Tuesday, November 15, 2011 0 comments

There is a Light at the End of this Tunnel

Feeling a lot better. Things seem to be turning around and I am thankful for that. I am also feeling really fortunate for the friends I do have and for the support network that the Rangel fellows have given me. They have really been helpful at this time and I feel blessed to know that these people will be my future colleagues at the State department.

So on to happier news...I bought my mom's plane ticket and she will be going back to Nicaragua. I love my mom but this will be a huge load of my back. She is able to live a better quality of life in Nicaragua and as long as she is in NYC she will continue to be unhappy. I will not be able to support her if she stays in NYC. Plus, even though my step dad has colon cancer he is fighting and seems to be doing better. She will be with him and it will give her something to do while he is able to support her with his business. He isn't rich but they live modest but comfortable lives in Nicaragua.

My sister started her taxi driving job last week. I had given her startup money and it seems her hard work is paying off. She is finally making enough to pay her bills and she is in a much better mood. I feel relieved. I was able to have a candid and rational conversation with her and she really seems to be thinking about her future. We will be opening her first bank account next week and are looking EMT programs she can apply for next spring.

I am not sure if you know this but this semester I was an editing assistant and production assistant for the Journal of International Affairs at SIPA, a reputable and well known publication. This journal has gone to print and it looks beautiful. I felt really proud to have been a part of that and am looking forward to having a copy in my hands and seeing my name in it.

I am so glad to have made the friends that I have at SIPA. So far, since Friday I have been putting in between 3 to 4 hours everyday on Economics and things are starting to come together and to solidify. I am going to grab this Friday's econ exam by the balls and get that B average! I am not going to let my grade slip below a B in this class. Although I must profess that economics has gotten exponentially harder from the time that I took my last economics exam (there are three in the semester). I will make sure to reward myself by getting a drink after my exam with my 2nd year SIPA student/Rangel fellow Marissa who is just absolutely awesome and who I deem a great friend and my informal mentor.

Wish me luck! This weekend I will start working on the 20 page paper I have due in exactly one month's time. No worries though, I already started doing research for it. :)
Wednesday, November 9, 2011 1 comments

Korean Ballads

You know I'm not doing well when I start to listen to sad Korean ballads. Henry used to complain that I listened to too many sad ballads or instrumental (background music) but I find it's my way of coping. For some time I was okay but it seems that I need it again. Feelings of hopelessness and depression come to mind...However, I tell myself that I've been through worse and if I have made it this far I'll be okay. Sometimes I just feel so tired...tired of working so hard and still feeling like I am far from my goals. I want financial stability...I want a family that can fend for itself and isn't prone to being preyed upon by people with ill intentions. Is this too much to ask? I wish I could cry but its hard for me. Sometimes I think that I come off as distant and all knowing to my family. Apparently, my sister thinks "I have it all"...I guess I've been really good at deceiving them for the past 7 years.

In undergrad I had to work two jobs and paid my tuition through scholarships and loans. I babysat, worked in a pizzeria, delivered packages, worked as a Sunday school teacher...It was a lot because I not only had to take care of school expenses but also living because my family never had a dime to spare as they have always lived paycheck to paycheck. I know that if I hadn't gotten this fellowship I'd be thinking twice about graduate school as I really don't want to add to my 40,000 debt from undergrad. However, this year I've had to help my family with money because they are behind on bills and can't afford food...I've been paying one of my mom's credit cards while paying for my phone bill, health care, tuition and just living. I don't even have income right now. I'm pretty close to having to taking out loans again. Of course, my dad is in another country because my parents are separated and although he doesn't have much to spare because he needs money to live himself, he's been helping by giving $200 a month...but that's not nearly enough.

In addition, my mom's depression and nerves are getting worse. She's taking everything out on my sister and I don't like it. She's told my sister that she can't believe she's her daughter and that every year instead of growing her mind she is shrinking it. This is all because my sister lost her job and she didn't go to college. Well, excuse me but not everyone is motivated enough to go to school. Not everyone wants to make sacrifices and to take out loans. Not everyone is me. I don't like people especially my own parents making my sister feel worse than she already does. She's a misunderstood young adult still trying to find her way in the world and I know that she is trying. She just started a job this week as a taxi driver and she is working at night. Yet, my mom frowns down upon it. Why? It's income. She's working and trying to move forward. Also, my mom seems to be having memory problems. She gets so nervous she forgets things. She sometimes can't stop crying and is very angry. While I understand that she had a difficult childhood where she worked since she was 9, grew up without parents and had to survive an earthquake, it's still difficult for me as her daughter to deal with this behavior. Yeah and she stopped taking her depression medication.

I try to take a deep breath and look at things from a different angle. I know grad school is manageable. I have been managing it fine so far. Of course, compared to my life overall grad school seems easy.