An arcade

I find myself hiking to get to a convenience store and when I’m at the top a friend greets me. His other friend hiding shyly behind him.

“Why didn’t you ask for a ride?”
“I figured you were busy – like everybody else.”
“People will make time for you. Honest. All we can say is yes or no.”

I go do my business in the convenience store while his friend shyly watches me disappear into the aisles looking anxiously for what I need.

While in the car and hearing that I’m the only person in my apartment complex this weekend the friend who was shyly hiding behind my own friend suggests we go to an arcade. We all agree. I take another friend and we head out.

Because of time constraints and busy schedules I can only be in the arcade a few hours. I enjoy a horrible defeat in dance dance revolution and various other games while still keeping a smile on my face.

As my friend and I leave my friend and the shy boy hug me. The tightest hug I’ve ever had. He plays with my hair with his nose and motions for me to kiss his cheek. I do. The smile on his face swells and it seems to affect my own heartbeat.

Butterflies

Every day at about noon I sit in the same area in the hospital in the same seat. I see a handsome man look at me often. One time he even sat next to me. I know nothing more of him other than his face.

Today I sat in the same seat and I look up to see a friend walking toward me.
“Hey Mem,”
“Hi!” I stand up. He’s much taller than me and I’ve only known him over the weekend through mutual friends. His smile is so big. He’s not as handsome as the shy man in the distance, but he makes me happy.

“I came because I needed something. I forgot you work here.” My insides churn and underneath my bruised cheeks and makeup I feel myself flush.

“Its nice to see you again.” I smile and he smiles back my stomach is a mess. I think I might be falling for this guy.

I look over and the shy handsome man has watched this exchange and I wonder what he’s thinking.

Growth

It’s been a while, and a lot has happened.

And I mean a lot.

I’m getting ready for another move; this time continental. Goodbye southern US and welcome to the Big Apple… area.

I’m reflecting on these last nine months and my own personal achievements within them. Its bittersweet but at the same time the world moves on and I need to keep moving with it.

I mean:

At nineteen years old, I traveled the world over, I saw things and did things no normal teenager should ever know or do. I moved by myself to another country to do something I thought was right and faced opposition from those that love me. I faced the uncertain conclusion of when I would see my parents again and how much it would hurt that some people could drive to see them.

I receive an associates degree on Tuesday, a degree that takes only six rigorous months of completion. I am going to work at a good institution and my future is set.

Why did I worry or care so much before? Why did I let my insecurities run my life. I now realize I’m meant for so much more and from now on I’m not-  nor ever want to hold back.

And I have all the support I need, never dry of love.

Lightbringer

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A few months ago, I made a man cry from an act of kindness. He told me later: “they give you so many nicknames that they associate you with each one personally. You are a lightbringer.”

I find myself writing today because of a tragedy or a to be tragedy. The transience of life flickering before our eyes. Often, we forget our own fragility. It’s sad when you receive bad news. Its worse when the back news comes from somebody you love and they deliver it with the full force.

People are sometimes so strong. I think. Especially when they cry.

I was unable to hold the bad news giver. I was unable to hold the bad news. My eyes flickered and suddenly his pain became her pain became my pain. I wanted to let her know that I felt for her. Loved her all the same and prayed that things would be alright.

God provides. They will be, only we never know that things will be alright when they happen. Were too involved in the superficial to notice the natural process.

Life is painful, but the most painful things are sometimes the most beautiful. I just hope and pain that we sometimes carry amongst ourselves is lifted. Especially from this specific family this post is written about.

Little loves

I skyped my family for the first time in three months and saw my little loves, my dogs for the first time since I had left. They were the last things I saw when I left home and the first things I see when I log on.

My own dog. The one that hates everybody but me tried smelling for me, looking for my voice, scratching at the leg of the computer desk trying to reach me.

It feels great to be loved and missed.

Changes

I am now nineteen and I’ve flown around the world and done things many people only dream of. I’ve managed to make people laugh, cry, smile, and get frustrated. I myself have found myself in those situations. In the past few months I’ve done a lot of growing up, realized what pain was, and held onto those I cared about. They held me up when I needed it the most.

The past few months have been a complete struggle for me. There was no moment where I never asked myself if I should quit now and leave, go back to who I was. There were moments where I pretended I was okay but I really wasn’t. I kept telling myself that people prayed for me and knew I could do it but I kept falling down and struggled to get back up. People helped me up, but I kept getting scared and forgetting my own strength. But despite the fear I smiled and found humor in the situation.

“Mem, you are resilient and that will be your greatest ally in your life.” Says a man I truly respect on the last day I was there. The changes are now set forth, and suddenly I feel lighthearted and stronger.

In my moment of weakness I found myself. I found humor in any situation that was given to me and spread it like an infection in an environment that tended to crush souls. Humor doesn’t transfer well on paper, but, at least it sticks in memory forever.

It never mattered who I was or where I came from, what I wanted to be or what I ended up doing. I’m living, breathing and supported by friends and family.

I’m now nineteen years old, still wondering about my future but now feel secure enough to let God lead me. I have a better understanding of myself and I’m still learning. My life and possibilities now seem so endless.

In charge of… What?

I don’t remember if I posted my last experience in the kitchen. It was frustration and mayhem. Complete and utter mayhem. I don’t even know where to start in my experience.

My mother said: “because you decided to _______ in the __________ and you have less than _______ days left with me. Those days you will cook dinner.”

Mind you, my parents are very good cooks and I’m lucky to say that most days I have a home cooked meal. This came as a shock to me, as I’ve only started cooking in September.

I’m not kidding. All these years I’ve never helped out in the kitchen of had an interest in cooking. I had an interest in eating. I picked up a knife, a few tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppercorn, salt, tomato sauce, milk, and noodles and made my own pasta recipe mimicking my cutting style after what I had seen my parents do in the kitchen the few times I decided to watch.

My dad tasted it and deducted that I have a hidden talent for cooking and improvisation. Ever since then they’ve been pressuring me to cook.

Well, this is my dinner menu for the next week:

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Sorry if its to the side, it reads:

Tuna casserole,
Baked pesto chicken,
Chili coke roast,
Bacon and cheese quiche (I specialize in quiches),
Honey pecan pork chops,
Easy chicken stroganoff,
Bubble pizza.

I’ve never worked with anything other than vegetables, fruits, carbohydrates and eggs. So the chickens and the pork will be interesting, especially since the recipes call for me to do some extra work with them.

Off to cook! Tell you all about it later!

– Mem