Are You Proud to Be an American?

By Robine Jean-Pierre

In a modern, globalized world, “Where are you from?” is a very common question to encounter. Oddly enough, I have remarked that when people ask it, they usually mean, “What is your ethnicity?” or “What are your roots?” rather than “What is your nationality?” or “Where were you born (and raised)?”

Because of this double meaning, some would answer, “I’m from here [America]” (which would often elicit a face-palm or a “no, that’s not what I meant”), but many would more readily respond, “I’m from Jamaica” or “I’m Mexican” or “I’m Italian,” even though they were all born and raised here, on U.S. soil; some have never even been to their respective “motherlands.”

Growing up, I had a hard time answering this question because I did not know the correct response. Am I Haitian? In terms of nationality, no, because I was born here. Am I American? Yes, but if you were to trace back my lineage, even by one generation, it would go right back to Haiti. Am I Haitian-American? That seems just about right, but isn’t that what you would call someone who has one Haitian parent and one American parent?

The irony is that, even if I identify as Haitian, if I were to go to Haiti right now, they would call me American without a second thought. Something would give me away–either my accent, mannerisms, or the way I dress. In fact, they would even call me a diaspora, which is a condescending term for someone who does not live in Haiti (even if he or she was born there) and comes to visit. You see, then, why such a simple question can be so complicated.

So what does it mean to be American? It’s not really in my jurisdiction to give a definitive answer, especially in light of the tension surrounding some of our president’s latest political decisions. Highlighting the trends that I have noticed, you are considered American here if (a) you were born here and live here; or if you are a descendant of (b) the original European settlers, (c) the indigenous pre-colonial peoples whom we call “Native Americans,” (d) the African slaves brought over during colonial times; or finally (e) if the generations before you have been here long enough and nothing else applies. (For the sake of argument, I distinguish this from the topic of American citizenship.) I am not saying that any of these are right or wrong answers, but that this is the general consensus I have gotten from listening to others discuss this topic.

So my question is this: why do so many of us seem to refrain from identifying as American, even if we fall into one or more of those categories? I can think of two possibilities. The first is ethnocentrism. For first generation Americans, the pressure to disdain American culture is usually externally imposed. Imagine, for example, a girl named Lola, whose parents were born and raised in the Dominican Republic. Lola was born and raised in the U.S. and does not speak Spanish fluently or know how to cook Dominican food. However, her relatives who were born in the D.R. brag about their experience and knowledge of their culture. They tease her for not knowing how to dance bachata at family gatherings. Whether deliberately or unwittingly, those relatives imply that they are the true Dominicans, while Lola is just a cheap imitation. Little by little, they paint her view of being American as inferior, bland, and boring.

The second possibility is a deliberate contempt for this nation and its heritage. The lack of patriotism is easy to find: people despise the greed infused in capitalism; the waste of food, water, and other natural resources; the hypocrisy of the government; and the brutal nature of its foundation, spearheaded by miscreants like Christopher Columbus. Looking at America from a distance, this land might be a beacon of hope and opportunity for some, but it is certainly an object of ridicule and mockery for others. Who would be eager to metaphorically wave their American flag under these conditions?

The irony is that, while this nation does have its undeniable injustices, so many people have come here seeking freedom, and then they use that very same freedom to deride the country that provides it. They have nothing but negative to say about America, yet they continue to attend its schools, take advantage of its welfare programs, and practice free enterprise. There are so many things people take for granted, so many laws and institutions and privileges here that are either fully corrupt or nonexistent in other countries.

Whether you wish to identify as American or not, I will say this: if you are here, make the most of it. No government is perfect, because governments consist of people, and people are not perfect. Embracing your American identity does not mean you sign off on everything our president is doing. It does not mean you are renouncing your family’s heritage, or that you stand for slavery, genocide, or other elements of this country’s dark past and present. Cynicism will only get you so far in life. “We the people of the United States” (as it says in the preamble of the U.S. Constitution) can truly affect change if we put our minds to it. A good place to start would be to reclaim our American spirit.

http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/Know-The-Preamble-To-The-United-States-Constitution/2690633

 

Virtues from Motherhood: Have a heart, protect a dream

Image via Google Images

Imagine coming home from work one evening and being told you had an hour to pack your things because you’re going on a trip. Now imagine this trip is to a totally foreign place that you know nothing about. Finally, imagine being told you’re never going back to the only home you’ve ever known, and being left in this unfamiliar place.

Sounds like something out of a Hollywood box office, right? Wrong. It’s reality and it is the possible fate of thousands of DACA kids living in the US, working and going to school and striving to build a future. DACA stands for deferred action against childhood arrivals and it was enacted by former president Barack Obama in 2012. It prevents the deportation of children whose parents brought them here illegally when they were children and gives them a chance to stay in the country they know and love.

On September 5th, the Trump administration rescinded the order, throwing into limbo the fate of thousands of Dreamers lives, and chance at a continuing to build their future. I could not imagine this kind of uncertainty, it is pure disregard and inhumanity against a group of individuals who had no idea what was happening when they came to America. They however, made America their own, they know our culture and our customs they go to school and they hold jobs to maintain the chance they feel so lucky to have.

In what world is it fair to tell people who were brought here unknowingly as children or babies that they have no place here and have to return to a country, a culture they know nothing about and have never been a part of. DACA kids went through rigorous tests, background checks and meet regular criteria to remain enrolled and many have earned higher education degrees, made advances in fields like medicine and engineering and have bought homes. Your neighbors, coworkers and classmates might be dreamers but you’d never know because they are Americans. They radiate the American dream and achievement and this decision is a crime against the American values this country was founded on, against these kids that call America their home and always have and against humanity itself. I stand with the dreamers and I urge anyone who believes otherwise to do research on DACA, talk to a dreamer and most of all imagine what your life would be like if your life was suddenly thrown aside because of a choice your parents made while you were in diapers.

 

A Chocolate Lover’s Dream

Image by: Dave

As a kid, all you care about are the sweeter things in life, like the candy and all the other sugary delights that you can get your hands on. You might have formed a strong love or addiction for chocolate…an overwhelming intense need for it in any form whether a candy bar or morsel chips in a cookie. Chocolate is everywhere, there are restaurants that cater their entire menu to chocolate lovers such as Jacques Torres and Max Brenner. Chocolate is an ingredient that can easily stand-alone but can also be accompanied with many other flavor concepts. I have such a strong interest in chocolate, its history, its creation process as well as how it has always been popular in both the culinary and confectionary world.

There is dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate but there is a new chocolate version on the horizon, pink chocolate. Yes, you heard me correctly–pink chocolate. There are typically only three different varieties of chocolate which consists of Criollo, Trinitario, and Forastero. The higher quality chocolate is the Criollo and Trinitario beans which are the more expensive varieties as it isn’t cultivated as much and has a higher concentration of cocoa within the bean. These beans tend to be more robust, with a more potent flavor and bitterness. But the large-scale chocolate that is readily sold around the world for wide consumption is created from the Forastero beans. The cocoa bean itself is a fruit that is usually dried and fully fermented before it can go through the necessary processes to become chocolate.

Image by: Independent UK

With the exception of white chocolate, which is only created from cocoa butter and not the actual cocoa bean. This amazing creation was invented about eighty years ago, but today, the production of white chocolate is old news. Now, everyone has a newfound interest in pink chocolate. It has officially become the newest type of chocolate in the world. Ruby chocolate has a reddish-pink hue which comes from the Ruby cocoa bean and its flavor concept is not bitter or sweet but it has flavor notes of fruitiness and a smooth mouthfeel. Despite the popular debate, there are no berries, flavoring, or coloring added to the chocolate. The history of this chocolate is still unknown but has taken many years to have been developed. And now, gone are the days of a cheap Hershey’s candy bars… Here’s to welcoming the new-age innovation of gourmet chocolate.

A Treat to Remember

Photographer: Gennessy Palma

Good Afternoon City Tech, Genny here! I hope everyone’s had a very successful first week of classes! Knowing all too well how the struggle is; new syllabi and piles of homework. But I’m here to bring you a change of mind, let’s put away the homework for a second and take a short break now shall we? Now then, we all know we can’t work with an empty stomach so to give you an option why not try Blend on The Water. “ What’s Blend on The Water? “ you might ask, well In my opinion, it’s one of the cleanest and utmost delicious restaurants New York City has to offer.

Front Cover of Menu at Blend

Blend On The Water is a Latin Fusion restaurant with exquisite cuisines. This fine restaurant is found in Long Island City and you can’t miss it. Whether there’s an occasion such as an anniversary or birthday, or just a casual brunch day with friends this is your go to restaurant. But why?? Good question! Blend on The Water Is a fine dining restaurant with reasonable prices in my scale of $$$$$, this establishment is a $$$ meaning that it’s sensibly priced given that the restaurant also offers other amenities such as  valet parking, beautiful scenery, and outside seating. Be warned though! There is a dress code for this establishment so ladies and gentlemen button up!  

Food Ordered at Blend, perfecto! Photographer: Gennessy Palma

My Experience With Blend on The Water:

On August 30th I had reservations to Blend on The Water, it was my birthday so my other half Lokendra Singh surprised me into bringing us here. As always Blend on The Water was very cooperative and they did not delay us in giving our seats, because of the gorgeous day they gave us the option to eat inside or outside and of course we chose outside, after all I am a nature person, fresh air will always make me happy. Upon sitting down the waiters already had our menu’s ready and gave us the time we needed to choose our foods, being what is seen above. The chefs were very clean with the food and as an artistic being I highly appreciated the integrity and choice of placement the chef made with the food on my plate, isn’t it gorgeous? Concluding my critique, I give this establishment a 5, being the greatest  based on a scaling of 1-5  because not only did they provide quick service but it was kind service as well, and the scenery was remarkable; I saw the city from across the restaurant. So If you like a view while eating this is the place to go!

beautiful view near Long Island City.

P.S: My recommendation to you is to bring friends along! The more the merrier, enjoy!

  • Gennessy Palma

The Oculus

The start of a new month has begun; September, bringing forth days of cooler temperatures and fall foliage. For many New Yorkers it also brings retrospective thoughts of the tragedy that happened on September 11, 2001. It, surprisingly, has been sixteen years since the disaster took place but New Yorkers still vividly remember its havoc that struck us so deeply. As the memorial approaches, I thought it would be nice to pay homage to a piece of architecture that subtly reminds us of this terrible day, honors the strong survivors and first responders, and supports the loved ones subjected to an overwhelming loss.

 

Something most don’t know about the after effects of 9/11, is how determined and reactive New York was to rebuild. By 2002, many proposals had flooded New York City from all around the world, in the hopes of helping with the process of rebuilding. Something that was not a part of the overall plan was the remastering of the the PATH train station. But in 2004 the city concocted a plan with Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava, to create a partial above and below ground transportation hub. He soon proposed a project named the “Oculus” which was supposed to embody “… the release of a bird from a child’s hand…” Calatrava named it the Oculus since on September 11th the skylight is supposed to be exactly positioned for a bright beam of sunlight to shine through the hub; similar to the Pantheon’s oculus in Rome. This sentimental effect takes place from 8:00 to 10:28; the time that the World Trade Center was struck.

Once the proposition was accepted, its progress and popularity only went downhill. The budget was exceeded by large proportions and constant variance of financial obstruction and waste was brutally thrown at the project; making the construction near impossible. Hurricane Sandy in 2012, alone, eradicated millions of dollars worth of material and other structural elements. The overall design was constantly amended to save money and time. A major change being how the extended columns were supposed to be automated and move with the available sunlight; the tight budget kept this feature from coming into fruition.

After years of dedication, amendments, and withstanding negative media from disbelieving New Yorkers, The Oculus was completed and opened to the public on March 4, 2016; taking about 12 years to produce. The opinions were very mixed about the transportation hub since some were amazed by the respectful design, it’s potential for bringing tourist/revenue, and the methodology of transporting people from one place to another. Contrastly, others thought it was a waste of additional money and didn’t quite see the beauty in the hub.

I, personally, think Calatrava’s Oculus is beautiful and is a great way to show respect for that critical day of New York City history. The pure white wings extends 96 feet in the air from where the unfortunate rubble once laid. Delicately and valiantly, it rises; gracing its viewers with a glance before it releases itself to Freedom Tower. At night, its light illuminates between the columns making the Oculus visible from great lengths which shows us how important it is to let the light and positivity shine through our streets, course through our veins, and beat ever so heavily in our hearts because it is our duty, as New Yorkers, to prevail over any type of circumstance.

Stop Wasting Your Time!!

Yesterday as I was walking down the hallway aimlessly during my two hour break, a new student approached me in Namm Hall and asked me to direct him to the Voorhees building. You can only imagine my demise thinking about how to instruct someone on the journey to Voorhees from the 6th floor in Namm! In my mind I thought, this poor soul has to walk those long blocks to the V-Building and has no idea what he’s getting himself into. At first I contemplated the best directions to give him so that he wouldn’t get lost. After a few seconds I realized there was no way I could direct him efficiently without the possibility of him getting lost, and on his first day at that.

My heart crumbled inside thinking that he would be lost in school, and it would be my fault. So I decided to walk down the stairs with him so that I could at least show him which direction to walk in. After exchanging our last few words, and me double checking that he was okay with the directions I gave him, we parted ways at the Main Entrance and I felt better that I helped him instead of brushing him off. It was at that moment I realized that I could be using my break between classes in a more efficient manner than just walking aimlessly until my next class. Instead of just chilling  I decided to put my free time to good use, even if that means giving someone directions to a specific part of the campus.

After that experience I walked back to the elevators in the Namm building so that I could proceed to my class on the tenth floor. While in the elevator I noticed that I had about a hour and a half of free time and I decided to use that time wisely. I walked down the hallway in search of an empty classroom to sit in, instead of having to sit on the floor in hallway. After a few minutes, to my surprise I found a room that wasn’t occupied,and then I got comfortable. I  used my break to start an assignment that was due for the following day. As time progressed, I noticed that in the same time span that I would have spent walking around bored during my break, I was getting work done that would benefit me in later parts of the day.

By the time class started I had already read a sufficient amount of my assigned literature for class, and I was able to move on with the rest of my assignment.  Once class was finished I left and made my way to meet my partner so that we could spend quality time together. Had I not completed my schoolwork during my break, I would’ve had to cut my date short and run home to do my work. However, since I took the initiative to manage my time in a way that would accommodate my personal needs, I was able to do my work and have fun at the same time.

My main point of sharing my experiences during the first day of class with you is to show you how easy it is to Stop Wasting Your Time! I know that it’s difficult to get back into the swing of things in the beginning of the semester. However, I promise you that learning to use your time wisely will benefit you greatly in the long run. All you have to do is buckle down and devote a certain amount of hours a day to your studies no matter how taxing it may be. Trust me I have days when I’d prefer to be watching Hero Academia, Empire, Power, This is Us or any of the various other shows that have held my interest seasons upon seasons. However, I have learned that the years we spend working hard in college will groom us for experiences in the outside world.

College is hard, but this semester and the semesters that follow will fly by, and you’ll be graduating sooner than you know it. So during this time, make school a major priority in life and don’t get distracted. Give Facebook, Snapchat, Youtube and Instagram a rest for a few hours, knock out your homework, and once you’ve completed your assignments go out and have some real fun. Balance your time so that you never miss an assignment, but you also have time to enjoy yourself. Just DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME, because once it’s gone you can never get it back.

Be Grateful…..Sit Down

The Hurricane Harvey devastation in Houston really hit home for me last week. The Summer of 1999, me and my siblings were across the street with my mom at her friend’s house where we normally spent our days. My mom and her friend were in the kitchen gossiping and laughing. Me and her friends granddaughters playing in the living room making sure we were “where they could see us” lol. The phone rang, my mom picked up, and next thing we saw she was running across the street.

Our house was on fire!

In less than 20 minutes our lives had flipped upside down and a new version of reality set in. We had nothing. Nothing but the clothes on our backs and everything else was destroyed; either by the fire, or the water the firemen hosed in. With no idea what the next steps were, I understood what just happened, but was still too young to really UNDERSTAND.

With 3 kids, one of them just one year old, I can’t imagine what that moment was like for my mother. So I asked her..

Meet Rachel, 56 year old dimepiece, vintage gem, and mother of 5. My mother. The best woman, best person I’ve ever known, and someone whom I’m unquestionably the luckiest person in the world to be around daily. *cues applause*

Me: When you got the call that the apartment was on fire what was your initial reaction?
Mom: Well you remember my mother and father were in that house. She’s the one who called me. She said “Rae there’s a fire here!”. I don’t know why she called me but didn’t leave out of the house (laughs). So I ran over there immediately to make sure they were ok and see how bad it was. I opened the door and the smoke was so bad I couldn’t go in. I yelled into the apartment for my mother and father to come out. That was my immediate concern, my parents.

Me: I remember they were in there. So once things settled what were your thoughts?
Mom: Once everything calmed down I went in to see if anything could be salvaged. I had just finished purchasing all the school supplies for you guys. I had your book bags, everything, but everything was soaking wet. I said Oh god, well that was it. My children and I have nowhere to stay. I’ve lost everything. There’s not much to think about but you know, we’re alive. You don’t know where you’re gonna stay but things, things you can get back, I was glad we were ok.

Me:Who did you lean on through this process?
Mom: It was just us and God. Just me and him. I had to do what I had to do. It was hard, of course it was.I wasn’t working and I had you guys depending on me.

Me: If you could go back to that moment and encourage yourself in that moment what would you tell yourself?
Mom: Everybody’s ok. As long as there’s life…there’s hope. We gonna be alright…and that’s what I always say to myself every time.

Me:What are your feelings about Houston right now?
Mom: It’s devastating because it’s a natural disaster, it isn’t anyone’s fault. It’s hard when things are out of your control. They will recover, that I know. Life is a process of struggle and overcoming. To the ones that have lost their loved ones, I wouldn’t even say “they’re in a better place” because I don’t think that helps anyone. Time heals all wounds and the only thing you can do is stay strong to make it. You can get everything else material back but you can’t get life back. Once there’s life there’s hope, they’re gonna be alright. Once you have life, you have just about everything you need to continue on. Life is motivation.

Thank you mom, your strength is unmatched.

In a moment of loss, devastation, and no idea what comes next; what prevails in my mom, the Harvey survivors, and so many others who have gone through traumatic situations is one word: Gratefulness. There is SUPREME power in being grateful. As I followed the hurricane Harvey story I saw devastation and sadness, but you know what I saw as well? I saw appreciation for what they did have. Appreciation for seeing it through, weathering the storm…literally. I saw children playing and splashing in flooded areas like it was a pool, videos of people thanking God for life in the midst of crisis. I saw people finding humor in the midst of it all and people rejoicing that they had been rescued or found shelter and refuge. Video

So before we “all lives matter” Houston because we too have our own real life disasters and issues, I’m challenging you to take more time to be grateful. It’s so important. It shouldn’t take us having to see or hear about someone in an unfortunate situation, or a “feed the children” commercial to be appreciative and to stop being blind to the plethora of gifts the universe has given us.

Please, don’t confuse being grateful as denying you your natural right to be unhappy or dissatisfied in a situation. There are so many people desperately seeking the good in life, and we too may have been in times where gratefulness might not have been the first point on the agenda. And that’s ok. Start with the small things, and gratitude will start to show you more and more of what you do have, when you stop focusing on what you don’t have.

The Friday before Harvey hit Houston, I stared into my over packed fridge and complained about it not having certain things I wanted and had an appetite for at that moment, and I mean I went on and on every time I opened it. “How is the fridge packed but it’s nothing in it? OMG nobody bought me the….” Let me tell you, If I could take that ENTIRE fridge and ship it to Houston right now I would.

Let gratefulness be the most important choice of your day. Start a list today, list ten things you’re grateful for, add to it every chance you get. Put a few  of the things you’re grateful for in the comments now, I’m nosy I’d love to hear 🙂 .

Like a flower, the more you feed it, the more it will grow. We’ll be doing this together. Numero uno on my list: I’m grateful for you reading this.

I LOVE YOU.

This can help you get started 🙂

An Nou Palé (Let’s Talk)

by Robine Jean-Pierre

Have you ever heard someone refer to Haitian Creole as “broken French” or “French slang”? This can be offensive to speakers of the language, mainly because it is inaccurate.

Haitian Creole (or kréyol ayisyen) is the main language spoken in Haiti. When we Haitians refer to the language we just call it kréyol, but recognized internationally, adding “Haitian” distinguishes it from the many other types of creoles there are worldwide. Several other Caribbean and/or West Indian nations have creoles, and even Australia does as well.

So what is a creole? A creole starts off as a pidgin, a rudimentary “language” of sorts that combines elements from the languages of two different countries.  It is a makeshift language used mainly for business; that is why many pidgins and creoles have been a direct offspring of imperialism. The vocabulary often comes from the language of the dominant nation while the grammar comes from the language of the subordinate nation (see Maria Khodorkovsky’s article, “Pidgins and Creoles: The Formation of Nonstandard Language”). A pidgin becomes a creole when it is passed down to the next generation of speakers as their primary language.

Haitian Creole is a mix of French, West African dialects spoken by the slaves whom were brought over to Haiti (formerly Hispaniola), and even some minimal indigenous languages such as Taino. (include chart) From this point on, when I refer to Creole I mean Haitian Creole. Growing up hearing it in my home, I find it to be an amusing and colorful language. Sometimes, I feel as if Creole words and phrases capture an idea or emotion better than English does.

To anyone who would wish to learn it, one of the advantages is that one word can be used to mean several things, so you would not have to learn too much vocabulary to express several ideas. For example, whereas in English we have five first person singular pronouns (I, me, my, mine, myself), in Creole these are all expressed with the same word: mwen (aside from myself, which would be tet mwen). In a similar manner, verbs do not have to be conjugated in Creole the way they often are in other languages. In English, the verb “to eat” changes depending on who is the subject (either adding or dropping an ‘s’) but in Creole it is always the same: mwen manje, ou manje, li manje, etc.

On the flip side, I would say that the hardest part is the pronunciation. There are many sounds in Creole that are akin to French and West African dialects, so if you speak any of these languages you would have an advantage. Certain consonant sounds are brought together in ways you would not hear so much in English. For example, consider the word dlo (water) which derives from the French de l’eau (some water, or of water). It might be hard for an American English speaker to say this because no English words, from what I know, ever start with that dl- combination. You might find it in the middle of a word, like medley. But even then, most of us would say the word like “med-lee,” not “meh-dlee.” A lot of beginners (including myself when I was younger) pronounce dlo like the English “glow” for this reason; gl- is more natural to the tongue.

The ‘r’ in Creole is also tricky. For untrained ears it is sometimes just barely audible, like in the word drapo (from drapeau meaning flag). This ‘r’ is pronounced more in the back of your throat, unlike a “Spanish r,” for instance, which is more toward the front of your mouth, using the tip of your tongue. In other Creole words, the ‘r’ more closely resembles an English ‘w,’ especially at the beginning of the word. The word roch (rock, stone) would sound most like “wush” (rhyming with brush).

I hope this article helped you to learn more about Haitian Creole, and made it clear to you that it is indeed a formal language. I encourage you to do your own research, indulge in Haitian culture (especially the food) and learn a few words. You never know when it might come in handy.  Mesi anpil! (Thank you very much!)

Sites to consider:

Virtues from Motherhood: Thank you Mom

A decade ago I was 17, rebellious and determined to do everything my parents (really my mom) did not want me doing. I was hell bent on being everything that pushed their buttons and made their hair grey. A decade later I’m at dinner with my mom and some of our co-workers. Our co-workers remember me before I was a polished office manager and adult, they remember the days my mom was running out of work to come find me or clean up whatever mess I was making that week. They remember a time where my mom was crying because I was running my life into the ground, and not because I was making her laugh at the dinner table.

Me and my Mom: Summer in the 90’s

I spent most of my adolescence running from her and from everything she was (and is I suppose) but the older I get the more I realize we carry many of the same traits. Nothing makes this more apparent to me then the way our co-workers compare us. Before my mom took her current job, her and I were both office managers. We both ran offices and attended the same meetings and met the same deadlines. Though we never worked together the people who work with us have seen both of us in action. So when someone says “you’re just like your mom” I used to cringe, but now I smile because her traits have enabled me to excel to the levels I have now. Her leadership has been embedded in me since I was a child, but as a teenager I was running wild with it, rather than building a future for myself.

Why am I taking this trip down memory lane? Well two reasons, not everyone has their mother, not everyone has that unconditional love and support of the woman who raised them. Some people have lost their mother both physically and/or emotionally, and I can’t imagine how much that sucks. I also can’t imagine where I would be had my mother not fought so hard to keep me on the right path, and no matter how hard I fought to stray from it, she followed me deep into whatever forest I wanted to explore. The other reason being, I’m glad that i have finally reached a place with my mom where we can go to dinner, where I can talk to her and have conversations and that she is finally proud of me as a person and as a mother.

As you read through this blog post, remember that every mother shows love differently and sadly sometimes not every mom has it in them to be there, but mine does, and I’m thankful. If you have your mom, whether it be upstairs from you or states away, be grateful. And if you don’t have your mom, I am truly sorry, but remember as the child it is not your job, nor is it your responsibility to make her a parent. Remember that no matter where the path may lead you that she does love you, but she might have to do it from afar because she doesn’t know how to express it to you, and that the universe will put people that love you in many other ways in your life, you will never be alone.

Lastly, remember that we are carbon paper to our parents, we are imprints of their qualities both good and bad, yes there are some days I want to rip my eyes out of my head because of my mom, but those days pale in comparison to the days we can go out to dinner together now, because there are far less rip your eyes out days now than when I was a teenager.