Handle With Care

Yesterday, amidst a personal crisis, I received a call informing me that the daughter of a dear friend was in the hospital with meningitis. Elizabeth is a mere 2 weeks old and is battling for her life. I immediately thought of two things. The first being the reality of how precious and fragile life is. The second being how much we, as 'functional' members of society, do not value our lives.

Just two days before her diagnosis, I held Elizabeth in my arms. In awe at her beauty and scared to death that I would hurt her. Just four days after her birth, I held her for the first time. Amazed at this tiny creature who came from nothing but the love between a man and a woman and of course, the love of God. This small and beautiful child that I held had the power to bring many people to their knees to beg the Lord to help ease her pain. To strengthen her parents, Mike and Rose.

To see something so fragile become even more vulnerable was a slight jolt. It reminded me that all life is precious and should be handled with care. Yet, we choose to throw ours away. Whether it be with the abuse of drugs, alcohol, sex, or money. We take our lives for granted. We go, day to day, thinking that we are invincible. We put foreign chemicals of all sorts in to our bodies and do not realise the damage that we can do to ourselves or to those whom we love.

Our lives are not our own. We are given the gift of life from a being greater than any of us will ever be. So, in thanksgiving of this life that we are gifted with, should we not value it? Should we not try to do the best we can with what little time we have? If only we all came with a tag that read, 'Handle With Care'.

If a small child has the power to bring man to his knees in prayer, can that same child hold within her palm, the power to bring a family to healing? The power to wake us all up and face our realities rather than drowning them in vices of our choosing? I pray that it does.


Age and State of Mind

Today, I am 30. I feel no different from yesterday, really! It's an age that many people in their 20s fear. For me, it marks a new beginning. A chance to make things right. An opportunity to realise my dreams.

I remember, back in middle school, at the age of 13, I looked forward to turning 16. Sweet sixteen. The right of passage from being a girl to being a woman. There was the huge party with 16 candles and 16 roses. Dancing with dad during the father/daughter dance. It was a huge step! Something marked with a lot of food and drink!

After that, the big number was 18! At eighteen, here on Guam, you could party! With eighteen being the legal drinking age, it was something all young people look forward to! At eighteen, I could finally head in to a club without the worry of being caught! I could vote and get myself in to all sorts of trouble!

Then, 21!! At twenty-one, I could legally drink anywhere I lived! It was, officially, the age of freedom! The age that marks a milestone in all lives. The age where we are bound, legally, to all the decisions we make.

The dreaded 30! Most people have a fear of turning thirty. When you tell a teenager, 'I'm thirty', they always respond with, 'That's old!' I think that the fear of being called 'old' has most women, in particular, trembling! But, you see... Thirty is a big step.

I, for one, am planning on taking some huge steps this year. From vacationing as an adult to getting my life back on track. At 29, you're still at a dismissible age! The decisions we make up to that point at excusable by that fact that we are still young! 'Oh, that's OK, she's just in her 20s!' But, no longer, my friends. I am now fully accountable for the decisions I make from here on out!

I do have my whole life ahead of me! I am not old, by any standards! Being old is a state of mind, in my opinion. I like to think of being thirty as being mature. Being able to own up to my choices and become a better person because of them. I mark this day by making promises to myself to live a healthier and more productive life. To be able to look back on my 20s and shake my head and smile at the naivety of being young.

Who says that being thirty meant having to settle down and live a boring life? When I'm in my 60s, I will be able to look back at my life and realise that I've lived it to it's fullest. Today, my friends, marks a the beginning of the rest of my life.


Tano' i Chamorro

Tano' is the Chamorro word for land. The phrase 'Tano' i Chamorro' translates in to 'land of the Chamorros'. It is something that we, as the native people of Guam, take much pride in. We boast about the beauty of our land. The opportunity to escape to a secluded water hole or a private beach at our every whim. But, this is quickly turning in to a thing of the past. Something that our children will not be able to experience.

With the impending development of a Marine base on Guam, we are loosing access to some of the most beautiful getaways that our island has to offer. Areas that were utilized by our ancestors, and have since been made available for our enjoyment, will soon be taken over by the military. While it is not known yet whether all access to these areas will be cut off to the public, it is safe to assume that use of the area will be restricted.

Our people have been subject to restrictions for as long as I can remember. All my life, I can recall having to get clearance to visit certain beaches. It is a shame that the natives of our island have to seek permission for access to a land that is inherently ours. Even more shamefully, this land that I have to seek permission to utilize is freely available to strangers who have come to our island because they choose to serve their country. To strangers who disrespect and look down on our people.

You see, I have nothing against Americans. I call myself an American. It is a right that I inherited through birth. That my grandparents inherited through blood and tears. But, there are people who serve my country - our country - who do not take in to consideration that our culture on Guam is one of great respect and pride. We are a passive culture. We are a culture that believes we have a debt to pay to the U.S. for liberating and therefore saving the lives of our forefathers from the hands of the Japanese.

But, what is liberation if we are not free to use our own land whenever we please? What is liberation without being able to walk freely about that island that we love? What is this equality that we speak of in our constitution? What is justice?

To us, liberation is being held captive on our own island. Liberty is having to be careful where you tread for fear of being caught by a base official and kicked out. Equality is having to bow down and respect an American born in the states while they trample on you and talk about you like you are the lesser human being. Justice is trading an acre lot for a dozen of eggs and calling it even.

Maybe, one day, we can truly say that we, the natives of Guam, are free in our own land. Maybe, one day, we will be able to work, hand in hand, with the military forces on our island and come to an agreement that doesn't make us feel like captives at the mercy of their master. Maybe, one day, we can be truly proud to say, 'YES! I am Chamorro and I am also PROUD to be an American!'

This land, the land of the Chamorros, is a land that I have come to appreciate over the years and it is one that I am willing to fight for. We, the natives of this island, can not sit down and smile while our portion of the island gets smaller and smaller. We must stand proud and let them know that we are not going to lose the only thing we have left of our ancestors.


One Day At A Time

Today, I woke, ready to conquer the day. I was filled with anticipation. Eager to talk to people I loved, near and far. To spend time with those whom I could. To chit chat the time away... A lazy yet beautiful Sunday. The sun was up for the first time all weekend. The clouds had stolen away for a quick reprieve. All was looking up! This weekend was going to end on a good note!

Quickly, I turned from happiness to regret to anger to hatred and then to apathy. Within one hour of waking, I was ready to curl up and forget the day had even started. You see... Nothing really bad happened... Not to me.

I started to get this feeling that something wasn't right. Low and behold, something is not right. I started to regret trying. Then, I started to get angry at myself for trusting that the day was going to be good. Then, I was angered that I had trusted in Him... Then came the hatred. I hated myself... I hated the world, most of all... I hated someone who I never wanted to hate.

I suppose that all the feelings compounded upon each other led to apathy. I didn't care that things were spinning out of control. I didn't care that I could not stop my world from crashing in on me. I just didn't care about anything.

Thankfully, I have friends to help me through this. You see, I am blessed. I have people in my life who will not hurt me - not on purpose. I have people who genuinely care. Who utter words of affection that I can truly believe in. Most of all, I have a God who has placed these people with me because only He knows how much I need them. How much I need to be reminded that I am not able to do this on my own. How much just a listening ear will help to pull me out of my pit of darkness.

So, I would like to thank you. Not only the people who are there for me... But, the people who help me to realize that when you do hurt me - when you make me feel as if I shouldn't care - that there are people out there who I can lean on. Who will be my light in the darkness. Chris, Ted, Jamie, Dom, Andy, and Law... Even if you didn't know exactly what I was going through as we each went through our day, please know that you all helped me in your own ways. You all made me realize that I can conquer the day.

This weekend did end on a good note.

One Day...

One day, sorry won't be enough. One day, I'll get tired of hearing it. I pray that that day never comes. But, I fear it, nonetheless. I fear that you will come to me, in all honesty and humility, saying that you are sorry that you did what you did and that I will turn my ear from your cry. I fear that I won't be able to turn my face on what you feel you have done wrong.

One day, 'I love you' will no longer bring a smile to my face. It will not evoke feelings of mutuality. It won't melt my heart from stone. One day, I will hear those words uttered from your lips and I will cry for what it once meant. More so, one day, those words will bring from me a sigh of regret. They will turn my heart of flesh to one of stone that won't be able to be broken. One day, I won't be able to say them back and mean them as I have in the past.

One day, your cry for help will be heard as just a whisper, barely audible above the hatred that is screaming in my heart. One day, the fear I have that you will no longer be able to conquer this will consume me and I will no longer believe in you.

I pray that that one day will never come. I pray that I will always believe in the power you have. In the strength you possess to conquer your demons. But, one day... One day will come. My heart is breaking because of the possibility and there is no where I can turn but to you.

'Tis the Season

With the Christmas season in full gear, one can not help but be a tiny bit cheerful. I'm finding that songs I was hearing a couple of months ago are no longer irritating but pleasing to the ear. Decorations that I thought of as an eyesore are now beautiful! It's amazing the difference 2 months can make!

Here on Guam, we don't have the snow. We're lucky to find a fresh Christmas pine. There's no fireplace to sit around to share stories with the family. Hot cocoa is more a discomfort than anything else, in the humidity. But, I'll tell you what we've got going for us... We have family. We have friends. Most importantly, we have tradition.

With these three things on hand, it's easy to forget that we can't have a proper Christmas tree... That we won't be spending Christmas morning making snow people and angels. When surrounded by people you love and who are soaked through with local tradition, you are brought back to the real reason that you're celebrating such a holiday!

Of course, there is no escaping the commercialization of one of the church's largest holidays. It's the reality of life. But, here, we are lucky that we've worked in the real meaning of the day. While most people around the world are sitting around and pleasantly content with just opening presents, the people of Guam do something before that. We attend mass, we come home and before the presents are opened, the Novena to the Child Jesus is prayed. While people elsewhere run off to enjoy their gifts alone, the people of Guam pull together and celebrate as a family.

I can not remember a Christmas on Guam that I didn't spend with the people I love. I can not remember spending a Christmas on Guam without the richness of our culture. The traditions of my people are beautiful and I have realized, after being away from it from so long, that it is what sets us apart from other people in the world. My culture is not one that I will ever be ashamed of. It is one that my children - when I have them - will grow to love and appreciate.

So... Ginen i islan Guahan... Felis Pascua... Biba ha'anen mafanagun Jesu Kristu. Si Yu'us in binendisi i familia-mu!


Been A While

It's been way too long since I've posted something on here. Things have been happening so quickly lately that I haven't had the energy to put in to blogging.

Today, I had the chance to go through some storage that I've been meaning to sort through. Unfortunately, not only did it take time but it also drained me emotionally. It got me to think about a question that someone posed to me just earlier this week... That being, 'Are you over it?' Up until today, I thought I was.

Of course, there are times when you miss the physical contact. When you miss the affection. Heck, there are times when I even miss the disagreements that some with any relationship. But, I thought I was completely over a relationship that I removed myself from a little over two years ago. Hey, anyone would think that two years is long enough to move on.

While going through storage, I found a little box of trinkets that had been collected over about 8 years and the memories came flooding back. I guess it started with good memories... laughter, love, joy... Then the pain came and it was something that I wasn't expecting. I thought to myself... What are you doing?!

It's not that I regret leaving. Anyone can tell you that I am happier at this point in my life than I had been in the past. But, I guess I just miss the little things. Having someone there to hold you when you felt alone... Having someone to tell you that it's going to be ok... Having someone there to knock you when you know you're doing something completely insane!

Some time soon, there will be a burn session... A time when I can completely rid myself of these little trinkets that I keep finding around... The material things will no longer be here. But, the imprint that this person left in my heart will always be there. So, to answer the question... I guess I'm not completely over it... I probably never will be. This person will always be in my heart. But, I also realize that there is space in my heart for someone else... Someone who I have yet to meet... Someone who will fill the void there and maybe... just maybe... help me to reserve just a tiny space for the one that came before.


That Is What Friends Do...

I do not look at our differences and shake my head at them. I embrace them and bask in the fact that our differences are what make our friendship what it is. I look at our differences and smile because that is what friends do.

I do not laugh in your face because of the mistakes you've made. I try to understand why you have made them and help you to move forward from the situation. Because that, my friend, is what friends do.

I do not judge you for the life you live and force you to make a change. Rather, I love you just the way you are. Because that is what friends do.

I do not force my beliefs on you or tell you that you're wrong. Rather, I try to understand your
beliefs and see where you are coming from. I'm not saying that I will change to believe the same things you do or that you should change to believe the same things as I. But, I respect you for standing up for your beliefs as I stand for mine. Because, you know what? THAT is what friends do.

All I ask in return is that you treat me the same. If you call me friend, embrace our differences. Help me move forward from my mistakes. Do not judge me or expect me to change. Respect my beliefs as I do yours. Love me as I am. Love me as I love you. Because that is what friends do.


All I Ever Needed To Know...

I did not learn in kindergarten.

In the past couple of months, I have learned a lot of lessons that are key to being an adult in today's society. Here are a few examples.

Iced coffee and cigarettes will never be as good as hot coffee and cigarettes. Most beer is just that... beer. But, Fat Tire beer is like honey in the land of plenty. Fresh pesto is always better than pesto that is prepackaged or a week old. Canned asparagus will never ever be as good as fresh asparagus. Back to pesto... it goes with just about anything. Fresh mushrooms should never be washed. Artichoke hearts in olive oil will always taste better than artichoke hearts in water. Spicy food always feels better going in than coming out... the same goes for tequila. Most importantly, it is better to splurge for a better bottle of spirits.

These, above all, are lessons that I have valued. But, the most important lessons are... True friends will be there through the rough patches. No matter how rough! Secrets burn bridges more effectively than any wild fire. Forgiveness is beautiful to witness. Life goes on, even after death.

To the people who have taught me these lessons, I am forever grateful. I love you to the ends of the earth and back!

***edit*** It was brought to my attention that I have left out a crucial lesson. This being that thin crust pizza blows any other crust away! Think... pizza toppings on a cracker! YUM! Who'd have thunk it, eh?


Source of Inspiration

Yesterday, Sept. 24, 2009, the Lord called another son home. After a year of battling and overcoming cancer, Deacon Eddie Borja passed away at 3:55am. There are so many mixed feelings about his death. But, we do know this; his mission on this earth was accomplished and it was time for him to go to his eternal home.

When the death of a loved one is in front of you, no matter how much you try to prepare yourself for it, you are never truly ready. I didn't know the Deacon as well as some people. But, I was truly blessed to witness the love that he had for his family and his friends. He was a man who put his suffering aside in order to ease the pains of his community. He put the pain on the back burner in order to smile and brighten the day of a sister in crisis.

To me, hearing about Deacon Eddie's life is a true inspiration. He was and continues to be a wonderful role model. The faith that he instilled in his son is something that I see as truly amazing! You see, Lawrence Borja, Deacon Eddie son, is a good friend of mine. We've been credited with being there for him. But, in all honesty, he was the one inspiring me. Watching the interaction between him and his sister, hearing the prayers, watching him read through the different prayers that he could share with his father. It was all something that offered me comfort.

So, I thank you, Law, for being who you are. For receiving the faith which your family transmitted to you and taking it and sharing it with us. I am so blessed to count you amongst my closest friends. If you should ever need me, I will be here for you. I could never thank you enough and I love you.

I thank the Lord for blessing our beautiful island with a beautiful man such as Deacon Eddie. His passing will be felt through the island. But, we are better because of him.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.


I've Come To Realize

For the past few months, I've been spending more time away from home. It got to the point where I would come home from work, shower, dress, and run back out o meet friends. By the time I get home, it would be past midnight. My family would be asleep. My brother, who usually keeps to himself, would ask where I am. To which, my parents could only reply, 'Out'. I was spending more time 'out on the town' than I would spend sleeping or communicating with my family.

This past Sunday, I was in the room, resting up after a very long peace vigil and before I had to leave for a meeting. I knew that the rest of my family was here. But, I was in the mindset of getting planning out of the way for the week.

Upon speaking to my mother, I find that there is a BBQ planned and that they hadn't included me because they... I quote, here!... Forgot about me!

At that point, I came to realization that I had not only been neglecting my family but that I missed them. I miss the teasing and coercing that goes on when we're together. The jabbing and the poking from my brother. The sudden bursts of conversation from my brother-in-law. The moments of encouragement from my sister. The little attitude from my dad that we experience from time to time. Heck! I even miss the admonishment from my mother! (I never thought I'd be saying that.)

So, while I do love my friends and feel that I have truly found the ones that will be there through thick and thin, I also love my family. I, Jessica Blas, have realized that I need to make time for both, in my life. I can have my cake and eat it too!


Let Me Go In Peace

This morning, I had the pleasure of chatting with Andy about a song that he will be soloing at the Vigil for Peace, tomorrow night. I admit, I had not heard the song before today. But, I am happy to have had the chance to listen to it this morning. It speaks to me of the promise of God. That He shall send His Son for the salvation of Isreal, His people.

Andy and I spoke about the possibility of singing this song while one is on his deathbed. "Lord, let your servant go in peace." To be able to say, "Lord, I have done your will in my life. I have fulfilled my purpose on this earth. Please, take me home." This day, I long for.

Until that day comes, I pray that I am able to fulfill what he asks of me. I want to live my life to the fullest while still maintaining a good standing with Him. I want to share the love He has for me with those around me. I pray for the grace to be able to this.

I pray that when my time comes, when my journey is through, I am able to go in peace.


Tapping Out

Sometimes, you have to know which battles to fight and which ones you need to tap out for. Personally, I'm tapping out on a particular battle. This one, is not mine to fight. No matter how much I feel like I need to be there to help or to be that one individual that can be depended on, the one in whom you could confide, I realize that there is absolutely nothing I can do besides pray.

For the past eight months, I have been on an emotional rollercoaster. Many times, I have wanted to jump off this ride. To run as far away from the attraction as I could. But, each time I resolved to do such a thing, I found myself drawn back. In the paraphrased words of Shakespeare, like a moth to a flame. No matter how much I knew that I would end up hurt... That this would lead me to a brick wall... That it was not my business, I still felt compelled to be that person on whom you could rely.

But, you know what? I'm tapping out. I'm walking away. I'm pretty sure, much like babies are drawn to electrical outlets, I will turn back. That I won't actually give up. But, for now, I think the best thing to do is to take a step back. To let you make your mistakes. Much like I am allowed to make mine. Just know that, if the time comes when you decide that you need me, I will be here. The faithful friend who believes in you. Until that time comes... May the Lord bless and protect you. You can't do it alone. I can't help. But, HE can.



Recently, S.O.U.L. was approached about teaching a class for adults in Santa Teresita Catholic Church. Our original plan was teach Pre-Confirmation, as a team. But, when the names of the team came in, the parish decided that we were needed in a different role. After much deliberation and discussion, we decided to take on the project, giving it the name C.h.r.i.S.M. - Christians having received instructions: Seek Me!

The program that we have decided to partake of has never been offered before. So, we're offered the class with a clean slate. This has its advantages and disadvantages. The first being, we're not tied in to a program that someone else has spear headed. There's no shoes that we need to fill and no footsteps we need to follow. From here, we make the imprint for others as a guide.

From what I have gathered from the other team members, we are all pretty excited about the class. We will be working with other young adults who are thirsting for the same things for which we are striving. With people who are present because they want to learn more about our faith and what it means to be not only Catholic but to be Christian. People, in front of whom, we can be real. We can acknowledge our weaknesses and faults without feeling inhibited.

How, exactly, does one approach such a task? How do I, someone who is constantly struggling with her faith, guide someone in theirs? How do I make up for my lack of knowledge regarding certain aspects of church history and tradition? How do I teach someone that God loves them, while still struggling with that truth? How can I make something great out of nothing at all?

The answer is simple, my friends. Not only do I have to consult the rest of the team. But, as a team(the Iron Fist is what they are calling us), we must rely on God. Only through our belief in Him and in His abilities are we going to be able to approach this task. Not only must we rely on one another, we must come to realize that it is through Him that we have met each other. Through Him that we have come to this step in our lives. And, it is through Him that we can proceed.

We are S.O.U.L. and we shall conquer this mountain which has placed before us.


The Lion King

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to participate in commemoration of the birth of one of my close friends, Andrew Tenorio. On Aug. 14, 2009, Andy turned 29. While this may seem, to some, as 'old', in my mind, it's when the best years begin. But, this is just from observation. I, myself, have yet to reach my 30's!

Anyhow, the weekend started off with a mellow night of drink on Wednesday, Aug. 12. I had the pleasure of joining Andy and Law at Horse and Cow for a couple of drinks. An agreement of one beer turned in to an evening consisting of four pitchers between the three of us. But, I have to say, drinking put aside, it was a nice night. We got a little deep in to our conversation and were able to learn a bit more about each other. As always, I was disappointed to see the time pass so quickly. Alas, we ventured home and promised to meet the next day for a little adventure!

Thursday, Aug. 13... Again, the three of us met up and ventured out on our little escapade. The plan? Progressive drinking commencing at 2100 hours at Mermaid Tavern. From there, on to The Venue, Horse and Cow, House of Brutus(which, sadly, was closed), and culminating at Friday's, complete with a bell ring at midnight to ring in the official birthday. The evening was awesome! Again, more deep talking. Drinking games turning in to true revelations about the self.

Friday, Aug. 14... HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANDY!! After a short shopping trip to purchase crowns, sashes, and other party supplies, we (Jamie, Law, and I) joined the Tenorios at Cappriciosa in the Agana Shopping Center for dinner. The menu consisted of escargot, calamari, seafood lasagna, squid ink pasta, a cream sauce pasta, and garlic bread. Good food combined with great company is never ever a flop! From there, we ventured on to the sling shot in Tumon. Andy's only wish was to ride the sling shot on his 29th birthday. We, his friends, happily obliged. So, we put two excited young men in to a giant cage of steel and they were shot 70 meters in to the air. Jamie and I laughed amidst screams of excitement, terror, joy... Watching the video of their adventure has yet to get old!

As always, a really good night ends up on the beach! After a quick trip to ABC Stores for beverages, we ventured on to Fujita Beach. The evening was nice with a cool breeze and clear skies. When the skies threatened us with rain drops, we decided to head to Raku for a little bit of karaoke to top off the night.

Aug. 15, 2009, found us planning a bbq for the evening. Jamie and I were able to put together some supplies before we picked up Andy and shopped for food. We have found that the best bbq's, as of yet, have been planned on the spur of the moment. As was this one! After purchasing what we needed, we headed to the same spot we were at the night before. About half an hour after we set everything up, Law joined us with more beer and the rest of the food and the cooking began! A note to those of you who do not enjoy grainy foods... Do not let Andy and Law cook for you on the beach. There were many mishaps. But, they did a good job!

While the guys bbq'd, Jamie and I swam, talked, cleaned up a little bit, swam some more... Then, they finally decided to grace us with their presence, in the water, after they had consumed a little Surf N' Turf! More drinking games of revelation... More swimming... We called it a night at 2am.

I have many treasures in my life. I am glad to count these three particular friends as treasures that I hold very dear. I have experienced many things with their help. Some, I would not be daring enough to try with anyone else. I believe that the friendships that I have established with each one of them, are friendships that will always stand the tests of time. Knowing one for almost 17 years, I am able to truly say... They are keepers! Thank you for an awesome weekend and I look forward to many more! I love you guys!


View From the Other Side

Recently, I have had the pleasure of being in the company of my male companions. It was brought to my attention, by a dear friend, that I tend to surround myself with close male friends. While some may see this as a chance of flirtatious advances, I like to look at it as a way to understand and appreciate those of the opposite gender.

You see, when we ladies get together, we not only get to ogle at cuties but, unfortunately, things usually turn to male bashing or something pretty close to it. As a woman amongst other women, we forget the value of men. We forget that we can not go at it alone. The inner feminist comes out. The mentality of, "I don't need a man" or "I can do anything that he can but better!" seems to be at it's strongest.

I will not lie and say that I understand men. Because, no matter how much I desire this, no matter how much I surround myself with male friends, I will never fully understand their perspective. I will never be able to know what it's like to be a man. But, with a little help from my friends, I will get by! Hearing their views on relationships, the hardships they go through as males, the heart strings that they've had pulled, the love they've lost... just hearing them be human and not try to hide what really happens... All this, allows me to truly appreciate them. To appreciate all the men that God has placed in my life. Whether they be in my present, my past, or my future.

So, I take the opportunity now to thank Andy and Law for allowing me that glimpse in to their soul. For allowing me a view from the other side. I love you both!


What Was Lost Is Now Found

A little over a week ago, I was totally humiliated at work when a co-worker basically accused me of taking $200. I passed judgement on her when it was out of my place to do so. But, in my human nature, I find that, in certain circumstances, I do this very quickly. I fall in to this trap of overstepping my boundaries.

Today, someone came in to the office to drop his documents and start his annulment process. Said coworker, was in a meeting and requested that I take the documents and payment. I, in turn, requested that my supervisor accept the payment so that I would not be held responsible for another mishap.

According to my supervisor, the previous payment... the cause of misery for a week... was found. Not only was it found. But, it was found on the same day that the whole battle took place! So, I've been worrying about this incident for no reason at all.


Boys and Their Games

This past week, for me, has been filled with dialogue over which of the boys will make the better king. I would be lying if I were to say that I am not finding it entertaining. It's like watching two grown men have a pissing contest. Only, will less vulgarity(sometimes) and more laughing. To add to things, there's been bible passages worked in to the dialogue.

I admit, I do not remember exactly how the 'battle' started. But, since it has, I've been highly entertained by the bantering. Of course, as with any battle, the allegiance of parties is requested. In this case, none has been granted. While it is all in good fun, I wouldn't want to 'choose' a side! So, I teeter on the edge of the fence trying to keep neutral while poking fun at both sides.

The battle culminates in a battle of the stomachs, tonight. We get to watch to boys eat themselves silly at Horse and Cow in Tamuning. The first to finish a double burger(massive heart attack material) will reign victorious! They have a time limit of 45 minutes to give themselves a massive coronary. Or, at the least, some massive artery blockage!

Things are looking rather bleak for both the Cappy and the Lion... The Cappy, upon tackling the burger last week, attempted to choke on the meat. The Lion, while consuming a smaller burger, was unable to complete his task of devouring half a cow! So, we'll see who shall rise to the top of the food chain tonight. Will it be the Feline? Or will it be the Goat Fish?

Last man standing gets the chieftain's spear and the crown. Either way, I love you both! *laugh*


Can you say...


I'm having a rather difficult day at work and can't deal with it at the moment. I'd give anything to be able to walk outside and have about 10 cigarettes, right now. But, I'm behaving... trying to keep my head up and eyes forward.

For the past two days, there's been some confusion in the office about a payment that I received from someone seeking an annulment. I received it in November of last year, wrote a receipt, signed my name to it, and placed it in the appropriate box. Now, eight months later, there's confusion as to where the payment went. The woman that it was supposed to go to, claims to have never received the money. I sure as heck didn't take it. So, that's $200 that has disappeared without a trace.

Today, things came to a head and this woman confronted me about it. I, being the person that I am, recounted everything that I could remember about the payment. What it came down to was her, a woman in the religious life, accusing me of taking the money. Now, here's where I don't see the logic. Why on earth would I take $200 from the church after I had clearly signed my name on the receipt of payment? DO I really look that stupid? No, really!

She has since apologized to me. One minute she was this mean old woman who I wanted to choke... the next, she was very sweet and sincere. It was like talking to two totally separate people who had no knowledge of the existence of the other. It brought back memories of something that I have been trying to forget. A life that I have tried to move on from.

But, I've come to the conclusion... Although I have accepted her apology and decided that it was all just silly and probably the result of both parties being under stress, I am going to be as careful as humanly possible when it concerns matters with said person. I'm trying to be as Christian as possible about this matter. To forgive and love in the presence of judgement and anger. It's hard. But, it's all part of my journey through faith.

As soon as this whole exchange was over, Ned called from Saipan. Hearing his voice brings back so many good memories that you can't help but to move on from bad thoughts. So, without his knowledge, he has brightened my day. God knew exactly what I needed to hear in order to help me through this afternoon. To help me through this experience. So, thank you! And, thanks Ned! See you in October :)


Whining Wednesday

So, if you don't to listen to me rant, I suggest you read no further. Go tune in to some reruns of the Michael Jackson memorial or play some bejeweled or something. Because, today is definitely a ranting day!

It seems as though I have done something to irritate one of my coworkers. Well, she's almost a coworker. She works for the Division of Pastoral Ministry. Anyways! For the past couple of weeks, I have been working on the Archdiocesan phone directory. I've been asking for updated information from all departments withing the Archdiocese of Agana. Some people have been very forthcoming with the information and these are the departments that I updated. Everyone else, psh... what I have is what's printed, fools!

I gave the first draft to three people to review and proof. A couple of them came back with some minor corrections. The corrections made, I started the first run of directories for the staff. More errors were found. People died, I left their names in(how am I supposed to know who died in the past year), promotions were made that I wasn't aware of and more names were left out... It was just a huge mess that should have been caught if people were willing to give me the information I needed!

But, that's not the issue with which I am peeved! Said coworker called me on Monday, complaining that I left a priest's email address out of the directory. If she had looked closely, I left all their email addresses out! Personal contact numbers, emails, hobbies, favorite foods, sleeping habits. Those are all left out of the directory. If the priest chooses to share this information or if someone have the dying need to know which side of the bed Fr. Wojciech sleeps on, they have to ask him. That is problem number one.

Today, while outside, she totally flips about a piece of trash I had disposed of in a trash bin! How dare I?! What the hell was I thinking?! Damn you, you eco-friendly, inconsiderate human being, for throwing a piece of trash where it belongs! What is the world coming to?

Just a half hour ago, I was trying to get a hold of Sr. Marian. She had passed me some information, albeit late, for my project. But, I needed to clear something up before I made the alterations. So, I call Sr. Marian's extension... no answer. I ring her secretary... again no answer. By process of elimination, I am able to tell that she's in the resource center. I ring the resource center... Coworker in question, answers!

Blessed be God! I ask for Sr. Marian, she refuses to put her on the phone and insists on taking the message. I dictate to her what I need. She then says, 'Hold on. I need to get a message pad.' WTF?! She comes back, I dictate again... and again... oh! Once more.. for good luck! After this interaction she says... 'The next time you need Sr. Marian, call her or Cathy. I'm not her secretary.' ARGH!!!!! Really? Do you think I'm that disconnected? That I don't pay any attention at all to these things?! And, who was it that insisted on taking the message after I said to have Sr. Marian call me back?

What it boils down to is this... This woman will find something wrong with everything I do. Even if I've done said project perfectly, there will be something that she will find that she dislikes. Whether it be the color of the background, the tilt of the font, the color of my eyes, the way I hold me head... I mean, this is the same woman who insists that I dress too skanky for work. Skanky isn't the word she uses. But, it's pretty damned close.

*sigh* Rant completed...



We have a problem!

Have you ever felt like your life is spiraling out of control? One minute, you feel in control of things. You know what you want for the future. You're 100% sure of your dreams and aspirations. You know that the man in your life is the one for whom you've been waiting all your life. Then, the next minute, you've lost it. You're no longer sure of your future. You question your motives for everything you do. That man you knew wasn't perfect, isn't looking like the right man, after all. But, you love him anyway... You feel like everything you've been planning is going to shit - excuse the language.

You see, today, this is how I feel. I haven't been feeling in control of my life for quite some time now. But, today, I felt it spiral out of control. I've been questioning why certain people have been put in to my life. Growing up a Christian (Catholic, to be exact), I've always been taught that people are sent to you for a reason. Be it to help you in your conversion to be a better person, to humble you to seek the assistance of a higher power(God), or for you to help them. But, no matter the reason, one should see the presence of the other as a blessing. A grace given to you by the Lord.

Lately, it's been hard to see the grace in the presence of some people. There has been one person in particular about whom I have been very confused. I believe I love him. Otherwise, thinking of a life without said person would not be painful or cause any confusion. I also know that there are many degrees of love. There's the love between a man and a woman, the love between friends, the love between a child and her parents, the love between siblings. The list goes on and on. My problem is this. I need to distinguish the type of love that I have for this man. Whether it be the type between a man and a woman(be it unrequited or what have you) or the love between friends.

What I do know is that if something were to happen to this person, I would be at a loss. I value the friendship and the honesty that we share(though, I have caught him in a lie a couple of times and called him on it). Being away from this person, not hearing from him for a few days, it makes me long for his presence again: to hear his voice, to sense his joy.

I can't help but chuckle, right now. Thinking of the people reading this. My friends. As they try to wrap their heads around this. Try to decipher things and figure out who I'm talking about, exactly. But, that will have to wait for another time. A time when I'm more willing to share that part of my life with everyone. I know... I know... Why bait and then release? I don't know. I suppose I just needed to release a little bit. To let a little steam off when it's bothering me the most. I have no idea why it's bothering me so much today, of all days.

All the other uncertainties that I have, God willing, will work themselves out in the next couple of weeks. I have changes to make and rather than sitting on these changes, as I have been for a couple of months now, I am taking steps towards making them. The plans I've made are all going haywire. But, I'm hoping that I can get things in perspective and start prioritizing the responsibilities I have on my plate.

So, Houston to ground control... This is Jess signing off for today.


The Choir of Angels has a New Pianist

This morning, at 915am, I read the news that the Lord had called a beautiful, talented, and spirited woman home. I was saddened as I read Pacific Daily News website. Reina Arce Leddy, was a gifted woman. One who always had a smile on her face that brightened when she saw a friend. The people of Guam and the community and congregation of Mangilao will feel the loss of the great woman.
Reina was the pianist for the 10am choir in the parish of Santa Teresita Church, in Mangilao. I remember serving mass and listening to the choir, wanting to be amongst them. You see, Reina, Dave, Bam, Tara, Ted, Auntie Bernie, Cat(if I were to list them all, this would go on forever)... they all had beautiful voices. When I was brave enough, I finally removed that server cassock and joined the ranks of the choir.

There were so many memories that came to mind this morning, as I read the article. The best memory I have is of the concert we put on back in 1996 or 1997. I don't remember the exact time. But, the preparation leading up to the concert... the many rehearsals that we held. None of it felt like work. It was tedious. Reina was always quick on her feet to get us smiling and laughing. It made the time go by faster... the rehearsals go by smoother.

Recently, after being away from Mangilao for about 12 years, I was blessed with the opportunity to attend mass there, again. Naturally, I went to what is now the 1030am mass. We were running a little late coming in. So, I didn't get a chance to say hi before the mass. But, there were stolen glimpses and smiles of recognition. As soon as mass was over, I went over to say hello and got the warm hugs that I'd always remembered.

So, while we are mourning here, the choirs of angels have a new pianist in their midst. She is an awesome addition! We shouldn't be sad for too long. While the death came as a shock and one that we must still overcome, we must remember that it was in God's plan from the beginning of time. Yes, we will miss her. But, she is there, praying for us as we pray for her. Until the day we meet again, Reina, we love you and we will miss you. As the song goes... "May the choirs of angels come to greet you, may the lead you to paradise. May the Lord enfold you in His mercy. May you find eternal life."


Contruction or Destruction?

For the past couple of weeks, there has been road 'construction' on my way to work. I have no idea exactly what they're doing. But, it has disrupted the traffic in the Hagåtña area. For example, the road leading up the hill by McDonald's(I have no clue what it's named). The access to this road has been blocked off on both ends, by orange cones. This confuses people, I think. I've been getting calls inquiring about how one is to get in to our complex, on a daily basis.

Yes, road construction has to be done. But, I believe that... A.) This kind of work should be done in the evening hours, when the businesses are closed for the day(granted, our office is the only one on the hill) and when there would be less traffic... i.e., less stupid people to confuse. And, B.) The access to our office should be made accessible to the public - It is only at one end of the road. If a corner were to be left open, people would be less confused.

It seems like there has been more 'destruction' going on, though. As soon as the work started, the sewage system in the office has been disrupted. Our bathrooms backed up for two days in a row and had to be dealt with. In an office run by a staff made up majorly of women, bathrooms are necessary! That was problem number one. Problem number two, a couple of days after they tore up the roads, a couple of our phone lines went down and had to be repaired.

Now, here's a major problem that I feel was handled incorrectly. Yesterday, at around 11:15am, a woman walked in to the office and asked what we were doing here. The obvious answer being, "We work here!" It turns out that, right at the bottom of the driveway, while digging up the road, the workers found, what was suspected to be, a WWII explosive device. A FREAKIN' BOMB! They found a bomb! Do you think they informed us? NO! Now, I'm no expert on explosives. But, it has been my experience(yes, there have been many) that when they find such a device, they evacuate the immediate area. Living on an island where such things are unearthed every time there is this sort of project, you come to recognize the procedure. What if the device was live and had exploded while we were in the office? Couldn't there be injuries? I mean, these things were made for maiming(if not killing) people! Come on people... what about the safety of those working around the area?

If that wasn't enough drama for the week.... Today, the same crew managed to hit a water pipe while digging around the same area that the bomb was found in. I mean... if said bomb was still there, maybe this would have helped. But, instead, it made our time before lunch, a bit miserable! Again, we are an office with a predominantly female staff. So, what you had today was a bunch of women, walking around, complaining to each other and the deacon(the only male in the office) that we needed to urinate.

Thank the Lord, the water came back on after lunch, the bomb was hulled away yesterday. But, really... What the heck is going on? Can we finish the drama, complete the work, and get back to normal?


The Gift of Life

Recently, there has been a rather loud cry, voiced by the Christian communities of the world. This cry is to protect the lives of what some call fetuses. I call them 'babies'. There's been a voice calling from the general population that a woman has a right to choose. They never really say what she is choosing. But, the general idea is that if she gets pregnant... if the pregnancy is unplanned, then she has the right to choose what to do with her body. But, in aborting the child, is that choosing what she does to her body or choosing what she is doing to another being's body? If the pregnancy is planned and something goes wrong. If a defect is seen in ultrasounds or in tests that are run, she can terminate that pregnancy. If the child is not perfect then, many people choose to abort. But, who are we to say that that is the right choice? Who are we, in our stupidity, in our imperfection, to say whether a child is perfect or not?

In my opinion, we are all made perfect. We are just as we were meant to be. Even if we feel that our lives are headed in the wrong way. If we feel that we are imperfect. We need to remember that we are just as we were meant to be. We have no right to play God in this world. No matter how bad things get, there are still many things that we have in our lives, in our surroundings, that we can be thankful for. There are people out there that love us. There are many happy memories that we all possess. When we think of a child in the womb, we should try to remember that we all have that right to make happy memories. We all have the right to live.

Recently, a friend of mine shared a video with me. It had my whole office in tears. When I watched it, my heart went out to the parents of this child. To see the joy that these parents experienced in the short time they had, made me value life a little bit more. To see how the child developed and the progress he made, brought a smile to my face. It's a short and beautiful video. So, if you have about 7 minutes, I encourage you to watch it.

They joy that one experiences with a child, for however short a period that you have with him/her. The love that you feel for someone so precious. To see a smile brighten the face of your baby. To see the trust in the eyes of a life that you had a part in creating. To hold someone so tiny and fragile and feel that overwhelming sense of responsibility. To feel the protectiveness. To experience the joy of parenthood. In my opinion, all these things, and more, are worth the pain of child birth. It's worth the changes it makes to your life. It's worth the changes it makes to a woman's body. For however long you are gifted with a child, it is worth everything.

I have vowed over and over that if I were ever to conceive a child, I would do everything in my power to protect that life. I will value every second that I have with that child. I will protect that child with my life from conception to natural death. It is the least I can do in exchange for the many graces that I've been blessed with. There is no question in my mind that the greatest gift is the gift of life.


Lift Up Your Hands

Yesterday, while talking to Lawrence about the lineup for the Sacred Heart mass, I looked up one of the songs. It was a song entitled Lift Up Your Hands. This song holds many memories for me. It was a song that I sang at the funeral of my grandmother about 12 years ago. I suppose, by today's standards, the song is old. But, it doesn't make it any less significant to me.

Below, I've inserted the lyrics of the song for those of you who are not familiar with it.

I found it a bit ironic that, after talking to Lawrence about this, I went to the celebration of the word and the gospel that was proclaimed was that very one. Come to me, all who are weary, and I will give you rest. After a very trying and tiring weekend, I was actually looking forward to being able to sit for a couple of hours and just listen to the word of God. To relax and rest in Him. To think about the way I've been living my life.

For the past couple of months, I have found that I have turned elsewhere for comfort... for rest. Whether it be in friends or in a man. What I didn't realize... or maybe I did but wasn't willing to see, was that I was looking for love in all the wrong places. I can't find true, lasting, unconditional love in man. I can't find it in the world. What I have found and continue to find, is contempt, disappointment, pain, anger, frustration. Nothing that I need or truly want.

Do I learn from all this? No! I continue to go out in to the world. To seek happiness and love in people who could never give it to me. To seek comfort in vices with which I have no business dabbling. Where does that end? When will I finally open my eyes and turn? I know the answer. But, am I willing to actually commit to it? Probably not!

SO.... without further ado... Here are the lyrics:

Life is not all that bad, my friend, hmmm
If you believe in yourself
If you believe there's Someone
Who walks through life with you
You'll never be alone
Just learn to reach out,
And open your heart
Lift up hands to God,
And He'll show you the way.
And He said, "Cast your burdens upon Me
Those who are heavily laden,
Come to Me, all of you who are tired
Of carrying heavy loads,
For the yoke I will give you is easy
And My burden is light,
Come to Me and I will give you rest."
When you feel the world
Is tumblin' down on you,
And you have no one
That you can hold on to,
Just face the rising sun
And you'll see hope,
And there's no need to run
Lift up your hands to God,
And He'll make you feel all right.
And He said, "Cast your burdens upon Me
Those who are heavily laden,
Come to Me, all of you who are tired
Of carrying heavy loads,
For the yoke I will give you is easy
And My burden is light,
Come to Me and I will give you rest."



Today, instead of going in to morning prayer, I was waylaid by a baby! He was about 8 months old and had the meanest face that I'd ever seen on a child who wasn't throwing a temper tantrum. When he saw me, he just threw himself at me. So, what other choice did I have but to carry the child? Woe to me!

I had the opportunity to play with this child while his mother and grandmother were in prayer and it got me thinking... again! To hold this child. To be able to make him giggle uncontrollably. To smell that scent that babies seem to secrete. It was a little overwhelming. I wanted to keep holding him. But, you know... duty was calling and I had a very important person to phone.

While speaking to James, I mentioned this brief time in which I had with this child. You see, both of us are taken with children. To hear him speak of his nieces and nephew like an adoring(and adorable) uncle, it makes me smile. I'm sure that I've said my fair share about my experiences with the children in my life. I'm sure that anyone who knows me has heard their fill of Jess' obsession with children.

I don't know what it is... Maybe it was in thinking of my godson and the time that I'd spent with him as a newborn. Maybe it's the approaching birthday and the prospect of turning 30. Maybe it's all the people who seem to be popping out children all around me. Maybe it's seeing my parents grow older each year and watching them with the children and grandchildren of friends. I can't sat for sure. But, whatever it is, it makes me want it. It makes me long for the opportunity to love someone so unconditionally as a mother loves her child.

I pray for the day that I can raise a child. To be willing to lay down my life for someone so precious. To be able to watch this child grow in to a man or a woman whom I could love without bounds. To be able to say that I, Jessica Blas, have made an impression on this world as a mother. Not only as a mother... But, as the best mother that I can be.

Getting a little ahead of myself here?


Bill 111

Bill 111 was introduced by Sen. Matt Rector(who tries to friend everyone on facebook). If passed, this bill would incrementally raise the minimum wage on Guam from a mere $6.55 to $12.00 by April of 2010. While I am an avid supporter of increasing the minimum wage, I believe that to raise it like this would hinder the development of our island's economy. It would hurt the island's businesses that are just barely able to survive. The mom & pop stores that we are quite fond of will probably be the first to go. Followed by the small, locally owned business firms. Leaving the large corporations that have been introduced to our island.

Needless to say, it would place individuals earning minimum wage right bellow those who have the educational background and experience to be making a fairly decent wage. Where does that leave the middle class? Do they get a pay raise also? This is highly unlikely.

So, while more money for the lower income bracket may seem like a pretty picture, it may hurt our island more than help it. Prices will no doubt rise along with the minimum wage, in order to help defer the costs of paying employees. Which would, ultimately, leave us back at square one and wondering why we were in this predicament to begin with.

Yes, raise the minimum wage. But, keep in mind what will happen in the long run. Maybe the solution is hidden here somewhere. We need to hunt a little better. Contemplate our options. Raising minimum wage to $12.00 without the backing of federal funds is highly detrimental to our economy. The money has to come from somewhere and it's definitely not available through our local government.

So, Mr. Rector... unless you've got a few billion dollars hidden somewhere in your deep pockets, please rethink your bill. Our people should not be made to suffer because of decisions that were poorly thought out. Take the island in to account, as a whole.

People of Guam, please don't let the dollar signs attract you any more than they already do. Like I've said before, the amount looks appealing. But, in the long run, is it really worth it? Would seeing businesses, like Chotde', go out of business after being around for over a couple of decades, really be worth it? Would going through the hardships of rising costs really be deferred by the ~$6 raise? Really think about this before acting.


My Ham

Today, the 5th of June 2009, my godson, Brandon Patrick Blas Respicio, turned 8 years old! It's hard to imagine that just 8 years ago, he was not in my life. His parents had been praying for a child and after a few mishaps, they were able to conceive and carry one to term. This little boy, a true gift of God, was delivered in the early afternoon to an ecstatic father who didn't know exactly what to do. Laugh... or cry!

I remember when Uncle Pat came out of the delivery room after hours of a distressed labor. He looked like a blue monster, all dressed in hospital garb. The joy that I saw in his eyes and the relief and love I heard in his voice. The strength in his embrace. It was what every father should possess. He got exactly what he had been praying for for so long and couldn't wait to share it with the world.

When I first laid eyes on this little being that was to be my godchild, this tiny baby boy who was to fill my hours during the day... I had such a feeling of pride. An overwhelming wave of joy for my aunt(Monica) and her husband. How was I to know that we'd have such little time with them, as a family? How did we know that, after being given this precious gift, Uncle Pat would be taken from us? The only thing we knew was that he was happier than we'd ever seen him before. That he was ready to take on this duty of being a father to this stranger.

Eight months later, on Feb. 15, 2001, Uncle Pat was electrocuted and suddenly, our lives were torn. I questioned God. I couldn't understand why this had happened. None of us understood. All we understood was that we would never let a day go by that Brandon didn't know, beyond any doubt, of his father's love for him.

Now, nearly eight years later, Brandon knows his father. He dreams of him and knows exactly the type of father he has. Brandon is this young boy who is growing a little too fast for us. He's ready to take on the world. He's a brilliant child who excels at what he does. I am proud to have this child in my life and to call him my boy. I look forward to watching him grow up in to a man that his father would be proud of.

To my baby boy, know that your Nina loves you and always will. I, Nina Therese, Nino Frank, Dwayne, Mama Patti, Uncle Clifton are so proud of you, my boy. Happy Birthday, Baby!!


Guam on the Quarter

Today, whilst perusing Facebook, it came to my attention that the long awaited Guam quarter has been released. This may not seem like a huge deal to most people. But, to people on Guam, the Chamorro people(either on-island or 'displaced'), it is something that we can be proud of. Something that acknowledges the existence of our island. Of our people. I guarantee you, if you were to walk up and ask an average American where our island is or anything that has to do with the Chamorro people, they will look at you with a puzzled look upon their faces. Either that or they will convince you that Guam is in Africa.

I've actually had someone argue with me and tell me that I'm not in the pacific and that Guam was in South America! I couldn't help laughing at the ignorance displayed by said individual. Then, I frown. Because, however proud I am of my tiny island, my people, my heritage, I realize that there is a large percentage of the world's population that don't even know about this little gem of the pacific that I call home. Maybe this event, the appearance of our tiny island on something as insignificant as a quarter, will put a little curiosity in to people's minds. Maybe it will encourage them to find out a little bit about my home.

So, without further ado, I present to you, Guam's mark on U.S. currency!!

Proposed designs:

Final outcome:
Another issue that has come up over the past couple of years... War reparations. On one hand, I feel that the wounds inflicted on our people have had nearly 60 years to heal. Those who were most effected by the events have since passed and the wounds should be left unopened. On the other, those who were left behind, those who were old enough to understand are still around. Some people think that the people of Guam are owed an apology. But, must we keep letting the descendants of these men pay for the misconduct of their fathers? If this were the case, shouldn't we, as Americans, keep paying for the deeds done to the Vietnamese, the Koreans, the Native Americans, or whatever race or nationality we have suppressed at one point or another? If we keep trying to pry apologies and compensation from someone who has done us wrong at any point, we will be stuck in an endless cycle of pain and it would cheapen the significance of our history. It's time to learn from our pasts and start moving towards something better. To heal old wounds rather than peeling the scabs off and letting them fester.


Did I Miss It?

Yesterday, I had a very brief conversation with Fr. Jason Granado. He is a newly ordained priest here on Guam who also happens to be one of my catechists. He was recently assigned as pastor or Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Agat and is getting settled in to the parish. So, in the midst of getting to know his parishioners and learning the ropes of being in God's fold, he also has to set up a marriage preparation program for Agat. This involves getting married couples together and developing a parish based counseling system for couples who are looking to get married in the Catholic church. What it came down to is this. He is looking for married couples to help him establish this program.

What's the point of babbling about this? Well, you see, Fr. Jason had a bright idea... He asked me to help as a sponsor. To be a sponsor, you have to be married! I pointed this little known fact(I'm kidding) out to Fr. Jason. He laughed and asked me when I was going to get married. The conversation went on for a little while longer and I took the opportunity to point out the fact that the right man hasn't come along yet. That apparently, God is taking his time with me and keeping that man in hiding. That's when he said the thing that led me to this blog entry. He said... 'Maybe God has shown you the right person or the right path. But, you didn't follow it.'

Damn you, Fr. Jason, for putting me in to a mini crisis! *laugh* No, really. It got me to thinking about things and evaluating the life that I've been living. In the short time after he left and when I got home, I thought a lot about it. What if he was right? What if God has indeed, shown me the way that I need to go and I chose not to see it? Am I too wrapped up in self-pity or doubt, that I can't seem to make out the way through the murk?

Which leads me to another conversation I had with a friend. One in which we spoke about asking God for signs. I find that, in my life, I spend most of the time praying for these signs and just living my life the way that I want to and I get so caught up in it that I miss them. He puts these huge, flashing neon signs in front of me and I'm too busy looking the other way, distracted by the pretty scenes of the world, that I pass the signs by without reading them.

So, what if I've chosen to walk the wrong road? The easier, prettier road that attracts so many people? What if the less scenic route was really what I was supposed to choose? What if it's too late?

But, then again, what if this is exactly where I need to be right at this moment in time?



It's another beautiful day today. From my desk, I can see the waves breaking on the reef and the calmer water, closer to the shore. It's a little overcast. But, this just means that it's not too hot outside. The breeze is blowing through the leaves of the trees in the foreground of the view and you can almost smell the hint of salt in the air. Beautiful and picturesque!

Alas, I am stuck inside! But, you know what? Just to be able to sit and enjoy this beautiful scene is a blessing in itself. To add to that, there is an arrangement of flowers sitting on my desk that is filling my senses with sweet smells and vivid colors.

For the past week or so, I've been in vacation planning mode. Granted, here on Guam, a cheap and easily attainable vacation would be a weekend at a hotel in Tumon with friends. Possibly, a trip to Saipan to remove yourself from being summoned by family, friends, or community for the weekend. For now, I'll go with Tumon and switching off the cell phone or screening calls *wink*.

I was lucky enough to spend a day off with some friends on a tiny island off the southern end of Guam. For some people, this is as close to being 'off-island' as they've ever been. It's just a small resort for spending the day on the beach, away from home. Our trip to the pier consisted of a 'road-trip' from central Guam to the south. I was able to observe the beauty that surrounds us. Once you get out of the central area, the island is fairly undeveloped. You see, when you live in central Guam, you get used to seeing all these tall buildings(by Guam standards) and cars everywhere! But, once you hit southern Guam, you're surrounded by nature... views of the ocean... cliff lines that stretch for miles. The only drawback to living in the south is that it's so far from everything(again, by Guam standards)!

Back to the island! In all my years of living on Guam, I had never been to Coco's Island. I'd always heard of it and all that you could do there. But, I'd never taken the time to visit this little gem. I'm glad to have had the experience with S.O.U.L.(Andy, Ted, Lawrence, Jamie, Zack, Chrissy, Damian, and Karen). They added to the beauty of the experience. Not to mention, the endless stream of entertainment! I've heard that you used to be able to overnight on the island. But, in recent years, the island has seen some damage from typhoons and they have yet to fully rebuild the facility. I'm not quite sure if they ever plan on rebuilding. But, it would be a shame if they chose to keep it as it is today.

So, mini-vacation number one out of the way! Next stop? We're thinking about The Reef Hotel or the P.I.C. for a couple of days.

It's funny how, here on Guam, we think of hotels as nothing to boast about! I recently had a conversation with a friend in the UK who thought that it was funny that we spend so much time in hotels. He thought it was an upper-class experience. But, as far as I can recall, we've spent holidays or weekends at hotels just to get away from the house. To break the monotony of home living without the huge expense of plane tickets and accommodations in foreign lands. I suppose, for many, this is also the reason why they never feel the need to leave the island. You have all the necessities of a vacation without being too far from home.

Summer will be spectacular this year!