Introduction to My Book


Versión en español presione aquí

A couple of weeks ago I woke up with the idea of writing a book – I just have to write, and even though I’m not famous as Gabriel García Márquez, I’m certain he started by writing what he felt was good at the moment. So, let the writing begin!

The first idea I woke up with was not this one. But we know every idea changes or evolves until it turns into something perfect, or as close to perfect as it can be. The first question that popped into my mind was: What the hell will you write about, Lugo? The answer was simple: I will write about me, my life and my years living. Then, another question even more important: Why would anyone read a book about your life if you are not a celebrity of any kind? The answer was even simpler and may sound a bit poetic: Why wouldn’t someone read about my life? It may be interesting reading about my life. And, as a matter of fact, I truly believe it may.

ZorroWhere do I begin? That’s a complicated one. I think I should start from the beginning; starting by explaining what was happening in my parents’ life before I arrived in it. That’s the way Isabel Allende did in her book Zorro; she began by introducing the story of how Diego’s parents met so we could understand why little De la Vega wanted to fight for justice. I will then start from the beginning since I’m not George Lucas – starting at the middle may be fun, but then more complicated to explain.

Photo from

Mister Juan Antonio Lugo Pérez was born one April in the town of Cidra almost 60 years ago. He was raised in one poor place in the town called Barrio Sud, and he was the 8th in a list of 13 children my grandparents had. His parents were very poor, but that does not mean they were not educated. I know a lot of stories from my father’s childhood, a lot! For instance, at supper time, if someone visited their house, the meat was for the visit and literally, it was taken from his plate and given to the visit. My father, being the genius he grew up to be, every day as soon as that meat touch his plate, that was the first thing he ate, just in case someone wanted to visit, the meat was safe in his belly.

They did not always have meat to eat or even a food for everyone. Papi tells me that sometimes my grandmother used to make bacalao (fish) really salty. That way, while eating bacalao they had to drink lots of water thus getting full faster with less food. A good way to make sure everyone had something to eat. And God forbid, one of them dared to say they did not like the food or that it was not enough. In those case my grandfather started hitting them with his cap, or whatever he could find, while telling them: “¡Carajo, condenao cabezón afrentao!” (hard to translate).

Photo from

My mother, Eileen Ivette Rivera Rolón, was born on August 4. Her childhood, even though she did not have food shortage, still was complicated. Mom was raised by her father’s mother. Her grandmother, Pancha Soto was since “Mami Pancha”, and her uncles and aunts are her brothers and sisters – you have no idea how hard this was to explain to my wife.

Her sisters, who are really her aunts since they are her father’s sisters (complicated right?) taught my mother a lot. But since they were at least 20 years older, mom was alone with abuela Pancha. Abuela was Pentecostal and mami learned about God at a young age. She went to Sunday school and Wednesday service, she sang the songs and played a mean tambourine with rhythm and style. Grandma also believed in strong punishment: none of that “go to the corner and thing about what you did” thing! Mom was raised with positive and strong believes that made her be the great woman she is and that helped us, her children, be who we are.

My parents met at a young age. I’m sure that the fact that my grandfather from my father’s side and my abuela Pancha were brothers had something to do with it. So, when I think about it, my parents were cousins, which explains a lot in terms of crazy (the good kind of crazy). They studied in the same public school and they had the same friends. But while mom studied, dad was goofing around or working as a shoe shiner for two cents (he bought his bread and banana with one cent and the other to his father).

Dad was not applied at school but he recently told me that abuela Pancha feed him with lots of energy and support. Mom did not have a choice other than to study, and she was more than fine with it. How did Juan and Eileen fall in love? The way people fall in love. That is the only explanation I have because I know a lot of stories about those two lovebirds, but I don’t remember hearing how they fell in love.

wpid-IMG_21911577428628.jpegOnce he graduated from high school, dad studied electricity and mom started studying education in college, even though she would have love to be a nurse. Mom did not finish her studies, and she regrets that a bit. Some years later, in 1978 my parents sent a letter to a stork and a beautiful and cold day in December, the first Lugo Rivera flew in: my brother and mentor for who yours truly, Juan Antonio. On May 1980 I arrived and on December 1983, this time closer to Christmas, another stork flew in with a beautiful baby girl, with an amazing smile and rebel hair: my sister who I love, and get chocked up with just by mentioning her, Jaleen Franceska.

If you noticed, my brother and my sister flew in, and I just arrived. They were planned, and I, as usual bothering and horsing around without an invitation. My parents told me that my arriving was a surprise (if you play with fire, you may get burned) in every sense. Even though there is no such thing as being prepared, at least you can plan and expect when to have children; it costs a lot and when the economy is not on your side the problem is bigger. So, hunger and misery joined forces – figuratively speaking – and here I am. Not only the time was bad, but the baby had problems digesting the milk and buying formula brand milk costs a lot. My pediatrician, Nanito (he is still a hero in Cidra) gave my parents a couple of boxes of canned milk and things got better. But I can now understand how hard that must have been.

The Lugo Clan

Anyway, the Lugo clan – mom, dad, Junito, Franceska and myself – have thousands of stories and we have been through many situations. But we have learned and grown a lot. We have laughed together and cried alone, as have you, my dear reader. That does not make us special nor different; it makes us who we are. I don’t write so you can follow my path, but if you can improve yours based on what I write, then we all win.


Cosas buenas están supuestas a pasarme

English Version Click Here

En mi búsqueda de temas motivacionales in Internet me topé con el dicho “Cosas buenas están supuestas a pasarme”. Empecé a pensar un poco sobre eso y me pareció cierto; lo creí y lo acepté. ¿Comenzaron a pasarme cosas buenas? No. Di una mirada al pasado y descubrí que las cosas buenas vienen pasándome desde hace mucho. Y tomé la decisión de buscar y ver esas cosas buenas que me pasan.


El primer párrafo es más un resumen del punto que les quiero llevar. Déjame comenzar desde más atrás. Tuve una gran niñez. Tengo un hermano mayor que luce más joven que yo y una hermana menor que es igualita a mí (al menos eso dice la gente). Crecimos en una casa llena de amor, abrazos y una que otra pelea entre hermanos; nada fuera de lo normal. Tuve muchas amistades en la escuela y en el vecindario, y fui un niño muy feliz, en serio. Nunca sufrí de bullying en las escuela y cuando lo intentaban, siempre tenía un contestación inteligente para todo (aun lo hago y mucha gente lo odia).

Creciendo me di cuenta que la vida puede ser triste y en ocasiones injusta. Me daba cuenta cómo otras personas tenían sus vidas listas – o al menos eso parecía – y nada bueno me pasaba a mí o tardaba mucho tiempo en sucederme. Terminé la universidad y conocí a muchas personas en el camino, algunas de las cuales hoy son parte de mi familia. Aun así, pensaba que nunca me pasaban cosas buenas. La gente empezó a tener buenos trabajos, sus sueños comenzaban a hacerse realidad, y me sentía atascado; como si las oportunidades nunca tocaban mi puerta, se perdían de camino a mi casa.

Siempre he sido una persona positiva y un fiel creyente de que haciendo a la gente sonreír es una gran manera de calmar su dolor y de eliminar las penas. Eso ha funcionado para mí y al día de hoy sigue funcionando. Pero nunca estaba donde quería, donde se suponía que estuviera. Mientras crecía, nunca tuve un plan sobre dónde debía estar en mis 20s, 30s y así sucesivamente. Pero sabía lo que quería hacer y como no estaba haciéndolo me sentía que no había logrado nada.

Una cerveza por la amistad
Una cerveza por la amistad

Cerca de dos años atrás me di cuenta que lo había hecho todo al revés, y mis amigos y mi esposa – quizás sin saberlo – me ayudaron a darme cuenta. Por más de 10 años mantuve guardado un libreto para un stand-up comedy pero lo guardé porque la oportunidad para hacerlo nunca se me apreció. Estaba haciéndolo mal. Mis amigos me dieron el empujón y logré hacerlo. Finalmente estaba frente a un grupo de personas haciéndolos reír, reír mucho. Algo que siempre hago frente a mis amigos, finalmente lo hice frente a otros. Ahí me di cuenta que llevaba muchos años esperando que las cosas llegaran en lugar de salir a buscarlas.

(Mira el video aquí)

Comencé a ejercitarme y funcionó muy bien para mí. Mi confianza comenzó a crecer al igual que mi visión de vida. Miré al pasado y me di cuenta que muchísimas cosas buenas si me habían pasado; me habían estado pasando toda mi vida. Pero era yo quien me detenía a esperar que el sueño de mi vida apareciera de la nada, que tocara a mi puerta. Me di cuenta que todo lo que tenía en mi vida, bueno o malo, lo había conseguido con trabajo. Y realmente disfruté el camino hasta ahí. Claro que ser una persona positiva no me salvó de un divorcio ni de todas las cosas negativas que pasaron en mi vida. Pero ser positivo me ayudó a enfrentarlo todo y a lidiar con ellas en una mejor manera.

Nada más que decir
Nada más que decir

Mi punto es que las cosas buenas SI están supuestas a pasarte. Y te han estado pasando. Solo toma un momento y fíjate bien. Olvídate de lo que otros tienen y de esas oportunidades que nunca llegaron. Haz que la vida pase para ti. Si no hay una oportunidad para ti, ¡sal y haz que suceda! Si se cierra una puerta, asegúrate que la próxima vez la patees al entrar. No pierdas la fe en ti. Comienza haciendo esos pequeños cambios en ti y comienza a escuchar a las personas que te dicen que tienes verdadero potencial; al creer en lo que dicen te darás cuenta que tienen razón.

Puedes fracasar en aquello que no quieres,
así que por qué no arriesgarte a hacer lo que amas”.

Jim Carey

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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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