My first word baby will be out later this month – both in eBook and print format. I wrote it in English and Spanish to honor my origins and pay tribute to my grandpa, Nanito. I’m sharing one of the many special stories he shared with me. This one is close to my heart because it’s a testament to my grandpa's curiosity and willpower.
This approaching May marks the 5th anniversary since the departure of my querido grandpa, Nanito. He was one of the most important, perhaps the most important man in my life. He meant the world to me. To commemorate his life, I will publish my first word baby as a tribute to his legacy. This book is a labor of love for my grandpa, for my family, for my community, for myself.
The S. Korean Sojourn has already turned one year old! It seems like yesterday I was feeling helpless and clueless, but that’s not so much the case anymore. In part II of my living abroad reflections, I share six more important takeaways.
A year has gone by since I packed up my life and moved to S. Korea, in search of new adventures and self-growth. The past twelve months turned out to be full of rewarding challenges and invaluable learning. In today’s piece, I share six lessons I’ve learned along the way.
Traveling is incredible. It presents us with infinite opportunities to explore faraway places, grow, and connect with kindred spirits. But, one inevitable part of traveling is rarely talked about – the post-travel blues. It’s that dull state of mind we find ourselves in when we must settle back into our normal routine after having had an epic trip, regardless of duration.
With 2016 soon coming to a close, I decided to take stock of the past twelve months before setting goals for the new year by writing ‘The Rosebud Diaries.’ In this piece, I share three roses (wins from 2016), three thorns (struggles faced in ‘16) and three buds (hopes for 2017). Here is to acknowledging the good and the bad of the past year, while maintaining a hopeful outlook for 2017.
Due to my imminent return to Chicago [for a brief stint to visit family + eat ALL the food] and as a nod to the sometimes nostalgic-filled holiday season, I write about the various meanings ‘returning’ can denote. Whether we are going back to our country of origin, our childhood home, or revisiting something more intangible like an inspiration or an experience. I also explore my personal definition of home.
Have you ever felt like you couldn’t breathe? If you haven’t, consider yourself a lucky duck. Experiencing shortness of air sucks. After all, we need oxygen the way fish need water to survive. This theme was a major staple of my childhood. The first recollections I have involve some type of asthma attack in which I am in dire need of air. In the following story, I share one of the worst asthma attacks I remember from when I was 5 or 6 years old. Beware that it’s heavy stuff but at the end of the day, having endured and persevered such trying circumstances helped shape the perspective I have today. Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? Well, I can personally attest to that!
Any kind of change, especially moving, can be daunting and a challenge. I wrote this short story to reflect on my experience as I attended an American suburban middle school for the first time ever. I think of this story as a snippet into culture shock setting in as I had been in the States for about a month.
Earlier this week, I wrote about the meaning behind the upcoming Día de los Muertos holiday. To further explore the theme of death and transcendence, I bare a part of my soul to give you a glimpse into the inner workings of my mind with this short story. The story is from the viewpoint of a 6 year old me, doing what Alan Watts urges us to do in the above quote, acknowledging immortality. After all, I tend to prefer abstract thought and find philosophical concepts and questions highly appealing. Before you read on, understand that I now live a fuller life because of this specific dark and somewhat morbid contemplation. Ever since this incident, I have been and still am on a quest to find meaning and lead a life full of purpose with the goal of leaving behind a memorable legacy.