Do not get down. Instead, try to be someone's hero everyday continued

This is a continuation from my previous blog Sorry had to go to my daughters baseball game but here it goes. I then enrolled in a all male High School this way I did not have to confront the opposite sex. It was very difficult in some regards but it helped mold me to become strong after the usual rounds of jabs about my condition I settled in nicely and developed some friends and many values. The school motto held true for me “You come to Carmel as a boy. If you care to struggle and work at it, you will leave as a man.”. My teen years had many ups and downs but again living inside the close knit communities really helped me I gained acceptance and confidence and felt I was ready to take on the world. Going to College was an eye opening experience I was on my own and finally was able to dictate my life (so I thought). At this point my parents had also changed alot and grew as I did the regreted alot of the things they put me thru but they had been in a vicious cycle of how they were raised and they did not know any better. Back to my alopecia I moved into a coed floor and had to realize that people again noticed my apperance but it did not stike me until later in the semester. Also my religious views began to change as I did not recieve a calling for priesthood and really was attracted to the opposite sex. I bagan dating and this experience changed my life forever, one of the women I was dating told me " I am so glad you have no hair because if you did all the other girls would want you." Knowing she did not mean it in a bad i took it as a compliment from her but that really hurt me. That people would think different of me because I had alopecia especially the opposite sex. So I decided to not let myself be in relationships again. I grew 5 inches from high school to College somy body began to develop and I was free to play sports. I began playing rugby and was accepted not only because of my atletic abilities but generally speaking team sports build a family like group and I became one of them. From that point forward I became somewhat reckless and started having fun but keeping so many women at a distance because i never wanted to be hurt again. I saw various girls but would never commit I was not going to let my alopecia keep me from showing the world that I could obtain member of the opposite sex. I was very sucessful at that but I missed out on learning how to develop and cultivate relationships. I also did not realize how many people liked me for me and how many I hurt along the way because to me they were not anything more than an object that I used to thumb back at the world that my alopecia would not dictate what I saw at that time to be success. After 3 years my family had a financial hardship and i was forced to leave school and began working. I had developed into the life of the party the person everyone knew I was young making good money and was part of the in crowd. That only lasted 9 months then I realized that working at a bar and not having a future did not make me happy. So one night I got home, I was living with my parents at the time , paked my clothes and $2,300.00 and decided move to Austin Texas why there I have no clue I guess I wanted to go finish school there. Being 23 and enjoying having fun I burned thru what I had in short order i was able to get a room with a guy from New Mexico. I was difficult to find work but I managed no to call my folks for financial help. This was my second life changing moment of my adulthood. I ate nothing but ramen noodles for weeks at a time and got on with an emplyment agency. Again the local rugby team took me in and I became accepted things began to turn around for me and had what at that point was the best times of my life. I again forgot that alopecia exsisted and looked at myself no different than anyone else. Two years later I was offered a Job in Dallas and decided to take it at this point I wanted to start developing my career. I became friends with several athletes in Dallas and part of the reason they accepted me into their circle is that they like me just wanted people to accept them for who they were not what they had or what they looked like. One of my favorite memories was Emmit Smith sitting down and asking me about alopecia just taking the time to be sincere meant alot to me. He also told me how he liked that I did not let it affect me in a negative way. That made me think about where I was and how I got there and how alopecia helped shape me. I have not always done the right thing and have had many mistakes but looking back this story ened 18 years ago I would not change a thing. Whenever I see someone with scars, burns, alopecia or any other non life threating physical difference I try to tell them that you not God or anyone else can dictate who you are and what you will become. You can look at alopecia as a curse or a blessing or as I did in my life as both. So I like to look at myself as a pioneer (I met Michale Jordan before he shaved his head so I take credit for making bald fashionable no wait not that) for other that will come the road your on to let people know that you built your life on your character not on your reputaion so you may inspire and educate the world to look beyond your physical apperance. I am thankful also that it is not a debilitaing or mortal aliment and have my hero to inspire me everyday. My 5 year old son who has beaten Autism has alopecia and is more kind and loving than anyone I had met in my life. He is my hero everyday and maybe you can be for someone that will need you to know its ok and people with love you for who you are.

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Comment by Tallgirl on June 15, 2010 at 9:44pm
Beautiful story, Antonio! What I like best is that you kept on trying, regardless of the hardships...you kept working on the career, and being honest with people. Isn't it funny how we sometimes hold ourselves back from experiences in the early years, due to even one rejection or imperfect relationship? If only our older selves could cross time and speak to our younger selves, saying, "Go for it! You'll be okay, Sweetie...you'll see!" So many tears would be saved from falling, and so many more friends and laughs could be made!

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