Mom hugs.

Just a little something from my Facebook:

My Mom said she’ll do it! She’s going to the Pride Parade with me next month and giving away Mom hugs to anyone who needs them!

A little love goes a long way. I am looking forward to giving it away with a mother who truly knows the definition of unconditional love.

Much love to you all!

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Caught in a blackout.

I was in my comfort zone
I was singing selfish songs
I’ve been taking for granted everyone understood how easy trouble comes
But it’s not enough anymore
We can’t just turn around and close the door on the world
It’s asking uneasy questions
We should be asking ourselves uneasy questions

Frank Turner released a new album, Be More Kind, a couple months ago. Of course, I anticipated its release with much excitement – not only is he my favorite musician, but the album was recorded here in DFW and I had already listened to him play some of it during an acoustic show last summer. After listening to the album in its entirety a few times, it became clear that my favorite song on its track list is Blackout. The lyrics above are from that track’s third and final verse.

When I recently went through my depressive season, I often referred to that phase as “the darkness”. In Blackout, Frank sings and admits to being afraid of a darkness, which I am certain is metaphorical for him as well. But the song is an optimistic one, one in which he offers to help others find the light, yet reminds them to bring a candle as well. Help one another because we can’t do it alone. Ask for help, but remember to put some of your own effort in also. I didn’t get through the blackout on my own, and I wouldn’t expect anyone else to do so either. It can be done, however! Just look at me.

As for that third verse – man! The album as a whole is very much Frank’s commentary on the sociopolitical state we live in, particularly following the election of Donald Trump. There is even a track entitled Make America Great Again… “By making racists ashamed again – let’s make compassion in fashion again”. In previous albums, he writes about his dreams, relationships, his friends, his travels, how much music means to him, mental health, and so forth. “Selfish songs” as he calls them. He was in his comfort zone.

I was, too.

It’s time to get out, though, and get uneasy. He knows it, I know it, do you?

Y’all – being an activist is not always easy work. It can be exhausting and draining. It has become quite time consuming [things did not work out with either of the men I have dated this year because of time and timing, actually] and all other plans revolve around it. But I can’t stop. There is too much at stake.

As uncomfortable as it may be, WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING.

We can’t sit around and hope for the best. We can’t expect others to do the work for us. We have to be the change. No more being selfish. If we can afford the time to go all grassroots, then we owe it to this world to do the damn thing!

Awesome and enthusiastic volunteers!

I did the damn thing last weekend.

I led my first canvassing event! Twelve wonderful volunteers showed up to join me in the neighborhood I grew up in, at the park at the end of my parents’ street, across from the high school I graduated from. The place that will always be home to me.

After starting off with a brief training session and pep talk, we all separated to spread out through the neighborhood. We went from block to block, knocking on doors to speak to neighbors about Beto O’Rourke. We explained why we canvassed for him, had some people commit to vote, and even signed folks up to volunteer in the future!

After a couple hours, most of us met up back at the park and discussed our experiences. It went so well! The majority were first-time volunteers, and the experience was such a positive one, that they want to do it again! They even asked me to host another event! So bad ass.

Yes, it was hot. Yes, we could’ve been sleeping in or relaxing or partaking in summer fun. Yes, there is still a lot of time left until Election Day.

None of that matters. Think about all that has happened since Trump was elected. Think about how it affects you, your loved ones, and the disenfranchised. Get angry, and know that you can do something about it. You are powerful. We are powerful. There is power in numbers.

So, I implore you: Please join me and others. It’s a crucial time we are living in.

Bring a burning candle with you.


I leave you with the fantastic music video for Blackout. Enjoy.

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.

Whole lotta goodness!

I have made an observation about my lovely neighborhood, one that may make it seem as though the people here are pretentious, but it is a noticeable one regardless. Everyone here is fit!

I tell you, if I had a muffin top or more arm flab, I would stand out remarkably. Broadway brights or Vegas neons may as well point at me if I were to allow myself to put on some pounds. Men and women, young and old, all the picture of amazing health. Honest, even our more senior residents look fantastic! They are out there running circles with the fresh-out-of-college bunch. I have to say I kinda love it. It will definitely keep me motivated to stay in shape.

I am back to trying a whole foods, plant-based diet. I look back on the last time I stuck to it and remember feeling oh-so-great. I slept well, I had an abundance of energy, my skin was clear, my hair was perfect, I could power through all my workouts with ease, and my body was bangin’. I want that again. I have been slacking for far too long, giving myself too much of a “break”, a break that only led to me not looking nor feeling my best.

No more.

There are now beautiful fruits and veggies in my fridge and freezer, nuts and whole grain breads and pastas in my pantry, a brand new water filter on the kitchen faucet, and determination swimming all throughout my body.

Chipotle is still a must, although I will start forgoing the flour tortilla (maybe). And the one thing I cannot quit, the one thing I will allow myself to indulge in… is BEER. Good beer, I assure you, and not too frequently, I promise.

This is for me, and as always, #fortheanimals.

Love and health to you all!

The scene is set.

I have WiFi!

Ah, it’s the little things.

Welp, I have moved, friends. I have been here since last Saturday and I am completely in love with my new place and my neighborhood! My place is small – only 500 square feet, but absolutely perfectly sized for the minimalist life I want to lead. I do have a balcony, which is a total bonus, not all units have one. It happens to overlook one of the parks in the area, and one of the busier streets. People watching has already proven entertaining, I must say.

If you turn around the corner of the hallway outside my front door, you quickly find an elevator that I will gladly use to take my bike downstairs, and my tired ass upstairs after rides and runs. Further down, there is a trash chute that saves me from making trips outside to a dumpster. I can also take the elevator down to the recycling bins that are located in the parking garage. This place is dope!

If you turn left of my door and pass one more unit, you will arrive at the stairs that take you straight down to a swimming pool and game room. Oh, please hurry, summertime! Please come over, friends! Other buildings belonging to the same apartment community also house swimming pools, some larger than “mine”. I believe there are four total! The next building over from me houses the fitness center and others have beautifully landscaped courtyards… And I have access to it all!

Then, of course, there’s the sports bar, the pubs, the pizza parlor, the taco bar, the sushi place, the Italian restaurant, the coffee shop, the bakery, the wine bistro. There is also a convenient convenience store that I will definitely be visiting as necessary because sometimes a girl just needs a Gatorade and Oreos. There are the parks that I have already mentioned – back to running soon! Man, it’s gonna be hard for me to ever want to leave this hood to hang elsewhere. Sorry, friends!

I admit that I have not been out thus far, though. Unpacking, organizing, breaking down cardboard boxes, cleaning out the old place, etc., has taken up the entirety of my spare time and most energy. Once I am completely moved out of my previous apartment and completely settled in here, I will return to my natural state, that of a social butterfly.

Hoolie wants to come over on nights she is off work.

Lasa is in need of swimming pool time, she tells me.

MexiBestie is always up for brunch and dranks.

I am hoping Slow J, Rindsey, Cent, and The Cousins can make it out here too, their weekend work schedules be damned!

I have also already met several neighbors, thanks largely to my pup who may actually be more social than I am, the big stinker. Hangs with them will likely happen simply because I will run into them anyway. Haha Some of them do yoga and other workouts at the big park. They just make up routines as they go! Count me in, y’all.

Oh! Back to Resisting as well. My desk and work-space are nicely set up for me to do my thang. I am so proud of how well and neatly I have organized my books, notebooks, pens, markers, poster boards, and binders. I have my signed photo of Jane Goodall framed and sitting on a corner of my desk. I may very well print a photo of Bernie Sanders and add it, too. My heroes, my inspirations, still fighting the fights.

Gosh, I am so happy. It is amazing what a change of scene can do for the soul.

Have a wonderful weekend! Happy Spring!

Another day to celebrate Mom!

I wish people would say things to my face instead of running their mouths behind my back. Toughen up and be real. Intimidated much? Then do not say anything in the first place, and certainly DO NOT act as though you want to be my friend otherwise. That is unbecoming of people our age. C’mon now.

Mama taught me early on to stay away from the likes of you. Gente podrida. No te llegan a los talones y no valen la pena.

Mother knows best. She is the reason I am writing again tonight.

I wanted to write yesterday, but the weather won me over. It was a gorgeous day – clear, sunny, and warm, with skies such a sweet blue, I understand why Bryce Avary croons as he does. I spent the majority of the day indoors, unfortunately. From the moment I stepped into my work at 7:15 am until the moment I stepped out at 5:15 pm – not a single second was spent outdoors. It was too hectic, but such is the field of medicine. It is what we signed up for.

When I was able to leave, I went straight home. I changed out of my filthy scrubs, grabbed my pup’s leash, and headed right back out the door with him. I took him out on a mini-hike along the creek and wooded area that lie between our apartments and the animal shelter. Wooden crates strategically placed in the shallowest parts of the creek serve as crossing stones for us adventurous city dwellers. I learned that Pup is not apprehensive about being in water (yay!) and that having him fully vaccinated was definitely in our best interest (since he decided to have himself a drink). We splashed a bit, he sat and allowed me to take photos, I was able to soak up some rays, and all felt well.

We were out for at least an hour, until we started losing the sun. I repeat, I emphasize: I am thrilled that Daylight Saving Time is upon us! More light! More adventure! Happiness!!!

Back home afterwards: dinner, packing, shower, bed. No time for writing about…

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!

Hence me wanting to write about Mom. The woman who has empowered me since I can remember.

The woman who bragged about her first-grader who learned to read and write in both Spanish and English. The woman who set me up to be a brainiac by enlisting me in my schools’ math and science teams. She displayed my trophies (and those of my brother) all in the living room, and dusted them carefully as needed. She saved all the certificates and awards we ever received. Where are our high school diplomas and college degrees? Her house, of course, because in a sense, she earned them. They belong to her, too.

When I was a teenager, she would go on and on about how unique and creative I was because I would piece together one-of-a-kind outfits from thrift store finds. Did she annoy people when she talked about how I could pull off any outfit and how I wore clothes well, like a model? When people complimented my hairstyle back in my college years, she enjoyed telling them that I saved money by cutting it myself. If I ever post a photo of myself on Facebook, Mom always comments that I am gorgeous, even if I am purposely making an awful face in the photo, a habit I picked up from Dad.

Years ago, I let her know that I will never have children because I don’t want to. She responded by praising me for knowing myself well enough to recognize that motherhood is not for me. She commended me for not bringing a child into the world if I am not going to be 100% devoted to my role as a parent. She said there were already many children who looked up to me and loved me, kids to influence, and there would be more (she was right). She instructed me to live my life and be happy.

When I came out as an atheist, she quickly claimed that I am a better person than most people who call themselves Christian. She encouraged me to be myself and to continue on helping others, especially the little critters I love so much.

I informed her I was going vegan… she had seen it coming and took it as a challenge to learn new recipes and modify her dishes she already knew I loved. She researched what to be wary of, found replacements for common ingredients, and obviously bragged about my willpower to stick to such a limited diet. She even started shopping at Whole Foods. My sweet little frugal Mexican mom!

To this day, although I have done it for over a decade, she loves telling folks that I save animals for a living and do much more for them outside of work. She tells that it shows I have a huge heart. She says that with immense pride, I can tell.

She loves that I am passionate about social justice and civil rights. She reminds me of this often. She asks me who she should vote for and why… adorbs!  She admires my sense of adventure, my youthful spirit, and my unrelenting humor, all traits she acknowledges I inherited from Dad and not herself. She is happy I have them regardless.

I did pick up plenty from her, mind you. My compassion and empathy, my want to help others: gifts from Mom. I still do not feel that I am as selfless as she is, and doubt that I ever will be. My goodness, that woman does not know how to say no to pleas for help, even when she should! I continue to strive to be as nurturing as she is, and to be as great a friend. People love my mom. She is adored and respected.

I admit I am stubborn like she is. Perhaps I should not be proud of this, but I get it from my mama so fuck it! Oh, my potty mouth. Yup. Got that from her as well.

¡Daisy, cabrona!

In short, she is the woman I admired first and she is the woman I admire most. I grew up with a wonderful role model right in my home! Now, here I am about to take on a new phase in life, and I am undaunted. How could I be with her in my corner, her hugs and words of encouragement readily available to me? Her protective nature ready to strike if need be?

Do not mess with us chingonas. ❤

Happy belated Women’s Day, ladies. Much, much love.

Here comes the sun.

The weather here has been absolutely gorgeous, it has been everything I have needed to keep a clear mind and a peaceful existence. I have been dressing for warmth, wearing less layers, feeling less weighed down. Give me this always, Universe!!!

Look, there is something about my legs.

When it is below freezing outside, you will find me completing my runs, however long they may be – 3 miles, 10 miles, whatever – in running shorts with my legs entirely exposed. I feel so confined in pants. I have been told that I just haven’t found the right pair, that I may need to see running pants as an investment and pay extra bucks for “high quality”, but I call bullshit. I just do not like them, end of discussion. They restrict my range in motion, I am limited, and I cannot handle that. I need my range in motion.

One night last month, Che and I went to a show in my old East Dallas neighborhood to see a band that only he, out of all my friends and acquaintances, has also heard of. The weather that day had been pleasantly warm, but I was fully aware that once the sun set, temperatures would drop and covering up would be necessary. Meh – I wore a dress anyhow, sans tights underneath, and simply threw a jacket on (my arms aren’t quite as tough). We ended up parking several blocks from the restaurant where we had decided to do some pregaming, and Che became needlessly concerned for my comfort when we got out of his car to start walking. In actuality, all I wanted was to dance through the streets, boogie my way towards our destination, to let my legs loose with the freedom that a few extra degrees on the thermometer had afforded them. I felt good.

I have continued to feel good, because we have not had much of a winter. Oh, how I dreaded this winter, without my pup and having to finish out my lease (Updates #2 and #3 coming soon!). The weather has stayed reasonably warm for the most part, however. Lately? I have worn nothing but dresses, let my legs roam free, save for when I am at work and when I am running. It has been lovely, I have been lovely. As it turns out, I had little to dread at all.

———————

Last night, my best friend and I (after watching the new Fifty Shades movie LOL) enjoyed patio time at a bar in the neighborhood that I will be moving to. We updated each other on our personal lives (so much can happen in the nine days you go without seeing one another), but mostly discussed how we both want to approach the current state of our country.

The election of Trump has motivated her to become more involved and active, which I must say makes me happy. Silver lining, y’all. There has been an awakening, people are angry, people are learning how they can make a difference, and they are doing it. We are doing it. I know what we are capable of, I have seen Southwest Airlines drop SeaWorld after we protested outside their headquarters, Ringling Bros is no more after years of protests at their shows, Dallas Animal Services received more funding after showing up and speaking at city council meetings, resolutions and platforms were passed and adopted at our state Democratic convention. There is power in numbers and persistence. Nobody can deny that.

Bestie asked me for guidance in fighting the fight. I am inviting her to every meeting, every round-up, every rally. We have already attended a few events together, and that piece of shit hasn’t even been in office for a month. We shall do good together. I could not be more grateful to have her as a best friend, nor could I be more proud.

After having enough to drink, we closed our tabs and made our way back inside the bar and out the main entrance. Quiet. Calm. Peaceful. Surprising for a Saturday night – a very nice one at that. We walked about fifteen or twenty feet and passed a gate to a residential entry. I pulled my phone out to open an email I received from the leasing office just after I had been approved for my place. The address (my address) in the email matched the address posted on that gate. You see, the property is made up of ten buildings in the area, and although I had an idea of the general location of mine, I could not point it out with certainty. That was it, though. No doubt anymore.

I looked up at my beautiful new building, looked around at what could potentially be my view, and once again became elated. Once we looked around enough, we headed back to Bestie’s car, a walk that I am sure will become very familiar to me and my friends. Can… not… wait.

———————

In short, my year is off to a wonderful start. I feel empowered, inspired, admired, and loved. When moving is out of the way and I have settled down a bit, my intention is to become even more busy. I have resigned from volunteering at Operation Kindness since it will no longer be a short walk from where I live. As much as I will miss it, my plan is to volunteer at the Humane Society instead, which will also mean seeing my other best friend Cent (she is the assistant director there) more frequently. I absolutely hate the saying, but two birds, you know?

And of course, there will be plenty of work to do for the disenfranchised. Ready for it.

So take that, seasonal affective disorder! You are not getting this gal. Daylight Saving time will begin one month from today, spring will follow shortly thereafter, the threat of winter weather will continue to decrease, the days will get longer, and I will be even happier.

Yes. Here comes the sun.

Thoughts on a Thursday night.

I gave a guy my number.

He asked me for it, and made sure to use it the very next day, a good thing since I myself wouldn’t have known how to proceed. I haven’t given a guy my number in seven years. This is new to me once more, just as it was when I was a young(er). Whoa, man.

It has hit me like a ton of bricks that I do not know how to date. Color me clueless. The last time I did, I was in my mid-twenties. I am now in my early thirties, a somewhat different person with a significantly different outlook and entirely different expectations. The truth is, I don’t want to date casually. I do know that much. What a waste of time and energy. If shit is going to happen, then it will happen. The effort I am willing to put in will be minimal, just like it was with the fella, way back in 2009.

He made it so easy. He asked for my number, he texted me every day, he asked to spend time with me, he asked me to be his girlfriend, he told me was falling in love with me. All this within two months. EASY. That is how it will have to be with any new potential relationship. Who bothers with wondering and playing the guessing game? Not this gal. Gross.

New Guy will have to be direct and not keep me guessing.

If anything, though, I am happy about this development because:

  • I am noticed, I can attract.
  • I was approachable.
  • I wasn’t trying. I had not noticed this guy until he was right in front of me dancing to Frank Sinatra.
  • I did not have to text him first. I was not even given the chance to think about him first, let alone be the one to initiate the messaging.

Go Daisy, right? For real, though, this will likely not go anywhere. Hahaha. Okay by me, honestly. I still live with the fella after all, and this could only lead to awkwardness, something I would very much like to avoid. Awkward situations were my thing ten years ago – not so much anymore. So hooray for me, way to go, but let me get back to just doing my thing for now, mmmkay?

My thing right now continues to be just becoming the best version of myself I can possibly be. I am becoming my happiest self as well. It is impressive how much happier I am since exiting a relationship that had become both draining and stressful. My inner spirit is so much more positive, hopeful, joyful. Also, I am damn proud of myself for being bold enough to walk away from a situation that was not adding to my joy. No settling here, folks. Now, at least once a week, I am tempted to share with anyone who will pay attention: I am so happy!

It’s the truth. I am so happy.

Happy Daisy days.

There is more news to share, by the way!

MexiBestie is moving back to Dallas! It is happening: I am getting my best friend back. Oh, life: there you go giving me exactly what I have asked for once more. You are amazing. It has been almost a year without her and that was long enough! Thank goodness her fiance lives here, it works to my advantage! Thank goodness her job made moves for this to happen, including re-imagining the territories she manages. This is incredible. Oh, man, it would have been so nice to have had her here when The Breakup happened. Ufff. Ah, well. I am getting her back soon and that’s all that matters!

In other news, no pretty way to segue into this, I am reading a new book, E-Squared, by Pam Grout. The premise of the book is that there is an energy field all around us, and we are perfectly able to harness that energy to create our own reality. There is a series of nine experiments that readers are to perform in a span of twenty-one days to prove this to themselves. I am currently still reading background information, a few explanations here and there, and the author’s own testimony. I am hoping to start my own experimentation soon. Stay tuned! This could get exciting!

I will likely not read tomorrow, however. I have been granted a four-day weekend with tomorrow being the first of my days off. Am I the luckiest gal or what? My plan is to ride the train to downtown Dallas and wander about the Dallas Museum of Art for a while. Lately, I have been absorbing just about everything that could possibly benefit me and so, I want to surround myself with beauty and allow it to inspire me. I plan on packing some art supplies and my camera to see what happens (until I get hungry). Then, a visit to my Mom’s and my Grandma’s will follow since they both live near downtown. Homecooked vegan Mexican food, here I come!

Does that not sound lovely? I am very much looking forward to tomorrow. What a wonderful way to live!

Be blessed!

Pay up.

I have been thinking, as I tend to do at the most inopportune times, I have been thinking about breakups. It seems as though when breakups happen, the primary focus is usually diverted to the dumpee. That person, the blindsided one, the heartbroken one, the one who is hurting. The articles written, the advice that is out for the taking, the demonstrations of sympathy – they are directed at that individual.

What about those who do the “dumping”? What an awful term, by the way. I don’t feel that I dumped him, like a load of waste just needing to be taken out. I mentioned before, I love the fella. I want to remain his friend. Maybe some people do get rid of trash when they break up, but that is not what is happening here, I assure you. Can we call this something else?

At any rate, I am the one who terminated the relationship. How about that as a title: The Terminator? I am the bad guy, right? The heartless one. The one who gave up. The one who will go about her life and simply move on. That’s not so, believe me. Although I know I did what is best, it sucks to know that I have hurt him. I carry a certain guilt with me regarding the whole situation. I have caused sorrow. Dammit. I also carry a degree of dread. I dread that eventually, we will not be friends. He will banish me from his life permanently, and then will certainly deserve to be called a dumpee.

Que vida esta.

I owe it to myself to be happy, though. I truly believe that. I am decent enough of a human being to deserve happiness, I think. More importantly, I hold this role of being what matters most to Arturo and Imelda. Did you know they are so selfless in their position as parents, that they put my happiness – and that of my brother – before their own? They are such wonderful people and they deserve to live happily, more so than I do. But, if their happiness depends on mine, then, fuck – I have no choice but to be happy. For them if anything else.

It’s as simple as that.

Be happy, Daisy. And do not feel guilty about it. It is owed.

Oh my gosh, my name is so pretty. Even when it is typed out. Daisy. Yet another thing to thank my Mom for! 

I will tell you what is making me happy at the moment. On Friday, I celebrated three whole years as a vegan. Woot woot. That is approximately 600 animal lives I have saved through my diet alone. I have also indirectly consumed about 657,000 less gallons of water than the average person on the average American diet (raising animals for food requires a ridiculous amount of water). I wish I could easily look up how many lives I have spared by not wearing leather nor wool, and also by not using products containing animal ingredients nor that have been tested on animals. It doesn’t matter. However great or small the numbers are, the lives are precious all the same.

Y’all. This feels so good. I love animals with all my heart, I am entirely devoted to them, and I refuse to take my love for them lightly. They are worth living this lifestyle that can be pretty darn inconvenient at times, not gonna lie. I also adore the planet that I live on, twisted as it may be at times, it is still a lovely place that deserves to be mended and preserved.

I should share that I have three friends who have themselves made positive changes recently. Kay has started to make a conscientious effort to eat as little meat as possible, Disa is mostly vegetarian now, and Lindsey has gone vegan. What?! The best part? All three credit me as being their inspiration! I am so proud!

Oh, but as much as food animals tug my heartstrings, I still have plenty of love and time for animals in the entertainment industry, and companion animals as well.

Earlier this month, I protested Ringling Brothers circus yet again, for the third straight year. It is absolutely necessary to educate the public about the abuse those animals must endure, and we have made gains for them in recent years (Ringling elephants and SeaWorld orcas: we did it!). The success we have obtained only motivates me to keep going. Although I am heckled, what I put up with cannot begin to compare to what animals everywhere undergo simply for being animals. How can I not do it?

Now that the circus has left town, I am hoping to become more involved with the Texas Humane Legislation Network. I reached out to them last week and in the application to join, they ask about previous volunteer experience. Mine is as follows, dating back to 2009*:

Looks good, right? I hope they have positions open and that I hear from them soon. I am ready for a new challenge! For the animals!

In closing, I have a recommendation for anyone going through a breakup: Regardless of which side of the breakup you find yourself on, do what makes you happy, do what makes you proud, do what fulfills you. The breakup will seem trivial in the scheme of everything you do with your time and your abilities. If you find yourself in a doomed relationship, let it go. Why give it the energy that you could instead be using towards your purpose in life? You could be changing the world, even if you do so indirectly. You being happy will benefit all, it will bring positivity. Fucking get to it already! The world needs you!

Our time is short. Do not let it go to waste. Do not spend it in unhappiness.

I bet you deserve better. I bet you owe it. Pay up.

*I remain active only in the last three, but all these organizations merit support. Please check them out!

 

Timing. Changes.

Holy crap.

I may have actually done it. I may have succeeded. I may get precisely what I wanted.

Earlier this year, in the spring, I mentioned wanting to leave the Oncology department that I am currently a member of in order to work in Internal Medicine/Cardiology. That hope has remained present and as luck would have it, last month, I was given the opportunity to work with CardioDoc once more. Wait, no. The opportunity was not simply given to me. I went after it, talked to the right people, was scheduled as I wanted, did get to spend the week in Cardiology, …

… and I crushed it. Even though we were double-booked one day. Even though there were too many doctors working and not enough exam rooms, procedure spaces, nor technical help available. Even though this is not the field I am familiar with nor trained in.

Crushed it.

CardioDoc praised me in the presence of Bossman (the hospital manager) at the end of our week working together and I took it upon myself to tell them both that I would love to work Cardiology permanently.

Let’s make it happen.

Those were CardioDoc’s words to Bossman. I may have pumped my fist afterwards. I am doing so now.

Fast-forward an entire month and Bossman finally told me yesterday that he is thinking about moving me out of Oncology so that I can work in Cardiology for good. Oh, do not tease me so! Please, please make it happen! He said that he needs to speak to the doctors first to make sure they are all on board and agree with this decision. Dude, you already know that CardioDoc agrees, he said it himself. Come on, now.

Ugh. I am trying not to do any preemptive celebrating because this is not set in stone. Also, even if Bossman truly has every intention of making this move, who knows how soon it will take place. There are so many changes happening for our hospital presently – new doctors have started, schedule changes have been made, new software will be installed, construction on a different floor – that Bossman has his plate quite full. My move is not a priority, understandably so. Thankfully, somewhere along the line, I picked patience up as one of my virtues. I will be needing it like none other!

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It feels as though life is entering a transitional phase. The timing seems appropriate, though, given that I have started a new year. I admit, having my birthday come up when it did was something that I initially lamented as I noticed its approach. Now, in retrospect, it was fitting and ideal.

It just felt a bit improper to be in a celebratory mood given that I had just put an end to my relationship. Would he wish me a happy birthday? I did not expect him to feast with me. Would he get me something? It would be the first time in six years for him not to do these things. How awkward. Could I celebrate without him? I was not so sure that I wanted to. What would I be doing for my birthday? I am not the type to plan something for myself. That is just weird.

Welp, Hoolie ended up planning a small gathering just a few nights before my actual birthday. It was lovely, it was joyful, it was needed. She invited friends that we share, friends that she has introduced to me, friends that we have made together, and, of course, the friend who introduced us to one another, Che. We had drinks, shared stories, laughed, danced, played Giant Jenga, played skeeball, and I even got to open several gifts. Just lovely!

We were out all night, but before the the party was over, we took a group photo and in looking at it, I realized that those beautiful people had not known me for very long at all. The longest relationship I have with any of them is with Che, whom I met in late 2014 when I interviewed for my current job. That’s it. Less than two years! Yet, there they all were, on a Thursday night, celebrating, showering me with presents, enjoying life with me. I felt so darn special. I also can’t help but feel proud that even at my age – I turned 32! – I am still creating and cementing new friendships and relationships.

Aaahh, it’s such sweet success.

The following night, my beautiful friend Slow J took me out for a one-on-one dinner date. I can tell that girl anything and everything, no judgement passed, no disapproval, just unwavering support and well wishes. I was able to divulge the details of my breakup to her; she already knew of my relationship’s recent woes, naturally, since she is one of my dearest friends. She is excited about my newfound “freedom”, she told me that she predicts that marvelous things will happen to me, and she assured me that I will undoubtedly work wonders with my time. She is such a sweetheart. I love her. It was nice to spend that time with her.

My birthday finally arrived a couple days later.

The fella did end up wishing me a happy birthday. He even gave me a card and a gift. Believe me when I say that he is truly a great human being. Would you be shocked if the person you just broke up with did these things for you? I was not. That is who he is.  I wish I did not have to end it. I wish it could have worked out. Such a bummer.

This is part of the undergoing transition, from being someone’s significant other to being single. From being in a partnership to being out on my own. Me: single. For the first time in nearly seven years. It’s almost surreal. Scary, even?

Again, the timing of my birthday ended up being perfect. I received so many loving messages – from friends, my parents, my cousins, aunts, uncles, former coworkers, current coworkers, former classmates, online friends, district Democrat friends, activism buddies, former clients. People thanking me for being Daisy, expressing gratitude for having met me, praising me for what I do with my life, conveying admiration for me. Geeze. Way to boost a girl’s spirit when personal matters are getting a tad bit tricky! To top it all off, I had a family birthday lunch gathering at my Grandma’s house complete with a little vegan cake, singing, and birthday candles. Damn.

I am so loved. And I know it. I treasure every single bit of love that is bestowed upon me. I have to. It’s invaluable!

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It is difficult to say what the coming weeks and months have in store for me. My gut is telling me that there will be an interesting mix of positive and negative. It is also telling me that it will not be more than I can handle and that I will remain happy through it all. I tell myself that timing is everything. Che tells me that the only constant in life is change.

Maybe we are all correct?

There is only one way to find out…