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Friday, April 25, 2014

Happy 33rd Year of Life

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I am 33 years old and I feel renewed. This month has been wonderful and full of accomplishments. I am walking better, taking the subway, and revisited the waterfront. I am also proud to mention that I am a graduate student. I am pursuing a Master’s in Human Services at Concordia University, Nebraska. I am part of their online program.  I feel proud, because it happened unexpectedly. I did not plan to go to grad school for some time and now I begin class next month. One of the things that I’ve learned is when I take a laid back approach, things seems to work in my favor. With grad school, I knew I wanted to pursue it but didn’t have a set time frame. I decided to study human services as opposed to social work, because I have many interests. I want to concentrate on a field that encompasses all of those interests which includes social work, adult education, and emergency management. I feel this is the best route for me.

I took the subway for the first time after surgery which was four months ago. I didn’t feel uncomfortable. It was a nice ride on the F train, a ride I’ve always enjoyed. I used to work in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn and took that train there. Something about an elevated train ride makes me happy. I got off at Stillwell Ave, Coney Island station. I bought lunch at Dunkin Donuts and had their iced caramel latte. The guy who took my order was nice. His smile made me smile.  I didn’t mention my birthday. Maybe he already knew. I walked to the beach where a nice amount of people were out walking, or riding their bikes. I never mind that since I block all of that out and focus on the beach itself. Near the iconic parachute jump tower music plays. I think it’s coming from the tower itself. The music ranges from 80s to 90s era, and can be heard from the nearby pier and beach. The music was so good, I turned off my iPod. I sat by the pier and ate my lunch. I thanked friends on and off Facebook for the lovely birthday wishes. I watched the shoreline and felt the sun on my face. I felt at home.

I eventually made my way to the beach where I recorded a video. I expressed my happiness being 33 years old, and grateful I overcame the recent struggles I had over the past year. I then picked broken seashells and put them in a clear plastic bag. I love collecting seashells and rocks, but never have I collected broken shells. I like their jaggedness, and interesting colors. They’re good for crafting purposes as well as for display. Once I got to the shoreline, I took in deep breaths feeling the mist develop on my glasses. My lips felt salty and my eyes kept tearing from the oncoming breeze from the ocean. I sat on the sand, which felt warm, and began to reflect. I did this after taking numerous pictures of the shoreline, sun, and seagulls. Speaking of seagulls, they kept coming near me as I stared at the horizon. I feel like we have some kind of connection. They, like pigeons, tend to follow me when I’m nearby the water or at a park. I don’t mind, as long as they don’t poop on me!

I wrote down my feelings, and did a voice recording. The voice recording was the most personal, because I discussed my life when it comes to love. I’m still debating whether I want to share it publically or write about it in my book. We’ll see. I haven’t done a voice “reflection” in years. It felt good to release my feelings through voice, especially paying attention to changes in my tone as I talk about loving someone, wanting to be loved (by him or someone else), and the letting go process. As I write this, I realize just how personal that is to me. Again, we’ll see how I proceed with that. Staring at the horizon is where I get lost in thought. I don’t hear anything except the sound of the crashing waves and seagulls squealing. I recorded that too. 

The thing that hit home while reflecting is how much I desire living in a natural environment. I don’t want to travel to it anymore, but instead live in or near it. I recorded the sounds of the beach so I can listen to it when I’m not there. I don’t like my living environment. It’s the one thing that makes me very sad and something I don’t talk about often. I never liked my neighborhood and not very fond of the people who I live amongst. I have been feeling this way since 1990 when my family moved here. It’s been a long time. Going by the water, whether it’s the waterfront or the beach, it’s my escape from the foolishness I have to deal with at home (not with family). Sometimes, I cry just thinking about it. I think most people who know me feel I am happy all the time when in fact that isn’t always the case. I have my sadness, and at times feel empty inside when it comes to wanting certain things. I hide it by focusing on what makes me happy: God, school, work, helping people, writing, music, and nature. Love makes me happy especially when I love others. When it’s not reciprocated, that makes me sad. Working towards my goals and dreams is what keeps me going. If I didn’t have that, I don’t know where I would be. I think a lot when I’m by the water.

This birthday was more reflective than previous ones, because I was alone. I allowed myself to just be me.  It felt nice. Later, I saw my friend at the diner and she blessed me with a free slice of my favorite cake, strawberry shortcake. I saw my other friend at the discount store to buy some happy birthday balloons. Sadly, they only had “get well soon” balloons. I bought dinner from the Chinese takeout restaurant where I saw my other friend. I have friends everywhere! At home, I ate, had a little rum and coke, and thanked everyone for virtually sharing this day with me (I posted pictures of my travels on Facebook).

It was a nice day, and I look forward to what this new year of life will bring. Cheers!

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