The eleven year old kid left the building afraid as usual, not knowing what he was to find in the corner that was next to the little supermarket. As he walked down the street his biggest fear becomes a reality. Once again the kicking, pushing, hitting and name calling that has turned into a normal daily routine after school. I don't know how I survived those three years in Junior High. -You good for nothing, -you never going to make it,- F***ing ass f@*got, these are just a few of the bitter memories I have left from my younger years in old Cuba. Sometimes I thought I was never going make it. Putting an end to my life would have been easier but I couldn't do that to my parents. I knew there was a better future ahead I just didn't know how to find the path. There is more to this story but this is not the time to reveal the darker times. No, not yet.
Soon after, freedom came as we moved to Costa Rica. Slowly I started to take control of my personal life and my professional future as young teenager. Yes, there were still struggles and yes I felt that people were looking at me and I could hear them laughing behind my back. But I kept fighting for what I wanted, still afraid of what others would think or comment. I still wanted to disappear from their presence. Fear can be your best friend or your worst enemy. I have come to make peace with the past. I learned to turn fear into my friend. This uncomfortable yet very familiar feeling taught me a lot of what I needed to learn.
We then moved to the United States leaving my comfort zone behind and now the very familiar feeling which was fear was here to receive me in this new uncertain country. Are you going make it, or are you going to go back and hide in the darkest of shadows? I spent 6 months inside my room as I was so afraid to go out and face society. The hardest part here in the land of the free was the language barrier I was to encounter. Up to date I still know that some of you make fun of my accent when I speak, but hey I made it! God really challenged me and made situations hard for me sometimes, yet He took me to the path I hadn't visited nor seen before.
I see abuse kids killing themselves, I can totally relate to the pain and fear that is behind this uncalled for action. I don't agree nor approve of their actions but I know what they are feeling as they are thinking about ending their lives. A few years later I found a pleasant click that made me feel totally free. "Theatre" opened a whole new world of expression. No more judging of who I was or what I said. Little by little yet still afraid, I started to set myself completely free. Then I enrolled in college, transferred to FIU and received my Bachelors Degree. Now that I have become a professional I look back and say to myself: "Wow Mr. Marrero you've made it but you still have some work to do!" I keep working hard with fear shadowing me at times as this familiar feelings seems to never go away. I still see it in the eyes of others. I know I'm different that most of them.
Even now as a professional Fashion Designer it (fear) still tries to haunt me at work with some of my colleagues. However, I've learn to push this "feeling" away and not feed into it. I know this is a journey and the best is yet to come. I have conquered what once was seen as impossible. Those who tried to hurt me only pushed me to make me stronger and wiser. I look back at the beaten kid I left behind and say to those abusers "Who is driving a Benz now??"
This is for all of you young kids and/or adults out there that are afraid. Those who are different. There is always another way. Look fear in its eyes and make it your friend and use it to empower yourself!