Last week I celebrated my first birthday without my family. In the life of Alyssa family is pretty much everything, my sister, my mom, my brother and my dad are my best friends in life, all fulfilling different roles to me. My sister and I are just absolute best friends; only with my sister can I be silly and crazy, at the same time she brings out the best in me. We use to see each other at least twice a week when I lived in Long Beach most of the time our visits involved food, we love to cook and eat together! I mean part of the reason I moved to Long Beach was to be nearer to her. My Brother is the person I constantly go to for advice, we have an honesty with each other that causes us to get into fights a lot, but at the same time makes us so much closer. I tell my brother things I’d never tell anyone else. He is the protective one, but at the same time, he gave me my first beer! Though my brother lived pretty far considering L.A. traffic, it was always one of the best treats to be able to go visit him and go out to cool places and see the best music shows, he always made the best plans, unless he kidnapped you to go shopping!! He also took me to Katsuya… man do I miss Sushi! My mom is the person in my life that I always turn to when I’ve had a bad day, or a really good day. She is the first person I want to talk to when something happens. Even though she gives the most cursed advice when it comes to boys, most of her other advice is filled with love and careful consideration of others. She is also the person I spend the most time giggling like a little kid with. We just find the stupidest things to laugh at. Maybe it is because I am so much like my mom that we just get each other. And lastly, my dad. Me and my dad have a whole other language that no one understands. Sometimes he talks and people look at me to explain what the heck he said. I think I take daddy’s girl to a whole other level; we even have our own handshake!! My dad is the tough one, he tells me when I am wrong and when I am not working hard enough. He was always the person in my life that I wanted to do well for, so that he could be proud of me.
My family is everything to me, and the thought of being away from them was the only thing that prevented me from joining the Peace Corps a few years earlier than I did. So the thought of spending holidays, which my birthday defiantly is, without them had me depressed since the first of November. Sometimes the Peace Corps can be so lonely, sure you have friends, but to me friends no matter how amazing they are, are never the same as your family. I completely dreaded my birthday this year, I just knew it was going to be horrible and that I would spend the day crying and missing them so much.
I planned a small excursion to Yerevan for my birthday, knowing that I would need my friends more than ever the week before my birthday. The first night we had a girl’s night with Mexican food, mango margaritas and gossip! It was so amazing to spend a night in Armenia as we would have spent it in America. Honestly tis the season when a lot of volunteers feel a little bit blue, I mean the holidays are coming up and we will be far from our homes. It was so good to have the most perfect night out with my girlfriends. The next night I planned a dinner in Yerevan, inviting only a few people to my favorite restaurant, Bejing. We ate the most delicious Chinese food, and when I say ate, I mean feasted like kings!!! We all knew it was way beyond our budget to eat like this, but the food was so amazing, we couldn’t help it! The night just got better and better from there, everything that happened was magic! I really did have the best birthday party with my friends. It was so low-key and small and yet it was exactly what everyone needed after a few stressful weeks at sight. I can honestly say that I have some of the best friends a girl can have here and had one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had this year. The funny thing is, that this was just a small beginning to what turned out to be days of birthday surprises and celebrations! Dear friends that came to dinner for my birthday or just stopped by to say hi, thank you so much for making it such a memorable evening!!
Family I still miss you guys so much!!