Thursday, July 14, 2011

Late Night Thoughts

It's 4:01AM and I can't sleep. So many things run through my mind at this hour. Especially now when we are both out of work. We have worked it out that with both our unemployment benefits we can continue to pay our bills. But I do not want it to come to that.

I hate this, I really do. So much so right now I am nauseous. Takes a lot to get me rattled. Perhaps I just keep it all bottled up. I don't like to vent to other people because it's not their problem, it's mine. They have their own, and most of the time don't have the time to listen anyway.

So many doubts run through my mind. In myself, in my choices, in everything I do and have done. I have lived in Pittsburgh going on 10 years now and I still feel like a stranger despite being quite knowledgeable about the city. I feel like an outsider, a visitor. Maybe it's the Hispanic conservative Southerner in me. Who knows, but I feel it nonetheless.

Pittsburgh is all about ethnic identity and neighborhood camaraderie. Unfortunately for me, my ethnicity is a super minority here.

I grew up a few miles from the Mexican border to a large, conservative, Hispanic family. My maternal grandfather was born in the interior of Mexico but emigrated (the legal way) with his family when he was 5 years old. The rest of my grandparents were US born. Though I am part Mexican, Spanish, Scots-Irish and Cherokee through my descendants, my family never raised me to pick a nation from which I descended to be my ethnicity. I'm an American of Hispanic descent. I'm not Mexican American, not Irish or Spanish or Native American. Just American. My paternal great-grandparents were born 20 years before the Civil War in Texas. And she died in 1950 at the age of 104 having lived through the Civil War, Spanish American War, WW I & WW II and the start of the Korean War. So my sense of patriotic pride only naturally lies with the country that for over 200 years has kept my family so safe and secure. It seems silly to me to throw my lot in with the rest and call myself Mexican or Polish or Italian or Ukrainian.

Am I so wrong? Are my ideas too...American? I don't begrudge anyone the right to recognize their heritage because I do recognize that my fair skin is from my Irish and Spanish side and my hair is from my Mexican side. But was born and raised an American and that is what I will be.

Perhaps I am too strong willed. Lord knows it has gotten me into arguments at times. Just exercising my God given and Constitutional right to be opinionated and freewilled.

Weird tangents I have run off on.

I lay here listening to the sounds in my house. The dog changing positions to sleep. The cats skulking about. Settling noises, air conditioner running. And I think of how far we have come and how far we could slip. It's terrifying you know. But I have faith in God, that things will get better, for the better despite any hardships we have to go through. How else would we discover the wonders of life if without something to compare them to.

All I really know is life cannot be wasted with waiting and worry. We must make things happen now because life is far to precious to let it go by without cherishing the time we do have and losing it in hurrying without enjoyment.

Love one another like it's last time.

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