A life of gifts

Everything started not on a dark and stormy night, but  in the beautiful land of Hungary during the Cold War where I was given, beside many other presents, the innate gift of a mother tongue among the most difficult ones in the world. My next few gifts came from living in different places around the globe. Spanish from Cuba, the ability of fleeing speedy hippos from Uganda (literally), the skill of dodging threatening bombs from Lebanon (also literally), and the ability of understanding to never hold hands with a boy in public from Syria (literally as well, as cliched and stereotyped as they may sound). Disclosure -  I also learned many other things in these wonderfully diverse countries. 

By college, I thought I was prepared for anything. Boy was I wrong. In Mexico while getting my BA in English, Spanish, and French Translation, I was given the gift of negotiating skills at local markets and the ability of navigating the crowded streets in one of the world’s most populated cities. It was also the time I met the love of my life, the greatest gift of all, who’s been cheering me on ever since.

 

The gift of juggling three wonderful kids, two bunnies, one dog, seven fish, four geckos, baking, writing, and photography arrived after we settled in Texas two decades ago. I was also given the gift of patience, trust, and acceptance during those years.

Today, I use my gifts with high school students who never cease to amaze me with their creativity, humor, and endurance. Together we prepare for their highly-competitive Texas French Symposium each year. I also mentor stressed-out high school seniors during their college application process, helping them perfect the dreaded college essay and reminding them that even though college is important, where they’ll go is not who they’ll be.

When I’m not working with high school students or taking their photos, I write about them. I administer two active online writers groups, take online writing courses, listen to podcasts about writing, and hang out with wonderful writer friends who support me in this crazy and beautiful world of ideas and words. My writings have been chosen to be published in several literary magazines. I am honored to be working alongside some of the most amazing writers who are currently helping me through the painful process of editing my third novel, a literary YA book set in our days. 

 

It’s truly a gift-filled life. 

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