Looking Within

Its happened to all of us at some point or another. Maybe you were unaware of it happening but it has. We have all had that incident where a friendship (or any sort of relationship) has gone sour. Sometimes both parties just part ways and continue on with their lives. Other times it can get ugly. I always relate it to the maturity level of the people involved.

Just recently, I found out that someone whom I was very close to, has been going around telling people something pretty ugly about my character. Nothing sexual. I almost would have preferred that it were something more of that nature because that I can deal with. This rumor is something a little more cold blooded than that and when I heard it, my heart felt heavy and my soul truly hurt. There’s no feeling like the feeling of having someone spread hateful rumors without you knowing, cutting out the chance of being able to stand up for yourself against the words being spoken. It’s a move that a sneaky little serpent would make, attacking you without your knowledge. A cowardly move at best.

I heard what was being said and after the first couple of hours of being angry and upset, I began to look deep within to see how I may have contributed to the issue. I began taking a look at our history. This person and I had known each other all our lives but only in the last three years have we really began dealing with each other. A certain crisis was what brought us together and from that point on our lives were intertwined. At the time, I was ill aware of how this crisis was going to effect me and everyone else around me. A situation were I thought I knew how to handle things but sadly I was wrong. I had never gone through something so devastating…ever.. and so the way that I ended up dealing with the aftermath wasn’t the way I would now looking back would have handled it. It’s only through experience that we learn and boy did I learn. I abandoned people in their time of need only because I didn’t know how to fix the problem. I would rack my brain, literally stressing myself out trying to find a solution as to how to make things better, but I kept failing. Now I know that it wasn’t my job to fix anything, just being there would have been enough. But suffering from co-dependency, if anyone knows anything about co-dependency, the frustration of not being helpful in a way that I knew how, made me feel like a complete failure, which in turn  lead me to disconnect completely. This was definitely what set this ball of anger and resentment towards me into motion.

If only we all would have talked about it then, when it was all freshly happening, none of us would be feeling the way we are. Instead of communicating, we all ignored the situation probably thinking it would just go away, only letting it secretly fester until it turned into a wound that was unmanageable. By seeing the role that I played in the situation I can understand why this person set out to talk badly about me, because whether or not the rumor being spread is true or not (it’s not), it’s coming from a place of hurt. Only hurt people go around trying to destroy others. Me disconnecting wasn’t intentional but it lead to hurting others, and that in itself is something I take full responsibility for. By taking responsibility it allows me to accept the issue at hand rather than just feel angry and hurt about it. I understand the reasoning and can easily move on. At the end of the day, I know my truth and what I know and think about myself is way more important than anything anyone else could say or think about me.

Can I get mad and upset about the rumors? Of course, but what is that really going to change? Absolutely nothing, that’s what.  I will simply move on accepting all that has happened as it is, another learned life lesson. Maybe one day life will rear its pretty head and we’ll be at a point in our lives that this can be discussed and let go, but I don’t hold too high of hopes. I forgive myself and I’ll forgive others. I’m letting go and letting life….

 

My Mind IS the Power..

The power to fly.

I’d drift away, for my mind needs it more than what my body calls for. A small escape, a distance far enough for rejuvenation.

If I could fly,

I’d soar to the clouds and gently rest there to stare up at the millions of diamonds shining against its onyx partner.

The power to fly,

would give me a view so precious it’d reward me with more life than any breath this soul could take.

With the power to fly,

I’d escape towards the heavens and sleep until awoken by the rebirth of the sun’s warm kiss, just then realizing I’ve always had this power to fly.

Then with the power to fly,

I’d swiftly drift right back down to Earth, unconcerned with its reality because if ever needed, deep within, I know I have

The power to fly.

I Am That, I Am

I am.

I am strong, a lot stronger than I give myself credit for. I am a dreamer, some may say that I dream too BIG. I happen to say that I  THINK big. I am friendly. I am nice, even towards those who may not deserve it. I’ve got a huge  heart. I am warm and loving. I am great with kids and animals, although sometimes I feel like I may not want kids and just a shit ton of animals. I am a hippie at heart. I am wanderlust. I am wonder lust. At times I feel like a gypsy in the nomadic sense. I am a hard worker. I am a friend. I am family. I am dependable. I am depended on. I’m loyal and I am honest. I am educated and I am also an intellectual. Just because you are one doesn’t make you another. I am funny. I am sarcastic. I am a writer. I am a painter. I am creative. I am amazing. I believe YOU are amazing. I am special. I am unique. I am an original. I’m supportive. I am interesting. I am interested. I am spiritually rich. I am financially stable. I am happy. I am grateful. I am lovable. I am loved. I am gracious. I am free. I am alive. I am a professional by my own standards, not anyone else’s. I am positivity. I am responsible. I am content although not yet satisfied. I am always striving for more, even though at times I do not know what “more” is. I am a dancer because my soul feeds off of the music. I am a composer because I march to the beat of my own drum. I am a girly girl who simply doesn’t like pink. I am a guy’s girl who hardly follows sports. I am respectful. I am respected. I am ignorant for there is still so much more to learn. I am patriotic. I am sensitive even though I can come off tough. I am brave even though I’m scared. I am the sum of more than one. I am more than just the sum of two. I am passionate. I am just. I am real. At times I can be passive. I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I am healthy. I am helpful. I am who you want to come across when you’re in a time of need. I am full of well intended advice. I am always welcoming to new friends and new experiences even if at first I am slightly guarded. I am guilty of being imperfect in the eyes of others. I am guilty of being the perfect version of me. I am all which the Universe intended, encompassed in a shell of that which holds the inner me.

I Am.

11371236_777019842427240_1279770546_n Photo Credit: Natal Galvan

The Problem Was Me

After my last failed relationship, I decided to look back on certain things and really try to figure out why the hell  I seem to be finding the same type of guy over and over again.  I laugh at myself because no matter how different the guys are, at the end of the day they are the same “type” of guy with maybe just with a slight difference.

I’ve dated them all. From school teachers and lawyers (I know I know. I said I’d never date a lawyer…) to tattoo artists and musicians. From “high” class guys to guys in the lower income bracket… It doesn’t matter where they’re from, how they were raised, education level, they all end up being the same type of guy.

For years I have been plaguing my mom with the same question, “How do I keep finding the same type of guy??” and for years her response would be to laugh. I can’t blame her. My love life is like an awful romance comedy that instead of getting better… it gets funnier and funnier (which means worse and worse) by the minuet. Or shall I say by the boyfriend.

It was just a couple days ago that it finally hit me. It’s me. I’m the problem. After speaking to a few chosen ladies and really analyzed my situation, I have come to the conclusion that the common denominator is me. Therefore the problem lies within myself. Not them. Me.

Am I being a little too hard on myself? Nope. If anything I need to get tougher. I need to “tough love” myself because if I want for this ridiculous cycle to stop and eventually meet someone right for me, things have got to change.

First I’ll tell you the mistakes I’m making. Then I’ll tell you the kind of men I’ve been pulling. You’ll realize what I’m talking about soon enough and then hopefully you too will stop making the same moves I have been making.

My last few bf’s I’ve found online. Whether it be through a dating site or app, or through “mutual friends” listed on FB. My current ex is the exception. I met him at the bar he worked at. Everyone of them I discovered because I was out on the hunt. When I describe myself as being on the “hunt” I do not mean I’m out there searching high and low for prospects with my binoculars and rifle, haha. No. My plan was simple. It was to just put myself out there to see what happened. What ended up happening was that I hit one dead end after another and who else to blame but the driver, right? I uploaded a profile onto a ridiculous site, or maybe I would go solo baring and would frequent a certain bar until one day, Poof, a knight materialized. Either way you look at it, I was a sitting duck. I basically set myself up and waited for the next one to show up and be the guy of my dreams. When it comes to Love you cannot search. That is one thing in life that if you do go in search of you’ll find everything BUT what it is you’re looking for.

They were dreamy. All were charismatic, good looking (to my standards), funny, had jobs, and of course there was always chemistry. At first. I’m sure many of you can relate when I say that the beginning of any relationships it was always great.  It wasn’t just the excitement of going out on cool dates, but more of the getting to know one another and realizing how much one had in common with the other. You begin to hang out often and the time you spend together you just think to yourself “holy cow I think I found my other half!” But the beginning of any relationship is always smoke and mirrors. Things will always seem wonderful in the beginning. Each person is on their best behavior, only setting forth their wonderful qualities. In time, the smoke begins to settle. The fairy tale slowly fades and in its place stands real life.

Real life. You gotta love it. It’s what snaps you back into the reality of life and how it operates. Life will never go 100% smooth. There will always be SOMETHING that takes a dip for the worst. It could be health wise, financial crap, or maybe family issues. It could be anything. These issues and how people handle the situation and move forward is very telling about who they are as an individual and what role, if any, they’ll play in your life. With each and every ex there were always red flags and every single one of them I chose to ignore. My second mistake.

It’s very rare when a relationship is heading south for one or both people involved to be completely broad sighted. There are always signs telling us, warning us, that shit is about to hit the fan. I truly do feel bad for our Sixth Sense, good ol’ Intuition, because more often than not it is ignored. If we followed our intuition more, or paid close attention to those red flags, we would avoid so many problems in life.

I cannot tell you how often it has happened that I knew a bf was going to lose their job weeks before it even happened. Or how often I’ve been told about shady pasts that they have “over come” just to know that later on it would fester up again and come back with a full vengeance. Yet what do I do? I ignored the signs, the warnings. I dismissed them thinking, “Ehhh, maaaybe not” because there IS always a chance of misjudging, right? Wrong. It’s weird to think that way. It’s weird to go thinking against a million red flags just for a minuscule possibility that you may be wrong. Think about it. Subconsciously, as we become more involved in a relationship and we begin to form a pattern and routine with someone, you begin to really take in notes about that person. You become familiar with their actions, how they respond to things and situations, the way they even think through the words they speak. Without even thinking we take all this information in and our minds slowly begin to build your reality of this individual. Red flags pop up in our brains, intuition goes off in our soul, our heart even falters for a second, when moments arrive that flare up  a feeling in you that things either aren’t adding up or are off alignment with  you and what you need out of life. Heed those warnings, take a step back and truly analyze  the situation.What’s the worse that could happen?

Here is a list of what can be considered red flags or warnings:

*they have mental, emotional, and/or physical ailments that should be tended to by a professional yet they never seek the help they need.

*became unemployed and have no interest of obtaining another job or completely lack the motivation (unless wealthy of course).

*they lie about  things that make you wonder, “Wtf would you lie about that?”

*they have kids that they don’t care to take care of.

*instead of owning up to past mistakes and taking full responsibility they continue to excuse what they’ve done and/or blame others.

*they live at home with their parents due to the desire of wanting to keep being maintained and lack of drive versus that of the need to (ages 30 and over).

*if they have cheated on multiple exes and/or still consider themselves a “player”

* they are rude to or look down upon people in the service industry

With some of the ones listed, you couldn’t possibly even get into a relationship and expect for your it to be a healthy one. The fact that I am a co-dependent (currently working on that) and am addicted to helping people  has always placed me in a bad spot. I always want and believe that I can help and save everyone, when in fact, that is totally far from the truth. No one can help or save anyone that doesn’t want to help themselves. Remember that. Always support people emotionally but never allow yourself to be convinced that you are there to save someone. That’s a ton of responsibility unnecessarily placed on someone that truly has no power in the situation.  Keeping this in mind will save you from many head pains and heart aches.

Here are some guidelines I came up with from my own experiences to maybe help others out there in the dating scene. For now, there are only three:

1) Don’t go searching for Love. The way the Universe works, it is always conspiring for you. But just because it is working for you doesn’t mean it’ll be timed the way you want it. Love will find you once it’s ready, once you’re ready, once your partner is ready. So “let go and let God”, otherwise, you run the risk of continuously finding the ones not at all meant for you.

2) Listen to your inner you.

3) You are no one’s hero. They must be their own. Instead, think more along the lines of being their biggest cheerleader.

Go out. Mingle with people. Have fun. Live out your life. Go about your business while always being in the moment. Stop thinking that the next person you see may be “the one.” Stop worrying about “Ways to Meet Your Soul Mate” or the “10 Places to Meet Your Future Spouse.” Those magazines titles are so lame, honestly.

Trust me. I’m taking my own advice. I’ve been repeating the same mistakes time and time again. The difference now is that I am aware of what I was doing before and can now knowingly decide to not commit the same errors again.

Funny, because I feel like these were all things I’ve heard before. Advice from the elders that one never truly followed through with after listening to.  I guess it’s the way of life, us trying to experience things on our own, even if it is the hard way. One thing is for sure, it makes for great writing.

Rock Bottom

“It’s only when we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything”

-Chuck Palahniuk, Fight club

We hit our lowest of lows.

You believe that it truly cannot get any worse than it already has.

Yet what greater gift could life hand you? Sure, anyone could build on an already existing foundation but would it be building or more like reconstructing? The freedom lies in being able to choose the foundation on which to build on. We hit rock bottom and it’s something so shocking and earth shattering, even more so when it was expected or we saw it coming. We set blame on ourselves, or worse, on others.  We become so caught up in the anger and the resentment that we lose sight of the real opportunity that’s been offered. Many people out there would give anything  for an opportunity to start all over.

Rock bottom.

Who even invented that saying?? I mean it could be worse. You could be dust. A life cut short, as in, no mas, finito, poof, gone.

There will be some who read this and say, “Yea, well death sounds better than the shit I’m dealing with.” I say to you, “You say that now, but stare death in the face and more than half of you will hold on to dear life, clinging on for as long as you ultimately can.”

Turning to dust, that is your worse case scenario. Hitting rock bottom? You’re still a rock. You are still strong and well put together to still be considered a rock. Don’t take that strength for granted. You are all you need to start over. Yes, it will be difficult but it’ll also be so rewarding. Every bump and ding along the way will buff and shine you until all your hard work and dedication turns you into that smooth, beautiful pearl that you always were.

Rock bottom.

It’s that level before dust that one has to hit in order to tear down a life not meant for us in order to build one that truly serves us.

10748036_485087578300494_993079967_n Photo Credit: Natal Galvan *taken from a page from the book, The Secret

“Alternative” Living

So then it begins. The story of the girl and her dog. She sits alone at bars and although she never intends to, she gets way too drunk. She meets all sorts of personalities while she’s out and even though legally she’s not supposed to be out drinking and mingling, following the rules was never her forte. Let’s just call her a rebel. Others would simply say dumb.

It wasn’t too long ago when she heard herself being described on the radio for the first time. It was when she first arrived to Florida some 8 odd years ago. The radio host was saying how in today’s world, the term used for a girl like her was “alternative.” It was then that she realized she’s gone from being just “ordinary” to something but.  With her funky hair color and her piercings, along with her tattoos that cover about 75% of her body, in this Florida region she stood out. It’s not like she lived in Miami or Orlando where youth is prominent and so is the “alternative” life style. No, she lived in an area where the senior citizens are the ruling class followed up by the middle class to wealthy families. The types of people who look at her and wonder why?

“Why would such a nice girl like yourself, with so much going for herself do that to her body?” They ask. Funny. Old people never feel the restraint of prying into your private life. It could be the fact that soon they’ll be nothing but a mass of decaying flesh and bones six feet under that gives them the balls to ask such intrusive questions. But I don’t mind. My life and who I am is an open book. No invitation is needed. Just having an open mind and a civil, respectful approach is all I care about. I usually try to counter that question with another question like, “Well, why do you drive the kind of car you drive?” Or “What makes you choose to wear that shade of lipstick?” They laugh at me because of course nothing of what I asked them is remotely close to being like a tattoo on your body. But those are my build up questions. I then ask them, “What makes you want to have children?” Or “What makes you decide what political party to run along with?” To every single one of these questions no matter the level of permanency, the one true answer that fits true to all is the same answer I have for them. Ultimately it is because you want to. It’s because you like it. You do it because it’s you, it’s your dream.

Just recently I had a lady ask me, “Honey how are you going to find yourself a nice young man to take care of you when you’ve got all this going on?” and she points to my art. I of course had to be a hard ass in my response because with people like her that’s just how I naturally react. So I say, “Well HONEY, if I was looking for a man to take care of me then I may be a little worried but seeing as though I am not…” She cuts me off and says, “Oh I get. Well a “partner.” How will you find a “partner” then?” Naturally she assumes I’m a lesbian.  “Listen lady, I’m not a lesbian. And if I was that wouldn’t even be the issue at hand. The issue you’re having are with my tattoos and although I’ve got no need to explain anything to you, I will use this opportunity to maybe enlighten folks like you a little bit. The fact that I’ve got tattoos doesn’t effect the kind of people I meet, because the kind of people I want to meet won’t have an issue with the tattoos. We can call them a filter. If anything, I have met the raddest people because of my tats and those whom are judgmental just simply stay away. That’s how I like it. Let me just add by saying that some of the most clean cut individuals are the dirtiest people on this planet. Take a look at Ted Bundy for instance or Jeffery Dahmer. Keep them in mind the next time you judge someone for their “nice guy” appearance.” Needless to say this lady didn’t continue on the conversation with me. She turned back to her “clean cut” husband never uttering another word. Hopefully I left her wondering what sort of skeletons he’s got hidden among the Tommy Bahama clothes hanging in his closet.

Was I a little too harsh in my response with this lady? Maybe. But catch me on a day like that day where I was a couple drinks in and I’m going to get as real with my answers as your are with your questions. I think a lot about this older generation and how sometimes I cannot wait for them to dissolve. It may be wrong of me to say but I blame a lot of what’s going on in the world due to their way of thinking. The fact that so many are set in their old ways and cannot conceive of things changing or evolving.  Much of their way of thinking so ignorant and small minded, killing so much of the potential this world has to offer simply because it doesn’t fit their way of thinking or the way things have always been. Maybe I was a little harsh with her, and not only her but with others like her, but it was actually one of the rare moments life presented me with, an opportunity to maybe spread a message that normally wouldn’t have been given a chance to be expressed.

In reality this blog piece isn’t about the adventures of a girl and her dog. It’s about the realization of the way life goes for not only me but for those out there who are similar.

In today’s world, if by your mid twenties you’re not married, with kids, living in your own home, working in a set career, you’re looked down upon by the older generation. Truth be told, if you look at the statistics out there, you’re actually doing just fine. You’re in sync with the way life is evolving around you. Many are staying in school longer, actually taking their time to decided on their true passion in life. Others aren’t even going straight to college after HS because their intent is to travel and experience life before making long term dedications to ideas that in all honesty were more imposed on them than actually being wanted. Having a full blown family by the age of 25 is now pretty overrated. I’m not taking any credit away from those who actually have one and wanted to have one. That’s a great achievement when you get to accomplish a dream, no matter what dream it is. All I’m saying is to those of you who are out there still drawing up that blue print for life, don’t feel bad. Don’t feel like you’re behind in anyway. Don’t feel that you have to have this title hanging over your head of the “alternative” lifestyle, no matter what definition it holds for you. Who are these individuals coming up with such a label? Who are these people coming up with the rules and guidelines for society? Other human beings that’s who. People who are no more inferior or superior to us, to you. They are just regular Joe Shmoes so why care about living your life by their rules? Set your own standards and live your own life by them. Care about yourself, and make sure to try to go along your path with inflicting the least amount of pain as possible. Those should truly be your only two “set in stone” guidelines. Everything else can be written in sand and washed away by the sea allowing you to write and rewrite as many times needed.

Never allow others to make you feel like who you as an individual are worthless. No one is worthless.

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Photo Credit: Angie M, Muse: Natal Galvan ’13