Ridiculously Late.

Today, I wake up to sunlight shining in my room. I had a dream about… something. I’ve forgotten. But I wake up form that dream, and it was as if I knew something had happened.

I immediately look at my alarm clock and it reads… 11:15am.

WOAH what???

I jump out of my bed and am yelling to the skies while I try and put on clothes while doing my hair. I was in such a panic. I have never… EVER woken up so late for classes before. Not even when I was in high school. Not even middle school. Heck, not even elementary school!

I’ve always heard of people oversleeping their classes, but that was never me. I always woke up either a few minutes later than when I was suppose to or maybe I would wake up at the time that the class started.

But today, I have classes from 9:05am-12:05pm, and I woke up at freaking 11:15am!

I had missed my physics class (which is the most important one for the day) and my sociology class (and that was my third class in a row that I am missing). I also missed half of Latin, the class that I had stayed up all night studying and preparing for. So of course I was not going to miss that one.

I threw on clothes, tried to look decent, and I ran out of the door. I had texted my friend that I had just woke up, and she said, “Lol.” No, no “lol.” This wasn’t funny for me. I had missed most of my classes. My mom is not paying for me to go to this school just to miss my classes.

I started thinking to myself how I could have woken up so late.

I mean yea I had stayed up super late last night (and I should not have. I should have went to bed by 2am, but I guess peer pressure). I didn’t really go to sleep until about 5am. But I’ve done that before in the past, and I still managed to wake up for classes.

And then I thought… This is the first time that I didn’t have a roommate.

So long story short, my roommate moved out over February break. We had gotten into a huge fight, and she decided to leave. Thank God! I was actually looking for housing when she came in, argued, then left. It was just great!

So now I have this whole room to myself, which is super nice. I turned her bed into something like a long lounge chair where I can sit and work, and it has served me very well. I covered it with my gray blanked and put my red armchair there as well. It’s perfect.

One this about the room is that… it gets kind of lonely.

I have had about 5 roommates up to now (counting the summers), and I am so used to having someone in the room that it feels weird when I don’t. And many of my friends are doing their own thing now, with their own friend groups. So I literally am just in my room studying or wasting time. It gets lonely, but sometimes I really do need the time to myself.

But one thing I hadn’t realized is that in the past, I would wake up to my roommates waking up. As a result, I would never sleep in so late. Even when I was late, I wasn’t extremely late.

Today, I realized that I did not have anyone to come and check on if I was awake or not. Friends in physics didn’t even text asking me where I was. And I didn’t have anyone in sociology checking on me, even if I shared that class with people.

I don’t know, I just thought that someone would have texted me asking me if I would be in class or not. It was as if nothing changed if I was there or not.

I’ve been struggling with this, feeling like I am not really a part of anyone’s life or significant. I know I shouldn’t define myself based on others, but it can be hard because that’s how the world works.

Because what if I were to just leave? Would anyone notice? Would anyone check where I went? What if I got kidnapped? Would life just go on?

I may be thinking too much into it, but I’ve just been kind of lonely recently.

And it seems like all the friends I did make are kind of keeping their distance now, and it makes me sad. I’m sure it was because of the past relationship I was in. It didn’t end well and, well, it somewhat divided the friend group. And many of them went to the other side.

But anyways, I should not have been that late today. I really have no excuse for it.

I ran to Latin, and thank God it was a calm day. I was kind of upset that he didn’t even go over the passages that I had stayed up translating last night, but whatever. Atleast I had made it to ONE of my classes today.

Now I have 2 prelims tomorrow (Biochem and Physics) and I really need to study.

Marvel(ous) Movies

Civil War is definitely the movie to watch right now! I loved it so much, it was incredible! I wasn’t planning on watching the movie last night, but my friends had invited me to it. I love any Marvel movies, so of course I was prepared to go and watch it. I just loved it, though I hated parts where Iron Man and Captain America were fighting. I just loved both of them so much (Iron Man a little more, but don’t tell Captain, shh).

I don’t want to talk too much about it for those who haven’t seen it yet, but I endorse the movie.

I think the fact that I also went with friends made it all the more interesting. The commentary in between scenes was hilarious. One thing that really bothered me in the movie was the pronunciation of some of the cities, especially Lagos. They kept pronouncing it like ‘law-goes’ instead of ‘lay-gohs’.  I was so confused as to why they were doing the most. My friend and I would look at each other and flinch every time they said it. It wasn’t even a hard word! They complicated it.

Anyways, I think what hurt me the most was that both Captain America and Iron Man had their reasons for fighting, and they were both completely different. Unfortunately, they were both right and they were fighting for two goods. And that’s what pained me the most.

Also, I feel like in order to take away any legal matters for this blog, I need to clarify that I am not getting paid at all for writing about this movie. I just love Marvel. 🙂

Have your Piece or Find your Peace

I’ve had a good amount of experiences on this earth during my almost 2 decades of being here, but never in my life have I ever encountered such close-mindedness by people who I considered to be my friends, my closest allies, my sisters…

So last night was a time of bonding for the dance group that I am in on campus. It is focused around Christian dancing, so it is assumed that everyone on the team is Christian (which I don’t believe should be something assumed, but the majority assumed it).

Last night, we had mani-pedis done courtesy of our head choreographer’s over-abundant collection of nail polish. I painted mine light blue, a color that I would never see myself wearing until tonight.

It turned out beautifully, might I add.

We ordered pizza, wings, and fries, though I only ate about two pieces of pizza and five fries because I was full for whatever reason.

Actually, now I remember!

I had come from the mall because I had just watched the movie Captain America: Civil War (an Ah-MAZING movie that is worth watching. I’m a huge fan of Marvel, and Captain America and Iron Man are two of my favorite superheroes. Of course the entire time, I was just so sad because they were against each other, but it was still an amazing movie.) I had eaten about three pieces of Twizzlers and about 4-5 handfuls of popcorn. It was a great time because I went with 5 other people.

Anyways, due to the movie running longer than expected (and me and a friend missing the bus), I got to the bonding two hours late. I walked in right when they were talking about how God had shown himself to them. It was super emotional, and I was actually not enjoying myself at all. I hate these kinds of things, because although it seems like a time when there should be “no judgment” and “whatever is said in the room stays in the room”, that never happens, People’s view of others change drastically. And unfortunately, that’s what happened here.

So everyone had went around the time that I came in, so they said that I should think of something. I couldn’t think of anything on the spot so we ate, and had elections for next year’s E-Board. It turns out that I’m Treasurer, a position that I really did not want, but it seemed like everyone wanted to put me there because that was the only one they thought I fit in. Honestly, I wanted Publicity Chair, in fact I wanted it so badly that I nominated myself. I had so many ideas for how to make the group extravagant and shown more to others. Unfortunately, they said Publicity Chair would be given to someone else. Oh well.

So we finished eating food and started with mani-pedis. The girls kept pestering me about sharing my “coming to God” experience, so I did. And now thinking back, I shouldn’t have told them that.

I shouldn’t have told them about my dad’s situation, my financial situation, my health, and all of these problems. These were my private matters, and I should’ve left them private because after I told them, they looked at me differently. They looked at me in pity as if they were saying “Oh you poor thing”. They would stare at me and just nod or smile.

I shouldn’t have told them.

And this is why I hate these types of situations.

Anyways, the next thing was talking about relationships, which I really didn’t want to go into, for one reason and one reason only.

But of course, some of the girls knew about it, so naturally they were like “So how are you and so-and-so?”

The rest of the girls were curious now as to who this was. So of course, I had to talk. I talked about how we met and how long we’ve known each other.

Then came the hard part. The question that I knew they were dying to ask me:

“So… how is his faith?”

This was the exact reason why I didn’t want to share our relationship. It was as if nothing else mattered if we didn’t practice the same religion. He could be the perfect guy, put thought into everything he gave me, everything he did. He could be literally my dream guy, and yet, if he wasn’t the “right” religion, then everyone could care less.

So here it was. I told them that he was not a Christian. He was Muslim.

Now, some jaws dropped, some eyes went wide, some people shook their heads, and others just nodded.

And so began the interrogation.

“Why would you go out with a non-believer?” “The Bible says ‘Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers’.” “Are you thinking about marrying him?” “What religion would your children be?” “What would you say if your boyfriend says he wants them all Muslim?” “What about your values?” “Have you prayed about this?” “What if he changes your values?” “Is this long-term?” “Have you talked to him about all this?” “Do your parents know?” “How would they react?” “Why would you waste your time?” “Are you ready for all of that?” “Have you guys reaallly talked about this?”

While trying to answer these questions with my own answers, it seemed like they already had an answer formed and cemented into their minds. It was as if their opinions were facts, and they were not open to anything else or any other ideas that I brought. So I stayed silent for most of it while they were constantly telling me about what they thought

That upset me for a little bit.

More than half of the girls have already met him and known him for a really long time, so they know him. Unfortunately, since he’s Muslim, I guess his personality and character are not enough.

I don’t believe in any long-term relationships right now, as in marriage and kids. I don’t want that because I will be going into medical school after college. I don’t have the time for that. He’s going into medicine too, so he has said the same thing. I told the girls this, and they seemed to be super confused. They believe that dating meant finding someone who I would potentially marry. If he is not someone I would potentially marry, then I’m wasting my time.

I see where they are coming from, but since I don’t plan on getting married anytime soon, is it wasting my time? If I had stayed single, wouldn’t that have been an even greater waste of time? I wouldn’t have been able to experience life with someone, with a support system, with someone who I could depend on. And these characteristics have nothing to do with religion. As a result, unless I am looking for the love of my life and the person who I will spend the rest of my life with, I can honestly keep my options completely open. And how would you know if a person is wrong for you without actually experiencing it firsthand?

I basically told them all of this and all they kept saying was, “Just pray about it” as if they keow for sure that God would not support it. So I asked them the question, “Do you believe that God could say yes to the relationship?” Some of them didn’t answer, but one person said, “I feel like He would say yes so that you could have the experience, and He wants you to see how it is to be in that kind of relationship.”

And that was the end of the conversation. I nodded, and asked for others to share their relationship stories.

It was very interesting to get this feedback from my “sisters”, because yes the Bible says “unequally yoked”, but when I had asked them earlier in the year what that meant to them, they all said “marriage”, so all of these arguments that they had towards me was only if marriage was involved. I made it perfectly clear to them that I didn’t want marriage and I wasn’t looking to it at all, but they just kept going back to it. It was as if they couldn’t see a relationship without it.

I should have asked them, “So in high school, were you in relationships because you thought you could see them as your potential husband?” I wonder what their response would be.

I also told them that I was also influenced by my mom who told me to make sure that I knew the person I get into relationships with very well. She stressed to me that if I had a relationship in college, it would be more like a “strong friendship” in that we were to build each other academically and socially. We were suppose to be each other’s support systems. The person we could study with and receive help from. The person who we could talk to in times when we needed an ear. And I understand where she’s coming from because my dad was not the greatest ‘dad’. Jeez, I can barely call him that without flinching. He has gotten into lots of trouble in the past (which is still affecting not only his present and future, but ours), and much of it could be attributed to the fact that he lied about alot of his life.

He tricked my mom into coming with him to America, saying that he was rich there and he had inherited so much wealth. He said that he was super successful in America, so my mom said okay. She came to America only to live in the projects of Oakland, California. He lived in the slums, and didn’t even have furniture. My mom had to work twice as hard to make it in America, because a man decided that he wanted to lie about his upbringing.

Then, I came into the picture, and of course this was a lot for her. She had me in California, and I don’t remember any of that experience because we moved after I turned 1. After we moved, my other sisters were born.

And he still lives with us doing absolutely nothing. He watches two televisions in his room (using up my mom’s electricity) and writes constant letters to “friends” begging for money. He had a couple cars, and completely totaled both of them. He does not have a job. He barely has a penny to his name and refuses to work because he believes that he is old enough to be the boss of his own life. He’s almost blind, so he can’t really drive, yet he insists that his vision is perfectly fine. So many people ask my mom, “Well, why don’t you just kick him out?”

It’s funny, because people will ask these questions and then not ask themselves, “Don’t you think they have tried that? How easy do you think it is to do that?”

In fact, you bet it is exceedingly difficult to kick someone out of their own house, given their name is on the lease (yet he hasn’t paid or contributed any money to it for years)… The police won’t allow it. In fact, we’ve had the police appear at our house plenty of times in hopes that they would kick him out.

Nope.

They would come and say, “Well, if he wasn’t physically hurting you, then we can’t do anything about it.”

Hell, he threatened my own mother’s life atleast twice, and both times they said the same thing. “We can’t kick him out, because he didn’t become physical.”

What the actual hell? There’s something wrong with a system that allows for a man like him to stay in a house that he doesn’t even pay for. He causes emotional and social damage to our family due to his schizophrenia, paranoia, and laziness, but that’s not enough for police. In fact, they’ve told us to be the ones to move out, which would be easy if my mom had the time to look up places to live that have good education systems and good work compensation. There’s alot of factors that go into that, yet they made it sound like the easiest task in the world.

He had a business for a while until he completely messed that up. He was sent to jail for it, actually. And to this day, he refuses to tell any of us what he did. We had our entire house completely searched by police. The entire house was flipped upside down. The living room and our rooms were a mess. And yet, after all that, he kept claiming his innocence. My mom tried to help him with his business because she saw the potential, but he didn’t want the help and constantly accused her of trying to take his money. She has tried to help him invest it, and he was never willing.

My mom even set up an education fund for me and my sisters, and she always put money into it yearly. That was the money that ultimately kept me at the college I am at now. It was not until I entered college did I find out that my dad did nothing of the sort. My mom tried to convince him when I was about 6 years old to do this for his children, but again, he only accused her of taking his money.

Now he has nothing. And now he depends on us completely, though he does absolutely nada in the house. It bothers me so much to see my mom struggling through all of this, barely making ends meet with the paycheck that she gets and having to take care of one more big baby in the house, and that’s why I vouch to never allow my children to go through that.

Which is what swayed my reasons for not being super attached to a person during college. I need to do well in college. I need to help my mother out and eventually supply her with everything that she’s ever wanted. She’s sacrificed so much for my sisters and me. She is the main reason as to why I’m even in college now.

Hayy coincidence, it’s Mother’s Day, and I’m talking about my mother. I’m so thankful for her. I have no idea where my sisters and I would have been without her. We have had the world’s largest and loudest arguments, yet she had shown unceasing love towards us. I love you, mom 😀

Of course, I was not going to explain all of this to these girls who I wanted to call my “sisters”. They probably still wouldn’t care about it and they would say “Oh, you just need to pray about it.”

What do you think I’ve been doing all of these years??

I have prayed, cried, yelled out to God, balled my eyes out night after night for years. And they believe that I just haven’t done it hard enough?

That’s what got me upset. That’s what has gotten me shaken up. The fact that they will never understand. But at the same time, I don’t want them to understand. Giving people too much information is dangerous, which is why I do not trust people enough to do it, and sometimes you do need a certain level of uncertainty to keep on living in this world.

So after that, I basically felt the distance come between me and the girls, and it was sad because it was suppose to be a bonding time. Even when I left, I only gave hugs to two of the girls. The other girls seemed disinterested. Some of them continued to stare at me. Others couldn’t even make eye contact with me.

Wow. Just wow.

I am almost completely sure that I will be leaving this group by the end of this semester. It was a nice year that I’ve been with them, but I feel like it’s time for me to open a new chapter.

These were girls who I thought I could grow in my relationship in God with, but I feel like I’m shriveling. Is this how God’s love is suppose to feel like? Conviction? Like I’m in a courtroom all the time? Like I’m always stepping on egg shells? It seems like they’re making themselves look like angels without any flaws or mistakes. No impurities, not a spot.

And I simply do not believe in that.

I really wanted to stay with this group until I graduated, but I just can’t see it.

I actually went to another showcase that was more about hip-hop dancing, and that was something that I was always into. I love watching music videos, and making my own dance to the beat of the music. I’ve never really been interested in the words of a song, but if the beat was on point, then I was listening to it. I actually joined this group’s listserv first out of all organizations that I joined on campus. I was suppose to attend their workshops, but I always had work during the time. Now, it’s been 2 years, and I think I’m ready to make the change.

So watching this showcase was just amazing. I loved it so much. It was like an experience. I will definitely be attending the workshops next semester to see how it works out. They seemed like just a concrete family-no judgment, no pre-conceived notions, no assumptions- and I wanted to take part in that. My friend is in it and she told me about it, and her eyes lit up when I told her that I was interested. That’s the kind of welcome arms that I like to see. That’s what you call pure joy.

It’s sad because we just had our showcase last week, and it went flawlessly. I made myself more public about my standing in the group to all of my friends on Facebook and everything. I guess bonding time is also considered an eye-opening experience too.

Serendipitous Meetings

When I first came to college, I thought I would never find my right group of friends or the right place for me. I also transferred out of my school after the first semester of college. I just felt so out of place. I felt socially awkward, emotionally unstable, and incapable of forming any sort of relationship deeper than acquaintances with anyone in my class. In fact I had no motivation to do so in the first place.

Last night, I had a training that I needed to attend for work. At first, I did not want to go at all. I was already in my room having the nap of a lifetime since I didn’t sleep very well the night before (I had a lab report to finish along with homework from other classes). When I realized that I still needed to attend this class which, mind you, was on the other side of campus, I was so close to drop the class and take the consequences that came with taking that action.

But I realized that I really needed to take this class, so I got up and began to get ready.

First thing, I missed the bus that would take me to the other side of campus.

Secondly, the next bus wouldn’t come until 30 minutes later, so I would be late.

Thirdly, I smelled rain outside.

So everything in its power was telling me to just stay where I was and sleep all night. I told myself, “No, I need to go.”

So I walked. I walked one of the longest walks that I have walked in a really long time. It was about 30 minutes long.

Surprisingly, it was a very enjoyable one. It was already dark outside, so all I saw were lights from the different buildings I passed. The weather wasn’t too hot or too cold. It was a comfortable warmth. The night was peaceful and quiet. People held quiet chatters around me, others were zipping by on their bikes and skateboards. I watched people deep in study through the library windows as I crossed the quad to the other side of campus. The rain was more of a very gentle spray. It kept me hydrated and protected my skin from peeling and reddening (which my face often did).

The best part was I passed the bus pass that I would have gotten off at if I had taken the bus, and the bus had just arrived there when I passed it. I couldn’t believe it. I had beaten the bus! I always thought it would be faster, but I guess not.

I finally got to my class, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that everyone looked like they were in a good mood. The trainer was a good friend of mine. In fact, she was my residential advisor for the year before. I loved her personality, sense of humor, and her energy, so it was a very enjoyable class. On top of that, I met a few people in the class, including a girl who:

  1. Lived in the same county as me
  2. Happened to attend a high school that was about 20 minutes away from me, and it was in the same county,
  3. had the same ethnicity, ancestral background (as in where our parents were from), and same place as my
  4. Studied the same subject as me (Bio)
  5. Was on the same track as me (pre-med)

So when I tell you that meeting this girl at a school as big as mine was literally one in a hundred google bajillion, I’m so serious.

Soo how did I find out about all of this? Well, during the training class, we had to go around a introduce ourselves. So she started, then a few other people went. Once it got to me, I said where I was from. Then she asked where, and I told her, and then she told me where she was from. I was so shocked that I actually couldn’t talk for a second. What were the odds?? I had just come here for this training class. And to think that I was not even going to show up to the class!

We immediately exchanged numbers and said that we would try and catch some lunch sometime.

I was so happy after that class that I was still smiling afterwards (oh and I also passed the test that we had to take after finishing the class. I thought I had failed, but instead I missed half of one question out of 10!).

Needless to say, it was a very nice Thursday night. Last night reminded me how much I wanted to leave this school back during freshman year. Now, I couldn’t even think about leaving this place. I have made so many friends and connections. I know so many people in the faculty that I thought I would never meet and never even know those kinds of people existed to be honest.

What a crazy first two years of college, but I honestly would not change much. Academics maybe could have gone better, but as for the experiences… I would never exchange those for the world.

 

Is She My Mirror?

A friend of mine just told me that he and his girlfriend had just broken up. Of course, I was super sad about this because they had only gone out for about two months. I asked why, and he said that he was super pissed because she never spent enough time with him and invested much in the relationship. I was super confused because he had told me that she broke up with him. So I’m wondering, “Did he want the relationship to end too?” “Who’s at fault here?”

So here I am in the library trying to do my assignment for a class that I am pretty sure I am going to end up dropping (though I really do not want to because I really need the credits, the grade, and the fulfillment of finishing this course). He texted me his conversation between him and his (ex)girlfriend. I thought it was going to be a back-and-forth conversation. Instead, it was all him telling her that she never invested enough into the relationship and how she does not know how to make time for people and how she was incapable of showing any emotion to people.

And honestly, his words scared me alot, because after reading their conversation (more like his rant), I couldn’t help but realize that…

He was basically describing me.

It was something that I had given a good amount of thought to. Now that I am in a relationship, I always question if I am giving enough effort into the relationship. I have found that I am always busy to the point that I only see him about once a day for about an hour. Hell, I rarely even have time for myself. I had already told my partner that I was having a hard time showing emotions to him since I had never done it before. It was something I didn’t think would be so hard. I thought it would just come naturally once you were in a relationship. Boy, was I wrong. You have to work towards that point.

But anyways, back to my friend’s situation…

He told me how she never seemed to set aside any time for him and how she never initiated any plans or dates. I tried to defend her by saying that she was probably super busy (she was a math major and full-on varsity athlete. That’s one hectic schedule). I stressed to him that he needed to be patient with her, and I constantly told him that he needed to talk to her. He just didn’t seem like he wanted to talk about it at all. In fact, it was very one-sided. Alot of what he said about her was his own opinions about her. He called her “socially inept” and “too cold and calculating for his taste” and “too logical”.

I really wish he would stop trying to control things. He wants things to go the way he wants, and if they don’t, he automatically believes that it’s the other person’s fault. He controls everything, and it bothers me alot.

I really want him to give her a chance because she is such a sweet girl, and I know exactly what she is going through, but I don’t think he understands at all. I don’t believe he knows how to understand her.

Which is why I stressed for him to talk to her.

He has also said that she says that she doesn’t know how to keep long-term relationships or invest time in people. I am still a little shaken by this because.. she is literally me.

I was almost begging with him to talk to her and be patient, but there was no way of convincing him. Instead, he told me that he would not talk to her unless she was going to take her back.

And here we are back to the controlling motif.

I want him to understand, because I know exactly how she feels and I wish someone would be patient with me while I tried to navigate a relationship with someone.

Unfortunately, he is not willing to do this.

Phone Interview with a Friend

So tonight at 6pm, I had the honor of interviewing a friend that I made last year through a program in my college. He is such an amazing person. Let’s call him K.

So because I hold an E-Board position for this club that I am in, I have a task that I am in charge of. It consists of choosing one person to go up on a board that will showcase everything that they are involved in on campus, and stuff like that. I chose K because he is such an awesome person, and I knew it would be really easy for me to talk to him and interview him given that he was doing so much.

So at exactly 6pm, I gave him a phone call. Of course, he picked up on time, and we started the talk. I had a list of questions I needed to ask him. They involved really basic stuff like where he was from, who his role model was, what does it he like to do, what is he involved in on campus, what are his future endeavors, and how has the program helped him. He answered each one very professionally and thoroughly. I recorded it, just because there was so much that he talked about that was so good, and I really could not keep up. I wanted to type up everything he was saying (and I ended up doing that afterward, when I replayed the recording). He had so much wisdom to bestow on me that all I could really say after each of his responses was, “Wow, that is really cool!” I really could not think of anything else that could actually express just how amazing how amazed I was at everything he did, everything he wanted to do, and who he was as a person.

It was such a casual conversation, and he is naturally an easy person to talk to, and the way he talks is super professional. I know that he will grow up to do some amazing things. He wants to practice medicine and do business, which is a really cool combination. I know he can do it, and he is truly one of the people that I want to stay in touch with as I go through life.

After talking to him, it was an amazing feeling. I loved the conversation. I loved hearing about other people’s experiences. I loved having that casual conversation just between the two of us. I realized that I wanted to do that again, and I am glad that I am able to do this once a month since I need to talk to a new person each month.

I actually felt really inspired and really started thinking about my real interests. What do I actually want to do besides medicine?

After this taught, I found that I love to talk with people on a personal level. I like to talk about experiences and life lessons. I feel like everyone has their own amount of wisdom to bring to the table, and everyone should be able to take advantage of it.

It’s amazing, because before talking with him, I was thinking to myself why I even wanted to do this. Why did I bring this upon myself? What questions am I even going to ask him? What if I ask a question that is way too personal? What if I mess up? What if the board looks horrible and the E-Board wonders why they gave me this responsibility? What if I don’t keep up with it?

And then the conversation came, and it was actually so much fun. After the convo, I was smiling from cheek to cheek. I was singing and dancing. Even though it was such a small action and it was only a 20-minute convo, it may have been the happiest and most memorable part of the month for me.