Saturday, July 31, 2010
Last weekend, I spent a considerable amount of time with my family. My mom was in town for a week and both my brothers made an effort to spend time with her and each other. My recently married younger brother brought along his new wife and child. Because both of my brothers were married in non-traditional conventions (read: eloping), I've never really had that period during their courtship to develop a relationship with their wives. And since both of my sisters are single, I've never had to really deal with sibling in-laws. I decided last weekend to cultivate a relationship.
My younger brother and I are an interesting pair with numerous similarities. We have similar humors (his is slightly blonde at times...) and share a passion for reading, bacon cheeseburgers, food in general, athletics and tv shows. I think us being the younger children of five have allowed us to bond in a way unique from the rest of my siblings. If I'm close with my brother, I wondered; how close would I be to his wife?
Turns out Uli's wife is slightly reserved at first yet incredibly sociable when comfortable. We spent last weekend bonding over tv shows (Glee, sytycd, Cupcake Wars) and exchanging stories over great food. I understand that an adjustment is needed when joining another family - especially a close knit unit. But I hope, in time, we're more than just in-laws. I'm interested to see how her personality and character diversify our family for the better. Welcome to the tribe, sis.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Sam, to this day, claims that I had a fob/kiwi accent when I greeted him with a friendly, Cowabunga dude! (I was a teenage mutant ninja turtle fan…) in 2nd grade. A year later, Sam and I enrolled in an after-school Spanish class. We were the only two students truly dedicated to learning a language deemed exciting and exotic, both characteristics absent from a
predominantly Pacific Island community. We even continued studying Spanish as part of a handful of 8th graders taking High School Spanish. The class allowed us to have High School Lunch – which separated us socially from the our intermediate peers. Can you imagine how cool we thought we were?
Sam recently graduated from Brigham Young University. He decided to cap off his collegiate career with a six-week study abroad program in Guadalajara, Mexico. And I jetted off to spend his last weekend there with him. On Saturday, July 3, 2010, I met Sam in front of the Catedral in Plaza Tapatia (see left). This time, he looked like a fob with his Mexcian moustache. haha. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of him. Check facebook! We spent the rest of the weekend listening to the most amazing Mariachi band, exploring Guadalajara on the bus (kinda amazing!), shopping, attending the local ward (entirely in Spanish!), hanging out with Sam's host family, and eating everything! Seriously, I couldn't believe how great and cheap the food was. One of my favorites? Torta Ahogada, a unique bread made only in Guadalajara with beef drenched in a creamy tomato sauce.
Despite my attempt at Mexico becoming a relaxing getaway from Salt Lake City, I couldn't escape certain issues that have been recently consuming my life. Namely, determining my optimal career and navigating singledom. Sam, at this point of his life, is a throwback to my own transition from college student to real world adult. His plans include moving back to Hawaii and finding work within a non-profit organization. Normal, right? Except Sam shared his anxiety from the immense pressure of moving home as an adult -- hoping to achieve his life's goals. Whoa! I considered Sam's experiences along with my own and wondered: faced with endless opportunities, is it natural to fear the unknown? What a relief to learn that I was no exception to this feeling.