Thirty two years.

People say that children are always learning, even when you aren’t necessarily teaching and I agree with that. As a kid, I watched my parents’ relationship and saw something that was pure, true, and invincible.

My parents have been married 32 years. In that time, they have been through A LOT. While sure every relationships has its ups and downs, but I assure you my parents have been through a lot more.

I see their love in the sweetest yet subtle ways, how my dad would always go to my mom’s school to put up her word wall super straight and how my momma is always making sure dad makes his doctor’s appointments. How my dad insists I wait in a 20 minute line for my mother’s coffee, because it’s for my mom or how my mom goes out of her way to always make sure to call my (paternal) grandparents to see how they are doing.

They may not show their love in the conventional way, but to me their love was so prevalent in my eyes. There’s honestly nothing they wouldn’t do for each other. Growing up, my mom and dad always referred to themselves as a team, team Saucedo. They truly are. Where one is weak, the other is strong. Together they are unstoppable.

I was lucky, my parent’s never had these big blow outs. It’s not that they didn’t disagree, because they do. But they never got to the point where either of them were disrespectful to each other. That’s the thing, they have a lot of respect for each other.

My dad was the primary decision maker. But if mom was felt strongly about something, my dad followed her instinct. If there was something that she really wanted to get done, he made sure it did. They respect each other’s opinion.

I’ve asked my mom; what’s the big secret. How have they managed to say married in a world where divorce is a new constant. Her answer was: they’ve always have remained best friends. She says she doesn’t remember a time where their friendship stopped and their relationship began. It just evolved naturally.

Even through their darkest of times, their friendship is what carried them through. My parents’ relationship is the one thing on this earth that is absolutely invincible. It’s one of the few truths that I can always rely on, my parents’ love.

Happy anniversary, mom and dad! I love you.

me and the rent.jpg

These past three days

These past three days have been a complete and total blur… I haven’t had a chance to breathe, to think, to sleep, to grieve.

It was out of pure survival, though. If I stopped to think, I’d start crying. If I started crying, I was dibilitated by my sadness. I couldn’t be dibilitated. I had things to get done, so I kept going. I had to.

I couldn’t let reality sink in. Like I knew what was going on, I knew my Abuelita passed away. But I just couldn’t let myself go there. Other people needed to go there more than me, so I picked up the load so that they could keep going.

I’m tired of making decisions. Like even for the simplest of things, such as what to eat for lunch seems like a laborious thing. I just don’t want to think…

I feel wiped, emotionally, mentally, physically. I sleep and it’s still not enough.

It’s combination of both pure exhaustion and confusion. It’s lingering sadness paired with a complete numbness. She’s gone, it still hasn’t hit me. She’s gone.

Everyone is saying it’s a blessing we had her here so long. Yeah, we were. But still 103 years weren’t enough, we wanted so much more.

My heart is so broken, not only because of her passing but all the pain I see around me. My parents, my grandparents, my tios, and tias. I want to help save them but I can’t. We’re all so broken about this. But we all have to go through this pain together.

She was a strong woman. She had so much love and gave it so freely. She was so prayerful. She had so much faith. She was invincible, nothing could take her down.

She’s irreplaceable, unforgettable, there was no one quite like her. She was the best part of our family. We will miss her as much as we love her, which is a lot.

MMTM: Better Place

Better Place by: Rachel Platten  

Lately, some people in my life have been depressed. They have this little voice that echos in their mind telling them aren’t good enough. They think that the world would be better without them in it.

But that’s not right.. Our world is better with you here. Each of us brings a quality that this world need more of. We all have potential to be the best thing ever. We all have something that makes the world a better place.

Believe it or not, we each have a purpose in this world. We each have facets within our being that makes this world go round. We are so different and unique, when we come together we bring a whole new set of strengths that someone else needs. The world needs each of us.

This song sings to me and I hope to anyone who needs to know the world is a better place since you’ve came along. I promise.

Favorite Lyrics:

“Cause it feels like I’ve opened my eyes again

And the colors are golden and bright again

There’s a song in my heart, I feel like I belong

It’s a better place since you came along

It’s a better place since you came along”

 

MTMM: Stop This Train

“Stop This Train” by: John Mayer

This song has always been one of my favorite John Mayers songs. When I was younger my love for this song mainly stemmed from the melody and how soft, yet happy this song seemed. But as I grew up, my love for this song did too.

While all the other little girls couldn’t wait to grow up and be 16, 18, or 20, I was fine staying put. Being a kid was great to me, besides adulthood always seemed sucky and not fun. On the eve of my 18th birthday, I was filled with dread. I didn’t want to be an adult, I didn’t want to forge my own path on my own. I wanted my momma and my pops and I was perfectly okay admitting that.

I remember having a talk with my own dad, kinda like the one John Mayer mentions in his song. I told my dad I don’t want to grow up. I wasn’t ready for change. My dad pointed to the bracelet I had on my hand and he said “life is like your bracelet, it gets faded but you learn to love it anyway.” That is something that stuck to me.

Despite us growing and changing, there is beauty to be found and each stage of life. You learn to love watching yourself master things and accomplish big goals. But you also get to watch the next generation grow up, you get to raise one too. Eventually your kids will too. It’s a beautiful cycle, we just have to find the beauty in each stage. You have to learn to love the ride your on, because you’ll never be able to stop this train.

Favorite Lyrics:

“So scared of getting older
I’m only good at being young
So I play the numbers game to find a way to say that life has just begun
Had a talk with my old man
Said, “Help me understand.”
He said, “Turn 68,
you’ll renegotiate
Don’t stop this train
Don’t for a minute change the place you’re in
Don’t think I couldn’t ever understand
I tried my hand
John, honestly, we’ll never stop this train.” ”

The most important thing I learned in 20 years

A couple years ago, I bought this shirt from To Write Love On Her Arms. I bought it because it looked cool and because as simple the quote was it was still profound and true. (Also because suicide and self mutilation prevention is super important and I wanted to support it. #adhdsidenote)

You will need other people. People need other people. For most of my angsty teen years I maintained the idea that I hated people. People were cruel. People did mean and wrong things. People didn’t value everyone for their worth. People would continuously hurt their world around them without concern for others.

After reading and buying this shirt, I began to see how much we as people need other people. You will need to stand in the place for people, be their voice when they are too tired to speak. You’ll need to be a shoulder to cry on. You’ll need to step up to help the hungry and hurting.  

And as much as people need you, you need other people. People who will drop anything to help you get to your appointments. People who will be hooting and hollering for you at your graduation (even though it’s on Thursday at noon and they had call in for work.) People who take you on car ride and get you french fries on your bad days. People who will give you $50, $100, $200 for a fundraiser just because that’s what you want for your birthday. 

People are crazy, while some are truly awful other are super great and genuine. Hopefully, I’m the latter.

 In the end, I realized it was true. People need other people. You will need people to support you, to save you, to cry with you, to rally behind you, to cheer you on, to share in all your joys and sorrows. 

People need other people. It’s important, and as much as we live in a world that strives to be self-reliant we need other people to be there for us to really be able survive in crazy world. 

We need other people. 

My dad

From my first day on this Earth, my dad has always been one of the most supportive people I have ever had in my life. He’s never questioned my dreams, only my methods to get there. He’s our family’s guiding compass, where he directs there we will go. He has never led us wrong. My dad is one of the most smartest people I will ever know, he always seems to have an answer to all my questions.  He is a strong man who has gone through some of life’s hardest battles. Ever. The love he has for our family is undeniable. He’s giving, loyal, smart as all get out, funny, loving, and kind. My dad has always to put my all in everything that I do. My dad sacrifices a lot for our family, but you’ll never hear him complain. He’s worked his hardest to make sure my sister, my brother, and I all had the best life we possible could ever had. For that I’m so thankful.

As I raise this money for these foster babies, I’m reminded not everyone has a pops who believes in them. Not everyone has dad who reminds them to bring a jacket because it might rain. Not everyone has a dad who give up doing one of their favorite things (watching a Longhorn football game) to their kid at all of their marching band contests. Not everyone has a dad who will teach them right from wrong, or catch them when they fall.

Happy Father’s Day, Pops. I’m so glad I have you as my dad.

Is ADHD a disability?

When I read about celebrities who have ADHD, I kinda get annoyed. Not because they have ADHD, but because often it is worded as such: “(Celebrity) suffers from ADHD.” I don’t suffer from ADHD. I mean some days it feels like my minds running a marathon, while other days feel like I am going through an obstacle course. But when someone does those things we don’t say they suffered from a obstacle course. That’s just weird.

My ADHD isn’t a weakness, it’s a different set of strengths. It’s like when I was a kid, I always thought my brother was smarter than me. That was until I learn about Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences. It was then that I realized my brother wasn’t smarter than me, he’s just a different type of smart.

Yes, I may not be able to pay attention in the same situations as you, I may have to ask more questions, I may unconsciously shake my leg, but that just means in other situations where you may struggle in, I may thrive.

We grow up teaching children they are special, no one is quite like you, God broke the mold when He created you. Yet when they grow up, we are trying them to conform them to the standards of other children their age, when all this time you told them they were meant to be different.

So what it takes them a little extra time to pick up reading? So what they aren’t going at the same pace as others? So what they don’t do things the way that you wanted them to? We as a society worry so much about the journey, when it was never about the journey in the first place. It’s about making it to the finish line. It was about who made it to the end.

It reminds me about the story of The Tortoise and the Hare, we prematurely assume that because the tortoise goes at a slower pace that he will lose. But because he is slower he is more determined to finish. It isn’t the best who make it, it’s the determined. The tortoise despite is disadvantages makes it to the finish line, that’s all that matters. Winning the race, that’s just gravy.

My ADHD isn’t a disability. A disability broken down into in its simplest definition is inability to do something. There’s nothing I can’t do. And you can bet your buttons my ADHD has not, can not, will not ever stop me from doing anything my spunky little heart desires.

Heck yeah, it takes me longer to get things done, heck yeah I get side tracked. Heck yeah, I get fixated. Heck yeah, sometimes I hyperfocus on the wrong things. But did I make it? Heck yeah. Why? Because I’m determined to make it happen.

So yeah, I may be different than the pack, but were we ever meant to fit in?

Nineteen and Not Driving.

It’s weird how time can change your perspective on something so much. When I was 14 and all my classmates were 15 getting their learner’s permit, I was itching to get a license. When I was younger, I saw driving as adventure, as freedom. But now, it’s responsibility. Not in the “oh, I have to run errands for my parents” way, but like the “oh, I severely injured someone and it’s all my fault” way.

I always thought I was going to get my license on my 16th birthday, but that didn’t happened. My parents thought it was in the best interest of my brother and I to wait to get our licenses until we were 18. I hated that. It was torture watching everyone else get their license and cars, while I just had to wait.

But while everyone was getting their licenses, getting ticket, and having really bad wrecks, I just sat back and watched. I saw how driving not only can greatly impact your life, but others around in a mere second. You know that at 16, but it sinks in more at 19.

I hate when people make the snap judgement of “well, what’s your excuse?” As if something is wrong for me not to be driving. First off, driving isn’t the end all, be all. But beyond that my family’s decision for me not to drive has been based on a plethora of reasons. Not that it should be anyone else’s concern but by the time I was 18, some serious things were going on in my family that caused it not to be the right time for me to go forward with that. By the time all of the dust settled, it was time to go to college. I didn’t have the time during the school year, between work and classes I was swamped enough as is. I didn’t need to drive either. I barely got a chance to breathe between the spring semester and the summer session so when I did, I didn’t actively seek driver’s ed. Once it summer sessions were over, it was back to fall classes.

I’m sure I could have found time and made it happen but at the time I valued going on family vacations and relaxing over going to learn how to drive. Going on those trips is a choice I’ll never regret. When you’ve gone this long without driving, waiting a little more time to learn how to drive isn’t as big of deal anymore.

I driven some and I’m sure the days of me not driving are limited, but that’s my decision. I’ll drive when I’m ready to take on that responsibility. That doesn’t make me less than anyone else. In the end, we are all simply trying to make the best decisions that we need to for ourselves. Right now, not driving at 19 is what’s right for me.

MTMM: I Know Where I’ve Been

“I Know Where I’ve Been” from Hairspray

After the election results were announced, I was devastated. I was upset. I was frustrated. I was scared.

Immediately after I found out I posted this on Facebook:

I’m scared. I’m scared for me.. I’m scared for my future children.. I’m scared for our world.. I’m scared..

I didn’t know what was going to happen. I had seen what awfulness this election brought, I was scared it was only going to be given a bigger voice. I was scared that all our progress was going to be thrown down the drain. I was scared for more bigotry, more misogyny, more xenophobia, more LGBTQ bashing, more racism.

It took me a while to get my head back into “school mode,” when all I could think of what was to possibly come. But in the effort to maintain my good grades, I attempted to study for my test. I was obviously looking forward to NBC’s Hairspray: Live! (because I loooove all of the Hairsprays before) So in an effort to boost my motivation to study I played the soundtrack on shuffle.

When this song came on, I immediately stopped. Though this song was written in 2001, based on a movie from 1988 which was set in the 1960’s, I felt automatically connected to it. It felt so perfect for today. It felt like a battle cry.

“So you tried once and you failed. We can’t get lazy when things get crazy. Children, you were not the first to try and you won’t be the last, but I am here to tell you that I’m gonna keep lining up until someday somebody breaks through. And I’ve been looking at that door a lot longer than you.”

-Motormouth Maybelle (Act 2, Scene 4)

I absolutely love this mini monologue she says before she sings, it only intensifies the gravity of the song. It makes her song hit you harder. You know when she says that something goods gonna come soon.

This song comforted me at that time. I had it on repeat for weeks, maybe months. It reminded me that though people may suffer, we are mighty. We must stand up and fight. The reward is worth it. We must press on because it would be a shame not to.

Favorite Lyrics:

“There’s a road we must travel
There’s a promise we must make
Oh, but the riches, the riches will be plenty
Worth the risks and the chances that we take

There’s a dream, yeah, in the future
There’s a struggle that we have yet to win
Use that pride in our hearts to lift us up to tomorrow
‘Cause just to sit still would be a sin

I know it, I know it, I know where I’m going
Lord knows I know where I’ve been
Oh, when we win, I’ll give thanks to my God
‘Cause I know where I’ve been”

Growing up with Bereaved Parents

I was my mother’s sixth pregnancy, with that information alone you’d assume I’d come from a big family. But I don’t. I’m the youngest of three.

The one question I hate being asked is “how many siblings do you have?” When I was a kid, I always through my teachers off when they’d ask that because I’d always retort with “alive or dead?” To me, that question was always so complicated to answer. I mean I have one brother, I grew up with one brother. But I also have a sister. She existed in a span of time where I wasn’t there, and even though we never met her absence leaves an ever-present emptiness within my family. A piece that is forever missing.

Growing up, every kid sees their parent as these unshakable pillars. They are these superheroes that are invincible. But, I grew up seeing my parents bawl, broken, empty, somehow trying to pick their pieces.. and as much as they were grateful that they had my brother and I there’s nothing that they wouldn’t give to have my sister here too. I learned that tears to others are a sign of weakness, but to me it was a sign of healing, it was strength, it was power.

While most kid’s bed-time stories were that of princesses or fairy tales, mine were of my sister. Her life and legacy. Her likes, her dislikes. Her characteristics and mannerisms.

Something that has always stood out to me when we go to visit my sister’s grave is how my parents, mainly my dad but both of them do this, is how when we visit her they are always cleaning her gravestone. They make sure that the flowers are in the perfect place and that the dust and dirt is swept away. I always thought it was weird, because in my mind it was just going to get dirty and messed up as soon as we leave. But over time I’ve come to realization that in that moment, they aren’t moving dirt or fixing flowers. They are taking care of their daughter. It’s like when you have something on your face or a hair is out of place, your parents are the first people to take care of it. It’s the same idea put into action in two different types of ways.

I would sit there as I would hear my dad cry saying he would have rather to have been the one to go through that pain, that it would have been easier that way. He wish he could save her.

Growing up with a bereaved parent you learn about loss in the deepest depths without ever going through it. You see the joys and the sorrow.

My parent’s parenting was forever affected by losing their first child. I didn’t get my ear pierced until I was 18. Some people think it was because I grew up in a Pentecostal Christian home, but it wasn’t that. My dad said that he saw his daughter (my sister) get poke and prodded with needles so many times, so why would he do that to me unless it was absolutely necessary?

I remember when my brother had to sign for his shots for the first time (because he had recently turned 18.) My mom made a big deal about it, my brother told her to chill out. Others thought she was simply being over-dramatic. I can understand where someone might think that, but she wasn’t celebrating him signing his own shot. She was celebrating the fact that she had raised her child to be old enough to do “adult things.” She’d never reached this point before, it was a big deal.

Growing up with a bereaved parent is celebrating life, celebrating accomplishments big and small. Celebrating who we are and who she was.

My mom was afraid that when my sister passed that everyone would forget her, but no one has. And even if everyone else does, the four of us will always remember. March 9th will always be spaghetti dinner, another date we will never forget is May 21st. We will always remember her life. She existed and left her own distinct mark on this world.

Growing up with bereaved parents, teaches you to find value in every moment because in one moment your whole world can be turned upside down. It taught me that people change people. That true love can truly make it through even the darkest of times. My parents will forever be the most strongest, most invincible people I know. Not because they weren’t broken during hard times, but because despite being broken they were able to pick up these pieces and be the best parents they could be.