Deutschland!

I’m going to Germany next year! And I’m clearly too excited not to share the news.

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Friday night musings.

April already.

These days, I really do feel that I am pretty much doing life right. I spend as much time as possible with my friends and family, but because I live alone, I get plenty of much-needed me time as well. I am reconnecting with old friends, and building foundations for new friendships all at once. I have become more willing to take chances and do things just to say that I tried and did it. I am learning, constantly learning, always observing, my mind is growing. I ignore those that do not vibe with my vibes. Everyone says to be kind, but I choose to simply not be mean. My kindness is reserved for those who deserve it, and I am good with that. Same goes for my friendship.

I feel as though I have so much to look forward to, and it’s because I do.

Life is so dreamy right now. It’s romancing me, I am in love with it again. It’s all so rosy.

Look at how far I have come, how much I have changed in the past year. It’s like I am finally becoming the person I was meant to be.

This is good.

The Opening Act of Spring.

And just like that, my favorite day of the year has arrived.

Technically, the event happens middle of the night/wee hours of the morning, but still. I am thrilled!

Daylight Saving Time.

I have made it through the past four months without needing to see my therapist, without having to take medication, and without using my phototherapy lamp. Shorter days, lower temperatures, and the absence of volunteering for Beto were all factors I thought would do me in, but BEHOLD, they did not. I kept on, and now I am heading into the happiest time of year already in high spirits.

Grandma, I am happy to say, is doing well. She’s in high spirits herself and does not appear to be sick nor show signs of slowing down. For that, I am grateful. When I first learned of her diagnosis, I immediately started grieving and mourning. I made it to the acceptance stage of that grief rather quickly, thankfully, so now, I am able to spend time with her without my heart completely breaking and without succumbing to my tears. We are joyful when we are together, which is something we both need. I know the grief will eventually return, but for now, I am not taking these happy moments for granted. As an atheist, I live for the present, and it is life circumstances such as this one that remind me why that is a good thing.

She is in Mexico this week. She loves going home. I love visiting too, even though technically, it has never been my home. There is just this warm, welcoming ambiance all about, and Grandma is well-known and adored in her little home town. I hope she enjoys her getaway. The forecast there is in the mid-80s, something I am certain she will relish. And when she returns to her home here in Dallas, she will get right to prepping her garden for the arrival of spring. Last year, we went shopping for plants and flowers together. I am hoping to do the same again soon.

With that, I am out. It should be another lovely day. Last night, some friends and I enjoyed dinner and drinks on the patio of a nearby restaurant. Today, I am off to an Irish festival that is always one of my favorite annual local events.

Thank you, life.

Monday morning blues.

I cut myself some slack this morning. I didn’t iron my scrubs, I wore them nice and wrinkled without any shame. If my Mom were to see me, she would shake her head in disapproval. That was the law of her household when I was a kid: Go to school in perfectly pressed clothes, come home with straight As. I can report that I did well.

It’s ingrained in me, I iron all my clothes to this day, carefully and meticulously. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I learned that a lot of people simply throw what they’re wearing into the dryer and sooth out wrinkles that way. That doesn’t work for me. It’s just not enough, I can tell, and Mom would also be able to tell.

Today, though? I don’t care.

I received some bad news yesterday. Grandma Lupe – my last living grandparent, the one I have always been closest to, the one I have bonded with the most – was diagnosed with cancer. I don’t know the full details, because she’s being very secretive, but she’s in her 80s and, like my grandfather (her husband), will likely not seek any sort of treatment. I know what this means.

Do you understand why I don’t care about my stupid scrubs? I’m more concerned about breaking out in tears at any given moment. I am about to do so now sitting here waiting for this bus to leave.

I want more details. And I want to be with her.

I didn’t set any resolutions, goals, or intentions for this new year. I figured I was on a good roll last year and that I would simply keep doing what I was doing. I would maintain my focus on self-awareness, keeping those winter blues and depression at bay, controlling my thoughts. That’s it. Nothing grandiose, no deadlines, no milestones.

Now, she will be my focus. I know what I’ll be doing on my days off. If her prognosis is anything like Grandpa’s was, time is going to fly by.

Holy shit, I’m not ready.

My mind is trying to comfort me by telling me that I have been an exemplary granddaughter. I have always had a wonderful bond with her, I have visited so frequently, we have shared innumerable memories. I guess I should also take comfort in the fact that she’s a godly woman. It comforts me not because I believe she’ll just go to Heaven and meet Jesus and find my Grandpa. I’m atheist, I don’t believe any of that. But she very likely believes it, so she’ll be at peace. Right?

The bus is moving, I am crying, I have a few stops to get myself together. Maybe people will focus on my wrinkles and not notice the tears.

Does it even matter?

Get my phototherapy lamp out.

Here it is, assholes. Fall has arrived.

It is cold, gloomy, and rainy outside, which I’m sure all you bums who love to dwell indoors are thrilled about. Me? Not so much. I feel trapped and I hate it. I got paid yesterday, however, and promptly ordered waterproof outdoor gear to accommodate this shit-weather and my need to be outside doing something. Hiking boots, a nice windbreaker, and some gnarly waterproof pants will be on their way to me soon. I also ordered a raincoat for my pup, Bruiser.

You know what I get tired of hearing? I thought about this as I was ordering the aforementioned garments. Whenever weather and seasons are being discussed, I enthusiastically rave about how much I love warm weather, sunshine, and summer. I am so sick of hearing this response:

“But when it’s cold, you can always add more clothes.”

Okay, going bitch-mode now.

The people who say that to me are the same people who fucking wear jeans all throughout summer. And closed-toe shoes, and undershirts, and dark clothing. It works both ways, geniuses! Take some layers off, dress for the season. Get some fucking confidence and show some skin!

Adding more clothes?! No, why would I want to do that? I want to take in the sun, I love me some vitamin D, my skin wants to breathe. Piling on the layers feels bulky, it makes me feel overweight, I cannot move as freely, and it adds to the amount of laundry I must do. What’s so great about any of that?!

For those who live in Texas and look forward to the fall… Um, how long have you lived here? You must know by now that we don’t get those idealistic, picturesque autumns seen in postcards and such. Be mindful of the weather this season. Pay actual attention. Keep track of how many nice days we truly get. I mean sunny skies, golden hues in the trees, cool, but comfortable temperatures. Get back to me on that, mmmkay?

But if you like this doom and gloom weather, I don’t know. We must have very different personalities.

I suppose I’ll make some jewelry and do some remote volunteer work today. It would be better if I was doing it outside.

Blah.

Sociopolitical gal.

Facebook has become this platform for people about my age living vicariously through the cuteness of their children or the staged happiness of their romantic partnerships or the solicited pick-me-ups that are received via reactions or comments.

That’s fine. You do you.

But don’t give me grief because my posts are “too” political. Life is political. Whether you are a woke participant in our democracy or not, you are affected. I am just trying to wake people the fuck up before matters worsen.

You dig?

My time.

Welp. Summer has met its official end and although I am sad about no more pool days, lake time, playing in fountains, drinking cold beers, eating snow cones… I am happy that my summer was a fantastic one! It was everything I needed and more. Here’s my recap:

Father’s Day: it was also the day that the Mexico National Team beat defending World Cup champion Germany! I watched the game and spent the day with my family, of course. Gosh, we were so happy! This photo is a recreation of a photo my brother, Dad, and I took over thirty years ago at Six Flags. Such sweet memories!

In June, I attended the Texas State Democratic Convention as a delegate for my senate district. It was a great day of caucusing and listening to inspiring speeches by the leaders in our great state. I left feeling proud to be a Democrat and an activist!

Once again, watching Mexico play in the World Cup. Mom joined my Dad and me for this photo. The game was early in the morning, but we went to a sports bar that was PACKED and ready to go. There are a few special occasions that bring me to have alcohol at 10 am. This was one of them!

Summer isn’t summer without baseball.

My brother and his girlfriend are having a baby! For the gender reveal, my brother pitched a powder-filled baseball to my nephew. He took a swing and revealed that I am getting another nephew! I am soooooooo excited. Another little baseball (…and sports in general) fan is on his way!

I cannot BELIEVE I have not posted this. I met Beto O’Rourke, y’all! You know… the man I have been working away for because I really want him to be our senator. We met up for a bike ride in my beloved home of East Dallas, around White Rock Lake. Afterwards, he held a mini town hall. Being the extrovert that I am, I asked for the megaphone and asked people to volunteer to canvass for him! I mentioned my event, of course. After Beto was done taking questions, I went over to say hi and he personally thanked me for all my work. It was awesome!!!

Everyone is having babies! These are my high school besties, Claudia and Cynthia (Wizzo). Cynthia came to town for a weekend to throw a baby shower for Claudia. It is always a joy when the three of us are able to get together!

Pool party with my work crew! I cannot say it enough: I just love them and am so grateful to be a part of this team!

I don’t ask much for my birthday. This year, I asked my family to take me to see the new Mamma Mia! movie. My parents are both ABBA fans and as a result, so are my brother and I. And… my nephew now, too! How hilarious was it to hear all three guys singing and laughing along throughout the entire movie?! It was such a great time!

Birthday dinner after work! Yes, I worked on my birthday and it was a CRAZY day. But these lovely folks wanted to have dinner with me and with my dear friend Megan. It also happened to be her last day working at the hospital! She and I both had margaritas purchased for us. Much needed! hahaha

The final birthday celebration: lunch with my Kitty Ring Club Gal Pals. I love them so much!

At Julie’s baby shower that I threw for her! This ended up being a wonderful reunion of friends who had not all been together as a group in years. I must say, I am very grateful that both Spencer and Julie introduced me to this awesome crew (many are not even pictured because we slacked and didn’t get a photo earlier!). I am even more grateful that all their friends took me in and that I am now a part of the crew as well. Baby Leo made his arrival on September 5th, by the way! 🙂

Celebrating Ashlee’s 30th! It was so nice to have Nicole out and to catch up with both Ashlee and Jacob. They are one of my favorite couples… such cuties!

I work with the awesomest people! Corey is an actress, y’all! Nicole, Bodhi, and I got to see her perform as Scuttle in The Little Mermaid. I may be an extrovert, but I don’t know that I could ever take the stage night after night in front of sold-out audiences! Kudos to her!

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Another summer evening, another baseball game. And running through a water fountain with Jude! This is why I love hanging out with kids… It gives me an excuse to be a kid, too!

Aaahhh, the best team building event EVER! This obstacle coarse floats over Lake Grapevine and is loads of fun! Climbing walls, monkey bars, slides, trampolines… SO… MUCH… FUN.

I got to wander around the Dallas Museum of Art with Nadia! It was on a weekday so there weren’t any crowds. Afterwards, we had lunch in downtown. It was such a relaxing day of girl time.

Cooling off by jumping in fountains? Lucky for me, I have friends who will do that with me!

My oh-so-talented friend Tee, a local hip-hop artist, penned a track about animal adoption. She invited me to the shoot for the music video!

Hanging out with Cent, Charlene, and Tee. I met each of these ladies when I started my career, back at the SPCA of Texas over a decade ago. While I have moved on to veterinary specialty medicine, these gals continue to work in animal welfare and sheltering. I am beyond proud of the work they continue to do to help our animal friends!

Holy hell, this night was epic. The only thing that compares would be the New Orleans trip with Cristina. Ethan, Jade, and I went to the Matt and Kim concert, danced like crazy, somehow shoved our way to the front of the stage, then got separated when we each decided to mosh. I was shoved around, pushed into sweaty bodies, ended up with my arms around strangers, Jade got picked up to crowd surf… SO EPIC. Then we ended up at a dive bar for karaoke. LOL. I swear I felt the youngest I have felt in a long time. I need more nights like these with these two friends in particular. I love them both to pieces!

I call them my bebs. They may be younger than me, but when you click with friends, you are just grateful for it and make the friendship work. These two make life so much more fun and exciting for me. And I give them big sister advice as much as I can. ❤

We did it! Mom and I went to the Pride Parade and gave out hugs. So many sweet people stopped by and took us up on our offer. One young man told us about how much he missed his mother and held on tightly to my Mom during their embrace with one another. Mom was nearly in tears. I lost count of how many people she ended up hugging, but my estimate would be nearly a hundred! It was Mom’s first time at the parade and she definitely enjoyed it! She was out there dancing and catching beads! LOL We both left covered in glitter from all the hugs. I also left proud of what a loving, open-minded mother I have. She is my world.

Trivia night with the crazy vegans! After trivia, music and dancing. After music and dancing, closed out the bar. After closing out the bar, hashbrown burgers at Whataburger. Man, I love these kids!

Last but not least: this past weekend in San Antonio. Cristina and I made the trip there for a veterinary conference. We stayed at a swanky hotel in downtown (her company paid for it) and feasted all along the Riverwalk throughout the weekend. This photo is from a beer garden outside downtown where a Beto vs Cruz debate watch party was held. Good times supporting our main man, and thrilled to see that San Antonio is turnt up for him as well!

Amazing summer. I cannot complain. Life is so good, y’all.

Life is everything I want it to be and I am actually looking forward to the next few months. It’s like I have been positioning myself to be at the best place possible before the winter hits again. There is also a lot of news involving me, involving the people I love, that fills me with joy and excitement, but I cannot share it here. Not now at least.

Bye Summer 2018. Thank you for reminding me of how good life can be.