3 Days In

I have officially been 32 for three days now and although I have always known that I would love my 30’s, I didn’t think I was going to do so as much I do.

I feel powerful and assertive. I am truly comfortable in my own skin. I love that even though I may not know exactly what I want in all aspects of my life, I do know exactly what I want (or don’t want) right now.

“Do I want to pick up that work shift tonight? Nope. Do I want to date seriously right now? Nope. Do I feel like going on a random adventure to wherever the heck I want? Hell Yes! Am I going to wait around for others in order to realize my dreams? Nope.”

I’m not concerned about others and their role in my life as I once to be. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I care about those that are in my life. I am nice to strangers. I love and cherish humanity. All I’m saying is that I cannot and will not place my life and my potential level of happiness in their hands.

Most of my early to mid 20’s were lived thinking that I knew so much when in actuality I knew nothing at all. Not only that but I was constantly making decisions based on other’s wants and needs instead of my own. Back then I had  no clue what I truly wanted. Once I was humbled and began to realize all of this, I was opened to a deeper sense of self-discovery. My late 20’s was the beginning stage of my core self-discovery, because let us be real, life is ultimately about self-discovery. I discovered my core “self” and what it needed and wanted. These past couple of years of entering and beginning my 30’s has been a time of implementation.  I have been working on better decision making, and when I say “better” I mean better for myself, as well as taking steps towards goals I have always wanted to keep for myself.

Now I can say that my ways have changed just like the taste buds on a tongue’s pallet. My inner child lives on but its thinking has gotten a bit more wise; a bit more acquired. I look forward to all the happiness I’m going to be bringing upon myself. I’ve got this new zest to life and it’s slowly awakening my life’s purpose.

Tough Times Are Bridges

People will always let you down. So will places and things. This is exactly why the sooner we realize to not expect anything different, the sooner we can live in extended periods of bliss no matter  what surprises are thrown our way.

As a kid I obviously did not know this key fact to life. Which is exactly why I love getting older because if you’re smart and you learn from life and its lessons, you begin to realize how much power you truly do hold when it comes to handling situations that are out of your control. The power isn’t controlling external situations. By doing that you’re setting yourself up for dooming failure. The power lies in controlling internal ones. So as I grow older I find that it isn’t so  much trying to grab reins of the outside world but more grabbing the reins of my inner self.  I’m learning to focus on the things I can control such as what I choose to focus my thoughts and actions on. I focus on my inner dialogue as well as I try to always keep tabs on how I feel. My instinct is my greatest tool and as I continue to live my life and tune into it more, I feel that it has become so strong that it has become a different sort of power within itself.

For the majority of the time I am a positive and a happy person, even when life hasn’t been so easy. It’s not that I’m being fake but it’s more that I don’t care to give into the emotions of sadness, rage, anger, depression, ect. I could feel it of course for a second…maybe a few minuets or a couple hours depending on the situation, but you will not see me dwell. I move on. I feel that there is no problem that couldn’t be overcome so quickly I try to find solutions. Even a serious illness has a solution. You may not like it but death is nature’s way of solving. Very emo of me to say I know, but hey, unless you are one to believe that when we die our energy just poof! collapses and turns to nothing, death isn’t such a bad solution, am I right? (I’m not talking suicide! Don’t get these thoughts twisted… Remember I mentioned ‘serious illness’)

Troubles are going to always arise and it is how we handle these problems that really defines us as individuals. No, life isn’t perfect and like I said before, there will always be something disrupting a happy streak. The way to begin to take control of these situations is by first looking at these issues or problems for what they really are, bridges. That’s right, a bridge. You are basically going from one island of happiness to another but in order to get onto that next island of happiness you must first walk the bridge to get there. How quickly you make your way over that bridge is totally up to you. You can take a seat and sulk a bit, dwell on all that you may have left behind on happiness island. Or, you can slowly begin to take one foot and place it in front of the other, making your way off of this wobbly bridge and onto the next happiness island of fun and adventure.

Difficult situations and hurtful emotions are very hard to overcome but human beings are made to be resilient and so we must remember that we are here to live,endure, learn, and there is no way for our souls to live, experience, and evolve without the painful, the hurtful, and the ugly.  The past few days for me have not been the easiest. Actually, scratch that, more like the last couple months, but with that said, I have had beautiful moments in between. Little bits of happiness here and there, sprinkles, like multicolored jimmies on plain vanilla ice cream. Just a little over 24hrs ago a decision was made for me that would indeed affect aspects of my life in ways I didn’t see coming. Although I cannot control these external issues, internally I am dealing. So I have stopped for just a second to take a moment to also breath in some fresh air. Yes, what I may be going through is not easy but I can accept it for what it is and can now wholeheartedly move on without regret. I have begun taking the steps to get over this bridge and I find that it’ll be much sooner than later that I will come upon this new island of happiness. I look forward to that moment. I surrender my thoughts to those of only positivity and happiness. Everything else can just fall away, and as the bridge I walk on sways, I use its momentum to propel me far far away from those feelings that could keep me stuck.

 

Pictured Infidelity

Have you ever caught someone cheating on you red handed??

Maybe not in the exact act of betrayal but you discovered evidence that could prove nothing else other than their total infidelity? My friend is going through something of this nature and it inspired me to take a look back into a deep past that I buried long ago.

This story takes place about 8 years ago and at this time I had freshly moved to FL and was dating who had been my HS sweet heart at the time. In the seven years that him and I had dated, never did I ever think that such betrayal between us was possible but with time I soon realized how possible anything in life could be.

He had left in the morning to go to the bank to deposit some of his money from his serving shift the night before. I was killing time waiting for him to get back to start on breakfast when I decided to get on the computer and switch up some pictures on my Myspace (remember Myspace?). I log onto the computer and begin to search some files looking for my new profile picture when I see a file that was left untitled. I found this interesting. What pictures could be in there? Not thinking anything negative, I excitedly clicked on the file folder thinking that I would find pictures he and I had long ago forgotten. When the file opened, my world which seemed so perfect at the time, shattered like fragile glass dropped from a tall building. Picture after picture, I find this strange girl partially naked with her legs spread open, her fingers teasingly in her mouth. Freshly shaved vagina and huge, black, Oreo looking nipples stared me in the face, almost mocking me and my broken heart. She was lying on his bed. There was no denying the bed sheets that I had bought him for Christmas just a month prior to this picture. The date was stamped just a few days after his birthday last year. My mind immediately sailed back to that time and I was bombarded by the memories. That year I had made reservations at a popular Cuban restaurant that had just opened. I made sure that the table had been set up with flowers, balloons, chocolates, and that his favorite drink  sat at the table, awaiting his arrival. That night we had made love in that same bed where just days later he had fucked her. Instantly I was fueled by anger and rage. How was it possible that I hadn’t suspected anything back then? How had I not smelled her on his sheets or had not felt her presence linger in the air? I had been totally blindsided. My best friend had betrayed me in the ugliest way possible.

I left the pictures up on the computer and made my way into the kitchen. If my timing was right, he would be back home shortly and so I had begun making breakfast, for just myself. I was still fuming when he had gotten back home.

“MMMMmmmm babe, it smells sooooooo good!” He said as he walked in through the door, though there was nothing cooking.

“Does it?” I asked as he walked by me, giving me a kiss on the cheek before walking into the bed room. I slightly smiled like a psychopath. I was anxiously waiting for his reaction because once that reaction from him came, that would be the signal to finally let the rage out, full throttle.

I heard him setting his keys on the nightstand. He opened the closet door, probably to hang up his jacket, and then shut it again. Then silence. There was no movement, not a peep coming from the room. I stopped chopping up the green peppers I was to add to my omelet. My hands were shaking so bad there were bits of the vegetable flying onto the floor. I stared at the door frame willing for his image to appear and when it finally did, he looked as if he’d seen a ghost. I said nothing. He said nothing. It felt like an eternity before I irritatingly asked, “So?”

“That was way before me and you got back together!” He tried to defend. The time stamp proved otherwise and so his words had pierced me like hot steel. Luckily I had set down the knife at that point because I felt like throwing it at his face.

“Be a fucking man and tell the truth!! That picture was taken just a COUPLE days after your birthday!!!! We were 100% together!!! How could you do that to me??!! How could you stare me in the face, tell me you love me, after being with her? FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR!!” I was fuming and it took all I had to not walk over to him and wrap my fingers around his neck and apply pressure. I wanted to punch him. I wanted to make him hurt just as bad as he made me hurt, if not worse. But I couldn’t. The energy I initially had to inflict such damage had drained from my body. He had shattered my heart and at the same time robbed me of my strength. I stormed passed him on wobbly knees and into what had been, up until then, our bedroom. I slammed the door and locked myself in there for fear of what I was capable of doing next.

To make a very long story short, this incident had sent our relationship spinning to a point of no return.  I had lost every bit of faith I had in him. He of course tried his hardest to make things better. It was weeks later when I finally decided to not throw away 7 years together over a one time mistake, when I caught him sending text messages to a stripper he met on a night out with his friends. Destroying now even the want I had to try to work things out and move on, I sent him packing. He moved out, leaving behind nothing but my heart full of pain. Even though this wouldn’t be the end of our story (oh yes, there was more drama to shortly follow), it had been the end of that chapter.

It took me a long time to allow myself to even want fall in love again. He had been my high school sweet heart, my best friend, my entire everything. The only man I thought I could ever marry. No one can ever compare to your first love. It was the first time you really came to see what it was to feel so much for someone that wasn’t apart of your family. That first outsider that you care for unconditionally, and without fear. Pure love placed in your heart and then again into that of another… to later be broken and tossed away by the very same person you wholeheartedly handed it over to.  You never do love the same after that. Of course you love, but it is not as innocent as it once was. You don’t love without questioning, wondering, doubting.

It wasn’t until a few years later that him and I ended up speaking again. I remember one of the things he said to me was how important we were for one another. We had made up so much of each other’s past it was hard to forget. He reminded me of the strong friendship we had had and how even that was something unforgettable. He reminisced as his stare went off into a moment of bliss, enjoying what he was remembering. For me, those moments were what they were, the past, and soon they’d be nothing more than just an old dusty chapter buried in a book, left on a shelf, and long ago forgotten.  Those moments he thought of as beautiful, held no light to those dark memories of betrayal.

To be honest, I couldn’t imagine my life with him. There is more to this story of heartbreak, but it will be left untold for now.  What I will add is the fact that Karma is magnificent and the Universe never goes without issuing out that which is deserved. Going through what I did wasn’t deserved but it was necessary  because I grew and learned from it. I became a little smarter and tougher. I grew independent and this is when I discovered that happiness is a choice and that it shouldn’t be something placed in the hands of another, your happiness being too precious, your destiny too valuable.

I give my friend that cliche advice that if it isn’t working out then it is because it is not meant to be, and that this is all for a reason. I tell her that she’s got something amazing coming her way. I tell her that the Universe is always conspiring in her favor and to trust in it. It all sounds like lines out of a cheesy movie, but it is the truth. I have lived it. I have been there and I have come out on top because with a good perspective and a positive attitude, that’s really all that is needed to rise above.

Long Distance Love

Relationships can be difficult and lord knows I’ve had my fair share of tough relationships. I’ve dated them all.. The boring old man trapped in a young man’s body, the starving artist, the substance abuser, the witty business guy… I’ve dated different races, different social classes, men who’ve had completely different political views from mine. Obviously none of these relationships ever got really far, and now looking back although they were difficult relationships, none were the type of difficult as the kind my current love and I are in right now. This relationship is the “Long Distance Relationship” kind or as I will continue to refer to as L.D.R.

No one ever goes out looking for a L.D.R. A romance from afar? How fun could that be? A L.D.R isn’t something you set out to find, it just ends up finding you. I mean it’s like you’re  out one night, minding your own business, and having a good ol’ time, when all the sudden in walks that person, straight into your life. The one who makes your soul smile. How do you say no to that?? I couldn’t just walk away from what could possibly be my shot at true love, right? That’s what love is all about, taking that risk, going for that chance. In trying to decide (which didn’t take me long at all) whether or not this was something I really wanted to invest my heart in, I though to myself, when does love ever arrive all wrapped up in an ideal situation? Never.  So I went for it. I decided I had found love, and although it wasn’t the most ideal situation, I believed we could make it work. Deterred I was not.

We’ve just recently passed the 6mos mark, which in “real relationship” time isn’t very long at all, yet for me it feels like quite the accomplishment. I am crazy in love with my bf don’t get me wrong, but I’d be lying by saying that the journey hasn’t been tough for the both of us.

Just like in most relationships, an L.D.R starts off flaming hot. The chemistry is not only strong but the flame that burns is inextinguishable. Because of the very fact that you don’t see each other as often as “normal” couples do, the “honeymoon” phase seems to last much longer. You get to see one other’s “good” side for a little longer than most normal couples do due to the fact that you see one another a lot less. You often feel that longing for the person, you miss them and so when you do see each other you tend to make every moment count.  A plus when it comes to not seeing each other often is the fact that you can gradually incorporate this other person into your life. You slowly introduce them to your world as you slowly discover theirs. Remember, it’s not easy for two completely different strangers to come together all of the sudden and try to build a life together. You must think, these are two completely different individuals that were raised differently and have been conditioned by life differently. To be in a L.D.R gives you that breathing room to still have time for yourself. It’s much easier to get locked into a situation of suffocating one another when you have the opportunity to see each other all the time. We see it everyday. Couples meet each other and it seems like the first two months they are inseparable. They can’t go a day without seeing each other until one day one of them realizes that maybe they miss their friends, or they miss their hobbies. This is now when the fights commence because one person needs some “me” time and the other person begins to question why all the sudden need for “me” time. Well everyone needs a little “me” time and I get that it’s difficult to remember that when you’ve just met someone you really jive with and the access to this new found love is just a call and a drive away.  In a L.D.R you don’t have the luxury of having your love just a phone call away. Visits need to be planned and when you don’t get to see each other often all you can do is distract yourself with your “me” time. That’s when you do all the things you want to do that maybe the other half wouldn’t be too interested in. This is the time you take for yourself to do the things that make your soul smile, the things you should never ever give up because to do so would be closing away a part of you, and that would no longer make you you. This is often the root to many issues within relationships but that’s for a later post.

Eventually the honeymoon phase does run out and then that is when you become blindsided by all the conflicts and hurdles a L.D.R posses.

Maybe the word “blindsided” is a bit of an exaggeration. We all know what we’re walking into when we decide to date long distance. You’re already aware of the frustrating moments you’ll endure when you, for example, need your date to accompany you on an outing but between your different schedules and living so far from each other it makes it impossible for them to be there. There are holidays that you won’t be able to see one another for, or even just those long days you’ve had at work, when all you want is for your certain someone to pamper you and listen to you,but they’re not there because they live hundreds, or for some even thousands, of miles away. This is the part of a L.D.R that we do know. To go through it fully aware that is was coming sucks. All of that shit is tough, but the really tough part are all the other minor details we don’t think about.

Not seeing each other has its perks, but it too has its huge set backs. There is now a delay added to trying to get to know your other half. It takes twice as long to get to know the other person as it would take in a normal relationship because of the fact that you’re not around the other person as often. This means it takes longer to understand the other person’s likes and dislikes, their boundaries,  their weird corks and their humanly flaws. And because you were so elevated for much longer than usual during the honeymoon phase, the drop back down to reality is hard. You begin to realize that you, them, the relationship, none of it is perfect. You remember about things like compatibility and begin to question everything that is no longer blurred with sugar plums and rainbows.

One thing I  must say that my relationship doesn’t suffer from like most other L.D.Rs do is the fact that jealousy doesn’t apply to us. I have always said that one thing that would bother me most about trying to attempt a long distance relationship would be trusting them to be faithful. Yet not one time throughout the time that my love and I have been seeing each other have I felt a tug of jealousy. Come to think of it, I really don’t find it all that crazy that I don’t worry or doubt his loyalty. I have always held honesty and loyalty in high regard and I would have never entered a L.D.R if I felt at all that I didn’t trust this person. That for me is a serious plus. I also cannot say that he has shown me one ounce of jealousy. He never asks to go through my phone. He doesn’t trace my social media steps. He’s never asking where I am every 20 mins. It’s obvious that the trust is there which aids in allowing for our situation to be just a tee bit easier. One less thing to worry about in an already tough situation.

So if a L.D.R is so hard to maintain, how do you do it? What are some Must Do’s in order to allow for your relationship to grow its full potential? Believe it or not, it is what to do for ANY relationship…

*Communication is paramount. Even if you’re wanting to discuss something small, if it means something to you no matter how big or small the issue is, talk about it. Speak until the issue is no longer there. Resolve it because the last thing you want is to carry resentment with you long distance.  Resentment is a heavy load to carry and all it will do is slow down the progress of your relationship.

*Listen to one another. And I mean like actually listen to what the person is expressing to you. People can always tell when you’re merely hearing them out instead of actually listening to them. When people begin to feel unheard not only does that too build resentment and makes them feel misunderstood, but it also sends a message to the individual that what they have to say doesn’t matter. That later turns into the person shutting down. They’ll no longer want to share, or communicate things with you. Once the communication begins to shut down, you can kiss the relationship good-bye.  When you don’t listen you also tend to make the same mistakes over and over again. To listen allows you to understand and better learn your other half. The more understanding and learning that you do, the less arguing and fighting that will be a part of your daily lives.

*Patience. Patience is important. To blend two lives together isn’t easy. There will be things that need talked about and issues to be worked on. That in any relationship is a given, but remember that it takes time, and time in a L.D.R takes twice as long because you’re hardly ever around one other.  People can’t better their flaws overnight and the fact that you’re not often around one another to see the small steps that are taken towards improving makes it difficult to think that progress is being made. This is why you have to be patient. Give things time to be shown. Give the person time to work on themselves while you take the time to work on yourself. The point is to be patient and supportive of one another. Remember you’re both on the same team so cheer each other on when you do see progress. Communicate to one another as to how much that means. If your relationship lacks any of these three basic fundamentals, you’re relationship will not last very long.

I’ve given you some key elements on things to do to keep the relationship a float, so how about I tell you some key things NOT to do when attempting a L.D.R,

Don’ts:

*Don’t allow for the relationship to go stale. Once monotony and predictability set in it’ll be hard to hold the attention (and for some the heart) of their partner. Remember that you already don’t see each other often so make each time a little special. There’s no need to go over the top each and every time you see each other but little gestures to enhance the moment together go a long way. That goes for you too ladies 😉

*Never stop doing the things that in the beginning captivated the mind and the heart of your significant other. Those are all beautiful moments and gestures that will bring sweet joy to the heart of your love. Even during the dark times of a relationship, it’ll be these moments that they’ll look back on and it could mean the difference as to whether they hold on or let go.

*Never quit getting to know each other, and that means in every aspect. Physically, emotionally, mentally, and sexually. You will one day die and still not know every single little thing about your other half, but the point isn’t to know everything about them. The point is the journey there. It’s what will bond you, fuse you together until death does you part.

*Don’t ever get too comfortable. To get comfortable leads to many negatives like, taking the person and the relationship for granted. It leads to you letting yourself go, so maybe not taking care of your health like you once did, or not worrying about your appearance anymore. It can lead to one not doing the cute stuff you once did for one another, and these are all things that keep a relationship fresh and exciting. When you get comfortable, you lose all of that, and the relationship grows old.

In a few short months my relationship will no longer be a L.D.R. I’ll be taking steps to begin my relocation process in a couple weeks and by the end of July I will be closer to by beau. No.. I won’t be moving in with him right away. I’ve lived and learned and so my comfortability only allows me to take baby steps for the moment. For me, I’m happy to be taking things slow so maybe that’s why the whole L.D.R things has worked so well for me. But I will not lie, closing up the distance between us will make things much easier. Not only that but it’ll allow for us to really see how well this relationship will work. Living closer to one another will give this relationship the chance it needs to either prove that this is love and this is it, that all the hurdles and the stress was to leading up to something greater, or will it be just another infatuation, another fling, just another lesson learned? It will either be one way or the other. It isn’t a pessimistic way of viewing the situation, it’s a realistic way of viewing it. With that said, hope is a flame that forever burns within my heart and even though it’s been a little tough, I’m still happily holding on strong. The most precious things in life are the ones worth fighting the hardest for, no?

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Photo Credit: Natal Galvan, Location: California Yoga Fest 2015

 

 

 

 

Death Under Intoxication pt.2

So I’m a changed girl. It’s true what they say, people and circumstances can and will change you. Situations that we place ourselves in  allows us to encounter beings of another kind. These encounters mold who we are. They captivate our being with just one word or maybe a simple gesture, and POOF, our world is changed. We become slightly different.

Within seconds of getting my DUI (which recently has been dropped down to a reckless driving charge..another story for another time), I met people who with a look, a sentence, or just a simple vibe, altered who I was and how I thought. I went from being an outsider looking in to actually wearing the shoes and walking the path. From the moment the cuffs were placed on me and I sat in the backseat of that squad car, I had become one of “them”. My inner dialogue was pretty calm. I knew I was guilty and the fact that after multiple times of doing what I was caught doing without getting caught, I was resigned to the idea of just taking whatever punishment was going to be dished out. I was laughing at my self because I knew I had gotten away so many times before but yet time and time again here I was pushing my luck. Through out the entire time while heading back to the station I stayed relatively quiet and calm. I had seen so many shows, like Cops or Caught on Camera, where individuals get rowdy and rambunctious, trying to kick out windows and cursing at the officers, and I always thought… “Well, who put you there? Who’s fault is it? Not theirs! They’re doing their job!” Officer Good Heart was a doll. I don’t know if it’s because the moment he pulled me over I was cooperative and respectful or just because he was a good soul, but he definitely set the tone for rest of my ordeal and that is for sure. It wasn’t until we got into booking that it all hit me… the shots, the beers, and the realization of what the future was going to bring. I was cold and there was no way of warming up for I was in a tank top and a long hippie skirt. The inside of the booking station was depressing. made up of just cement blocks painted grey and cold to the touch. Officer Good Heart sat me down in a grey plastic chair that sat at the end of a long  grey table. I picked up on the running theme in this place. Grey. Cold. Depression. On the table sat the breathalyzer, a clip board with paperwork on it, and a couple zip lock bags. I agreed to the breathalyzer because again.. why was I going to fight it? He and I both knew I was intoxicated. So there I blew and his shock was apparent. “Ma’m I don’t know how it is that you passed the roadside tests and are coherently speaking to me. You just blew almost 3 times the legal limit. With your size you should be passed out in the corner.” He didn’t say this in a condescending manner, not rude, or angry. He said it like he was concerned. As if he actually cared. The amazing thing with this officer is that I never NOT looked into his eyes when he spoke to me. His eyes were deep blue pools of warmth. I fell into them every time and never wanted to get out. He wasn’t handsome by any means. He was in his late 40’s and wore a tire around his belly and acne scars on his cheeks. He looked as if he spent way too much time drinking ventie caramel frappaccinos and wasn’t ashamed to admit to having a sweet tooth. But still those eyes were kind and so when I heard him say this comment while at the same time looking back into those big blue eyes, I felt a ping. I actually felt like I had let this stranger down. I remember  my initial reaction to his comment and thinking to myself, “Well that’s because I’ve got a high tolerance. I’m a girl who can handle her booze.” But then thought better of it. Maybe that’s not something to be so nonchalant about.

Next up were the zip lock bags. “M’am, I’m going to need you to remove every piece of jewelry you have on your person and place them right in here.” I did what I was told. I took off my earrings, my necklace, my bracelet, rings, and finally my belly ring. I hadn’t taken out my belly ring in ages. I didn’t even know how long ago was the last time I had removed it. When I slipped it out and placed it in that bag, I teared up. That was when I lost my calm demeanor and went full on “blubbering like a baby” mode. Anyone that knows me, KNOWS that unless it’s a reallllllly sad movie or a bad ass book, I DO NOT cry. Inside I was yelling at myself, “Look at you! Wipe those tears away! Suck it the fuck UP!” But that simple gesture of me taking out my belly ring made me feel completely vulnerable and naked. He grabbed the clip board and began asking me basic questions. Throughout the entire process I was sobbing. I didn’t stop. It was like now the floodgates were open and there was nothing anyone could do to stop it… Except of course Officer Good Heart.

All the questions were over and it was now time to get my fingerprints and that infamous mugshot that would be forever lurking for anyone to see. I was still crying. My cries weren’t that of a beautiful movie scarlet where my tears just flowed down my cheeks, yet I stayed pristine. No. I was gasping for air like a child throwing a tantrum. Boogers were flowing so quick, no amount of tissues handed to me by the officers would put an end to them. I’m sure that by looking at my face you wouldn’t have been able to pin point where the tears ended and the boogers began. Officer Good Heart takes me to where my photo was to be taken and while we’re walking he says to me, “Hey. It’s OooKaaay. It’s not like you’re in here for murder. Think about it. In a few hours you’ll be outta here. You’ll be ok. I promise.” I simply nodded my head back at him but inside those words had meant the world to me. The fact that he wasn’t cold and demeaning about the entire situation was the most touching thing that could have happened to me that night. His words were comforting and almost supportive. Not supportive in the way that he condoned what I was in there for but supportive in the way that truly led me to believe that everything WOULD be alright. It wouldn’t be for another 14 hours later that I would realize not even the friend who had bailed me out of jail would be this kind to me. She who barely talked to me on the ride back to pick up my car from the impound, and when she did speak, the only words that came out of her mouth were condescending and belittling. A tone which not even my mother took with me once she found out about had happened. But that story too is for another time. So there I stood in front of the blue screen with his words echoing in my ear. I had stopped crying and had come to realize only seconds before the picture was taken. “You’ll be ok. I promise.” is what I heard in my head and SNAP..a flash of white light and presto my mugshot had been archived. Officer Good Heart and I parted ways. He gave me a tap on the shoulder and pointed to a holding cell that was wide open, “Just go in there and wait hear for your name. They’ll be calling you in a little bit. Good luck.” he said with a warm smile. I proceeded to walk towards the holding cell, but not before I  made sure  to say, Thank you.

Later on I would look at my mugshot. I can’t say that I was too disappointed for it captured the overall experience perfectly. If I had to pick a mugshot, I would have definitely picked my own. In my photo there are two tears streaming down, one on each cheek. My nose is a little red but down below lies a slight smirk painted across my lips. My eyes look as if they’ve been crying but there on the surface is a glimmer of hope. I believe the photo captured the exact second I replayed Officer Good Heart’s words in my mind.

When I mentioned that Officer Good Heart had set the tone for how the rest of my dealings with this case would go, I meant it. I feel that if those last few words he uttered before my picture was taken would have never happened, I don’t think I would have carried on with the strength I did. It was like his kind words snapped me out of this negative reality that was swirling around in my head. I am a firm believer in the Law of Attraction and feel like I would have just found myself in a thoughtless cycle of desperation and depression. I would have just given in to the feelings of misery and anger for having put myself in the situation that I did. But ultimately he was right. I had made a mistake, Yes. But had I damaged my life permanently? No, of course not. I hadn’t killed anyone. I hadn’t hurt myself. The worse that could possibly come out of this entire situation was a very  healthy learning lesson. I look back on this moment everyday and I think of how grateful I am to have actually gone through all of this. There has been much good that’s emerged from my initial charge of DUI, many experiences and treasures that I will take with me forever, and that would have never happened if it weren’t for this. There are other characters that are waiting to be mentioned. There’s Toothless Tammy, Dirt Ball Joanie, Shawna, and Tamika, who were just a few of my cell mates for those 14 hours I was incarcerated. There’s my DUI School Instructor Andres, a Colombian native who had gone into law enforcement and had been held hostage by the guerrilla for 14 days, and later came to the states to further his career in Criminal Justice. I’ll speak of Judge Handlen, My therapist Mary Sue Jonesie, and even those involved with my community service. Each and every one, making an impact. Each and every one of those characters playing a crucial role in what is to be Natal Galvan’s life. For I am a watcher of people. I soak in my surroundings, every detail, every encounter, nothing goes unnoticed. Nothing happens in vain.