Sunday, May 16, 2010

Monday's blog...a day early!

Memory Monday!
Well, on Monday’s I am going to try and have posts about my childhood. Like I said, I think it will be great for Isabela to have all this when she’s older!
I had this great post already written, but my laptop crashed. Chris has to order this thing he needs for it, since the local Best Buy doesn’t have it on hand. BOOO!! SO, I am going to start in an entirely new direction, and save that post for another time.

From the beginning….


All I knew is that something special was happening. We were moving, but I didn’t really understand that concept. I was only three years old, and I remember my mother trying to explain it to me.
I went to sleep and woke up to my dad carrying me into the car. I remember that it was dark outside. Also, I think that my grandparents (dad’s parents) followed us down to Louisiana.
Let me give this a better beginning. I’m not sure, but I think we were living in Michigan. It was either that or Indiana. A three year old doesn’t really mess with the details. MY parent’s visited Louisiana, and during their visit, they decided they liked it so much that we should relocate there.
And on the road we went. I remember dark skies with bright lights. Feeling special, and knowing that something BIG was happening!
Then, I remember visiting a family’s house. They had a church gathering, and there were so many girls my age. I was so excited to play with these girls…they looked like they just stepped out of “Little House on the Prairie.” Long, uncut hair. Long skirts and dresses. Pretty bows in their hair.
And that was one of the many times in my life where I instantly felt like I didn’t belong. Because, my hair was short. I had bangs, and I don’t remember what I was wearing, but I know it wasn’t a long dress or skirt. Also, I didn’t know this, but another girl brought to my attention that my skin was really dark.
She asked me what country I was from and I didn’t know, so I had to go ask my mom.
Right around this time, I learned that I wasn’t “white.” I learned that if someone should ask, that I should say that I was Mexican, Filipino, and Czech. I wasn’t really sure what that all meant, but I was glad that I had an answer.
So, these girls were my first friends. We all belonged to a church called Evening Light Tabernacle, a nondenominational church. My parents replaced all our clothes with long skirts and dresses. My sister’s and I grew our hair very long, and we weren’t allowed to cut it. But still, I remember feeling very happy. I had friends, a lot of them, and I slowly started to look more like them (with the long hair and dresses).

The year was around 1983 when all this happened. A three year old is just a baby, really, but it is interesting how such a transition made such an impact and how that enabled me to remember not only the move to Louisiana, but the feelings that I had!

Around this time in Louisiana, segregation was still very much in practice. At the doctor’s office, the white people sat on one side and the black people sat on the other. In our neighborhood, if little black kids rode their bikes around our block, the white mother’s would hurriedly usher their children inside and draw the blinds. There was a white swimming pool and a black swimming pool. A white flower shop and black flower shop. A white high school prom and a black high school prom (until the year 1997). The KKK had rallies around the courthouse consistently. It was a horribly RACIST environment.

And, I was neither. I wasn’t black or white. I truly did not fit in. Our family was the only Hispanic family in town. The only other “brown” family was an Indian family that owned a local motel.
I grew up hearing white people saying the “n” word. I grew up feeling hate and tension between both races. Racism was the norm for many people….and it made my world so confusing. Because in the outside ‘world’, things would be one way. And, at home, I was taught another way. How the color of skin didn’t matter. How we were all God’s people. How racism was evil and not tolerated in our home.
For the most part of my early childhood, I would be conscious of my race. And for much of the beginning of my life, I would be made fun of for my race. Honestly and sadly, for much of my young childhood, I hated the color of my skin. I just wanted to be accepted. I just wanted to fit in, to blend into the crowd. And, I just wanted to be loved, regardless.
To live in a racist environment is horrible for any person. Sadly, much of the segregation I described in 1983 still exists today. The small southern town acceptance of it is horrifying, to say the least. When people say that racism does not exist anymore, I can only sadly shake my head.

Because, unfortunately, racism does exist.

And, this is my attempt at describing the childhood of a young girl. These are my memories, my thoughts, and my perceptions. Some may remember things differently than I do….and that’s ok. Memories are not black and white. Rather they are colors of passion….reds, oranges, dark blues and riveting greens….they are as volatile as the ocean and as emotive as a sunset. They are individual to each person and because of that; one single memory is a story that can be told a hundred different ways.

This is my story. These are my memories. This is who I am and this is why I am. Until next Monday.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Video blog!

Well, I decided to do something different, and to do a video blog!

I already had written the blog, and then I decided to just read it in the video...I watched it, and of course, I thought it was super cheesy...but oh well. It's about 5 minutes long, and the subject is about my struggle with perfection.

SO here you go, and below, I will post the written piece, in case you don't want to listen to my beautiful voice.

video







Perfection.

The unattainable!

Society is pretty much obsessed with perfection. And, so is the 'blogging world.' Has anyone ever noticed that a lot of the 'super bloggers' live in the most perfect, beautiful worlds?

By super blogger, I mean those moms that have blogs centered around recipes, crafts, advice, decorating your home, and they must have super expensive cameras because all their photos look like they have been taken by a professional.

I'm not putting those bloggers down by any means! In fact, I like to go to their blogs, because lets face it, I'm in need of all the advice I can get when it comes to figuring out how to keep my house clean, play with my daughter, cook fabulous meals, and find ways to continue to be creative.

But, everytime I read these blogs, I feel a sense of, " I'll never be perfect enough." The super bloggers seem to have everything under the control, their houses are gorgeous, they never overspend, are very frugal , yet seem to have the nicest, most beautiful homes, they always have dinner on time ( and cook the most creative recipes), they find ways to play with their kids while cleaning and teaching them a lesson.....I mean, I could go on and on.

Ultimately, my point is that there is this beautiful, perfect world out there, and I wanna find it and bring it to my home, too!

Of course, that is probably not going to happen.

I like to compare it to dating. When you first date someone, you only show him what you want him to see. The good parts. The parts that say, " look how fun, how nice, how beautiful and perfect I am?"

haha.

I know if I was able to meet any of these 'super blogger mamas,' I would see that their homes get messy sometimes. I would see that they sometimes let their kids watch cartoons. I would see that they get behind in laundry, just like the rest of us.....and that sometimes they let the laundry sit too long in the washing machine, and have to rewash it!

I had already made a commitment to myself to be more vulnerable and honest with others. To be open about my love for the Lord. To be forthcoming with my faults and to be open, especially when I feel most uncomfortable. This is important to me. First, because the only way to inspire others is to let yourself be vulnerable. One of the best, most uncomfortable ways, for me to show my love for God is to be completely open about my past and to wear my faith on my sleeve.

I think I have done okay at this, but I could still do better.


So, my point is this. My blog isn't going to be a glimpse into my perfect world. I don't live in a perfect world. I do, however, live in a happy one. But, I struggle, just like a lot of woman, in being a good mother, a loving wife, and a woman of God. I struggle with my identity and with figuring out how to run my house, stay on budget, and to not be lazy!

But, all that is ok. It makes me who I am. My struggles give me character.
Our struggles give us character. They prepare us for the road ahead.

And, thats the thing to remember. I shouldn't let my glimpse into other people's worlds make me feel like I've failed. I know that sounds harsh, but essentially, that's what I feel, sometimes. And now matter how silly that sounds, I'm keeping true to myself by being honest.

In my heart, I know how blessed I am. SO blessed, blessed Beyond words.



To myself:


Be honest. be vulnerable. Have a heart of love for ALL people. Be uncomfortable. Don't focus on perfection. Focus on people. Love your husband. "Rejoice in the partner of your youth." Play with your daughter. Love her unconditionally. Have a joyful heart. Have fun! Be silly!
Be thankful for freedom. Choose to love. Choose forgiveness. Choose to say no, sometimes. Remember, that no matter what, I am loved, and that every fiber of my being was wonderfully and purposely made.

The end.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

so

Like my new bloggy title? I love it.

I have been working on this great blog. Once I get started, I won't be stopped, either!

Basically, I am using this as kind of like a place to write my memoirs. There are these great blog programs that can turn print your blog into a book.

I hope that one day, I can give my children and grandchildren a 'book of my memoirs' when I pass away. I think it will be such a great gift, that will live on forever.

Also, I am definitely these two things: a story teller and a writer.

I will be starting from the beginning.

Love!
Alicia