Hi everyone! today’s our last post with GABY because, as with my other lovely lady friends, we always close this chat on the day of her birthday AND THAT’S TODAY!! so HAPPY BIRTHDAY HONEY BUN, SWEET FRIEND!! I love you with all my heart and send you a bear hug on your special day… aaaaand let’s continue chatting…
ME: All who know you also know that they can count on you for very accurate and sound advice, but can you tell us who has given YOU the best advice and what was it?
GABY: Without a doubt, the best advice I’ve received has come from my parents and my husband. My dad always gave me the best advice on life matters, on being grateful, on being the best at what I do, on being positive in difficult situations. My mom gave me the best advice ever after a very sad breakup. Although I must admit that at that moment, when they offered me their advice I never appreciated it till now, that I’m an adult, I have come to recognize that our parents are seldom wrong. That they always want what is best for us. Oh but let me tell you about my husband’s advice, he’s always telling me to follow my dreams and to be congruent with what I want, what I do and how I live my life, that he doesn’t want for me to regret not having done what I most want to do, that I should just go for it and if it doesn’t turn out how I expected, it’s not the end of the world!!!
I can remember perfectly some phrases…
DON’T BE AN ANIMAL CRACKER from my dad
HANG AROUND STUPID PEOPLE AND YOU’LL BECOME STUPID YOURSELF from an uncle
BEHIND FEAR YOU’LL FIND HAPPINESS, MONEY AND SUCCESS from my husband, as well as FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS and BE CONGRUENT
ME: My dear, you have received great advice throughout your life…NO SEAS GALLETA DE ANIMALITO, that is: BE ORIGINAL, right? DON’T SETTLE! your uncle’s advice DIME CON QUIEN TE JUNTAS Y TE DIRÉ QUIEN ERES, so true but when we’re young and hanging out with the wrong crowd, hearing this offends us…Your husband’s advice, specially BE CONGRUENT this is something I like to take a moment of camera and talk about with my high school students: act according to your beliefs, respect and demand respect for your values… You are so lucky…now, what advice have you given that has made a difference?
GABY: I think the best advice I’ve given has been to younger people, specially to my niece and young friends that sometimes come up to me and ask me stuff…I don’t have one piece of advice in particular that I’m proud of, but i do try to help them understand that there’s a time for everything and that things happen at the time they are supposed to, though I feel they don’t believe me, I know it’s part of learning getting a few bumps on the head once in a while.
ME: Tell me about it, I also know they aren’t taking all we say to heart but I never waste a chance to listen to my students and always pay close attention to any indication that they might need a bit of orientation…we’ve been there, after all and maybe that’s part of my empathy with them, that my highschool years and all it’s emotional turmoil is so very fresh in my mind…sigh!
Now, my friend, when did you first realize that you and only you were responsible for yourself and your actions?
GABY: I realized it when I was 20 years old and went through a very serious illness which had me in a severe state. Twenty years ago there wasn’t much information about CUC (Chronic Ulcerative Colitis). I spent a whole year without going to school or anywhere else, I just went from doctor to doctor to hospitals and to labs. i realized that no matter all the effort my parents and doctors put into my recovery, it all depended on me, my attitude and if that didn’t change I would not make it through. Those were very difficult times, but thank God today I am well, I’ve had this illness for 20 years now and since then I’ve had less severe crises which have been prompty taken care of.
ME: I went through my bout with chronic colitis when I was in highschool and realized that if I didn’t change my view on life this would eventually put an end to all…i read so much on this, I had to understand what was happening to my body and realized how powerful our brain can be…I thought myself out of this terrible cycle!!
We’ve come a long way baby, jejejeee, so are your 40s something special or just another birthday?
GABY: Now that I think about it, it is something special, significant…because it means that I’m half way through life, that time’s not to be wasted and I have to take advantage of it. Life is a present that we have to enjoy, take the good with the bad…i thank God he’s let me get this far and i thank life for all the marvelous things it’s given me.
ME: Wow, we are half way through…so in taking advantage of this time, have you taken up or left any habits for your upcoming birthday?
GABY: I have decided to exercise and to lose some weight, I am very worried about obesity related illnesses plus the genes…So I want to reach my 40th in better physical condition with some pounds off; plus a superbly positive attitude knowing that the best is yet to come.
ME: So, you’re turning 40…is this what you imagined? are you how you imagined you’d be at 40? do you look like your mom when she was 40?
GABY: Honestly I did try to imagine what my life at 40 would be like. I’d imagine myself married, with children and living back home. Today, I am married, with no children yet and living in a small town I had never heard of. Even though not all has been as I imagined, yet some experiences have exceeded my expectations and others have baffled me, I can say that I like my life very much.
Do I look like my mom, well I don’t remember exactly what my mom looked like at 40 because i was 4, i was the daughter of older parents. I do remember not noticing any difference between her and the other moms, she always looked good and was very active with her 4 children. So, if I have children, I’ll also be an older mom, but seeing my mom, today at 76 I do hope I look like her when I’m her age.
I don’t have a specific goal I’d like to reach now that I’m turning 40 but i do know that I want to celebrate with my husband, my family and friends. We had plans to travel to Paris, but have had to postpone it till next summer. For now, I’ll just get ready for my birthday party.
ME: It is a milestone, it is not just another birthday, I agree with you!! I’ll be spiritually by your side when you blow out your birthday cake candles…
Let’s talk a bit more about attitude and how we handle stuff, specifically MISTAKES…which once made us wish we could just disappear…Now…
GABY: Now I look back and see myself suffering for every thing and i think my God how could I have wasted so much time? But as they say: LA EXPERIENCIA SÓLO SE APRENDE CON LOS ANOS (experience is gathered throughout the years) I’ve found that FORGIVENESS has an important place in my life, PERDONAR ES AVANZAR, to forgive is to go forward. You can’t hold back your life with resentment, it only hurts you. When you forgive you set free!!
ME: what place do FRIENDS have in your life?
GABY: They’ve got a very important place in my life, I can’t imagine my life without them, they’ve been with me in good and bad times. When I’m with them I can be my true self. Friends are the siblings you choose. Now that I’ve been living 12 years away from my hometown, I value my long time friends even more, though i must be grateful for my new friends here. Nothing compares to having a friend now how you are feeling just by the way you say HI!
ME: I recently used this same phrase with my students: FRIENDS ARE THE FAMILY YOU CHOOSE…it is so true!!
What place do DREAMS have in your life?
GABY: They are important, they set the path to achieving them, although, as they say: FÍJATE BIEN CON QUE SUENAS PORQUE SE TE PUEDE HACER REALIDAD, that is, be careful what you wish for because it may come true…
ME: been there, wished for something, it became a reality just for me to learn that i didn’t need that in my life…whew!!
Now, sweetheart, let’s look into the future, where do you want to go?
GABY: There are so many things I’d like to do, have a child, for example, or have my own bakery, this is something I’ve had on my mind for a while now, take courses to become better at my craft, travel with my husband, build my dream home, give back some of the goodness that life has given me…meanwhile I am happy with what I have today.
ME: Sweetheart, you’ve got the right attitude and all the support of the people who love you to go as far as you want to and make your wishes come true…
In your day to day life, do you have a mantra or affirmation that you repeat to yourself constantly?
GABY: Oh yes…
EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS TO ME, GOOD OR BAD, HAPPENS FOR A REASON.
WHAT IS MEANT FOR YOU, SOONER OR LATER COMES.
TO GET DIFFERENT RESULTS YOU’VE GOT TO DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY.
ME: Words to live by my sweet friend…Happy Birthday!!
My goodness people, didn’t I tell you! She’s one cool gal…I am so blessed to have this wonderfully intelligent beautiful lady friends to walk the path of life with…