Contending With Honesty

My relationship with honesty has always been irregular.

As a kid, I would make up stories even about the most typical parts of my life. I had my reasons, though. It wasn’t because I loved lying. I used to hate to think about it as lying. I chose to think of it as storytelling. I told stories to fit in with the crowd. I used to think that all the kids I met had cool lives. I wanted a cool life too and so I would spruce up certain things about mine just to make me feel like I was like them.

I did eventually grow out of it. It was exhausting, not only portraying someone that you’re not, but it was hard to realize that others would in turn read me wrong. I felt like no one really knew me, let alone understood me, and how could they? I wasn’t giving anyone the real version of me. As I got into high school being honest soon started to become my new addiction. So much so, that I became brutally honest. That began a totally new battle. Instead of before when my battle with honesty seemed more internal, now it was starting to become a more physical battle with others.

I became explosive with my honesty. If I was feeling a certain way about something, I was letting you know whether you wanted to listen or not. There was no sugar coating anything. What for? To add confusion? To allow someone to believe that things were one way when in reality it wasn’t, or to soften the blow? I felt as though that was all wasting time and why do that? Arguments with people would ensue, be it with friends or family. Then that too started to become exhausting.

It wasn’t until my 20’s, once I moved away from home and began to really look into my self, that I began looking at life and how to handle it differently. Soul searching provided me with a different view on how to approach certain aspects of life, especially that of being honest. I learned that it was important to share your thoughts and your true feelings with others so that there would less confusion and more understanding. It was OK to be brutal but just as easily OK to soften the blows, and that there was a time and place. Yet, since then I have come to understand that I now have a new hill to climb. I now struggle with the patience that must be had when it comes to others and their understanding of honesty.

To me, I see honesty as a privilege that we should be allowed to have. It should be our prerogative, as human beings, to want to express it as well as be able to receive it. The thing is, people only see life and everything about it, from their own perspective. Human beings are so self absorbed in their own lives and feelings towards it, that they tend to forget that others that they are sharing this existence with my have a different spin on what they share as the same situation. That’s how feelings get dismissed and how lives become discounted and discredited.

Take, for instance, a “break up” (if we could even call it that) I had about 4 years ago. A good friend of mine and I were becoming reacquainted again after my move back from CA. We began going on dates here and there, which later then turned into midnight escapades. It was fun but only until I started realizing that he was falling hard and I, simply put, just wanted to have fun. I was honest and explained that him and I were on two different planes in life and although everything was fine, I simply did not see him “in that way” and felt that it would only be right to end what was going on. It was difficult for me to do because I knew of how he felt for me. Who wants to break someone’s heart? Yet, I couldn’t lead him on or waste his time nor mine. His reaction wasn’t good. He hated me of course and called me every name in the book. He went on to talk shit about me to all his friends, spewing all sorts of negativity to anyone who would listen. I was in shock. I knew he was going to be upset, but to the point that he had spoken so ill of me? I was in shock because I hadn’t understood what he had wanted me to do. Had he wanted me to lie to him and put up a charade all so his ego’s needs could be met? It took so much patience to not lash out the way I wanted to about that situation and that’s only one example. I see it everyday with the people I come in contact with , the battles we all have with honesty and all the internal and external struggles it comes with. So are battles with honesty that irregular then? Or is it actually more common than we considering human beings and how we think, which is in mainly an introspectively self absorbed way.

I place a high value on honesty when it comes to terms with myself and others. I choose to be a woman of integrity and want for my character to always be able to be described as open, honest, and approachable. I want to be receptive because if I want to be heard, I too need to listen in order to understand.

I guess maybe these aren’t even battles with honesty at all. It’s just learning life.

The Return

If you can’t learn to roll with Life’s punches than can you be happy?

No. Absolutely not.

In the last year alone I have gone through so many different type of life’s scenarios, most of which haven’t worked out for me, or have they? One stage of life or event has lead me to the next one, and that one, leading me to the next one. Experiences galore is what has been my life lately and although I could complain, why would I? I’m just rolling with the punches, if you can even call them that.

I have switched jobs more often in the last year than I have in the entire later part of my 20’s. 5 different jobs in the last 12 months to be exact. I’ve lived in 4 different apartments, seriously dated three different men, and have met and dropped “new friends” more often than I care to count. Yet, to be totally honest, I would not change a single fucking thing. Like I stated earlier, every person, place, or situation has taken me somewhere else and as a traveler and “experiencer” of life why would I want anything different? There is no pain that I would want to unfeel. There is no pleasure that I would want to avoid simply because it could have lead to a moment of displeasure later on.

I love to feel it all. It feeds my writing. Feeling is fuel for my soul…

Yet, in the last few weeks I have barely written down any of these moments of experiences than for tiny snippets in my journal. I have been so enthralled with life and it’s craziness that I haven’t had the energy to try to place all my experiences and thoughts about them down on paper.

“Life has been so crazy..” what an excuse for not finding the time to write. In reality even if life is crazy, does it truly stop us from doing what we love? Or is it just us? Are we the crazy ones for getting in our own way and as typical human being we decide to blame something else that is bigger than us for our own demise and pitfalls? I guess it depends on who you ask. I have had the time to write. It is not because Life is crazy… If you ask me, I believe we are the crazy ones. It is not life.

Life is simple and beautiful. There is a mysterious science to how it works day in and day out. We are the underlying variable that make this experience in life one way or another. We are the stormy winds that propel an experience in a either positive direction or a negative one. We are the placid waters that stay still and unaffected until we decide if one event or another causes us to be overtaken by ripples.

Am I crazy? I guess it depends on who you ask.

I am always looked at as crazy. If you ask my friends, I am crazy in a good way. I go for what I want no matter what that means. I am unpredictably fun, funny, spontaneous, with disappearing just enough here and there to keep them always wanting more.

If you ask strangers, all of which I just mentioned, makes me crazy in a bad way, but that is because they do not know me, which makes me in turn say: Who the fuck cares about your opinion anyway? Someone else may, not me.

I am Life. I am my life. I am this life.

No, I haven’t written much about it recently. Be prepared though, because Life has surely blessed me with enough material…

It’s only now that I actually have the energetic sanity to write about it.

Effing Hormones

She sprayed me. Right in my face. She took the hose that she uses to spray the crap off of dirty dishes and sprayed me in the face with it.

She’s my work hoe. I love this girl. She washes the dishes at the restaurant I work at and her and I are inseparable. Whenever we have shifts together, usually every Thursday, her and I are fucking around the entire day. We gossip. We play pranks on each other. Whatever needed to make the work day flow with fun that’s what we do.

Work gangsters is how I’d describe us. We’re good at our jobs. We never call out. we go hard and play hard….

Except on this day.

I went to sleep the night before feeling emotional. I woke up the next day with a headache, my boobs hurt, and emotionally sensitive. Yes, if you’re thinking that these are the symptoms of a girl’s menstrual you are correct. I hadn’t gotten it yet but these symptoms always start up a few days prior. I knew it would be a long day at work but I mentally prepared myself for it. On my way into work I repeated my morning affirmations that would allow me to positively get through the day.

But then… I get to work and the mood sets in.

I clock in and look around. The place is empty. It’s that time of year where school is back in session and so the tourists on the island are gone. It’s going to be a slow day and if the rest of the week is looking like this I for sure won’t be able to pay my rent on time…again. Normally, this fact wouldn’t bother me so much. Things get paid when they can get paid, but today is different. My “friend” is coming to visit so therefore I’m suffering of multi-personality disorder. There is happy me and irritated me. Right now I’m irritated me.

There are four servers scheduled to work today so we definitely won’t make money. I’m thinking about talking one of my co-workers into letting me close for them so that I can make every dollar I can make while here, when I walk into the kitchen and my work hoe says, “Mija, what’s wrong?? I can tell you’re not you.” and she pulls one of my curls that dangles by my ear. I inform her about my “friend” arriving in the next few days and she understands. I mean it is the one thing that no matter what kind of girl you are, we can all relate on this one issue. So she got me, or so I thought.

A couple hours pass and although I’ve only had a few tables I am exhausted. Another one of the many crappy symptoms of this desired yet annoying monthly visit. It’s 10:30 am and since I did end up talking my co-worker into letting me close (which really didn’t take much talking) I still had about 5 hours left. No matter which way I looked at it, today was a no win-win situation.

I clear the empty plates off my only table and run them to the overflowing bus tub. I do this of course, while getting their nasty, double-dipped, ketchup all over my fingers. One of my biggest peeves at work. I head back into the kitchen and wash my hands. As I walk back to the trash bin, throw out the paper towel I used to dry my hands and turn around,

……..SPPPPPLLLLLAAAAAAAAASSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH……

I am struck in the face with a steady stream of water. I stand there with my eyes closed for what was probably a millisecond but felt like 5. All I hear are the laughs of my co-workers. My work hoe got me good.

Typically I can appreciate this type of prank. Hell, it’s something I would to her. Today not so much. I opened my eyes and saw her curled against the corner laughing. “Lana!” I yelled half serious half jokingly and as I stormed passed her to grab another paper towel I took the opportunity to slap her hard in the back. I head straight to the ladies room to check on my make-up. I didn’t have much on but I figured my hair already looked a mess, Florida humidity does NOT play, my face should at least look decent. I get to the door, locked. Of fucking course.

I walk back into the kitchen to finish wiping my face. Lana is still back there laughing. “You hit me so hard I think you knocked a lung out!” She says through her giggles. “Good!!” I say “I can’t believe you hosed me in the face! The FACE! I still have the entire day to go and not only do I feel like shit but now I look like shit!” She begins to laugh harder, “Oh shut up. You got me back good with that hit. Plus, you always look like shit.” It took all of my strength to not hurt her. I was so annoyed. It was like my blood was turning into little annoyed rage bubbles that were expanding through my veins. I had to walk away.

I spent the next hour refocusing my energy on cleaning and taking care of what few tables I had coming in. I needed to distract my hormone ridden mind and decompress. I knew what I felt earlier was an over reaction. Normally I wouldn’t have cared. Lana and I had joked around like this every day since the day we met. Today was no different. Yea maybe she ruined my make-up and didn’t feel sorry about it. Who cares!? Isn’t that what friendships are all about??

Guilt started to set in. I felt like a douche for reacting the way I did.

I get sat another table but before I head over to greet them, I run back into the kitchen, head straight towards Lana and give her the biggest hug. I seriously squeeze the shit out of her. I then plant a huge kiss on her cheek and say sorry for being a twat. She laughs, “Will you just get your period already!!” she says. I smile back at her and head out to see what measly tip I can incur from my new table.

For the rest of the day I felt amazing. The restaurant never got busy. I ended up walking out earlier than anticipated and even though I still wasn’t my super cheery self, I still walked out feeling alright. Sure my body was getting ready to bleed for god knows how many days this time around, but one thing was for sure, it felt good having someone in my life like Lana. A person who can hose me in the face when I’m feeling down and even through the rage I still have love for. It’s those small little relationships that people constantly overlook and take for granted. The fact that as human beings we feel a  range of emotions, one of them the feeling of guilt, speaks loudly of human consciousness and once we take the steps, human kindness.

I love my Lana. She taught me a valuable lesson that day, or a lesson I had once been taught but she reinforced. Sometimes just simply saying sorry can be the best spa treatment you could ever give yourself.

Postings

We all feel a little mischievous at one point or another. You could be having a dull day, for instance. To spice things up a bit an idea might hit you, that normally on any other day you may be opposed to it, but on a dull day like today you’re all about it and the randomness that it could bring you.

Life has recently left me with quite a few dull days. Not a lick of adventure, not even a spark of inspiration. My creativity has been halted a bit considering if you don’t live fiercely your inspiration for creation will also suffer.

It wasn’t even 6 months ago when I decided to cut my days at the restaurant so I would have more time to do what I loved and that was to write, paint, and to actually enjoy my limited life here in Florida. ¬†It wasn’t long after when I found myself in trouble with the law halting any future adventures I was to have for about the next year.

So here I am, bored, and what do I do?? Well, you know what they say about idle hands right? Idle hands, devil’s workshop?

I one day, out of sheer boredom, came up with a way to spark that literary fire. I wanted to write and instead of using those cheesy, uncreative writing prompt apps, I decided to go fishing for stories instead, anonymously. What better way to get a good story and keep your identity hidden than to search the classifieds, no?

Ah Craigslist. A place to find used furniture, volunteer opportunities, employment, and even love?Yes. that’s right. Love.

The personals section on CL has the most interesting characters on the net that are in search of that filthy yet blessed feeling. The emotion that makes this world livable. Love. One of the biggest questions I ask myself while reading these online posts is “Does one seriously think that by posting on CL one will find true love?” Can one be so hopeful, yet desperate? I go from reading the men seeking women’s section to the women seeking men’s. I read the casual encounters then tread on over to missed connections. The stories of those who have seemed to have fallen in love at first sight yet had no chance but now to do anything about their missed encounters. Do they ever get a response?? Does anything ever come from their missed connections post? Do they get to kindle that flame they once only dreamed of experiencing?

I decided to make a post myself and see what ended up coming from that. Again, what is it that they say about idle hands??

I picked the genre of Missed Connections. I felt like that would have been the best place to post that would give me the least amount of perverted responses. My message went something like this:

Ok,
So this probably won’t be seen by the person it is intended for BUT I decided I would go for it anyways…
I just saw you 20mins ago..
You were wearing a maroonish colored t-shirt, with shorts and flip flops. You had a tattoo on the back of your left calf and you have the cutest hair ever. Curly, shoulder length, light brown? You had almonds, kale, and other healthy yummies in your cart.
We first bumped into one another while we were looking for cell phone cases. I was wearing a bright yellow work shirt and was totally in your way and didn’t notice. When I said sorry you said, “Don’t be sorry!”
We later ran into one another in the produce section. The way you slid around with your cart was kinda cute.
If the genders were reversed I would have totally asked you out… the fact that I didn’t strike up conversation is now bumming me out.
Anyways, if you read this, e-mail me ūüôā I don’t know many people out here and not many catch my eye so I’m taking a chance here, haha!
I truly hope to hear back from you…

 

Keep in mind, THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED. I made this entire scenario up. Every bit of it was a detailed LIE. A rouse I had come up with off of the top of my creative little (big) head and within minuets I was getting responses.

Some of you out there are thinking, “She is so mean, toying with people’s hearts like this!!” And I say onto you dudes … “Are you kidding me?” ¬†You must be..

My first response was literally 4 mins after my post. It read,

“You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders. Would you mind moving down south and giving me some of that good brain?” ¬†Mmmmm, yeaa noooo.

The second one came in just a few short seconds after and read,

“Got any pics? I sent you one..” I open the attachment and low and behold what is starting back at me?? A chode.

The responses were pouring in and all of them were sexual in nature. I began to slowly understand the true meaning of the personals section on CL and shuddered with the thought. Who actually meets up with these people??? I’ve often seen on talk shows people addicted to sex discreetly meeting up with randoms off of CL but I never really believed it. Could it actually be so common?? Reply after reply, all I was getting were gross messages of men and their inner most sexual desires. That I will leave for another blog post, maybe even a book. All I knew is that I had read enough and just when I was to take my fake post down I got a message that genuinely freaked me out.

It started off very normal. If I hadn’t made up the post I would have been ecstatic reading it. This is what it said,

“Hey You, I’m glad you wrote. I was thinking of doing the same but didn’t know how to even start off. When I saw you today it was way before your first time mentioned. You had walked in pushing your shopping cart and all I saw was your beautiful smile. I came up with a way to say Hi and that was by making my way over to the cell phone cases. You were so sweet and from that point on I just haven’t been able to really shake you from my thoughts. Shoot me a message back. Let’s talk.”

I was freaked out. The message was cute if only what I had initially written would have been true but it wasn’t. Why would someone reply as though it had really happened? Let’s say my scenario had really gone down the way I said it did. Let’s say I posted this on CL in hopes to really find this person. This person has replied in a way to make me believe it was them when it all actuality it was a complete stranger fucking with me.

I sat there for a while not knowing what to do. Should I go on with this and see how far it could go? But I was upset. How dare this person lead me on. Even if this wasn’t real life, it could have been. They just toyed with my emotions.

And then BAM…

It hit me.

What was so different from what I was doing by posting a fake post on CL?? Was I too not toying with people’s emotions?? Even if the story wasn’t real, for a split second as they read my post in its entirety, they believed it was. There was no difference between this person and myself. I was bored and made up a post. They were bored and decided to respond to it.

I got it. I really did. Yet there was just one more thing that was bothering me. This person could have been anyone. A bored group of kids scanning the classifieds for a good laugh. A writer like myself looking for some inspiration. A lonely old man who believed maybe this could lead into something more. Or even a serial killer hoping to set up his next victim.

The last thought really disturbed me. It was a total possibility. How many times have you read a news headline about an unsuspecting victim falling prey to a killer met online? One too many times that’s for sure. In this case, Florida being a state known for it’s weirdos this could be more certain than false.

I logged into my CL account and deleted the post. I delete the emails. I quickly shut off my computer and went for a walk. I had freaked myself out. I had gone looking for what was essentially trouble and I no longer cared for it. Then I decided to come back home and write. I accomplished my goal of killing boredom and in doing so found a bit of inspiration for a couple new projects while at the same time realizing how thin a line it is that separates sheer boredom from malicious insanity.

11247633_829717257119500_379354940_n Photo Credit: Natal Galvan

 

 

 

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….

 

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.

“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

 

Simply Side Notes

In life you meet people, all sorts of people. They either stay in your life or they simply trickle in and then back out again. The amount of people that I can honestly say that have stayed in my life as a permanent fixture are very few. The funny thing? I have met so many people, and I have a list of acquaintances a mile long, but only just recently have I realized that they are merely that… acquaintances. Skimming through my list of FB friends I noticed I hardly talk to any of those listed. I mean seriously if it weren’t for FB we wouldn’t be updated as to what’s been going on in each other’s lives. Would we even remember that each other existed? Probably not. I think about the people I have met just this year alone and where as before I would say “Oh yea.. I know so and so.. They’re my friends! I love them!” now I just wonder, how could I have ever honestly of said that? Just thinking back to the circumstances I have met some of these people under, I don’t know how I could have been so delusional as to actually call these people my friends. Literally since I moved to FL every person I have met since being here, not including co-workers or people that I’ve had to do business with in one form or another, are people that plain and simply just served a purpose and are now nowhere to be found. From girls to guys, I’ve met quite a few, and in all instances we have called each other friends at one point or another. For fun and excitement or for a little advice, or even for a night of mischief.. friends. We were there for each other. Right?

So what happened? Why are they just acquaintances? Well like I said, the relationship was purpose driven and once that purpose is gone, what are you left with? Nothing. The girl friends that I once had, we were partiers. Any given day of the week, if we felt like boozing it up.. BOOM… at the bar we were, racking up beer tabs like nobody’s business. It became so customary that bartenders knew us not only by name but our preference of drink. “Regulars” as you might say. As friends we went out, had our drinks, discussed the petty dramas in our lives, gossiped, oh how we gossiped. Maybe we’d go out dancing here and there, meet a few people, then go home and in a few days repeat the whole thing over again. We had fun, for the most part. We were girls so of course there were little hiccups here and there but nothing to truly sever the relationship.. or so I thought. Amazing how the lack of one being able to go out and drink can really filter out your group of “friends”. Once I got my DUI in December, “friends” started dropping like flies. Hmmmm, Could I even say flies? That’s not much of a saying really. I’ll describe it more as, they were dropping like bombs. Atomic bombs, destroying the entire friendship that was built over the course of a year. There were no more phone calls, not even to see how things were going. No texts to see what I was up to or even to send me a funny updates, jokes, or whatever like we once used to. It IS a two way street and although I surly tried to reach out it was almost like talking to a complete stranger, with nothing to say other than “Hey, how you’ve been?”…”Good. You?”… “Good..” Good. I even went as far as to question the one girl I was closest to (I say closest but I really mean who I had known the longest) ¬†as to what was going on. Instead of being able to talk and reason with me, she blamed ME for “distancing” myself, got angry, and dismissed the entire conversation stating she “has a lot of important things going on in her life and this was the last thing” she needed. Ouch. Ok. Well, I gave up. I always find it quite amusing when people project their anger for the role that they may have played in making a situation more difficult than what it needed to be. I didn’t take it personal. As Vince Vaughn ¬†said in “Couples Retreat” …”I know my truth..”, I know I didn’t distance myself because in moments of crisis and stress I never like to go through it alone. Even though I have found myself doing so many many times before, if I can help it, I like to have people I care around to be a buffer between me and my rough times. I don’t know many who wouldn’t. It made her feel better to blame me? So fine. Peace out trout! Yes, she paid my bail and even though I was super grateful, and expressed to her repeatedly how grateful I was, she still decided to throw that in my face during our last short but very clarifying conversation. Another thing I find amusing as well as distasteful. Never have I ever helped an individual out, be it a family member, friend, or stranger, and then rub it in their noses later. Ever. What would be the purpose? To do so takes away all kindness behind the gesture of helping the person out. I have helped many people throughout my lifetime.. to this day I have not once ever brought it up. So needless to say, once I quickly paid her back, I dropped her like a hot potato.

Cioa! The purpose was obvious. Party Pals. You take the partying away from one of the pals? Bye-bye gal! On to the next group of “friends”.. so here we go. Since a kid I have always had more boy friends than girl friends. I grew up with 5 step brothers. I used to play football with the neighborhood boys. I have always considered myself a “guys” girl for sure. To this day I can count on one hand the amount of lady friends I’m actually close to. Unfortunately none whom live here, meh. Guys? They’re fun, but what I have recently come to discover, and maybe this is a bit naive of me as to not have noticed it before, but guys tend to be friends with ulterior motives. Yes. I know. I told you…I may have been dumb to not notice it before. I just always assumed that I was that cool that a friendship was what they were after once it was clear that there would be nothing more. All the guys that I have met here were true cool kats. I loved them. Some I casually dated, others I wouldn’t have ever even considered, but a friendship for me is everything and I truly believed that these dudes were my friends. Some of them were drinking buddies. Some of them were day trip pals. Others it seemed as though we could just chat on the phone and talk about each others weird and twisted lives, without judgment, just for shits and giggles. Today none of them are around. The purpose is gone. I can’t party like I used to so bye-bye party pal. I officially began seeing someone in January and there went everyone else. Apparently, if the hope of getting their dick wet is gone, then so is the friendship. The sucky part is that I met other people through these guys and now those too I have lost contact with, simply because the thread that held us together no longer exists.

It’s comical because I have since stopped seeing the guy I was dating. We broke up about two weeks ago. Just yesterday I made it official on social media. I’m not one to blast my personal life like that but I wanted to see what would come of it. A social experiment if you will. I wanted to see how many of those lost “homies” of mine would resurface once I made it known that I was “on the market” again…. Well low and behold, out of the blue people started texting me, “Heeeeyyyyyy, how have you beeeeeen??!!! Long time no chaaat…” Go suck your own measly little pecker. I don’t want anything to do with you. It’s one thing, if you acknowledge your shitty disappearing act, maybe even apologize for it, “Hey.. Sorry I haven’t hit you up in a while. I saw you were taken and didn’t want to start trouble….blah blah blah…” Ok. But if you’re going to act like it was nothing, you were just AWOL due to being busy or whatever BS excuse you have…. save it. I want none of it.

I take my friendships seriously. They’re like likable full-time jobs for me. I enjoy being loyal and being there when needed. I truly make sure I dedicate time and energy in the relationship. Friends, these people I keep around and let in to my personal little life, I love, just like I would love a significant other or a family member. It’s a different kind of love, but it IS ¬†love. So whenever I find myself going through a friendship break-up, my heart aches because it’s one less person I have around to share my life with and one more person I add to the list that have failed me. Today I sit here in my room and think how I truly have no one. All my childhood friends are back at home, my family too. I live in this state, physically and mentally, and I live it alone. People I once shared things with, built few memories with, are now gone. All I have is my dog, my books, and my stories. I read and write, while I go through the motions of life here on my own and think, if anything else, if not friends, they’re at least now Side Notes. Little characters that played a role, they served a purpose, and will live on to do so, in the pages of my books. I can thank them for at least that much.

Daddy’s Little No One

Hardly has she a memory of fond moments with him. Even those that linger have started to fade away. The life she’s lived alone outweighs any time ever spent with him. How could he ever ask any thing more from her? How does he expect her to hand over so much to a mere stranger? Memories are something so special and so cherished. Her treasure is what he asks in exchange for what? Blood? Even strangers ask for far less and yet know so much more of who she is than her good ol’ papi. A shame it is in all honesty because at one point he was her god, her king! Her everything. Her almighty.

Amazing how life can play games on one. One second daddy’s little girl, the next? Abandoned. Oh the trickery! Left all alone since her almighty no longer there to care.Only on those set days when the law required for him to be there. A dead beat dad made her just another statistic and instead of settling for that, she made herself non-existent. She simply said no to they joys. She said no to the stresses. Sure, it was tough being on her own and to be numbed of emotion made her fonder of independence. Younger than most she learned to think for herself. Wrapped up in books and writings helped her grow up and handle life’s toughest situations. So here’s a little letter, a forever farewell to him from that tiny little no one trapped within:

Hey you,

I won’t even ask how you’ve been. I hear you aren’t doing fine. In all honesty I’m not here to inquire about your well being because truthfully I say, it is of no concern of mine. I write to you of selfish need. I’d like to finally clear the air because to let go it needs to be.

Our history has never been good and though I won’t go into details I will tell you this, I never allowed you back in, not because you made a mistakes but because you continued to make them over and over again. Not once has there been a time I could say to have ever been proud of you. Life I have learned is something so sacred that one should only allow those who bring in joy and positive vibes around you. I’ve also learned that sometimes the people who bring you down the most are those you at one point held closest. So plain and simply I say to you, you are not what I want or even need in my life. You are a stranger who at one point made my soul ache in your absence. That’s why I say that time was one of my greatest assets. I shall not waste her for she has been my greatest friend in this ordeal you’ve placed us in. I have moved on now… you should too.

I’ll leave you with at least this, I shall not blame you for any wrong that’s been done. Nor for all those moments although tough, have made me strong. That’s as far as my gratitude towards you goes. Anymore than that and I’d be a lying asshole ūüôā So good-bye dear one for it was nice learning¬†you. The toughest lesson in life. I owe that all to you.

dscf0540 Photo Credit: Natal Galvan, Location: California Yoga Fest