They sent me to Binghamton

I've always wanted to be on the east coast, and the universe responded…by sending me to Binghamton, NY. Oh you've never heard of it? Neither had I, but I do so love adventures and that's how I choose to view this. Let the adventures begin!

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What would my message be?

Slowly, my mental and emotional state are coming back to an equilibrium. My thoughts still tend towards life and death, and our relationship with death…well, specifically my relationship with death…and why we react the way we do upon hearing news of someone’s death, whether that person was close to us or not. Obviously, our reaction to the death of a loved one is vastly different than that of the death of a stranger. But the feeling of shock and sadness is the same. The “why??“‘s, “that’s not fair!“‘s is the same. The sudden slap in the face of, “oh crap, time is not limitless and you truly never know when your time is up” is the same.

Grief is intermixed with the fear that comes up when being faced with your own mortality. Along with the grief of losing a loved one comes the questions of,

“What would happen if I die today?”

“What will people say about me?”

“Have I truly lived my life to its fullest?”

“Am I living my live as if it’s temporary, because that’s exactly what it is.”

“Do I even realize what a gift I’ve been given with each day that I have on this earth?”

And to make the emotional rollercoaster even rockier, the guilt comes.

“Why didn’t I call more?”

“When was the last time we spoke?”

“Did I even ask how he was doing? Omg no I didn’t because I was so caught up in some mundane thing at the time…”

“Did he know that I truly cared about him?”

“Did I ever tell him how proud I am of him for doing exactly what he sought out to do?”

I still don’t understand why we feel this way about death. And by “we” I really mean me because who am I to say what others go through in their grieving process? But I suspect it’s not too different. And although my heart still hurts from the unexpected deaths of my cousin and of my friend, my thoughts are starting to take a more positive spin. I’m refusing to keep on turning a blind eye to the fact that I will die someday and so will all of my loved ones. Instead, I am actively thinking about how I’m living my life and how I keep nurturing my relationships that are so important to me. In a response to someone asking him what his message was to the world, Ghandi said that his life is his message, and I intend to do the same.

I am not in control of how others receive my message or how I’m viewed but what I am in control of is one, figuring out what I want my message to be and two, doing my best to ensure my words and actions reflect that message.

Once I started thinking about what my message is I realized I’ve actually felt this way for a long time, I just never consciously put words to it. If there’s one thing I hope to leave my friends and family with when it’s my time to pass, it’s this:

Be true to who you are.


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Star-Crossed Lovers

One weekend I finally got to hang out with my brother’s fiancee, now wife, for a girls’ weekend. What this means is I finally got the details of how she met my brother. I had asked my brother a couple years back but in typical guy fashion, he did not give me much. The conversation basically went like this:

“So, how did you ask her out?” I asked my brother after a few drinks in.

“I didn’t. She asked ME out,” my brother replied, followed by a smirk.

Aaaand that was the end of the conversation. Typical guy. No juicy details whatsoever lol. However, as I suspected, it was not quite so simple. For starters, my brother’s wife was his apartment manager. In addition, my brother was never the type to pay much attention to the ladies, even back when he was in high school when all the girls would come up to me and say, “omg! You’re his little sister?? Your brother is SO cute!” and I would tell him. His reaction back then was to laugh and smirk, much like when I asked how he had met his wife. Then to make things even more interesting, his wife at the time barely spoke any English. So how then? How did this even start, let alone work out?

It all started with a knock on his door. When he opened the door, there she was, looking nervous but beautiful and asking him in broken English if he wanted to take a walk around the block. And then…magic.


My brother must have seen something in her that made him just know. I normally tend to roll my eyes at the cliche cheesy love stuff especially because I thought I knew twice before and I was wrong both times, but given this is my brother, who I had never seen this way with anyone before, it made me pay attention. It especially made me pay attention when they decided to continue seeing each other even after my brother moved to New York while she stayed in southern California.

“He’s moving to New York, right?” I asked my mom.

“Right,” my mom said.

“So…are they still staying together?” I asked.

“Of course!” my mom said.

My bad…there was nothing ‘of course’ about it to me…

I thought that was hard enough, but apparently, it was even more complicated than that. Timing really did a number on them. For one thing, she was planning to move back home to Mexico, which was what had given her the courage to knock on his door to begin with. Not to mention she had a work engagement the whole week immediately after their first walk together. And then, four months into dating, my brother got a job in New York and had to move. More and then, her student visa was expiring soon so she had to move back to Mexico.

So there she was, still living in southern California while my brother was across the country in New York and her friends and family were back in Mexico, with a soon expiring student visa. She had a good job lined up for her in Mexico that she had been planning to take before she met my brother. But she decided to stay.

I don’t understand. I really don’t, not going to lie.

Here was this young, independent woman, who had dreams of her own that did not involve anyone else…and yet she stayed. She is not that different from me. She’s very career-driven. There were SO many factors against them and logically it just did not make any sense. When I asked her about it she told me that her mind was telling her the same thing. The way they met wasn’t the best given the property manager/client relationship, my brother moved shortly after, she had to move to a different country not long after that, and yet it just somehow felt right to be with him, she told me.

Wow. I mean, that really amazes me. What does it feel like to meet someone that makes you realize life makes more sense with them than without them? What is it like to feel that being with someone is more important and will make you happier than following your own dreams that you’ve worked so hard for?

And then I went home (California) for their wedding and reconnected with someone at the last minute, as in literally an hour before I had to go to the airport to fly back to New York. Ah. So that’s what it’s like…and now moving back home doesn’t seem like such a bad thing after all… 😛


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When The Timing Isn’t Right, Neither Is The Man

Just stumbled upon this wonderful piece of writing and the title alone spoke to me. Indeed,

“When the timing isn’t right, neither is the man.”

I used to say it all the time, albeit with a lot of anger. I was angry because of the guys in my past I fell for or was on my way to falling for who chose something or someone else over me but inevitably reached out to me later on, saying something along the lines of “I was thinking of you the other day and…” And, what, bro? Where was this when I opened up about my feelings and actually wanted to move forward with you?

The first time this happened, I was sympathetic. Oh, I told myself, we all take our own time to process things and I may have moved on but if he needs closure, I’ll be there for him. It’s the decent thing to do.


Then, the next guy apologized for what happened between us…one year later. Um. Ok…


It was so out of the blue, but still, I was gracious and told him not to worry about it, I was over it and I don’t tend to hold grudges. Oh but then the same guy decided to contact me again, this time two years later, just to say that he thought I was great. My response? “I know, right?”


I still saw the humor in it though. Like, really? I knew I was great, but clearly he didn’t. But hey, thanks for the boost in ego!

And then the third guy does this to me, even after I told him about the other two guys and how weird I thought that was. My humor and understanding at that point was gone. I was angry. I was tired of putting myself out there, trying to move forward with guys I thought would be good for me and not have it work out. That in itself I could’ve dealt with. But why, oh why, did they all have to reach out to me afterwards, basically trying to feel out if we could pick up where we left off?? WHY? I would have much preferred they left me alone because having them contact me afterwards kinda made me feel like a failure. Like, hey look, you almost had something with these guys but shucks, the timing wasn’t right! Keep trying, almost there, buddy!

It just made me so angry that all of them seemed to decide they wanted me after I was already gone. Seriously? You didn’t realize my worth until after I left? ALL OF YOU??


Naturally, my logical side told me it wasn’t my fault or theirs; it’s just what it is. Friends comforted me by saying, hey, maybe it’s just the timing and maybe, just maybe, you’ll meet again later. Alas my emotions were not having it! TIMING, MY ASS! If the “timing” isn’t right for the guy, then he isn’t the guy for me!

In retrospect, the timing wasn’t right for me either – I was not ready at that time. I had (have) a lot of growing up I still needed to do, it wasn’t just them. Since then, I have calmed down and stopped trying to analyze and categorize what purpose in my life these guys have served. I have also stopped trying to make a lifelong decision as to whether I would give them another chance if we ran into each other again. That decision should be made if that ever happened, not now when it’s just in theory.

As it turns out, I actually have come across two of the three guys many years after the fact and I see now that it likely wouldn’t have worked out anyway. And this in particular stood out to me from the piece I stumbled upon:

“if timing had my back she would have told me to fall for myself before I fell for a chapter disguised as a man”

I did not recognize it at the time because I was extremely hurt and upset when things didn’t work out, but timing actually did have my back. If it weren’t for timing, I might have actually been in a relationship with men who were not right for me. So, thank you, timing, for having my back and letting me fall for myself the past few years.

fist bump

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Reality vs. Expectation


When I took my impromptu trip to downtown Corning this past weekend I was in an extremely happy state until I got an email from The Man Who Made Me Crazy. I didn’t let that get me down but the email was on the back of my mind for the rest of the night. I didn’t read it that night in fear that it would totally bring back memories and emotions that I had worked so hard to let go of, so I waited until the next day.

And guess what? I read the email…and felt nothing. Well, I shouldn’t say nothing because I did feel something, and that something was relief. I was expecting to have to stop myself from responding in a way that would start things up again. I was expecting to be bombarded with all these mixed feelings of hurt, anger, and hope, and needing my friends to slap some sense into me. Instead, I read the email and decided that it did not even warrant a response. No, sir, you do not get to start things up with me just because we are now in the same time zone and it’s convenient for you. The time has come and gone, this ship has sailed onto bigger and better things, and I am way too happy to invite that kind of craziness into my life again.

Then I got to thinking, most of the time disappointment comes from our expectations being set too high and the reality not being able to meet those expectations. And unfortunately, I feel like this happens more often than not. Well, I’m not sure what’s going on but so far the reality has been exceeding my expectations. It’s not like my expectations have been set low, either. I mean, from my co-workers being super cool out here and turning into actual friends I’d hang out with, to the people I’ve met at the gym who also are turning out to be more than just gym-buddies and actual close friends, then you have the beauty that is upstate NY along with the surrounding areas that I’m having fun exploring…it is way more than I expected. I knew I was going to be happy moving here but I really didn’t expect it to be like this, and I am just so thankful.

So cheers to life, to happiness, and to finding that reality is actually pretty damn good sometimes!

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I got it from my mama

“Behind every great child is a mother who’s pretty sure she’s screwing it all up.”

I’m actually not really sure if my mom feels this way or if she (or my dad) has any idea of the positive impact she (they) had on me growing up, or how big of an influence she (they) has been in shaping who I am. We don’t really do those types of conversations. Well, mother, if you ever stumble upon this post and my blog, the answer is no, you have not been screwing it all up.

I must say though…

“All mothers are slightly insane.” -J. D. Salinger from The Catcher in the Rye

My mom had to go to Connecticut for a work conference and decided that since she’ll be on the east coast, she’s going to visit my brother and me. So she was going to fly in to Newark, NJ, visit my brother in Albany, NY, visit me in Binghamton, NY, go to her conference in Connecticut, then go back to Newark, NJ…in one weekend.

Just to give a visual of what this drive looks like:



The reason her route is in a figure 4 rather than a circle is because I had already made plans that Saturday so she had to visit my brother in Albany first. Even if she went to see me first though, that is A LOT of driving! It’s a total of almost 8 hours!! Craziness! I think most people would’ve just either had people drive somewhere halfway to meet up or just say, sorry, I’ll see you next time. Not my mother, though. She wanted to visit her children so she found a way to make it happen. I love that. And as I get older I notice that I actually mimic a lot of the things my mom does or think the way my mom thinks. Do I think it’s crazy to drive that much in a weekend? Yes. Would I have done it myself to visit people I really wanted to see? Absolutely. And really, it’s like a 2 to 3 hour drive stretch each leg of the trip so it’s not that bad but it is still a lot of time spent in a car.

My mom making this insane weekend trip has made me realize that part of the reason my perspective about my move here is the way it is, is because she’s the same way. I don’t really see it as an obstacle to drive a few hours to do what I want to do. It’s just a path, or a step I need to take to get what I want. Ultimately I ask myself how much I really want something and if I want it bad enough, well then. I have to do what it takes, whether it’s planning out fun trips, making time for people despite everyone’s busy schedule, my career, and really, just everything in my life. One of the best life lessons I’ve gotten from my mom (and dad, because I’m blessed to have awesome parents) is, you want it? Then go get it.


And, you know, just keeping it real. 😉