Ambitious Anxiety

It is in the light that we wish to stand,

urges suppressed, trying to keep our bad memories purged and repressed.

Speaking like a politician on Election Day,

nervous like hell but praying it’ll all be okay.

 

It is in the light we wish to shine, and make our lives brighter,

illuminate those around us, be a smile to see with happiness to reflect.

Some shudder at the thought that some days we forget,

and hope to never be the perpetrator of neglect.

It is in darkness we feel guilt, shame, sadness,

as we throw darts at the bullseye over our own faces,

little do we know this bullseye is spinning in our minds

like a hurricane and those darts are missiles being dropped

on our emotions and self-esteem by our own conscience.

In darkness we try to forget by remembering

that 1 time out of 100 we made a noticeable mistake,

and mark that as a the beginning of the end, our fall from grace.

 

When our time to shine comes about, anxiety can surprise us.

Our mind does a search of “How many ways can this go wrong?”

faster and more thorough than Google ever could.

A side effect of success and progress can be high stress.

A mind on edge thinks everything is an all-or-nothing test.

 

Remember why you’re here,

learn to love the way it looks when you see yourself,

and the way it sounds when your own voice meets your ears.

“You have a right to be here,” as Max Ehrmann confirmed.

Don’t think of life as ‘Win or Lose,’

because no matter what happens, you live and you learn.

Who Am I? – Poem from 2010

I found this poem while going through an old notebook from college. I wrote it when I was 20 years old as a junior at St. John’s University. I intended it to be a spoken word piece, but never performed it. It’s interesting to look back at it now, over 5 years later from 2010, a time when my identity was forming in many different ways.

Who Am I? – by Ruben Muniz

I am who I am, I am who I was, and I am who I will be.

I am my family, my friends, and all my associations.

I am who I am! Do you need a further explanation?

There’s more to me than the eye can see.

I am who I am, nothing more, nothing less,

and who I am is me.

 

I am my family.

My family comes from Puerto Rico, so I must be Puerto Rican,

But I’m from New York, so I guess I’m Nuyorican,

But when I’m outside the country I’m Ame-rican.

American, if you will, born and raised in the USA.

Puerto Rico is under the US’ flag, so I guess I’m American either way.

 

But what is “American?”

Does anyone even know?

Puerto Rican is a mix of Spanish, African and Taino,

Among a dozen other nationalities brought together

by war and political irrationality.

Question: does nationality make personality,

or is it merely a formality?

I prefer the latter to the former, others disagree not so discreetly.

No matter how I put it, if I say it harshly or sweetly:

I am who I am, I am who I was, and I am who I will be.

 

I am who I am, nothing more, nothing less,

and who I am is me.

 

I am my friends.

I am the kids who I grew up with;

Many of them have become the young adults that are my friends today.

I associate myself with good people, so when people ask about my friends

I have no bad things to say.

This doesn’t go without exception, and it all really depends on perception.

Is she doing well? Is he a bad person?

Which actions improve the reputation of someone?

Which actions cause it to worsen?

 

Nonetheless, I am the kids from my block.

I’m the kids from my high school, both the nerds and the jocks,

I’m the young adults from my college, in New York and Europe alike.

I enjoy time with new friends, even more so with old friends,

but my best friends are my life.

I am who I am, I am who I was, and I am who I will be.

 

I am who I am, nothing more, nothing less,

and who I am is me.

 

I am my associations.

I am a New Yorker, I am a Bronxite.

I am the apartment building I lived in my whole life.

I’m a high school graduate who goes to college at St. John’s

I’m a brother to my sister, nephew to my uncle,

cousin to my cousin, and a son to my mom.

 

I used to work at Key Food on my block,

and at Cold Stone in Times Square.

To a few girls, I am an ex-boyfriend…

but I’m not even gonna go there.

To some I’m good, to some I’m bad,

to some I’m happy, to some I’m sad.

Right now I’m my dad’s son,

One day I’ll be my son’s dad.

 

I am me by association.

Whether it’s a person, a thing,

my home, or ancestral nation,

I am who I am, I am who I was, and I am who I will be.

 

I am who I am, nothing more, nothing less,

and who I am is me. So who am I?

 

To you, that depends on who you are,

and how you see me.  – RSM circa 2010

 

An Ode To My Past Life

Living with my nose in the air,

sniffing for the latest party to find,

a chamber of lost souls come together

like birds of a feather to have some wine.

Much more than that is had, though not thought bad

by the patrons who attend, but of course!

This is how parties are had,

and they could be worse.

Yesteryear was that without fear.

No inhibitions that would let you miss one night,

nor any one of your societal chains

with the various forms of funny poison obtained.

Yet no matter what it was with who,

those times are over;

even for the master of ceremonies himself.

A time comes when we all grow up and grow out

in all directions at once like a blooming daisy

in the springtime, no more juvenile guile

that makes all of it worthwhile.

 

The party is done. There will be other kinds to come

yet none so dangerous as to warrant worry.

Let’s live long.

And I’d Do It All Over, For Her

When life throws you lemons, you make lemonade.

When life kicks you down a bad rabbit hole,

you have no choice but to go with it.

Flying down a rocky wonderland that’s anything but wonderful

as the different mythical beasts nip at your heels,

it seems even day-to-day now that hope is futile

instead of one of two of the only people and things

that kept me afloat on this river of tears and

emotional lava:

 

Hope and Her. She and my own prayers.

My family was there and so was she,

standing in league as the only human beings

I cared to see and often still see now; How

curious it is that I took her for granted,

but all my personal sins I’ve recanted

and I would run a million miles through

it all again with a smile on my face as I panted

to get to where I am now; a place of solace,

a wondrous peace that although sometimes

disrupted is a far cry from the volcano

of my mind that one time hath so

violently erupted.

 

And I’d do it all over for her,

she is my Christmas Eve,

I’d do it all again, the suffering,

the ups and downs, highs and lows,

For all the unrestrained ‘I love yous’

and kisses we now share in return.

 

And I’d do it all over, for her,

I’d do it all over with a smile on my face. – RSM

The Best Philosophy

I just need to chill.

Everything is as it is

and things could be shitty,

but things ain’t so bad at all.

 

Call me one of the few and proud

who likes to dance and sing it loud

my ring says ‘True Family Love’

for reasons that speak solely

to my old friends and my soul, G!

I never forgot who I was no matter where I went

be it Europe, Queens or down the block

I’m still the happy-go-hardworking-

indifferently-relaxed spiritual being

in a human’s body I’ve always been.

Nevermind sin, I’ve lived

like the mentally rich pauper,

occupying more skies in my dreams

than a thousand flying saucers.

Que sera sera, Murphy’s Law,

YOLO, What goes around comes around,

Lo que paso paso, I’ll be running through My Town.

I’m not done living, I’m just rethinking still.

The best philosophy of all is: Just chill.

Words and Melodies

A smoggy night throughout the metropolis

brings harmonious sounds to my ears.

The trumpet sounds; I smile.

The next track plays and I’m a child again.

 

Talk of the future and past begs the question

of what my life has become.

The tacky 90s keyboard reminds me of my sister

and her piano lessons in Westchester back in the day.

Lollipops and 35 cent chips remind me of 5 girls so Spicy.

Another song comes up, one I haven’t heard before,

Tres Carib.

It makes me think of beaches I’ve never been to.

 

A new morning emerges as does the sun with it

and an unexplored playlist heightens my spirits.

It is with unabashed optimism that I dance with words,

then I stand tall and let my feet do the talking.

Shame Is A Hoax

As I pass my high school on ye olde bus route

I feel a redemptive chill run down my spine,

Striking a chord that no song could touch upon

Nor any words could make me think about.

I was a good boy, following all the rules

To get into a good college.

Now my life is all about ‘been there, done that,

Appointment this, appointment that’

And yet I feel a regretless sense of satisfaction

To know Im making better decisions sooner than later.

I’m doing what I must to show who I trust

That I’m a swimmer, not a sinker.

A former party boy nowadays

With no intention of going back to his old ways.

I never asked anyone to ‘Put the money in the bag’

Because good times on my mind was all I ever had.

Let this be a lesson learned to myself:

There are other ways to heaven,

Dont put yourself through hell.