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What a year this has been, and let me tell you it has surprised me that sometimes I wonder if tomorrow I’ll wake up from this roller coaster of a dream. To start, last year proved to be a most amazing year, challenging but filled with love. I took the risk I once swore to never take, and gave love a chance. Long story short I can tell you today I learned so much, but the most important lesson I learned is that love is not all roses and harmony, it can be the most painful feeling you could possibly feel.

Those that know me know how absorbed I was in my career, and I can’t complain I finished strong and I have my ex to thank for that, he was my motivation throughout the end of my college years. So I suppose you can say that love is not such a bad thing even if it ends up in the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I literally was the happiest woman alive, ask anyone who was around me, I glowed brighter than the sun. My mother took to teach me how to do things, I was determined to be the best lady to this man, the best-est friend, because he deserved it all. Everything.

Things don’t always work according to plan and yeah it stings even after this month, it stings badly. It hurts literally everywhere but somehow I manage to get up every morning and go on with my days. I took a risk, I’m still learning and hurting but I know that I must continue to live life. I’m doing the best that I can to smile like nothing has happened and I can’t lie there are days I wish I had never taken that risk at all but I know that life is about taking risks and what I did, I did with love.  There’s no point regretting the past, I gave it my all and it’s what gives me some kind of peace. So here I am with a broken heart doing my best, because one thing I’ve learned is that sometimes life throws you down so you can get a fresh start. A blessing that I still haven’t learned to appreciate.

Smile, take each day at a time.

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  My parent’s marriage was never a rose colored one, or one of those where the couple has been married for so long you wonder what a great life they’ve had together. Wrong. My parent’s started off great, my dad even got his teeth knocked out in pursuit of my mom (had to get replacements). My mom destroyed the greatest car my dad ever had, rejected him a million times before she even said “yes” to a date and yet they got married.

What seemed to be a perfect story didn’t turn out so well a few years into their marriage, my dad had affairs and eventually they separated a few months after I was born. They tried to work things out when I was a few years old but that turned out more sour than the last and they called it quits soon after. Now after years of dad being away they’re back together but finally it seems they’ve figured out that despite everything they ended up together because no one seems to comprehend the other like they do.

I’ve been observing them for the last two years that my dad has returned, they started off quite rocky but it wasn’t until one of them decided to change that the other decided they too had to change to make this work. We all knew that those two loved each other, they were just too stubborn to change and admit their faults. Now, when I look at them I see that love that I hadn’t seen before. I see the way dad holds my mom’s hand and smiles as she eats her breakfast. Or the way mom makes dinner in such a loving and careful way to make it perfect because dad deserves a great meal after a long day at work. I love the way they hold hands in the car or when we go out to eat. I love the way that they hold on to each other when they fall asleep or how my mom looks like a schoolgirl whenever dad steals a kiss from her unexpectedly.

I’ve never seen my parents this way, and it took them years to realize how to make a marriage work. They’re getting older and older now, but to see that love is still there after all these years makes me very happy. I get so happy because it gives me hope that love doesn’t die, it doesn’t age, it just needs nurturing to stay strong. Its the kind of happiness that brings me hope that I can grow old with the person I love. To be able to hold their hand in my wrinkly hand, and still have that twinkle of love in my aged eyes the way I did when we first fell in love.

Smile, sometimes all you need is a new chance to turn it all around.

I remember that when I was little and there were so many things that I didn’t understood so I made up my own explanations, my own reasons to why things happened the way they did. I never understood why some people were the way they were, or why they would treat me they way they did. Over the years I made countless excuses for them not realizing that I was setting myself to a state of denial instead of looking at things for what they really were.

Bottom line is we won’t please everyone we meet. Unfortunately, that also includes family, people that we unconditionally love, people that won’t feel the same way about us. When we’re little our eyes see the world with a lens of innocence, time goes by so slow, we feel free, and careless. As we grow older we begin to see things by how they really are, and we realize that there’s so much more out there than we ever imagined. As children, some of us are lucky enough to have not experienced discrimination of any kind, our world was sugar coated.

What about the kids who are not as privileged? Children that have been: raped, molested, discriminated, abused, mistreated, and stayed in silence. A friend of mine told me I was privileged for knowing what it meant to love without fear. She was raped when she was ten years old by a family member. Another friend told me how he is always weary of visiting friends because when he was little he was discriminated by his friend’s parents for being African-American. Similar stories went on and on, and as I listened to every one of those stories I thought: how come I never heard any of this when I was little? These people are my friends, my peers. The people I see everyday with a smile on their face, and I was so angry and I felt so impotent.

New slang when you notice the stripes, the dirt in your fries”, and that’s when innocence is gone. Is it better to live in a state of innocence where the world is sugar coated? Or in a world where you see things for what they really are? I prefer to notice the stripes, and the dirt on my fries, sure there are things I miss of those “good ol’ days” but I wouldn’t want to go back.

Some people will smile while hurting inside, while the world remains unaware. Believe it or not, some people are very unaware of what is going on around them, let alone in the world. There are many vile people in this world, but don’t forget that there’s also good hearted people out there willing to lend a helping hand.

Smile, we are the hope of tomorrow.

     School is about to start, the whole hype about kids going to school reminds me of when I was younger. I remember that every year I would look forward for that school shopping experience. I remember going down the isles with my brother and or my sister and they would ask me what materials I would be needing for school. This, this, that… The routine was always the same, and always pleasant.

I loved going school shopping. There was just something so nice about that “starting all over” feeling that I loved so much. Each year was the same, a new beginning, a new start. Seeing my nieces and nephews getting ready to go to school really brings me back to my days when I was their age. A lot has changed from what I’ve seen. Perhaps I’m getting to old, perhaps I’m still stuck in my old ways when things seemed more childish and naïve. Nowadays I see kids more worried about other things like makeup (yeah, I’ve seen first graders worried about makeup), and new gadgets and cellphones. I’m talking about kids here! Maybe I really am stuck in the olden days when a lunch box was so cool to have, when the biggest gadget you owned was a Gigapet or a calculator that you didn’t even need. I miss the old days when backpacks where all about Hello Kitty and Lisa Frank and not about Hanna Montana and all those other characters that are way too out there for me.

I remember how the most we complained about where uniforms, and how much we disliked wearing those collar shirts. Now kids that don’t have to take uniform complain about having brand jeans and designer clothes. I miss the simple days of school, the more childish days where kids were actually kids and enjoyed their childhood. Today all I see is kids so worried about their body and image, and having the new styles and being popular. Today it seems that being a second grader and not having a phone is a big deal breaker. What has happened? Why can’t we be a big more conscious about giving kids a break and let them be kids. Then again times have changed, but I don’t think I’ll ever change in liking the simpler things in life.

Smile, just because times change doesn’t mean you can’t reminisce about your good times. 

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