Left Behind

As I’ve said before a couple of blogs ago, my boyfriend has been deported.  You can read about that here.  Always feel free to ask questions or comment.  I know I was vague in that post and that is because I didn’t want to post something he didn’t want.  He reads all of my blogs and that is his personal life I’m writing about, not mine.  As a quick note, he only reads the ones that I tell him I post, so I won’t have him read this one since this is just me worrying and that will make sense soon.

So he left on Wednesday and it was just awful waiting for him to send me a message.  I was worried about his flight and him finding his family and then living with family he’s never met aside from when he was 2 or 3 years old.  He finally  messaged me around 8 and we talked for a bit and then he had to go to bed since he was working with his Aunt the next day.  Yesterday we only sent 2 or 3 messages each and he had to go again.

We used to text all day every day and I know that’s a lot and normally I wouldn’t want a relationship with THAT much communication all the time, but since he was leaving we just wanted every single minute together, even if it was just talking via text.  Something like this really teaches you how to appreciate the time you have with someone and how fast that time really goes by.  Now we’ll only message for a very short time in the evenings which is fine.  I don’t mind that.

The thing is, to be perfectly honest, I’m just a mess.  I miss him more than words can say and I know it’s going to get better with time and once he settles in, we’ll probably have some sort of schedule so we can Skype regularly and times we can talk, things like that.  He just seems so happy down there, which I’m really glad because I was hoping he wouldn’t it, but it’s so exciting and new and everything is interesting, and I’m not.  I just miss him so much, knowing that he is so far away and I don’t know when I’ll be able to hold his hand or kiss him or hug him.

I am in Chicago, working, going to school, blogging, working with my Aunt and helping some nonprofits but I’m just boring me and he is in this new, exciting stage of his life with amazing and different people and I’m 2,066 miles away, 35 hours if I took a car, 649 hours if I decided to enjoy the walk. 

Part of me is scared that he won’t want to come home.  That’s not my biggest worry, he did say that Mexico is fun but it’s not home.  The rest of my fear, the majority of my fear, is that he’ll find someone just as new and exciting as his life is now and that someone will be there to share every minute of it while I’m here, in Chicago and I’m completely unsure of when I’ll be able to go down to Mexico.  I have to find a job there before I get my Visa, I have to figure out what to do with my car, which is 4 years old in perfect condition and I have to pay student loans so my family doesn’t feel that pressure and so my sister doesn’t come out of school with more debt that I have.

Not just that but I’m neurotic, compulsive and don’t really like vegetables.  We’re very different and very opposite people and he says that’s why he loves me and he accepts all of my weird quirks without thinking twice about them.  I’m just afraid this new, exciting person will be easier to deal with because of her lack of quirks.

I know he wouldn’t cheat on me, but what if he wants to leave me.  He’s says he’d never do that, but you never know who you will meet and when.  With a life like he has had, I wouldn’t blame him for wanting an easier person to deal with because I know for sure I’m not that easy to be with, I worry all the time about everything and I’ve listed my other quirks.

I know I have a lot to offer someone too though,  I’m not one of these women who are always afraid of her boyfriend running off with every woman who walked within 10 feet of him.  All of my worrying and nagging are because I care and want him to wear his seatbelt or go to the doctor if he gets sick or for him to be careful.  I’m loyal, devoted and my love for him will never end, I’m motivated, hard-working, funny.  I don’t think I’ve ever read so many laws or forms of legislation in my life than I have recently to educate myself on what we need to do to get him home.  All of that time and paperwork I went through was all for him and I’ll do whatever I have to so he can come home legally.

I don’t want to tell him this, he’s having fun and enjoying this part of his life and I don’t want to ruin this since I don’t know when we’ll be able to get him home and I’d much rather have him enjoy it there than hate it.  This is just a worry I have and I worry too much I know.  We don’t even have a rhythm yet to when we talk and he has to settle into his new life, so once he does that, everything could change, but just right now this is my worry.  It just feels like his life is changing and growing into something amazing and bright and busy and I’m being left behind in what his life used to be.

Meeting of the Styles

More often than I ever expected I’ve found myself in the city I live so close to, Chicago and more and more I’ve fallen in love with it, the neighborhoods, the real city not the tourist traps near the coast.

My new love is photographing art, anything from murals to graffiti.  I’ve written about this before and you can visit my Flickr (click here) with just some of my photos.  I can only upload a certain amount each month since I don’t want to pay for it an only have a free account but I also have a Tumblr where I post my photos too (click here).  My past blog about art in the city is here.

Most of the time I drive around until I see something I want to photograph but I also try to find places online to look at.  I found one of the walls from the Meeting of the Styles 2012 on 36th and Kedzie which was amazing!  I took 100 photos and my camera died so I have to go back to finishm, that’s how much art there is there!  There are three other locations that I’m going to visit too.

It was just incredible!  All of these beautiful colors swirling around each other and forming these beautiful shapes with aliens in the background.  Dark, postapocalyptic scenes were brought to life and no matter how creepy the imagery was, you couldn’t help but stare at its beauty!  My favorite was a pair of dragons on the Crawford Steel Company building.  This beats so many painting in the Art Institute of Chicago, especially that stupid one with the dot in the corner or the painting that you do in kindergarten where you dip 3 marbles in paint (red, yellow and blue) and roll them on your paper?  For those of you who’ve been there, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  People buy those painting for so much money and hang them in a museum when real art is on the street for free.  I don’t understand.

Unfortunately in the parking lot of the Crawford Steel Company on Kedzie some of the art on either end has been written over with scribbles and thin lines paling in comparison to the color, depth and talent that preceded it.  What I love about this is that this company allows and encourages graffiti, taking away this negative image from it.  However they also puts rules into place stating on their garage door that permission has to be given, previous work has to be respected and it has to be appropriate.  This is a wonderful thing that I think more businesses should do!  Why do we have to look at an old, dirty wall when it could come to life with color?

With business being open to the idea of graffiti as art and setting rules like those above, they could encourage youth to express themselves in a positive way and especially when it’s something as incredibly beautiful as this!!  Why not?  I’d be much more eager to go down to local business to photograph the art and then why not go inside and check out the business itself?  It positive for the business, community and the kid or young adult, whoever is the artist is.

It’s such a challenge to find amazing work downtown since I don’t know where all of it is and this was such a beautiful surprise!  I highly recommend checking it out and going on your own little adventure to find some real art in our city.

Horses

I became obsessed with the idea of cowboys in 5th grade when I discovered, in the back of our school library a set of books called Famous Horse Stories from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.  They were all separate stories by separate authors, just in the same group.  The idea of the man taking care of his family, protecting his wife and the woman being strong and managing a house, children, ranch and unruly, stubborn husband was something a little girl can really dream about.  Not only that there were horses.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved horses.  In elementary school anything that had a horse on it I begged my parents to buy me, stickers, pencils, notebooks, folders, books (even ones that were way above my reading level), shirts, toys, just about anything and everything you can think of I had.  Even now I have boxes of over 60 figurines, some cheap but some are collectables and Breyer and Peter Stone.  My parents love getting me all of that and in high school with the help of an eBay account, they bought me the majority of the Famous Horse Story books, which are so old I can’t even find them in the public library near my house!

Horses are the spirit of the West, what helped found this country and there is this freedom associated with them, this spirit that could never be taken.  Even domesticated, they always have this look in their eyes of wild joy.

They are these massive, huge animals just made of hard, strong muscle but every movement is so fluid and graceful.  They just swim through the air and hover over the Earth.  It’s so amazing just watching them.  They’re graceful but so strong and powerful at the same time, every movement is that of a dancer with the strength of an army and they can have the tenderness of a mother tending to her child.

I’ve always wished to be like that, graceful and strong.  I never had the confidence to do much, to use my voice to demand change until recently.  I wish I had their freedom, or at least what they used to have, now just like the wild horses in America, people are caged as well.  The horses can only stay on their reservations, within their boarders just like us.  We are confined to the space we live in, divided by language, color and customs, divided by a line on a piece of paper. 

Hopefully the wild horses will never vanish and these preserves like the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary and National Parks won’t disappear so our future generations can see that look of passion and freedom and pureness, something our society has lost.  You rarely see that spark in anyones eye now as lives get busier.  Business and corporations expands globally but people become separated, void of all emotion toward the human rights violations abroad with only small groups actively doing something.  Instead of listening, understanding and embracing each other, lines on the map get darker and darker.  I want that spark, that wild freedom to come back, for us to embrace that feeling again and embrace those around us instead of becoming so much more divided.  We’re all people no matter our language, color, customs, beliefs so we should help each other instead of hate each other or just turn the other way and pretend nothing is wrong.

Speak up, stand your ground, open your ears and make a difference to someone.  When you listen and embrace someone instead of hating them or completely ignoring their struggles, you have just begun to open the world for yourself, slowly removing the cage which you’re in and maybe then you can experience what these incredible animals feel every day of their lives.

My Illegal Love

So for those of you who haven’t read my last blog about my amazing trip to the Signature Room, I said it was my last day with my boyfriend.  Yesterday I saw him for 20 minutes or so, he gave me a card with the sweetest message and a beautiful silver necklace with two small rings on it, one with his birthstone and one with mine.  I cried.

The reason why it was my last day was not because we are breaking up, we are still very much together the only problem is today he had to get on a plane to go to Mexico City because he has been deported.

He came into this country legally since he was brought over when he was about 3 years old.  His parents are both legal permanent residents and his siblings natural-born citizens.  He was born in Mexico, lived with his grandparents for a few years and then his parents came back for him after filing the proper paper work to return to Mexico and bring a child back into the United States.  The problem is that paper work only stated that they came back with a child, not specifically his name and also his parents just didn’t pursue any other paperwork to make him a resident or citizen.   They had this responsibility to him until he was 18 at which time he is no longer legally bound to them.  He didn’t pursue residency either.

His parents make me angry, he knows this and I feel bad because it’s not my life and not my parents, but it was something so easy to do, the U.S. isn’t going to deny residency to a child, especially when his parents are legally here.  Why would you bring a child back and not take care of them?  They are your child and your responsibility, you are supposed to love them like that.  He frustrates me sometimes since he could’ve done a lot of things in his life differently.  His parents never gave him any guidance so he’s made some mistakes.  To me that is partly his parents fault for their lack of involvement in his life but those are also his decisions.  These mistakes prevented him from applying for Deferred Action.

By the time I met him, he was trying to change his life around.  If he hadn’t been, there’s not way I would’ve stayed.  It was a really hard relationship to be in at first, our morals and values were so different, he didn’t treat women like I thought a man should (nothing awful, just never ever listening to me), he never try to get me home on time, he frustrated me beyond belief with so many more things, but that was all better than the place he had been before I met him.  I know I’m being vague, but some personal things aren’t meant for the Internet.

Right now though, he’s so different, his eyes are softer and he smiles more.  He used to have this look, it was a look that you see in someone who trusts no one even though they say they do, it’s that look of fear and anger and emotional distance.  Now he’ll laugh for no reason, he’ll quote T.V. shows and make goofy comments.  His eyes just light up when he smiles and that never used to happen.  Before his eyes were separate from his smile.

So I’m just waiting to hear from him now.  He left this morning and his plane should’ve already landed, I’m just waiting and worrying.  I’m planning to go down to Mexico a year from now.  I have to finish school and get the money together and find a job where I can help my parents pay my student loans, which are very small compared to others.  I’m going to get him home legally.

The worst part is not knowing how long that’s going to take, I don’t know when all the applications are going to go through or even if they are.  For those of you who are wondering, we’re not getting married, we will think about that when he is home legally first, so he’s not using me for a green card.  The worst part for me is I’m really going to miss being close to my family.  That was in my life plan, move out but not too far.  My mom has some medical problems that worry me and I want to be close for that and for Holidays and Birthdays and weekend visits.  I just hope everything goes smoothly and we can figure something out.  It’s so scary not knowing what is going to happen.

My life has turned into what feels like a Lifetime movie, it’s not what I planned at all.  I wanted the wedding in my mid-20s a job that could support a family, then kids and to work with nonprofits.  Now I’m dating a man whose past is something I never thought I’d have say my boyfriend had (I was thinking more of a college graduate business professional maybe?  Someone who’d get a 6 figure job so I could stay at home with the kids and volunteer and be active in the community and things like that, just like my parents are) and now he has been deported to Mexico and I’m not sure when he’ll be home.  It’s very scary but we can get through it, if we have survived everything we’ve been through already, then this is just the next step in our lives together.  We support each other and will find someone way to make everything work.  It’s what we always do and why we care about each other so much and make each other so happy.

The Signature Room

So this is my last day with him, it’s a long story and that will be in another blog, but it’s my last day with my boyfriend for a very long time.

We went down to the city and he had been talking about this restaurant in Little Village he had been wanting to take me too and told me to dress nice so I just wore blue skinny jeans, a nice shirt and heels.  I get to his place and he asks me to wait downstairs, he lives in an apartment, so I waited and then I saw the door open and he was in dress pants & shirt and a tie and he just looked so good.  I’ve never seen him this dressed up before and he looked so handsome!  Then I was worried that I wasn’t dressed up enough and was almost in tears (I cry a lot, lol when I’m happy, sad, stressed, it just happens) and he had to calm me down.

Anyway, we get to the city and I still have no idea where we’re going until we get into the Hancock Building and the woman at the elevator asked if we were going to the Signature Room.  That’s exactly where we went, all the way up to the 95th floor to the beautiful Signature Room, complete with a pianist, panoramic view of the city 95 floors up and beautiful, fantastic food.  I got some amazing photos of the city and had the most amazing brunch with my boyfriend.  I just felt like a princess, completely pampered.  I offered to help pay since I knew it was expensive, but he said no.  I told him he shouldn’t spend so much money on me when he has other finances to worry about and he told me that money comes and goes and he wanted special moments like this with me.  I almost started crying again.

After that we got back in my car and went to the Lincoln Park Zoo which I’ve never been to and loved it!  I got so many great photos of the animals and it wasn’t that cold, I think it was only in the 30s and sunny!  We went by a small pond with Swans and Ducks and since I love bird watching I was freaking out because of all of the different waterfowl!  There were male and female Goldeneye, Wood Ducks, male and female Northern Pintail and male and female Hooded Merganser!  Goldeneye are so skittish and I could never get photos of them before and now I was able too!  He wanted to go to another animal house and was coaxing me to leave, but still stood next to me as I took all my photos.  Then he took me into the bird house and there was one room where the birds were just flying all around you!  I loved the look on his face when he’d point out a new bird, it was that look when someone is just really happy to make you happy.

Then we stayed until the Christmas lights were turned on and listened to the Christmas music and got hot chocolate and cider.  That was so special to me since we wouldn’t have Christmas here together.  We watched a man carve a penguin out of a block of ice!  I’ll have these photos on my Flickr soon (flicker.com/undiaalavez67).

I just had an amazingly happy/sad day.  I was sad since this was our last big day together, the last time I’d hold his hand or see him smile in person or hear him laugh in person but happy because it was wonderful.  He is so thoughtful and sweet.  He is a jerk sometimes, just like any guy, he doesn’t listen or understand why I cry every single time I watch the Notebook or why I still have the Backstreet Boys on my iPod or why I like country music, but he is perfect to me.

Black Friday

So my cousin posted this great picture on Facebook.  It was one of those images with a quote and it said “Black Friday:  Because only in America, people trample others for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have.”

I totally understand wanting to go out for great deals and sales, everyone could save some money.  Not only that it’s fun!  It’s like a game, trying to find what you need before someone else and that’s exciting!  I’ve never been out on Black Friday but one year I want to!  So many of my friends do and it sounds like fun.

Last year, I remember hearing about those people who were trampled to death outside of Walmart, I think it was Walmart, but the location wasn’t really important.  It’s the fact that people were trampled for a sale.  Was a discount so important that you had to push and fight people out of the way to get what you want and that ended their lives?

It’s just something to think about, I think Black Friday always sounds fun and you get great deals, but I’d much rather lose the sweater I want and help someone up then trample them.  It’s a scary thought to me to think that our society has come down to a tragedy like that, literally running over multiple people for a sale!  Can you actually wrap your head around that?!  Just for a sale!  That sounds like it should be joke that people tell around this time of year because that thing would never happen in real life, you know?  Just for a sale.

It just shocks me to no end that something like this happened for such a useless reason, not that there is any reason that justifies the loss of any life, but this is honestly the, I don’t even know what to say!  It happened for a sale and that’s it.  After Thanksgiving, after those who lost their lives had most likely spent the day with their family who now can no longer have that time with them.  For those of you who went out on Black Friday, I hope you had so much fun and were very safe, found everything you wanted and got some fantastic deals, and picked someone up if they fell down and be thankful for everything in your life.

I Ate A Cactus & Thanksgiving

I forgot to put this in my last blog but when I went down to Little Village, my boyfriend wanted to eat at this cute little restaurant.  I can’t remember the name, but it was right next to the mall in Little Village!

First of all, I was addressed in Spanish which of course made me happy.  Second we got this MASSIVE dinner that was only $10!  It was huge!  Finally on this plate it has chicken, beans, rice, vegetables and a cactus!!!!!  A real cactus!  I’ve never been served a cactus before!  It was so exciting, but not as tasty as I expected.  I’d definitely eat it again.  It didn’t have much of any flavor, just a combination of everything that was on the plate and the texture of green beans.  It was still exciting though!

Now onto today, Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving used to be a bigger holiday in my family when my mom’s parents were alive.  We’d go to Dad’s parents for breakfast with that part of the family and then Mom’s for dinner, a big dinner that would last for hours.  Now we go to my Aunt’s house (Dad’s sister) and see my Dad’s family, he has two sisters and then my Aunt’s husband’s parents, some neighbors and my Dad’s brother calls since he lives in California.  In total there were 17 people.  We eat really early in the afternoon and only stay for an hour or two.  I definitely miss having those two holidays meals with each side of my family, but due to other reasons we don’t see my mom’s sister and her side, my Nana was the one holding my family together it hasn’t been the same since her death even though Mom has done everything she could.

I still have fun though! I love my other crazy Aunt Laura, who I do Recycled2New with (Click here for our Facebook!).  We discuss what  we can do differently and better and new craft ideas.  I took a bunch of empty wine bottles to try to make vases or incense burners or something like that.  The football game is on the T.V. all the guys are yelling at the T.V. and my sister and I sit there listening, I ask questions sometimes since I don’t every watch football, I get the idea but I want to know the little details.  This year they were talking about a purple Jesus, which is apparently some football player for some team.  Their house is small, so adults are in one room and ‘kids’ which include me and my cousin who are 21, my sister and my other cousin who are 19 and Aunt Laura and her husband.  I love being with my family and its so much fun!  Crafts and yelling at the T.V., food, the holiday’s are my favorite time!

I love the holidays and I can’t wait for Christmas!  Mom hosts Christmas and then Aunt Laura hosts Easter, but Christmas is the best by far just because it’s at my home and Mom is crazy with the holiday decorations, but in a good way and I just love everything from the family to the food to the way the house smells like cinnamon.