Diary of a Former Nomad: Adjusting Pains

Life happens pretty much whether you like it or not. It’s the worst feeling having to adjust to the same situation over and over again whether it be heartbreaks, disappointments, failures, and the list goes on and on. The hardest part of these events in life is what happens next. How we choose to pick ourselves up is what sort of defines us. Between you and me, my hearts been broken one too many times but I always seem to find my way back. It’s harder each time but I never imagined it would be any easier. It may be a New Year but for some people they are still facing pains and aches of the past and putting these pains behind  might be the only way to see 2017. If this is you here are 5 steps that I have taken when it comes to adjusting any to painful situation.

 

Step 1: Begin Accepting What Has Happened

You can never move on from any painful event in your life if you cannot accepted what has happened. The first step in moving forward is coming to grips with what has happened. Begin to pick up the pieces and accept the fact that what has happened is not something you can change any longer. Each day tell yourself that although it is hard it will not feel this way forever.

Step 2 : Build a Support System

Nothing in life is ever easy to get through alone. In finding yourself back to a better space and a better you it is important to build a system of people who support you and encourage growth within you. For those who are hesitant to opening up to friends or family now may be the perfect time to let them in and allow them to help you fix what is broken.

Step 3 : Avoid Reliving the Memories

Now is not the best time to be walking down memory lane. It is best to put the past where it belong and keep looking forward. Invest your time in making new memories and building a better you. Looking back will only keep you from seeing the great things that are possible for the future.

Step 4 : Invest in Yourself

After any traumatic event in life we are at our lowest point but we can only go up from there. When the grayness of the days have passed and you begin to see yourself for the strong person you are  take the time to pour more of your time into yourself. Put yourself first and never look back!

Step 5 : Learn From it All

Everything happens for a reason or so I’d like to tell myself. Whenever something disappointing happens it is important for us not to bury it away but take the time to learn from it. Realize why it went wrong and take the lessons learned and move forward with it. Remember don’t take the event with you but what you gained from it.

Diary of a Former Nomad: New Years Resolution–Don’t Have One!

Happy New Year Techies!

Every New Year since I could remember I have always set a resolution whether it be that I would eat better or study more, but every year I always fall. I would either lose steam by the time February rolled around or I would just give in to pure temptation. And every year I would in some small way feel disappointed in myself and let’s be honest that is no way to feel in a new year when all efforts are being poured into staying positive. So, for whatever reason it might have been I told myself that in this new year I wasn’t going to set a resolution because I just wanted to live and take life as I came to me.

Now you may be saying well that by itself is a resolution and in some way it is, but in another sense I am not setting myself up for failure. Every year I put a new creed into action and it never falls all the way through so this year I just plan on adjusting to life as it comes. Now don’t get me wrong this doesn’t mean that I do not have goals for the year which I do, but a resolution, no. I am putting my efforts into smaller short term goals that will positively affect my long term goals. Setting a goal for the week instead a year is more fruitful. Give yourself time to grow and give yourself the time needed. Life isn’t a race! I think we often forget that life is for living and its about making each moment count.

So in 2017 lets adjust to the idea that life happens both bad and good, and it is the idea of how we handle it that matters. It is how we treat ourselves that will in fact mirror how we treat others. Be kind, be thoughtful, be smart, and humble, and content with the fact that no matter how little you may have it is more than someone else might. Be proud of yourself for how far you have come  but realize that the journey is only half done. Take 2017 for the open book that it can be and be prepared to write the most epic chapter of your life. I know I am!

Diary of A Former Nomad: My Story, Part 3 & 4

Happy holidays everyone! As the year comes to an end so too does my story. For those who have been following me and reading each part of my story I hope that it has given you some hope, inspiration, or even gotten you through a day that you thought you couldn’t. Sharing this story was not an easy decision but I know that because of it I have become stronger. I know that I needed to let go of this baggage that I have been carrying around for years in order to be better for the coming years. I hope that you all have a great holiday season and the new year brings you happiness and success!

Here are the final chapters of my story. If you haven’t read yet read the first and second part click the links below.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

I returned home to my small battered village, a battered child. My emotions, self esteem and confidence were at an all time low. I returned to parents who seemed somewhat genuine and had flourished during my absence. The house was filled with much more but the stench of pain and sorrows still remained engraved into the walls. My mother was different. She was colder and less nurturing. My father was as before, standoffish and his eyes still had no light. I still remembered arriving home early that morning and being amazed of how monumental the house felt. I had my own room. It was pink and bright and everything I could have hoped for in a room. I had pets too. My life finally seemed to be what I could have imagined it to be. But soon enough the welcome home mat had been removed and it was back to the ways things used to be. My parents fought and pushed me in the middle to choose a side. I told my mother I chose her and my father I chose him. I couldn’t choose and as small as I was, I remembered thinking I shouldn’t have to. I had given up so much for them and yet they couldn’t give up fighting for me. Maybe it was now that I was older and could understand more that the fights seemed worse. Looking back now, I’ve shed more tears with my parents than laughs. They have been the reason for my birth and the death of many of my beliefs, hopes and dreams. As much as they have given me, they have taken away so much more.

 

I lost my innocence the day I saw my mother try to hang herself in our living room from the rafters.

I lost hope for my father the day he slapped me for standing up for my mother then emptied out the cupboards and left us hungry for weeks.

 

I lost faith in God after many more fights and nights of crying myself to sleep after I realized he had made my life this way.

 

I had lost so much but had gained something I never thought I would. I had friends now due to my father’s new and well-known name. People say money can’t buy happiness but in my case, it sure did. After the beatings and the blows I got money, a lot of money. The money did nothing but numb me even more but one good thing came from that money. I never knew her name, but she was about 5 years old. She had no money to buy a Popsicle and without hesitation I bought it for her. I bought it and a smile shined from one end to another on her face. Sometimes I remember this day and think of how much joy I found in that little girl and my ability to help her and my regret for not giving her more. I wonder if she wished she was me and had the ability to buy more and have more. I hope she didn’t. I had nothing or should I say nothing I wanted.

 

Before I knew it, it was time to leave again and a broken family was going to be broken once more. My father couldn’t leave with us and I question if my fight to wait for him meant anything to him both then and now.

When he did get his papers, we all packed up and I wished and prayed in that moment that my new life would be three things: permanent, happy and enough. Enough for my parents, hoping they would be content with whatever we had because we had each other, that we could finally be a family. A family who loved each other and appreciated one another. That I would be more to them than a bargaining tool, I would be someone they were proud of. I would be worth their love and appreciation without having to be someone else but their daughter.

 

I got on that plane and left again. I left behind hardships that children should not have to endure. I hoped to leave behind sorrow and all the pains. I would be living in a new place and no one would know how bad my dad beat my mom and punished us. No one would know of how damaged I was. I would be able to dream, grow and flourish into the person that the creator of the heavens and I knew I would become.

Part 4

This October makes 11 years since I made that wish. I can’t say that it’s been granted. My story has not been an easy one and I don’t think it’ll get easier but it has become one that I could manage. Life is fluid, it doesn’t stay still. It moves, grows, and evolves and by doing so we find ourselves, our purpose, our reason. What has happened in my life doesn’t define me but it’s given me many roads to determine my own purpose and my own reason. I can’t say that I wouldn’t change the things that have happen but I also can’t say that I would change how my life is now. I’ve had to chance to live freer than most people do their entire lives and it’s something I hold dear to my heart. My life, all 22 years has been trying to find the right place and maybe we never do. Maybe we find the best parts of all the better parts of life. Maybe it’s all one big trial and at some point in our lives whether we are aware or not we find that place. I’ll keep searching for mine.

 

Until then, I hope this story, my story; opens yours eyes to seeing that life even in its worst parts it just that. It’s just a bad day, a bad part, a memory. Life is just a trial subscription to many opportunities, many lives, and loves. So live and be open to the possibilities that no matter what happens someday and somehow it gets better.

Diary of A Former Nomad: My Story, Part 1

Often times I feel like we become so caught up in the future we forget where we’ve been and the things we have gone through. A few weeks ago, I made the very brave decision to have my story published in City Tech’s SEEK ink. Each semester City Tech’s SEEK students come together to publish their art, poetry, and stories in a magazine which is published. Stories are shared of struggle, pain, and happiness. This being my final year at City Tech, I wanted to leave my mark and tell my story in some way. It is who I am and the way I have adjusted to life over the years. Each Wednesday for the next few weeks I will be posting a part of the story which was published. I hope you stay tuned for what’s coming. So without further ado here is my story, A Trial Subscription to Life Part 1:

I was born in a small rural village in a poor country. My parents were young and tried to give me the best of what they could afford, which lets’ be honest, wasn’t much but it was always enough. Compared to our neighbors and others, we had more but there were still days when there wasn’t any food on the table or a job for my father. There was always something he did have to do and that was abuse my mother. My younger memory of my father is that he was a man of few kind words but a thesaurus of hurtful and painful ones, and actions too. I remember little to nothing from my younger years. I remember a green tool box which my dad kept all the tools he owned to his name inside, my mom dressing up as Santa Claus for my kindergarten Christmas party, a pet parrot named Robert and my uncle.

 

My uncle was more of a father to me when I was younger than my father ever was. I remember not knowing my dad when I was little because I thought he didn’t like me because all he would do was yell at me and curse. But my uncle was my favorite person. The first person I wanted to play with in the morning and the last person I laughed with at night. As soon as I could climb off my bed and my mom opened the door to our home, I’d run up the steps of the house we shared with him and my mothers’ sister. My day of consuming bliss would begin. I laughed like a child would with him. Although I cannot remember much about what we did, I do remember the laughs we shared. They were the type of laughs that came from deep within. They were the type of laughs that echoed in each cavity of your body and soul, and made you feel awakened. I haven’t laughed like that in years. I haven’t felt that awakened either.

 

My uncle was my favorite person, but unknowingly to me he wasn’t my aunt’s favorite. And even though the jokes we all shared would make her laugh and shed tears of happiness it wasn’t enough. For my mother the tears of pain she shed would be enough. And when enough is enough your life changes, perhaps unexpectedly like mine did. In the blink of an eye, all I knew was gone. There would be no more familiar laughs, faces, or places to be seen. And in that moment of my oblivious childhood, little did I know it was all a lie. My happy little life of enough was over.

 

Stay tuned for what’s to come next.

Diary of a Former Nomad: A New Home for The Holidays

The holiday season no matter what race or religion means one thing: family coming together and for those of you who may be alone for the first time this year, I completely understand your feelings of frustration, confusion and even depression. I remember the first time I spent the holidays by myself and it was the loneliest time for me. Eventually I found comfort in the city and the people around me. Adjusting to a new place and culture this time of year only makes you miss your own even more but luckily you have come to New York City– a place where you don’t have to forsake who you are but can be that person freely.

This holiday season, if you are adjusting to this new place here are 5 tips of mine that will help you see New York more as home and help you through what can seem as a grooling time.  

  1. Explore. New York City has so much to offer. Around every corner is a new adventure and has something exciting just waiting to be discovered. The holiday season is filled with great festivals, shows and treats. Take this time of year to learn about your new home, the people and the holiday culture. The holiday season in New York City is like no other. People seem to come together in ways that all year round is forgotten. Whether it is ice skating in Bryant Park or visiting the tree at Rockefeller Center, New Yorkers come together to celebrate the season and each other. Click the link below to check out various ways you can venture out this holiday season in the city. https://www.timeout.com/newyork/christmas
  2. Volunteer. As the holiday season is a season of giving thanks and being thankful for, we should remember that many of those who live here in the city might not have as much as we do. New York City alone has a population of over 60 thousand homeless people. In the city there are various shelters and soup kitchens that are always looking for people to volunteer their time to help with activities. Although, we should try to give back throughout the year, giving a little extra during the holiday season goes a long way and means so much those we help. For those adjusting to a new life here in the city, it is a great opportunity to open your eyes to all that you have even though it might not be clear to see. Click the link to learn more about organizations that need your help this season: https://www.newyorkcares.org/holiday-volunteering-referrals
  3. Travel. With classes coming to an end and a break coming up, it is a great time to take a few days off and see what else is out there. Being alone comes with its perks and this is one of them. Traveling out or around the country during the winter season has its rewards, for one flights and hotel stays are cheaper. Adjusting to a new place can be hard on the mind and body so if you need to take a little time and go home, or go see a new part of the world. Click the link to see the best places to see during the season. http://www.priceoftravel.com/5324/cheap-warm-places-go-christmas-new-years-season/
  4. Find what you love. The winter season may seem like a dreadful and boring time in New York City but in fact what may seem to be dull and dreary is a great time for you to get back to doing what you love. In the winter we are offered solitude and with an extra hour we can take up a hobby we forgot about. So this winter take the time to remember who you were and  find ways within you to adjust to your new life.
  5. Connect with people. Being alone in a new place only becomes easier by opening yourself up to new possibilities. By connecting with people you will feel less like an outsider, and will become less consumed with the feeling of being alone. You will become more confident in yourself and your place where you are if you build a support system. I know that meeting new people is not an easy task but each day try to put yourself out there. The holiday season is a great time to begin this because everyone is more open to connecting and if I do say so myself in a far better mood.

Diary of a Former Nomad: History Repeats Itself.

History Repeats itselfComing back from the last few weeks have been tough. Each day I wake up wondering how people see me more than ever. I wonder if they base their judgement of me solely on my race, the curls in my hair, or my accent. As I sit on the train feeling alienated and quite frankly like an outsider, I recall a time where I felt just like I do today. When I was about 5 years old, I moved to Barbados and it was the hardest transition of my life to this day. Although the culture was similar to my Guyanese heritage, nothing felt similar. I don’t even think people saw me the same. I was different and people treated me as such. I was bullied and outcasted for being different; no one wanted to be friends with the girl who spoke or looked very different.

If I had known history would repeat itself, I would have paid more attention to how I dealt with it all then. I would have told myself to pay attention to the ways I kept my morale high, and the ways I found hope. As I look to my past for advice and answers to share about how we can all adjust to this part of our history, I find myself at a loss. Many of us have faced discrimination, bullying, and plain hate, but we thought things would different by now. Here at City Tech, we have such a diverse community. The hallways echo with many different languages and origins. The cafeteria offers various types of foods, students are mixed, and it is all working ecosystem. We all intertwine and coexist peacefully but in a time where that harmony is being disrupted, how do we adjust to this?

I think we have to take steps forward to accept the fate we have been given no matter how hard it is to swallow. Do not get me wrong, this does not mean to just let things be the way they have planned but to organize how we will move forward. When I was being bullied for being different, I tried to better myself not for others to like me but for myself. I looked to myself for comfort and compassion. In a world where not much is promised we can always seem to count on ourselves and our inner strength. We must count on ourselves to do better. What I mean by this is adjusting to this period in history will not be an easy road, but we must look deep within ourselves and figure out what we really want and deserve. As I remember the frightened little girl I used to be, I recall that I would tell myself that it would get better because I would make it better.  We educated one another on smarter ways to advocate for our rights and we collaborate on efforts to spread positivity. Together, we can change this! Let’s adjust to the idea that we can change this and we have to make smarter choices moving forward.

Diary of A Former Nomad: My America

https://twitter.com/spezzolanti/status/797942548438417408

Silent Protest – Union Square NYC — Photo Caption: Samantha Pezzolanti

I had a blog planned for this week. I was going to tell you of my story and how I adjusted to my life being here in America but with everything happening now I don’t think my adjustment period is over. I think it’s just beginning. As a woman of color who came to this country searching for a permanent place of comfort and peace I find myself lost. I have so many questions, I am confused, hurt, angry, numb, and discouraged. I don’t know where I stand in a country which seems to stand against everything I am.

Those of us who wanted a different outcome stand dumbfounded because it seems that in the same week where we turned the clocks back an hour, we turned history back 200 years with preachings of hate and intolerance. It’s been one week since women, immigrants, muslims, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ community lives hang in the air. We stand in disbelief that we are once again being forced to fight for rights we marched, cried, and shed blood for. It’s been one week and we cannot adjust to the words. It’s been one week and we cannot adjust to the pain and ignorance. It’s been one week and we are still waiting to wake up and realize it’s only a bad dream– but it’s not and this is now the America we must face. So how do we adjust to this new reality?

I say we don’t. I say we fight. I say we care for each other like we never have before. I say we use our words and craft to stop these radical changes. I say we educate our communities and sign every petition we can. I say we stand by one another. I say we love each other, support each other, and remind one another that together we stand. I say we speak for the rights of each other. I say we tweet, comment, share, and like positivity. I say we be Americans because to be an American once meant to be the best, to be a leader, to be accepting, helpful, and strong. Let’s be that! Let’s not adjust to a hateful country. Let’s accept and grieve this period of our history, but let it be just that; a day in history that did not break us.

I advocate to everyone feeling powerless by this change to speak up. To share your story because no matter what may change, our speech is still a freedom they can never take from us. Remember that I am here for you. I accept and love every single one of you and there is nothing that could change that. Until next Wednesday remember to be kind to each other!