Friday, February 16, 2007

Have You Counted Your Blessings Lately?

Have you ever just sat down and thought about your life, as a collective whole? Would you consider yourself BLESSED? Sometimes in the midst of all of our trivial and not so trivial dramas, daily challenges, grief, past heartaches, and chronic frustrations we forget to keep the GOOD things in our lives at the forefront of our minds. I am definitely guilty of this. When things are not going the way I WANT them to go, or different from how I FEEL they should go, I can be one pessimistic mofo. I'm learning how destructive dwelling on the negative can be, and how LIBERATING it is to just LET THAT GO and focus on something POSITIVE.

The events I experienced last weekend and throughout this week have encouraged me to focus more on what I consider my 'blessings'. When I think clearly about it, I can say that I am TRULY BLESSED.

Last weekend was one of the best weekends for me in months. After a long day of paying bills, chores, resolving family issues, and studying, I treated myself to a little fun. My collegue and friend Ricardo was hosting a 27th birthday party. I was given fair warning that his party are a MUST ATTEND event, so I was super juiced about going. Now I don't know how many of you out there have ever been to a REAL Latino party...but if you haven't you betta get with the program! Guaranteed good food, all the drinks you could want, and enough dancing make you sore the next that's what I'm talkin' about! Anyways, as I expected, the party surpassed my expectations. Ricardo and his family were so warm and inviting, spending time with each person at the party and taking shots and dancing with whomever was interested. Although my Latin dance skills are a bit suspect, I was still pulled on the dance floor and worked over until I was sweaty and parched.

I could rave on and on about other details, but I'll just skip to the relevant stuff. At one point during the party, Ricardo and his mother were seated along with a few of us that go to school together. I was touched by how close and loving they are to each other. Well they both were a bit tipsy but their display was hardly alcohol-driven. You could see the love there. Ms. Lopez went on to tell us about the struggle she and her husband had raising Ricardo and 2 other sons as immigrant workers. She expressed so much pride in her family and her son excelling in higher education. Ricardo countered by saying "there is no damn way I would have any of those degrees on the wall if I didn't my parents and my family. We all have NO OPTION but to work our asses off and rise to the top, because our parents worked so hard to even give us half a chance to have a better life." Those words really hit home for me. Ricardo then told his mother about how I recently lost my mother. This woman, whom I had met only one previous time, came over to me, brought me into her arms, and held me as if she were my own mother.

At that point, I just lost it. The swell of emotion in me crashed, and I lost it right there in front of everybody at the party. People I had never known before that night saw me at my weakest. Ricardo's entire immediate family, from his father to his girlfriend, came to me and consoled me. No questions asked, no weird looks, no disgusted faces, just an outpouring of sympathy and love.

And after i was done crying my eyes out, I took a shot with everybody and danced some cumbia ;). Good times.

The next day was 'family day'. After church, my sister and I managed to get a small gathering of our family together for sunday dinner and to celebrate my Dad's birthday. I wanted this day to be special, so I spoiled him with these FIERCE Kenneth Cole shoes, handmade candles, and a collection of about 15 of his favorite artists' albums (still in progress). The dinner was great, and it almost felt like old times again.

Those two events made me realize how good God has been to me. Since that weekend, I've been thinking of my blessings. I've found that creating this list lifts my spirits and makes even the shittiest of circumstances not so bad. I urge you all, especially those of you holding onto more negativity than you know is necessary, to count your blessings and make a list.

The list is soon to come...

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