People

Jumping With Your Eyes Closed


20160718_171914Anyone who knows me knows that my dog is the love of my life (sorry, Chris). My relationship with him is the longest I’ve ever had. When I was young and reckless in college, he gave me life. He gave me a reason to take care of myself because I needed to take care of him. He has traveled the world with me and he teaches me things all the time. Like after college when our walks taught me to see the world through a filter of wonder. He taught me that tears can be licked away and a smile revealed like a rainbow that will give you just enough energy to start the day anew.

Recently, he developed cataracts causing his visibility to be drastically reduced. It started out small. I noticed his eyes would shine green in the sunlight. He would step extra carefully down the stairs. Then he started running into the other dogs much to his surprise and their disapproval.

Whenever I tell people that he’s basically blind, they sigh and express pity. I felt this, too, once. It’s hard to watch someone you love struggle and there’s not much you can do.

But Orbison was never frustrated. He was never sad about his situation. If he hadn’t started running into things I would have never known his eyesight had deteriorated so much, because he runs and jumps with the same fervor as before.

A few months ago, I lost my job. It was a job that caused me to develop an eye twitch and one that I was dying to be rid of, but it was still a blow to my confidence all the same.

Searching for work is like jumping with your eyes closed. Sometimes I would be afraid to apply somewhere because I couldn’t see how it would work or what it would be like or if I would fit in. When I felt like that I would think about Orbison and how he jumps with his eyes closed all the time. No fear. Sometimes he misses and bumps his head. But mostly he lands and he is where he wanted to be.

Last month, I started a new job where the majority of my day is spent taking care of animals. It’s a complete career change and I’m being generous when I call it a career because it’s so specialized I might just have to work there forever. There were a lot of things that sounded scary about this job; different wages, different schedule, different people, so much unknown, and so much poop. But when I felt unsure about what I was jumping into, I remembered how Orbison jumps with his eyes closed all the time so I’ll just have to too.

So far he’s never led me astray.

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People, Photography

A Pocket Full of 2015


 

Life is always changing somehow. It’s hard to look back and really remember times that were uneventful.

And although this year was challenging in a lot of ways, it was also rewarding to have lived through it all.


 

I tried not live in fear of the future and mistakes. To instead look forward and jump toward opportunities.

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I remembered to smile around people more often.

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I aimed to be more giving.

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I spent a lot more time around children and they really remind me what it’s like to be fearless.

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And goofy.

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And to ask for what you want.

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And to be unapologetically you.

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Kids have so much energy.

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When kids are really happy it’s hard not to smile around them.

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I found some adults could be like that, too.

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I saw people be really caring this year despite the seemingly unending tragedies.

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I learned that the best new year’s resolution is to try to always be nice to people.

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Because everyone had some challenging part of the year.

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And instead of looking back.

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We should start to look forward.

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Happy New Year.

 

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People

How spring break gave me an open mind


My cousins came to visit me this past week during their spring break. They brought the ghost of college past with them and I’m still trying to kick it out.

My cousin is 18 and she is my pride and joy. I have a very special bond with all of my cousins but she is the closest woman in age and proximity to me so we relate to each other the most. She’s also the one who comes to me the most for advice.

She brought three friends with her from college and the conversations they had catapulted me to when I was in college. They would huddle in my car as I chauffeured them to their next tourist destination. As they became more comfortable with me they would talk about their lives. I found myself wanting to interject so many times. Most of the time, I just wanted to scream, “None of this is going to matter next year so stop worrying about it!” But I’m sure someone told me that at their age and I didn’t listen so why would they. I remember thinking I knew everything at 18 and I was incredibly complicated.

My cousins can tell you I’ve plagued them with unsolicited lectures their entire lives. I would talk to them about everything from work, school, sex, drugs, relationships, death, love, and sacrifice.

A lot of the lectures stemmed from little life lessons I learned and mistakes I made that I wanted them to avoid. After finishing college and joining the workforce I slowly stumbled into bigger regrets. I know I’m not special in having regrets about college years, but it’s terrifying thinking about them and then wondering if you’re making making mistakes now that you’re going to regret later.

We’ve all had that moment where we’ve wished someone would drop out of the sky and tell us what’s really going to matter in five years. Some people say you should never regret anything because at one point in your life it was something you wanted. Others think if you just say yes to every opportunity you’ll never regret anything.

My other cousin who came to visit is 22. He brought his girlfriend of almost a year. He’s like a brother to me, but I stopped lecturing him early in life because he has a strong personality that cannot be stirred by anyone. It took me a long time to learn that he was always going to be too proud to accept help from me. Unfortunately, this isn’t an anomaly in my family and it shouldn’t have taken me that long to recognize I was looking in a mirror.

The more I reflected on my cousins’ youth the more I saw how I wasn’t much different at that age. A lot of the posts I write might sound like I’m giving unsolicited advice, but they’re just meant to be a retelling of experiences. Your experiences can feel lonely when it seems like no one around you is going through the same thing. When I write I hope someone can relate. It never occurred to me that maybe someone could drop out of the sky and tell me what’s going to matter in five years.

An older friend serendipitously sent me a message about my previous post with the perspective of age at the exact time I was mulling over the idea for this post. He had the same experience reading what I wrote that I had listening to my cousins. He remembered having the thoughts I had and feeling the way I felt, but he also explained how those feelings would change as he got older and learned what really mattered.

When I was 18 or even 22, I probably would have rolled my eyes and thought, “There’s no way this person knows how I’m going to feel in the future. We’re so different.” But with the perspective of age I know that it’s not just possible but probable.

Maybe in another ten years I’ll go back to thinking I know everything but for now, please send me your unsolicited advice.

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People

Why you should say “I’m sorry” less


I had trouble deciding what to write about this week since last week was so heavy. I’m glad I wrote that post but I regret not have a transition plan. You can’t exactly go from writing about death to writing about silly, irrational fears. My instinct was to apologize for not posting this Monday and thankfully that sparked the following.

Women are more apologetic than men, studies say. We’re always the first to say excuse me or pardon me or I’m sorry. After reading about this, I started to notice when I say I’m sorry and it turns out it’s all the time.

When someone bumps into me I say sorry, but I notice the other person doesn’t always say sorry. We all know there are entitled people in the world who wouldn’t know how to form an apology if it came up through their bidet. I want to stop fueling the idea the that I should be the one that’s sorry.

Another thing I apologize for is when someone else is being unclear. This happens a lot through email, but it happens in person too. Through email is the best because when you read back through the email chain you can see when it dawns on the person that they were completely wrong. Instead of trying to apologize, however, they just get defensive, aggressive or pretend like whatever it is they need to get done is too urgent to discuss what was or wasn’t said previously. I normally apologize to these people because that’s what they seem to be looking for based on their reaction. I get it. It’s hard admitting your mistakes. That’s why it’s called a virtue. I’m going to stop apologizing to these people not just because I want them to own up to their mistakes and be better people, but also because I’m competent. I am a competent person and there’s no reason I should downplay that for someone else’s feelings, especially in the workplace where perception is 95 percent of the job. The other 5 percent is how often you bring in donuts for everyone.

Something else I apologize for is being unusual. Sometimes I make really corny jokes or I laugh too loud and snort or I lick my fingers in a restaurant because the steak is that good and I’m done apologizing. Just because you don’t get how funny I am doesn’t mean I should apologize for it. There are some people I really look up to because they’re unapologetically themselves. This is the right attitude. Life is too short to try to make up for who you are.

I read another study recently about how much room men take up in a space. I know this sounds like it’s a men against women piece, but I’m using these studies as a diving board to talk about jerks of all shapes and sizes, women included.

I take public transportation every single day. Regularly, I see people with their bags in the aisle or in the seat next to them. I see people cackling away on the phone or with their legs stretched out on the seat in front of them. Whenever I have to walk over someone’s legs or ask someone to move their stuff, I tend to apologize as if I’m an inconvenience. Maybe I am an inconvenience but that’s what shared services is about. It’s about sharing. Yesterday, there was a guy sleeping in one of the seats that has a table. There are two seats on either side of the table. I needed to use the table and there weren’t any others open so I sat down across from him. I realized his legs were completely stretched sideways under the table. Not in front of him, but all the way across so that no one could have occupied any of the other three seats around the table. So I kicked him. And you know what? It was fine. He moved his legs. I didn’t say sorry and it felt great. Sometimes people just need a little kick.

I don’t think we should give up manners and surrender to a Hunger Games style life, but I think we need to remember that we are just as valuable as all the other humans on this earth. We are not an inconvenience. We are not something to apologize for. Life is too short to try to make up for who you are.

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People

How death broke my family and Whatsapp put it back together


Death broke my family once.

It all started when my grandfather had a stroke. He was the pillar holding up my dad’s side of the family. My dad has three brothers and four sisters. One of his sisters has five children. We’re a big family and it was only suitable that grandma and grandpa’s house was our home base. None of us ever called them grandma or grandpa–they were essentially second parents to us. We called my grandmother Mama Alma and my grandfather Papa Luis. We’d shorten the names to Mama and Papa, which translate to mother and father in English. That’s how critical they were–and are–to the fabric of the family.

Orange trees

Orange trees

Every major holiday, birthday, or celebration was held at their house. They had a huge, two-story, red brick house with a balcony where we would sleep on cots under the stars. In the back yard, there was an avocado tree and an orange tree. There were huge turtles we would feed corn tortillas and white rabbits we would feed lettuce.  The house was also haunted, but what special house isn’t?

One of my aunts and one of my uncles had houses behind my grandparents’ house. Another of my uncles had a wife whose family lived down the street. And for symmetry’s sake, another of my aunts had a husband whose family lived down the other side of the street. I could walk into the corner store and say I was so-and-so’s daughter and everyone knew who I was. It felt like everything had been strategically arranged before I was born.

The best breakfast in town

The best breakfast in town

Every morning my grandmother made a big breakfast. Huge bowls were filled with every combination of eggs you could imagine. Beans and fresh tortillas were brought in from the small tortilla factory a few blocks away. Everything was within walking distance and after breakfast my grandfather would sometimes take us to his rancho, where orange trees covered the fields. We would ride in the back of the truck and pick oranges as he strategically passed just under the branches of the trees. We’d arrive back at the main house on the rancho sticky, covered in juice, and smelling like dirt and citrus.

Life was glorious and as far as I was concerned I had the best family in the world. There were tons of kids to play with, aunts and uncles to tell me how special I was, a grandmother to spoil me, and a grandfather who knew everything about everything.

Then he died.

I remember being in my dorm room pressing the snooze button for the third time when my phone rang. It was my mother and it wasn’t a normal time for her to call. I knew before I answered that there would be tears. My mother knows how to keep it together when she needs to and she did that for me during that phone call. I’m an only child, but I’m the oldest of the first generation of cousins living in the United States. It was always understood that I was responsible for telling my younger cousins bad news and sharing my easter egg hunt candy with them.

One by one, I called my cousins to let them know. It was like a procession and I felt like the grim reaper.

I couldn’t go to the funeral and I felt incredibly isolated from my family. I was alone and my family was mourning and there was no one to hug. This is the first time I felt detached from them.

After that, there were slowly fewer holidays, birthdays, and special occasions held at my grandparents’ house. My grandmother eventually moved out, creating an identity crisis for many of us.  It was as if a part of us had been taken away. There was no home base anymore. We still made it work, though. We saw each other and we loved each other. But it wasn’t quite the same.

I was much older now, and while I missed the innocent, fairy tale illusion of my childhood, I could now appreciate the wisdom and company of my older cousins. While I have many cousins, only six are women. (The aunt I mentioned with the five kids?  All five are men.)

I was very close to my cousins and I spent months living in Mexico with the cousin closest to my age, Lety. She was unlike anyone else in our family and she gave us life through her laugh. She taught me about makeup and how to push on the hose with my thumb so the water would shoot out. She taught me about love and, most of all, about loving myself. She inhaled life and was a magnet to everyone around her. She could make you feel special in a room full of people.

When she was 24, she died of cancer.

When someone dies when they’re old, there is sadness. When someone dies at a young age, there is anger and hate. I never want to know what it’s like to lose a child, but I’m certain it changes who you are. A piece of every single one of us died that day. For some of us, it changed who we were a little bit; some for the better and some not. We couldn’t be in the same room without bursting into tears randomly. Everyone was reminded of her just by being around someone else in the family. We were walking reminders that one of us was no longer there. And that slowly started to break us.

We talked less. We visited less. We needed time. We needed space. We had lost our home base and on top of that there was a broken home now. Mexico itself was in a state of disarray. My grandmother was living with my aunt in the United States. We were like ants when you throw water on them: flailing, running around trying to get back to the line.

For a while, it was like this. Everyone would reach out to the person nearest them because that’s as far as our emotions could go. We would still see each other but it was once a year and it started to feel like we couldn’t pick up where we left off as we once could.

Then there was Whatsapp.

When this app came out it was really popular in Mexico. Communicating between countries had always been a problem so we all jumped on board when we realized we could text each other. A family group was made and slowly every aunt, uncle, and cousin was added. We would say good morning and good night. We would post memes about it being Monday. We would post pictures of ourselves, our children, and our pets. This may not sound like a lot but for us it was like a reunion on our phones every day.

There was finally a place to share our happiness and our lives with the people we still cared about but hadn’t known how to reach out to after we healed from the past.

The other day my aunt had a small surgery. Her son notified the group and we all sent her our goodwill and wishes. He sent a picture of her right before the surgery to reassure us she was fine and in good spirits. Most of my family is Catholic and one of my cousins suggested a prayer chain. Half an hour later we had an updated picture of my semi-sedated aunt out of surgery and ready for dinner.

The support and community felt through this seemingly simple group text brought me back to my grandparents’ house. It was like we were sitting at the kitchen table surrounded by bowls of food, avocados from the tree in the backyard, children running around, and the family together. It was like we had found our home base again.

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People

21 days


With the start of the new year, a lot of us are thinking, what we can do to better ourselves? If you’re one of these people, I’m betting you’ve heard it takes 21 days to form a habit.

In 1960, a plastic surgeon named Maxwell Maltz published a book called Psycho-Cybernetics in which he noted that amputees take 21 days on average to adjust to the loss of the limb.

And like most things, the internet found it somehow, took it, and ran with it.

If you Google, 21 days to form a habit you’ll find a slew of articles going back and forth on the concept. But when you look at the images, you find what people really believe or at least want to believe.

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Anyone who has tried to do something new, every day for 21 days, knows how challenging this is. It’s challenging because they probably picked something that is hard for them. No one challenges themselves to brush their teeth every day for 21 days.

On the flip side, anyone who has managed to do a new thing for 21 days knows that there isn’t some magical awakening at the end of the time where suddenly you can do this thing with great ease.

This is where the 21 days concept is inherently flawed. We’re all different people. Some things are going to be harder for some people than others and more importantly, a habit isn’t formed in 21 days. It’s formed in every day that you do it. It literally means, “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.”

When you try to pick up a new thing for a set number of days, you’re not thinking in the mindset of habit forming. You’re thinking in a span of time. That’s not a habit. Like the time I tried to do something every day that I had never done before in an effort to experience more of life. I think I lasted 17 days and I did feel rather accomplished but the feeling was fleeting and I didn’t accomplish my overall goal of living more fully. Maybe in those 17 days I was a more adventurous person but it didn’t last because I gave up. I didn’t pace myself like you would when you want to keep doing something for a long time.

The other problem with the idea of 21 days to form a habit is how you perceive the goal you’ve just set up. Every day you don’t start, the task becomes harder. Let’s say you want to be a more consistent runner. Every day you don’t run, the task grows into a mountain. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have quantifiable goals. But when you want to make a change in yourself, there is no beginning, middle, and end. There’s just now and what you’re doing or not doing. If you want to be a runner or be a better runner or a more consistent runner, all you need to do, is run. Go, right now. Go do it.

The only difference between you and people who are where you want to be, is action.

You don’t need to do something for 21 days for it to become a part of you. You need to not give up on it and not give up on internalizing it.

I’ve failed many times. So many times, I’m tempted to call it a habit. But the thing that has brought me success in the end, is not stopping. And when you fail, don’t think of it as starting over. Think of what you’re trying to achieve as a road you’re walking down not a mountain you’re climbing. When you trip on the road, you can get back up, brush yourself off and keep going. When you fall off a mountain that’s much harder to do.

When you’re thinking of what you want to become or achieve this year, think about what you want the road behind you to look like.

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People

The ways in which I am like my father


Some people are afraid of becoming their parents. There have been times when this was true for me, like the first time I caught myself rationalizing like my mother or avoiding conflict like my father. But to quote one of my favorite books, The Sandman, “We do what we do, because of who we are. If we did otherwise, we would not be ourselves.”

I am like my father because we both try to avoid conflict at all cost. I used to think this was selfish of him and I didn’t understand why he wouldn’t rather talk about his feelings than have an outburst or go off by himself. Now that I find myself guilty of the same crime I realize that while it is a little selfish, it’s coming from a place of desire to love. My father worked a lot and my mother did too, so we didn’t have much time together. My work days are long now and I only see loved ones for a few hours every evening much like my parents used to see each other. The last thing I want to do with that precious time is argue or disagree. Those moments are like treasures that I want to polish every night, not bruise.

I am like my father because we can both quickly lose our patience with people we love. As a child, I remember my father immediately shooing me off after failing at some task. I thought he didn’t like me very much because I wasn’t as capable. Now that I do the same thing, I see how hard it is to watch someone you care about struggle and fail. My father and I must be the most cynical idealist to ever walk this earth. We want everything to be nice and flowy and happy.

I am like my father because sometimes we just need to be alone. I don’t know if you’ve read Harry Potter but there’s a werewolf in one of the books and he has to hoard himself up in this room underground so he doesn’t hurt anyone when he changes. But of course he doesn’t tell anyone he’s a werewolf so Harry Potter and Co. follow him and nearly die. My dad and I think we’re werewolves and as egotistical as that might sound, we can be mean and hurtful. I always thought it was childish of him to walk away from arguments. He would go hide in the garage. Now that this happens to me, I think he just knew himself well enough to go to a room when he was changing so as to not hurt us.

This makes it seem like we’re monsters and we probably look like that sometimes but all of these things seem so small when I think of all the ways I hope I’m like my father.

I hope I can be as dedicated to anything as he is to his family. I have never felt safer in my entire life than when I’m with my father.

I hope I can be as talented with my hands. My dad can fix anything, he can paint, play the guitar, work on cars, cook, mend a little bird’s broken wing, and in a pinch figure out how to make a ponytail.

I hope I can be as strong. My father has always had muscles, but he’s also always had the incredible ability to move on from anything. When anyone tells me that after a certain age people don’t change, I know they’re wrong because my father has grown every year since I’ve known him and it’s always for the better.

I hope I can be as accomplished. As a teenager my father moved to the states from Mexico. He found a job, saved money, bought a house, and helped other people who were trying to do the same by letting them live with him. Then he met my mother and kicked them all out. Since then he’s worked hard to give us the world. Money can’t buy you happiness if you don’t have love and he gave us both. It’s incredible to me that a man with nothing but the shirt on his back, a lack of education, and a language barrier could come to own a few houses, a few cars, send a kid to college, and still have some money and energy left over to encourage his wife to retire early.

In some ways I have turned into my parents and I guess I’m pretty okay with that.

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Music, Pop Culture

What it feels like when you stop enjoying a relationship


She would make everything easier when she was around. She would make the hours go by so quickly. She could put a smile on my face at the drop of a hat. But when I was sad, she let me cry it out. She said the things I wanted to say but couldn’t. She touched parts of my soul or wherever we store our feelings that I don’t think many humans have. She was my motivator. She was my rock. She was my joy.

And then something changed. Something terrible happened. She’s gone now. I don’t feel any of those things. Maybe the sadness.

I don’t yearn her. I don’t pine after her. I don’t think about her when I don’t have her near me. It breaks my heart.

I try to go back to her. I try to feel like I once felt. I’m just indifferent. She doesn’t do the things to my heart that she used to do.

Music and I were in a relationship. I think it’s over.

I used to listen to music almost constantly. With the graces of technology, I found a device to blast over the sounds of the shower. I was so proud the day I heard a Mumford’s song while vacuuming. It was truly enjoying the the advances of the 21st century in a first world country.

I was that annoying person who foolishly had a song set to play as a wake up alarm. You can be sure that every song I’ve ever had as an alarm is dead to me now. Although, that never stopped me from playing a new song I was addicted to on repeat for weeks.

Playing music at work was not only a necessity, but a must that had prerequisites. I would spend weekends compiling the perfect while working playlist, workout playlist, sad playlist, happy playlist, angry running playlist, can’t fall asleep playlist; you name it.

Tweet: Music to me was like an unexpected massage, by a beautiful person, while someone else hand fed me pizza. @jesspuente http://ctt.ec/2ec2b+Music to me was like an unexpected massage, by a beautiful person, while someone else hand fed me pizza. My music selection is generally seduced by my mood. At other times it lifts me up higher than Snoop Dogg on a Friday.

Yet, I have to confess, I feel it less than I used to. I don’t know why. I don’t know when it happened. I don’t know how long it will be.

This has happened in the past. There was always someone there to tell me it didn’t have to be this way. That I could truly feel and love again. Maybe it’s the lack of new music. Maybe it’s the level of stress that has completely overpowered any and all other emotions.

I figure I have two options. I can turn into a passionless, musically devoid, semi-human. Or, I can play music every day for as long as possible. I can drown out my fears, I can drown out my apathy, I can drown out my stress, I can dance instead of sit.

Recently, a very good friend suggested I listen to Nick Cave. Suggested isn’t the right word, enthusiastically and almost forcefully insisted is better. I’m so glad she did. I loved him. Perhaps, fondly remembering him from the Harry Potter series but this music paired perfectly with my mood. Like when you’ve had a hard day and you go to a new coffee shop and they get your order right on the first try.

I want music back in my life. If you have her in your life, send me your favorite songs. Not the catchy ones. The ones that make you feel. The ones you play on repeat. The ones that you couldn’t imagine a year without listening to. The ones you will never forget the lyrics to.

Send me those.

 

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Uncategorized

About life and driving, and which one needs better maps


When you’re on the road, you find you have a lot of time to think.

You have a lot of time to think when you’re on a trail, too.

You might even find that you have a lot of time to think when you’re taking the trash out.

You don’t have as much time to think when you’re avoiding rocks in the road.

Or when you’re avoiding sharp spikes.

You don’t have as much time to think when you’re trying to figure out how to climb over something.

And sometimes there is something interesting in your way that causes your mind to be led astray by imagination and you find there is time to think after all.

But beautiful things can be distracting. So you have to find your way on the road again.

You think about a lot of things as you go down this road.

The beauty and wonder of life.

And maybe how fragile it is and how quickly it can be taken away.

I get lost a lot when I’m driving. But there always seems to be a map or a sign letting me know where I’m headed.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t come with maps. So you just kinda have to keep going. Until you run into something so great, you don’t have to think about it.

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Uncategorized

Moving and meeting memorable Marys


There are a lot of memorable Marys in my life.

My mother’s name is Mary. There’s Mary Bo Peep. That Mary all those people pray to and that sometimes appears on trees.

But today I was quite fortunate to have met another memorable Mary. We only spoke on the phone 15 minutes and seven seconds but I haven’t been able to forget the things she said to me.

Mary is 63 and was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago. Around the same time, her sister was diagnosed with colon cancer.

“I am really pleased that this horrible experience with my sister and I having cancer at the same time has brought our family closer. We’re all so far apart geographically,” she told me.

It’s not often you hear the word pleased and having cancer in the same sentence. But she told me at the beginning of the interview, she has always been an optimistic person.

“I don’t really think that I’ve changed a whole lot. I’ve always been an optimistic person and I still am. You tend to value each day a little more than you used to. You get the possibility of mortality every day and that’s frightening but then you realize you can certainly still fight.”

This sort of positivity is truly impressive. And it reminded me of my cousin’s. She was the exact same way. I swear this girl would pretty much have parties to cheer her friends up about the cancer she was fighting. She basically had a “beat cancer” campaign that politicians and vegans everywhere would be jealous of.

In a year, I’ll be her age.

But she inspires me all the time. In the same way, Mary inspired me today.

I felt a bop on my head and like the lights had finally come on when Mary was talking to me about going through chemo. How she had to go through it for six months in the beginning, and then on-and-off after that. She talked about the things you realize.

“Chemo is very hard. You don’t know what tired is.”

I asked her what advice she would give to new patients. At the very end of her answer, it sounded as if her tone had changed from giving advice to new patients to just giving advice.

“And I would say, do as much physical exercise as you can do. If all you can do is walk to the mailbox, then you walk there. Because the day after that, you’ll be able to walk to the corner. And the day after that, you will be able to walk around the block, and that helps a lot with your mental outlook.”

I just moved to Riverside, California for a new job and I hadn’t written since my move. I had thought about it a lot but picking up your life and moving to a new city where you have never been and you don’t know anyone and starting a new job in the same circumstances, well. That makes a person tired. Or so I thought, until today.

I hope some Mary inspires you someday.

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