words of encouragement from an indebted graduate

It’s Thursday and you’re sitting at your corner office thinking about which student loan repay option would be best for you. The suggested monthly payment amount is $481.43. You think about how $481.43 is practically one week’s pay. There’s an option that allows you to input how much you can comfortably pay monthly. You type in $0.00.
You Google “deferment.” You Google “forbearance.” You don’t understand either term so you Google “deferment vs. forbearance.” You graduated from your big-name university six months ago and you’re currently struggling to stay afloat. You pay your rent on time. On the 15th of every month the payments for the car you only drive on the weekends, because you decided you wanted to work in New York City instead of being pragmatic, are taken out whether or not the funds are there. After paying for your Smartlink Card and half of your cable bill in hopes of keeping Comcast happy, you hope that you have enough money left over to go buy groceries. You’re living on a tight budget. Any event has the potential of being a costly event. Money is tight and the thought of having to pay $481.43 monthly to repay your education makes you regret ever getting an education.

To some, landing a job shortly after graduating sounds unrealistic. To others, landing a job [within your major] shortly after graduating is a blessing. You feel as though you have dodged the “9 months since I’ve graduated and I still can’t find a job” bullet.

You are defying all odds. Continue reading

won’t somebody pray for me?

Junior year of high school my AP English teacher assigned the class Milton’s Paradise Lost. As a fun activity, we were split into two groups in order to argue whether in the epic poem Satan was a hero or villain. My best friend at the time was assigned to the “Satan is a villain” group and I, of course, was assigned to “Satan is a hero.”

In the context of the poem, Satan proved himself heroic in the way he stood up to God and demanded equal status. Despite the negative stigma to the name — everyone hates Satan, especially Christians — I went hard in class that day for Satan’s cause.

When it comes to debates, especially when I’m being the devil’s advocate (no pun intended), I must win them. Not everyone on my team was willing to put forth the same energy as I, despite the fact that the “Satan is a villain” group was coming for my jugular. More particularly, my best friend was coming for me — and not in the “academic argument” kind of way. No, she was furious. This was personal. Continue reading

my name is lourdes.

When Mami told me she was keeping a notebook full of her favorite memories I asked myself, “She writes?” Never in my 22 years of life have I seen Mami write anything other than the occasional phone number on the wall calendar or her name where indicated on important forms. I’ve seen her shaky handwriting. She scribes as though she lacks confidence in her penmanship. Her lettering takes up at least three lines and her capital L’s squiggle out of formation. Perhaps if Mami would have been allowed to go to school her L’s would exhibit a smoother interface. Continue reading

observations from a 23 year old woman sitting alone at a bar.

As I sit here, surrounded by faces I’ve never seen, I can’t help but think about the following:

1. We all believe we are God’s gift to humanity.

Even if you are an atheist like myself. We are special. We are unique. You will never meet anyone like me. But, what makes you so special? What distinguishes you from the billions of people that populate this world? What is your unparalleled contribution? What makes you so popping? What’s your mark?Lately my state of mind has been, in the words of the great Nicki Minaj, “you’re a lucky [man] if my mean ass likes ya.”

2. Life happens very fast.

No matter how in control you may be of your surroundings, series of events can transpire that will catch you off guard and make you feel powerless. If the unaccounted for is met with grace, you will become a better person. How we react to phenomena defines us.

3. Did you lose something?

It seems as though everyone here is looking for something. Did you have it already? Did you let it go? Are you looking for something you’ve never attained? Do you think you will find it here? Is it me? Are we supposed to meet? Are you here for just a drink? My french fries are delicious, would you like to try them?

Where Did We Go Wrong?

Was it the day I rejected you when you were ready?

Was it the time I laughed when you confided your insecurities?

Was it my inability to sense your vulnerabilities?

Was it your disdain for my fantasy concept of romance?

Did we go wrong by ignoring our fundamental differences?

Was love not enough for us to be who we needed to be for one another?

509 Days

509 days have passed since the day I told you I have no more fight in me. I told you I was miserable, that I could no longer feign a relationship that existed upon potential and hope. I shamed you for being detached and uncaring. I tore apart your character, blamed your inability to love me on your upbringing, made you cry for not being enough man for me. I recklessly accused you of being the worst thing to happen to me, knowing damn well that my misery predated the day we met.

509 days have passed yet I miss you. I miss your drive and ambition, your words of encouragement, your emotional intelligence, how you went about explaining things I didn’t know with such clarity and patience. I miss when you used to kiss me on my forehead, your completely different perspective on things, your stubbornness, how your eyes lit up when you talked about the things you were passionate of. I even miss how you tickled me despite me completely hating it.

509 days have passed and I love you more than ever. Your absence has allowed me to appreciate those very qualities I once hated. From afar I’ve seen you cope and I can’t help but applaud your self-healing. How I wish I could be as strong and definitive as you are. How I wish I could stay away from you and let you be. A part of me wants to share with you the woman who you helped mold. I never credited you for your contribution to my growth. I want to share with you who I am, the sensible woman I’ve become because of our twisted poetry.

My love, 509 days have passed.

We allowed 509 days to pass.

Don’t you want me back in your life as ardently as I want you back in mine?