Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tis the night before my birthday...

On the eve of my twenty-nineth birthday I cannot help but to reflect on my life, about the things I have done and the future that awaits me. Sure, there are plenty of things in my life that I could have done without or that I could have done better but all-in-all, I have very little to complain about and as for my future, although it is more uncertain than say that of a Pre-Med major, I am lucky to have the opportunity to learn.

Every morning during my commute to Davis, I listen to NPR. I listen to the news and as of recent, the news is dominated by the revolutions in the Middle East. I am proud that there are revolutions occurring...people standing up for what they believe in. Yet, that is easy to say from my privileged position. I hate hearing about the current violence, the suffering of innocent people. I hate knowing that for some right now, a peaceful sleep does not exist and turmoil dominates daily life. I hate there is nothing that I can do to change it. Today it is Libya dominating the media, but it would be naive of me to ignore the fact that there there is pain and suffering happening around the globe--injustice and exploitation of people to help maintain and perpetuate my way of life. It is easy to complain about simple things when there is little to complain about.

For those that know me, and know me well (or maybe those that have caught me in my rants), know my political opinions about our form of government and the downfalls of our capitalist society but yet, I have to admit that I l am fortunate. I am thankful for the opportunity to receive a higher education...the opportunity to talk!

Today after my "Great Cities" class, I had an insightful and satisfying conversation with my professor. As I walked away in the downpour to my car parked about 1.5 miles (2,4 km) away, I kept thinking how amazing it is to discuss ideas! Furthermore, to have someone knowledgable on the subject to give me input. This is not an opportunity given to everyone and I recognize this. I could not find the room to complain despite being cold and being soaked from head to toe. I could not find the capacity to complain that I had to put my last $20 into my car tank as I drove soaking wet to the gas station. Even know as I write this, I cannot find the words to complain that I have to study for my Italian exam tomorrow. Passato Remoto is nothing compared to the thought of having a war breakout just outside my door.

There is a point in this blog...I swear!

So ok, I loathe that I am turning another year older. I don't like that I am going to have to collect some change from around the house to fill up my car with gas again here soon. I don't like that my favorite pair (and second to only pair of jeans) are about to have a hole in them. There are plenty of things that I don't like about my life and I am unsatisfied about but I have very little room to complain. I have a roof over my head. I have food on the table. I have clothes to wear. I have the chance to get an education. So what if I have an Italian exam tomorrow and I am not adequately prepared? There are people dying out in the world, don't have a place to sleep, don't have food, etc.
Everyday I want to wake up and feel fortunate, I want to feel empathy, I want to live and learn, I want to love, and I want peace.

I am not saying the status quo is ok, there are plenty of things that can be changed right here but I am fortunate and from my position of privilege, I cannot complain! Things could be much harder. I could be in Iraq, the Congo, in the slums of India, let's not to go so far, the slums of Guatemala. I am thankful. I repeat one hundred times: I am thankful.
What will I do with this marvelous opportunity in my life? What will I do with the privilege given to me? I must be the best I can be. To make other's sacrifice's worthwhile. I cannot change the world but I will do everything in my power to make the world a better place, beginning with me.
Here is to another year...Happy Birthday me.

Addition at 19.55:
Yasmin was curious as to what I was writing and asked me to read it to her (occasionally she likes me to read my term papers to her too, hahaha). Afterwards she said that it was really moving and yes, she actually used the word "moving." She said that she also wishes there was less violence in the world and said, "We need peace not war so everyone can be happy." And there it is: Se lo capisce una bambina, il mondo completo devi capirlo. :)
Ok, now I must really study for this exam tomorrow. Arrivederci!


  1. I was feeling similar on my 29th. The economy has really been hit hard in the South. It was truly depressing to see places that were open and booming only a year ago either closed or completely demolished. Unemployment keeps on growing while the cost of living goes out of sight. Just last night, I passed a woman outside Safeway who didn't ask for money, but was obviously sleeping on the street. Someone was nice a enough to buy her a warm coffee so she wouldn't freeze. I commented to David how easily that could be me, or him, or anyone we know. Every experience is the saying goes, "until you've walked a mile in another man's shoes". As for Egypt, I'm happy that the people showed their strength. However, today crude oil prices jumped above $100.00 a barrel. I tend not to take sides in these issues for many reasons. One we only have a small, very media hyped window into these situation at large. Two, the whole world is so obsessed with oil, black gold, i.e. money, that they have lost sight of the big picture. I agree with you that we are extremely blessed in this country, but really how long will it last? Maybe something won't happen for another 100 years, but knowing that it could is real knowledge. Remembering this and recording these situations is crucial to our survival.

  2. Heather, I agree with you completely. There is another possible government shut down in less than twenty years, there are tons of houses in foreclosure, cost of food is going up and oil--the top 1% is still living it big but seriously, what can we do? We could be in Egypt or Libya. We could be in some over developing country struggling and using over 50% of our salary on food. Like I said, I don't agree with our way of life but it could be worse. It could be a lot worse. I don't like the greater disparity of the classes, I don't like the injustices I see here...then again, I don't have solutions. either.

  3. Another thing I noticed when I was at the gas station, it used to take only $10 to fill up my car back in 1997. Currently, it takes nearly $30 (I have had the same size tank)...I could complain about the price but then again, I could be using my bike a lot more than I do.

  4. Late 20's entering 30 is one of more check in times. They happen every 7 years or so. If ya figure turning 21 is a huge kind of move into adult hood, 28-29 into thirty is 7 years into the beginnings of adulthood. Those kind of birthdays can have different meanings then other ones.

    I try not to get hung up on a certain kind of birthday and really get interested in what that birth day is presenting.

    The one thing about getting older is that the mind has more lists of things it thinks it knows. Mind has collected meanings and since life is about change ... all meanings are up for change.

    So, what is a birth day supposed to mean? some times it is celebration and other times it is checking in time. What are my values and what is my purpose. Sounds like you, Mariana have got quite a few things going on in this realm.

    I think it is absolutely cool that you are putting perspective on your personal life and seeing the big picture. That is worth every year thus far lived.

    It is my belief that I am all ages. My entire being holds all past and present experiences and how I relate to those will tell me something about my future.

    Another thing is that no matter how good a person gets in terms of human potential ... random things that are uncomfortable will still happen. We do not earn a pass to some how get out of that reality. All we can do is learn how to cope with discomfort.



  5. Happy Birthday!!!

    I don't have anything deep to say. But I love my thirties. I love getting older. It changes the mind. :) And it's amazing.

  6. U know sister i love this country. But i dont beleive in the capatilism we have right now. We have to get back to the mom and pop stores. Sending jobs outside of this country was the worst thing that could have happened to this country. Because the only ones who benefit from that are the big corp. BUT FINALLY YOU APPRECIATE THIS WONDERFUL COUNTRY WE CALL HOME!!!


I need to travel!