did not see it as something that was forced into us, but as a way of respect towards or family.

I have always said Boricuas are unique, and no one can fight that argument (don’t you dare fighting that argument). When we speak of family there’s more to that word than your parents, their brothers and sister their children. Even your best friend’s parents are family, or that neighbor you’ve had for the past 20 years. That same neighbor that looked after you when your parents were out or working. I remember some friends asking me why do I have so many aunts. “She is not my aunt, just a neighbor”. To this day I have an aunt and an uncle just because when me and my brothers were kids we spent a lot of our time with their children, who are now (and have been for the last 20 years) our cousins. That aunt and uncle are even my kids’ (and we are not remotely related, they were just my neighbors). The same thing happens with my kids and my friends: Tio Flipe, tio Will, tio Jose, titi Noe, titi Jackie… just friends that are so close that they are family now. And my sons ask for La Bendición with the same respect they ask my parents. And I know all around the Island and with most Boricua families the story is the same. “That’s part of the blessing of living in this Island; the concept extended family has a whole new meaning”. Those are words from my extended family member Mari, who gave me the idea to write this post. Her father studied with mine, her older brother studied with mine, the one after that studied with me since kindergarten and he was born 2 days before I did…u get the point, we are family.

Also every Boricua, and I really mean EVERY, have at least a cousin either in New York, New Jersey or Florida (we are everywhere). Brooklyn, Bronx, Newark, Orlando, Tampa, just some of the cities in which our family members are. I even have family in Utah freezing their butts for 9 months of the year. All of us have family members in those cities and in some cases, we have not even met, but our parents say they are our family members and we just believe them.

Something else that even I find amazing is La Pinta (and I don’t mean Christopher Columbus’ ship). The town where I was raised in, Cidra, is not the metro area of the Island. Is a rural town and there was a time when my parents were growing up that pretty much every one in the town knew each other. Once when I was having lunch in some local place and this lady, around her 60’s, who I did not remember meeting before, walked up to me and asked if I was Juan’s son. I replied with a yes and she said: “te saqué por la pinta”. I just laughed with her, but I did not understand what she meant (I did not want to be disrespectful, you know). I mean, I did not know any pinta (Boricua for red haired with freckles). Later that day I learned that what the lady meant was that I look like my father, who she has not seen in a while, but he looks like his father (my grandpa). That’s the definition of “La Pinta”, that you and your father or mother, sometimes uncle or aunt, look alike. The definition of that saying may be new to some of you Boricuas reading, but in the towns in the center of the Island is a common thing to this day.

Now you know the importance of family for us. Is not the blessing of having parents and siblings; for us “familia is a huge word that carries some degree of trust and, of course, love. And that also means love for our Island and our people no matter what part of the word we may be in. To my parents, Bendición. And to all of you, cójanlo suave!

If you have an idea for my next post, let me know. Remember to share this with your friends, family and colleagues, and to leave a comment if you like.

My family (my sister is in this one)
My family (my sister is in this one)