It is hard not to take things for granted when you have had them your whole life. You kinda fall into a pattern of expecting them to be there when you need them, and the idea of losing them never really crosses your mind. I guess it makes sense; it is hard to think that my mom’s constant preoccupation with my life matters is something that I will eventually miss, but it is something that I have learned to expect, all the time.
This entry isn’t a compilation of wise advice, nor is it a new perspective on an old topic. This entry is about the backbone that holds my life together. This is who I am:
This good looking group up top is my family; the support system, the values, the quirkiness, the culture, and the openness in me can be reflected in the three people above. It is hard to say without sounding cheesy, but I owe these guys my life and they deserve this entry.
It all began in the new millennium; my mother applied for a Visa Lottery, a program that began in the United States in 1990 as part of a ‘diversity immigrant’ movement. Although people associate the word ‘lottery’ with money, what we won that year was way more valuable than that. My family was selected to receive USA green cards and a brand new life that began with moving to Springfield, VA in December 2001. This was a tricky time in U.S history due to the recent terrorist attacks, but it was also tough timing in Argentina. Due to the immense debts that the government owed, the banks froze all accounts, taking people’s money to save the country’s reputation. We were no exception, so with a little money rescued from some safety accounts, my mom, dad, brother, and I embarked on the American Dream journey and didn’t look back.
Let me introduce you to my gang.
Maria Elena: This is a woman who does not accept ‘no’ for an answer. No, really, she doesn’t. There is absolutely nothing that I have ever seen her give up on and her persistence, while at times embarrassing, has been a trait that I haven’t fully adopted. She was born and raised in Lima, Peru in a house with 12 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms. Although living in a full house, she always felt alone and eager to move away from that lifestyle. Her first move was to Argentina when she was 19 years old. She fended for herself for almost 20 years, working at the Peruvian Embassy in the heart of Buenos Aires. My mother is one of the best listeners I have ever met. With no judgment, she will listen and comfort anyone that needs her, a trait that I was happy to pick up. Maria Elena is also a nut. She never fails to call me and greet me with her classic spanish songs, or act like she’s 8. Now, this trait is something I also picked up, and frankly, it keeps her young and positive so I don’t see me changing her ways.
Claudio: This is the man that I hope my future husband shares similarities with. My dad is one of the most hard-working people I know, and the one that sacrificed the most with our move here. Just to give you an idea, this man started his U.S journey as a Sears employee and 3 English sentences in his vocabulary, and now he is well established in an engineering job and taking English classes on the weekends. He gave up his friends, his culture, and his family to give me and my brother a better future than his, and he doesn’t hear the word ‘thank you’ nearly enough. Claudio tells it like it is; he was the one who gave me the most comfortable sex talk I could have ever hoped for during my young years, the one who patiently (sorta) taught me how to drive, and the one who didn’t sugar coat the world for me. My papi is the true handy man; if something needs fixing, whether it’s your AC unit or your heart, my dad is the guy to call.
Mauricio: This guy. How do I even describe my little brother? Mauricio is one of the most logical minds that I have encountered. There is always a reason, and way to explain things that surpasses emotions and this guy has never missed a beat. He is a caring individual, though he doesn’t like to show it, who puts those he cares about above everything else. My brother is also a master of comedic timing; you are always on your feet because, trust me, you never know what he is going to blurt out next. We went through the biggest life changing event in our lives together and because of that I feel really close to Mauri. He will always be my partner in crime and the only person that can understand what we went through.
And that’s the true backbone that holds my life together. It is important to appreciate the people that have seen you grow and helped you become a better individual so you can do the same for your family in the future. Those are the influences that shape us the most and truly remind us where we came from.
Gracias familia por haber caminado conmigo por todos estos años. Los amo! ❤