The Bright Side

Spruce Street, Philadelphia

I’ll be completely honest: almost nothing I had hoped for this past week went as planned. Quality time with friends and lots of girl talk and comfort food has been a big help. And since my vote can’t do all the talking, I’m letting my wallet do the talking too. Some great organizations that I’ve been donating to:

City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, because I believe in a free press. (More on why you should invest in journalism here.)

Planned Parenthood, because I believe in affordable access to quality healthcare.

Human Rights Campaign, because I believe in LGBTQ equality.

International Rescue Committee, because I believe in an America that is a beacon of hope across the world.

RAINN, because I believe in the survivors of sexual violence.

If anything, this week has taught me two things: we need more compassion, and we need to fight for what we believe in. What do you believe in?

~ Sarah

P.S. Back to more light-hearted posting tomorrow.

Things I Need To Tell You About, Vol. 1

Borrowing this from Kayla, and popping in because I have some things I want to chat about.

It’s Election Day.

Can you believe it? I’ve known that I was voting for Hillary since the day she announced her candidacy, but I am exhausted. It’s mostly an emotional thing, because this has been such an ugly election cycle. I know we say that every 4 years in America, but I think we really mean that this time. Last night, the Clintons and the Obamas had a rally on Independence Mall in Philly. The mall fits tens of thousands and they weren’t scheduled to speak until around 8 p.m., so I thought I would just wait in line for an hour or so and be fine. Well… I ended up walking almost two miles just to find the end of the line. I didn’t come close to getting to see them speak, but the atmosphere was still incredible, even neighborhoods away. (You can read more about the rally here.) It was the first time in weeks I felt good about the election, and I’m looking forward to casting my ballot tonight. If you still need to find your polling place, you can do so here.

Accessory of the day. #primaryday #ivoted #hevotado

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I’m going to see some college football.

I’m an obsessive Miami Hurricanes football fan, because I’m both a proud Miamian and a masochist. They play at UVA this Saturday, and you better believe I will be there. The last time I saw the Hurricanes play was at Boston College in 2012 (and I haven’t seen them in Miami since 2008!). It’s going to be a fun atmosphere, because few things are better than tailgating and football. I’m also excited to get a taste of a different part of the country for a weekend, since I’ve never really been to Virginia (outside the D.C. area).

My mom moved here!

I alluded to this in a recent post, but after a little more than a year in Colombia, my mom moved back stateside! Even better, her new home is in the Philly area, so now I see her all the time. I haven’t lived in the same state as my mom since I was 19, so it’s fun to watch television and go shopping together again. I’m also not mad that neither of us have to get on a plane to spend the holidays together. Another bonus? Getting some cuddles in with Lucy, our family dog since I was 16.

Fall princess. 🍂#puplucita

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This October was perfection.

I usually am not a fan of fall. The weather is confusing and once the time changes, I’m basically moody until late February. However, we had so many sunny, dry this October that I was actually able to enjoy fall. I went to a couple of weddings, went to a cider festival (an annual tradition with my friends from Fordham) and explored a nature preserve outside Philly. It’s been awesome getting in lots of quality time with the wonderful people I call my friends, and I hope to keep it up before the cold really hits.

Fall television.

Shows I’m watching and enjoying: Pitch and Conviction. (Seriously, you should be watching Pitch. I can’t even explain why I watch Conviction, but it helps me miss Castle less.) Show that I’m watching just for Laurie Hernandez: Dancing with the Stars. Shows on my list that I probably won’t get to anytime soon: This Is Us, Atlanta and Jane the Virgin (I know, I know). Netflix show I will binge watch on Black Friday: Gilmore Girls, because obviously.

So that’s it for me today! What have you been up to? Anything you need to tell me about?

~ Sarah

P.S. I’m also a fan of email, so always feel free to send those my way!

On Heroes

I don’t write about sports nearly as much as I used to when I started blogging here (over 6 years ago!), but the truth is, I have a whole section of my closet devoted to sports jerseys. Soccer jerseys, football jerseys, baseball jerseys — even a hockey jersey sneaked in there! Sports has been one of my “things” since I can remember. I couldn’t even pinpoint why — it’s part of who I am, and part of my family. I love sports because of my competitive nature, my love of tradition and history, my hometown, my loyalty. I love the stories and its heroes.

Sometimes, we lose our heroes. That part hurts.

We lose our heroes in different ways. Sometimes it’s a breakup, a mutual one at that. One you know is the best decision for everyone’s future — the franchise and the star athlete. That hardly makes it any easier. I was 12 when the Miami Heat drafted Dwyane Wade, nearly 26 when he left for his own hometown team. 13 years, 3 championships. It was magic, and I thought it was going to last forever. It’s so rare and so special to see you favorite player spend their entire career with your team, and I thought it was in the cards for us. Regardless, Miami will welcome Wade because he represented the city with fire.

Sometimes we lose our heroes, and it’s a damn tragedy. That’s what Miami is going through last week after we lost Jose Fernandez, a “100 mph human.” His story is now legend, an origin story fit for a superhero. Here was a young man who found freedom through the sea — but the sea took that freedom away. After three unsuccessful attempts to flee Cuba, he was jailed — as just a teenager. On his fourth, and ultimately successful, trip to the U.S., he saved his own mother from drowning. Once he became a starting pitcher for the Miami Marlins, his grandmother — still on the island — would climb her roof to catch a radio signal of his games.

At this point, much has been written about Jose — his journey, and what he meant to the Cuban community. As for me? I just had fun watching him play for my hometown team. I saw Jose pitch in Philadelphia last summer, and I watched him warmup in the bullpen. He ended up tossing me his baseball, and I was practically giddy.

Untitled

After countless baseball games, I had never caught a foul ball or home run ball, so this was a cool moment. When I went to another Marlins-Phillies game this summer, the starting pitcher did not throw anyone a baseball. It made me appreciate Jose even more. He had a big heart, played baseball with the joy of a Little Leaguer, and shared that energy. That’s awesome, and so rare these days. I definitely regret not getting my baseball signed that summer night.

I’ll treasure that brief moment I had with a superstar. I felt like a little kid again! The reality is, though, I’m growing up — it’s only a matter of time before my favorite athletes will be younger than me. And part of growing up is also letting go of your heroes. People move on and you realize that even the brightest stars are human and flawed. That doesn’t mean you can’t cry about it. There is crying in baseball, and that’s okay.

What I’m trying to say is, thanks, Jose for being a hero to kids everywhere, and being the reason we love sports.