STORY: Sunsets and sparkles

I'd like to take a moment to just share with the world how grateful I am to be alive today.
I witnessed not just one, but two beautiful sunsets in a row. One on top of the city and the other by the beach with family.

This morning, I finally got to take a concrete step towards the realization of my dream. Actually, just  confirming that I found the one thing that makes my eyes sparkle just talking about is a blessing in itself. Some people spend their entire lives trying to be happy without even knowing what will make them so. I'm halfway there and it has me filled with so much hope for the future.

As I go home tonight, I got to see this common yet so subtly beautiful side of the city I love and live in.
So much reasons to be alive, I don't want to feel otherwise ever again.

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I've been with Jose for over six years and my love for him only continues to grow and deepen. I can't explain it and I don't even know why I try to but I just want to immortalise this feeling of joy, gratitude and love. I still don't understand what I have done in my life to deserve him, but I'd rather not dwell on that because the universe might realize it and take him back. 

STORY: Travel young. Travel Often.

I don't know if it is just a generation thing but I honestly believe in the many benefits of traveling young, traveling anywhere and traveling often. I haven't gone to that many places since I started working but already, I'm looking at the world as a much bigger place. Now, I don't just know, but fully realize and believe, that the daily struggles I go through are so petty compared to the big world I have yet to explore. 

More than having photos and experiences I can treasure forever, being aware that there is so much more to learn, to see, to be, does wonders to my perspective of myself and the world. It makes me reflect to much deeper levels about who I want to be, where I want to go and what I want to do with the rest of my life. 

I know people would look at travel as a whim or a leisure activity (I used to), but with the cheap flights and accommodations available to everyone, it's feeling more like a crime to deprive one's self of what the world has to offer. Don't get me wrong, I'm not rich. I also struggle from pay check to pay check (admittedly, partly due to my poor finance management skills) but after my first trip, I realized I'd rather it be that way than to struggle through life without fully giving myself the chance to evaluate what the struggle is for. 

To more trips, self actualization and bigger pay checks! :)

STORY: Mother

I hate having this heavy, sucky feeling in my stomach. I’m trying to ignore it but the more I do, the more I’m aware of it. My mother and I fought today and I’m feeling really uneasy about it. I may appear like I couldn’t care less about people hating me but believe it or not, I’m struggling to fight the urge to succumb and just take the blame for the whole fiasco. You know, just to get it over with.  But, no… I will not take the sole blame. That wouldn’t help the situation; it wouldn’t help both parties and will definitely not help future arguments.

I don’t want to get into the details (we have so many fights, does it really matter at this point?) of what went down but I just want to share what I think was wrong about the entire thing.

My mom has this tendency to always assume the role of victim during arguments. Everything happens TO her, like she has no part whatsoever in the outcome of events. Also, once everything explodes in our faces, she has this reflex of finding someone to blame. It is always someone else’s fault, never hers. The hardest part is that she hasn’t come to terms with this, so it is very hard to talk to her about it.

I’m not writing to hate on her. I love her. I really do. But that doesn’t make any of what I just said less true, at least from my point of view. The traits I just mentioned are flaws, like everyone else has, and the silver lining is that the flaw is fixable. It’s not an incurable disease; there is something we can do about it. The problem is, every time I counter her reflex to put the blame on someone other than herself, it ends up blowing in my face and back to her “I am the victim mentality.” Other people just let her be, so it ends up looking like I hate her; that I’m the only one with the problem, not her.

I on the other hand am not very good at controlling my temper in heated arguments. I try to hold my tongue for as long as I can but when I feel that the other end is not receptive of what I’m trying to say, I snap. It’s wrong to snap at people, especially so if said “people” is your mother, but that is my flaw. And I’m working on that as much as I can. I haven’t snapped at people for a long time (not counting Jose, sorry) but no one is keeping track of this nor will anyone be giving me a plaque for how far I’ve come.  And to my mom, I’m just as bad as I was during the last time I snapped at her.

So let’s look back at what happened today: My mom was freaking out; I shouted my frustration at her and she started pointing fingers.  I shouldn't have shouted, I should have controlled my temper and calmed her down. She pointed fingers when she should have realized that it was not helpful, and should have instead acknowledged that someone was trying to help her find a solution.

I’m hoping this honest assessment, written with so much love and care, will help the two of us move forward in a new, mature way. I don’t want to deal with my mom the same way I have dealt with her when I was 15 or 17 or even 20. I’d like to believe I am past that stage… and I also strongly wish that she has gone past that stage, too! I am hoping and praying that she sees that I’m trying to fix this with her and not fix her.

Here’s hoping she doesn’t put fingers, instead holds my hand and that I don’t lose my temper, instead find my mother by my side.