This summer I turned forty. It’s the biggest and best birthday I’ve celebrated yet. It’s also the most eye opening. I am no longer a thirty something. I am now in a new category of life and even closer to fifty! Ouch!
In truth, I am so grateful to have made it forty times around the sun and can’t wait to see what life has next for me. I’m secretly hoping to explore the United States more and camp my way through Colorado. I also have ambitions to learn how to ski again. Only time will tell what’s in store and I’m ready for it.
I might have mentioned a few times over that I’m in love ❤️ with poetry. I’m not sure when this crush began or morphed into a such deep appreciation of words. During college I was first an Engineering student and do not remember taking any creative writing courses. So, I suppose it began on the streets of NYC, where I listened to beat-box artists on the subway or spoken word at local cafes.
My knowledge of POETS is always expanding. I lean on the New Yorker or Paris Review to introduce me to New writers. The latest one is Frederick Seidel.
There’s something about how I’m feeling today. It’s slightly different than usual and I want to explore share my thoughts with you. I’m actually writing this post from my iPhone so bear with me as I dig a little deeper…
Yesterday I had a semi-stressful day because I was dealing with a graduate 👩🏽🎓 group assignment that’s been hard to organize. It’s Thanksgiving holiday so who wants to study?! Also, a romance interest of mine went dark.
I think he disappeared into outer space.
Between balancing emotions and rational thought about either topic I didn’t want to loose myself, to not feel exactly what I needed to so I asked myself “Do you feel anything? I was surprised to discover that I really did, aside from the frustration of either scenario.
One thing that my current MBA program has taught me is that reading and writing are the tools to success. It sounds so simplistic and a little plane but it’s the truth.
Think about it, if we didn’t read then we would not be privy to excitement via text messages or subtitled French Noir films. And if we did not write, then we wouldn’t have the ability to express emotion on paper. Sure, we’d be able to explore or share our voice and physical movements but the ability to write is absolutely freeing.
This season of life has been full speed ahead with very little breaks but to breathe, bathe and bask in the sheer fact that I’m alive.
Also, despite the bustle of getting adjusted to Austin, Texas I’ve managed to do a few things. Here they are in no particular order:
Find the most incredible housemates via Craigslist. Not kidding! Maybe it was pure luck or what I like to believe, angels watching over us, waiting to bring our persons into each other’s space so simpatico.
Experiment with cooking. Our new home has a beautiful kitchen and possibilities seem endless every time I’m in or around it.
Continue to work within Marketing and Social Media as a consultant for a company who’s avatar seems to dominate social spaces globally. Any ideas on which one?
Dabble in dating and meeting the most interesting people since my first days in NYC. This point deserves a book’s worth of content but let’s just say I’m enjoying the journey to love.
Read, read, read and read. If I’m not reading for school then I’ve found my niche via Anchor Book’s top novel list, getting lost in romance novels all over again and anything by Kevin Kwan for a little laugh.
Take photos and be in photos. Again, something I’ve shied away from as I was always behind the camera, either producing, booking models or talent, pitching press or writing. I’m not sure why I left this artistic expression behind over the years but it’s back in full force.
Travel by bus, car, plane and train. Yes! All four modes of transportation are my reality.
Start my second to last round of MBA courses, embrace a new journey with Parsons – The New School as a Fashion student and looking to take on a teaching position by next fall. You might be thinking why all the schooling, Moni? I don’t have any other answer than it feels good to be learning—what friends seem to say is “You’re doing you.”
Sleep. The beauty of sleep is something I appreciate and when I have those nights of blissful sleep, everything seems to align.
Listen to music. I’ve become a Spotify junkie and soul music seems to be my jam. Who knew?
With the above in my pocket it’s time to look ahead and maybe plan a few new adventures. The first that comes to mind is driving on a major highway at 65 miles per hour! In truth I haven’t done this is at least 4 years. The next might be throwing on a potters wheel—another hobby I used find pleasure but haven’t experienced in a hot minute. Last might be scuba diving which would require a jaunt somewhere beachy…
I received a friendly reminder from a friend that it’s been a month since my last post. #OUCH
Yes, it’s true. I completely let fiesta go by the wayside as I took a trip to NYC (yipee!) and indulged in being offline. Not that I don’t want to keep consistent or have fiesta be unsuccessful, it’s just…I needed a break. At first I made excuses as to why I wasn’t posting: not enough time, no wheaties, no engery, family emergencies, blah, blah, blah. But these excuses weren’t 100% truthful. When I sat down this morning and asked myself “Why, Moni?” it was simple: I didn’t’ want to. This sheer fact made me a bit sad but relieved. I’d finally owned up to myself and it felt goooood!
Take yourself by the hand and roll with it.
Giving myself the room to be real is long overdue. I’m happily one year older and wiser with a spirit that aims to live my life unapologetically. This blog, this tiny space on the internet, lives and breathes upon my will and if I’m not ready or willing to write, it’s ok.
Give yourself room to chill.
I do have some exciting news in lieu of my absence: I’ve decided to move to Austin, Texas. I’m thinking that this step forward will be nothing less than thrilling…hello live music city! Returning to my home (20 years ago) is sort of daunting. Everyone I know there is quite settled and I will be the complete opposite. So, here’s to leaning on opposites attract 😉
Beach BBQ’s and family gatherings are on fire this weekend in thanks to one reason: Memorial Day. While I’m not related to anyone that has died while serving our country, I do have brothers who have served, as well as extended family. I’m always in awe of those who enlist willingly, wholeheartedly, and courageously. Where would we be without these men and women who have given their lives in the name of democracy? My 1st amendment rights have been protected by their decision of service and I am grateful—even a little choked up about it. Maybe it’s because I finally get it. The United States of America is something to be proud of despite our current political climate. It is built up and by incredible souls who are ready to fight and protect our liberties.
I don’t even know all these soldiers but I’m humbled by their service.
May everyone who is mourning loved ones who’ve died in the act of service be consoled today. And for those who are still serving, thank you. It takes more than guts or physical strength to do what you do. You’re putting your heart on the line and it’s not going unnoticed.
When news broke of a “massacre” in Manchester I first thought, “Wait, what just happened? That [Ariana Grande] concert was probably filled with young girls—teens close to my niece’s age!” And then it sunk, deep down inside, that this horrific news was actually true. I had no words.None. I wanted to hang onto shreds of disbelief but as I flipped through channel after channel, trying to gather greater details, the reality of our world and terrorism became overwhelming. Nothing in these moments could explain how shocked I felt and simultaneously how my mind was recalling recent memories of accompanying my sister to buy Ariana perfume for my niece at Ulta…and plans of surprising her with Ariana concert tickets…and how this could have been us but in a different city…
If you or your family have suffered a loss from this senseless act of evil I want you to know that I am sending my deepest condolences. I can’t imagine what you’re going through or what you’re thinking. Your loved ones did not deserve this and I’m sorry for your loss.
It’s been exactly 15 days since my last post and I feel as if it’s only been 2. Since I’ve written, I’ve visited Austin twice, accepted a 30 Day Squat Challenge, started my volunteer assignment at Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center, and began another MBA course. I also had my very first Blackberry Iced Latte thanks to the folks at Green Light Coffee. Phew! I get tired just writing about two very short weeks but I’m smiling because this time last year I was not moving much. Based upon my iPhoto and video library, early 2016 was still a period of health uncertainty. I’d regained most of my physical strength post chemotherapy but my brain was still healing—“running on fumes” and experiencing bouts of “turbulence” as noted by my doctors. Therefore, if I couldn’t acknowledge my limitations caused by Paraneoplastic Limbic Encephalitis via Ovarian Cancer, neither could my doctors, family, or friends. These moments simply came and went as my brain found new neural pathways for my body to function.
This disease is so rare and at times crippling. It leaves not only you, but your caretakers at a loss of what to do. Everyday is a new day and with it comes memory recall and sometimes short term memory loss. It’s both strange and sometimes isolating. I often feel as if I’m living in some sort of Groundhogs Day that isn’t serving me much except for the fact that I can easily forget the good, bad, and ugly which leaves little room for regret. Seriously, I’m not sure why my life’s plan was set out to be like this but thanks to an ample amount of therapy and prayer I’ve come to know this:
To live in fear is to be crippled beyond your mind and body.
How I cling to these words and thoughts is not because of physical or mental strength. Yes, each day I embrace exercise and diet with trust that I’m not going anywhere, as in dying, and my cancer is in “remission.” I’m no longer scared because of my faith and trust that God wants me in this place, at this moment. A little grace from the man upstairs and a bit of effort on my part has healed me beyond the rounds immunotherapy that are quite hazy and not missed at all.
I’ve wanted to write about this journey but I’ve been too scared to share my feelings and even what little video I’m okay at looking back at with caution. I then reminded myself that this disease and cancer does not rule me! Sure, this digital throwback exposes me beyond my wildest dreams so might as well share, learn, grow, and maybe, just maybe, shed light on a rare medical perplexity that’s living inside of me (or maybe someone you know) everyday.
PS. The video posted above is of me experiencing involuntary movements and tremors due to Paraneoplastic Limbic Encephalitis via Ovarian Cancer – Teratoma. If this looks like you or anyone you know, I urge you to consult with your doctor asap.