The Purpose of Life

​There are quite a few days that I think of my Titi (Auntie) Gloria because she was such a big influence in my life. 

Being present while she battled cancer for four years and watching that struggle was a painful and enlightening experience.

Many of my childhood summers were spent with her. Watching her make Puerto Rican food, working in her Bible Book Store, and playing in her backyard… that was my happy, safe place. 

She was one of my mother’s six sisters and more of a Grandmother to me than an Aunt.

Her faith and strong sense of family were always and still are an inspiration. 

There are so many lessons that are still with me to this day that came not only from her, but from my Mother as well…

Help those less fortunate.

Be hospitable.

Feed EVERYONE who comes into your home.

Be there for your family, always.

God/Jesus IS LOVE (no matter what stupid humans want to portray)

Laugh. There is humor in everything.

Pray for your enemies.

 
For me, the greatest wisdom she ever shared came in her last days during a conversation with my Mother. She said that she knew what life was all about and it was truly the only thing that mattered in the end.

Life is about loving people.

 

That’s it. It’s so simple and we complicate the hell out of it, but just loving each other is everything. Love them. Love them unconditionally. Love them fiercely. Just love them.

Say Anything

Some days I think I  have my shit together and some days I seem to have lost my ability to count. I have somehow developed the nervous talking habit John Cusack had in the movie Say Anything which is, evidently, not as endearing on me.

say-anything

The following is an account of my lunch hour yesterday because I know you all care so deeply…

I spent a solid 60 seconds trying to remember if I put on underwear. As soon as I figured out that I wasn’t going commando, my thoughts shifted to my dogs. I made a mental note that I needed to get new name tag for my dog. He’s currently sporting the name tag of a dog I fostered last year because, hey, at least it has my phone number on it. This is probably causing him to have some kind of identity crisis and feel like he doesn’t matter as much as my other two dogs. Then, I’m like….dude, you’re worrying about the emotional state of a creature who has chased his own tail for 6 minutes straight. Chill.

I arrived at a gym nearby my work because in a moment of poor judgment I agreed to get a membership so as to join two of my coworkers for lunchtime cardio a few days a week. I know, but this is who I am now. As I’m discussing the deets of this torturous arrangement, the guy asked me what my fitness goals were. I paused and said, “To never check in on Facebook?” Clearly, he’s now going to take me about as seriously as I take myself.

I left and immediately started to scold myself. I was all, “Jesus, Mary & Joseph, can you just act like a freakin adult for 5 minutes?!”

About a minute later, I forgave myself for my juvenile ways and headed toward Panera because nothing starts off a new healthy lifestyle like a cup of Clam Chowder.

On my drive back to work I started eating the French Baguette they always give you. Let me be clear, there is no lady like way to eat a Baguette while driving. I looked like a character out of Game of Thrones who’s been on a long journey and has just gotten her hands on some nourishment. I kept eating it because, bread.

As I’m driving, I think….Have I heard from Pops lately? I try to recall if I’ve gotten any emails from him that day. Listen, if your Dad doesn’t email you weekly about an article that he found interesting, is he even you Dad?! I actually look forward to these emails because Pops is the best thing since chocolate and you know what, maybe I DO want to know how to properly store tomatoes in my kitchen so they maintain their fresh deliciousness!

I arrived back at the office and suddenly remember that at 7 years old, I thought becoming a Librarian would be the bestest thing ever because BOOKS…and I also had a slight obsession with wanting to scan barcodes. A grocery store checkout clerk was a close second to the coolest job a person could have. Whatta weird kid. Anyway, that’s a life long dream that will probably never see the light of day.

In a moment of rare silence, I think, am I the only one pretending to be an adult around here? Am I alone in feigning maturity all damn day?! Is the ridiculous train leaving the station with only me on board??

At that moment, the phone rang for the 73rd time and I shouted, “not it!” because I. Can’t. Even.

 

 

 

Shout-Outs

Today brought to my attention some much needed thanks to be given and shout-outs to be heard so here goes.

Shout-out to my ex husband for sharing “how happy he is that he divorced my ass”! Point of fact: I divorced you and, while I like to give credit to my ass for ALL of it’s amazing abilities, let’s thank all of me for the blessed event. That was a super fun walk down memory lane. You’re a peach.

Shout-out to the woman in the stall next to me today for peeing with the force of Niagara Falls, thus making me feel like the daintiest lady alive. Holy, Mrs. Doubtfire!

Thanks to my coworker for agreeing with me that Marie Callender’s pies being $7.99 this month does, in fact, justify having a pie party at the office. (Now taking place on the 11th, you’re all invited)

Shout-out to my right eyeball for having the tiniest speck of annoying dust in it for the last 22 hours and making it look like I have a twitch or am hitting on every person around me.

Thank you, teenage daughter, for getting your nose pierced…causing me to have an actual twitch.

Shout out to my son for telling me that you love me more than everybody, but being sure to still call me a “party pooper” weekly, just to keep me humble.

Thanks to the Salvadorian Rancher/Attorney that happened by our office for the delightful story about your turkey who I’m sure really is in a better place, may he rest in peace.

Shout-out to my boyfriend for taking me seriously enough when I’m pissed off, but not seriously at all when I over think what you hypothetically considered doing in a dream I had. (How could you?!) All the while, being remorseful of your almost actions in my subconscious. You are a modern day prince charming.

Thanks to my best girlfriends for promising to live out our golden years together like Blanche, Rose, and a pinch of Sophia. As previously agreed upon, none of us will be playing the part of Dorothy. We’ll have game night, make mixed drinks, and never wear pants! I love you more than Bloody Mary’s, you are my spirit animals.

Shout-out to my 7 year old niece for the conviction in your voice when saying, “I’m serious, for reals!” You are a force to be reckoned with and I take you seriously, always.

Shout-out to me for audibly talking to myself out in public on a daily basis. Thanks for being weird.

Hey, Gabrielle Union, thanks for Being Mary Jane. You’re beautiful and talented. Let’s do lunch.

Shout-out to Benadryl just for being you.

Thanks to my Mother for teaching me the importance of learning to laugh at myself. I’m becoming a pro.

Thanks to my Father for proving that love really does conquer all.

On a genuine note, thank you to all of my people(you know who you are) who have my back and tolerate my crazy. You’re the bee’s knees. I love you all. I’m serious, for reals.

Last, but certainly not least…Thanks, God, for always reminding me how very much I need you. Clearly, I can’t be left to my own devices.

Here's What I Know…

Brace yourself, this isn’t a post making fun of any celebrities, fashion or stupidity. I know it’s shocking, but try to pay attention.

I am a few days away from my 32nd birthday. This once seemed to be an ancient age (back when I was 11), however, I’ve made it to this point and still feel like I’m not a complete adult. Not sure when that’s supposed to kick in or if I ever want it to. Anyway, back to being 11. I made 3 decisions that year that I have actually stuck with.

Here they are:

1. I would never change my last name. I didn’t care how great my future husband’s last name was, I found it strange that women gave up that part of their identity. Also, c’mon, Nightengale is an awesome last name. I am proud to come from the family that I do and it just felt wrong for me to change it.

2. I would always be a 49ers fan. I know. Maybe I should have reconsidered this decision.

3. I would wake up every day and ask God to give me wisdom. People can educate themselves to no end, but true wisdom is a powerful gift. It’s more than common sense or logic, it is a deep understanding of yourself and others. It is having an almost unexplainable intuition about people and situations. I believe that having wisdom is seeing people the way that God sees us – with complete unconditional love. I am still working on this.

I don’t love religion, but I love God…you want to call it a “higher power” or “the Universe”? Ok, fine, whatever suits you. I say God. I believe in taking the good out of every teaching and religion. I believe in not judging others for their particular faith or lack there of, that is not love.

Here I am, an almost 32-year-old adult(sort of) and this is what I know to be true. Feel free to disagree, I won’t give a shit…

~Everyone needs to be passionate about something in life.

~Without compassion, we are doomed.

~Forgiving is the most important thing a human being can learn to do. Not just for others, but for ourselves as well.

~People who fight to be right will always lose.

~There is no love like the love a parent has for their child.

~Everything seems worse at night.

~There are few things funnier than when my Dad imitates my Mom.

~I have been blessed with fantastic parents.

~I talk too much.

~We could all use a little therapy.

~Nobody has it all figured out.

~Blood doesn’t make you family, but memories, love, loyalty & trust sure do.

~I will never be able to tolerate disingenuous people. Be real or be gone.

~Laughter truly is the best medicine.

~My Mom believes in me more than I believe in myself.

~The ocean always puts things in perspective.

~I often say what others just think.

~There is nothing like reading an amazing book.

~My brother gets me in a way that nobody else ever will.

~My kids are all way too much like me, God help them.

~I’m wrong about something every single day.

~I’m a damn good cook.

~My Father is the most generous person I know.

~My Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins have shaped who I am more than they will ever know.

~I love my dogs & my cat, but I always hated the fish. RIP.

~My most comforting meal will always be Puerto Rican chicken, rice & beans.

~Music has very often been my therapy.

~It will all work out.

~When I think of how much I miss my Grandma, my heart actually physically hurts. I doubt that will change.

~All good things come from God.

~I have an addiction to magazines.

~I love talking to, texting & laughing with my Dad because he’s like me….but smarter.

~Owls are adorable.

~I am vain.

~All forms of Art are valuable; Dancing, Acting, Painting, Singing….we NEED this in the world.

~It really is all about the little things.

~I am loved.

~Happiness is a choice.

~Golden Oreo ice cream is delicious.

~You can’t change others.

~Being at peace with myself is more important than what others think of me.

~I’m superstitious.

~I was definitely a bird in a past life.

~People that place so much value in material possessions, often don’t value themselves.

~Camping at the beach every year with my family is my favorite childhood memory.

~Nothing seems real until I’ve shared it with my Mom.

~Patience is a virtue I sometimes wish I didn’t have so much of.

~Sharks & Snakes are evil.

~Sometimes insanity has a pretty face and lipstick, be careful.

~I worry.

~I like spooky houses, mysteries & conspiracy theories.

~My children are who they are, my job is to help them love and accept themselves, not change them.

~I’m slightly hilarious.

~The smell of a Nectarine makes me smile.

~I will always dance in my kitchen.

~I have so much respect for my Ancestors.

~Sometimes God asks us to do exactly what we don’t want to do. Do it anyway.

~I will forever be a curious person.

~Embracing our own imperfections allows us to love others in spite of theirs.

~I am my Mother’s daughter.

Most of all…

~I know who I am and will never apologize for it.

Here’s What I Know…

Brace yourself, this isn’t a post making fun of any celebrities, fashion or stupidity. I know it’s shocking, but try to pay attention.

I am a few days away from my 32nd birthday. This once seemed to be an ancient age (back when I was 11), however, I’ve made it to this point and still feel like I’m not a complete adult. Not sure when that’s supposed to kick in or if I ever want it to. Anyway, back to being 11. I made 3 decisions that year that I have actually stuck with.

Here they are:

1. I would never change my last name. I didn’t care how great my future husband’s last name was, I found it strange that women gave up that part of their identity. Also, c’mon, Nightengale is an awesome last name. I am proud to come from the family that I do and it just felt wrong for me to change it.

2. I would always be a 49ers fan. I know. Maybe I should have reconsidered this decision.

3. I would wake up every day and ask God to give me wisdom. People can educate themselves to no end, but true wisdom is a powerful gift. It’s more than common sense or logic, it is a deep understanding of yourself and others. It is having an almost unexplainable intuition about people and situations. I believe that having wisdom is seeing people the way that God sees us – with complete unconditional love. I am still working on this.

I don’t love religion, but I love God…you want to call it a “higher power” or “the Universe”? Ok, fine, whatever suits you. I say God. I believe in taking the good out of every teaching and religion. I believe in not judging others for their particular faith or lack there of, that is not love.

Here I am, an almost 32-year-old adult(sort of) and this is what I know to be true. Feel free to disagree, I won’t give a shit…

~Everyone needs to be passionate about something in life.

~Without compassion, we are doomed.

~Forgiving is the most important thing a human being can learn to do. Not just for others, but for ourselves as well.

~People who fight to be right will always lose.

~There is no love like the love a parent has for their child.

~Everything seems worse at night.

~There are few things funnier than when my Dad imitates my Mom.

~I have been blessed with fantastic parents.

~I talk too much.

~We could all use a little therapy.

~Nobody has it all figured out.

~Blood doesn’t make you family, but memories, love, loyalty & trust sure do.

~I will never be able to tolerate disingenuous people. Be real or be gone.

~Laughter truly is the best medicine.

~My Mom believes in me more than I believe in myself.

~The ocean always puts things in perspective.

~I often say what others just think.

~There is nothing like reading an amazing book.

~My brother gets me in a way that nobody else ever will.

~My kids are all way too much like me, God help them.

~I’m wrong about something every single day.

~I’m a damn good cook.

~My Father is the most generous person I know.

~My Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins have shaped who I am more than they will ever know.

~I love my dogs & my cat, but I always hated the fish. RIP.

~My most comforting meal will always be Puerto Rican chicken, rice & beans.

~Music has very often been my therapy.

~It will all work out.

~When I think of how much I miss my Grandma, my heart actually physically hurts. I doubt that will change.

~All good things come from God.

~I have an addiction to magazines.

~I love talking to, texting & laughing with my Dad because he’s like me….but smarter.

~Owls are adorable.

~I am vain.

~All forms of Art are valuable; Dancing, Acting, Painting, Singing….we NEED this in the world.

~It really is all about the little things.

~I am loved.

~Happiness is a choice.

~Golden Oreo ice cream is delicious.

~You can’t change others.

~Being at peace with myself is more important than what others think of me.

~I’m superstitious.

~I was definitely a bird in a past life.

~People that place so much value in material possessions, often don’t value themselves.

~Camping at the beach every year with my family is my favorite childhood memory.

~Nothing seems real until I’ve shared it with my Mom.

~Patience is a virtue I sometimes wish I didn’t have so much of.

~Sharks & Snakes are evil.

~Sometimes insanity has a pretty face and lipstick, be careful.

~I worry.

~I like spooky houses, mysteries & conspiracy theories.

~My children are who they are, my job is to help them love and accept themselves, not change them.

~I’m slightly hilarious.

~The smell of a Nectarine makes me smile.

~I will always dance in my kitchen.

~I have so much respect for my Ancestors.

~Sometimes God asks us to do exactly what we don’t want to do. Do it anyway.

~I will forever be a curious person.

~Embracing our own imperfections allows us to love others in spite of theirs.

~I am my Mother’s daughter.

Most of all…

~I know who I am and will never apologize for it.