By the time I was 16, I had learned that there was a meaning behind each of the looks that appeared on my mother’s face. She’d always been animated that way, and needless to say, she’d have a rough go at a poker game.
I’ve called my mother every night on my way home from work for the past 10 years. This day was no different. The anticipation I often felt, though, had been replaced with an ominous feeling the past several months. Each night, I was also hearing an update on the health of my ailing grandmother, who had been fighting a losing battle with kidney cancer since August.
I knew bad news was a possibility. I prepared myself for it. And as I drove south on I-95 on a warm November night in South Florida, I received it.
That day, I shared a Bible verse with them about love. Typically, explaining love is a mostly fruitless venture, but at least when you use words from the good book, you’ve at least got 2,000 years of street cred at your back.
After all, I had just become the first college graduate in my family, and I’d landed an entry-level job doing search marketing for a boss-level salary of $30K. I could practically smell retirement.
My ego was bigger than Kanye’s, too, because I’d pulled it all off by the age of 21. Aren’t you impressed?
This week, I “celebrate” the 11 year anniversary of a car accident that nearly claimed my life. I’ve reposted this story on the anniversary of the accident, and made some improvements along the way, each of the past six years. Each time, it’s a fresh reminder of my “miracle.”
And I’ve seen a lot of it – I’ve lived in the Fontainebleau area that borders Doral(zuela), lived on the edge of the Everglades, bounced over to Coconut Grove, then Coral Gables, then Little Havana (yes, a theoretical step back), then Brickell and finally, now in Miami Beach. I know a healthy dose of Cuban Spanish, and I can take you from El Pub on Calle Ocho to Randazzo’s Little Italy and Miccosukee without batting an eye.
My own experiences qualify me as “lucky” by that standard. I got good grades, covered a lifetime of years in experiences and for a couple of years during and after school, I lived in an unofficial frat house with two of my official ‘frat bros’ and one hilarious, broken-English-speaking Puerto Rican whom we met through Roommates.com.
I’ve done all I can to avoid the gratuitous moments of self-reflection that are popping up as I march toward the milestone that is my 30th birthday, but it’s been a losing battle. Every 20-something has a list of things – written or mentally logged – that they expect to check off before the clock hits 30. And I’m thankful to say that I hit all of those when I was 28. I became a homeowner. I took on a great job. I drive a nice car, and I have the only friendships I’ll truly ever need. Right now, it feels like I’ve hit a homerun and I’m marching slowly toward 1st base, admiring the shot and soaking it all in.
It was a passionate night between the Colombian brunette goddess and me – Robin Thicke playing in the background, and some Erykah Badu, too – that kind of night. The lady in question was one whom I’d been seeing for a while. Not quite official, but close enough. And she was gorgeous – nearly my height, and slender but womanly at every curve and crevice. You know the type – completely out of my league.
We’re down to the wire for New Year’s resolutions! As you saw in my most recent blog, there are some popular ones – many involve health, love and money and improving the state of those are all admirable ambitions for the upcoming year. But as a New Year lays in wake, I also get a kick out of making predictions for the upcoming year that involve other people, or people in general. For example, in each of the past three years, I’ve predicted that Lindsay Lohan would die of a drug overdose, but lo and behold, LiLo has more or less held it together – at least by Lohan standards.