PASEO Program Adventure—Day 18: Huanchaco, Peru

We began today (two days ago, July 4th) with a course on Spanish for the mental health setting. Since my schedule changed, Tuesdays are a bit slower for me, so I spent the day catching up on homework, going to the gym, and going for a run. We decided to get in as much exercise as possible before feasting out on burgers in honor of July 4th.

Not every country has the same rights and privileges as we do, and while things could always be better (just like anything in life), we must not forget to take pride in where we come from when we are blessed with so many privileges. But of course, we should never settle. We can and should always do more to make our society better for everyone—especially underserved and marginalized populations. Since today (two days ago) is a holiday, I’ll let you celebrate by keeping this post short. Cheers, to independence.

May This Be The Year

May this be the year in which we allow ourselves to grow
May this be the year in which we allow ourselves to learn
     As much as we possibly can.
May this be the year in which we allow ourselves to love
     And be loved.
May this be the year in which we learn to forgive
          And ourselves.
May this be the year in which we seek new adventures
     By putting ourselves out there more often.
May this be the year in which we follow our dreams
     And reach for the stars.
May this be the year in which we learn to surpass rejection
     And continue on our path to greatness.
May this be the year in which we share special moments with loved ones
     And cherish such memories for years to come.
May this be the year in which we learn to persist
               And courageously.
May this be the year in which we learn to share our voices and listen to those who have yet to be heard
     By advocating,
               And helping our fellow human beings.
May this be the year in which we devote ourselves to a worthwhile cause
     And help those in need.
May this be the year in which we never forget to be thankful and appreciative
     Each and every day.
May this be the year in which we shine, and encourage others to do the same
     Brighter than ever before.

Happy New Year, and may it be blessed!


Living With An Illness

Years ago, I found myself crawled over in the middle of a restaurant with excruciating stomach pains. After having to be carried to the car by my dad, I went home to sleep off the pain. A few years passed before the pains returned, and when they did, I went to a gastroenterologist to find out what was wrong. Let’s just say that I was given just about every test possible, did blood work, found myself becoming acquainted with various medical machines, and even had to get a colonoscopy and endoscopy, only to find out that I have mild, nonspecific colitis. In layman’s terms, it’s a stomach illness that can cause terrible pains and often times makes the toilet your best friend. However the fact that it is nonspecific makes it difficult to understand the illness, so let’s just say I was a guinea pig to numerous medications, none of which helped.

When it comes to Illness, I’ve noted that from the moment the doctor first diagnoses you with an Illness, you begin to feel somewhat emotional, wondering, “Why me?” From even the most minor Illness to the most severe one, you question how this came about, and ponder why you have to be the one receiving this diagnosis. If you’re lucky, your doctor may tell you about a support group you can join, but often times he or she is too busy to start discussing matters like that.

It can be extremely frustrating when you feel as though you are paying every doctor and specialist to help you, but not one person can figure out how to do so, let alone figure out what the problem is. There are countless numbers of Illnesses without cures or treatments, and unfortunately, except for testing out various medications to find out which one works best, there isn’t much that anyone can do for you if the cause of your Illness is unknown. I know how trying such a situation can be, but believe it or not, there are plenty of other people out there who know exactly what you are going through.

I know that my stomach problem isn’t a life threatening Illness, but just like everyone else, I have two options. I can choose to sit around all day feeling sorry for myself, knowing that my stomach pain will return again sometime soon, or I can remain positive, and go out and enjoy myself. There are so many choices for us to make in our lives and the attitude we decide to have each and every day is one of those choices. Do I want to stay inside all day, drowning in my sorrows, or would I rather go outside and enjoy the beautiful day that I could become a part of?

We have each been blessed with the gift of life, and with that, we should be enjoying ourselves to the fullest. Get up and make the best out of your day, and remember that your Illness does not have control over you or your life. You do. We each have a buffet full of choices in life, but with the main meals being positivity and negativity, you had better choose positivity. And as a helpful hint, not only did I hear that negativity doesn’t taste very good, but I happen to have received an anonymous tip that positivity is the chef’s personal favorite.