What Now?


Up until this year, never had my plans turned out to be the opposite of what I expected.

2020 was not a bad year for me. The summer was a lot of fun. I exercised more than ever and achieved my ideal weight. I got engaged with the love of my life. I spent a lot of time with my family, and our family relationship improved. I felt good doing community service with my parents and watched my siblings succeed in finding work in the midst of a global virus. Then, I started college online, which wasn’t a problem for me. I was happy to stay at home because I’m lazy in that sense. And thankfully, I didn’t lose a loved one either.

But 2021, my gosh. It gave me a good slap in the face.

It all started with wanting to get married. I thought that everything would be fine for the summer of 2021, but the problems began when in February, the venue limited our guest list. Thinking that I will have to uninvite 30 people stressed me out, but, spoiler for what is coming later in this column, I didn’t have to do so.

My best friend, who was going to be one of my bridesmaids, told me that she wasn’t coming to the wedding because “she did not see herself traveling with this virus.” She notified me of her decision four months before the wedding. That made me angry because I felt that she was making a very hasty decision. Although I understand the situation we are experiencing, what hurt me the most is that I didn’t see her even trying. It was “no,” and no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

When that happened, I started challenging myself to bring to the wedding, at least, two essential people: My grandmother and my brother. They live in Spain and don’t have enough money to buy the tickets to the US. I decided to cook 150 empanadas every weekend and sell them in Queens so that I could buy their flights. I hate making empanadas, it’s a lot of work, but it’s a food that Latinos really like. I started making sales with enthusiasm because a friend who is a flight attendant told me that family members can travel to the US. Still, I wanted to make sure that this information was correct and I contacted the Spanish embassy of Madrid. When they answered me, I had already sold empanadas for three days and almost had the money for one plane ticket. They told me that no Spanish citizen can travel for now unless it is for emergency issues and that my matter was not essential. That made me very discouraged, but my hope was followed by two simple words, “for now.” That means that things could change, right?

In the following weeks, more friends and family canceled, and each time I read, “I’m sorry, I won’t be able to go, but because of COVID-19,” my little heart was breaking. So yeah, I didn’t need to uninvite people.

The next bad news was my grandmother’s health. She went to the doctor for a general check-up, and it turns out that she is in a critical situation. That breaks my heart because I also see my mother very worried. I haven’t stopped selling empanadas to at least be able to send that money to grandma, but it’s a shame not to have her near to take care of her.

To all this, we must add school and try to concentrate and do my best in my classes. I am not a B or C person, nah. I want A’s, and that takes time.

Anyway, at this point, you could understand that my mood wasn’t the best. However, the next thing that happened was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

The last news I received is that my parents were returning to Spain the day after my wedding. Let me explain: My parents came to this country with a work contract, and their contract ends this summer. Everyone thought that they would leave on August 30th, which was the day they arrived in 2016. But no. On July 1st, the day after my wedding, they need to be going back to Spain. This means that I will have to say goodbye to them before I go on my honeymoon. 

Just thinking about that I could write a whole new column, but I’m not ready for that yet.

Everything I have written has happened in just two months. You take five minutes to read it, but for me… it has been hard and time-consuming. These are not just “one-day” problems. And I can’t help but think that I made wrong decisions. That I hurried things. That I have been naive all this time thinking about how things would work out. But at the same time, I might sound stupid, but I have hope that everything will be fine. 

If I’m honest, I’m not even allowing myself to be sad because there is no time for it. We have to start with packing, at the same time as organizing a wedding, at the same time as trying to pass all my classes, and at the same time as figuring what the heck I will do after all this is over.

So I don’t even know how to end this column. I guess I will go day by day to see how we move forward. Today I saw all of this just as a stormy period, but hopefully, the calm is soon to come.