Year: 2013

Age Is Just A Number

Twenty-seven. I have no idea what to do with this number, I’m just glad I made it this far! It sounds silly, but even though life expectancies continue to rise in some parts of the world, there are many others where it’s uncommon to develop fully and lead a happy, healthy life. At this point, I’m very grateful for each birthday I get. But enough with the drama for now. In my humble opinion, December 29 is an awesome birth date because it coincides with the end-of-year renewal that I love. My new age always comes hand in hand with the opportunity to reflect on what the last 12 months have brought and what the next dozen might hold. It’s also a time of unwinding and much needed family bonding. However, the inevitable life questions also arise, along with the ever so daunting resolutions list. 2013 was the first time that I was actually able to hold myself accountable for at least half of my goals, which is quite the accomplishment for me. I’m hoping …

I Dare You To Call Me Skinny One More Time

I blame us –all of us- for the media’s sickening manipulation of women’s photographs. We find comfort in blaming society for most of our problems, yet we have an uncanny ability to forget that we are society. Each and every one of us plays a role, which means it’s up to us to change it. Individually, it’s a hard battle; I get it. However, true change does begin when you and I, as individuals, decide to make a change for ourselves, no matter how small. Being called “fat” has never been a problem for me; quite the opposite: I’m called “skinny” way too many times for my liking. Seriously, call me skinny one more time and see how I react; I will not be held responsible, since I’m warning you ahead of time. Some would consider this a “happy problem” to have, especially with the growing obesity rate in this country. However, I must insist on putting my foot down with this topic, because it’s too important not to. Ready? I don’t care if you’re …

November, You’ve Been At It Again

November, my dear, you never fail me. Each year, you arrive jam-packed with comfort-zone-busting, rip-you-apart-at-the-seams-because-why-not type of change. Before, your arrival meant simply that I could use a new haircut, and that would suffice to make me feel almost born again. Nowadays, you seem to get a thrill out of turning my life upside down. I kind of hate you, but I love you. You keep me on my toes. You make me feel pain, you make me suffer, yet through it all, you remind me that I’m alive. And, as long as the latter is true, I will have to keep adapting to these 180 degree-angle turns. We all will. It’s in the ebs and flows that most of our life happens, anyway. Joseph Campbell famously said that “you must give up the life you’ve planned, in order to have the life that is waiting for you,” and I can’t help but pay attention each time I read that line. So, what’s stopping me from surrendering to the mighty whims of this earthly roller …

A Sincere Apology

As you take the time to decide what you would like to write about in your future contribution to my blog, I sit down to draft this very public, yet heartfelt, apology. It’s been a long time coming. You see, everything you’ve been through this year, but especially the bad, can be smoothly traced back to one very specific moment, during which I took the leading role. And although you and I both believe that everything happens for a reason, and that no adversity is ever wasted if we learn and grow from it, I still can’t seem to shake the guilt, try as I might. I’ve talked about it, I’ve cried about it, I’ve prayed about it, I’ve sought advice on it, but at the end of the day, this one tiny little truth remains: I was the one that handed you that drink. … I actually had to pause to re-read that last line. The image replays over and over in my mind and I curse myself for it each and every time. …

Giving

Giving. Giving. Giving. Giving. The word has been tumbling around in my mind lately, pushing me, clawing at me, peeling away at layers I’ve tried to conceal. Unfortunately, I’ve struggled to shake the feeling that I’m simply tired of giving… That I’ve had enough of it all. I hate this feeling. As humans, are we even allowed to entertain it? Certainly, I don’t think it’s fair that I do, yet it’s that time again when all I’ve been wishing for is to be able to pause a few areas of my life and just lay down to rest, with no pressure to give of my time, energy, faith, love, patience, effort, etc., to anyone or anything. None of that. A vacation from giving, if you will. But as they say: we are our own worst enemies. In my mind, there is no possibility of rest. It’s simply not acceptable. I have to continue on, never stopping, never faltering, always giving and giving everything and all that others require of me, all the time, without ceasing. …

The Inspiration I Needed

What was that they taught us when we were little? Never, ever, ever give up? Something like that. Except back then, life seemed pretty easy. I sometimes wonder if it still is, and it’s just us that make it complicated, with our crazy notions about what should and shouldn’t be. Here’s another little tidbit of childhood wisdom: rules are made to be broken; it’s more fun that way. And if you don’t take the risk –that one risk that could change everything for the better-, you will never know if it actually could have. For me, not knowing is worse than failing and having to get back up again. It’s been a while since I’ve felt inspired to fight for something I desperately wanted, but I’m pretty fired up right now. People unknowingly keep adding fuel to the flame. Every time I stop to think about how difficult it might be, or I start slipping into that loathsome self-pity, I do my best to slap myself out of it. There’s simply too much real suffering …

“Action is eloquence”

An Argentine woman scolded me for mentioning that I am not a fan of the Argentine president. Mind you, I lived in Buenos Aires long enough to understand the delicate and insanely complicated social, political, and economic intricacies of the third-world country –which I absolutely adore-, so my comment wasn’t out of place. Truth be told, it was a bit more in line than hers, since she’s been out of the country for 23 years; however, it was something else she said that struck a nerve: “Yes, the President is corrupt. So? What’s new? That’s how it’s always been and how it always will be.” (Note: I’m paraphrasing the latter part, but that basically summarizes the rest of the conversation we had.) This type of mentality severely irritates me. It is very common for Latin Americans to think this way; after all, most of them have grown up with corruption for generations. Even my family considers it the norm, but for myself personally, having lived both in Argentina and the US, where the federal government …

A Rude Awakening

I was 14 when the towers came down. I remember not knowing what the World Trade Center was, since I had always associated them with the name Twin Towers. I remember my Latin teacher being extremely upset during our last period, and other kids desperately trying to get ahold of loved ones on the phone, but the lines were down. Our very unpopular principal had to request several times over the loud speaker for classes to continue, and to shut all TVs off. I remember running through my front door when I got home that afternoon, desperate to see the coverage and finally understand what was going on. The first image to meet my eyes was that of a man jumping and falling…falling…falling down hundreds of stories, because he was caught in the floors above the fires and there was no possibility of him getting out. And then they repeated it, over and over again. It has since been forever imprinted in my mind. We were living in the suburbs of Philadelphia at the time …

Untitled

I stood firmly on the cooling, white sand, Feet shoulder-length apart, Feeling the weight of my camera underneath my bare hands, The warm breeze softly enveloping me in its gentle caress As the sun, barely visible now over the distant horizon, Played with the clouds and helped them taint the sky with mild hues of yellow and gray. The familiar smell of sun-tan lotion emanated from my skin Mixing in with the unique fragrances of a midsummer evening’s dream. Seagulls wove in and out of my line of vision, Floating up above as if threatening to strike, Trying to instill a fear in me that would never exist For I was much too accustomed already to this sight. The events of the day hung lazily in the air, Slowly becoming part of the memories I would never share With people I would never meet. Cheerful words, piercing looks, joyful laughter, Maybe even some tears from a mischievous child… All lingered for a few eternal seconds Before finally being replaced by a peaceful silence Aided by …

A Borrowed Pearl

So You Want to Be a Writer if it doesn’t come bursting out of you in spite of everything, don’t do it. unless it comes unasked out of your heart and your mind and your mouth and your gut, don’t do it. if you have to sit for hours staring at your computer screen or hunched over your typewriter searching for words, don’t do it. if you’re doing it for money or fame, don’t do it. if you’re doing it because you want women in your bed, don’t do it. if you have to sit there and rewrite it again and again, don’t do it. if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it, don’t do it. if you’re trying to write like somebody else, forget about it. if you have to wait for it to roar out of you, then wait patiently. if it never does roar out of you, do something else. if you first have to read it to your wife or your girlfriend or your boyfriend or your parents or to …