Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Original Dreamer


I first get a glance of her as she makes her way down the hallway, pushing her cleaning cart. “Hola, como esta?" I say in Spanish. She tells me she’s fine and is ready to call it a day. Some days this will be our only encounter, and other days, I will purposely place myself at the break room or in the hallway,  in hopes I get to tell her goodbye one more time. The cleaning lady at my job, not only reminds me of my mother but she also reminds me of myself.

It's been twenty-six years since my mother made the grueling journey of crossing the border in search of a better life. The financial and political distresses in Mexico left little room for a life of joy and job opportunities. Once settled in Texas, one of my mother’s first jobs was housekeeping at a local motel. Since she had no one to look after me, I would tag along. I'd knock on the door, "house keeping!?" and at the sign of no response, I would eagerly enter the room. I was about four years old, and yet I can still recall our daily routine, the color of the sheets and room layout.

My mother would continue in this line of work for years, eventually moving on to cleaning houses. I have fond memories of playing in strangers’ living rooms, play grounds, and backyards. There was this one time we house-sat for a prominent Dallas lawyer over the weekend. I woke up early to catch the Saturday morning cartoons. I grew up with basic cable, so this was the only time cartoons would be shown. I happened to flip through the channels and came across 'Nickelodeon.’ Boy was that a game changer! Cartoons all day? What world was this? That’s when I realized rich people had it made. So imagine me wearing an oversize t-shirt, eating a bowl of cereal and watching cartoons in a stranger’s living room all by herself. I was living my best life at five years old. 



As years went by, my mother moved on to cleaning offices in the downtown area. One summer, when I was seventeen years old, I needed cash for my senior year expenses. Of course my mom was not about to just hand over $800 overnight, so she made me work for it. While my friends were getting summer jobs at local pizza joints and nearby shoe stores, I was helping her take out trash and vacuum offices for hours.

Our nights would begin by walking through metal detectors, before and after, to ensure we weren’t bringing any weapons or stealing anything. After arriving to our designated floor, we would start by emptying trash cans and dusting off desks. This alone took hours. 

But something caught my eye every night and it’s something I still look back to this present day.

As I walked by the empty cubicles, I was captivated by the stories being told through family portraits, kid’s drawings and whatever decor people displayed on their desks. I wanted to know who they were and ask if they liked their job. Did they live in huge houses? What exactly did they do for this company? Are they currently having dinner and drinking wine at fancy restaurant? What kind of car did they drive? I would spend hours thinking about their lives and how far my reality seemed from theirs.

The floor that fascinated me the most was the top floor, because on it was a Texas State Representative’s office. She had pictures of herself with Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and past Presidents. Months had gone by but she still had the memorial program of Coretta Scott King’s (MLK’s wife) funeral, who had passed away earlier that year, sitting at her desk. I’ll admit, I went through it a couple of times.  

I became a dreamer in that hotel room and that stranger’s living room. Now here I was still a DREAMER in disguised. I knew that my situation would not afford me a job opportunity at an office like this. My job would always be behind the scenes, after everyone's gone home. 

More than twelve years have gone by and I still look back at those late nights. Vacuuming an entire floor was torture, I don't miss that. Now I work at a huge office, surrounded by cubicles. People continue to display pictures of their kids, and husbands, along with drawings and small decor items to show their personalities. It’s not the glamorous job I had envisioned, but to my seventeen year old self, it's the job I believed I was never worthy of having. 


TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK…


A very special shout out to my friend, Alison Bermea (@ZolchiRonnie), who is an aspiring writer and helped me edit this post. I added a few things to the final version, so all errors are mine. Please be nice and enjoy! 

Last updated 4/19/18 at 11:06 pm

Monday, April 16, 2018

Birthday Weekend


I celebrated my 29th birthday this past Friday in the most adult way possible. I showed up to work late, had dinner with two of my best friends (and sister) and was in bed by 10:00 pm. A minor misunderstanding at work almost ruined this special day but dinner with friends made up for it.

Saturday night I went out with my best friends, and I felt 21 all over again. It's honestly how my 21st birthday should have been celebrated. Instead, I was in college and broke. The only reason I even turned up to my own birthday dinner is because I convinced my boyfriend, at the time, to pay for my meal. It's crazy how I can recall how I've spent every birthday in my twenties, and they just keep getting better and better.

Waiting for our tacos at 2:30 AM

Some call it "the birthday blues," but I usually get emotional around my birthday. I start to think about past regrets, future goals and all the current responsibilities that I just want to avoid. Some days are harder than others, especially when you have your entire family depending on you for financial and emotional support. Heck, there are there days I don't have the motivation to get out of bed. But I show up. I tell myself I gotta show up every day. For a while I use to believe I needed to have my life together by a certain age. I pretended I did. But as the years have gone by, I'm starting to embraced this "I don't have my sh*t together and what" mantra. This is not where I envision myself at 29 but it's far more than what I could have expected. I trust His timing and believe there's a bigger purpose to my life as the birthdays continue to pile on. So here's to being 29 and still trying to get it right. 

Updated 4/17/18 

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Hold my taco

*begins to write*

Well hello there! It's been close to three years since my last blog post and a lot has happen since then. I've met new friends, explored new places, went back to school and everything in between. 

So let's see what I've been up to since 2015. 

Traveling. 
I was blessed with the opportunity to check out some cool placesfrom New York City to Miami to the west side of Texas. It's my dream to travel some more and venture off into the west coast. 
New York City. Empire State Building. June 2017.

Brooklyn Bridge. June 2017

Monday, December 14, 2015

Peace.

Today's message at church was about peace during the holidays. Why is it so hard to find peace during the Christmas season? Each year we make efforts to get our shopping done in advance, find ways to overcome family encounters and make sure everything goes according to plan. But then life gets in the way. We scramble around to do last minute shopping, find our family is not all on the same page about coming together or get caught up by other distractions.

It's easy to see how these circumstances can prevent us from enjoying a peaceful Christmas experience. Isaiah told us that with the arrival of this new King, also known as the Prince of Peace, a new lifetime of peace would enter the world.
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen! - Isaiah 9:6-7
Now the headlines around the world tell a different story. Terrorist attacks, mass shootings, political tensions, hate crimes. The list goes on. Jesus warned us against the troubles of this world.
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. - John 14:27
John MacArthur said it best in his sermon The Gift of Peace, "The peace Jesus is speaking of enables believers to remain calm in the most wildly fearful circumstances. The peace He gives has to be received and applied in our lives. If we lay hold of the promise of the very peace of Christ, we will have calm, untroubled hearts, regardless of external circumstances."

Pastor Mondy gave an example of why we often don’t find peace in our hearts. He pulled up a stool and stared at it. "Sure this looks like a strong stool. I believe this stool will hold me if I sit on it" It's easy find peace in joyful times but how do we hold on to this promise of eternal peace when we are given the bad news, mourn over the loss of a loved one or have trouble making ends meet. It's during those moments like that God's peace transcends all circumstances. We must sit on the stool. Whether it holds us or we fall, the peace of God remains the same. 

I can go on and on about today’s message of peace but I must catch some sleep. I strongly encourage you to read/listen to John MacArthur's The Gift of Peace[LINK HERE]

I hope you all find shalom (which I learned today means peace in Hebrew ) during the holidays. If you become anxious and need to calm your heart, read Matthew 6:25-34, one of my favorite passages. Have a good night!