Christmas Gratitude

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2016 was a turbulent year for us all. As we reel in from the insanity of watching the unreal election of a politically inexperienced billionaire and the intermittent rash of terrorist attacks here in the U.S. and abroad, we need to pause and express gratitude for all that we have and pray for those less fortunate.

Here’s a list of things I’m most grateful for:

1. A loving family. They may drive me crazy sometimes, but I love them just as much as they love me.

2. A good education. College may be mentally and emotionally challenging for some people, especially at the university level, but it’ll all be worth it once graduation comes.

3. A supportive boyfriend. Throughout my most difficult time adjusting to a four-year university, Kristoff has always been there for me to vent out my worries and to share my accomplishments. He makes me the happiest girl in the world!

4. Good friends. Need I say more?

 

All these and more make me feel like my life has a purpose, so from 2017 on, I’m gonna put my past behind me, leave my future in God’s hands, and live every precious moment with a positive and open mind.

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New Year’s: Cleaning Out My Room, Longing for a Social Life

Six days into 2016, everybody is out delivering the promises they have made for the new year–committing to intense physical activity (the most common New Year’s resolution), smoking cessation, alcohol sobriety, financial responsibility, travel, the works. Meanwhile, I’m just freeing my closet space by giving away clothes that I haven’t worn for what seems like eons. My definition of eons in this case means over seven years since I moved to a neighborhood minutes away from my friends but, in my mind, very far from me because of my inability to drive and the lack of means to do so.

I have a lot of clothes for someone who doesn’t go out as much as the average young adult, and it’s sad to see that I’ve taken advantage of my mother’s kindness by not wearing some of the old clothes she bought me years ago that look brand new and have been worn at least twice, if not less. I try my best to wear some of the recent outfits, like the white denim hoodie vest from Guess with a black camisole top, shredded jeans and black booties that make me look like an action movie star. Otherwise, I just wear graphic t-shirts from Hot Topic, the Disney Store, Macy’s and Walmart with black or gray sweatpants.

I told my mom that I want to be able to give away the clothes I want to give away no questions asked. One of the reasons I don’t take the time to go through my closet for clothes to give away even when I want to is because Mom inquires to no end, “Does that fit you?” and “How come you never wear that cute top?” I couldn’t conjure up a better answer other than, “I have worn that [top] at least a couple times.”

Maybe the better answer should’ve been, “I haven’t been as much of a social butterfly since Jack broke up with me, that’s why my closet’s so damn full.”

I want to be more sociable from this year forward. I saw a movie on Netflix the other night called Stuck in Love about a family of writers in which the patriarch, Bill Borgens, obsesses over his ex-wife after she cheats on him with a younger guy, an experience the eldest daughter, Sam, based her first novel on. When the youngest son, Rusty, catches his father reading his journal, Bill tells Rusty that he needs to really experience life in order to be a better writer. I’ve kept diaries and journals–even typed one–since the 3rd Grade, and although my entries were mostly about my experiences in school, I believe I have honed my writing skills by writing in those diaries on a daily basis (or at least every two days since it sometimes took me forever to finish one entry at a time).

Now that I have finished my associates program at Broward College, I can focus on finishing the novel that I have been working on since the summer of 2014. Since I’m going to be a novelist, I need to do two things: read novels as voraciously as possible, and get out of my house more. The latter is as equally important as the former because without any actual life experience, the life of a writer will have no value.

What can I do to better myself as a writer?
Apply for a job at some of my favorite stores? Possibly. Find a new boyfriend? Maybe. Hang out with some girlfriends I haven’t gotten to see for ages? Definitely.

Whatever I do, I’ll be able to take in all the experiences in order to inspire my future novels. I really don’t want to be a hermit and be stuck with a mountain of old clothes the rest of my life.