I'm from driving home in my dad's 96' Toyota Camry. Just ten minutes from where I now currently reside, down that colorful stretch of privately owned businesses known as Hildebrand. I was born. In a one story white house constructed in the 1920s that now sits stoically basking in its glorified, decaying seniority. A brother was born three years later, making us a bunch of four, The Medinas; we wouldn't have it any other way.
In the cradle I was exposed to the legends that now fuel my creative soul and inspire my surreal visions.
Kahlo, Dali, Rush, Cats the Musical,
Madonna, Tim Burton,
Sound of Music, et al.
I come from questioning Santa's intentions, and reveling each Halloween catching sight of the skeletons. I like to explore, talk, create, and be mysterious, but I become quite upset when I feel my potential is limited. I come from being a big star, to being an outcast overnight. Entering a new world unknown is something I don't like. I do shine wherever I go, though; but this time it has been too hard trying to be like that famous mentor of Plato, and maybe that's not where I'm really meant to go. This year has been different, but humbling all the same.
I come from respect, from darkness, from faith, and from pain. I come from the villitas in Mexico, and the conquerors in Spain. I often hear rumors of our Mayan descent, but then again comes mi tio who insists on Aztec.
I come from a past full of blood shed and sacrifice
was raised since birth wearing that guilt bearing crucifix,
around my neck, but it became too tight.
I come from that drive, I come from that pride
My ancestors, parents, and the grands that all strive(d)
To give ME nothing but the best
In the hopes that I become something better.
That is sacrifice:
Giving and working your whole life
for someone other than yourself.
But I'm more confused than ever
Worrying about impact and greater meaning
About philosophy and always creating
It's a tiring feat
When wasting time with friends is such an incomparable treat
And I don't want to leave this world
without giving my potential a chance
But maybe my real sacrifice
lies within remembering the past
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Monday, January 16, 2012
I don't take rejection well. I never have. I get very hurt and tend to cry several times before actually getting over something as small as a "no" or an "I don't agree with you". I can usually last but a few minutes to argue and defend myself, but then without discretion, the tears start falling--my guard has officially been let down. Either that or I hold it in until I get home, where I end up dealing with it alone. I start to over analyze the situation, trying to figure out the deny-er's thought process while examining every action on my part. After defining the many reasons, I leave it at a cold case, and understand that it could have been one of many determining factors.
To dismiss someone before actually knowing their heart, their mind, and their past experiences is what gets to me, and pre-assumed judgment is really the culprit in every case. Imagine the person you are denying to be someone very dear to you, your flesh and blood or a close childhood friend. You most likely wouldn't think twice about giving them that so desired position, say a spot in line for a scarce flu vaccine. Favoritism and nepotism are incredibly dangerous pills to take when forgetting about the ones who are then left out in the cold; and for these previously aspiring souls, it is then dangerously easy to become bitter, hateful, and vengeful.
I've been on both sides of the spectrum before, most recently the side of rejection, and I've come to learn that it is one hundred percent okay. Because after I spill my frustrations out through salty droplets or sporadic, irrational ranting, it's time for me to go back to the drawing board. My options are now in front of me, and I can start moving forward. In fact, that anxious journey of not knowing right before the rejection brings hope, and also brings forth a course of events that can only be experienced when you truly believe in something or someone. The disappointment is really a learning process, a challenge that, for me, inspires me to think creatively and find hope in the infinite number of people and opportunities that remain out there in this world, that remain out there for me to create. I imagine a world where systematic rejection is never an option, and I start living my reality in such a way that makes it possible. Understanding someone is accepting someone for who they really are, not for what they seem to be. It takes effort, but is so worth it.Got another rejection letter today. A very kind one. But I don’t think I’ll paste these letters over my walls. It’s not that I’m too embarrassed by those “Sorry, Miss Cook, but your submission did not place”s. It’s the simple fact that I don’t want to fill my life with other people’s words. Because when I look at a blank wall, I see a blank page, and it’s mine to fill. So keep sending those rejection notices, because when I see a blank page I’ve got to write on it.
Take a stab at Mary Cook's perspective on rejection:
Take a stab at Mary Cook's perspective on rejection:
Saturday, December 24, 2011
I like to think of us as blocks of clay. We are molded by the experiences and examples around us. We are fed by the stories we experience, and are emotionally affected by the ones that cater to our inherent interests. That's what I fear; the ability for us to buy into potentially harmful ideologies, and willingly taking that first bite into the poisonous apple.
I really don't see differences when it comes to people. I see humans with skin, an incredibly rich story, and a beating heart. Whenever I hear talk about restricting or limiting a person or group of individuals, I become naturally defensive of the persons being restricted, especially if it is hindering them from reaching their full potential.
Take any prisoner for example. Let’s say John Smith was arrested for theft. He broke into a household and stole some jewelry and electronics. He was caught sprinting down the street, arrested, and thrown into a holding cell with no words being exchanged except “Stop there” and “Put your hands up”. Not once did anyone ask why he was stealing in the first place, and not once did anyone care about how John Smith’s heart or well-being. If they would have asked, they would have found out that John had lost his job and had three kids to feed at home. These kids were living on one meal a day, and John really felt as if he had no other choice. What was John really feeling at the time of the robbery? Why did he do it? What would you have done in the situation? And how can we help his heart and well-being for the future? Instead, John was sentenced to six years in prison, and his kids were given to his brother.
What drives someone to act harmfully? How did they grow up? What experiences led them to act in such a way? How can we help inspire their soul, and give them hope in themselves and others?
The system we’ve created and currently buy into makes human interaction the least important aspect when dealing with individual cases. The “process” trumps the individual; we look away when we see another bleeding inside.
Following this example, the public officers holding themselves higher than the offender by ignoring his individual situation, what drives the belief then, that some are better than others?I know many people who hold to the belief that some were born naturally better than others, but I have a hard time believing that just because I am born I have the right to consider myself higher than any other being that was born under the same conditions. What it really comes down to are the experiences of each person that have caused personal realizations that enlighten, inspire, frighten, or hurt them. The ones with more experiences that have promoted fear and guilt, the more likely the person to develop an insecure and shy personality. The one with more experiences that have inspired or enlightened them in some way, the more outgoing and outspoken the person is most likely to become. Both the introvert and the extrovert are then introduced to various ideologies, namely religious, political, and economic, of the society or culture they live in. From there the introverts and extroverts are assimilated into the institutionalized systems that categorize them as either "leaders" (politicians, priests, businessmen, males), and the "followers" (workers, parishioners, women, and the public voter) of the society. Our systems are then structured around this hierarchical societal system that heavily relies on status and entitlement to motivate production and measure overall success.
Is it justified to assume that some are born to be workers and others born to be leaders?
Are some more entitled to personal success than others?
When does a system of collaboration become a valid option?
Can the systemization of fear and guilt be ridden of?
Can partiality to ideology be overcome with partiality to an open mind?
What will it take to make well-being of the soul a social priority?
Saturday, December 10, 2011
I have this secret obsession with dancing like a possessed madwoman. This hidden spirit comes out at dance parties when there are people cool enough to join in the insanity. Last Monday residential life staff put on a "Winter Dormal", or Dorm Formal, that brought together a number of first year halls to come out and "just dance". Needless to say, it was incredibly relieving. There's something about jumping around and flailing my arms that makes me feel so alive. The opportunity to just let my body go and be one with the music, be one with a group of people who are equally as into it. I think we all need a good half hour a week to just shake it out and let our bones momentarily defy gravity. That's probably why Zumba was invented, and just may be the same ideology behind some of the recent and highly peculiar hip-hop and pop lyrics instructing us to both "wiggle" and "wobble". I don't know about you, but I'm jumping on the band wagon because if there's one thing some of us really need, it's to let loose, relieve internal tension, and enjoy the senses we've been given without having to over analyze them. After all, the dance effect is quite enjoyable, contagious, and enough to bring even strangers together; and we should have more of that.
Enjoy the revolution!
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
The past few days I haven't been able to sleep. That oh so familiar act of flipping the pillow, twisting and turning to potentially discover a magically comfortable position (which is non-existent), and sporadically checking the clock to realize that the neon red letters read 5:23am. Great. And each time I try to doze off, my mind reminds me of something that brings me so much joy, and I remember the conversations that put a smile on my face, and the names of individuals who I just want to hug, and the crazy ideas I get about art and love and self-expression. So I get up and write all of this stuff down, and the process is only just getting started. I think about the day to come, and the potential encounters to be had. I think of the desires that reside deep in the core of my heart. Meeting as many new people as I can, the heart to hearts with a million strangers that I do so long for, and the thought of living a life where all I do is travel to new countries with a friend, or friends. I do not want to be locked up in a school; I do not want to be locked up in a job. I just want to stumble upon experiences that offer me a chance to have my wallet targeted by gypsies, or to meet a celebrity Spanish matador in the middle of a city where Van Gogh painted, or play guitar in a tavern with people who I have known for only fifteen minutes. To paint a masterpiece on the side of a vacant building and to give an impromptu speech of inspiration in front of a large gathering of strangers. We don't even have to speak the same language. Not with the resources we have today, and you know, people are such valuable resources just being themselves. I long for a life that keeps me up all night because falling asleep makes me forget that I am alive, but then I remember that dreaming pushes the ideas into my wakefulness, and I guess I need a little of both to survive.