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.

 

Getting to Know Frustration

I get back home from work and I am tired and drained. Having to cater to people and their needs truly does take a toll on a person, I don’t care what anyone says. When I get home all I want to do is take off my uniform, pee, and veg out for a little. That is me unwinding. Sometimes I don’t speak very much. Sometimes I just want to sit in silence. There are times that I may crave a beer and drink it (or two or three) while I watch my favorite t.v show. There are times I smoke a little pot. Unwinding and how you do so, I feel, is a personal choice. After living alone for most of my 20’s, I am used to this being my style of unwinding. Even when I was in school and living with my mother, other than the booze and the pot, this has always been my style of unwinding.

Oh how the comforts of unwinding have changed since rooming with someone.

We all get it. Having roommates is hardly ever easy. It’s almost like having a relationship, so many things to consider. So many more people to have to keep in mind. It is a self-inflicted punishment, one that usually arises out of convenience. Yet even though we are aware of the risks involved when deciding whether or not to have a roommate we still always give into the temptation of taking the most instantly gratifying way.

So here I am with a roommate. My usual unwind after work has now taken a turn.

I decide that once home, I was simply going to relax on the couch with my dog for a bit and catch up on a few of my shows that I haven’t had time to watch in the last few weeks. I do my usual routine.  I come home and change out of my uniform. I use the bathroom and after I’m done I get to my favorite spot on the couch and settle in. I begin to channel surf and just as I am about to locate the t.v show I have been waiting all week to watch, in comes my roommate.

“What’s wrong with you? Everything ok?” She asks me and I look up at her questionably.

“Yeah, everything is great. Why?” I answer as I turn and look back at the t.v.

“You just seemed annoyed or agitated.” She walks off and into the kitchen.

“No, well I’m not. Just here relaxing after work.” I smiled more to myself than to her. How did I look agitated?? I literally just sat on the couch and clicked on the tube. How can one misinterpret that into agitation?

“Ok, because if you are annoyed with something you can talk to me.” Lexi walks back into the living room holding a small McIntosh apple and continues the inquisition. NOW is when I begin to get irritated but I still try to keep it to myself.

“Nice, well I’ll surly keep that in mind the next time I’m annoyed or agitated.” I reply while I continue to scan the t.v guide. I’ve realized that at this point I’ve gone through half of the channels without even realizing. Great.

“Sooooo you are annoyed about something?” She was now staring at me from her bedroom doorway.

“What? No. Why? I just said that I wasn’t. I’m literally just trying to relax. I’m tired.” A flicker of annoyance dances across my face and hold onto my words. Who does she think she is ruining my winding down time? Like seriously.

“Well, You just said that you’d tell me the “next time” that you’re annoyed. That would mean that not this time but the next, insinuating that this time you’re annoyed but not willing to talk about it.” Her intention seemed genuine but this conversation had turned so annoying that her genuine concern no longer mattered. I wanted to flick her away from me.

“I honestly was just fine until a few seconds ago. This current conversation just got really annoying.” All of this talk about agitation and annoyance was starting to make me really agitated and annoyed. I was almost tempted to go into my room and curl up with a nice quiet book. Too bad it was a book that I currently didn’t want to read.

FUCK! Could a girl just watch some goddamn t.v without being interrogated?

The conversation didn’t end well. By the end of it I told her how this was exactly why I hadn’t wanted to live with her from the beginning. I felt as though I couldn’t just be myself without her questioning, probing, and prodding.  I had hurt her feelings because I hadn’t sugar coated what I was feeling. It took me a day and a half of meaningless small talk to get her “back to normal”.

I understand now that what I had considered to be an interrogation was just a kind girl giving a shit. Should I have gotten irritated and snappy back? Of course not, but I am only human. If I’m tired, hungry, stressed, or moody… well, who knows what could happen. But am I an asshole? No. I care. I truly do, especially when it comes to good people.

I’ve heard of adults being “stuck in their ways” but I  don’t want to be one of those. Yes, I’m used to my own ways of doing things but that doesn’t mean that I can’t change routine or break it a little. Breaking routine, the way I see it, is living.

As life with a roommate continues, I get to know frustration a little more and I accept it as an obvious part of life. It’s a daily struggle to adapt to living with a person especially one who is so different from who I am. Yet, the struggle is a rewarding one because with each hurdle jumped, our friendship grows a little bit more…..and there is such beauty in that kind of frustration.

 

The Land I Loved

The day I left was the saddest day of my life as an adult. The funny part is? I didn’t have anything to really hold me there. In other words, it’s not like I was leaving anything behind per say, only the dreams of my future.

It didn’t hit me as we were placing all of our belongings out onto the curb. My things that I had worked so hard for just out there exposed and left behind. It didn’t hit me as we pulled away and watched as the neighborhood I had called my home for the last year fade away from view. Everything that had become familiar to me that year was slowly fading and with each second that ticked by it was all becoming just a part of my past.

The silence during the first half hour of our car ride was needed because the lump in my throat wouldn’t have allowed for otherwise. It was once my turn signal indicated our arrival onto the interstate, and that moment of me looking into the rear view mirror, that a warm sadness washed over me. California had won. A true and real feeling of failure is what ran through my veins. It wouldn’t be for weeks that I would get to feeling like “me”again and then even still, it was a hurt “me”, a healing “me”.

My eyes welled up, the tears hot and intrusive. I could no longer hide my hurt once they overflowed and ran from the hiding spot behind my sunglasses and down my cheeks. I didn’t even bother to wipe the tears. What for? The pain was real and there was no sense in hiding it. Instead I chose to live through the emotion, actually feel what it was I was going through. I had fallen in love and for me this death was worth the mourning.

I’m sure many reading this will think I’m being dramatic. Only those who have taken risks and failed will understand where I’m coming from and really, those are the people I’m talking to. Only you are the ones who can relate. If you’ve never been through something similar, if you’ve never failed before and were left with nothing more than a a hole in your heart, read this and realize, your day is coming. That is for sure. It’s best you read up so you’re not blindsided as I was.

As a kid I had always dreamed of living in the rural parts of California. I had seen so many pictures and documentaries, the lay of the land in northern California was like a dream. The first computer I ever got that could actually surf the internet, I spent time looking up and researching places around the U.S that had always interested me. Cali was definitely my number one. I didn’t want to head there to be rich and famous. Fuck that. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. I wanted to live in California because it was something that had called to me as a child. Those beautiful mountains. The sky which seemed to always look so candy colored. The way the leaves turned to those amazing autumn tones in the fall with bright yellows, oranges, and reds. It was no surprise to anyone who knew me that the second I had cash saved up, off I was. I drove out to the West Coast without a moment’s hesitation. The people in my life dishonestly supporting me didn’t deter me. It was my dream, not theirs, that I was hunting for.

I had been purposely positive throughout the three days it took to drive there. I thought about how quick I would find a job. I thought about how awesome it would be to live in the new apartment, in my new neighborhood, with my new neighbors. I imagined all the cool places I’d finally get to see. Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, Hollywood Blvd, the Sunset Strip. If there were any doubts at any point in time, I crushed them with thoughts of positivity. There would be no Negative Nancies in my head bringing me down. No sir. I was (still am) a firm believer in the Law of Attraction so for me, negative thoughts weren’t even an option. It wasn’t until a year later that I looked back and realized, maybe the negative thoughts that would slip into my mind here and there was just life trying to prepare me for what would later be a shocking reality. But like Karma I find Hindsight to be a bitch.

My theory on Los Angeles’ smog problem is that it isn’t pollution, per say, that is floating above everyone’s head. It is my belief that the layer of smog that always lingers are the souls of the innocent who venture out to L.A and never return to be the same again. I mean hell, they don’t call it the City of Angels for no reason. I imagine it being like a trap box for the innocent. The interior of this box looks so appealing. It’s dressed up in opportunities and gold. Shiny things hang in its interior, attracting you like a fly to a light bulb. You get there one way, with a pure and maybe even naive way of being. Before long, the doors to this box snap shut and you are trapped inside, doing things out there to survive that you never thought you’d  have to do.

Yea, as a child I dreamed of going to Northern Cali but the opportunity arose for me in L.A. I figured that I could get myself started in the city. It would be my first foot through the door and then once I saved up a bit I would migrate up north.

I never even made it to saving up.

The California life is expensive. The cost of living was ridiculously high and real jobs were scarce. Just by looking around, the amount of homeless people or those collecting cans and plastic could be proof of what I’m telling you. My story during this time could have gone many different ways. It could have gone better. It could have gone way worse. It’s kinda funny because now thinking about it, they way I lived in L.A was so carefree, it was almost as though I was tempting danger to come dance with me. The streets of Los Angeles, the devil’s playground, and I was out and about living as if I were still out on the Island of Sanibel. I spoke to strangers. I would go out and try to explore my surroundings and many times, during this exploration, I would get lost and wind up on a block a didn’t belong. The drinking was out of control and there were more than a handful of times that in a moment of sheer blackout, would take my car and attempt to drive home. I always made it of course, but that is only because I have the best guardian angel out there protecting me.

There were so many mistakes I made when arriving to Cali. There were also many obstacles that also got in the way, obstacles that prolonged the feeling of settling down. I don’t think that in the year that I lived there did I feel at all settled.  Jobs weren’t working out. Food was scarce. Bills were piling up. The roller coaster of emotions and the stress were taking a toll on me. Secretly I would cry myself to sleep on almost every night. It would have been one thing if it would have just been myself that I needed to worry about. The fact that my sister decided to come along on my little adventure was what hurt me the most. Not because she came along with me but because she was suffering. This was my dream that I was trying to live out and now that it was going horribly bad she was suffering. To look at her face filled with so much anxiety and sadness really broke my heart to pieces and so the day I was confronted with the opportunity to return home, her face was the one I saw. In my mind, I saw her looking at me with the eyes full of hope of going back home, and that’s what made me break.

The decision was literally made from one day to the next and to be honest it wasn’t too hard of a decision to make. We were already 3 months behind on our rent. We had no food except for a bag of rice and a couple cans of tuna. By this time anytime we grocery shopped it was mainly baby food and soup cups that we ended up getting and that was to be split between my sister and I, along with my dog and her cat. Crazy right?

It had just been a few days before our planned departure that I had received an e-mail from our landlord stating that if we didn’t have the three months of rent we owed him within 48 hours, he would be there with police escort to evict us. Instead of leaving as planned, our trip back home was to be expedited. We gave our neighbor’s some of our things. Actually, we were trying to sell our stuff to them but after realizing that they were in no greater shape than we were, we freely gave things away. We then packed the car with whatever we could bring, but my small two door sports car couldn’t hold much, so we just left mostly everything behind. Like I mentioned earlier, the amount of people that are homeless or who rummage the garbage for food or things to help them get by is astronomical in L.A. So instead of leaving much of our stuff inside the apartment when we left, we decided to set what we could carry out on the curb for people to take. I mean for us it was like, “Well we can’t take it with us, so let’s leave it for those who will truly need it.” It was 6 am in the morning when we finished, the sun was just beginning to wake up. Our plan was to get out of there before our landlord showed up with his police escort. To be behind on a month’s rent is bad enough, but to owe three months is ridiculous. The fact that he hadn’t thrown us out sooner was a shock to me and a testament to how kind he was, for he was a really nice landlord, and there was no way my sister and I could face him.

As we got into my car, I noticed that there was already a family going through what was just a few seconds ago our belongings. It was truly a bittersweet moment that to even think about it now tugs at my heart.

I lost a lot on this adventure of mine to California. Not just my physical belongings but I also left behind a sliver of my dignity, piece of my heart, as well as a chuck of my soul. Yet, with my losing or leaving behind a few things I had also gained much more than that. I took with me my experiences of meeting new people, good and bad. I have taken and stored away beautiful memories and also some scary ones. Everything that I have obtained through my journey to and from California has served a wonderful purpose and have also gifted me with amazing stories for me to share. Who knows if I’ll ever go back and attempt at living there again but at least now I know somewhat of what I should be expecting.

There was a post I previously made about how I’ve only truly been in love twice. I’ll go ahead and correct myself by saying that it was three times. California. She is beautiful. She is enticing. She was a ruthless love.

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Art Work Credit: Jet Victory Follow on IG and FB

A Magical World Among Words and Pages

Birthdays? They were never a big deal at my house. Not because we weren’t special but because Mom really couldn’t afford it.

Problems? We didn’t share over dinner and talk things out. Instead we bottled feelings up. Emotions nicely pickled, to be opened up later when it was ripe and explosive.

Shit. We didn’t even really eat dinner as a family. Sure, we ate at the same time but it was my sister and I at the dinner table. Mom would sit in the living room watching her Latin soaps or eat standing up as she would hold down fort in the kitchen, making sure we didn’t over eat.

We never did anything cool after school. Mom was always too tired to ever really want to go out, so I looked forward to the weekends when I would go to work. That would be my social time.

My dad was never around. Even once my parents divorced and he had to pick us up every weekend he wasn’t around. For this daddy’s girl it was heartbreaking to have to go spend time with your father to only later realize he didn’t want to spend time with you. He spent every waking moment in his bedroom, watching Tv or listening to music and it was a rule that us kids were never allowed to knock on the bedroom door, unless it was a real emergency. If he wasn’t locked away in his room, he was downstairs on his computer. It wasn’t until I got a little older that I realized he was talking to women online, while his wife was in the kitchen cooking dinner or out back doing laundry. Needless to say, the few memories I have of him are bathed in feelings of heartache so I tend to never drive down memory lane.

In school I had only a small group of friends which over time I came to slowly realize I didn’t fit in with. They were rich, sophisticated, white girls with the privileges I could only dream of. They went on cool holiday vacations like skiing up north or Disney trips down south. They had the designer labels. The pretty hair. The expensive make-up. They cheered for the school’s teams. They had the good looking guys falling at their feet.

Me? I was a frizzy haired Latina. My clothes were always from the clearance rack. I didn’t know how to really wear make-up but it didn’t matter because Mom wouldn’t buy me any anyways. I dreamed of joining the cheer leading team but to join any after school activity was an impossibility. With Mom always working, car rides to and from the games and school, it was a no go. Plus, who would take care of my sister??

It wasn’t long before the differences between my “friends” and I were too much for them to bare. I was, one day randomly, excommunicated from the group. Hours turned to days. Days into weeks. Weeks into months. I was alone in school. I was alone at home. My friends didn’t want to deal with me anymore and my poor mother working two and three jobs just to be able to raise my sister and I wasn’t able to deal with me. At this point in my life I saw the world as everyone else’s except mine. For some reason it was as though I didn’t deserve the world and I couldn’t figure out why.

It was a shitty time in my life, those pre-teen years of mine. During that school year in which I had been excommunicated from the group, that was also the time in which I was sexually molested by a distant family member. You know what they say, “when it rains it pours..” and for me that year was like a goddamn tsunami. I didn’t speak to anyone about what was going with me but I didn’t have to speak verbally for my demeanor spoke volumes. Unfortunately, the fact that I had shut down emotionally was chalked up to what was me entering my teenage years and this attitude I carried was to be expected. Why hadn’t I spoken up?? I was scared. It’s true what they say, many abusers threaten their victims into staying quiet. They threaten them and their family, most times shifting the blame from themselves onto the victim, stating that if they talk to anyone they will be hated for ruining the family. That was exactly what happened to me.

It was the very next day of when the molestation happened that I received and early morning phone call. It was Saturday morning and my mom was at work. I was at home babysitting my sister when the phone rang.

“Hello?”

“Hey Nata, is that you??” I recognized his voice immediately and it froze me into place. Where was he? Was he outside?? Was he watching me?? He was military so I imagined him having these crazy super powers like being able to get into my house to violate me without anyone knowing.

“Nata, you there?” I couldn’t speak so I just nodded my head.

“Listen, about yesterday, you have to be quiet. I know I already told you that but I just need to make sure you understand. You know I have a wife and my daughter. If they were to find out what you did you would get in a lot of trouble with them. Your family, like your mom and your abuelita, will stop talking to you because you let a man touch you. You hear me?? You cannot say anything or else everyone will get mad at you. You understand what I’m saying?” He spoke quickly and quietly.

“You get what I’m saying to you??” he repeated.

“Yes. I won’t tell.” I told him and with that I quickly hung up.

It’s weird because looking back I feel like I knew that what he did and what he was doing now by calling was wrong. I knew I should have told someone and that most likely my family wouldn’t get mad but the fear of the slim possibility that they might hate me and too excommunicate me, was huge. So I stayed quiet. I held that secret in for an entire year. It was the longest year of my life.

Anything that had to do with growing up and evolving I did on my own, independently. After a few weeks had gone by and still no word as to when my “friends” would be talking to me again, I dove head first into the world of words. I read and wrote from the moment I was settled on the school bus all the way through the day and way into the evening. The books that I read or the endless amount of journaling I did is what saved my life, multiple times. I’d get lost in these fictional worlds, headed out on these amazing adventures with these characters I wished were real. I wasn’t worried about paying attention in class or about having to get my homework completed. Did any of that really matter in the grand scheme of things?? Not in my world. What mattered to me was getting through my days with the least amount of pain as possible and school work got in the way of that. Some days were of course better than others, but in my mind, without the books, without the journals, my pain could have been a lot worse. Looking back on everything, it is no wonder that today it’s hard for me to personally connect with anyone. From a young age I grew up with the knowledge that people will always let you down, no matter who they are. To be honest, it was one great lesson to learn and better to learn it sooner than to get blindsided by disappointment later.

Today, although I love people and do consider myself quite the people person, I also know that I suffer a lot from the anxieties of having to deal with social and personal relationships. I call myself an extroverted introvert, meaning, it’s no problem for me to strike up conversations with strangers. I’m ok with going into a room full of people I do not know and having to mingle, yet at the same token I hate having to do so. I’ll go as far as to say that I absolutely dread it. It wasn’t until I had to start seeing a therapist as a part of my probationary conditions that it was pointed out to me my level of anxiety when it came to people and relationships. I suffer from social anxiety with strangers but also with the closest people in my life. I can make plans with family or friends and from the moment the plans are made I am in panic mode. I can’t make up my mind on whether or not to go through with the plans or break them. Most times, any plans I make with others I break. I begin to run through all of these different scenarios, all of which are negative, and before you know it I am talking my way out having to participate. I’m getting much better at dealing with this, through the help of books like the Secret, The Four Agreements, and other teachings that I have within the last few years discovered. Yet, I still find security at home, alone, with my pets. That is really the only time I ever feel comfortable. When I’m surrounded by others, buried deep within my mind is the fear of, which of all these people will hurt me next? How long will they be around for? How long will they be able to tolerate me for? My defenses are always up and to be honest it is quite exhausting. Yet as time passes I am grateful because throughout all the pain. heartaches, and let downs, I have become very strong.

I am slowly working on me. I finally have the time and the fortitude to simply let everything else go and just focus on myself and the things I need to get through. During the roughest moments of my life I have had only reading and writing to really help me get through. I sometimes hear of cases where kids are being bullied full-time, meaning at school as well as in the safety of their own homes, driving them to commit suicide. I see myself in so many of them that I cry with the pain of knowing how they felt. I often wish that they had had an outlet. I often wish that they had found a magical world within the pages of a book to save them. Something so simple and so obtainable as that and yet these kids couldn’t find their way towards survival. I guess maybe that’s why I write about everything and anything. Who knows who will end up coming across these words, who will scroll down these pages and find that comfort they needed. The comfort of knowing that one truly isn’t alone. That there are many others going through similar experiences and that only by sharing with one another will we be able to find solace not only within others, but more so within ourselves.

Maybe within these words someone will figure out that we are our own biggest project and it’s a project one must never quit on.

11380976_468219776660004_1021574899_n Photo Credit: Arturo G. Muse: Natal Galvan

 

 

Feeling Lost? You May Be Living for Others…

My parents divorced when I was only four years old. My sister wasn’t even one yet. It was almost instant that I was thrown into the role as “Mommy’s Little Helper” and although I was more than happy to help, it still wasn’t a role I chose.

Growing up wasn’t easy. Between trying to keep my grades afloat and helping out around the house, while also ultimately helping mom raise my sister, I’ve never really had a true and unique identity. Sure, I knew my name and what my favorite color was but anything deeper than that I could attribute it to someone else. They way I talked, the way I thought about certain things, it wasn’t 100% me but a compilation of everyone else.  It seemed that at that very point in my life I was always trying to please everybody else. The weekdays were dedicated to trying to impress my teachers and friends. After school was the time to really show my mom what a big girl I was and would win her over by helping with the day to day chores as well as serving as an entertainer/baby sitter for my sister. I spent every waking moment with that little rascal once school was out for the day and every summer break was dedicated to being with her from sun up till sun down. For 20 years her and I shared a room. We woke up together, we’d play together, we’d fight and cry, and tear each other’s hair our a few times a month. It’s no wonder how she ended up being my best friend after all these years.

The weekends were rough because that was a completely different world than what I was used to. I had to spend the weekends at my father’s house. Not only were they a different culture to absorb, but the stress that came along with having to deal with him and his new family (5 step brothers and his “younger than my mother by many years” wife) were a burden. It wasn’t long before I began to hate going to go visit him and eventually I would stop going all together. Still, during the time I did have to visit, it was a time in which I had to put who I was on hold just to please them, just to avoid ridicule. It wasn’t until I graduated high school and moved out of state, away from everything I knew, that I began to uncover who I truly was but even still, that too took time. I had been conditioned to be a people-pleaser and that made it hard to live life as I wanted.

I moved to Florida in ’08 and within the year I was signed up to school. I enrolled as a Forensic Psychology student. I had a plan. I was to work 5 days and go to school 3 days, taking 3 classes at a time. I wanted to plow through school while working, graduate, and then enter my career. That was almost 9 years ago and still I haven’t graduated.

One of my truest reasons as to why I haven’t graduated yet is due to finances. The other 95% I wouldn’t discover until just recent . It wasn’t until after my retreat from California, and about two years after I left Jersey for the second time, that I realized what my underlying issue was. I truly was at a loss for I really didn’t know who I was, and in turn, had no clue as to what I wanted for my life.

I look back to most of the decisions I’ve made in my life as a young adult and although most times I felt as though I was choosing to do what was best for me, I realized that instead I was making decisions based on what would make my family happy. The choice to move to Florida and make it on my own was truly my choice but that came after tons of time with my uncle convincing me to do so (Thanks Unc!). The major I picked to study in school was something I picked due to what I happened to really like to read at the time, but what really nailed it in for me was how happy my mother got when I told her what I wanted to study. “Hay Nati, that’s so good!! You can find a job with the government and get great benefits!! You would never have to worry about anything!” She’d tell me with joy in her voice. How could I study anything else when mama bear was so happy??

School wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be and I don’t mean academically. Honestly, FGCU isn’t a very tough school to complete. My problem was the level of dedication I had for it. It was hard for me to place so much energy into something that wasn’t giving me immediate payouts. Don’t get me wrong, I loved going to classes. Learning is paramount for me but it was everything else that came along with it. I lived off campus and so when I wasn’t in class or at the library studying, I was working or at home completing my homework. My life didn’t have much substance other than that. I wasn’t making friends due to the fact I wasn’t ever really on campus unless it was to attend class and I for sure didn’t have time to go out and meet people. Basically, all I ever did was work and go to school. I wasn’t traveling nor meeting people. It was a very “blah” time in my life and soon I began to question my purpose for doing all that I was doing.

I took an Ethics class during my last full semester at FGCU before deciding to move cross country. Mr.Mathews’ class was amazing and it truly changed my life for the better. In this class I was introduced to the Law of Attraction, The Secret, and many other life changing ideals like meditation and chakra cleansing. I learned about vibrations within the Universe and how to break away from the conditioning society has placed on us. This class was the end of who I was before and the beginning of who I was becoming. This class was what triggered my self discovery and since then there hasn’t been a day that goes by that I am not grateful for this time in my life.

It’s been about five years since I took that class and since then, finally at almost the age of 30, I have been making many of my own decisions. Some have worked out in my favor while others happened to be nothing more than a learning lesson. Sure, life hasn’t been perfect but I can’t even pretend that it ever will be. Yes, there have been moments in which I may have gone off the deep end a little. You know what they say about idle hands right? Yet still, I am grateful for every rough second I spent, or crazy situation I’ve been in. It has been an aid in my self discovery process and better yet, they have been choices I made because I wanted to make them. How awesome is that!?? Its taken some time but I’m beginning to slowly figure shit out. I’m starting to see what it is I like and where I see my future headed. I don’t take society or even family (anymore) into account when I dream up my future. I’ve done enough of that and look at where it got me. Following others and what they want for me has done nothing but confuse me and slow down my growing process when it comes to life and what I want to get out of it while I’m here.

I’m sharing this because I understand what many people go through when it seems like they’re lost and have no clue as to what to do with their lives. I understand because I too lived my life for quite some time for everyone else BUT for myself. It leaves you in a state of disorientation. Many people are going through this exact situation and don’t even realize why it is that they feel the way they do. If just by reading this I can help one confused person feel better as to why they feel the way they do then this time spent writing this was not time wasted.

Now that you’ve read this and feel that maybe you could fall in this criteria of living life for others, it’s time that you begin to start living life for yourself.No matter the age or the stage of life your in, you can begin to take control of it. Start setting healthy boundaries with others and begin to replenish and take care of yourself. Also, go into your self discovery knowing that there will be choices you make that may turn out not the way you planned. Realize that that is OK and that that is the beauty and purpose of life. No one life is perfect so to have that level of thinking would be harmful to your Self. The world is imperfect and it is in those very same imperfections that you’ll find happiness, bliss, adventure, and life in its purest form. Living this dream we call life in its purest form will aid you in your self discovery and you will live a good and happy life.

In the end of it all, what more could we want than to live out life the way we were meant to live it if not happily and with full hearts??

Beyond the Obvious

Looking at her he sees an angel full of purity and innocence. Her skin immaculate, childlike and flawless. He knows she is a book full of secrets. A walking journal of sorts. We all have skeletons in our closet, but she’s got full bodies. He’s sure of it. Yet love is funny. It makes you do things you wouldn’t even think of doing, it makes you feel things you never knew you could feel.

Love makes you look beyond what’s obvious. To him she is an angel sent from God. She has no idea how she’s saved him in more ways than one. In his darkest moments, he felt her breath. It was warm against his skin. It penetrated and melted his heart. He could stare into her eyes forever. He could get lost in those deep brown pools that would infiltrate and pierce his soul. He could swim with In Those Eyes For Eternity. A Laguna and as mysterious as one too. What could lurk deep within those dark Waters? Turtles, fishes, leeches? Or maybe the Loch Ness Monster?

Maybe something even darker and more foreboding.

Still he cares not.

He loves her and with love he can conquer them all.

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Photo Credit: Arturo G. Muse: Natal Galvan

Untitled:My 1st book project

****This is the beginning pages of the first chapter of a book I’m working on. I’d Love some feedback and remember HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY…well… for me anyways! Thank You for taking the time out to read!! MUCH LOVE!****

1389001_629742650409802_1415401385_n-2    Photo Credit: Natal Galvan *taken from a book with the Culver City Public Library, CA

 

I don’t know what I was thinking. Well, I was horny that’s what I was thinking but why did I think that making a life altering decision in the middle of me fingering myself was a good idea? I do not know. To this day, as I sit here in this shit hole, I have no clue why I thought that my idea at that time was a good one. Could it have been my desperation? I needed money. My savings were dwindling and my job at the dispensary didn’t pay all that much. Could it have been my loneliness or the lack of excitement in my life? Yes, I know. There should have been no lack of excitement considering I had lived in Los Angeles for less than two months, but it was hard to find genuine people in this over populated city, let alone make friends. Sure I’d go out by myself once in a while but that was risky. This wasn’t my small town life from back home. Back home everyone knew everyone. There were no secrets. No one locks their doors. You never worried of crime. It was what some would call paradise.

This place here was a completely different world. No one here knows anyone. Here, your “friends” don’t know you and you never truly know them. There are motives behind the people that know you. Sincerity is as rare as a house phone. People here? They’re all actors, whether or not they’re here to look for fame and fortune occupationally. People here wear invisible masks. You never really know who you’re dealing with.

So there I was bored and playing with myself. In one hand I held my phone gazing at the pictures of old dirty men screwing the wet out of young girls. The caption read “Daddy Cums while Mommy Sleeps”. Picture after incestuous picture had my lips wet and clit swollen, lost in a world of weird perversions. The old man in this current picture wasn’t bad looking, I thought to myself, as I found myself staring at him and what he was packing.  I’d fuck him if I had to, I remember thinking.

BOOM.

That’s when the idea struck, as well as my monumental climax. I guess that’s why I thought it was such a good idea. So as I came, through the blinding lights and the euphoria I was physically experiencing, I decided that tomorrow I would follow through with my idea. I would turn my luck around and hopefully life out here in the wild of wildest, my life would get just a teeny bit easier.

The next morning, after brewing my bold cup of coffee, I sat in front of my computer and placed my ad. Funny thing it was placing an ad selling your-self. I wasn’t trying to think of it in terms of selling myself though. Honestly the way I pictured it, I imagined a Pretty Woman type of scenario minus me being a prostitute. I envisioned a handsome older gentleman answering my ad, offering his guidance in exchange for some after dark pleasures. In time we would fall ever so madly in love with one another and we’d live happily ever after. Why not? Overnight I had come up with a sure fire plan as to how to choose my knight in shining armor.  I was sure I’d get multiple responses so I would just choose one who I’d deemed the best candidate. The one who was not only the more handsome but one I felt like I could best emotionally connect with. How could I go wrong?

Within a few minutes, I had 5 responses. Two of these savages, I will call them savages because to call them men would be far too nice of me, contacted me with no introduction even. What they stated in the body of their badly written email were things of rapists and cons.

“Ravage you like the disgusting wild woman that you are,” one wrote.

“I’ll duct tape your tits together so it feels nice and tight as I titty fuck you and cum on your face,” said another.

These were my first responses but still it didn’t deter me from taking down my post. Guys will be guys, I thought to myself, there are always those bad apples in the bunch and I couldn’t expect otherwise.

The other three responses were sweet. These were what seemed genuinely nice guys, rich, but horridly unattractive. I couldn’t imagine having to pleasure them. My lady parts dried up like a cranberry left out in the Mojave desert just thinking about it. Delete. Delete. Delete.

I glanced at the time and made moves to get ready for work. I had 45 mins to get showered and dressed. There was plenty of time. I literally worked two blocks from where I lived which was one of the reasons I took the job. I could leave my car at home, avoiding the stressful LA traffic, while also saving money on gas. As I began getting ready, I thought about my job and how unhappy I was. Sure, many people would have killed to work at a medical marijuana dispensary. It hadn’t been long ago that the laws had changed and hundreds of these places had been opening up all over the state. There was something to working at a place that not too long ago would have been considered illegal and even immoral that made it a little more exciting than your typical retail or restaurant jobs I had previously been used to. Yet many of these dispensaries were operated by Armenians whom were not at all easy to work for.

I had been warned once by a nice Mexican girl I met while cashing out at Target one day. We got to casually talking as she rang me up. I had ended up mentioning that within a week of me moving here I had easily found employment.

“I’m not sure why people say it’s hard to find a job out here. Maybe I was just lucky?” I said to her while rummaging for my credit card.

“That’s because it is hard. Where do you work?” she asked, intrigued.

“A few blocks from here at one of the dispensaries. I start this weekend.” I handed her my credit card and she looked at me for a second, maybe deciding whether or not to bother, and then she did.

“Just be careful. Those places are usually ran by Armos. They’re perverted hot heads that prey on newbies like you. Plus those places aren’t federally legal and get raided all the time. Depending on the location your clientele can be a little shady and if you say it’s just a few blocks from here I can assure you it isn’t in a great location. So just be careful.”  And with that she handed me my card and my receipt.

“Have a good day.” She then said to me and her eyes moved on to the next customer. With a nod that she did not see, I grabbed my bags and left.

As I set foot outside and head out to work I think about that girl. I wish I would have listened to her warning. But I dismissed it at the time and oh how I wish I hadn’t. She was right; working for Armenians was not at all easy.

*******

He storms in. The air around him is heavy and dark. Varno may be a small guy but he carries a huge attitude. Actually let me add “shitty” to that. He’s got a huge shitty attitude and it’s about everything. Nothing makes this man happy. Nothing.

For being as tiny as he is Varno gets women like crazy. I have seen more girls come in and out of his office than the offices of a fucking planned parenthood. All kinds of girls too, small ones, tall ones, fat ones, skinny ones. He’d had blondes, brunettes, red heads, even a bald chick. He’s an equal opportunist jerk that’ll fuck anything that’s got a wet hole giving him attention. That’s why it wasn’t a shock to me when I found a lube of Hep cream in the bathroom one day.

Varno is the owner of GreenTeeHC. He’s hardly ever there but when he is, it’s all havoc and melee. He’s got two henchmen that work under him Grigor, who’s a giant but with a teddy bear heart, and Sygus, a short funny looking man with permanent smiling purple lips and a belly that makes him look like a bowling pin. When Varno came to the shop, it was usually to handle business meeting with vendors, maybe he’d pop in to smoke a little dope and check in on the shop, sometimes it was just to get away from the trails of snails that followed him. That’s what I called his “girlfriends”, snails. None of these girls were what you would call “nice girls”, honestly I wouldn’t even call them decent girls. I will even go as far as to say that one or two were not even girls but that’s a secret that only Varno and his snails would know. On this particular day that the Hep Cream incident took place, he had snuck into the back room where we wrapped joints and packaged other cannabis products while I was in the restroom. It had been an unexpectedly quiet day at the shop. It was Friday, which meant pay day for many of our “patients” and was usually our biggest day of the week. So far I had only had a handful of patients come in, making my day drag.

I come out of the restroom, which also serves as a smoking room and a utility closet, and head into the backroom. Before I reach the door I hear him saying to Grigor in his badly broken English, “I am just irritated. People in this fucken town are stupid. Fucking dumb Americans! Where is this girl!? Mae!..” As he’s calls out my name I pop in, with a huge smile painted on my face. At this point, I’ve learned how to deal with Varno. Killing him with kindness was what I found to work best. With him being a constant cranky fucker, I wasn’t going to let him taint my always sunny disposition although it was quite hard to not take offense at first. Where I was from people weren’t “cranky” just because. Everyone was friendly and open to what life seemed to bring forth no matter how good or bad. It was a wonderful community where everyone supported everyone else in times of bad as well as times of good. It was paradise, hence why I left. Who needs paradise at 22? Adapting to this city I found not everyone was even remotely close to being cheery. But adaptation is what has allowed the human race to continue on in our ever long evolutionary existence, and I had adapted to not taking things personal.

“What’s up NoNo?” he hated this nick name I had appointed him. He thought it made him sound too negative. I happened to think it fit him perfectly.