Something Tells Me There’s Something Good Happening

My life has been filled with love. So much love I could explode. So much love that, even when people are mean, hurtful, or cynical I can still find a bright side and accept a person for who they are. We’re all here to do something extraordinary with our lives. We can take what makes us love hard and live passionately and turn it into an ambition that we’ll let no obstacle stand in our way. Our love comes from something in our adolescence that we’ve embedded in our hearts to love. Our passion stems from what hurts us most. When we hit absolute breaking point, to the point where we don’t think we can live on, but we do that’s when passion is created. The love and pain come from my family. My passion, my love, and my ambitions in life, all stem from my parents.

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We don’t choose the family we’re born into but I wouldn’t trade mine for the world. I’ve written about my dad’s drug addiction and about the pain of not being close to my mom over the years, but I really want to start this 2017 blog revival off with the things that I love about these two amazing humans who each have a story of their own that led them to where they are.

We all come from somewhere and somehow, no matter how hard life starts out, there’s something about our past that we can embrace and take with us on this journey to mold us into who we want to be. We’re a product of our environment and genes. It’s up to us to take what we’re made from, polish it, and embrace the heck out of it.

 

Here are some things that I love about these two people who made me: 

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My mom is the smartest woman I know. She knows every answer to Jeopardy and if you ask her about a movie she will have answers faster than IMDb. She’s never been the type to ask people for advice. Even if she’s conflicted, she sticks by her decisions and doesn’t turn to anyone for approval. I love that about her and I’ve never noticed till my friend recently pointed out that she loves how I just do things when I say I want to. I get that from her and I’ve never appreciated that about my mom till recently. She thrives on getting better. No matter how sick she gets, she loves to impress herself and go above and beyond what the doctors expect of her. I know a lot of people say their mom is the best cook ever but I challenge that. My mom is Mexican but gosh, does she cook Italian well. In fact, I didn’t even realize that most of our meals at Christmas were Italian dishes till I moved to North End and I correlated lasagna and stuffed shells to Italian. She’ll never sit down to eat with us because she’ll be cooking until everyone has had their dessert. I myself love cooking for friends and I now see the enjoyment my mom has when she did this for us. It’s about creating the conversation without even being there. You do it with a meal full of love and that’s the most rewarding part. My mom’s sense of humor is dirty and twisted, just like I like it. Most importantly, the way my mom raised me as a baby is something that will always amaze me. Watching the tapes of her talking to me and telling me to take care of my dolls, taking them for a walk and making sure to tell them they look beautiful. Her voice has more love than a lullaby when she speaks to me.

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My dad is the most stubborn and sweet man. It will always seem to me to be the 8th wonder of the world how a man so masculine can have a daughter and instantly melt into a cute teddy bear. I’ve never seen someone who would sacrifice so much for someone. Living in Allston, I remember a woman had locked her keys in the car and was crying and my dad made sure to help. I remember thinking of my dad as Superman from that day. When I scraped my knee riding bikes at the Charles River he told me he’d ride both bikes and I thought he was so silly, but when he rode his bike with one hand and the other hand on my bike, as I hobbled along I thought he was a genius. Whenever I’d have friends over, my dad would give my friends $20. He was so generous with money, he just wanted everyone to be happy and has never had an ounce of greed. School became the most important aspect of my life and that was because my dad put a value in my accomplishments at school higher than anything else. The only thing that my dad instilled that was greater than my education was my morality. Right and wrong, ironically, was something he didn’t take lightly. I remember sitting on the steps of our basement while he did laundry, explaining to me the importance of being honest and kind. Making sure to only use honesty as a way to better serve someone, and to not take actions that will hurt others. Brushing stress and negativity off my shoulders has been much easier remembering all the phone calls where my dad has reminded me not to make mountains out of molehills.

 

 

 

Never Forget Where You Come From

“So much of what is best in us is bound up in our love of family, that it remains the measure of our stability because it measures our sense of loyalty”

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I come from a mother and father that engrained compassion and love so strongly into my whole being that it shines through and touches those around me. I love so deeply and I care so much about creating meaning in every situation. I work extremely hard and don’t turn any challenge away. I am proud of who I am and I know how I deserve to be treated. I owe that to them.

My mom and dad are both struggling so hard in life and yet they always seem to find a way to make it through. Although I am so scared every day that I will lose them, to the point that sometimes I push them away, I still feel a love and bond with them even when we go weeks without talking.

No matter what my dad and mom are going through they fight through the darkness and always find a way to find the light by me. Ask anyone who knows my parent’s sickness and they will tell you that I am what keeps them alive. It’s a hard thing to swallow as I am trying to keep improving myself and knowing that I can’t help everyone. It’s overwhelming to know that you simply being is what drives people to carry on. I don’t think I deserve the honor but I think there is a purpose for my parent’s strength.

1/19 7:58AM “It was so good to hear from You. You make me want to do good and do something good with myself. I adore you, there is no better anything about anyone than You . God Bless, Daddy”

On my way to DC for a business trip, I was talking to someone at the airport and the last thing he said to me was you should never forget where you come from. It wasn’t the first time I heard this, but it was a quick reminder that I have a true, meaningful story of where I come from. If only he knew how purposeful my life feels because of who my parents are and how they raised me.

 

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No matter where you end up: in riches or rags, in fame or alone, find fulfillment in who you were raised to be. That’ll always be the testament of your stability. 

 

Why I smile at Strangers

As I walk down the street and there is only me and one other person. I put away my phone and from about 10 feet away I smile. The woman looks like she has a lot on her mind. She glances at me, looks away, and at about 5 feet she looks back at me and smiles back. And those are those kinds of smiles that make me feel alive. It is not a smile that comes from someone giving a compliment. It is not a smile that comes from doing anything particularly special. It is a smile that comes from accepting one another. It is her and I not caring how late we may be to work, not focusing on the stresses of our lives, not caring about our differences. We were mindfull of eachother and a lot times that can be the start to change someones day. Whether you are recieving the smile or giving it.

Because we smiled at eachother we walked past eachother with positive thoughts on our mind of how strangers can be nice. When she was out of site, I thought of how she might’ve been having a really bad day but she took that one moment to smile at me.

One summer day I was walking down Somerset Street, passed the Suffolk University dorms when a man and I smiled at eachother as we began crossing the road to oposite sides. At the sidewalk island we began chatting! He asked how my day was going and I said great. He said he worked at the State House and I told him how I was in my last semester of undergrad. We talked about the beautiful weather and then he pulled banana chips out of his bag! He began eating them while we were standing their and I told him how delicious they looked. He held them out and said have some! There we were two strangers, sharing a snack, in the middle of a traffic divider, all because of a simple smile. 

 

Reunited with my dad

My dad is free and I was able to see him for the first time in 5 years outside of prison walls. I received the phone call from my grandpa.

“Dads lawyer called, he said ‘congratulations, your son will be released tomorrow’.” I couldn’t contain my excitement, and the whole situation didn’t even feel real. I felt as though there was no way it could be real. I immediately left work and rushed to the liquor store to buy the best, most affordable wine I could. Then I rushed over to my dads lawyers office and hugged him for a solid 5 minutes.

It still hadn’t hit me that he would be free in one more day. The anticipation was killing me. I had to work my typical 12 hour day that day (Thursday) but my mind was wandering the whole time. At 8:45PM the host at the restaurant called me outside and it was time to see my dad again. 

It didn’t feel real but his hug was so comforting. In Russian he told me how much he loved me and we went inside and I introduced him to every single person who I worked with. Walking inside felt the realist like, wow I have worked here for 3 years and my dad is here for the first time right now. We had a great night talking and catching up and the next day we explored Boston together.

My dad has freedom now. It is a new start. When I look at my dad I do not have anything but love and appreciation for him. I do not ever hold it above his head that he has been absent for the five years because I feel so lucky that he is still alive. I do not blame him for missing things such as my high school and college graduation because I know that he needed these five years to become sober. He was given another chance and when I look at him I want him to be strong.

My dad has to be strong and I know I have no control over that. It is up to him to choose to stay sober but I will be supporting him on every step of that journey. I wouldn’t be where I am today without his support and love and the least I can do is love and support him back. If something were to happen I would not have any regrets. I can only control myself and I can only hope that my dads see the way I live and how happy I am and want to do the same.

So far things are going great. My dad is sober. He is no longer locked away. I no longer have to pay $50 to answer his phone calls and they will not be cut off at 20 minutes. I get to call him first. I am the luckiest girl in the world and I know that. I took a path of staying sober and I can’t imagine if I used my parents sickness as an excuse for my own because if I did I would not be sharing this beautiful reunion with my dad the same way.

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Eyes Don’t Lie

Looking into my dads eyes while he was high was the hardest part of dealing with his addiction. Glossy, incoherent. His eyes shut slow in slow motion with a blank stare. They were my dads beautiful eyes, but something had an evil varnish over them. It was in his voice as well but nothing was more painful than losing the life from eyes that used to shine so bright.

If he were able to hold his composure for a minute he would look at me. Often I would ask him what he was doing.

“What is wrong with you?!”I would say.

“Nothing. Im tired.”

“Nothing? What is wrong with you?!”

The answer was never anything truthful or anything I would have liked to hear. But I think that was the problem I was searching and begging for an answer that would make everything better, but in reality it would never happen. There is nothing an addict can say while they are high that will make it better. We will always search for something to hold onto, however, because we will always love that person.

My dad would never admit he was high. Whether he was denying it or making excuses it was an unbearable pain. Why are you lying to my face? Why are you hurting me? Why do I want to believe your excuses? Why can’t you change?

It’s a bad habit to get into asking these questions all the time. As much as we wish our loved one could answer these questions truthfully, optimistically, or promisingly, we must be honest with ourselves. You will see the eyes you love and have known, and then you will see that thick plexiglass blocking all the trust, faith, and strength that they are trying to let break through.

The lies will spill from the mouth and you will want to believe but the eyes do not lie.

The best thing you can do is refocus your energy. Take the truth that you learn from the eyes and remember that these aren’t the eyes that see you as a friend, a loved one, or family. It’s distorted in their mind because there is just one thing that can distort any sort of love and faith that person wants to give.  Stay strong.

 

Why I am not worried if my dad will relapse again

It has been almost five years since my father has been in prison and sometime in August he will be released.

It is something that is a bit bittersweet. Of course I have not been able to see my dad often in the past five years, I cannot call him whenever I want, and I just really miss him being around. While in prison, I know that my father has medical attention, he has a place to sleep, and he is eating (and I know he has been eating because he has gained so much weight). Most importantly I know that he is not getting high.

I am going to support him 100% and I will cheer him on everyday. I have faith in my father but I do understand that it will be a struggle for him everyday. My dad has forgot what freedom feels like and my dad has only heard about, but has not seen, the painstaking increase in heroin addicts. It is going to be something he will have to confront and an urge he is going to have to fight everyday and I understand that.

I will support my dad and I will think of him every moment I am not with him. Unlike how I dealt with his addiction when I was thirteen, I now know that I have nothing to do with the choices he makes. I know that it is not a measurement of how much he loves me. It is a power he needs to reach inside himself and grab. There are going to be a million and one reasons he will be discouraged upon his release and I know I am not one of them and that is the most I can do.

If my dad were to relapse I would not hate him. I would not resent him. I would be disappointed. A little heartbroken. I would not be an enabler. I would be honest wit him and tell him I cannot allow his lifestyle to interject with mine. But I would let him know that he is always going to be my father and I will always love him. And we as a father-daughter relationship stand for a rare family love that people rarely find in life or at least until later.

My dad and I are meant to set an example to the youth and young parents who are addicts, that the choice of painkillers and drugs are not meant to destroy a relationship like a father-daughter have (or any other relationship). Time will tell whether the next chapter ends well or bad. The chapters only end when I give up and that won’t happen.

TAKEN FROM BUZZFEED

I don’t feel bad for you.

The picture featured for this blog post made me cry and I think its very relevant for the following piece you are about to read. This piece is a harsh narrative full of advice I have for you and your biggest battles. It is honest and sincere and I hope that it either makes you mad or makes you think. Either way, it will motivate you.

There is a thin line between having compassion and being an enabler of excuses. When I wrote this piece I was thinking about myself and my experiences and what I think people need to hear when facing their problems. When I was in 9th grade my teacher explained that if he gave us an excuse for not doing something the way it should be done, we would accept the excuse and use it, because that is just the way humans are.

In order to succeed we need to stay away from coddling, self-pity, excuses, enablers, and vices.

Continue reading “I don’t feel bad for you.”