I have always taken El Paso sunsets for granted, but when I moved to College Station, I realized just how beautiful they really are. Though sunsets are beautiful in general, painting the skies with a red, orange, purple, and blue gradient, there is no better backdrop for a sunset than the Franklin Mountains.
According to all the movies and pictures I've seen, Thanksgiving is supposed to include a huge turkey full of stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. I've never known a Thanksgiving like that and I probably never will. My family enjoys what I would describe as a Mexicanized Thanksgiving. We still celebrate the holiday for what it was created: a day full of family used to give thanks for the many blessings we are given. The only difference is our table has a giant turkey, plus tamales, frijoles, arroz, and chocoflan, a chocolate cake with a layer of soft flan on top. Thanksgiving to me is the epitome of my favorite things in life: family, love and the joy of celebrating the goodness we have been granted, and of course, good food.
When I was younger, I always wondered why bluebonnets were even the "Texas State Flower" because I had never even seen one other than in pictures. Moving away from the Chihuahuan Desert and into Central Texas where everything is wild and green, I realized why exactly bluebonnets are our flower. Out there, there's fields upon fields of bluebonnets lining up all the roads with their vibrant blue color.
I find words in general to be beautiful, but there's one particular word that I find particularly lovely. It's a four-letter word that makes my heart do a little dance, a smile instantly spread from cheek to cheek, my face get tinged with a healthy glow, and my eyes sparkle: FREE.
My dad, typical Mexican father that he is, has always been obsessed with fútboland because of that, so am I. I grew up cheering along the soccer football teams with my dad, getting extremely passionate about each and every game. I jump and shout when my team scores, yell my lungs out when the other team is close to scoring on my team, cry when the players on my team get injured, hold my breath until I'm blue when they're making the penalty kicks, and engage in celebratory dances if and when my team wins. Watching fútbol with my dad is one of my fondest memories and something I look forward to doing every week. Even while I'm away, I ignore whatever I have to do and watch the games, something that makes me feel closer to home.
My favorite places in any given city are always libraries and bookstores. The smell of booksis incomparable to anything else. I can spend countless hours in either a library or a bookstore and be free from stress or worry; it's just me and books and that's perfectly fine by me.
One of my infatuations is curly hair. A head full of swirls and twirls and whirls is just so enchanting to me! Though I myself am guilty of sometimes straightening away my curls, I avidly advise my friends to let their curls run wild. The first time I saw Nick Jonas, I didn't even have to listen to him sing to know I was in love with him (sort of); his curls did all the talking.
I was lucky enough to grow up reading Harry Potter. I would obsess over the books and anxiously wait for the next one to come out, making sure I read it before all the spoilers started making their way onto t-shirts and magazines. My childhood, and even adulthood, have been special because of this magical series. Just writing about it gives me goosebumps! Harry, Ron, and Hermione have taught me to persevere, believe in myself, and above all, that love conquers all. Lightning bolts will never again be simple lightning bolts for me. They will forever be imprinted onto my heart as a symbol of the wonderful memories and lessons I have from the Harry Potter series.
Moving away from where you've lived your entire life makes you realize that things you love (and took for granted) aren't found everywhere. When I was getting ready to move to College Station, I was aware that I would be living somewhere with an abundance of rain, something El Paso is not known for, and I was excited! I love El Paso rain and knowing that I'd be getting more precipitation excited me. Once in College Station I realized that just like the El Pasoan sunsets, rain in El Pasois a unique experience. I've always associated the smell of wet dirt with rain, but that smell doesn't exist in College Station where rainy days smell faintly of a swamp.
Out of everything I find beautiful, I think what I find most beautiful is Briscia's laughter. Briscia, my cousin, and I grew up together; we were inseparable. She's two years older than me, but you wouldn't have known it if you looked at us. Our moms dressed us the same with matching outfits and shoes in coordinating colors. During Christmas, our family members always gave us the same toys, just in different colors. When Briscia cut her long locks into a cute bob, I was quick to follow. Though we didn't spend as much time together as we grew up, I always thought of her as the sister I never had. I never needed an older sister to advise me on what to do with my life because I always had her. She has my safe haven and my go-to person. I can honestly say she's been a constant best friend throughout my whole life. September of 2010, Briscia was in a horrible car accident. Miraculously, she survived. Doctors swore she wouldn't make it to October but Briscia fought hard to keep her life. Unfortunately, she didn't go back to being exactly how she used to be. She can barely sit up on her own for a few seconds, much less walk. She's unable to talk or eat solid food. Her fight continues to completely recover and be back to the person she used to be, but it's a long and hard fight that is leaving her exhausted. Through all this though, Briscia has found reasons to laugh. Her laughter doesn't sound like it used to; it's a quiet scratch that can barely be heard, but it's there and it fills her eyes with happiness. That alone brings all the joy I need in my life.