Abe Observes

abe villarrealAbe Villarreal is the Assistant Dean of Student Support and Civic Engagement at Western New Mexico University. When not on campus, he enjoys writing about his observations on marketing, life, people and American traditions.

By Abe Villarreal

My favorite memories of the holidays are listening to cuentos, stories told by dads and moms, uncles and aunts, and mostly by grandpas and grandmas.

Like the kid in a classic Norman Rockwell painting, I remember sitting with my legs crossed on the floor, hands holding up my head, and eyes wide open. Grandpa Abram told the best cuentos.

By Abe Villarreal

Everyd ay a reminder pops up on my computer at 2 pm. It’s a daily notification that I set up titled Do Something Nice For Someone.

Lately, I began to feel guilty about ignoring the reminder. A simple click and it’s gone in a blink of an eye.

When I first set it up, the idea I had was to stop everything I was doing, leave the office, and do something nice for someone. The sad reality is that it became more difficult than I first imagined.

By Abe Villarreal

Lately, I’ve been learning to write without words. There is so much you can say without putting pen to paper, and I’ve been doing it in the form of art.

An empty canvas can be so liberating. When I found myself staring at one, a rush of thoughts came to mind. Why is this happening to me? Why can’t these problems be solved? Why can’t things be like they always were?

Because I couldn’t find the answers that set me at peace, I turned to a paintbrush, acrylics, and an empty canvas. It was the only way I could speak my mind.

By Abe Villarreal

All families have their highs and lows. Times of unity, and times of separation. And when you hit a valley, a flood of childhood memories fill your brain.

Like the time you stayed up all night because you couldn’t wait to open your first Christmas gift at the stroke of midnight. Latinos celebrate Christmas during the Noche Buena, at midnight.

My mom always put out a single candle in each window. We didn’t need strings of colorful lights to hang from roof corner to corner. Just that simple candle in each room.

By Abe Villarreal

When big, dramatic, events hit you – the kind that are life changing – sometimes it feels like you have to start all over again.

Those really big kinds of events like a career change, or a death in the family. They can mess you up, but only if you let them.

Every morning I listen to the local radio station. Turning on the radio is part of my daily routine. Wake up. Hit the on button. Brush my teeth. Even though it seems commonplace, every day is a new beginning. Life is starting over again.

By Abe Villarreal

They say that when you visit Washington D.C., you become a patriot. For a moment, your ideological thoughts are washed away as you stare over the beauty of the Potomac River.

The majesty of the Jefferson Memorial, and the grandeur of America’s most recognizable President, Mr. Abe Lincoln, looking down at you as he sits upon his throne – it’s almost too much to take at once.

At least it was for me during one summer in 2004 as an undergrad when I had the privilege of interning for the late Senator Pete Domenici. It was a summer to remember.

Live from Silver City

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