Today would have been Nelson Mandela’s 96th birthday, so to celebrate his life and everything he represents, I’m sharing with you all the work of Marco Cianfanelli. This artist created this sculpture in honor of the 50th anniversary of Mandela’s capture by the apartheid police, which stands in South Africa.
“This represents the momentum gained in the struggle through the symbolic of Mandela’s capture. The 50 columns represent the 50 years since his capture, but they also suggest the idea of many making the whole; of solidarity. It points to an irony as the political act of Mandela’s incarceration cemented his status as an icon of struggle, which helped ferment the groundswell of resistance, solidarity and uprising, bringing about political change and democracy.”
It’s the time of year that so many people can’t wait for. Kids want to stay up late so badly for it out of excitement, yet are forced to bed before their eyes even get droopy. Adults count down the days to being with relatives they haven’t seen in weeks, months, or even years. But, all in all, everyone is happy and ready to celebrate being overcome by the Christmas spirit! Usually, I’m filled with joy and love around this time of year. Christmas lights make me feel like a kid again, Christmas movies are all I want to watch, and I’ll be the first one up on Christmas morning. However, this year, I must admit, is a little bittersweet. On one hand, I don’t think I’ve ever been happier in my life. I am beyond grateful for the family, friends, and special people in my life who remind me of everything I have to celebrate. I’m proud of everything I’ve accomplished and thankful for the opportunities that continue to come into my life. I feel more optimistic than ever and I still feel like the positive vibes in my life aren’t going anywhere. But, then on the other hand, I feel like such a huge part of me is missing. I’m away from my family who I’m so used to cooking with on Christmas day, there are no kiddies to open gifts, and there are so many worries in the back of my mind. The only thing I can do is focus on everything I have to celebrate and cherish the beautiful moments I’m living now. I hope you all can do the same. More so, I hope you all have nothing to worry about. I sincerely wish all of my loves a very Merry Christmas!
Today marks the first day of winter. The season the year starts off with and the same one it ends with. Honestly, winter has always ranked as my least favorite season. However, after some long reflection, I think it wasn’t the season of winter that was hurting my soul, but the things I had to endure during so many winters of my life. I’m not a big fan of cold weather, I prefer long sunny days over short dark ones, and winter always meant that I was only half way through the school year. This year is a little different and I must admit that I’ve developed a new appreciation for the winter season. Yes, the air is cold and the days are short, but there’s also so much beauty in winter that shouldn’t be overlooked. White snow, bright holiday decorations, and so many celebrations. Winter is a season of reflection. You’re preparing yourself for a new year in your life, your renewal in spring. You have to appreciate that in some way. Personally, I still hate the cold, dark days filled with leafless trees, but I love the opportunity to celebrate. You can celebrate your family, your year’s accomplishments, and what your new year has in store for you. So, honestly, I welcome winter with open arms because I’m just excited to celebrate all that I’ve done since last winter and I can wait to see what comes next.
Today, the U.S. celebrates another year of its independence. Today, Americans will celebrate their country, their freedom, and the fact that they have something to celebrate. I’ll be spending this 4th of July with my crazy and hyper yet loving New Yorican family, so I’ll definitely be celebrating having them in my life. I know plenty of people who don’t have the luxury of visiting their families because of the restrictions in their countries, so I feel lucky knowing that I don’t have to go through that. With that being said, I’ll take today as a reminder to not only appreciate the liberties I do have, but also the freedom and opportunities that I’ll create for myself in the future. I don’t think it’s okay to be completely complacent with the way things are, but it’s up to the individual to make changes in their life. That’s how life changing decisions are made and revolutions are started. That’s how you truly exercise your independence and reach your full potential. So, this Independence Day, I’ll certainly be thinking of my own and celebrating how far I’ve come to date. What will you be celebrating?
March may be the month of St. Patrick’s Day and the beginning of spring, but it is also Women’s History Month, making it the perfect time to celebrate all of the incredible women in the world. As a woman, I know the difficulties that come with being a female, but I am also aware of the great strides we women have made throughout our long history. Yes, women have accomplished a lot as a whole politically, economically, and socially, but I’m also talking about the inspiring women who have personally impacted my life. I have had the opportunity to be motivated by so many women who have done great things throughout their lives, which I am so thankful for. Not all women are able to look up to certain females as a guide of where they want to go, but I have.
I have my mom, my aunts, and my grandmothers who have shown me what being a real woman is about. A woman isn’t weak, submissive, and stupid. A real woman is hardworking, passionate, determined, strong, and intelligent. She is able to stand on her own, despite her circumstances, while still being able to walk forward to where she needs to be. A real woman can be a mother, a wife, a friend, and a professional, while playing each role perfectly. A real woman is independent, yet loving all at the same time. Most importantly, a real woman isn’t afraid to share her secrets to success with her sisters and daughters.
Then, I have the women in the spotlight who through their famous work have become the figures that have supported my journey. Musicians like Celia Cruz, Christina Aguilera, and Olga Tanon have taught me about finding a voice of my own and using that voice to spread a positive message of strength, individuality, and optimism. Writers like Julia de Burgos have proven that expressing emotions and using intellect in literature should be embraced rather than found intimidating. Famous names like Coco Chanel, Hilary Clinton, and even Marilyn Monroe have shown me that changing the game is necessary and that somebody has to do it in order to help us all move forward.
These women have all shown me, through their own journeys, that women are all priceless. Us ladies have so much to say, teach, and give, so it is time that we truly start doing so. Collectively women have done some amazing things. Individually, women have accomplished even greater. It is just a matter of recognizing the strengths we possess and encouraging each other to dive out of our comfort zones and into making history. I have been fortunate enough to witness the potential of women and, as a woman, it is my responsibility to share that with the rest of my ladies. As females, we have an obligation to pave the way for the women that will come after us and it is up to us to properly celebrate what the women of our past and present have accomplished thus far. Use this month as a time to show your appreciation for your female role models and make it a reminder of what the new generation of women has to do. The history of women isn’t over yet and there is a lot more we have left to do.
It’s time to celebrate another year for you. Another year that has hopefully been full of happy memories, lots of love, and positive energy. Another year that we’ve been able to share together and that you’ve been able to enjoy. This marks the start of a new year for you. A new year to make the most of that will hopefully bring you more accomplishments, more happiness, and beautiful experiences. I hope that today will be everything you hope for it to be. I hope you enjoy whatever the day may bring and I hope you’re surrounded by some of the people you love most. If anything, I hope today is a representation of how beautiful life really is and how much it should be celebrated. Fill it with joy, love, peace, and positivity. For now, I just want to thank you for everything you’ve done for the family. I want to thank you for all of the support and love you give us, but I want you to also know how important you are. We appreciate you so much and I love you. I think this year is going to be a good one for you… I mean what better way to start off than with a Ravens win!
Happy Birthday Mami! I love you!
Today, I want to just wish my great-grandma, my Mami Tita, a very happy birthday. Today, she turns 86 and I feel so blessed to have had all of the time I’ve had with her so far. She’s been there since my birth and, even though there have been times where we’ve been hundreds of miles apart, she has always been a huge part of my life. We’ve shared laughs, tears, and so many unforgettable moments together. My great-grandma can be one of the sweetest ladies in the world with her generosity and sincere love. Anyone can fall in love with her tender smile that’s filled with a max of three teeth, but, then again, she can be a riot. Most recently, she was in the states with us for the holidays and we saw her intense addiction to the casino, taught her how to make it rain, and experienced her uncontrollable stubborness… but, hey, it gives her character! Either way I love my Mami Tita from the bottom of my heart and I am so grateful for the close bond that we have today. I consider myself lucky to be wishing my great-grandma a very happy birthday today.
Happy Birthday Mami Tita!