work work work work work

That ear worm Rihanna song is nonsense, but that word, said over and over, feels like the soundtrack to my life lately. 

Everything feels like work. Work feels like work. Fun feels like work. Exercise feels like work. Relationships feel like work. Work, work, work, work, work.

I like to think of life as a swinging pendulum. On one side, you have the fun stuff, the happy stuff, the easy stuff, and on the other side of the swing, you've got the crap. I think I've been on crap side for long enough. Time to swing. Can you force it? Nope. No you cannot. And for a control freak like me, that's the worst part of being on the pendulum. It swings when it swings, the swing is inevitable, but you cannot force the swing. But it will come, because it has to. So here's hoping for more swing, less work, and some freaking FUN this fall. 


chapter one.

Is there a more beautiful phrase than "chapter 1"? 

A fresh start. A new beginning. A blank page. The story could go anywhere. If you're reading, there's the shiver of excitement and anticipation. This could be the best thing I've ever read. If you're writing, there's the thrill of creativity. This could be the masterpiece I've always wanted to write. 

I am trying to make every morning a "chapter 1". Forgive myself every evening and every morning start again. Project only positive, forward-moving energy into my life and into the world. Simultaneously I am trying to be more laid-back, more free-flowing, more forgiving and more allowing. Allowing things to happen instead of trying to force a square peg into a round hole. It's so much harder than you'd think. I'm pretty sure it's the reason I grind my teeth; my square peg-iness outlook at life. If I just push harder, I think. If I just keep at it. Having been raised to believe I am capable of anything, I now want to be capable of everything. But like I said, it's only chapter 1. Anything can happen.  


the new year.

I've found that writing down new year resolutions is extremely helpful, because it holds you accountable for them. You start to look at them as a check list instead of a nebulous kind-of goal. Some of my resolutions are extremely personal, but the ones that aren't, I've decided to post. So here goes. 

  1. Be nicer to myself. 
  2. Be nicer to others. 
  3. Travel out of the country. 
  4. Support myself financially doing what I love. Not necessarily acting. 
  5. Cook at home more. 
  6. Entertain more. 
  7. Write every day. 
  8. Read a book per month. 
  9. Commit myself to a project that benefits others. Example: homeless shelter, soup kitchen, big brother/sister program, animal shelter. 
  10. Simplify my life. Get rid of the things I don't need. Clothes, mainly. But also random tchotchkes and things I never use. Simplify, simplify. The mantra of 2015. Because the only things that truly matter to me are my family, my friends, and traveling. 


for them.

This time of year makes me so happy and then so sad. It reminds me of tradition, which makes me nostalgic, which inevitably makes me cry, because there are traditions I can no longer carry out because the people I used to carry them out with have gone. 

We would go to Abuela's house around this time of year, and drink black coffee, and listen to the Vince Guaraldi Trio Christmas album. I can't listen to "Christmas Time is Here" without tearing up. Raul would make jokes, my grandmother would close her eyes and hum along to the music. She would get a far-away look in her eyes and I knew she was thinking about my grandfather. He was a constant source of joy, and when he left, so did the light in her eyes.

I miss them, my little trio. Abuelo, Abuela and Raul. All three have gone on to somewhere else, hopefully together, hopefully happy. I will probably never set foot in that house again. I don't think I want to. It is so filled with ghosts and memories and emotions I don't think I could handle. 

It's hard to believe that that life, those traditions, that chapter... are gone. We'll never have them back. And as I sit here in my new, pretty apartment, looking at my tree, smelling the Christmas Eve eve dinner I've made, waiting for my boyfriend to come home, I feel... old. These new traditions that I can feel myself creating only serve to make me long for the old ones even harder. I want to be a little girl again. I want to fall asleep in the car after a night of watching movies and eating with my grandparents and my uncle. I want my brother to never get old, for my parents to never die, for all of us to just be together in that crooked house, perpetually having Christmas on the South side. I miss them, all of them, even the ones who aren't gone yet.