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  • AmezTrader

What I learned as a kid

Updated: Nov 30, 2021

When I kid, I used to think I was special. I used to have this crazy belief that I would live forever. I would pretend that if I wanted something specific to happen inside my body, like fighting a virus that I had a storm like troopers attaching the foreign virus. I would pretend in my head that turret-like devices would pop up and destroy anything that was hurting my body. As I grew older, I realized that's not how things work, but I always enjoyed that feeling. That my body was somehow more substantial than it was just because I believed it was. I was six years old and living in Visalia, CA.


I loved playing in the backyard, where a broken tree had a huge branch covering a shed we had in the backyard. I always loved the fact I could play with my imagination without anyone sneaking up on me. I could see through the branches if anyone was creeping up on me. I would play for hours with plastic toy soldiers. It's what I dreamed of being when I grew up. Since joining the military and serving for five years, I have learned a lot about myself I never thought I would. It would forever change the person I was supposed to be. When I was a kid, my first stepdad raised me, the only father figure I ever had. His name is Jose. He was such a fantastic father figure, and I honestly believe it would have changed the person I am today if he were in my life. He taught me so much about life in such a short amount of time. He taught me the importance of hard-working. I remember wanting to see a movie in the theaters or wanting a specific video game.

Even though he worked a hard job under the table with long hours, he always found time to give me whatever I wanted. I'm keeping his career a secret in the hope he reads this blog and can verify himself by telling me what job he was doing at this time. The one hint I'll give is that he got hit in the ribs one time and still made time for me. As I grew older, I realized great things don't last forever. Unfortunately, my parents separated, and I found a new stepdad.

He was in the car business and was by far the wisest person I have ever met in my life. To this day, I always ask him for advice, not because he's older but more importantly because he has something that most people don't, and that's called self-awareness. He knows when he's biased, and he also knows when something doesn't sound right. He is the most well-headed person I've ever met, and it is a blessing to have met him in my life. We have argued in our life and more serious ones that it was required. I was always the last one to realize I was wrong, and he was right. But that comes from experience. We learn what "Good decisions come from experience. Experience comes from making bad decisions." - Mark Twain. After being married to my mom for over a decade, he has taught me more than I am willing to admit. When he was with my mom, he had four stepbrothers who all taught me something in their lives, whether they knew it or not.

The first being the youngest and the most native. I won't say his name, but his name nickname is NickNasty. I never really understood why or where that came from, but he was the most interesting character in my story. He taught me a huge lesson that I know for a fact he never meant. And that is, "you can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you might find you get what you need." He used to say this all the time. Rather, he knew what it meant its irrelevant as its impact meant a lot to me. His saying taught me exactly what he used to say. That sometimes, we ask for so much that we sometimes miss we already have what we need. Confucius says it best by saying, "A healthy man wants a thousand things. A sick man wants one thing." We often don't realize these small things, but yet it's so simple. He taught me the importance of appreciating the small things, no matter how small they are. I often think about him when I get upset about things that don't matter about money. A great analogy is thinking of yourself as a number compared to the rest of the 7 Billion people. If the number represented a status level, You are guaranteed to be higher than most in the world by a large margin.

My second oldest brother, and perhaps the second most influential, loved to play World of Warcraft. He also taught me a lot that I still carry to this day. He led the importance of strategy. He taught me patience is the key to success, and when you have a goal set in mind, nothing can stop you. I used to think he was a nerd who played too much on the computer, but I later realized it's because he knew that you need to play chess, not checkers, to win the game of life. Most people play their energy into the next stage but never look beyond it. He was always three steps ahead because my stepbrother knew that if he was two steps behind, he was still ahead, a person who only predicted one step. He always looked at a crisis as an opportunity to take a new stance. Despite how much I hated how he always beat me in all video games, he made me think that you have to think like them to destroy your enemy. The only thing would you be able to predict their next move and counterattack.

My next oldest stepbrother taught me something that the rest hasn't. That was the importance of setting dominance. I remember one time him telling me, "If you ask a girl to kiss you, nine out of ten times you'll get slapped. But you'll always get that tenth girl." He taught me the importance of standing up for yourself. He was a person who always found himself getting into fights and having to prove who was the bigger man. He taught me that the triceps are the muscle that accounts for the most amount of punch damage. Although it may sound like he was a fighter, he was more focused on defending himself, being a man, and sticking to himself. He used to tell me, "If you get yourself into a fight, both of you are going to be in trouble. So you might as well throw the first punch if you know there's no way of getting out. Better you take the first throw and get the advantage than someone who isn't expecting it." He taught me the importance of standing up for yourself, no matter the odds against you. I later learned when I confronted several people and only myself and my youngest stepbrother. We both fought best out of the situation, and I honestly credit him for giving me the courage to fight back no matter what. He taught the importance of giving it all you got, even if you get slapped nine out of ten times.

Last but not least is my oldest stepbrother. He taught another valuable lesson that I have tattoed on my body. That is the importance of loyalty and respect. He acted completely different from all my other stepbrothers because he never went out of his way to prove anything. Instead, he showed me respect and loyalty. He was also goal orientated. He has and is still serving in the law enforcement agency. When I was a kid about five years old, we had a project of what we wanted to be when we grew up. So, I wrote and drew two careers. One is a military soldier, and the other is a police officer. After some time outside the military, I realized they both served the same purpose. And that is to be in action. I can say after being in two combat tours being in action was not what I wanted. But, being a part of the change and creating his report or blog is. My oldest stepbrother has been through a lot that most will never understand, but I know. I know what it's like it take a life; I know what it's like to question everything we have ever done in life. And for that reason, I've created this exit—this blog to express our guilt without feeling ashamed. We should no longer feel guilty for our actions. When I was overseas, I often told myself, "I would rather be judged by twelve than carried by six." That quote carried me through a tough time that I don't think I would have made it.

Each stepbrother has brought something to the table that I have carefully viewed and thought about for years. Sometimes we feel that life is unfair, but when we take a second to look back, we realize that everything happens for a reason. We all learn from something, but the most important lesson is learning self-awareness. Before you go to bed, think about everything that has ever happened in your life. Think about the value it has brought you; if you say it hasn't, that's the problem. If it weren't necessary, you wouldn't have remembered. Your brain is a significant part of who you are. If you fail to understand it, absolute misery is leaving so much potential on the table. A great book or story to look into is in David Goggins. A man who grew up in a shitty situation and managed to pull the impossible. Why? Because he had something, most people don't. And that passion. A great quote is, " We learn and perform impossible things because we are members of the human race, and the human race is filled with passion." My oldest stepbrother taught me the importance of respect and loyalty no matter who they are. That not all things are the same, and that somethings you have to do what you have to do. No matter what.


What can we learn from my stepdad and stepbrothers? First of all, they are my brothers and dad. They have taught all an essential step in answering the most critical question and answering that we can do the impossible. I believe in life that we can only answer parts of a complex question. The question of what is the meaning of life. I think this question should be answered by a few select people who believe in the process.

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