This holiday season I thought I would use the Charles Shultz Philosophy, creator of the Peanuts comic strip, to thank some people who have touched my life.
For those who do not know his philosophy, here it is:
You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just ponder on them.
1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
4 Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series Winners.
How did you do?
The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no
second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.
Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:
1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special!!
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They simply are the ones who care the most.
Newport Beach, California
To Aryon who I went to high school with in Tucson and ran into at a hair salon in
Newport Beach. Strange that we should run into each other after many years of no contact. Because of you Aryon and your engagement to Wayne, I took over your room in that cool apartment. And because of you, I met Paul at your engagement party. Thank you for being in my life. Running into you altered the course my life would take.
To Paul who took me to London and New Zealand with him. Although our relationship did not workout, and we both know it would not have. And had I stayed in New Zealand, I would more than likely weigh 300 pounds, or be a hopeless alcoholic or pill popper. But if you had not taken me to London with you, I know for a fact I would have never had the nerve to go teach in Colombia on my own. Yes I had been an "explorer" so to speak in my own country, living in countless cities, encountering many adventures along the way, but never to a foreign land. So thank you for being in my life. You also altered the course my life would take.
To glamorous Janice and Agostina...also crazy Carmen, Isabella, and Sylvia who I have lost touch with unfortunatley. You are by far the most interesting women I have met. Although we live oceans away and I have only seen you a couple of times in 20 years, I consider you my sisters in this life. Agostina, I will never forget your kindness when I was having a tough time in London town. You made it so much more enjoyable. And glam Jan, you always just cracked me up. And you are so smart. Both of you are. I thank you for being in my life. You inspired me to go back to university. You made me curious again about many things. I had become a little shallow while living in Newport Beach surrounded by wealth.
Upon my return state side and back to college, I met Leslie. Leslie you were there through some difficult times and stood up for me during one terrible moment in my life. I will never forget that. And your cooking when we lived a few floors apart in that old hisotric landmark in downtown Long Beach, the Cooper Arms, was fabulous. Most nights I was eating bean burritos at Super Mex or Top Ramen. So thank you for being in my life.
To all the people I met while I was in Colombia, and that includes the international teachers as well as my Colombian friends, thank you for being in my life. I am so glad we keep in touch Peter. And Octavio, love your emails. You were the one who told me to take a trip to Rio Claro when the city walls of Bogota and all that war stuff was about to cause a nervous breakdown. That trip was just what the doctor ordered.
And to Marcela who took me on that trip. Thank you for that. I will never forget how when we encountered a road block and I asked if it was the rebels, paramilitaries or colombian army, you shrugged your shoulders, said you didn't know, passed me a joint of some killer Colombian weed, and turned up the salsa music on the car radio. Yes I smoked weed. It kept me sane.
To my colleague Luisa. You were so kind. Without you I do not think I could have handled Queen Annie.
To Catalina, man little sister, you and your boyfriend Maurizio were so kind and took me out even though there was a huge age difference. I do act immature and never looked my age. Anyway, taking me to the film fests and on trips out of town saved me from utter lonliness.
To Che, thanks for your kindness as well. You have a heart of gold.
To Karen, Heather, and Connie who let me crash on there couches/extra rooms when I came home for the summer from Colombia. Connie, you let me stay with you upon my return while I looked for a place. Thank you. I am glad you all are in my life. And Heather thanks for making my movie postcard. So kind of you. And thanks for being there when my mother was dying of cancer.
To Bella, I have told you many times how much it meant to me to be able to hang out at your place after my mom died. Just could not bear to be alone at that time. Thanks for being in my life.
To Gilbert, thank you for believing in me and giving me the confidence
to pursue making a documentary film on Colombia. That also altered the course my life would take. Had I not pursued that dream, I would have never met the most amazing man i have ever had the privilege of being in the presence of, Marino Cordoba. Seldom do people get the chance of being in the presence of greatness and I did. Never would have happened if Gil did not encourage me to pursue the dream. Marino, I am glad to have met you and am so glad you were reunited with your family. I am glad to have you in my life...although only via email.
Which brings me to Gimena. Although I have never met you Gimena, I feel that I know you. You worked tirelessly to get Marino's family over from Colombia. Even though doors kept closing, you kept knocking until someone FINALLY listened. I am glad you are in my life though only in cyberspace. I hope to meet you one day.
To my boyfriend, Billy. I love you and thank you for being in my life. You have a wicked sense of humor and a heart of gold. It is funny how I had to come home to find my true love. I left Tucson in 1978 and 31 years later I met you. Our lives took very different paths, but wound up on the same road and collided at Eric's art opening. So glad for that collision.
I know I am missing lots of people to thank, but if you are on this list it means I am glad to have you in my life. Without you, who knows how my life would have turned out.
Love you all. I am wishing you all a most wonderful holiday season.
And yes Noelle....almost forgot to thank you for being there when I got back from my time in S. Korea. Love you sister.