Stepping into Intimidation (Life After College)

“We don’t stop going to school when we graduate.” ~ Carol Burnett

       It has almost been a full month since I graduated with my bachelors; however, it only feels as if I am just on winter break. Now that my roommate has gone back to school, reality is finally setting in; I am now an alumni of Fort Lewis College.  Alike many others who have already graduated, and many who have yet to feel this phenomenon, it gives me mixed emotions.

Continue reading “Stepping into Intimidation (Life After College)”

Aqui Te Espero

“I choose you. And I’ll choose you over and over and over. Without pause, without a doubt, in a heartbeat. I’ll keep choosing you.” – Unknown

Our paths crossed on a Sunday afternoon  (August 29, 2015). It was my third week in Puerto Rico, and my roommate (Amy) invited me to go to the beach with her and a friend (Brian). I had no idea we were even picking anybody up until Brian called his friend to be ready in ten minutes. As soon as he walked out of his house my heart stopped; here was this incredibly attractive latin man and he was walking my way. I was trying to suppress my giddiness and not act stupid, but I could not help myself from smiling as he opened the door.

It was not easy knowing that the person you are falling for is going to be far away once December came; not only did I originally live in Colorado, he was also starting the US Marines in February. We knew we had many obstacles to overcome but that didn’t intemidate us from growing closer and closer together.

Ever since meeting this man, I have lived a happier life. He is both my best friend and my boyfriend. He has helped me work though so many insecurities and walls I have put up. He cares for me when I am sick, calls me beautiful even when I gained weight or look like I woke up in hell, he calms me down when I am anxious, and supports and cheers me on to be the best.  He’s the man I have always dreamed of, but never thought I would get the opportunity to love. I am so thankful to have somebody in my life who is as loyal, caring, supportive, loving, and thoughtful.

It’s funny because everyone tells me how surprised they are to see me in a long distance relationship since I used to always be so against them. However it only took the right person to change that. I do have to admit that is difficult and hard; everyday we have to deal with  conflicting schedules, sometimes we miscommunicate or there is a lack of communication, most often one of us is stressed or having a bad day, etc. Sometimes the hardest part is not knowing when I am going to see him again.

I will always be by his side as his best friend and his girlfriend. I cannot wait for the day that I will be close by his side and we aren’t separated, however I will continue to wait for however long I have to.

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Abuelos: Grandparents

My grandma, Phyllis, and my grandpa, Donald, are some of the biggest role models in my life. There are various contributing factors to why I have looked up to them my entire life; some I can explain (which I will attempt to demonstrate in this post) and some I cannot interpret from my emotions to words [because in some instances, words cannot and do not have the capability nor the power to explain the connotation of an emotion], which only allows me to explain it by hugs and visits. They both have always given lessons and advice to each and every person in my family no matter if they wanted it or not, they were always there even after it was apparent your should have taken their advice or warning, and no matter the distance, they are always there to support their family. However, they also taught me lessons and affected me in ways they would never imagine; only because of who they are as a person, as a couple, and as a family.
          My grandparents were married for (I think) 58 years. My grandparents were lucky; they were able to experience and be married to somebody who made them feel like they were loved; for what seems like an eternity. They relished in their relationship by cherishing and supporting each other, even when it was difficult to do so. They created a beautiful family together and they loved every single child unconditionally; as well as providing nothing but love, support, and many great life experiences for each and every one of them. My grandmother stood strong by my grandpas side during his time in the military. Not only was she supporting him throughout his career in the military, [which is something many spouses cannot endure] she also moved all over the world with him. All at the same time, some how they were able to do all this, with the accompany of their children.
           My grandma supported my grandpa and loved him through thick and thin. She was his wife, a friend, an adventure partner, and a mentor; she was his framework and support in his life. My grandpa was the same for her, he tried to be the best man, friend and husband that he possibly could and reciprocated his love, support, and friendship to my grandma. All at the same time,  being amazing parents, mentors, and life coaches to a bunch of crazy children. 😉
          They were fortunate to experience true love and how powerful/meaningful it is. Like I have come to believe, nothing that has significant importance will ever come easy. You will have to fight for it and there will be sacrifices you will have to make. There will be a range of: simplex and easy lessons to very long, hard, and complex lessons you will learn. Despite the fact, that there may be times you will second guess yourself and what you really want, or if you have the endurance to keep going, and you may feel lost at times (or many). In the end, it will be worth it; but only if you work hard and believe in yourself and that this is possible [even when it feel impossible.] Because not only will the reward will be unfathomably amazing, this process of sacrificing things and learning every type of lesson, will only help you become a stronger person and show you that the impossible is in fact possible. And even if what you are working for is love and a good/healthy relationship (which is a never ending goal for every couple/marriage), you will only continue to strengthen your love with your partner and your ability to work through any obstacle in the way.
          Although my grandpa unfortunately passed away December 2014, he has always and will always be in my heart. He had an amazing life and many opportunities to experience things that many people could only dream of or read about. Even during the times he was sick and in the hospital, he was the most thoughtful, compassionate, and outgoing man I have ever seen. No only did he never stop showing his love and appreciation for his wife and each and every member of his family, but he always provided compassion and love to his friends and acquaintances, his coworkers, and even to strangers. His heart was so big and no matter what there was always room for more. A few of my friends were lucky enough to met my grandpa. After being introduced he would instantly try figure out their life story. He would make every guest feel like they were part of the family. After meeting someone, he would continue to inquire about their wellbeing, even if he never saw them again. Which was surprising to me because I would sometimes assume he would forgot about who they were or sometimes I would ‘naively’ think he didn’t care to know. I will always remember everything he taught me from: making me cry because he yelled at me for picking up a knife the wrong way, to making sure I do not step on peoples noses when they push me up from the pool to the diving board/be careful when my limbs are close to peoples faces while they try to because it can and will give people bloody noses. One characteristic that my mother learned from him and then I learned from both of them; is to show compassion to everyone and get to know somebody and everybody; because having a caring community is powerful for: the soul, the individual, and for everybody.
          I has been around a year and three months, and still to this day, my poor grandma (and our family) grieves his death. However, she never ceases to amaze me. She has had to experience one of the worst situations that life has to offer; the loss of somebody you love. Within this year she has had to learn how to do live her life without the support and love she’s had for at least 58 years, she’s had to learn how to grieve; and even thought it may not be close to being over; she has already endured so much. She is the strongest woman I know! No matter how hard it is and how lonely it must be, she is able to keep her head up and is able to living her life to the fullest. Not only was she already able to recuperate from a surgery, but she also travelled to Hawaii, and is now completing her life long dream to go to Australia and New Zealand.
          I am beyond lucky to have such amazing role models and positive influences in my life.For, everyday I have people who support me, teach me, love me, and encourage me. I am proud to call my grandparents my family, and as well as to be their granddaughter. As well as not forgetting, that thanks to my grandparents, I have the best mother a girl could possibly wish for.
          Although this family they created, is odd and weird to say the least; we are strong, we are silly and can make anything fun, we flourish with each others love and support no matter the distance, and we accept each other through thick and thin. I can safely assume, that everybody from their children to their great grandchildren (and everybody in between); we all have always had the best guidance, support, and love from them both. Although the guidance and advice they give can be bit critical or something you may not want to hear, they both just want the best for everybody. I will admit that sometimes it can be hard to live up to the high expectations they always had for each and every one of us. At the same time, it is always comforting to know that there is always somebody routing for me and believing in me, and somebody who knows my self worth, even when I can’t.

*I do have to say that, that I am proud of all parts of my family. And I am lucky and will forever appreciate everybody in it!

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Long Distance;

Status of this unadorned blog:

          Because I am currently working 30 hours a week and take 15 credits of classes that love to give me an insane amount of homework and projects; I lack any time to keep my blog more then a post every blue moon or so. And quiet honestly when I am rewarded the  opportunity free moment,* I either take a quick nap or write letters to my best friend/boyfriend who is currently in the marines. However, I could’t resist posting this poem I found because it explains my feelings at the moment. Even though, this relationship is rather young in time, there are times when a person can tell the connection they have to somebody is worthwhile.

Don’t let the miles between us
Keep our love apart
Just listen close and you will hear
The beating of my heart

No distance, will ever keep
My heart from loving you
There are no more tears for it to weep
For a love that runs so true

I’ll be there with you one day soon
To love you everyday
And then my heart will sing a tune
And you will hear it say

I’ve finally found my one true love
As true as one can be
And now your all I’m thinking of
Forever stay with me

Author: Unknown

 

*free moment: Has an undefined amount of time, because it varies every time this phenomenon occurs. The phenomenon occurs commonly when one procrastinates their homework; or becomes distracted because the of the lack of being focused during their homework.

The Desire to Travel, Even During the Impossible

Whenever I have troubles with insomnia (or have homework to procrastinate) I travel somewhere. However, these journeys do not involve airports or planes and bidding farewell. These quests simply require the use of one simple tool: my computer, so I can access my photo albums! And a big thanks to Marty McFly, because we all learner and know that the best ways to travel…is back in time.
The moment my eyes see a photo, I can instantly travel the networks of my brain to that specific memory. The details of each photo contains vary, but each have some sort of thought and memory. The simple facts about the photo are what come the quickest; the location, time range/date, who is in it, what camera I used, etc. And automatically the rest of the information will be accessible. I.e. what or who inspired me to take the photo, who it was intended for, what I did that day and who I was with, my thoughts and feelings. Sometimes I could remember my goals, accomplishments, motivations, and even if I bought something that day.

On occasion it can be difficult; the desire to travel will become ineberating to the point that I feel imprisoned; I see people who I miss and wish to be close to; I even can remember events that I’ve tried to annihilate from my memory. Yet the absolute worst part, is when I am not able to recognize the individual staring back at me in the photo…but in reality, it is just me looking at a photo of myself. Nevertheless, the contents of my history cannot be tampered with. They are permanent (whether I like it or not) and each one has shaped me into the person I am today. These memories for better or for worse, have taught me many life lessons and they will continue to to teach me more. And with every storm that came into my life, I was fortunate enough to have the support and care I needed and could ever wish for.

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Contradictions

As each day passes I am approaching the end of my stay in this island of paradise. To say that I am feeling sentimental about this chapter of my life ending, is an understatement. I don’t know where to start because I can easily contradict what I say with another thought. For example, I am thankful for all the experiences I have had in Puerto Rico. I got lost in Old San Juan, explore and watch monkeys in a forest in Cabo Rojo,  enjoy the beautiful bioluminescent bay in Parguera, celebrate Oktoberfest in Bavaria, jump from old ship docks at Crashboat, Aguadilla, celebrate a beautiful wedding in Mayagüez, and not to mention sunbathe in various beaches. However, I was not able to travel to as many places as I would have enjoyed to go. I  failed to visit the caves, go zip lining, explore the Yunque rain forest, and see many Puerto Rican cities. It did not take many days to live here to realize that it is necessary to buy/rent a car in order go to places; because the public transportation here is non-existent and nagging your local friends only works a few times. I cannot blame them, for they have lived here their entire lives and have many more years to visit the places they have not yet seen, whereas I have until December 22 to do so. This is why I always tell myself that it is necessary to do as much as possible in a country that I am visiting because I would rather be content with what I have done than regretting the experiences that I failed to complete. Before traveling I always tell myself that this is a one in a lifetime experience, and I do not know if I would be able to return again. By convincing myself of this uncertainty, it helps my motivation to adventure as much as possible.

Being an exchange student also brings in another factor. In reality, I came here to study and perfect my Spanish. I should be giving school my first priority, not traveling. However, what is the point of doing an exchange program, if the entire time you are stuck in school or your apartment? It is a fine balance that I feel so many people struggle with when they go on exchange. As I look back on my entire semester, I can admit that there are multiple instances where I should have focused on my school career and failed to do so. Because I did come to Puerto Rico to help my knowledge in another language, I luckily do not need just a classroom to accomplish this. As I am sitting and writing this I can say that my Spanish has improved since I have been here. Sometimes it has been difficult because so many people start speaking in English because they can see that I either have difficulty speaking in Spanish or that I have said a word in the conversation because I am spending the entire time translating. I enjoy that they speak to me in English because it is a lot easier talking in my native tongue; however I did not come to Puerto Rico to do so.

Overall, Puerto Rico has treated me well. Although I cannot wait to see my family at home and see my friends I have abandoned, I will be very sad leaving this island. It will forever be a part of my life, for it has given me so much. I knew coming here I would have an experience of a lifetime, however I am pretty sure I didn’t expect it to be this great. This only makes me crave to be finished with school so I can travel even more.

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Surviving My Thoughts

I had a lot of time to sit and ponder about life yesterday. This was due to the fact I was stuck at the doctors office and hospital for a total of nine hours and my phone died during the first three.

I have always been fascinated to understand why people choose the majors they do. Whenever I ask people or see fellow classmates or students on campus, a series of questions run through my head. Did something significant happen in their life that could be related to a certain major and they wanted to pursue it because of that? Are they studying a certain major just because there are money benefits? Or were they expected to go into a concentration because it was a family trade?

Although this will always be a fascinating subject for me, I have found that I have now moved onto a different series of questions. (I think this is due to the fact I am nearing the end of my college career.) However, to get to those set of questions you have to sit and read how my day went yesterday…

Flashback to October 21, 2015
Where:  Mayagüez, Puerto Rico
When: 8:10AM

After waiting patiently at the doctors office for 15 minutes my name was called via intercom with a thick Puerto Rican accent. I told the doctor all of my problems and she sat patiently trying to understand my frantic English and occasional Spanish. She looked at me with caring eyes and told me very calmly where to go next, what to do, and what was going to happen. After I did everything I was required to do, including a lovely shot in the nalga (butt), I laid down in a bed to see if the pain would decrease. I was also “rewarded” with a heating pad to help with the pain. I must say resting in an AC room and a heating pad on your stomach is rather relaxing and every doctor office should offer this! After leisurely waiting an hour and a half for my shot to kick in, the doctor came back in to asses my issues. Because my condition did not better within time, they loaded me into a mini ambulance and took me to the nearest hospital. Even though it was entertaining to ride in the mini ambulance, it was rather unnecessary in my opinion.

I arrived at the hospital after a short drive. Because there were no rooms or people available I had to awkwardly wait on a stretcher in the middle of the ER for about 30 minutes. During this time I proceeded to people watch (my favorite hobby) and observe everybody who worked there to people who look like regulars at the ER or people who were very sick and obviously needed help. I finally got loaded into a tiny office where I had to explain all of my problems and my background information to somebody who could barely speak English. After about 15 minutes of struggling with the language barrier, I got transferred to a small area with curtains as walls and sick people as neighbors. I looked around and realized I was the only gringa there and that I was the only person who didn’t have somebody that had accompanied me. I continued to observe everybody for an hour until my doctor finally presented himself and proceeded to ask all the same questions the lady asked me an hour before. It took two more hours for a nurse to take my blood, give me medicine, and order me to pee in a cup. She then scurried off and let me marinate for another hour in my curtain room until I could get wheeled off for a few tests. It wasn’t until 5:00pm hit, that my feet touched the cement of the streets outside for the first time since the morning.

I guess long story short, I had a lot of time to people watch.

As somebody who is currently majoring in the health industry, the hospital is a very interesting place to be. I saw workers there who I could tell hated every moment, I saw others who loved their job, I even saw people who were neutral about it and looked like a robot. However, they all had something in common; they worked hard to earn their degree/degrees, they had to take boards and do all this with good grades. It made me happy when I saw the people who enjoyed their work, it gives me hope that I will find a job I enjoy just as much as they do. But, what about the people who were robots and looked like they were being tortured? These types of people make me confused, and make me doubt my college education at times. Why did they go through all that, just to hate their job? What happens if I don’t find a job in my field that I like? Will I even find a job? What if I got a degree all for nothing? What do I want to do with my life?

I know that this crisis will only worsen as graduation approaches. Specially since the only thing I want to do in life is travel the world (my wallet would convince you otherwise.) All I know is going to school, by the time I graduate I will have been in school for 16.5 years, it is rather likely I will have an identity crisis but who knows how small or big that will be. Don’t get me wrong I will enjoy not having to worry about tests and homework, but it will be different once I am completely finished and just have to worry about a job. However, do I even want to grow up? Can I just not grow up, work at a hostel or restaurant, and travel the world?

Thank you life!