I Have All These Plans

… But I’m too afraid to take any action.

For the longest time I have been wanting to start a podcast and this is the idea/plan that has been a constant for years. I’ve presented this idea to many and they always ask the same question: what is it going to be about? and what will you call it?

Bih, I don’t know… everything and anything (con Mona) … hmmm… that’s an idea.

I listen to many podcasts but lately I’ve picked up some new ones within the Latinx community. My people are so fucken funny and filled with so much love, passion, and creativity that sometimes – deep down in my gut and in the labyrinth of my self-doubt – I feel that this is what hold me back. What if I am unwelcomed? What if I fail? I know, I KNOW that none of that should matter if it’s what I really want to do.

I came across this gem on my soundcloud profile and maybe this is what my podcast will sound like. If you have some time to listen feel free … Hanging with the BF and MTBF

You know what else I’m afraid of? Asking someone to by my co-host. I live away from family and friends and I’m fully aware about how technology can bring us together, but will whomever I ask be willing to take on co-hosting responsibilities if he/she accepts? I’ve asked the BF but he’s a little shy- very vocal and opinionated in person, but not so much in public and open spaces; which I understand. And I only want one other person, and you know what? It doesn’t even have to be the same one for every episode. I just want them to be consistent. I have a plan, though; for when I do ask. I want to be prepared as much as I possibly can by having a little FAQ and a sample outline. The BF is now out of the running as co-host but I’d like to (and eventually will) ask my MTBF and my baby sis, Lorena. OMG… I wrote that out! Now I have to do it.

What will it be about?

I want the podcast to be about my culture, my family, my friends and experiences. I want it to be about current political and social events that shape our communities and persons. I want it to be about traditions, religion (my lack thereof) and everything in between and around. I want it to be a relaxed open space and eventually I want to have guests- family members, friends, and in the future other podcasters. And like always with a bit of #Spanglish.

How will I brand myself?

That is what I am most unsure of. I don’t have a creative … anything really. I do, however… support latinx artists. I wish I had a separate bank account for all the art that is out there. Alas! I don’t but I am slowly filling up my wall with amazing art and have made a commitment to buy at least one piece of Latinx art a month. Why? Because I want the youth and my people to prosper. I want to be a small part in their success to achieving their goals and dreams. That is what I believe is going to make the entrepreneurship landscape more colorful. But that is not here nor there on my branding. Here is what I love: coffee and tea and right now I am in the coffee stage of my cyclical love for both. So, I started a new IG page that focuses on just that: my love for coffee and tea. And within that page I want to showcase the support I have given to artists so far. And with that… I’m thinking it’ll increase the number of my followers and expose artists to how their work is inspiring little ol’ me. Here is my IG page if you want to follow: monaquieracafe

My other plans:

Buy a camera. My DSLR got stolen during a break-in I had several years ago. I’ve hesitated buying a new one and in reality didn’t see much need for it. But now, I want to be able to grow what I plan on doing with my podcast with good photography and video. I don’t want anything too expensive and I already have one in mind.

I want to take a digital photography class or at least find a good YouTube channel for beginners. The last photography class I took was in my sophomore year of college and it was with film! I never developed any of my photos; they were all reviewed through slide readers.

I’ve also started working with graphic design through some android apps for my monaquierecafe page. I’m still on the free versions of the apps since I’m just getting started. But if I take a class or find some good tutorials I can get better in no-time (said no one ever)! I have some ready-to-go content because I want to be consistent in my posting frequency. I know I’ve un-followed, for whatever reason, accounts that don’t post as often so I want to stay ready. I have to do some research as to why we do that (read: I).

If you have any ideas or advice on anything I’ve written about, help an amiga out.

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TFW You Want to Write…

I have this horrible habit of thinking I can remember something without writing it down. The times I do write it down and come across the note in the future, I have no idea what I meant or what I wanted to remember out of it. Maybe I need a class on remembering things (writes remember things online class).

The following is a series of short paragraphs on topics/people/general ideas I want to write about in the near future and I hope that by being a little more detailed I will be able to fully develop a post out of each of them.

MTBF visits me: post a couple of pictures to share the adventures. The excitement leading up the arrival. I wish we did everything we said we’d do. Why didn’t we do everything we said we’d do? Time? Laziness? Money? I found out how to use VENMO. I just don’t understand why if the app is by PayPal, why did I have to create a new account with VENMO and not have the option to sign in through PayPal?

I really want to start my podcast: more an more the Honey Cakes and I are talking about starting a podcast. I want to associate myself with the boom in brown podcasts that is going on right now and take advantage of the fact that there is so much love and support for brown entrepreneurship. He, on the other hand, wants to just “have a podcast” with a theme on “Stories”. I get it, but in that type of podcast I don’t see room for me. He’s a talker and knows a little bit of everything. He can carry a great conversation and I stall all the freakin’ time! He’s a natural conversationalist and I overthink everything way too much that I end up looking like Homer fading into the bushes. And I want us to be on the same podcast, share with listeners our experiences and then have themed episodes like his “stories” and have guests that share and talk about anything and everything.

Can I start a business?: I think the last 50 accounts I started following on IG have been Latinx businesses. Small and awesome shops that range from mugs to pins, t-shirts and hats, stickers and art. Sometimes I even want to invest in a business because what if I don’t have what it takes? I bought a pin making machine but I ran out of steam. Maybe it wasn’t steam, but I just didn’t have the right equipment and I (still) think.. soon I’ll get the right printer, paper, cutter, etc. I have ideas but I also need to learn how to market. WAH! Oh an I thought, what if I learn to sew and make tortilla covers with dope ass dichos. First step with that is to know if I even have the patience to make one.

Been staring at the cursor for 30 seconds and nothing. I guess I didn’t have a lot to remember. Or maybe I just forgot because I didn’t write it down.

#storyofmylife

I’m Almost A Full Adult

The government places the legal adult age of 18. I mean, is that even legal? My apologies for that joke. Pos ya que? I started working at the tender age of 17 doing seasonal gigs. I worked at Six Flags in California, at Things Remembered in Northridge Mall, at a Deli in La Gigante (best coworker ladies), as a TA for second graders, at the Student Store while I was in college, and as a cashier at Home Depot. May 29, 2017 marked my 10 year anniversary at my current gig. I never thought I would be able to commit for this long.

For a long time I thought of myself as being independent but in reality I was only semi-independent. Even though I had a job and was buying my own shit I was never really living off of my own income. When I realized that in my early 20s I felt like I was failing. I don’t know what I was thinking. I had my mom’s help, my sister’s help, my friend’s help. I mean we were all splitting costs at one point or another. I don’t know why I thought that wasn’t enough. What I’m trying to say is that I placed a lot of weight on being one and only. Looking back at it I wish I valued the sharing of goods, space, and those relationships a lot more. But I was young. I wanted the “American” life.

I’ve come to a point in my life where I know independence is good, but damn does it feel better when you have someone to share your wealth. I don’t mean monetary wealth. I’m talking about bonding and spending time and learning and living together. I don’t know why I wanted out of such living arrangements. There is so much we can learn from each other when we’re living together. It can be extended family, a home of friends, multiple family home, etc., but it’s valuable. My Chico Fresco and I talk about this often. And I admit that I used to feel the same way about older children still living with their parents. Grown folks still in a room in their Mami and Papi’s house. Pero, why? What’s that saying that goes something like you get bothered by the people and things that scare you of yourself? of things within yourself? I can’t remember but I hope you catch my drift.

When I moved to Oregon I did it on my own. I took a little bit of money from my retirement, had it offset by a little sign-on bonus and off I went living the life I wanted. I loved being on my own. I can arrange my things how I want, get home and no one to tell me anything, eat what I want, where I want – all those things that a parent told you not to do. The thing is that I can be alone. I don’t feel alone, but I can manage myself. I miss family and BBQs and get-togethers and outings but I also enjoy being in a place friends and family can get away to. My main squeeze moved up here a year ago and it’s been a rollercoaster. I’ve had to readjust some of my ways and accept that my space is now our space. And that’s part of growing up. Like my MTBF says … you can grow old but you don’t have to grow up. For a lot things that makes funny sense, but when it comes to maturity of the mind, and the actions that you take I believe change is warranted because like Epictetus Enchiridion says our ultimate goal is happiness. But how do we achieve happiness? It’s all about controlling how you react to things around you. Who said “be the change you wish to see”? Something like that…

My mentor has taught me so much. The advice and guidance he’s given me has allowed me to view my life through different lenses. I used to want things to happen to me because I guess I grew up kind of spoiled. But at the same time, through his analysis and my own, I realized I was just always afraid. I was filled with so much self-doubt that I never really went for it. He put it to me this way, there are things you can’t control so just let them be (this can be events, people, situations). Then there are things in which you have some control (how you react, what you choose to be involved in, what you can walk away from, what you pursue, etc.). And then there are things that you have full control over (yourself). I wrote about this some time ago when I read the book he recommended about the Stoics. But think about that. Think of the things you have some control over and what you have full control over. This way of thinking has changed my life for the better and for that I’m indebted to him. To some this way of thinking can be obvious, but for me a person that is afraid of stepping in and standing out advice like that is invaluable.

I’m pursing my happiness. It’s not through material things but at the same time material things shape us in a way that sometimes we don’t want them to, but accept. For instance, I just got approved for a home loan (like WHOA… that is so adult, hence the title of my post). The reason I’m getting my home is because I want something that my money pays for that is mine. Not someone else’s home, but mine. I want to be able to leave something for my kid(s) if I ever choose to have any. I want to be able to pay that bitch off and relax when I retire. I want to be able to paint this room blue and that one egg yolk yellow. You feel me?

My point to all of this is, take advantage of not having to be one and only to everything. Invite people in and welcome yourself when you’ve been invited. Accept that family and friends are there to help because they love you and at the end of the day.. it’s our culture. You know all those jokes and memes about Mexicans and their large families? Would you give any of that up? I wouldn’t and right now I’m so happy that my family is growing. I’m elated that my first cousins and sisters have or are popping their babies out. The kicker is it’s up to us to keep that connection going and not lose those relationships.

Here’s another point. Don’t feel guilty when you step away from all of that. We are all expected to grow. And on that same coin… don’t guilt others for not leaving. Sometimes that’s what works. Just don’t overstep, overstay, or not pay. Pay it forward. No one does it alone.

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*

I Have A New Favorite Quote

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift. – Steve Prefontaine

image

That’s my new one. Here are my original three:

Perseverance is falling 19 times and rising 20.

Happiness is not having what you want; it’s wanting what you have.

Nunca dejes de sonreír, ni siquiera cuando  estés trsite, porque nunca sabes quien se puede enamorar de tu sonrisa. -Gabriel Garcia Márquez

The last one translates to: “Never stop smiling, not even when you’re sad, because you never know who can be falling in love with your smile.”

Recently I’ve been influenced greatly by someone who’s becoming dear to my heart- professionally and perhaps personally. He’s full of great advice and showing great mentorship towards me. From the bottom of my heart, it’s greatly appreciated.