28 May 2014

Graduating to Adulthood

College a difficult part of life for all, some have it a little less than others but overall it can be a difficult journey. You do a lot of growing up in college or at least you should. If you don't you still have time to do so afterwards, only it gets harder because everyone now thinks of you as an adult. It becomes increasingly difficult to do stupid things once you're out of college, for some reason people are a lot more judge-y once you leave college. However, if you make it through college to the beginning of the next tunnel - CONGRATS!

This past week I read an article about the correlation between low-income students vs. high-income students. Turns out that people are now publishing articles about what most of us already knew or lived. When you come from a high-income home it's more likely that you will graduate from college and do so with good grades. When you come from a low-income home the probability that you will not graduate - that if you do it will be with low grades - increases almost exponentially. I remember college. It was tough and I finished but I was not a stellar student. Actually I graduated with a B average, went on to work different jobs, and all in all didn't do that bad but I have to say it could have gone slightly better. I always felt (sometimes still feel) like I was behind in some way, that I wasn't quite up to par in comparison with my fellow students. I also worked 2 jobs most of the time to be able to go to college. I worked as a student assistant and I had a retail job after school. Yes, working 2 jobs and I still qualified for financial aid. Did I mention the 45 minute commute from my house to the university? In the end I finished and decently. I won't say that it was a horrible experience because it wasn't, it's part of who I am today. I don't believe that I would be who I am today without that work and experience, I am thankful. Although some days I still wish that it had been just a little easier than it was.

This man has a full time job but his passion is singing opera,
so he does it in his spare time on the streets of San Francisco.
He does sell a cd also.
Living that was important to me but it was also bad for me because I have allowed that to define many parts of my life. Feeling subpar has led to my accepting work/positions that are less than I deserve and now I see that employers have seen that and taken advantage of my own insecurities. My work for the past 3 1/2 years has been good and I have felt respect from my employers but I didn't believe in myself, so I felt they didn't believe in me. I have proven my worth over time but I always go in on the defensive, working hard to prove my value. Now I realize that I was only proving it to myself because those people saw in me what they needed for their work and have utilized it - the only one who doubted it was me.

This month has been a month of graduations and many hopeful students heading out into the world. For them I say this -

  • Stop being so hard on yourself, stop doubting yourself. You have time to improve and to achieve what you want.
  • Take risks. Fear is normal but don't let it decide for you. Though failure is not a pleasant experience, regret is way worse.
  • Ask for help, seek it out! I think this is the most important, you are not weak for needing help. You are not a kiss ass for seeking help or wanting to network. Many people will tell you the contrary and try to make you feel bad for this - don't. Those older than you want to mentor you and help, take it!
  • Work hard and enjoy the work for what it is - a building block. Not all the work you do will be your "passion" but be passionate about your work because it reflects who you are even if it's not your dream come true. Your true passion may just not be something you might be paid for - like being a parent.
  • Don't stop learning or growing or dreaming! Goals can be achieved but the morning after goal fulfillment may seem empty if you don't keep on dreaming. There's more to dream of, aim for, and achieve in this life, than we have time for.
  • Don't buy or want to buy crap you don't need. Brand name clothing & accessories are for suckers, believe me no one really knows what label is under your collar in real life. You don't need to dress like Hollywood. Use your money wisely. 
  • Have a savings account with enough money to live off of for at least 3 months! You have no idea how important this will be in your future, especially after college.
  • Last but not least work at being happy. Happiness is not a given in anyone's life, you have to work for it. If someone tells you that a relationship (work/love) isn't worth it because it's not easier, walk away. Happiness will always take work to achieve and maintain, but that is what makes it so special and wonderful. 
I hope this wasn't too preachy and that someone get's something good out of this :)

22 May 2014

Easy Times

This week I am having a hard time coming to grips with the lack of hours in the day. I have so many projects I want to do, that I really want to finish or even start but there are just not enough hours in the day! Mind you I'm not complaining because quite honestly I feel like I've been stuck in a funk for some time now.

I think the funk began last year around June or so, there were lots of good times in between but there was just something off. I had been feeling like something bad had been coming my way but turns out that I just had such a shit time from about 2007 - 2011 that I assumed bad things just happened to me - all of the time. During those years there were some good things but I have to say they had some pretty shit moments. Life happens. There are all these posts out there about not letting the tough times define you but that's easier typed than done. I don't know that many of these writers/bloggers talk about how hard you have to work at letting the bad go and focusing on "growth". It is hard. F-ing hard. Every morning when I wake up, my first thought is "God my foot hurts" (plantar fasciitis) and then I have to make an effort and follow that with "But I can walk". When I look in the mirror I have to actively look and find the beauty in there. It's not always easy, I don't always succeed. When I look out the window and see my very crappy back yard I have to repeat (and repeat) this - Rome wasn't built in a day, my yard will not be beautiful overnight. It will take time to make my yard beautiful. It is extremely difficult to like the person in the mirror some mornings. It is hard to not just throw my arms up in complete frustration and just scream - I QUIT! Today has been an easy day but every now and then it is really difficult to be positive, to grow, to be accepting of me. Self-love is difficult and self-hate is soooo easy.

For today I am grateful that it's been an easy day, lets hope tomorrow is an easy day too.

Peace! (Said street style)

13 May 2014

Writer's Block or Soap Box?

What a long month! Well work has been of intense of late and I've been experiencing quite a bit of writer's block. I've also been travelling. I've been hitching rides with the brother-in-law (BIL) to go see my sister and my parents every time he travels. Right now he has a job that keeps him away a lot so when he goes home, I go home. Well my other home. I think no matter how old you are home will always be at your parents house, wherever they are. Crazy but true, at least for this Mexican. Still at work right now but hoping that water would move faster than honey in December. Science, some days you love it, other days you want to be Marco Rubio and deny it all.

I've been following the politics a little. Just a little. I'm a pretty liberal person, in case the internets hasn't noticed. Actually if you live in TX I don't know if you can ever call yourself a liberal. That being said today I saw an odd article on the NY Times regarding the death penalty. I am not a staunch supporter of the death penalty but I am also not a serious opponent. The NY Times was - I guess - trying to condemn the death penalty in the article, calling Texas the most efficient state at administering the Death Penalty. It was surprising and a little sad but I think many Texans rarely think about it because it isn't publicized as much as you would think. It's pretty low-key, they use pentobarbital (I've used this myself on animals), and the only people present are usually family of the sentenced and the victim, along with necessary staff. Besides the lack of publicity in our state, the article goes on to say that more than 50% of the population supports the penalty.  When the death penalty is handed down, that is a solace (perhaps) for the victims families. There is that desire in some people to see the person who took from them a loved one, be put to death. I hope to never be in that position but I wonder if I would be so ready to forgive or to be OK with a life sentence only. I don't know that I wouldn't want them dead too. I think for that reason I do not oppose, but I do condemn the death penalty for it's failings. I think my biggest issue is the fact that so many people are condemned being innocent and that you can release someone from prison for a crime they didn't commit but you can't bring  someone back from the dead. Such a serious topic.  Sorry. Off my soap box.

Umm. So. I changed my profile pic! OK I'll be back tomorrow with something better.  I hope.