This morning my mom left for Guatemala. She is going to settle up (read: sever) what's left of her financial ties to her homeland. She wants to go into her MRI next month free of all unfinished business.
All week I battled a range of emotions about her trip. Of course, I wanted to drop everything and go with her. Help her and be there for her. Going back to the country and family she left at 28 is always an emotional odyssey of sorts.
I wanted to see family and that beautiful countryside for the fifth time in my life. I wanted to experience it through this blog - document it and write endlessly about that strange but unmistakable pull I feel when I am there. The pull of a country that is mine but isn't.
But I also knew I couldn't leave work for a week. Not now. No matter how inconsequential I feel this job is to my future, it is my job now. I cannot walk away from responsibilities that are mine. It just would not be ok to miss major deadlines, leave people hanging. It is not me. I know how ridiculous that sounds in the grand scheme of things but ugh, it is done. She will be fine and all I can do is hope nothing happens this coming year where I regret my decision not to travel back with her.
So without a Mommy D or a Mr. D I was a pretty lonely kitty today. I worked out and blogged and shopped - my three great stress relievers of late.
In the evening, I dolled up for a date with a camera. On Friday, Lauragami let me know her delicious friend Mr. B was recruiting regular people for a PSA against Prop. 8. He hoped to spread the spot virally and continue to help educate people on this divisive issue.
Mr. B was trying to bring together at least 40 people - roughly split between homosexual and heterosexual - of all ages, colors, creeds, and professions. He had access to the Hollywood production house that outfitted Will I Am for his, "Yes We Can," video. Very cool.
Yes, we CAN make it, said WeeMo and Sable Crow when I invited them. Weemo even recruited a friend Trisha who brought a friend too.
Yay. Love paying it forward - even though I hate that phrase :)
Mr. B was a dream. Passionate about the message he was hoping to create, excited by the potential to touch lives. His concept for the video is simple. A cacophony of voices edited together to show - that despite our ostensible differences - we are all the same. We are daughters and sons and professionals and friends and partners. We laugh, we cry, we bleed, we love, we breathe. We are one.
Each of us shot for just a few minutes but it felt much longer. Ugh. Cameras and lights and action make me feel so self conscious. Ironic, since as a Broadcast Journalism major, I shot and edited endless interviews and as a PR person I have done lots of TV/Radio interviews. This felt different though. This wasn't work. This was personal.
This was and is about my best friends on the planet. This is about being a first generation American. This is about being a woman. This is about being a Catholic.
This is about people demanding that our government sanction bigotry and intolerance. This is about the division of church and state becoming dangerously blurred. This is about a witch hunt.
When it was my turn, Mr. B asked me on camera: What do you love? I said laughter. And I said my friends. And I said expressing myself.
When he asked, What have you learned recently? I instantly said, The power of my own voice. And as soon as I said it, I realized what a powerful statement to be able to make...finally. Only took me 31 years to get there ;)
I also said that I learned my generation can change the world. That we are not what everyone says we are. We are not apathetic. And as soon as I said it and looked around a room at the half dozen young hopeful faces around me, I got chills. Because here we were - trying to do just that, in our own small way, on a Sunday night, on the eve of a new America.
After the shoot, the four of us had a great dinner at Buddha's Belly. We talked about friendships and identity and religion and education and activism. Tonight my heart was so filled by the openness and compassion swirling in the air. By the exchange of ideas and the discourse this injustice is facilitating. Ironic.
The last few days reminded me that loving your neighbors - even when they persecute you for being different - is what I was taught as a child. It is how I will conduct myself in this battle. I will be what I want to to see in others - open, understanding, patient and respectful. I will not be hateful. I will not be closed off. I will not be them.
More from the shoot on WeeMo's blog.
Forever 21 dress
Image wrap sweater
Ralph Lauren belt
Louis Vuitton earrings
A public service announcement video shoot was quite the fashion conundrum today. I know for shoots I have supervised I always suggest keeping things simple - no prints or stripes. A T-shirt and jeans seemed like the best blank canvas. A way for my words to speak louder than my clothes. But - um - I am a pretty loud person so I need my words and my clothes to speak volumes ;)
Mr. B was no help. His two pieces of fashion advice were no politically charged slogan T-shirts and if you are white, to not wear white. Ha. Neither would be an issue for me. Ultimately decided on this outfit because I think the colors work well on me. Plus the dress has happy memories attached to it - fun times in Austin with Jean Bean and Sex and the City times with my three favorites.
Probably also chose it because the color combination reminds me of the current designer I am coveting: Herve Leger.
His designs have made me drool for years and years.
Alas I have always felt his designs are strictly for skinny minnies.
Even though more Rubenesque girls stuff themselves into his designs,
I've always thought the dresses would look like sausage casings on me.
But when I got an email from BCBG Max Azaria hawking Herve, my interest was piqued again. When I saw the $900 - $1700 price tags, I nearly choked. Interest un-piqued. I can't afford to look anything but lean and mean for that much dough ;)
Then today I saw this LaRok dress for $25 at a resale place. Love the exposed zipper and the potential of the neckline to be sex on a stick and the color scheme. Despite the wide horizontal stripes, I gave it a whirl. It didn't look awful but it didn't look flattering. If it was a larger size, I may have bought it. Worn it with leggings and a wrap sweater. Have not given up on a Herve Leger inspired look for less.
I did end up buying three lovely pieces resale - grand total: $70. Will wear them soon! Don't want to ruin the surprise :)