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Friday, November 12, 2010

Work… Work… Work… Then Poof! We’re gone.

 

My aunt Rosa was the first person I knew closely who has passed away (other than Soila R.I.P)… She is the first family member.  I grew up being close to her.  Hey, we even shared beds.  Cancer took her life SO suddenly on Sept 23, 2010.  So suddenly.  None of us expected this at all.  She looked so full of life.  And she never complained about anything except a pain here and there “because of hard work”.  She was a housekeeper at a hotel… and she was 65.  Just almost nobody knew her age since she didn’t look it nor dress it :). 

I remember us in front of the long mirror in the bedroom along with my sister and other aunts dancing to her favorite kind of music—bachata.  As a young girl, she was teaching me how to dance this the ‘right way’… you know, gotta move the hips right… gotta have some flavor… cuz anybody can do 1-2-3-tap.  I think. 

We were shocked by her death.  I dream about her very frequently.  And many times, I just make believe that she’s in Dominican Republic (DR) with her family—and that this is why I don’t see her anymore.

Well… the reason I share this is because all her life here in America, she worked like a horse.  We all admit that her job was especially very hard physically on anybody.  But one of the things I admired about her was that every single year, she took a three month vacation to DR to be with her family.  She always brought to DR lots of clothes and toys for the kids over there.

And then I wondered… are we meant to just work and work and work without any real enjoyment of family and friends… even enjoyment of the money we’re working so hard to earn?  I don’t think so.  It’d be so sad to find oneself working non-stop and then realize that ‘life passed you by’…  I don’t think other countries are as ‘fast-paced’ as America is… maybe it’s what keeps up “#1”?  I’m happy my aunt took her three months off from work to visit her family in DR… I’m glad her job allowed her to do this.

So I’ve been inspired by Tyler at www.advancedriskology.com to live my life—to live my dreams, without fear.  To be one of those people who does what I’ve always ‘thought’ of doing, but never could.  I mean Tyler goes mountain climbing or skydiving for a job… he writes about his adventures and gets paid.  Me?  Well, get paid or not is not my main concern… right now.  LIVING the present to the best of my ability… I want to make sure I am.

Nowadays I have this desire to take on some sort of challenge—I don’t know—something I wouldn’t normally do.  And those who know me well know that I am safe… I do not like change.  I resist change.  I would prefer to stay where I am and do what I’ve been doing forever… forever.  It’s safe.  It’s safe.  I’m a scaredy cat. 

I want to be bolder.  Actually, I am bold.  The last personality test I took at work showed courage to be my top strength.  I guess I’m not scared to speak in front of a public… or to voice my opinions even if they are not agreeable.  But I should take a test again… the year before that, my top strength was faith…  I just feel a bit different once again… just a bit… I need more faith… I need more courage… so I wonder what’s my top strength now?  hmmm.  Got it!  Living without sleep :).  LOL. 

I’ve listed some of my ‘challenges’ or ‘risks’, such as acting in plays and traveling, etc.  But I’ve also been wondering… what would happen if I actually TRULY believed God again?  I mean, I KNOW what could happen—in college!  I was a fire-ball.  I KNOW what has happened… very unbelievable-weird things.  I saw things and experienced things that left me dumbfounded by how much God loves His people.  It’s why I can’t EVER deny God.  Since I was 10 years old… He’s shown me things that are amazing.  He’s answered prayers that I’d feel a bit freaked out knowing Someone was actually listening to me.  So, because of my actual experiences, I cannot deny God and His existence.  It’s impossible.  I am grateful for what I’ve been blessed to know and be… because of Him.  I was raised without a dad around… but I always thought God was my Father.  As a young girl, I went to Him for anything.  And I truly truly believed He was listening… which is why I think those prayers were answered.

So life keeps happening. 

I understood Jesus and His purpose for coming to Earth in DR as a Catholic about to do my 1st communion.  I confessed all my sins to the priest… and felt oh-so-clean!  I believed Jesus forgave all my sins then.  I remember coming into my house and telling everyone that I’m sinless.  I remember sitting down on that white rocking chair and just enjoying being sinless… I was more like cautious… didn’t want to talk to anyone or do anything—in case I would say or do something wrong… and then tarnish my clean self :D.  But then, I realized that I could confess my sins every week at my Catholic church… and so I would always have a chance to ‘clear my heart’ and feel clean again. 

Jesus was my best friend growing up.  I remember crying when I was coming to New York for the first time ever.  I was sad that I may never be with Jesus again… since I was coming to “America”.  Now, I don’t know why.  But I don’t remember seeing a map of the world while I was in DR.  I only knew the map of DR.  I drew it.  So when someone said I was going to America… I thought it was another planet.  Really.  I was kind of disappointed when I came to “America” and I saw cars and streets and places to live that looked… normal.  I didn’t see anything ‘special’ as everyone used to talk about.  However, I soon realized that I could still have a relationship with Jesus in this normal ‘planet’.  Thanks to Grandma.  Her faith was and still is so refreshing.  I hope she is still just as faithful, even after what happened to her.  She’s a strong woman.  Every time I go visit her… I feel as though I have to—umm.  Fix up.  You know, do my hair and make up… eat a little extra and around her so she thinks I’m gaining weight :).  She always is concerned about everyone around her… especially me.  I love you Grandma.

So what if I actually took God at His words once again?  What if I did whatever He asked of me… with or without fear once again?  And then share my journey.  Just because I like to write.  And talk.  And don’t get to do it as much as I’d like.  I wonder… how can God use me now, as a mom?  I still haven’t found a comfy routine with 2 kids.  Oh, there’s a lesson!

Well, according to your personality or mood :):

Lesson 1:  When you do find a routine that works with two kids… Write it down!  You may forget.  I did.

or

Lesson 2:   Forget Lesson 1.  Just make sure kids eat… nap… go outside (when possible)… spend some quality time with you… at least once a week are exposed to other kids… and play.  Then you, just eat, sleep, shower (at some point), rest, do a load of laundry (or save to buy that oh-so-needed washing machine) and pick up as you go.  oh!  and don’t forget to bathe the kids during the week :).

Ha!  Easier said than done.

 

In regards to ‘believing God again’ challenge… I will begin… with Prov. 31 :)  next time.

And in regards to life… I’m living it.  For the first time ever… (drumroll please)… I have straightened my hair—I mean, I have chemically damaged my hair so that it is straight and NOT curly anymore (until it grows out).  I know, I know… what did I do?  It took me a long time to make the decision.  But I thought—after 26 years of doing nothing but a ponytail and a bun… and spending an hour each week to distangle my curly hair, I just needed a break… something new.  AND I LOVE IT!  I was so happy when my hair was rinsed out and the woman at the salon could actually pass a brush through my hair.  and it was sooo long.  Anyway, I took a risk.  Now I want to get highlights in the future.  :D

Now… what is God’s will for my life?

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