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Monday, April 29, 2013

Nails, flowers, and dining


I'm a girly girl. I love nail polish and enjoy changing colors or experimenting with new ones. I decided to go with green with some added sparkle. I love bling too! Standing at Starbucks yesterday waiting for my usual, chai latte, I decided to snap a picture of my pretty nails. They're simple yet shiny. Every spring, I like to wear colors that represent the season, as well as fit my personality. Usually those contain metallics, bright, earth tone colors. I wear dark colors sometimes but mostly during the winter season. I'm an earthly woman (born on Earth Day), bubbly, and a nature fanatic. Colors are a great way to represent one's personality. Sparkle just enhances that in my opinion. Oh and yes, the chai latte was super yummy!


They say diamonds are a girl's best friend. I would agree it certainly is mine. It's also my birthstone (hint hint to my future fiancĂ© out there). However, I think flowers are also a girl's best friend. I love flowers. I love all types but especially love sunflowers (hence my email name), carnations, tulips, and of course roses. Another reason I love the spring season is the blooming of flowers. I had a chance to experience some pretty ones at the Brooklyn Promenade. I went there to reflect by the waterfront, but also to check out the flowers and interesting payphone. Payphones in the city are seemingly becoming outdated, at least the traditional one. Virtual payphones are in the works. I like technology but sometimes I feel we're becoming a robotic world. What's going to be next, virtual people, virtual emotions? I hope not! For now, it's best I enjoy nature in its real form. Some things computers just can't replace. 


I'm still celebrating my 32nd year of life as April ends. I feel blessed to have reunited with some former co-workers and friends as they celebrated with me. We laughed, ate well, and caught up on life's happenings. I visited my friend at her bakery in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. I used to go there every day when I used to teach. We haven't seen each other in a long time. It was nice to spend time with her and have the delicious baked goods. She makes the best tea and coffee. Yes I had both and don't feel guilty about it! I also saw another friend who frequents there often. It was nice to see him too. I love going to Sunset Park neighborhood. I hope to live there someday. The way I walk through the neighborhood, one would think I already do.

It's no secret how much I enjoy eating good food. I like to go out to restaurants and especially diners. Diners I love most because it feels like home. The people are usually friendly and the atmosphere is down-to-earth. I also like that you can stay for long periods without being rushed. I like to eat different types of cuisine, and enjoy good presentation. I love pasta and occasionally a glass of wine. I like beer and certain liquors but wine is my favorite. I don't like strong, bitter alcohol. It hurts my stomach.   I like wine, because it's so classy. Something about having it with a nice pasta dish makes me feel elegant. I'm such a simple person; it doesn't take much to make me happy. 


I took some days off from writing, volunteering, and being on social media. I do this sometimes to be one with myself. I miss the camaraderie from everyone, but I'm always around paying attention to what's going on. I'm on a journey focusing on inner peace and prayer. I pray always, but I'm learning to strengthen my spirituality and faith. Inspiration is important in my life. It's what keeps me motivated in pursuing all my dreams. I'm putting me first in decisions made, activities or social things I'm involved in, and most importantly maintaining self-care. I have some things to look forward to, but need to be ready emotionally to be successful. I already took steps towards that. Stay tuned.

PS: I love music. It really helps keep me grounded. It's a part of me.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Happy 32nd Year of Life

Monday, April 22, 2013
"I thank you Lord for allowing me to be here"

I woke up a little after 9am. As I stretched my arms out, the sunlight was beaming through my now empty room. I rubbed my eyes so I can take in the light. I smiled and sat up to say my prayers. Last week was a hard week of cleaning, and putting things in storage after having a bed bug outbreak. My back and hip are still sore. "I thank you Lord for allowing me to be here, to be alive on this 32nd year of life." After prayer, I noticed my phone was buzzing and it was Facebook and Twitter messages. My smile grew bigger by the amount of birthday wishes I was receiving, especially on Facebook. I felt honored. My mom walked in the room and said, "Happy birthday Professor," giving me a hug. I thanked her as she says, "Any comments?" I said yes and showed her my Facebook profile page. She was surprised too.

"I feel happy"

While drinking tea and eating a bagel, I admired the empty apartment. We worked hard and now it's clean with no bugs, no excess stuff, just space. I like it. Mom asked me, "How do you feel?" I replied, "I feel happy, because I'm just glad to be here to see another year." Mom sipped her coffee and then asks, "What are your plans for today?" "Nothing," I smiled, "I didn't make any plans and glad I didn't. Since my birthday fell on a Monday, it's hard to plan something when it's a workday. As for today, I am just going with the flow." We sat and talked for an hour. She received a call and I went back on social media to see the endless posts and happy messages. I responded to them all.

"I'm used to giving my all to people, so when it happens to me I don't know how to be"

On Sunday, I was overwhelmed with joy when I received a beautiful fruit arrangement from my friends from the Mocker Trail Team group on Facebook. That was truly unexpected. I felt honored and touched. I held back tears, because I was just expressing to my mom that at times I don't feel important. That's when the doorbell rang. God is good. I thank them all for thinking of me.

Two Fridays ago, I went out with some Trail Team members and friends for dinner. We laughed and talked so much that we didn't order anything yet. As I looked at the menu, I heard, "Hello...happy happy." When I looked up, I saw my dear friend smiling at me as I said in a soft voice, "Mocker." I quietly laugh at myself, because the way I said his name (and probably the way I looked), is something
you'd see in a soap opera! I can be so dramatic when I'm around him, haha! I don't know, something about Greg Mocker intrigues me and makes me react that way! That's my buddy. I thanked him for coming and told him he's my gift. He smiled. That made my night. I really had a nice time with everyone and appreciate them for celebrating with me.

Shortly after I got dressed to go to the store, I received another fruit arrangement and flowers from my dad. I felt great. Even at 32, I still love receiving balloons. I will always love receiving flowers. They make me smile. The fruit is delicious! I went out to the store and bought some Chinese takeout, and a slice of Dominican cake from my friend's store. I came back in time to watch PIX11 news and the 5@5 with Tamsen Fadal and Mocker. For fun, I had Mom take a picture of me in front of the TV. I tweeted them with the caption, "Celebrating my #bday32 with my friends." I can't help it, I love watching PIX11 news. A big shout out to Tamsen, Mocker, Kaity Tong and Larry Mendte for wishing me a happy birthday! I really admire them and everyone at PIX!

"Thank you for making my special day more special"

After Mom and I had dinner, Dad stopped by. I gave him a big hug and thanked him for the surprises. "Thank you both for giving me life and for just being here. That means more to me than anything else," I told my parents as I tried not to cry. I'm such a water bag! My dad smiled and said, "Thank you for being who you are." My brother later came in and wished me a happy day. I think he was happy to see me happy. He knows how I've been feeling lately. He's not the expressive type but his actions let me know how he feels. Around 9pm, I made a video thanking everyone for making my special day more special. I appreciate everyone for their love and support of me on this journey called life. It means more to me than they know.
 Here's my thank you video:


My goal for this 32nd year is to regain inner peace. I want to feel calm and not worry as much. I've taken the first step on Saturday. I took a class called Damage Assessment Basics at the Red Cross about assessing damage after a disaster both nationally and locally. It was a great class and  I learned a lot. I told my manager that I decided to take a mini break from volunteering. I want to be emotionally stronger to handle disaster related stuff, and help clients effectively. I can't do that if I have unsettled issues plaguing my heart. The main issue I have now is not being where I want to be. I haven't felt important since losing my job, and I know that's not good because a job doesn't or shouldn't define me. Also, my careers (ESL teaching, writing, social work) are at a standstill for different reasons. Social work is a process and I won't become a social worker until I receive my Master's degree, and become licensed. I look forward to grad school next January. However, ESL teaching seems to be difficult to get back into with the drastic budget cuts and closing of programs. Writing, like social work is a process, except that I'm doing it now. I would like to take my writing to the next level. I want to do more freelance journalism work, as well as become published. There's still a lot I need to learn about the journalism business, but I'm willing to take steps in finding out. Competition is fierce in all my careers so I have to work harder.

One mistake I make is I'm way too hard on myself. I have to take time out for self, and not try to be a superhero. I think of myself as one sometimes. I've let my pride stop me from being human. It's okay to ask for help. It's hard for me, but I'm trying not to be so stubborn. Another step to inner peace is learning to love myself more. I beat myself up too much and my poor heart can't take it! I have to let love in and learn to trust again. I tend to tell friends to put their wall down, and let people in when in fact I do the same just differently. I bring people in my life but don't allow myself to be vulnerable around them. In fairness, many haven't seen me cry or get upset. They know me as always being bubbly. Friendship has many sides to it just like human beings. A true friend is one who accepts another for their good, their bad, and sometimes their ugly. Writing isn't enough when it comes to self-expression. People, I mean, friends need to experience it up close and personal. I'm learning.

I'm happy to be 32 and look forward to a year of happiness, more smiles, and making a difference in my life and in the world one step at a time.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Come far

From baby to little girl
Talk to the wind and a squirrel
Picking rocks in grandma’s backyard
Write to receive pen pal postcard
Grammar school was fun
Love swinging under the sun
For five cents, chew super bubble
Like the crunch of eating an apple
Junior high was a horror
Two years filled with anger
Fights and gang violence
Classmates killed, Monday morning silence
Overcame bullying to salutatorian
Happy to graduate, felt born again
High school was a blast
Made many friends, years went by fast
Explored writing, loved geology
Roam through Central Park carefree
College years took many turns
Dropouts and several returns
Eventually graduating with a degree
Who’d have thought I ended up with three?
From interning as a geology major
A great experience I’ll remember forever
To teaching adult literacy and ESL
Something new I would surprisingly do well
First full time job, new profession
Enjoyed teaching in Manhattan and Brooklyn
Nice boss, co-workers and I became friends
Attended conferences on the weekends
Students worked hard, good personality
Always felt honored how they welcomed me
Dance and sing when teaching grammar
Learned about job search and interview posture
Would tell students that English is like a test
“It’s a process, always try your best”
Questionable budget cuts, hip illness
Classes stopped, feeling hopeless
Stand amongst many on the unemployment line
Smile pretending to be fine
January was the date for surgery
Quiet and gloomy Thursday
Scared but remained brave
Recovered and spiritually forgave
Wrote a lot, pursued a new career
Will begin grad school next year
Teaching is missed everyday
Currently volunteer near a favorite café
Still unable to land a job, feel like a failure
Wish I could erase this ugly picture
This time of life is rough
Wonder if I’ve come far enough

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

My NYC poetweet: an extension

Author's note: In the spirit of poetry and the annual NYC Poetweet contest, I came up with my own poetweet except it maximizes the 140 character limit.

Noise complaints, car beeps
New York City never sleeps
Must LOOK for new ways
For our streets have seen better days
Rats everywhere taking control
Watch out for that growing sinkhole!
Paint peels from subway walls
311 receives thousands of calls
Dollar extra for a new Metrocard
Fare hikes hit the pocket hard
Good luck in finding a cabbie
A drive to outer boroughs is costly
Broken sidewalk, historic cobble stone
Does anyone still use the payphone?
 Fastrack schedules, bus delays
We need more clean subways
Now that this poem is complete
            Too bad it won’t win the poetweet             

Lingering thoughts, Wednesday blues

Looking at me is a billing statement
Another sigh, another payment
Thinking I finally gained control
Instead feel stuck in a hole
Want to be independent again
Need to be centered, find my zen
Cried today hearing from my dad
Hurts like hell knowing he’s sad
Illness still plagues his system
Hits the heart like a drum
Mom is hanging in there
Daily health issues so unfair
Helpless and frustrated
Why does life have to be complicated?
Growing tired of the madness
Promise to overcome this sadness
Someday there will be a U-turn
Leaving behind this ongoing pattern
Must remain strong on this journey
To the very best of my ability

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Hello April!

It's April and saying that puts a smile on my face. This is my birthday month. I am turning 32 years old on the 22nd and cannot believe it. At times I still feel like I'm 18 or 21 years of age, but I've embraced the 30th mark. Despite the trying times (all part of adulthood anyway), I am happy to be here and well enough to celebrate each day as it comes. April is also special because it's National Poetry Month. As a proud poet, this is the time I like to showcase my poetic thoughts to the world. It's also the time poetry contests arise. I will keep my eyes open for those opportunities. In celebrating self, I got my hair done yesterday. What a nice way to start a new month with a new do! Countdown to bday32 begins now!

From client casework to chicken?

Thursday 3/28/13: The process of me transitioning from doing intake to casework has begun. I am excited to learn the ins and outs of how to assess clients, and help them in receiving much needed resources. It's not easy and there's a lot to remember but I am up for the challenge. I thank my manager for giving me this opportunity to do something I really want to do. I believe this will allow me to gain more experience in casework and be able to help more people. Usually when I finish a day of volunteering at the Red Cross, I stop and get a chai latte from Starbucks and head to the train station. Sipping the creamy tea on
my way home is relaxing.

Once I arrive at my stop, there's a chicken spot I go to buy something to eat. The manager and workers there are nice. When I walked in, we said hello and I ordered some chicken and French fries. Before leaving, the manager asked if I was looking for work. When I told him yes, he offered me to work for him. At first, I thought he was kidding, but he said "We need more people like you, always smiling." I was surprised and grateful for the offer. He took down my number and said he'll call and let me know when I can start. God has a wicked sense of humor! Who would’ve thought I’d be offered a job at my local chicken spot while pursuing a career in social work? I am not proud. A job is a job. So how do you like your chicken?

In celebrating me during this month of April, I am going with the flow and doing things that make me happy. Writing is one of those things. I am happy to share my thoughts with you on this Creative Corner. You are welcomed to celebrate with me as I turn a new age and start a new beginning.