I've recently reconnected with a woman who I went to high school with. We have started a friendship now, more than 25 years later and I wonder why we never attempted it before. Through the years, we've kept up with each other's lives through social media. I've watched her mourne the loss of her mother, she watched me mourne the death of my marriage and through it all, we offered distant words of support to one another. Though we had never really had a full conversation, I knew that she meant well when she offered her support during my mastectomy. She lost her mother to breast cancer and I know that she has a very close relationship with the subject. I was greatful for her words.
We recently started making an effort to build a friendship. With that, there are conversations, some funny, some uncomfortable, some emotional... But, it's imperative that she sees me for who I am and not for what others have dedicated their lives to talking about me. I realize during these moments how much growth we have both experienced. We have become independent, hard-working women. Both, with strong personalities but kindness, no less. Just the other day, I spoke to her about my childhood best friend (I'll call her Mari). That friendship ended quite upruptly after over 30 years of friendship a few years back.
Mari and I had been through all kinds of growths and losses together. I always assumed that she was as loyal to me as I had been to her, but it all became very clear one year. Every secret I had told her, every tear I had cried, every regret I had was never truly safe with her. Through all those years, her disgust for herself had turned into envy and jealousy towards me. As it goes with such insecurities, she was never able to remain loyal to her husband and was quick to rub her indiscretions in my face, as if they were trophies. In the end, I walked away from that friendship but not until I made sure that there would never be any chance of reparation.
I regret the way I handled that, just like I regret the way I handled my divorce. What’s done is done though and I’ll never turn back the hands of time but I’ve learned an incredible lesson. Relationships really do have an expiration date and nothing lasts forever. Sometimes, we’re so engulfed in the trenches of our emotions, we forget to listen to reason and suddenly, in a split second, everything you once knew to be real has changed. I won’t apologize for the mistakes I’ve made- they are the subjects that have graced me with wisdom but I will, for as long or as short a time as I have with my new-found friend and all of those who remain, friends and family alike, value the time I’ve been given in their space. Once they're gone, they are truly gone.
I haven't written anything in a while, but this morning's Facebook post got me thinking. I need to get this out because people seem to lose their perspective and start pointing fingers before looking at the big picture first.
You Reap What You Sow is a saying as ancient as mankind. This phrase or the insinuation of is written throughout the bible. This is a fact for every living thing. YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW. The government of Puerto Rico has been a hot mess for years, and it's leaders are now reaping what they sowed. The people of Puerto Rico have been aware of their government's flaws for a long time. Census studies show the percentage of Boriquas that have left the island in recent history. It's impressive and there's a reason for that.
Before I continue, I have to say this... I think Puerto Rico is one of the prettiest places I've ever seen. I imagine my Cuba looks similar. On my first trip to the island, while I was having breakfast at a local cafe, the citizens of Puerto Rico wished me "buen provecho" as they passed by. I fell in love with its people since the days of Menudo and on that day, I fell in love with the land and its heart-beat. My best-friend, my sister is from Puerto Rico. People think I'm Puerto Rican because they say I "sound" Puerto Rican. This is, in no way, an attack on the beautiful souls of the island.
From the moment of impact, the second we began to understand the catastrophic damage on the island, all kinds of donations started to pour in. Walmart alone committed $10 million dollars. That doesn't include the donations that Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, Marc Anthony, Ricky Martin and endless more celebrities and companies have been raised for the island and its people. That's a lot of money! I realize the damage exceeds $85 billion but I would think that what's been raised thus far is enough to get people moving. Where is that money and how is it being used? Where are those stories? Do any of you ever ask yourself that question? Fuck! I ask myself that question about my own local government!
Puerto Rico's government failed its people. They misused funds and the people's streets, electric grids, water supply facilities and hospitals were left broken and vulnerable. I've been hearing that from people over there for years. It's why people have continued to leave. I don't claim that only the politicians in Puerto Rico are corrupt. I think EVERY politician is corrupt. But, they fucked this one up over there! They misused funds, left ALL of Puerto Rico unequipped to withstand this kind of natural disaster and now are claiming that the U.S. isn't doing enough.
I know a lot of you don't and won't see it like this and I'm sorry if I offend you. Let's not forget though, that the U.S. Virgin Islands have also been devastated by the extreme weather this year; assistance and aid has also been needed for our brothers and sisters over there. Puerto Rico isn't alone during this time of loss. And, let's not get started on Cuba. Not because I expect this government to assist Cuba but because you can't assist Cuba even if you wanted to. My people are truly fucked over there.
I'm afraid that the recovery of Puerto Rico, the rise of La Isla Del Encanto is going to have to come from its own people. Their voices need to ring in the ears of the government and demand to know where all of the funds that have been raised so far have gone. The supplies are there. There is food going to waste at the port because they can't move it fast enough. WHY NOT? Federal Government is on the ground, I'm assuming they're trying to work with the local government to start moving the aid. I can't imagine that people are just standing around wasting Federal money and resources. The truth is that we might not see much movement considering the time it takes to rebuild, but stand up Puerto Rico!!! Demand movement from your local government. I'm almost positive none of your mayors have been personally affected by this. The governor's wife set up an organization (United for Puerto Rico) to raise money. What's up with that? How are they using THOSE funds?
During Irma, my brother and I were talking about how bad Brickell Avenue got when the storm hit. He asked, "How is it that we are in a hurricane prone area and this city, as advanced as it is, isn't prepared to protect us from something like this?" Hm. That's our tax dollars at work. Same thing happened with Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. I try not to think about it but the reality is that we can't even trust the very people that are supposed to ensure our safety and well-being. And, that's scary.
The officials there are feeling the effects of that old biblical saying. It all comes at a huge expense, and worse, in some instances, at the lives of the people. It's both frustrating and heart-breaking to see this unfold. I know Puerto Rico will rebuild and they will make their home whole again. If I know nothing else of the people of the island, I know how much they love the very soil of their home. Puerto Rico will rise.
I won't make this long; please bear with me. With the catastrophe that Hurricane Harvey has left, it's hard to ignore all of the photos that are coming out from the affected areas.
Recent news have focused on the divide that exists in our country. I have watched the media inundate my feeds with photos of hate and racism. It sucks that we have to suffer such a terrible event to really see what our country is really made of. I'm proud of our people: White, Black, Asian, Hispanic and everything in between. We are AMERICA. In these photos, all I see is love and unity. That's what our country is really about. A white man helping an Asian family. A black woman comforting a white woman. This is love.
Texas, our hearts go out to you. I hope that in the middle of the chaos and destruction, you can feel our love from all over the country, regardless of your skin color or background. We are AMERICA and we hurt for you. Stay strong and know that we are doing everything we can to help you.
#TexasStrong #TexasForever #PrayForTexas #WeLoveYou
I began to write this on July 7th. I was just able to come back to it and I realized how extreme life can be, or how extreme I perceive it to be. I thought it was a good one so here it goes...
The urge has been stronger this year. Last year's urge to run away was deafening, but this year's urge burdens me, weighs heavily on my chest, I can't breathe sometimes. I have literally searched and researched over a dozen different countries to escape to with my kids. The idea of taking them out of a society that focuses way too much on working themselves to death is a constant alarm sounding off in my head.
Nothing about being here makes me smile anymore. Miami's beauty has turned into Medusa's curse. Souls who were once human are now stone and the basic elements of human decency have faded. If only I could leave... I only need a year. I could expose my children to another way of living, where the endless race to success is smothered by the undying need to live. We would emmerce ourselves into the culture and the lives of the unknown.
The wisdom from my allies is silenced by my need to get out. My desperation to change everything in my surroundings echoes in my chest. I don't want to be bothered by a people whose word is no longer bond. My disillusioned hopes crumble as I remove characters from this play and I find myself with too little few to make this scene work, this play work.
I've seen every sunset and every sunrise in the Miami skies. I know every corner of this beautiful city. I've danced under its Palm Trees, I've swam in its waters, I've loved under its moonlight. I've laughed at the vomit trails and piss scented streets after a many long nights. Nothing here excites me anymore. The many different accents no longer interest me and I find myself losing my patience with simple minds that can't seem to think as deep as the Atlantic Ocean they swim in, the same ocean that raised me.
I demand more nature and less concrete. I hunger for conversations under a sky painted with stars, where the greatest urgency is another taste of his lips. This monotony will be the death of my gypsy, she rattles my imagination constantly, demands my attention, but I can't attend to her right now. I'm occupied by ideas to gain more freedom from society's restrictions and its monotone rhythm. I'm beginning to see the light though, like flickers of the sun peaking into the morning darkness. I think I may have just been reminded of my gift...
The title to this post was meant for a completely different topic. There are so many things taking place at the same time now and the title to this post applies to so many of them... I'll do my best to tie it all in without sounding frantic.
Without doubt, the older I get, the more I learn, the wiser I become, the less tolerance I have for the bullshit, the more willing I am to speak my mind and risk it all to get my view on any given situation out there. As if I wasn't already blunt enough, my mouth will definitely provoke additional growth because true to form, my words will always bring on a wave of change.
This month marks a year since my husband left. As expected, this month has felt chaotic and without fail, I've added to the chaos. I wasn't raised in a quiet, tree-lined, calm street or household so I crave the madness at times and once I feel the heat, I crave the calm, monotony. It's a vicious cycle that I impose on myself. My level of boredom with society, work, dating, school and everything that surrounds me is overwhelming and I find myself fantasizing a lot about leaving this city, this state, this country.
I can't change the hopeless romantic in me. I've learned to tolerate her, actually. I won't deny that I'm also a jaded, cynical bitch and as far as I'm concerned, everyone I meet has an ulterior motive, be it sex, moral support, or intellectual propoerty. I've met more than a dozen people in the last 12 months and I can confidently say that only two individuals have stuck it out and one is questionable. The mornings after the tragic moments when I realize that I've wasted time, energy and physical labor on someone that was completely worthless always leave me breathless, no matter the loss. I always feel the same... drained.
In the recent weeks, I've been bombarded with what Oprah would call energy suckers. From friends asking for favors to people disregarding my existence all together. The thing that gets me is that these people are folks that I actually respected. Add pain to injury, I chose to start working on my undergrad degree on the shortest semester of the year. Waking up to all the pressures that society and government and the media and the church, for that matter put on us will inevitably kill us. I crave the simplicities of countries far from this place.
My mornings are filled with breathing exercises to help keep my heart-rate from escalating, trying to find a way to keep my mind from flashing the same useless messages across my consciousness. The mornings after an anxiety attack are small blessings. I find gratitude in the most simple things and then, as I prepare for my day, I'm back to stressing about rent and car payments, over-priced mobile phone bills and the six novels waiting to be read, while my 8 year old begs for her own room.
Those mornings are harder than the day after you've wasted a good fuck on a man that could've been great but turned out to be a waste. The mornings after having drunk too much, when your head is thumping, are better than those mornings after a panic attack. The mornings after spending half the night quieting the noise are endless, they crawl in slow motion towards afternoons that get louder as my days come to an end, and I'm back at it again.
The morning after... it is always so much more than what a little pill can fix.
If you know me, you know that I have no filters. I'm not bothered by politically incorrect or correct ideals. I pretty much say what's on my mind and if I don't say it, you can probably read it on my face. It was actually one of the things that bothered Alfredo about me. So much so that he insisted that I get Botox. I've been hooked ever since. Writing these words and all of the ones prior to this post have given me a space to sort it all out so here it goes...
My journey post-Alfredo has taken me through the physical, the spiritual, the metaphysical and all the way back to solid ground. I am able to do and say things today that would've never been possible for me this time last year. I'm slowly climbing out, the sky is more blue, the sun is more beautiful, the moon is more powerful... Everything that has always been is more magical than I remember and I'm grateful for that.
I know I fucked up when I married Alfredo. I knew it the second I married him. I knew who he was when I married him. I knew who he was 2 months into the relationship. But I held on. I hoped my love would make him want to change and I suppose it did for a short while, but the first 8 months of our relationship saw more turmoil than a 50-year marriage. Still, I held on.
I needed to feel loved at that time in my life and I wanted it to come from him, so I held on. By the eighth month, I knew I was at a critical point... I was ready to give up. I couldn't keep lying to myself and I knew that I wouldn't tolerate his games for much longer. I was desperate for a drastic change, and man did I get it... He proposed on New Year's Eve 2014, we were married 2 weeks later and my life, as I knew it, was over.
I'm not meant to be married. That just isn't part of my DNA. I don't believe in marriage, never have and now I'm married to THAT. My spirit is free, it soars through time and space, leaving sparks in every corner it encounters. Marriage was never part of my thought process but here I am now and I can't deny that the only reason this past year happened was because I FUCKED UP.
I didn't love myself enough then to stand up for myself and if this break-up has taught me anything, it has taught me that no one can ever love me more than I love me. The scars, the implants, the fake nipples... all of that included, I have learned to love. My children have learned the greatest lessons too... They know not to let life knock you. They know to stand up and start over and over and over and over again, but get it done. They know that what I went through doesn't define me. It just makes my flame soar.
I won't lie and say that I don't think of him... I think of him daily. I have imaginary conversations with him sometimes and speaking his name still makes my voice crack, but I'm so grateful for his absence. I think a lot about his family and friends. Those poor people must be so embarrassed. It all makes sense... The way each of his childhood friends and/or family members would talk to me with such care and compassion. They all knew what my destiny with him held and I could see them wanting to warn me but just couldn't. Their loyalty is to him and I'm sure they're completely grossed out by that. Each and every one of his people have seen him do to dozens of other women what he did to me.
The only difference is that I'm taking the blame for what went down. I won't beat myself up over it, but I'm ok with the role I played in all of that. I'm ok acknowledging that I was weak and had low self-esteem and in my little, twisted idea of love, he was the perfect fit. I can grow and fix what's broken, make myself a better woman, a better mother, better daughter, better friend, better sister, better employee, BETTER. He'll never be able to do that so he's already in hell. His life is Groundhog Day everyday.
I know I lost my mind during that time. I know I sounded crazy and desperate. I was. Crazy and desperate. I have friends that came out of the dark to tell me how crazy I sounded. The thing is that I needed to lose a part of myself in order to rediscover who I'm meant to be. One of the many people that helped pull me out of those depths is an old friend. He has inspired me in ways that I haven't felt in many long years. He is my constant reminder of who I have always been, who I am today and who I'm meant to be. He'll never really know what his words and knowledge, what his love and humor have given me.
I am certain, without a doubt, that I was meant to put myself through all of that. So much good has come of it. The outcome of all of that has been more empowering, more enlightening and more liberating than a divorce.
Infant of the zodiac, darling Aries ventures daringly
Soul of a sheep, head strong, rams his head heavily
Symbol of leadership, now just a symbol on his chest
Sun sign of mine, Aries, reminds me of how I am blessed
My strength now forever imprinted on him as a reminder
Lies he whispers to his lover about its purpose, he deceives her
Black ink of my tattoo he used to cover his past
Reflection of his lies he'll find on mirrored glass
She'll admire its perfect curves, its impression of confidence
He is branded with my sign as he fucks her with his non-sense
Sweet Ram, head of my sun sign
Now just a splatter on a fucking swine
Still shocked by the depths of the void
Still floored by the lack of his joy
Still surprised by the stone of his heart
Still amazed by his poisonous dart
Have you ever payed close attention to the songs that play? Ever notice the same song being played a bit more than the usual despite its age? It's like numerology. One of my girlfriends has this recurring thing with a certain number. We looked it up and it's right on according to her current life journey. But, what if the signs are in the form of songs?
I barely heard this song when we were together, although I was very aware of it. It's been a classic favorite of mine since my early 20's and as I'm forced to pay attention, I am forced to face the one thing that I know must happen- forgiveness.
The thing is that it goes far deeper than forgiving Alfredo for how he did what he did. I am being forced to face myself and the role I played in that messy part of my life. I allowed him to destroy my peace of mind and I expected a fairytale when I knew in my depths that his words were dead the minute he spoke them.
It's fascinating what this kind of journey does to your soul. I have grown in leaps and bounds and as I engage myself with those I meet and know, I am deeply grounded with the knowledge that I gained from the hell that I lived. I have discovered that we all have a story and some chapters must tell the dark and painful tales. These are the chapters that give us insight.
I feel better today than I have in months or years. I know change will come. I have a pending divorce from Alfredo that in and of itself will bring a whole string of changes, so I don't doubt that change will come. The change that I'm hungry for however is far deeper, more important than my marriage. I will come out of this more woman, more aware and more intentional than I've ever been.
I've realized lately, with the help of this song that remains on replay on the radio and now in my head, that I must forgive myself for not leaving when I should've. I stayed and took on his fury but it wasn't in vain and I can say that now that I'm no longer in his cloud.
Don Henley says it best in The Heart Of The Matter, "There are people in your life who've come and gone. They let you down, you know they hurt your pride. You better put it all behind you baby 'cause life goes on. You keep carryin' that anger, it'll eat you up inside baby."
What a beautiful thing... to be alone yet surrounded by so much greatness.
Protection so intense, they run. Maybe I was always meant to be alone.
Freedom overwhelms me. So much to do with so much time on my hands.
Gods + Dolls... they are my way.
Hey... Welcome to my blog about absolutely nothing other than my frustrations, discoveries, accomplishments, fantasies and everything in between. I'm not sure what the purpose of this site is, to be honest. I know that I love to write and living in Miami guarantees the craziest stories, which in turn induce the most life changing experiences, in some small way or another. I swear if I don't write about half the shit I go through, I will burst. So please bear with me. I know it's none of your business. This is my creative outlet so stay if you want. If you don't like it, get the fuck out. If you do like it, please sign up for my newsletter, if for nothing else, to help me build my email list. Thanks for stopping by!