Thursday, February 5, 2015

Brother Brother Sister Sister

Happy Siblings Week!

Upside to my sibling situation: I got one of each, one brother and one sister.  Downside to my sibling situation: I am the middle child, and quite the textbook definition of it I might add.  My parents had their own interesting sibling situations.  My father grew up as the only boy (mostly), having only sisters and was the eldest.  My mother grew up as the only girl, she only had brothers and was the youngest.

My belief is that who we are is made up of many factors that work together as a formula.  Where you lie in the sibling spectrum (middle, eldest, youngest, only, twin), your gender in the spectrum, the time of year you were born (I'll come back to this one in a bit), and the distance in age amongst one's siblings all shape and work their magic into this formula.

I am a middle child where I am far apart from my siblings in age.  I am closest to my sister because we are closer in age, and the majority of time, it was just the two of us.  By the time by little brother was born, my sister was already a teenager.  So even though he is our brother, it comes natural for my sister and me to be parental towards him.  To give you some more perspective about our age differences, the time I graduated with my master's degree was the same time when my brother graduated from high school.  My siblings also have textbook components to them.  My sister, being the only girl, and who was the only girl for some time, was treated as such.  Hence her strong personality and easiness to clash with like minded people, there's only room for one alpha dog.  My brother, being the youngest by large gap and needing more assistance at early elementary age, was treated completely differently from my parents' prior children.  The reason my sister and I feel parental towards his is because we had to take on parental roles.  While my parents worked, my sister played a big part in taking care of my brother as an infant, while I worked on academics with him when he got to be of grade school age.  My brother, as such, has developed a personality which fits that, one where he feels relaxed because things will work out as there are people looking out for him.  I grew up where I was the youngest for eight years, so I did have my moments of being treated as such.  But the game changed, and even more drastically for me, when a younger sibling arrived, we had moved residence, and started living in a new neighborhood all in the same year.  It was only shortly after that I knew my responsibility for someone else was going to skyrocket.  So I feel the early years shaped my extroverted nature like my sister's while the twist in my childhood contributed to my constant need to feel that if I'm not responsible or organized, that the world will implode.  Because of our early on experience, my sister and I can act the same and have the same tastes in humor, like with our inside jokes, while my brother has more of an introverted innocence to him.

When it comes to my choice in friends, I tend to gravitate towards people who are the eldest mostly because they have that understanding of responsibility, all the while sharing some of the same extroverted traits.  Not to say some younger and only children haven't snuck their way into my life, as there are always exceptions.

I also feel a pull towards people born around the same time of the year, even of the same astrological sign (which can be hokum, but I'm not going to be discussing that).  And by coincidence, I've also met a lot (and I mean A LOT) of people with the same birthday as mine, which has it's own air of weight as it is, 9/11 if you must know.  There's something about relating to people who more than likely started school as four year olds, were one of the youngest in their class in every grade after that, and went to college pretty young that makes one have to grow up faster than their older counterparts (Who goes to college at 17? Oh wait, I did).  As a result, that sense of responsibility is raised, which only adds to he level of responsibility I already gravitate towards.  I know this part strays away from the sibling concept I'm exploring, but it's important in formulating who I have become.

My siblings and I get along great.  I think the age gaps helped in that there was never a time we genuinely felt "sick and tired" of one another as we were always in different phases of our lives.  When one was a teenager, another was playing with Ninja Turtles, and the other was literally a fetus.  This marked our relationship in terms of friendliness with another in that we have been apart enough to appreciate our time together.

On that note, I will advertise that we are participating in the Walk Now for Autism Speaks event at the Rose Bowl this April.  More info here: http://www.walknowforautismspeaks.org/faf/search/searchTeamPart.asp?ievent=1124950&team=6246899

Before I go, shout out to my sister will soon be celebrating a birthday.  Here's to another one!  And to my niece, best of luck with your big sister-ness of the twins.


Sister's Birthday Last Year



Afterthought: I was thoroughly amused by feedback my previous post generated.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A friend...

A few days ago a friend of mine and I were having a conversation about another friend, typical.  In the exchange of information this friend told me, “just like what your nemesis is doing.”  Not verbatim, but it was something to that effect.  I paused and thought, “My nemesis? Who could that be?”  In the exchange that “nemesis” was named and then I recalled why this person would be considered my “nemesis.”  However, I can’t think of that person that way, especially when I haven’t thought about them in a long time.  Do I hate this “nemesis” of mine? Certainly not.  Am I angry at this person?  Not in the least bit.  In all honesty, I can’t keep someone in my consistent frame of thought if it is someone whom I feel nothing for.  Nothing at all.  It must be nothing if this person hasn’t even crossed my mind in perhaps years.  If your curiosity is itching at you wondering how I can have this so-called “nemesis,” it’s much simpler than one would think, especially since so many years (almost 10!) have gone by.  Long story short, a few friends and I were close to my “nemesis” (as this person will from now on be lovingly referred to).  Said nemesis sent some messages out to us pretty much detailing all around unhappiness.  In this message, I was ever so graciously (not really) given the option to salvage the friendship.  I chose not to, clearly.  One friend tried, but it didn’t work out, while another one would reconnect years later with the nemesis.  I believe that reconnection also failed, but because I don’t ask about this person, I really don’t know.  At the moment of our disbandment from the nemesis, I’m sure I was livid, but not long after I was already able to laugh about it.  I did learn that right after the nemesis regretted how they approached the situation.  Without access to a time machine, it was a mute point.  I will say that to this day I don’t think that friendship was salvageable.  I used to, and still do, think of relationships where we have options like spoiled milk.  Once it’s gone bad, you can’t ever digest it.  It’s trust.  Trust is easy to batter, but nearly impossible to reassemble.  If the friendship wasn’t going to end then, I’m positive it would have been doomed not shortly after.

In a turn of events, I did have some repairs to make to an existing friendship.  This happened two days ago.  I have a friend whom I am now extremely close to and have come to think of as family, with a very sibling-like relationship.  We have seen each other through a lot; school, work, ups, downs, gains, loses (in people as well), moves, and everything in between.  It has only been in recent weeks that I felt a disturbance in our friendship.  I was honestly going to let it go, but my observations wouldn’t let me ignore them.  I addressed these issues with this friend, and was so glad we talked it out.  We determined the value of our friendship, one definitely worth salvaging.


In conclusion, people come and go, something unavoidable in life given people’s choices in careers, family life, marriage, etc.  Also, given that sometimes we don’t have any choices when it comes to those matters.  So with many factors beyond our control, it is inevitable that people will disconnect from your life, whether an acquaintance, just a coworker, or a loved one.  But noting and fighting for the ones worth fighting for, brings those relationships to a new level, a meaningful one.  For it is the people who you choose to keep that say a lot about you, you just need to be able to know which statement you would like that to make.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Aud Lang Syne

It's New Year's Eve!  As it is 1:21 p.m. and I enjoy the luxury of being able to hang out in my pajamas, I felt extremely motivated to write a blog.  I will say that I often do feel the motivation, and at times these great ideas strike me, but by the time I get around to writing them out, I find they have been removed from my memory.  I think I'll start doing a little trick I've heard some people do with their tweets.  That is, in the moment, using the Notes app as soon as an idea for a blog (or other social media influenced post) comes to mind and when it comes time to dedicate time to the blog in front of my computer, bam, there are the ideas, ready for me to remember them.

This year, though not the easiest, has been very good to me.  Even when I think about the times that have stressed me out, I must say that it is only a handful of them that stand out.  The major one was doing the jobs of three people this year.  One major thing I am looking forward to is a new hire we have at the first work day of the year.  I get to just do my job for the rest of the school year, wahoo!  However, much in the spirit of aud lang syne, I will say there are those who I cannot help but note had harder times than I did.  This was the year my friends Nancy & Andres lost their father, Abel.  I so much admire their strength as a family and how they pay tribute to him with every family event they have had since his passing.  Bad news also struck our DH community when news came that one of our schoolmates, Jeffrey, passed away in the last week as well at a very young close.  Though not close with him, he was a very kind-spirited young man who always had a smile on his face.  

With this said, my friend Lizzy recently found her "Life Plan."  What is that you ask?  Well, in high school, if you took the AP Econ/Government course (which I got out of), you were asked to work on a major project called a "Life Plan." This plan consisted of writing everything out that the next ten years of your life would consist of.  However, it wasn't all future based, one also had to write about where one currently was including friends, goals, and ideals held at the moment.  One of the questions asked was "If you had to name the one person you have the most compassion for, who would it be?"  Lizzy's answer was me.  In her response her reasoning was that my grandmother had just passed away and in essence had been pretty bummed out for a while.  In retrospect, I had many reasons to be bummed out during that time in 2002.  Aside from my grandmother having passed away, which was of course it's own load, my parents had just bought the house they currently live in.  When the last of the things that needed to be moved out of the truck, that's when my dad found out his mother had passed away.  The timing was goosebump inducing.  My dad headed over to Mexico with my aunt (his sister) and my mom, brother, and me were left to live in very unideal conditions.  For you see, my parents bought a duplex, and the house we were going to live in, wasn't done being prepared for us to move into, so we already knew were going to live in the other house while our house was being finished.  But without my dad around, it brought the intensity of living out of boxes for a while to a whole new level.  Aside from this, it was my senior year of high school, which is one's teenage pinnacle for stress, happiness, closures, and commencements.  I will say that having Lizzy share her life plan response with me reminded me of why we continue to be friends.  Because despite note being able to see each other as often as we'd like, we genuinely care about each other because we've seen each other grow up since we were kids who knew nothing to adults who take cheese with their wine. It was great seeing Lizzy and Heidi yesterday, a great way to catch up and really delve into pre-2015 reflection.
Osc, Heidi & Lizzy (est. 1998)

Always value those you have, and needless to say, I am grateful for those who have been with me this past year, as I hope I have been there for you. (side stream of consciousness note: That last sentence reminds me, all of "Friends" is coming to Netflix in 2015......jaaaaaaaaa!)

With these amazing friends at our annual holiday gathering, this year, gondola style

Blessed to work with an amazing team

Made my niece screech when she found out she'd see Wicked before Christmas

Christmas Eve brunch

Christmas at my parents' house

So glad to have such a great collection of folks to call family



Pre-NYE impromptu (and fun) Vegas trip

Later tonight I'm off to Pati and Nick's recently bough house for their NYE party.
I can't wait to see what you have in store for me 2015.  Should be interesting.  



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thank You

As a major holiday approaches next week, this November and now (finally) shifting fall weather in LA symbols a few things in my mind.

First off, my dad's birthday is tomorrow, hoorah!  My dad is a great hardworking man who is many things from my oil change guru to my cocktail instigator.  He is a dedicated guy who has come a long way in his life.


However, this day last year had a different tone to it.  It is also the anniversary of when I lost a car, and was in my first accident.  Yes, this accident happened on my way to my dad's birthday dinner.  Need a reminder? Read about it here: http://theoscblog.blogspot.com/2013/11/bus-pants.html

Finally, Thanksgiving is next week.  I'm running a 5K called the Turkey Trot in DTLA in the morning with my friends and then joining my family for dinner after.  So it looks like I'm doing the whole eating/exercise pattern backwards next Thursday.  I've been working out leading up to it and feeling great.  Should be a fun experience.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving family and friends and I hope you all have plenty to be thankful for and appreciate it.