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How My Mother Taught Me to Love

In Blogging, Contributors, Family, Giving Back=Paying It Forward, Health, News, Relationships on May 30, 2016 at 09:35

The following piece was written by Lia Seirotti, Writer and Blogger at A Girl in Her Thirties

Lia

Lia Seirotti

Some people come into our lives and we feel instant chemistry. With little effort we form a friendship that is not easily broken. Others, require time and effort, and with great difficulty we work to build those relationships. Still, in the face of rejection, if we counter with love, we can create strong bonds. That is what my mother taught me.

My mother says I rejected her almost immediately when I was born. It could be because I was dealing with the pain and symptoms caused by a slight birth defect; but I suspect my real defect was being born with a tendency to be less affectionate than most humans. From then onward, I’ve continued being somewhat cold. To this day, I prefer not to have unsolicited skin contact, I rarely ask for hugs, and I am extremely uncomfortable when strangers touch me. I am perfectly content this way. Deep down, however, I know this personality trait has always bothered my mother. In fact, my mother might well be the exact opposite of me, she is more open about her emotions and is not afraid to let her feelings show. Perhaps these are the reasons we didn’t have that instant chemistry the day we met. Rather, our bond is the product of a resilient effort made by my mother to win my affections over time.

It was with courage, through the worst of times that she single-handedly built our relationship. When I was hospitalized at the age of two, my mother dropped everything in her life to advocate for me. With much hardship, she traveled great distances in a developing country, in order for me to receive the best medical care. She stood up to doctors and demanded that I be treated the way she instinctively knew was best. Later, at the age of eight and immigrants in this new country, I was hospitalized a second time. My mother spent every night at my bedside. She comforted me through the physical pain and the fear I felt. Despite the fact that I was not very communicative or affectionate, she stayed with me. Then, when I was diagnosed with different disease at the age of twenty-one, she took care of me once again. My mother knew it was important for me as a newlywed to conserve some dignity. So, for almost a year she came to my house weekly to inject my medications, so that my husband wouldn’t have to see me that way. When I soiled myself in my own bed, she cleaned me. When I lost more weight than I expected, she took my dresses in so that I didn’t look as sick. And when the suicidal thoughts left me debilitated, she cleaned my house and cooked for my husband.

Ten years have passed since my mother last took care of me; but when my older sister called me recently to tell me my mother was in the emergency room, I dropped everything. It was the middle of a workday. Hardly thinking and without packing any clothes, I shut my computer down, got in my car, and drove six hours to be by her side. To be honest, all those moments in my life in which my mother had taken care of me didn’t even cross my mind. I was driven by pure instinct. It was almost a sixth sense that I felt. I knew exactly what my mother needed, and knew that I was the only one who understood the proper way to care for her.

I knew she would need someone who could advocate for her, because that was what she did for me when I was two. I knew she would need someone who would stay by her side every sleepless night, because that was what she did for me when I was eight. And, I knew she would want dignity and privacy because that was what she gave me when I was twenty-one. Immediately upon arriving, I organized and cleaned her room, because that was what she meticulously did for me every week when I was sick. I asked her if she had eaten and taken her medication, even when I knew she hadn’t. I knew I had to make small talk and pretend we weren’t all scared. I knew it was my job to downplay the entire situation as if it were normal, because I have learned to never let the fear of chronic illness show in your demeanor as caregiver.

Now that my mother is recovering, we hardly speak of illness, she knows I’d rather not get emotional. But now we both know now that I am capable of caring for her and that I will when she needs it again. In fact, I don’t remember if I hugged her or kissed her, but I know I cared for her and loved her.

Doctors say there is a vital moment immediately after birth in which a mother and child should have uninterrupted skin to skin contact. They attribute this to being key in any mother-child relationship. While that may be true, I have learned that if you missed that chance you can make up for it with resiliency, compassion, and consideration. Without realizing or intending to, my mother taught me so many invaluable lessons about love. She has shown me that even if you feel you already deserve it and shouldn’t have to, you can work to earn someone’s affections. She taught me how to nurse someone you love. She modeled what unconditional love looks like and taught me that it can triumph over unrequited love.

About Lia:

Lia is a writer, blogger, and art-lover. Ultimately, just a girl in her thirties blogging about Miami’s lifestyle, her travels, and growing up in general on her coming of age blog: www.agirlinherthirties.com.

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Enjoying the Ride

In Blogging, Career, Contributors, En Español, Family, Finances, Lifestyle, News, Relationships on February 20, 2016 at 00:01

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By Geisel Checo

This part of my life, here and now, is what I call enjoyment. You may have that description attached to your 20s but for me, the 30s are a true joy.

Let’s get you started, I am about to hit 37, father of three boys and married to my best friend since I was 28 years old. So my thirties got me married and with a first-born little person.

We were overseas in another Caribbean island working for a local Construction Company. I say another island because I was born in one, the Dominican Republic. Therefore, my first son was born in Trinidad & Tobago of two Dominican Parents. Three years after, now in my thirties, we decided to have a second child but in the middle of it I decided not to renew my contract with the company for two more years so we went back home.

Being an engineer, with two children, getting back to the labor market after five years being overseas it is only fair that the ride started to get bumpy. Got a job, which I lost in the matter of months due to rough economy times while my wife was unemployed due to the pregnancy. Thanks to my experience in the field, I got a job in a matter of days but it required being away from home every so often.

If two little boys were not enough, we got preggo again for a third time! And with it I was transferred to Haiti for a high profile project that required a Project Manager with my expertise, or so they said… But it was! Being a Dominican in Haiti is not an easy task due to some business that happened over 170 years ago but we cannot forget our past nor our history. Even though the project was very demanding and going out for drinks was not an option, I decided to write a book on my own. I have a blog in which I write about my real and imaginary life, but to write a book is something else.

So between chapters of my stay in Haiti I had the concept of what I wanted to write about but never set my foot down to finish it. Until one day that I read about a contest for Spanish speaking writers with an opportunity to have your digital book printed out in paperback with a well renowned publisher. By that time I was Operations Manager handling five projects simultaneously since I was promoted after the high profile project was handed over to the client.

I started writing the book on or around 3am due to heavy work load because there were two of the five projects with an end date approaching and extra hours were put into play to meet the dead line. I would reach home, take a bath and start singing “it’s 3am I must be lonely” (all rights lay with Matchbox 20) and then set to write my own piece.

It took me a month to finally have it presentable or so I like to think, or maybe it was because the end date to publish it was due and I only got an hour left to do so. I rushed into the laptop, in the middle of my working day, with my boss and the Minister of Education present on the job site and I minded my own business. It was like that or nothing.

At the end, I did not even make it into the top five of which a winner was going to be elected from, but I wrote a digital book, in a month, not sleeping and with lots of responsibilities on my shoulders delivering the two mentioned projects. I am aiming to print the book on my own and put it on sale in bookstores all over the Dominican Republic.

And that’s where I say that my thirties are about enjoyment, even being a bumpy ride, with ups and downs. If all these were to happen while in my twenties I would probably be divorced by now, pressure cracked in my professional life and would have never written a book from scratch and from inside my head with my own story.

So I’m not inspiring you to not turn 30 but to embrace it, wish it and dream it. It is the start of a ride to enjoy to the fullest!

I would like to thank Laura and her empowering blog for asking me to contribute to it and I’m looking forward to contribute again, probably on her upcoming blog ‘Now That I Am In My Forties’ (just trying to set the idea in your brain!).

P.S.: If you have the time and can read in Spanish, please visit my blog at www.entrelapizypapel.blogspot.com and/or purchase the digital version of my book ‘El Presidente de la Nación’ on Amazon.

Geisel in a glimpse:

morning person – sunset collector – lover of a good wine, golf and antiquities – habano’s savorer – full moon contemplator – husband of my best friend – father of three – brother of two – proud son – creator of stories, both real and imaginary.

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“I don’t mind that 30 isn’t what I imagined it would be because I love where life has taken me”

In Career, Contributors, Family, Finances, Lifestyle, Relationships on July 4, 2014 at 09:25

Susie Dantzig

By Susie Dantzig

 As a child, 30 was old.  Even when I got to college, I thought my 22-year-old RA was old, so 30 was ancient.  A 30 year old was a grown-up, someone with a nice paying job, a house, kids, and a person who others called “sir” or “ma’am.” Now that I am 30, I don’t feel the need to adhere to any pre-conceived notion of what I thought 30 should be. We’ll start with relationships first. I have been in a loving, committed relationship for almost five years. We live together, work together, play together, and have committed ourselves to each other in every way, but we feel absolutely no need to get married, let alone have kids, any time soon. We enjoy having the time and finances to go out to eat where we want, travel, train for races, play in the local orchestra, live in the city. The kids will come, but not for another five years or so, and we’ll enjoy each other in the meantime. I mentioned finances, so we’ll approach that and career status next. I went to a top ranked university and at times I feel like I haven’t been as successful professionally or financially as my colleagues. But I like to remind myself that while those goals are worthy to strive for, I have accomplished so much outside of the office. I’ve run three marathons, I’ve travelled the world, I am in the community orchestra, I have a master’s degree, and I am writing a book teaching children the violin. It might be a while before I rise above middle management at the office, but I love my job and I make a salary that affords me to take care of myself and enjoy the activities I’ve mentioned. I don’t mind that 30 isn’t what I imagined it would be because I love where life has taken me.  Who knows where I’ll be at 40, but if I’m as happy then as I am today then life will be good.

About Susie:

Author of “Val the Violin: A Violin Instruction Book for Players in Pre-School & Up”. Growing up in the D.C. area, Susie Dantzig earned a B.A. in Music and Biology from the University of Virginia and furthered her music education with a Master’s in Music Business from the University of Miami. She currently resides in D.C., working for a performing rights organization. 

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Have you sent us your essay about Being 30+? Today starts the 1st Round of Editing! Send yours before July 1st!

In News on June 6, 2013 at 09:30

Hello World!

How are you doing?

Hope you are having a great week!

I am pleased to announce that TODAY we are sending the first batch of essays to our editors! My heart is racing!

I would like to thank Laura Abréu, Carole Dufour, María Delgado, Sabrina Sinclair, Anya Piña, Sky Sterling, Carla Ponce, Susie Dantzig, Yahaira Sosa, Libby Creagh, Patricia Cedeño, Ivy Rueda, Yosely Cedano, Gladybell Bruno, Sonya Stoa, Laura Barboza, Zania Sala, Carolina Santurian, Johanna Salazar, Tuti Loor, Manuela Frencia, Yarimar Uribe, Igmar Uribe, Mar Simo, Joline Matika, Veronica Barrios-Garcia and that beloved friend who decided to contribute anonymously for believing in this project, for trusting me  and for sharing your most personal feelings with me and the readers of “Now That I Am in My 30s”.  I am so grateful and proud of what we are doing together!

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For those of you who have not sent your essays yet:

“Now That I Am in My 30s” would love to hear your story about turning 30, being 30+, and what matters most for you now!

We will be accepting drafts until July 1st!

Please click below for more info:

https://laurasgroi.com/2013/05/28/would-you-share-your-experiences-being-30-please-join-us-before-june-14th/

Please share this post with all your friends around the world! We want to hear stories from Africa, America, Asia, Australia, and Europe!

Can’t wait to read your essay!

With much love,

Laura

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