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

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.

Fork in the Road

fork-in-the-road2I’m standing at the tip of the road trying to figure out which path to take. Both roads have a certain predictability to them but I would say an equal amount of uncertainty as well. I keep saying I will do a pros and cons list but I haven’t because I’m afraid. I’m not even sure what I’m afraid of, but it’s been the reason I have delayed this exercise. Because the probability of me actually doing this is very unlikely I will just write it out here in a very informal manner.

Situation: I submitted my application to go back home without being certain I was ready to actually move back to LA. I have a second interview this evening and the likelihood of me getting the job offer is HIGH!

Self: Why would you do that if you were not 100% sure that you were ready to make the decision to move back?

Me: Well, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to move back when the chance presented itself. I thought that the process would be longer and I didn’t think I would be so hesitant. Maybe I should tank this second interview and then … end to worry! But what about when I’m actually ready (the way life works no opportunity will be available). *shakes fists to the heavens*

Who/what has weight/impact on my decision? My boyfriend and our long distance relationship. My mom. The fact that I care about what I’m doing where I actually am. That I still feel I haven’t done everything – or close to half the things – I thought I’d do while away from my home city and family. That being where I am feels right. But I miss being around my family; I feel I’m missing out on them.

What if I go:

What if I stay:

What does this mean?

Fears:

To be continued …

Playing Video Games Even Though I Suck

I like playing video games. I also suck at them.

Growing up my sisters and I weren’t really allowed to play them even though we really wanted to. I say really because my mom would allow us to and would always make it known that it was okay, but that we just had to respect the decisions of Dad. My dad used to tell us that they weren’t for girls. *GAG* I’m not really sure how my sisters feel about that time in our lives other than how fun it was to play with our cousins and run back into the house when Dad got home from work. Now, in my late twenties I’m going all in.

When the Nintendo DSi game out I bought one because that’s when I was able to without any mental reservation or fear of my dad. I got a puzzle/trivia game and of course the must-haves. I also got a PS2 with the usual racing ones, basesball, boxing for some reason, DDR and the like. Then I got an iPhone. All those gaming apps? I was all about them. Crossword puzzles, sudoku, endless point based games, competitive multi-player, single player mastery (I just made that up, but I hope you get it), etc., I’m not saying that’s all I did or that I had them out while socializing, but when I had me-time… you’d find me playing. Before the mobile versions, or before I discovered they were in app form, I actually had the books and a pencil or pen. Sometimes before bed I take out my iPad and I’m playing a game or two.

Recently I got myself an Xbox One- much to my BF’s chagrin. To him the PS4 is superior and even though I kind of agree, I stuck to my purchase. So, what’s the game of choice? Destiny – The Taken King. It’s awesome! But, I suck. I suck so badly at these types of games and I don’t care. I also downloaded Tomb Raider because … Lara Croft that’s why.

Playing allows me to laugh at myself and also to sharpen my sense of observation and strategy. I’m constantly getting lost and unable to find my way back to starting points. I run into walls and get stuck in caves and die at unmentionable rates and frequency. Let it be known that I am not ashamed of my gaming repertoire.

My favorite thing about online playing is that it gives me the chance to be openly frustrated with myself and occasionally experience that feeling of achieving those small significant victories from the storyline. It’s also taught me patience and determination. I used to go in charging in at the enemies and trying to punch my way through (still do at times). Thanks to my online buddies and seeing how they play and approach the mission I’ve gotten a little better. There are moments in which I surprise myself when I stay alive longer than five minutes because it means I learned something valuable. It may seem trivial and maybe even obvious to some, but if you know me then you know that I have a hard time staying back when I know there is an objective to be completed.

I wonder sometimes how playing video games consistently or on a not-hiding-from-my-dad basis would have shaped me differently in any way. I mean I’m an adult with a full time job and a college education and video games have been helping me in many aspects of my personal and professional life… even though I suck so badly at them. Let another thing be known: I don’t consider myself a gamer, but I do like that I am a girl who loves them and a Latina at that.

7 Ways Video Games Will Help Your Kids in School

Cognitive Benefits of Playing Video Games

5 Life Skills That Video Games Can Help You Develop

When You Create Your Own Problems

Maybe I should title this post “When I’m Told I Create My Own Problems”. In a twisted way this is a solid thing to hear during an episode of mild hysteria. But, on the other hand, it’s also the shittiest thing to be told. This goes back to the whole thing of talking to someone just for the simple fact of knowing (sometimes wrongfully expecting) that the other person is there for you. Most of the time during these venting sessions I’m not looking for a solution, or for a diagnosis. I’m just looking for a bit of validation, a little sympathy, or maybe just the opportunity to say the crazy shit that runs through my head out loud.

I didn’t get that today so I’m writing it out as I enjoy a cigarette. Yeah, a fucken cigarette. I’m not proud but it’s been relaxing me this last month and a half. I said today that I am not in a good place and it’s the truest statement I’ve made about myself in a while. These last couple of months I have not been eating well- no food in my fridge, not eating at all, eating fast food, smoking, and not working out. That is the perfect combination for someone to not be in a good place mentally. I put on a pretty good act for people not to notice. The last time I went through something similar was about six years ago. That was straight up depression.

Going through depression sucks fucken balls. I knew I was in it and as much as I told myself that I could get up and do things I couldn’t. It’s a mental fatigue I would not wish on my worst enemies. I fear that’s what’s happening to me again. I wish I knew what was bringing this on so that I can do something about it. Is it my relationship and my SO? Is it that I feel horrible for being OK with not being physically active and eating healthily? Is it that I am ashamed of how much I am OK with not talking to my family? Could it possibly be the stresses of my job but dealing with them all because I really love it? Is it my financial situation? Everyone and everything annoys me and has been for some time. All of the above?

Well, like I said, I put on a pretty good act.