Arizona, random

Stop and smell/photograph the roses

Yesterday I went to the Phoenix Flea in Downtown Phoenix with Shannon.  As we were walking by a rose garden, I couldn’t help but jump in and take some photos of these colorful flowers.  Shannon was laughing at me as I jumped to each new flower because I was so excited – each one was more beautiful than the last.  Maybe I was so enamored with them because I missed seeing such so flowers like this.  Maybe it was because so many times I’ve taken photos of nature and the photos don’t do them justice.  That’s not the case with roses.  Whether it’s a bright and sunshiny day, a gloomy cloudy day or a dewy morning – I’ve always found roses are just as gorgeous in photos as they are in person.  The fact that rose is a variation of my mother’s name definitely contributes to the beauty.  After I concluded taking photos, we were walking and a man stopped me to say that he was so glad to see that I appreciated the beauty of these flowers as much as he did.  He enjoyed watching me become so excited by the flowers and photographing them as well.  I told him I think it’s just as important to stop and photograph the roses as it is to smell the roses.

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Arizona, Conversations, Deep thoughts

Adapting

Next week will mark 4 months since I moved across the country to Arizona.  I might as well say it – Every day I question WTF am I doing here??  Why do I do this stuff to myself?  I love to push myself out of my comfort zone and then when I do I wonder why I’m making life so difficult for myself?  Well, I’m here.  And I told myself I’d give it at least a year… I told my sister that too.  This was the conversation during one of my last days in NJ:

Sister: So we already want you to come home so how long do you think you’ll be staying out there?

Me:  ummmmm… I’m not really sure – I haven’t thought of it like that.  I feel like it’s like getting married – you don’t go into it thinking you’ll get a divorce.

Sister:  But what if you get out there and you hate it and want to come home… what will you do?

Me:  I’ll at least give it a year!  I want to know what it feels like to live in a warm climate through the winter!

So then I got here.  And I think I like it, but I’m not sure.  People are different.  They vote for Trump.  (I guess a lot of people do, secretly.)  Drivers are different.  Everything is different.  So what have I been doing to adapt?  I seek out every east coast, NJ/NY/PA person I can find and cling to them.  Well, not really – but kinda.

A friend of mine told me to join Tinder.  So I did.  And every guy that I talk to has lived at least part of his life on the east coast.  Talking to people who are from the east coast is so comforting.  Flipping through their pics and seeing familiar things fills my brain with oxytocin.  I’m not sure if that’s true, but I feel comforted by doing that.  I have a student who is from New York and I love talking to her.  I asked her where she went to get her hair done and the guy who did it is from NY – PERFECT.  So today, I went to get my hair done by a guy from NY recommended from a girl from NY.  I hope this is normal.  It’s my safety blanket.  If you’re from NY I won’t feel like an alien when I talk to you.  I’ll get you.  I miss familiarity and I think that is the biggest struggle.  NOTHING is familiar.

I look at pics from when I was living in the Bronx – I didn’t really love living in the Bronx, but when I look at the pics I think “oh the Bronx!  I wonder what I’d be doing if I lived in the Bronx right now.”  I’d be miserable!  I wanted a change.  I was tired of New York – the only reason why I look back with awe is because it’s familiar.

The house that I’m living in is in Phoenix and is kinda far from everything so I’ve been contemplating moving to a new place.  An opportunity to move to Scottsdale came up and I’m thinking of jumping on it.  And as I’m thinking about it, I realized I’m going to miss this house.  I’ve got a whole lot of room.  I became friends with the girls here.  The dogs one of my roommates dogsits are so cute and I love seeing them every so often.  But I have to remind myself – I hate the drive.  I hate being far from everything.  I’ve been wanting to live in Scottsdale since I interviewed here because that’s where I stayed during my interview – I have to try it out.  Who knows – maybe better things await? I’ll never know unless I try – if I made it out this far – I might as well keep trying.

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Arizona, Deep thoughts

Choosing a President

One of the things that has helped me during this transition process across the country is having a place to congregate every Sunday.  Growing up, religion was never pushed on me.  We were expected to join our parents at church every Sunday.  I’m sure my parents prayed that we would continue to be faithful to the church, but it was never pushed.

Growing up I would never have guessed that I’d be glad my parents encouraged us to join them at mass each week.  It feels good to go to look forward to going to a place to clear my mind, remind me about what’s important, and has the same traditions of home.  Church is a piece of home and a piece of my family.  The church that I have liked the best is St. Benedict’s in Phoenix.  The second week I was there, the priest asked if there was anyone new so I raised my hand and announced I was from New Jersey.  Made me a little teary eyed to see a new parish be so welcoming.

You’re probably wondering if I got the title of this post confused with a different post and asking yourself why would I be talking about religion in a governmental post.  Since this election is EVERYWHERE, a couple weeks ago a presidential debate was taking place right after mass – so I wondered if the priest would dare bring it up during/after mass.   I thought about it – and when the mass concluded without any mention – I thought of course he didn’t say anything.  Government and Religion are two different things, right?

Well today we had a priest who actually went there.  Fr. Bill Faiella – He started off by saying, “It’s not in my job description to tell you who to vote for — Thank God for that!” 🙂  He went on to explain that there were some things though, that he wanted us to think about when we are making our decision.  He encouraged everyone not to look at one single issue – but look at the entire person and their being.  “Look at their values, programs, and behavior.”  It seemed like there was one singular thing he thought would sway certain people.  I quickly tried to think if there was one singular thing that Trump had over Hillary – and because I was glued to what the priest was saying I couldn’t come up with anything on the spot. I’m grateful that he eventually shared a story with us that made me realize why some people might vote for Trump.

He told us a story about a man who came to him and explained that although he does not agree with abortions, he doesn’t think it should be considered a crime.  The man said that he worked with women who have been through so much abuse and hardships in their lives and sometimes ended up pregnant.  This man felt these women have enough hardships in their lives and shouldn’t be forced to choose between having a baby or being put in prison.  The priest didn’t say this, but we all know that Donald has been saying that he thinks abortions should be illegal.  I’m so thankful that this priest made the bold move to let Catholics know that we shouldn’t be voting for someone because of one idea.

The priest then went on to say, no matter who wins or loses – remember this:  The Lord will either go through him or around him to make sure things in this world are right.

Amen.

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