Day 62: Your Perspective

Last week was an interesting journey through the internet.  I saw several instances where the best and the worst of social media came together.  From private letters becoming public, to photobombing, to people trying to normalize prejudice, it was a sea of interesting situations.  It all brought home a very important lesson.  Your opinion of things is based on your perspective.

I got called a lettuce picker on a CNN comments board last week.  The issue at hand involved a 26-year-old job applicant publishing a “private” email sent to her by a job board creator.  I put private inside quotes because we all know nothing you write on the internet is private, and yet this communications, job board creator thought it would be ok for her to insult the job applicant.  I understand that many people do not want to be approached on LinkedIn.  They think that it is different from Facebook and only people they know should approach them.  I believe they are missing the entire point of expanding their network, and at the same time, I understand their reservations.  All she had to do was ignore the invite from the younger applicant.

Instead, she went into this entire rant about Millenials being inconsiderate and assuming they would get everything handed to them.  As I read the comments, I saw one where the person was defending the rude letter.  I commented under him that although I understood the sentiment, her answer was uncalled for.  I got called a lettuce picker.  End of intelligent conversation.  I could have gotten offended and called him something else.  I decided to point out that I did not resort to personal attacks when answering his comment.  That I was his worst nightmare, Hispanic, woman, college graduate, working, paying taxes.  He called me a lettuce picker again.  I guess some people don’t know how to have an intelligent conversation, so I decided not to answer any more comments.

Then I saw this letter written by this Mormon mother complaining about the fact that the movie Frozen was created to defend the rights of gays to get married.  This woman was using her religion to justify an attack on gays while explaining that the movie was all about normalizing their behavior.  The funniest part was when she decided to mark the passages on the song Let it Go where there were obvious references to the gay lifestyle.  The song is sang by a girl and one of the lines is I am a queen.  She is the queen.  That is a gay reference according to this lady.

I started thinking to myself:  two incidents where middle-aged white women have some kind of ax to grind about something they don’t fully understand.  I guess our perspectives are always based on our own existence.

I don’t know if the lady that wrote the first letter ever got any help with finding a job.  I suspect it was such a long time ago that she forgot how good it is to have someone along the way to guide you.  I imagine the Mormon mother is like many Christians, who take the Bible to mean what they want it to mean and not exactly what it says.  And finally, I have to think that the idiot on the CNN board is just a bigot.

Why do I think all these things?  Because they are my opinions, based on my own experience.  I am a Hispanic, middle-aged woman, who was raised Catholic but never drank the kool aid.  Don’t take me wrong, I am still Catholic.  Yet when I was told that Jesus told us to love our brothers as we love ourselves, I did not go around questioning those brothers or sisters that act different from me.  I decided to love everyone, regardless of the color of their skin or who they sleep with at night.

I was also raised by a very successful business man, who taught me to help anyone in need.  I remember one time we were walking down the street and he saw a homeless man begging for money.  He did not give him money, he got him food.  He said to me that at least he knew the guy would get one nice meal today.  That was the way my dad saw life.  He went to church, he helped whoever needed it and he enjoys his life.  So if I am ever in a position to help, I am more than happy to do it.

When I go online, I always know somebody is watching.  I also know that the image I want to leave on the internet is a positive one.  That is why I don’t argue with people on the internet or leave obscene language.  I’m also very clear that you can build something great and tear it down in five minutes with the wrong post, so I don’t.

These are all my perspectives on life.  What are yours?  Leave a comment below.

Day 55: RBS

I have decided to give a name to my condition.  It is called RBS or Restless Brain Syndrome.  My friends think it is when your brain runs with a million thoughts and not letting you sleep.  For me, it is a little different.

Every so often, I get restless.  I start feeling like I have not accomplished enough.  I want to do something to help others, help myself, have a good time and make some money.  Meantime, I am sitting here, middle-aged and middle mind.  I am not going anywhere and I feel like a rat on a wheel.  The last time I felt like this, I got up one morning and said I was leaving the country that I was born in to make a life back in the USA.  That was about four years ago.  Well, actually, it was exactly four years and seven months ago.

Here is where it gets tricky.  When this happened in 2009, I did not have a job, my kid was graduating from high school and the economy back home was three times worse than here.  So, I got up with no money, picked a suitcase for me and one for my daughter, and moved here sight unseen.  I got lucky that the apartment was great.  The state I picked has not grown on me at all, maybe because the first three years I did not have a good job or a car.  Things are a little different now.  I love the place where I work and they pay well.  I can see myself growing with the company.  I just don’t know if I want to stay here for five more years.  I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.  That is where the RBS kicks in.

My condition also comes from the fact that I have just spent four weeks recovering from surgery and calibrating my life.  I’m not happy where I am physically, mentally, emotionally or professionally.  I think I have a lot more to contribute.  I don’t know what I am going to do with myself.  And this is where the wheels are spinning and I don’t know when they are going to stop.

So how do I deal with this.  Lucky for me, I quit smoking a long time ago.  I don’t drink alcohol, so that is not an issue and I was never a druggie.  Needles and stuffing things down my nose were never an option and to be honest, I don’t even like drinking Tylenol, so any other drugs would be a major imposition on my lifestyle.  Another alternative  would be to eat crappy food, which right now I am not allowed to do.  The only other choice is to finally start running…which I am not allowed to do for one more week and weight lifting, which I am not allowed to do for another week.

In the meantime, I am reading, I am writing and I am getting headaches from all this thinking.  So I ask you, what do you do when your mind is going around at a million miles an hour and you are just BORED with where you are?  Leave your comments below.

Day 41 Back to Life

Today is the first day I go back to work since having the surgery.  It has been a long journey for me, from the visit to the ER last July, to surgery on January 24th and now back to life.  A couple of things have happened that I would like to share as knowledge from the journey.

Some times, we are so focused on getting things done, that we forget that we need time to heal.  When I first spoke to my surgeon about the surgery, he warned me that I was going to be tired.  He told me that the first four weeks after surgery were going to be wearing me out.  I did not know how tired I was going to be.  That first week after the surgery, I took two-hour naps during the day and still slept eight-hour days.  I was exhausted, especially after my twenty-minute walks.  I walked so slow I felt ancient.  And then I felt guilty because I was not doing anything, not even writing.  The only thing I did was read some books.

Then the second week started.  My doctor told me that he wanted me to walk a couple of times a day.  I started walking half miles.  I started napping only once a day.  I felt great.  Then I read a little book called The Alchemist.  Something interesting happened.  I got ideas of things I wanted to do and more importantly, things I wanted to draw.  That gave way to a project I want to work on this week.  It also gave my mind permission to wonder and remember when I was a child.

The thing is, when I was five years old, I started drawing these girls.  They were not tall and lean like my brother’s fashion drawings.  To be honest with you, they were curvy and kind of chubby.  I could never get them to look slim.  As I was reading that book I understood that everything we do in life, even the stuff we don’t think matters, happens for a reason.  When I was in my teens, I stopped drawing, frustrated because I could not get them to look like my brother’s models.  42 years later I realized that I was not supposed to make them slimmer.  On Friday, I drew my first girl after all these years, as curvy as ever.

One of the two biggest lessons I learned in the last two weeks is that we cannot do, do, do and not take time for ourselves.  Relaxing and recovery are as important as getting things done.  It is not lazy to take a day off to just enjoy the fact that you are alive.

The second lesson that I learned is that we are all here for a purpose, that we glimpse when we are young.  If we are lucky, we recognize the signs and we move with our purpose.  I did not get fat just because I eat.  I got fat to learn what it is like and to support all of those that are just like me.  We do not fit the mold of the size six and we don’t want to.  We are happy with who we are and what we do.  That is more important than the size of our clothes.

What do you think?  Leave your comment below.