If You’re Reading This It’s Because I’m A Coward

I’m a lazy friend. Plain and simple.

Friendship is a give and take type of relationship. What I give is what I take. I don’t give much so I don’t expect much. My earliest memory of friendship was back in elementary. It’s a bit fuzzy yet vivid on some days. 

I don’t know how others perceive my outer persona but lately I’ve been fixating on it. I find myself telling Pablo again and again of how I (playfully) hate how easy he makes conversation with strangers. He had a full conversation with the fedex guy (or was it the usps guy?). He even got his name. He got the life story of a dude that is twice his age with no hesitation. There are countless examples. I told him he’s like my mother; there is something about them that just attracts easy conversation. Is it his vibe? Is it his lack of fear of what people think? Perhaps it’s his openness to accepting all that is unknown. Whatever it is about him it is what I love the most. His way of being is everything to me. Note to reader: i apparently have a big ego and I don’t take criticism well. But that doesn’t mean i can’t relate nor that I’m not open to new friends. I’m also not really looking for them but damn I want to be approachable. I also let go very easily so if someone wants some type of validation from me he/she probably, most likely, won’t get it. WELP! 

In elementary I felt like an outcast. Wait, outcast is very defining… I was very normal, but always trying to fit in. Just ask my oldest sister. I dont remember really having friends like friend friends. You know, the type you’re always with and the ones (or one) that you told everything to? It never really happened so I was the girl that would play kickball and pachuco with the boys. I played tetherball and volleyball and handball with the class but I wasn’t part of any alliances happening around me. For the record I was an average athlete but I was competitive. 

In middle school I was the lame ass that ran to the fucken nutrition and lunch lines and after I ate I walked around campus. I finally made a friend but it was shortly lived. She left me, that bitch. She left me to be friends with another girl that was as boy crazy as she was. Then I made another friend and she took me in with her little group. It was nice and fun, but I only really connected with the one that took me in. The thing is that I thought I had friends in many circles… the reality was that I only connected in the classroom. I was funny, I made people laugh and I seemed to have something that pulled people in. I realize now that those relationships only lived in a controlled environment. If it required actual energy I wasn’t readily putting it out there. 

In high school I finally felt a part of something. A smart group of girls that shared common interests took me in. But then I found out I wasn’t part of the rituals of secret sharing or the phone calls girlfriends have or the inside jokes. I tried it but in retrospect I only did it out of desperation. Eventually I started hanging out with a different group. The same thing happened with these girls. The same thing happened with me and them. I let it be. I felt sad about it, but I didn’t put any effort in salvaging or maintaining the friendships. I give them credit for continuing to make an effort to include me in things but it isn’t the same when I was putting my part in the mix.

It wasn’t until after high school that I finally met someone that was/is awesome and a great friend. I now consider myself to be low maintenance and I love that with her I don’t feel guilty. I want to do more and have more but looking at my past experiences it seems I either don’t know how or I’m too lazy of a friend. I like how when we reach out to each other it never feels like too much time passed us by. However, I do want something that surpasses that. I’m writing this out because I want accountability on my part. I want to be able to look back at this post and think of how this used to be me. 

I rest easy now that I know it’s not the number of friends but the quality of the relationships that counts. I have to work on the quality of  my friendship, tho. For really, girlfriend. 

My Hair

Sometimes I laugh along with people that seem to think it’s funny that I do not shave my legs or my underarms. I fell like staring at them and asking WHAT THE FUCK IS THE BIG DEAL?

But I get it. I used to be like them (those inferior beings) that bowed to the standards of beauty that have demonized hair on certain parts of the body. HAHA… I laugh at YOU, you lame-ass.

Nah, I’m just fucking with you. But I have come to love myself on another level. I’m fat right now (that’s another blog for another site), and I assure you it has nothing to do with that.

*queue harp music*

It all started when I moved to Oregon… no really, it did. There are some cold ass winters here that my delicate Southern Cali skin barely survived. The first summer I was all about shaving my legs for no other reason than it was the normal thing to do. Then I thought… hey, the BF is not here and I’m cool roaming my house and the streets in my semi-hairy, very prickly legs. Shave, shave, shave! Shave my legs, shave my pits, trim the hoo-ha, and wax them brows. I was all for hair removal. Then that practice started to slow down for various reasons, none of which included laziness.

After some time I started to not mind my hairy legs. And then I stopped shaving my armpits. I fucken ran a half marathon in my hairy legs (which maybe that was part of the reason I had a slower time this year… hmmm… should have worn running pants). Because all of this is fairly new I sometimes sit and stare at my legs and touch my hairy pits like… who said this was gross? How come hairy legs and pits are not shamed on men? Why do women or people that want to shave in general, that see it as a chore continue to do it? Okay, okay. The  “I don’t shave for you I shave because I want to” type people can shut up. I was one of you. Then I started looking deeper into this practice and realized I was doing it because I didn’t want people to tell me I was hairy. Fuck those people. I’m having as good a time as you and I don’t have to worry about the last time I shaved.

Laugh it up. Continue to think it’s nasty and gross. You’re GROSS! You shave and tap that razor on your bathtub rim and stare at the nasty blob of hair. Continue to shame yourself every other day and remove that hair from your pits. HAHAHHA… okay, that was rough. I’m fucking with you, again. All I ask is that you leave people, such as myself, be… HAIRY! *insert boom sound*

Swarm

This is about my vanity, my egotism, my arrogance and how I have ignored all of it for a long time now; longer than usual. My thoughts are swarming and I have been seeing them come at a distance and now they are all over me. I can’t ignore them anymore.

I hate to make this about appearance but it’s the first thing I see every morning after I walk my fat-ass into the bathroom and the huge mirror reflects my visibly fat ass back at me. It’s not a nice fat ass, it’s a ginormous fat ass that indicates my lack of self-care. I don’t know what’s more important anymore – my mental health or my physical appearance? Maybe they are both equally important and I just can’t do both. Excuses. A swarm of excuses. I wave them off violently because they are a distraction of my state of not giving a fuck.

This is my header quote on my Instagram page: It is more necessary to heal the soul than the body, for to die is better than to live a bad life. – Epictetus Enchiridion

Then why am I being swarmed by these thoughts and emotions? Is it because I don’t feel I’m living a good life that I am focused on how I’m not healing my body? And because I’m focused on how I’m not healing body that I am feeling defeated and gross about how I look? What comes first? What should come first?

Goal: happiness

via Daily Prompt: Swarm

The Ultimate Mexican Party

Identity as defined by the Oxford dictionary is: the fact of being who or what a person or thing is.

This post is brought to you by inspiration born from listening to episode 23: Chamoy Fountain of Larinos Who Lunch, by the way. Continue…

Note to future self: at the wedding have a Chamoy fountain. No me importa lo que diga la gente. 

Every so often my bad hombre and I talk about having the party of the century here in Oregon. I know for sure I want a Banda so if you know of any traveling bandas for hire let me know. Drop me a line in the comments. We’re going to serve carnitas, birria and tacos with all the fixings. And for the morning after we’re going to have menudo because we know that party is going to be fire. FIERRO! 

Most of the conversation you can imagine us speaking as if we’re already there, as if we just lived that experience yesterday. We’re full of nostalgia for what we don’t have anymore, or at least for what we don’t live day in and day out. I miss that. He misses that. The last time we both visited home we didn’t spend one cent on food. Every family we visited fed us. Estábamos como marranos.  

I’ve told a couple of coworkers about the ultimate Mexican party and I’m excited they’re excited. I work with a white majority and I’ve made a couple of great relationships. Mi hombre has made some ok connections and we both like to say we’re inviting every white person we know.They’re going to have front row seats to the mariachi and the Banda that’s gonna play until 3am.  

Ideally this party is in July (22nd because it’s my birthday) and on this year because I’ll be turning 30! Treintona y con picardia. This party will make America greater! 

Nothing New Here. Move Along.

Not sure how I got to this point. If I think about it hard enough maybe I can figure it out. Actually, if I’m honest enough with myself maybe I can write it out.

I thought I was making progress. My mind and thoughts made me believe I was. I was under the impression that I was well on my way to becoming a true Stoic. Today, and maybe the last couple of weeks, have proven otherwise. The actions I have taken, the choices I have made, the advice I have ignored, and the determination to be in control at all times have brought me to failure. I am in a state in which I thought I would never be again.

My state of mind right now is one in disarray. I cannot even begin to start fresh. I am who I was a year ago again. Stubborn with my own self, negligent in how my actions affect those around me. But not really. You want to know why? Because I am fully aware of how this is playing out. I am in too deep into this fuckery of mind that I cannot back away. I thought maybe a day off would ease my mind and maybe this off day would be filled with spontaneity, but alas, I ruined it. I cannot take a fucken joke to save my life, but I will adamantly tell you different. I cannot compartmentalize moments because… I don’t know… I just can’t. Is it ego? Is it just being stupid and stubborn? Can I be fixed?

Just now, I ruined it. Here he comes trying to start a new conversation. And what do I do? I don’t even look his way to fully acknowledge his attempt at conversation. I stay seated at the edge of my bed with my laptop on and typing this stupid blog. What will this get me? Maybe I’m hoping for a true moment of clarity as I write it out  – even as it’s happening. I pause between my last sentence and this one to wipe away these tears of frustration and angst. Angst? Am I using that word correctly? Who gives a fuck?

In some hurried attempt for clarity of mind I uninstalled my social media accounts earlier today. What does that even mean? I’m thinking that perhaps all that time refreshing my feeds and mindless navigation of accounts that don’t mean shit or ones that don’t add any value to myself will allow me the time to reflect on myself – on my mental health.

Right now everything is my fault. Hablando se entienden. Pero, I can’t even talk right now. And if I do I feel like a complete idiot because I didn’t want to [talk] earlier. How does that make any sense? You know that saying… takes one to know one? I feel that way about myself sometimes. Like I’m mad, right? or pissed off (for whatever reason) and I blow him off. Then, 10 minutes later here I come with some dumb ass looking face trying to salvage a moment. Then I do it again an hour later… and I think … if someone did that to me I would be all fucken petty about it. I would think… this dumbass… what does she want now? She knows she’s wrong and now she wants my time? So I play this scenario in my head the next time I’m being dumb and I go insane in my own head. I’m acting foolish, I know that,  so I don’t bother making the attempt to save anything because I “know” what he’s thinking. But I am continuously wrong. How? How, Sway?

My antics will get old and I don’t know where to draw my own line. So I sit here, writing it all out in hopes that maybe I can at least save myself from my own bullshit.

Nothing new, though. I’m not the firsst and I will not be the last.

Controlling Emotions

It’s always been easy to not take complete ownership of how I react to situations. And you know what makes it easy? That I can relegate it to astrology. I’m a Cancer; actually, more of a hybrid of a Cancer and a Leo. My birthday is July 22 and it’s the last day of the Cancer calendar so, technically a Cancerian, but have many attributes and characteristics of a Leo.

My family has always called me moody and I blame it on the Moon. I say I’m like the tide; ebbing. I don’t ignore the fact that sometimes I’m out of line or that I could have handled things differently. I’m actually working on it and giving credit to one of my mentors guiding me and pointing me towards Stoicism. It’s so amazing, you guys. I really recommend reading into it. I didn’t have a perception of Stoicism before, but philosophy has always interested me and this has been a wonderful experience.

So what have I been doing? I’m still a huge work in progress, but I’ve learned to do better reflection of the self. I’m learning to accept this as they are, to accept that I don’t have control over the actions of others. And going through this process I’ve been working on challenging myself to take control over the things I do have influence on. And this applies to all aspects of my life – personal, professional, and recreational.

In my reflections I have come to understand that my reactions have an impact. That I am creating a perception of myself to other individuals. And with these perceptions I can either be casted off or be welcomed. Stoic philosophers are of the idea that we are not to banish emotion from life but to banish the negative ones. They are also of the belief that our ultimate goal is to reach tranquility and constantly work for it while acknowledging and recognizing the forces that work against attaining that goal. For me, I have to work on controlling these reactionary emotions and practice negative visualization to better prepare for situations in the future. Has this been working for me? Sometimes. There are times I’m in the middle of my negative emotion and reacting – sometimes and most of the time – unjustly, but I let pride get in the way and keep trudging forward fully knowing I’m headed in the wrong direction. Other times I react and stop myself. I take a deep breath and let it all play out, staying silent and truly think of my words, my body language, and my thoughts. At this point, I go back and reflect. I literally sit down and do a play by play to pin point where I lost it, where I stopped myself, and how I could make a similar experience different in the future.

In all, practicing Stoicism has been rewarding.

– M

Writing Out My Dream(s)

Lucid [ˈlo͞osəd] Adjective. 1. Expressed clearly; easy to understand. 2. Literary: bright or luminous

Dream [drēm] Noun. 1. a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep. Verb. 1. experience dreams during sleep.

Lucid Dream – any dream during which the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming. During lucid dreaming, the dreamer may allegedly be able to exert some degree of control over the dream characters, narrative, and environment.

Every once in a while I experience a lucid dream. I don’t know why, but they are always fun to tell and remember. One of my most recent lucid dreams has revealed and mirrored a lot of what I’ve been going through. Think of it as … part of my continuing metamorphosis. I don’t really want to write about the last dream I had but more about the dream I had in which my Nina was dying. I’ll list the characters in my dream.

  • Nina: my grandma, mi abuelita that doesn’t like to be called Abuela or Abuelita. She’s always said that name was her mom, Abuelita Goya. I spent every summer, weekend, long weekend, etc. with her and learning from her. She’s the one that gave quince minutos mas de dormir three times making it 45 additional minutes. The one that would wake me up with breakfast and the one I would take her cafecito to in her mug. I remember pouring the coffee and then taking it to her and she’d be like: pa’la otra me llenas la taza hasta arriba y caminas mas despacio.
  • Mami: my mom. Mother of 4 girls. She’s selfless and unselfish when it comes to caring for Nina and her girls.
  • Sandy: my oldest sister. The one that can make me laugh and the one I can share the dumbest things with. The first one of my sisters to become a mom and the one that doubtlessly underestimates her hard work as a momma to my two wonderful nieces.
  • Martha: the oldest female cousin, second oldest of all my grandmas 30+ nietos.

This dream was colorful and full of my Nina’s scent- you know that old abuela smell that is unmistakably your grandma’s smell? Yep, that one. Well in this dream I was taking my Nina to the store and on our way back she asks me to take her to the hospital. A bit odd, but I thought that no matter where I go with my Nina I know it’s special and she’s always with a purpose. She ends up checking herself in and in her hospital room I’m sitting crossed legged on her bed. She begins to tell me that she’s known for a while that she’s going to depart this earth and this life and that she’s OK with it. Pero, que le tengo que traer unas cuantas cocitas de la casa. I’m looking at her and noticing the details in that damned ugly green beanie she likes to wear and asking myself why the hell she’s so calm? Tears start rolling out of my eyes and I keep wiping them away telling myself that if she’s OK with this I should too and I should get myself together for her.

When I talk to the doctor she’s explaining everything she’s already explained to my grandma and I keep telling myself to focus because more than likely I’ll be the one to have to tell all of this my Mami. Me dice que hace tiempo noto un tumor y que aun no maligno, es causante de muchos sintomas que han afectado la salud en general. I’m standing there and I look over my grandma and she’s just chillin’ on the bed knitting and whistling softly. The doctor’s voice fades away and here comes my Mami rushing with a look of confusion and desperation. She holds it together as I tell her what the doctor just told me. And even though she wants to talk to my Nina I tell her we have to go; we need to get some stuff from the house to bring to her. She acquiesces and we  drive to my Nina’s house.

The drive was silent. And unlike other dreams, I’m able to move in real time; there is no slowing of movements, no blurry or fuzziness of anything and I’m following traffic signals and look both ways before turning the corner. When we arrive at the house I tell my mom what my grandma wanted us t get and she begins searching for it. The whole time I stand by the doorway observing my mom shuffling through drawers, clothes, and papers. She looks over at my and gives me that look, the are-you-serious-this-is-happening look of sadness. I smirk at her and shrug my shoulders. Defeated by her thoughts she slumps on the edge of the bed and begins to cry slowly covering her face in shame. I walk over to her and tell her it’s going to be OK. I bend down to hug her and clearly, without any doubt she says, “I hate this, Mona. My mom can’t die.” We’re hugging and her chin rests on my head as my arms are wrapped around her waist. Then I posture up and hold her face and tell her that it’s out of our control. That’s when she hugs me, tightly (I felt it, in my body as I slept and knowing this felt so weird), and she begins to sob. Now it’s me resting my head on hers and softly petting her head as I, too cry, silently. She asks quietly: what am I going to do with my days, Mona? Que voy hacer ahora? Mona, what am I going to do with my days?

At that moment Sandy walks in laughing with Martha. Unknowing as to why we were hugging and crying Martha politely steps outside the room and Sandy jumps on the bed in an attempt to lighten up the situation. I tell her that Nina is dying and that we have to be OK with it because she’s okay with it. She starts to cry too, but with an understanding that we have to now look out for our Mami because she’s going to fall apart without Nina. #end

What woke me up was my own sobbing and the feeling of my body reacting. The tears were flowing, I tell you. I look at the time and it’s 8:24am. 24 minutes after I’m already supposed to be at work. I immediately call my timekeeper, still crying. Then I call my boss, still crying telling him that I’ll be in as soon as I can. He asks me if I’m okay and I tell him that I had an incredibly realistic dream about my family. He tells me that I should take my time, but most importantly, am I okay? I assure him that I am and that I’ll see him in a bit.

In a deeper analysis of this dream my boss and I have determined that I have taken an archetype role of wise old woman. The grandmother typically represents the sage, wisdom, etc. I became the mother to my mother. Literally in my dream we switched rolls. And I explained to him what the death of a grandmother means in Dream World: the death of an old self [read: my old self] and the birth of a new self. It’s a telling of how I have come to take control of the things I can and affirm the decisions that come from that control. To be OK with those decisions… isn’t it all crazy? I mean… the change that people go through is not overnight. And I am proof of that. It’s been months that I have been struggling with defining me, and who I am, and wearing the different masks but all in play with my true self and leaving any false selfs in the past. I am maturing in front of my own eyes.

My Nina means so much to me. When I face tough decisions I go to her. I ask her what I should do and she never speaks in terms of finiteness but in terms of not doubting your gut. She’s asked me before… y que te dice to mente? And when I tell her and she usually responds with: entonces no es mal. Si es algo que tu quieres hacer tu sabes lo bueno de esa decicion. Mira, tu sabes que aqui estamos para ti si no te va bien. I don’t know why but I love that as she continues her advice she keeps knitting. She never stops only when I lean in to hug her.