A 'Lucky' mentality

Francis Kilinski
Published on: 9th March 2015
Growing up is a part of life. We all go through it. What's most intriguing about how we, as humans, are all individually raised is that no one child is raised the same way. Each child grows into adolescence and adulthood differently because of their backgrounds, their parents, their circumstances, and their own minds. A 22 year old musician Luciano Reyes goes by the stage name "Lucky" for a variety of reasons, but the main reason behind his namesake lies in the way he was raised. 

Luciano was born in The Bronx, NY, and his family moved to Westchester, NY, shortly after he was born. He was one of the only boys in a family full of girls. With an elder sister to look up to for guidance as a young kid, his father was one of -- if not the only -- the male figures he had to learn the traditional norms from. "I call myself Lucky because I'm lucky to have gotten to where I am given my upbringing," Reyes says. "Sports didn't really work out for me, which was discouraging, but I never really stopped working."

Luciano felt pressured to be the manly man in the family at times, being surrounded by all the females. One of Luciano's uncles added to this pressure, criticizing him of his aspirations for music. "After graduating from community college, I decided to take a year off, just chill and focus on music. I was still kind of confused about what I wanted to do; I had so many options. My uncle always felt indifferent about my music ideas, which didn't help my struggle on where to go after getting my associates."
A 'Lucky' mentality, Luciano Reyes
At one point, his problems collapsed on him in an avalanche of emotion, and on a car ride with his father, Luciano broke down into tears, full of pity and shame. "That was definitely my lowest point; since I was trying to maintain that manly image for the men in my family, crying in front of my dad was the most embarrassing thing that could have happened. My college applications didn't go as planned, music was in limbo, and I needed a change." 

However, finding the motivation to keep going eventually came. A friend from his community college helped him turn things around, a friend he still keeps close today. Among his other college friends, Jordan Sommer was the one who helped him the most. He produced the instrumentals Luciano rapped and sang on, and influenced him to make an innovative decision and go to New York City for music opportunities. "My dad empathized with me when I broke down, and a girl from my college was there to talk at times, but Jordan really helped me find the passion for music that I had lost for a bit." 

"I regret not being mentally stronger coming up," Lucky says. "I still need to learn how to deal with things myself, I'm lucky to have amazing friends around me these days who help me deal with some of my problems, but I need to help myself too." While his journey is far from over, Luciano's turn-around has surely begun, as he is a regular performer at small venues around NYC. "I'm glad I came here. The best feeling I've ever felt is being myself (crazy) on that stage. I've been in and out of relationships, but I know what I need to focus on now...I think I am yet to reach my peak." 
Luciano says he's "lucky" to have all his opportunities, but he acknowledges his blessings as well. "My life is great, and even though everything isn't together yet, life is getting better every day, dealing with highs and lows. I've realized that that's part of life, and despite my lucky mentality, I know that that in itself is a blessing."
On a scale of 1-10, how inspiring did you find this article?