Friday, September 25, 2009

25 on the 25th!

I am getting ready for bed a few minutes before officially becoming 25 years old, and I can't seem to comprehend it. So, I'll write about it. My life has been so amazing, so strange, so unexpected, so happy and sad, and so everything that instead of feeling like I'm about to have a so-called quarter life crisis, I feel like I need to give thanks for another day about to start.

While on the phone with my "significant other," the boy that amazingly got me, and him, back into the relationship life, I mentioned how I wondered what would happen if I'm not here tomorrow. I guess that I don't fear age, or failure, or success, or loneliness or change as much as I fear leaving this world without acknowledging the fact that I have been so blessed.

First and foremost I've ben blessed with education. Growing up in two countries has not only given me the good and bad of two different educational systems, it has also opened my eyes to culture, to diversity, to understanding we may look different but are all alike. Knowing two languages and being proficient in another has made me "catchy" for jobs as my advisors would say; but it has also made me willing to talk when I can hear even a hint of an accent I understand and engage in conversation with new people to learn their stories. Some of my greatest friends I met by doing this, listening to their accents and asking if they spoke such and such language. Goodness, I'm sorry to those of you who had to endure my bad French or Portuguese or Spanish or English for that matter! Sometimes I really don't know what I'm saying myself.

Along the line of education I consider my religious or spiritual upbringing to be another blessing. I still remember praying at 7 years old asking for my daddy to get better when he was starting to get Alzheimer's and although he didn't , for some reason I didn't get mad at God. I always knew that good or bad, a greater being would take care of me and my loved ones because my family taught me to believe. To this day I may not say the best prayers but I know that out there, up or down or in the air, we're being watched over and cared for. I hope I never lose this sense of faith. I thank that higher being for putting people in my path that also believe and have faith in the world and its people. To my eternal optimists, who bite more than you can chew to try and change the world, keep on biting. You inspire me when I need a push to remember that everything is relative. Life and Love are what matters most.

Next in my list of blessings is the incredible and vast group of friends I have accrued over my 25 years of existence. It really is wonderful to say that I still speak to the boy my mom's coworker, from the days she wasn't yet married, introduced me to when I was less than a year old. That boy is now married and I hope that soon, but not too soon, I get to meet his baby and that he or she get to call me auntie even if we don't share the same blood. Just as wonderful it's the fact that the friends I met in elementary school have developed, matured and shared next to me for about 15 years and still call me a friend, even if I moved from Mexico more than 10 years ago. Their long distance loyalty and trust made my move to a new place so much easier because they taught me that near or far I could count on them.

They also taught me that friendships, relationships, are doable anywhere in the world. Thanks to this I came to meet people across Boston and Massachusetts, in Japan, New York, London, Spain, Texas, France, Ireland, Greece, El Salvador, and in close to every U.S. state. I hope the list grows longer. To every special person I know from each place, I'm happy that you've learned that near or far I'm here for you too. I miss and think of you always.

Not to say this is it but I know I can write forever, so... Probably the biggest blessing I can finally think of is the exceptionally strong, giving, strict but funny and loving woman I get to call my mother. Just this Monday I was at my job and the producers were eating some salsa that I brought for them from my mom's business. They asked me if I wanted some and I passed so that they could finish it. I was then asked jokingly if I had an "in" at the place and could get some more whenever I wanted. I joked back saying, "yeah, I know the owner there. She treats me well." Amidst the laughs I couldn't help but wonder, where the heck would I be without my mother. Julie, Mrs. K, Momma King, my 'ma or mami.

She raised herself in a household that never really appreciated her, and although I love my family I know the hardships my mom lived through. She studied and got herself a career, a title, a life. She also got herself a big ego but with the falls she had to endure she came to realize by the time she got married and I was born that nothing material is ever worth everything. She took care of me and my dad, and she was my mommy-daddy when he was gone and I don't know how she made it work. Not only giving me strength, but having the strength and the courage to move to a new setting to give me opportunities she may not have been able to provide as a single parent in her country.

Through it all, travels, schools, jobs, moves, my mom has continued to provide that strength. When she gets mad she tells me, "when you get to be like me then I will no longer bother you." In reality I don't think I'll ever get to be liker her. I have had such an easy life compared to hers, and that's saying something, that I doubt I'll be able to match her goodness. I hope that when I reach 50 I can have her light, her vision and her passion. And the only one I can thank for giving her to me is God.

So why I am saying all this four minutes before I officially become a "20-something?" Precisely for what I said at the beginning of my soliloquy, "instead of feeling like I'm about to have a so-called quarter life crisis I feel like I need to give thanks for another day." I don't know if I, you, or my neighbor will be here tomorrow, later today.

I don't know if I'll be allowed to make "it" happen, although I'm still figuring out what "it" will be. I don't know if I'll marry, if I'll divorce or if I will get the pleasure of raising children like my mom raised me. I don't know if I'll bring pain to others or if I'll make someone proud. I don't know if I'll disappoint you or if we'll loose touch in time.

What I do know is that I am so thankful for now. For the chance to start yet another chapter in my life, at the school I dreamed of, in the career I love, with the gifted people coming into my life. I know that I continue to be blessed by God, Allah, my Dad, the Universe, the chair or whatever you want to name it. I know that I will make mistakes and I will fall, but thanks to you I will get up and continue; everything that I am I owe to everyone who is reading this. And most importantly I know that if I'm not here tomorrow I'll leave this world happy because I said I love you. And I do.

I love you friends, I love you "frenemies," I love you haters. You all know who you are, respectively. I love you mom. I love you life, thank you for such a ride. Please extend it for not just another 25 but 75 year!

As a child I used to write Things To Do Before I die lists, don't judge me I was, am, and will be weird and I know it. In one of such lists I wrote, "jump out of an airplane when I turn 100." There's a reason, I guess, I haven't gotten to do that just yet. I'm waiting patiently but aware that every day is a gift and can be the last. Every day is worth milking to the last drop.
To close off with a better writer, here's a clip of Isabel Allende and her thoughts on passion. I got it from a dear friend who unknowingly teaches me that I still need to learn how to be more humble through her self-giving actions. I want to work towards achieving Allende's vision and my own, which is creating unity. We can all make each other's lives better. I am proof that so far you have made mine.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Third week in - Sept

I've just finished responding to e-mails and reading more news and eating dinner. As I get to the kitchen I find the place dirty and I realize, suite-mates are like puppies, you have to train them. And in that same spirit, partners (male or female according to your likes) have to be trained too.

I guess I never thought of the similarities between these two groups but once I did their "training" made sense. I mean you see individuals in both groups almost daily, you talk to them almost daily as well, you laugh with them, maybe cry with them and even get mad at them because they forgot/dirtied/or responded in a bad way. The only thing not shared between the groups is sex and well... I've heard some stories back in my undergrad years of hanky-spanky going on between suite-mates and even between suite-mates and lovers. Anyway!

The point is, why can't people behave? This past week exactly I was asking my significant other to call me, again, at least once a day or every other day or find a way to communicate that would let me know he is alive. At my dorm, I have set up a quick erase mini-board where I place messages asking suite-mates questions about the place and try to communicate effectively.

My boy is used to eating out and whenever he eats in dislikes to wash his dishes, while the people I leave with seem to be incapable of cleaning the sink or microwave after they use it. At least they don't leave their dirty dishes behind but I think ti's because they're afraid of getting them stolen.

So, as I draw more comparisons I can't help but A)laugh a little and B)accept that here, like at home, I'm gonna have to train more puppies.

Yesterday I had my first try at Tim Hortons while shopping for the external hard drive we must absolutely buy if we're Digital student at Columbia. Truth be told I also bought some dresses but for credibility reasons let's just say I only focused on getting my gadget. So, Tim Hortons.

It was good but it didn't blow my mind. I guess I was expecting a moose to hand me my coffee or something because as I drank it I though, "That's it?" In Tim Hortons defense, though, I had a blended iced cappuccino and I am used to the iced Starbucks or independent coffee shop thing. Therefore I will be back for more, I will have no prejudgement and I will order a warm beverage. I have to say though I feel like I really have to try it because a Canadian classmate swears by it and, well, she's nice so I'd like to believe it!

Other than that the Society of Professional Journalists(ssss)-Columbia Chapter (aka: SPJ-I want to make a TV show out of this title so badly) held elections this week and I did not win president. Bummer but blessing in disguise. I'm already worried about the master's project and finding a "subject" for my mini-documentary and trying to become a better writer so that Professor Perlman will give me the thumbs up one day that I'm almost glad I don't have to ad another activity to my to-do's. I'll still be involved with SPJ though, and as a free constituent I will demand anything I want! Jeje, I still win.

Additionally, Mexico went through some crazy events this week with a gunman shooting at a metro station. Patrick Swayze passed. Afghanistan is getting reassessed. The UN held a leaders meeting today in NY and Sam Yoon is hoping to win the nomination to run for Mayor vs. Menino. A news worthy week for sure. This week is already panning out to be eventful.