February 28th, 1989: The day I was born. What do I remember on that day? Nothing, really. I was a baby for crying out loud (no pun intended.) What I do know several years after my birth was that I was the son of my father and mother, Eduardo and Rhenie. I cannot recall many events that I would deem noteworthy as a child. All I know is that they were probably the best years of my life. There are not many “moments” that I’ve done as a teen or an adult that can compare to what I’ve done as a kid. So what is it that I like so much about my childhood years? Easy. You appreciate the little things in life more. Before things like money and social status became a concern. One certain event that I would say define “appreciating the little things” was when I had to leave all my elementary school and childhood friends there for another school. That was one time that really hurt me as a kid, especially since my last year there was when I was the closest to my friends. The year I entered my new school, I was a total outcast. I felt nothing but bitterness from my classmates. I hated it there. The only gleam of light that came from that school was early release on Wednesdays. Thanks to that, I was allowed to visit my old school before the students there came out. When they did came out, I was able to reunite with my old friends. It was a joyous moment that I would never trade in a million years. The smiles and laughter that came from all of us was what you would call a “Kodak Moment.” My care for them was genuine, which is something that you can’t really say with most friendships in adulthood.
There are a couple of other events that I have encountered in my short 22 year old life that I would say could compare to that moment in terms of genuine emotion and appreciation of things that often get overlooked.
Event 1 – Getting My Driver’s License
A rather typical moment in many people’s lives, it was one that I could actually recall that had any real significants. I’m willing to admit that I’m a late bloomer in many things. Driving was not an exception. I don’t know if it was my lack of enthusiasm (seriously, I had no where to go), or just the fact that I was a complete chicken when I was on the wheel that prevented me from getting my license earlier, but it took me until the age of 20 to finally have that piece of plastic in my hands. I didn’t get my permit until I was 18, so it took me the course of two years to pass the dreaded driver’s test. Not only did it take me two years to get my license, it took me four attempts to get it. I partly blame myself for not getting a professional teacher until my fourth try, but I digress. Funny enough, my fourth attempt at the driver’s test went smooth as butter. I was still nervous, but it almost went by too fast for me to even remember. After the test, somewhere in my mind, I said to myself, “Here comes the bad news,” with my pass three failures still lingering in my mind. The instructor then said those two beautiful words that made me felt like a kid again: “You passed.” When I became legal to drive, oh boy, did I take that thing for granted. It almost felt like being released from an enclosed cube, and finally being able to adventure out in uncharted territories. Places that I never wanted to go to, I actually wanted to go to. It was power in your hands that you did not want to go to waste.
Event 2 – Dropping 100 lbs.
This was one particular moment that I will never forget. As I look back at it now, I’d almost call it a miracle. All throughout my child and teen years, I was overweight. Not just overweight, I was clinically obese. It was high school when it reached its pinnacle. I was a whopping 260 lbs. Even though people’s opinions about my weight bothered me, I think it was my own view of myself that bothered me the most. I already had low self-esteem, and being overweight didn’t make it much easier. It was a combination of two events that drove me to drop all that extra baggage. One day at Great America, I waited in line with my sister to ride the Delirium, a ride that spun and swung you around in a circular motion. When it was finally our turn, we took our seats, and the workers were locking everybody in. When it was my turn, I can remember the worker struggling to lock me in. I thought to myself, “This isn’t good.” The worker even went to call another worker to take a swing at it. It was no go. The worker looked at me and said, “I’m sorry, but you won’t be able to ride this ride.” I began to hear the laughing. It wasn’t just a few people, either. Since the seating arrangement of the ride was in a circle, everyone in the ride was there to witness it. It was single handedly the most embarrassing moment of my life. What made it worst was that my sister was there right next to me when the whole thing happened. I couldn’t imagine how embarrassed she felt that day. That was what triggered my desire to lose all that weight that caused so much embarrassment.
That was what started it, but what made me stuck to it was, would you believe it, a crush. Yes, it was my amorous feelings for a certain girl that pushed me to become someone that she would one day admire. It went over the limit. I adopted a very unhealthy diet, only taking in 1000 or less calories a day, and exercising for two to four hours a day on a stationary bike. My parents told me to slow down, but I didn’t listen. After 7 or so months, I was able to drop 100 lbs. You couldn’t imagine how happy I was when I saw the numbers on the scale. Did losing all that weight help me win the heart of the person who motivated me to drop those pounds? Nope. In fact, it didn’t even catch her attention. The compliments that I did get from others was a nice consolation, though. All in all, losing the weight was all that mattered, and I would never forget that day I reached my goal weight.
Event 3 – Adopting Six Cats
This is also another event that I would never forget. I remember it was around February of 2007, when my family and I came acrossed a malnourished mother cat and her 5 kittens. Her fur had a dull, pale color to it, and she appeared as if she hadn’t eaten in days. We wanted to help her and her kittens, but my mother knew if we began feeding them, then they would never leave, and we certainly weren’t ready to care for six cats! We couldn’t bare to see her in her current condition any longer, and we decided to give her milk, and see where it went from there. She didn’t try to fight back when we did. She gave a weak hiss, but stayed right where she was. After we backed away, we watched her approach the milk, and began lapping her tongue on it vigorously. That was where it all began.
The next day, my mother gave in, and decided to buy the mother cat some real cat food. When we gave it to her, it was the same thing. A little weak hiss, but no signs of real hostility. We allowed her to eat by herself and her kittens. It was a week of the same routine of feeding her was when we started noticing a change. She began to look more lively. Her coat had a healthier color to it. She even began to roam around our backyard. Most of all, she began to trust us. She no longer hissed when we gave her food. There were no signs of fear from her as we approached her or her kittens. It almost as if she was welcoming us into her own family. That was a moment that my family and I will always remember.
That’s the conclusion of the history lesson of my life and my most significant moments. Thanks to everyone who took the time to read this rather lengthy autobiography of someone who’ve never met (and probably never will) in person. I look forward to working with you all online!