Nobody likes you when you’re 33.

It is the eve of my 33rd birthday.

I am not sure what 33 is supposed to feel like, but my bet is that I feel younger, both mentally and physically, than most people my age do. That is not to say that I am immature, mind you. What I mean is that I am not anxious about aging, about being an adult, about (not) reaching certain milestones. I am not stressed, I am not pressured, I am not trying to impress anyone.

Happiness comes in all shapes and sizes and what is right for me, what fulfills me, may not be nearly enough for others.

Am I a homeowner? No. Am I financially wealthy? No. Am I married? No. Do I have children? No! A resound No! now and forever.

Am I happy?

Yes! Yes, I am!

I love life. I love my life. I would not trade my life for anyone else’s, and I imagine that others would want to trade for mine. I enjoy life, I am motivated by its challenges, I gladly indulge in all great things that it offers me, I marvel at how twisted it can be some days and how simple it can be others. I wake up eager to live each day (thankfully, I have a fulfilling job and coworkers that double as friends). Even when shit hits the fan, which it has a couple times in the last few weeks, I quickly realize that it is not the end of the world, I am just gonna be over here… doing my thing… keeping on… and that is that.

With the years I now have under my belt, I finally mastered the art of bouncing back, of not letting negativity nor doubt get the best of me. Eventually, I hope to be at a point where negativity and doubt do not enter my being in the first place. There is work to be done in that regard. I am also still learning to correct my mistakes and make up for poor choices. I do feel that is going well, though.

I also have to admit that in life, it helps to have this HUGE group of people who love and care about me, that has my back always. And you know what one of the best parts about being me is? I somehow manage to keep meeting people and getting them to join that group! My squad is so legit. Get yourself a bitchin’ squad, folks.

Physically? Man, what are people doing? Why do people about my age hurt so much? Back pains, migraines, knee pain, exhaustion, high susceptibility to catch bugs that go around. What gives? I bet they are not eating right. I bet they do not exercise adequately. Maybe they do not get enough sleep. Whatever it is, I am not experiencing it just yet. I keep waiting for these so-called “changes” to happen, for things to start going “downhill” as they are supposed to when one enters this decade, but so far so good. Hell, I am even training to run another half-marathon at the moment. At my birthday celebration Friday night – holy crap, so fun! – I outdanced everyone. I could not, would not stop! I left with energy still to burn. That is how I do.

So yeah, I am feeling good. I love birthdays, including mine. It would be too cliche to say that I am excited about what the next year holds for me, especially when I am excited all the time. The upcoming weeks alone offer me much to look forward to. We shall see what the rest of the year holds.

Happy birthday, happy every day, to me.

This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.

Oh, what a month.

Last night, a memorial service was held for Beautiful. I was fortunate enough to attend with the lovely Slow J… Gosh, she is just one of the easiest persons to talk to, I am so grateful to count her as one of my friends and to have her on my side. I wish I saw more of her, but school and work keep her sufficiently busy, and I am proud. Although seeing her was bittersweet under these circumstances, having each other there was a bit of a blessing.

I learned much about Beautiful last night from people who knew her beyond the two years that I did. It warmed my heart that she met two of her close friends, both of whom spoke during her memorial, by volunteering with Animal Connection of Texas. This is the same group I have been a member of for the past several years, the group I attend most protests with. I had NO idea that she was once involved with them as well! Of course she was, though. It should come as no surprise.

I go through life hoping to meet other individuals who love animals as I do. It’s easy to love pets, it’s easy to love one’s patients if one works in the veterinary field, it’s easy to express anger when a companion animal is mistreated. I know a great number of folks who fall into these groups, not surprisingly since I work in veterinary medicine myself.

But to go beyond that and volunteer for them, to refuse to eat them, to be vocal about encouraging others to have more compassion towards them, to march around in the nude during the cold winter months (as I found out she did!) in order to make a statement for them? That, to me, is a true love for animals. That is hard to find. We are a small group. In this great city, we have maybe dozens show up for animals at our demonstrations. She was one of them, though.

I found her.

And now she is gone. I hate it.

I wish I had known her longer. I wish I had spent more time with her. I wish I knew these facts about her before so that we could talk about them. I wish she would bake more banana nut bread with apple sauce in place of eggs for me. I wish I could share more cheeseless pizza with her. I wish for so much, and it makes me feel selfish at times.

So, I decide to give.

I will give back to the world and honor Beautiful by volunteering with a local group called Foundation 45. Their mission statement is as follows:

We’re here to start a conversation to break down the stigma and reinforce the strength and connectivity in our community.

We’re not your typical suicide, addiction and mental health awareness group.

We’re musicians, artists, Deep Ellum neighbors looking to support those struggling with mental illness, suicidal thoughts, addiction, depression and anxiety. Foundation 45 funds the Interlude 45 Support Group, free group counseling supervised by Licensed Professional Counselors in Deep Ellum. We also provide support services for those left struggling with the collateral damage of losing a loved one to suicide.”

My first meeting with them is scheduled for Saturday, July 8th. By my own admission, I do not believe I have much to offer in the form of conversation. As I have stated before, I myself have never struggled with these issues. Life has been a bit of a breeze and when curveballs have been thrown my way, I have always either knocked them out of the park or come back up to the plate immediately (with help from the most amazing support system a girl could ever hope for). I can simply tell myself to dust it off and keep going. I know I cannot tell or expect others to do the same. Quite frankly, I have no idea what to say, really.

I am going through with it regardless, however. I will contribute what I can. This may mean helping more in the backscene, but it will be helping nonetheless.

Also, after learning of Beautiful’s involvement with A.C.T., I am motivated to continue to be involved and participate with them more frequently than I currently do. The animals need us. I know it, and she knew it. That is why she fought for them.

I was recently at a rally for social justice and a speaker announced that we may not live to see the results of our efforts, just as others before us have not survived to see the change they struggled for finally take place. Change takes time, the work is arduous, the impact is gradual. I am happy Beautiful lived to see Ringling Brothers shut down, I bet she loved it, I bet she was overjoyed. She will not see other results now, but who’s to say that I will? I have to simply keep going. She would encourage that, I trust. I really do. ❤

That is all I care to write for the moment.

Love your friends. Express your gratitude for them. Nurture your friendship with them.

Live fast, die slow.

It’s the first of the month.

It’s March. Oh, what a happy day. I look forward to this day every year, as soon as I finish celebrating Halloween. Now it is here and it brings much work with it.

A couple weeks ago, I volunteered to be the social media manager for one of the non-profit groups I work with. I must have sold myself well because I was given the position within days of expressing interest. I will be sharing duties with two other volunteers, but I personally have already been tasked with the following:

  • creating a LinkedIn profile for the group
  • translating content to Spanish
  • managing incoming emails
  • launching a YouTube channel, which I will also need to create content for.

I will be working my hiney off, without any monetary compensation, for – you should guess it – the animals! With how involved I have become with The Resistance against Trump, grassroots mobilization, and local politics, I quickly realized that I must also remember my most important calling… Animal activism.

I may work with animals, adopt them, rescue them, advocate for them, and donate money to them, but that is simply not enough. Not for me anyway. I need to volunteer for them and with them as well. My life would lack fulfillment otherwise, and that is no way to live, right?

The first three tasks are no sweat, I can easily manage, and actually got an early start over the weekend. The final task, though? That will take some creativity and self-educating. I am willing to do this because it will be additional skills to deepen my arsenal and again, it’s for the animals. I am already familiar with the ins and outs of YouTube, but downloaded a helpful book to my Kindle anyhow. It specifically focuses on tips for marketing via the channel, which happens to be our purpose.

How about videography and film editing? Well, those are entirely different beasts that must be tamed. I purchased Digital SLR Video and Filmmaking for Dummies and recruited Che (his resume includes filming and editing documentaries and music videos) for help because lawd, I will need it. Badly. I am a complete dummy, a newb, clueless. I have no idea where to begin! Thankfully, we are not launching until April so I at least have some time to try to get my shit together. Lots to do and learn this month.

Wish me luck.

____________________

In other news, it’s moving month! Packing has commenced thanks to all the boxes that I can just bring home from work. I will likely be returning them to work after the move because, in case you did not know, we should all recycle all that we can. #loveourplanet

In even more news, important people at work like me! What?

Not too long ago, COBane – my friend and coworker – jokingly told me that she hated me. Okay, Yankee, I don’t get you. She explained that she overheard Bossman say he wished every employee was more like me, always positive and smiling. (Ha! I can just imagine her rolling her eyes when she heard that!) Then last week one of the head honchos told me that every department and doctor wishes that I worked for them. Is that so? Really? Me? Um, awesome! Thank you for sharing!

My eyes are starting to cross. No more writing. No further details.

Cannot elaborate. Must sleep.

Good night.

Fine. Be winter.

It’s so close, y’all. Oh so close.

Spring. Warmth. Joy. 

No dresses today since the weather is cold, wet, gloomy, dreary, and uninspiring without relent.

The weekend, though? Highs in the 70s. I am planning my outfits already! Bare legs, bare shoulders, bare heart!

Please hurry to me, weekend. I need you.

As for you, Texas… I love you so much. I don’t think I could ever leave you.

Day off.

I am basking in this seemingly perpetual warm weather. Just absorbing it, and all its energy. It makes me smile, it makes me want to dance. This is why I would hesitate to leave Texas for a new playground. It is close to late October, but it feels as though summer is just getting started. I know that this will likely end soon, but I am grateful either way.

Life is funny. Life is movement, life is change.

As one friend is in the midst of planning to move to Colorado, another has booked a flight for me to help her move back from Colorado. I am so proud of them both, for doing what is right for them, regardless of the challenges, despite change not always being easy. I mean, in a few months, I intend to move just a few blocks from my current home and that seems overwhelming enough. I cannot imagine moving states, leaving the places you have called home for years, and starting over, really. I am impressed by those who make the leap of faith. I would never do it – not as long as Mom and Dad are in Texas. 🙂

So I may not be moving too much physically, but I am progressing in my journey to becoming the best version of myself I can be. I have joined an online community of like-minded individuals who believe in creating the reality that we want to live in by harnessing the energy that surrounds us. They have already taught me much about meditating, energy clearing, and crystal healing. So far, it is all working well for me. I feel an ascension happening. I cannot wait to continue to learn more and become better able to control all that I can. Why did I not try this sooner?! Seriously.

Actually, in related news, I will be guest-hosting the live stream talk show that is usually hosted by the leaders of the aforementioned community I joined. To say I am excited is an understatement. My hope is that in hosting the show for a couple nights, I will be able to inspire others to be joyful, give solid advice to those who ask for it, and simply make more friends. This will be good, I can feel it.

This is an abbreviated post. There is not much else on my mind. Believe me, though, there are huge decisions to be made shortly – like in the coming weeks – and there is no denying that I will likely pour my soul out here when the time comes. Fair warning.

Oy. I just received yet another notification on Facebook. Freaking Facebook. Here is where this post takes a turn.

Have I mentioned that I am back on Facebook? I did it because I am an activist. That itself is not the issue. The true issue is that Facebook is the media that so many use to communicate with others, including the animal rights and rescue groups that I volunteer and advocate for. I was missing out on events, updates, and pleas for help, which was not cool at all. So I reactivated it. I’ll tell you what, I am just about ready to nix it again until this damn election has passed. I myself have not participated in the prattle, but it is difficult to avoid reading the discourse of others. To put it simply: #overit.

Meh.

And another thing since this is the reason I got a notification: I appreciate being tagged in National Veterinary Technician Week posts today, but not really. Come on, we deserve more than one week, right? And we don’t do it for the praise and material rewards, do we? One week of shout-outs and gifts and free food from colleagues means little to me. It almost feels forced. Do it more randomly throughout the year and I might be more moved.

You know, what I do love is getting “thank yous” and hugs from clients year-round. That’s sweet. I love cats who purr when I pet them and pups who wag their tails when I give them a treat. I love when a client’s face lights up because they see me, recognize me, and are happy that I happen to be working on the day that they brought their critter in. That’s what I love. That’s what makes me happy.

Did you know that a client let it be known that he is single and interested in me? I should tone down my charm, eh?

I need a haircut. Toodles.

Come on, get happy.

Brace yourselves. I am going to ramble my way through this one because it is all too much!

Once again, I have sent my cues out to the universe and in turn, it has taken my signals and delivered what I needed.

In my last entry, I wrote about wanting to become more involved with the Texas Humane Legislation Network. I did not hear back from them, which is not too surprising since they have their big annual conference happening in less than two weeks. I am sure the folks running the show are preoccupied as of lately and unable to tend to position requests. No matter, though, because I am officially in their directory and will simply await future opportunities. I am not too worried about it.

Still, life came through and gave me a more immediate endeavor to pursue. The volunteer coordinator at Operation Kindness (the animal shelter I volunteer for) sent out an email last week asking for members to sign up for new committees. One committee will be dedicated to reading to children who visit the shelter, the other will focus on event/creative planning. I replied to her email to express interest in both and bam! Just like that, I am a committee member! Our first meeting is scheduled for Saturday morning and I am too pumped about it. Helping kids and being creative? Two things I love!

Yaaaas.

Matters are also well in the professional realm, I can gladly state. Last week, Bossman and SE (again, she is my friend, but also happens to be my supervisor) informed me that I was selected to participate in a special event being held by our company.

Let me back up here.

I work at an animal hospital. This hospital is one of over 700 nationwide that are owned and operated by a corporation. This corporation sponsors a local minor league baseball team that happens to be an affiliate of my beloved Texas Rangers. Pretty cool, right? Okay. So, as a token of their appreciation for the sponsorship, the Frisco RoughRiders (i.e., the aforementioned minor league team) have invited local hospitals in our corporate network to nominate employees to attend a private batting practice at their stadium…

Yup. I was chosen! The sports fangirl in me is absolutely stoked. The hardworking employee in me is humbled and honored. This is going to be fun. The date is set for next month, I will be attending along with SE, and I cannot wait. Wow. Sometimes, when such things fall right into my lap, I feel that I have all the luck in the world. Wouldn’t you?

But enough about me.

There is no denying that I am happiest when the people I love are happiest. One of the most important people in my life, someone I love very dearly, is my best friend, jokingly nicknamed MexiBestie.

Oh, what a month she’s having!

Less than two weeks ago, her younger sister gave birth to a beautiful little girl, making MexiBestie an auntie for the first time! I typically do not think newborns are cute. They usually look a hot mess, in my opinion. Oh, not this little one. I am not kidding when I say that she is precious – she has the cutest hair, dark and already full, along with a tiny, adorable smile. MexiBestie is beyond herself and totally in love with the baby, it’s so sweet. I am getting a kick out of how obsessed with her she is, it is so entertaining, especially since I have totally been in that position and was a whackadoo myself. Haha. But seriously, what a joy for her entire family!

It gets better, though.

Ugh, how can I express the greatness of the following news?

MEXIBESTIE IS ENGAGED!!!!

That’s right. During a weekend trip to New York City, her man popped the question and she is officially a bride-to-be!

I just about lost my shit when I found out. I was at a party with Che when she sent me a captionless photograph of herself and her now-fiance. In it she is flashing the ring. It took me about three seconds to realize what it meant and I started screaming, I was so happy! Everyone around me looked at me like I was crazy, including Che. I told him what was happening and thankfully, since he knows MexiBestie and knows how much she means to me, he was able to explain the situation to everyone while I continued to thoroughly freak out.

My reply to the photograph she sent was as follows:

I’m freaking out right now!!!!
Everyone at this party thinks I’m nuts!
I can’t even!!! Fyyyyyyyck
Those are supposed to be u’s

I’m so happy, I’m gonna cry!!!!
Can you post it so I can freak out on social media? I’m seriously about to lose it!!!

Geeze. I can report that I have composed myself since that night and am now looking forward to seeing her next weekend when she returns to Dallas! I want to hear all the details about the proposal, find out what she wants her wedding to be like, catch up on other aspects of our lives, and somehow try to convey how much love I have for her and how thrilled I am for the future she is building. She is amazing.

Family and friends are everything, are they not?

I hope that everyone finds the happiness that surrounds them. Send the universe your love and let it know that you are working on being joyful. It will reward you and help you out. Be happy for those you love, let their joy be yours as well, and vice versa. Come on, get happy.

May everyone have a wonderful week!

Thoughts on a Monday night

Tonight, I have the urge to free-write once more. I am doing so while being distracted by baseball. Bear with me. My mind is everywhere.

Travel

I should be preparing for a trip to Oregon right now; a week-long hiking and camping expedition into the woods. Since early this year, a group of gal pals and I had planned to fly out to the Northwest this month for adventuring and bonding. Life happens, however, and the person who began arranging this excursion, the amazing Slow J, was admitted into Nursing school! Her upcoming orientation and first day of classes caused us to have to move the date of our trip up a few weeks. Unfortunately, three out of six in our group were unable to get the time off from work and so, we have had to postpone Oregon until next year. No matter, though, because we hope to make a quick weekend getaway at some point this fall and… Duh! We are all stupid-excited for our girl!

Oregon can wait. You go and rock the shit out of Nursing school. You are brilliant and talented and kind. There is no doubt in my mind that you have a bright future ahead of you in this new career and I am so stinkin’ proud of you!

This weather, tho.

As much as I love and desperately await the spring and summer seasons each year – because of the warmth they bring, the relief from the frigid winter – my pup and I have had quite enough of three-digit temperatures. The poor boy usually enjoys his walks so much that I struggle to convince him to come back inside. Yes, I have been late to work on occasion because of how stubborn he can be, a trait I forgive since he is nearly sixteen years old. Recently, however? He “takes care of business” and turns right back around, towards our door.

Ugh.

Oh my goodness, y’all. I have the ugliest toes. I haven’t even been running lately, either! More on that in a bit. 

Our walks haven’t really been walks for the past few weeks, and it makes me sad. Especially since it is our bonding time, it is our time together, it is when he is his happiest, his “doggiest”. Watching him be curious about his surroundings, seeing his tail wag as he trots along, observing him as he sniffs every intriguing scent he encounters – I live for it! Lamentably, sweet boy just can’t handle the heat like he could when he was younger.

Lamentablemente is a word commonly used in everyday Spanish speak. Someone make lamentably come through in English.

Well, Mama Nature has decided to give us a break and we are taking our time together back! Highs in the 80s? That is unheard of in the middle of August in Texas! It’s not just for a few days, either. We should be expecting this for the next ten days, according to the forecast. This lady is pleased.

I mentioned my ugly toes. Why is it that I get the urge to start long-running again when the weather is the pits? Last week, I thought to myself,

“I need to start getting some serious mileage in again, maybe lose another toenail. I miss it.”

Yet another reason to hope for more tolerable weather. And just like that, my wish was granted. This world loves me.

Friendships

I finally finished the last of the Oreos that were given to me on my birthday. My friends are hilarious, and they know me well.

My newest friends are also hilarious and are beginning to know me. It will be slightly more challenging for them to get a true sense of who I am – more so than it has been for other friends I have made in the past ten years – with the reason for that being that I deactivated my FACEBOOK account.

I finally did it a few weeks ago, and it feels oh-so-good to be rid of that mess. I was tired of opinions and bickering and bitching and negativity and so-called challenges. I also found myself expressing the majority of my thoughts in tiny bytes of words through status updates – you know, instead of writing in my journal or blogging here. Facebook was simply killing my joy and destroying my creative energy. It had to go.

I kept Twitter and Instagram. If you are on a desktop, you will notice this on the right side of your screen. Ha.

Anyhow, these newest friends will not get to know me through Facebook, through the thoughts that could be put into that status bar, but hopefully they can figure me out and continue to like me.

Bibi finds herself in this group. I met her through Che, not surprisingly. That guy constantly introduces me to interesting people because he freaking knows everyone in this town, I swear. I instantly clicked with Bibi, mostly because of our shared love for the same music artists, and we have been hanging out a bit since our initial meeting.

On Saturday, she and I went to see her boyfriend play in a Queen tribute band, which was quite entertaining, I must say. The guys all dressed up in 80s wear, complete with horrid wigs, spoke with unconvincing accents, and put on a fascinating show. There was laughter, fantastic sing-a-longs, and dancing, of course. It was a blast!

After their set, a group of us hopped on over to a restaurant not too far from the venue for some much needed grub. While we were there, the first game of the Cowboys’ preseason was played on a television not far from our table. I cannot convey the excitement I felt when everyone at our table, Bibi included, expressed interest in the game. Not only that, but they knew their shit. These were not casual fans who were simply interested in the final score and standings. Oh, no. They cared about every position, every stat, every formation, every call, every play. Serious fans. Like… me.

I need these people in my life. Keepers.

The end.

I need to walk my dog before bed. Know that I will thoroughly enjoy this stroll.

Joy to you all. May the weather and life’s circumstances and the world in general all be favorable towards you.

On the road again.

There is this calm feeling of relief that has resulted from having honest and open conversations with people I fully trust. The usual suspects – family, mentors, and old friends. Newcomers as well, oddly enough. How can I be so trusting? No, the true question is – How can people so worthy still exist and, even more puzzling, how do I keep finding them? This month, I have spilled so much, overshared, exposed myself, and it has all been quite cathartic, like starting fresh. What perfect timing, too.

There is no denying that January through March of every year is my period of inactivity, my season of uninspiredness (is that a word?). Actually, March is always promising. March is when the awakening tends to begin, when my rational mind begins to prep itself for all that my imagination allows itself to concoct. This is why clearing it through spoken word has been so relevant!

The process of re-discovering myself is going swimmingly, I am happy to say. No, wait… I am happy. Period. I have reflected and been reminded of all that is positive, all that makes me feel alive, all that makes me feel that, yes, my life is purposeful. This has induced happiness.

I am reverting to my old ways, something that may seem like a backward step, but no, it’s not. I can remember my happiest year very well, and all that made it so. It was 2009. I was twenty-four. This is what made me:

  • Family. I lived with my Mom on a street that my Grandma and two other aunts also live on. I saw my little cousins nearly daily. I ran around outside with them, would take them to the park at the end of the street, sometimes even go on bike rides (this was before the Santa Fe Trail was completed. Ugh. Life would have been so much easier for us if it had already existed then). At any given time, I could step out the front door, take a few steps and be with my favorite people. It was incredible.
  • Health. In 2008, I became a pescetarian. A few months into that venture, I went full vegetarian. My body thanked me, and when 2009 rolled around, I was the healthiest I had ever been in my life. What a way to start a year. With my new found energy, I started running and started cycling. I got out more…
  • Getting out. Geeze, I spent so much time outdoors. Even if it meant simply sitting on the amazing porch at my Mom’s place. I have already mentioned taking the kiddos to the park, running, and cycling. I was outside ALL THE TIME. I took in doses of fresh (“fresh”… I do live in the city) air and sunshine constantly. Such awesomeness.
  • Making a difference. I was still working at the SPCA of Texas at the beginning of the year. When I left that job to do an internship at a veterinary hospital, I got a part-time job at The Humane Society. My heart belongs to animals, and shelter animals are some of my favorite. My being felt so fulfilled from loving on those critters every day. I almost felt heroic.
  • Falling in love. For the first time in my life, I fell in love. I fell fast and hard and so did he. We did not hold back. It was such an astouding rush, completely unlike what I had expected. Better! Who knew I had it in me to love like that? How could I ever guess that this cute guy I met on Facebook could make me feel like the most important person on the planet? Damn.
  • Cementing friendships. This is when I started forming lasting friendships. Not the type that were fleeting because oh, we aren’t in the same classes this semester, we don’t work together anymore, you have a boyfriend now, you moved to the other side of DFW, etc. At this point, I started going out of my way to maintain my friendships, to stay in touch and decidedly make an effort to spend time with my pals. All worth it. Those people are still my ride-or-dies, as they say.
  • Achievement. I got another degree and became an RVT, yo! Go me!

Obviously, I cannot repeat many of these things. I will not be moving back in with my Mom, I will not go back to working at an animal shelter, I cannot go vegetarian again. I can mimic some of those moves, though. Spend more time at my Mom’s, start volunteering at the shelter again, clean up my diet. I can continue to build strong friendships, I can continue being active, I can fall in love all over again, I can take some sort of class somewhere, I guess, and continue educating myself. Why not?

Yikes, I’m sleepy. This is not my cleanest of posts. This has been a bit of a free-write entry, but it may be just what I needed. I have been getting so much of “just what I needed” as of lately, sometimes it seems unbelievable. I am so excited for next month, for how much further I will get on this road to wherever it is I am going.

It is good to be me.

This is how I write now.

Have you missed me mentioning how much I love my parents or how overwhelmingly grateful I am for both of them? I do it frequently – how can you have missed it?

You know, when I see others mention how they have wonderful parents and how much they appreciate them, I want to stop and say, “Okay, but you do not understand. You do not know how much more my parents have done not only for my brother and me, but for our cousins and even folks we are not related to. You do not comprehend how being parents encompassed the entirety of their beings and how loving us unconditionally came so naturally to them. There is no way you get it. That even though my brother and I are now 33 and 31, even though we are not perfect, even though my parents are not as able as they once were, they would both drop all else and run to our sides if either my brother or I asked them to. That is how amazing they are at their role as parents. Really.” That’s what I would say.

I thought of my parents today, which is why I am writing, of course. I was standing out at the bus stop, and a older Hispanic woman who had already been waiting there when I arrived turned to me.

“¿Hablas español?” she asked.

I replied that I did and she proceeded to take several DART maps out from her bag. With a soft and sweet voice, one that reminded me of my grandmother, she asked if the bus we were waiting for would take her to Addison. I told her that it would, but informed her that it would first head away from Addison, then loop and head back. It would take a while. She did not seem to mind and continued to wait there with me.

She explained that she had only recently moved to the apartment complex across the road and was not yet familiar with the bus routes in the area. There were complaints about how much these differ from those in the city. I have to agree. In the heart of Dallas, they run so much more often, seven days a week. Here, after the morning rush, they only run every hour or so and some do not run at all midday, nor on weekends. Freaking suburbs, ruining lives and such.

Anyway, our bus soon arrived and she grabbed a seat in the front while I headed towards the back. Other riders reached their destinations before I did and eventually, shortly before reaching my stop, she and I were the only ones still on the bus. She noticed the beep and announcement when I requested to be let off, turned to me, and asked me to explain to the driver that she was riding back to Addison. I did. The look of relief and indebtedness on her face melted my heart. I wished her luck and a wonderful day before I disembarked. I was happy.

Thank you, Mom and Dad. Thank you for having made it your business to guarantee that I learn to read, write, and speak Spanish. Moments like the one I experienced this morning, that warm feeling in my gut, the sense of pride, the content smile on my face – they were all made possible because of you. Every time a person needing someone to translate asks if I speak Spanish, I am overcome by joy knowing that I will be making his or her day a bit easier, if only for a brief period, and I owe it you two. Thank you thank you thank you.

_______

Now. I am taking this post in a different direction. Specifically, a direction aimed at anyone who complains about immigrants not assimilating to life in America, immigrants who “refuse” to learn the tongue of the land.

Fuck you very much.

Seriously.

Do you really think that immigrants are unaware that learning English is in their best interest? Do you honestly believe that they don’t know that speaking the language might help their chances of success in this nation? Do you, you who must be so damn brilliant, truly figure that they simply do not want to learn it?

You idiots.

Of course they want to learn. Believe me. They know they could do much more with their lives here if they master the beast that is the English language. Many try. I have seen it. My own parents, my oh-so-amazing Mom and Dad, they tried and succeeded. Many others, including members of my own family, they have tried and failed. It happens.

Have you ever attempted to learn a new language? If you have a high school diploma from the States, I would imagine that you have. How did it go? Did you have class several times a week for several months throughout a couple years or so? Did you pass with flying colors? Are you fluent in that language now? Were you working around the clock to feed your family, the family you just uprooted from its native home and brought to a foreign land? Were you scared? Were you hungry? Were you missing the home you grew up in, the places your heart was familiar with, the land where people understood you when you spoke? Were you degraded by people who wished for you to go away? Were all these factors preventing YOU from kicking ass in that class and conquering that unfamiliar dialect? Huh?

Learning a new language is difficult enough. Doing so when you are merely trying to survive is that much more challenging. You get that, right? They cannot simply go to some magical English school every damn day until they’ve got it. I will tell you something else: I myself still have trouble with the English language, and I was born here. I have lived here my entire life. Yet there are many idioms I do not understand, many terms I am unfamiliar with, words that I still have trouble pronouncing. Eh. I do the best I can. Guess what – most people do!

Ugh, I apologize for calling you idiots earlier. Can I instead implore you to have some compassion? Can you have a heart? Can you be just an itsy bitsy tiny bit more understanding? Please? You can totally do it. As my Mexicans would say, “Sí se puede.”

_______

Y’all. I love my parents.
I love being fluent in Spanish.
I love being Mexican.
I love living in Dallas.
I love Texas.
I love “American” football.
I love Oxford commas.
I love helping others.
I love outcasts.
I love people.

Just be cool. And although they suck this year, go Cowboys.

I done did it.

One year ago today, I pretended that I was sick, called out of work (something I never do, even when I truly am ill), got all dolled up, and went on a job interview.

I was desperate, y’all. I could not handle life anymore, working from 7:00 am until at least 7:00 pm… every… damn… day. I was continuously exhausted, drained, discouraged, constantly too overwhelmed to actually do anything enjoyable when I wasn’t working. Most days off, I was resting up, trying to unwind. I wanted to revert to my anti-social tendencies from years before, declining any invitation to get out.

I’m trying to excuse my dishonesty. You cannot blame me, can you? I was miserable. I am so much happier right now than I was a year ago. I really am. You cannot blame me when my little lie led to happiness. No way. Maybe the universe gave me a little slap on the wrist that day, though, because when my interview was over, I went to the bus stop, called my bestie to tell her all about it, was totally distracted, ended up getting on the wrong bus, realized that I left my keys on the bus stop bench, had to ride back around to that bus stop to grab my keys, waited for another bus (the correct one this time), and finally made it home hours later. Thank goodness it was a gorgeous day!

….

For whatever reason, most likely boredom, I went through my Instagram photos yesterday. I got off work a few hours early and had nothing to do except wait to head off to The Good Life’s show in Deep Ellum later in the evening. So, yes, I looked through my photos from the last year or so and smiled repeatedly, with almost each and every one. I love the life I live. My life is fun. Yeeeeeeesss.

The show last night was A M A Z I N G. Not only was the music fantastic – obviously, it was Tim Kasher for goodness’ sake – but I was also in great company. My homebody of a boyfriend actually decided to come with and an awesome friend from work, who likely loves Tim even more than I do, attended as well. The two have met before, but I do not know that they had ever spoken more than a few words to each other. No matter because they got along, we talked and laughed together while waiting for the show to start, and the boyfriend totally did not mind that she and I took off on our own to fangirl like cray. It was the best time I have had in a long time, and that is saying a lot because as mentioned, my life is GOOD. Man.

There you have it: last night can be a representation of what has come of the decision I made a year ago. My dishonesty led me to having an enjoyable life again and has even introduced me to incredible, awesome, interesting, fun new friends. Friends that I have drank many a night away with, attended sporting events with, and, had my face rocked off with. Friends that I become increasingly grateful for with each passing day. I cannot believe how fortunate I am sometimes. For serious.

May all of this serve as a reminder to trust my gut every now and then and to be bold enough to do what needs to be done.

Holla.