ABOUT: WHY ONE GOOD SUIT?
Every journey begins with a first step, and this is mine. For many years have I have been flirting with the idea of starting a blog. In the Spring of 2015, I approached my friend Kayla DeVincentis with my idea. I wanted to start a blog where I could not only speak to my own personal transformation and life story but where others could do the same. One of my mentors, Alexis Hamdan, a former law partner and current clerk for the Honorable Leo Sorokin, once told me that sometimes in order to produce your best writing, you have to just through all of your ideas on paper and see where you land. After you have put your ideas on paper, then your job is to refine, refine, refine. This is why I am in this class. I want to create something!
Quick intro: My name is Manny Cruz, I am a fifth-year political science major, and by way of background, I am from Salem Massachusetts. I look forward to taking this journey with all of you.
I think the first thing I need to do is understand why exactly I would like to write a blog. Therapy? Freedom of expression? Motivation? or perhaps it is as simple as I want to improve my writing skills. Maybe I will inspire someone with the stories I share, or even educate them on an issue they otherwise would not care about. The beauty of blogging is that I am free to write about any topic. Our whole lives we are told what to write about, what to read, and how we should think.
So what am I going to call this blog? It’s going to be called OneGoodSuit. Why OneGoodSuit? Well, let me start by saying that it is not because I have the intention of writing about fashion, nor will this blog be dedicated to reviewing the popular show “Suits” (I haven’t started the show yet, so please no spoilers!). I guess you could say that the inspiration for OneGoodSuit can be partially attributed to my comic book hero Bruce Wayne, also known as Batman, the Bat, the Caped Crusader, or the Dark Night.
Bruce Wayne is an iconic and larger than life comic character. By now, many people are familiar with the origin story of how Bruce Wayne became Batman. Both of Bruce Wayne’s parents, Martha and Thomas Wayne, were tragically murdered by a street criminal named Joe Chill when he was a child.
This traumatic event left Bruce Wayne an orphan. Without delving too deep into the psychology of this traumatic event, it is clear to the avid reader of the comics or fans of the various depictions in the film that Bruce Wayne died for all intents and purposes alongside his parents on that fateful night. Bruce Wayne decided to dedicate his life to improving the quality of life in Gotham by becoming Batman to fighting crime and prevent others from falling victim the city’s underworld. Bruce Wayne the billionaire playboy became his mask, and in my interpretation of the comics, Batman is who he really was. When Batman dons the bat suit , he is the best version of himself, and he is living up to his fullest potential.
So what does Batman have to do with my story? Allow me to quell concerns that I’ve decided to become a crime-fighting vigilante. This is not the case. Similar to Bruce Wayne, I too have transformed into the best version of myself, and it all began with my first suit. However, I was not always on this path that would lead me to be writing my story in a creative writing course at Northeastern University. I used to be lost. There was a time where I felt I was voiceless and powerless. I conquered many personal obstacles in order to reach the point where I feel I can share my story.
The simple version of my personal story is that I was an at-risk youth that successfully his life around. At risk youth, are defined as “adolescents who are less likely to transition successfully into adulthood and achieve economic self-sufficiency”. Some of the characteristics of at-risk youth include but are not limited to emotional and behavioral problems trauma, truancy, low academic performance, and disconnections from their peers and school environment. Fortunately, I was able to turn my life around with the help of mentors, a loving family, good friends, and a community that rallied behind me. Now I want to do the same for others I’ll share the complex version of my personal narrative to paint the full picture at a later time.
But for now, what I want everyone to know is that the trauma I experienced during my childhood, led to some pretty serious struggles in my adolescence. I was in and out of the dean’s office, I had one too many detentions (and suspensions), and all too often found myself at the wrong place, at the wrong time, doing the wrong thing. But, there was a moment I will never forget. It was the day that my mother gave me my first suit. It was the one good suit I had for the longest time. She found the suit for an affordable price at local thrift store. I thought to myself “When would I ever wear this?” I wasn’t going to the prom, I didn’t attend church, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to run for student government president. My mother assured me that the day would come and that I would look my best. This would become a great example as to why we should never question a mother’s intuition. The suit would go on to become a symbol for my transformation from a troubled youth to the young man I am today. It was my first suit, and for a long time, it was the one good suit I had.
OneGoodSuit is the symbol of my personal transformation into the student, community member, mentor, leader, and the young man that I am today; the (current) best version of myself. I wore that suit on many journeys that shaped my character. The goal for this blog is to grow and create a social enterprise around the work that I have been doing. The vision for OneGoodSuit is “To humanize the child in the community“, and the mission is to create “A world in which all youth, regardless of socioeconomic status, have the skills and tools they need to transition into adulthood“