Saturday, October 15, 2005

(I know it’s really long, but there is a shortened version with a timeline of what I’ve been doing and I am so bad that I waited this long to update. I’m sorry)

Hey Beautiful people,
It has been a long, long time since I have updated you all (and my blog/livejournal) and many things have happened in the past few months of my life so I wanted to tell you what is going on. I also just wanted to say hello and that I love you and think of you all often. I just want you to know that whether I write or call you or not, I do think of you and miss you and wish that I could stop the clock for a bit to take some time and give you my love and attention like you deserve. My plan is to give the highlights of the major things that have happened in my life and then elaborate in more detail on my blog and livejournal. So you should check back there for thoughts, emotions, responses etc. to the beauty and insanity that has been my life as of late. No worries though, it’s all good.

I’ll start with where I am now, because that may come as a surprise and you can place me in your geographical and emotional map. I am living in Brooklyn, NYC!!! I am living in Bedstuy, a primarily black neighborhood with another poet (friend of a friend) named Tara who moved here from Chicago. It is on the first floor, a two bedroom and even has a living room, which is nice for NYC. Rent is of course expensive because it is NYC.

Alright, I planned on writing something fairly short cuz I know y’all don’t have time/want to read 2 pages, but I just wrote more than a page and realized that it was too long, so I came back up here and will give you a chronological order of events and leave the rest for you to read if you so desire.

Work ended at AFSC: July 8
12 yr. old brother Shane and my mommy came to visit, separately: July
Decided to move to NYC and put stuff into storage in Philly: end of July
Flew to Immokalee, FL for week-long, amazing conference: beginning of August
Flew to Caracas, Venezuela for the World Festival of Youth & Students: August 7-17
Flew home to MI, niece Brooklyn’s first birthday: August 18-31st
Flew back to Philly to start my new job with the National Youth and Student Peace Coalition and Iraq Veterans Against the War: Sept 1 (www.nyspc.net, www.ivaw.net)
Participated in/worked at the Anti-War demonstrations in DC: Sept. 23-26
Beautiful retreat in the woods of New Hampshire: Sept 29- Oct 3
Moved my stuff into my apt. in NYC: Oct 3
Started working out of the United for Peace and Justice office: Oct 4
Dealing with NYC slumlords and problematic apartment: now


All right, now we jump back to May when my Fellowship at AFSC ended but I was hired as a temp there in the Youth and Militarism Program for about 10 weeks. That ended in early July. Leaving AFSC was sad for me, I met so many wonderful people there and through that job, but I was also glad to get out of that place. (Don’t forget, I’ll give more detail later in the blogs.) About a week after that, my 12 year old brother Shane came to visit. He flew into NYC and we spent a couple days there and in Philly. He really enjoyed it and it felt good to expose him and help him process life that was so different than his reality in Harrietta, MI. He wants to come back next summer. Next came my mommy. We had a beautiful (though too short) time in NYC and Philly. She and my friends were able to meet, that was great. We had lots of fun and I got sad when she was leaving.

I had been thinking about moving to NYC for a long time, since I got to Philly. I wanted to spend more time on my art, my poetry and I need a community of friends/poets to do that, and I have that already in NYC. I know that my spirit was suffering because I was choosing work over my self. The only thing that was holding me back was money/fear. A few days later, I decided that I would to move to NYC. At the end of July, I moved my things out of my apartment in Philly into storage space.

August was a month of travels and intensity. I spent a week in Immokalee, Florida for a conference with the Student/Farmworker Alliance. (A group that helped kick Taco Bell’s ass! www.sfalliance.org) I challenged myself and grew a lot at this “conference” and shared life and love with some amazing people. More on this later…

Next in line was my trip to Caracas, Venezuela for the World Festival of Youth and Students. The theme of the 17,000 participant festival was “For peace and solidarity we struggle against war and imperialism!” Venezuela, their people and the participants were beautiful. Being on the organizing team and coordinating over 700 U.S. people was one of my most difficult challenges in life. I was under slept, under fed, over worked and over stressed. The most important lesson I learned in Venezuela was that I needed to truly commit to taking care of my self. More on this trip later of course…

Oh yeah, in Florida I got to see two old high school friends. Spending time with them was good, a travel in time of sorts. We’re all different people now, kindof. It was nice to be with them, to relax, to remember.

Then I went home to MI. The weekend started with my niece Brooklyn’s birthday party. It felt so good to be with everyone. She also started walking that weekend. I spent a couple days at my dad’s place where I grew up. We had a painful though necessary conversation. Saw some old friends and went downstate to my “alma matter” and saw some more inspiring friends. It felt strange to be on campus, it always does. Then went to my mom’s and spent some time with her and my best friend Tucker. Then I went downstate further to spend my last few days with my nieces (and brothers and sister-in-law). It was really hard to leave Alana and Brooklyn this time because I was able to spend so much time with them, I just got used to it. I also thought about how long it would be before I see them again and how much they would change and that I wouldn’t be an everyday part of their lives. I miss them. More…

Then I came back to the East Coast to dive into work! I got jobs at the two best places in the world, and very important to the peace movement, to stopping the war. The National Youth and Student Peace Coalition (NYSPC) and Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), both organizations that I had been working with/supporting before it was official this September. I was primarily preparing for the mobilizations in DC, like getting IVAW members there and coordinating tabling/flyering/representing youth and students there. I spoke about the work of my orgs and the importance of youth in the movement at a concert (where Thievery Corporation and Le Tigre played) for like 2 minutes in front of a few thousand people! That was an experience I never had or imagined before.

I do realize that this is SO long…sorry

I went back to Philly late Monday night, and came to NYC on Tuesday morning (when all I wanted to do that day was sleep) to search for an apartment. By 10pm that evening, my new roommate Tara and I had made a deposit. Then back to Philly, then to New Hampshire for the retreat by SmartMeme. A conference about stories, about changing the way we tell our stories (political) but things got much deeper than that when we shared our personal stories and grew together. I made such deep connections there with wonderful people. Much more on this later…

Then I moved my stuff to NYC in a UHaul and started working again the next day. At this point, my apartment still has problems and it’s half way thru the month. The radiators are not attached, bathroom light doesn’t work, there’s a small leak in the hallway, but I’m just glad I have a place, and it could be much worse. It has taken some work to have this attitude, but it is the one I want. Plus, it FINALLY stopped raining. It has been raining for 5 straight days, and today, there are blue skies and sunshine. I should go out there. And on that note, this update is over.

I’ll post more details about these events at some point and I’ll be posting some poetry too. I hope you check out my blog/livejournal, and send me yours if you have one. I would love to hear from you all. It feels strange to communicate in this way with you in some ways, when we used to spend so much time together at school or growing up or in the Philippines or China or wherever, but those days are not here. That gets to me sometimes, I miss the old days. I miss you. But I just want you to know that thoughts of you are with me. In random moments when I see someone that looks like you on the subway, in sweet memories as I walk to work, late at night as I scribble in my journal, you all live with me. And I’m sorry if I don’t write you back or return a call, but please just know that I am thinking of you.

Love overflowing,
Lovella

www.livejournal.com (username: Lovella)

1 Comments:

At 10:11 AM, Blogger Raina said...

Hey lady! Glad to see you online again. Saw you in the Acentos/Martin Espada picture. Gotta hear about that from you, too. Living with Tara? The Tara B I know? If so, that's so awesome!!! Two of my dearest friends in one place. Gotta come to NYC that much sooner to see you both in your new digs. Give me a ring. Want to know how you are.
Love you, sweetie!
Raina

 

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